Tuesday, May 5, 2015

To my blog followers...

Dear Britishette followers,
I want to write you a small post because I am progressively transferring my blog from Blogger to Wordpress (this is boring blog talk) but the blog name is proving slightly more complicated to transfer. The Wordpress blog is up and running and can be found with almost the same address: (as opposed to the current .com). I am hoping to get the .com back in the future but didn't want to stop in the process.
The new blog is lacking a lot of features (including the possibility to sign up to receive the posts, which I guess you would need if you want to receive the new stuff) so I kindly ask for your patience. In the meantime, have a look at the new blog, lots of second hand outfits coming up and also, you can always get some news & pics on my Instagram, Facebook page and Twitter...
Thank you for your kind support.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Yet another second hand LBD

Since it is not quite summer yet, I felt it was okay to keep buying warmer dresses. Also when I found this Zadig & Voltaire dress, I didn't care about the weather...
I know I have countless little black dresses, but I can always argue that I don't have so many with long sleeves, or in wool. I also don't have that many pieces from Zadig given their original price...
I found it in my local Sue Ryder charity shop and luckily in my size. Here I paired it with balck booties found in Cancer Research UK. They are glittery and from Nine West. These shoes are a lot more comfortable than they look! This outfit is perfect for a casual date. It is also versatile and easy to accessorise with some jewellery or a colourful handbag.
My only concern with the dress is that Nino and Stella are going to pull on it, clean their hands in it and so like many "nicer" clothes, I don't wear it that much. Yet it is a beautiful piece and something different. Anyway, if you find a Zadig LBD in your size in a charity shop, you don't complain. Right?

Monday, April 20, 2015

The second hand Romper

It might be Coachella, it must be the sunshine, but  I couldn't wait to go bare legs. I finally did a few days ago when the heat went up in London.
A romper is as summer-y as it gets and I found this one a while ago. I have actually been wearing it at my dance class as I just couldn't wait for warmer weather. It is from hipster French brand Eleven Paris.
It has the perfect shape and texture, all breezy and easy. I paired it with a second hand Marc Jacobs bag that I found on Ebay.
To complete the Coachella style, I am wearing it with flat sandals that I found in Cancer Research UK. I think they are from Next. I wore them all last summer and will probably be wearing them all next summer as well (already had the sole redone :-))
By the time I publish this post, it is a lot colder and the romper is back in the closet. Until the next heatwave (one can dream)...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

charity shop review: Fara Angel

Last month I went to the newly opened Fara Angel with fellow second hand style blogger Louise from Pauper to Princes. This new charity shop is replacing the Fara Workshop, which was an amazing experimental shop where you could find unique designs remade from donated clothes. I was excited to finally have a Fara charity shop opening closer to my home as I always find such good items.

The shop is really nicely decorated. Located on Pentonville Road, a couple of minutes off Angel tube station, it is quite a space for a charity shop and I love the breezy feel of the place.
Fara Angel is not quite like the other Fara charity shops, more like a condensed version of several other shops. They have Men, Women and children clothes. They also sell accessories and lots of books.
On the left side of the shop is the Retro corner, with everything from 60s apparel to a retro telephone or vintage luggages. I don't usually shop vintage so it's fun to have a look for a change.
The shop manager Zane explained to me that the cloths come in for two weeks but that the turnover is quite impressive. The clothes are extremely cheap, cheaper than the other Fara shops (think £3 jeans, £4 tops...) but also potentially damaged. So you really need to give it a good look: can I fix it? Do I mind the little hole? before you decide to buy.
I tried those Converse (they were only £8 but ended up not buying it as they were a tad too big, a big No No for Converse). I did  however find a good Sweaty Betty top for the gym and it cost me only £4!
Overall the shop is interesting mostly because of its diversity. I liked that I could look for kids stuff, retro stuff, books, shoes and accessories all in one place. You need to spend quite some time looking which is totally fine as the pale is extremely pleasant to visit. If you are near Angel, drop by, you never know what you will find!

Fara Angel:
28-32 Pentonville Road N19HJ
Phone: 2077130931

Monday, April 6, 2015

Second hand smart jacket

I found this amazing jacket in a charity shop and I couldn't wait to show you!
It is not my usual style (as in casual mom style) and yet I love it. It's elegant and different. Not to mention that it's from Maje, a brand I am quite fond of!
As the jacket contains a certain number of colours, I paired it with a simple LBD and suede booties (also second hand, also from Maje...). I like that it is a very simple look, perfect for a business meeting. It is understated and yet quite unusual as the cut of the jacket is asymmetrical. I also love that the sleeves are slightly shortened, a sign of utmost elegance in my opinion.
And voilà, I did my French thing again with Maje, but really can you blame me?

Monday, March 30, 2015

London Walls 44: the street with no name

Last week I went charity shopping in Camden. It has some of my favorite shops and it is always fun to return to the Camden vibe. I also took the opportunity to take some photos of the street art that is really part of the life in Camden.
Then I found this one tiny street with all kinds of cool street art in it! Right off Camden High Street. Check it out:

Already, that was cool. But the strangest thing is that street has NO NAME!! Not kidding!
See? No Name. I looked on the other side, and not only was there no name, but there was instead this sculpture coming out of the wall!
All this amazing art, in a nameless street... When I got home I immediately checked on Google Maps and even there, the passage does not have a name! When does that happen?

Ever since, I've had the U2 song stuck in my head (not that it has anything to do with London). But if anyone knows anything about this little corner, I would love to get to the bottom of it! In the meantime, enjoy the art!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nino & Stella second hand style

Because with charity shops, you never know what you will find, I get to try new styles and clothes I would not normally look at in the regular stores Well it is the same with kids' clothes! I found this little gilet at Oxfam for Nino and it's just the cutest thing!
I would have loved it in any shop, but I am so focused on practical needs with the kids (they need warm sweaters, they need sports shoes...) that I sometimes miss out on the fun!
For Stella, dressing her second hand makes a lot of sense. She has become so picky with her clothes that I won't really take my chances to buy her a nice new dress that she might refuse to wear (true story).

This Baby Gap dress totally made the cut though and I like that it is a warm dress! It doesn't come from a charity shop but from a friend whose daughter is slightly older than Stella. Fellow mums often give each other clothes and it is yet another way to wear second hand.
PS: can you tell that I take pictures when they watch TV (the only moment they don't move...)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Charity Shop Review: Mary's Living & Giving Shop Islington

The complete name of this shop is actually Mary's Living & Giving Shop for Save the Children. Opened last september on Upper Street, this little boutique is NOT your traditional charity shop.
It was decorated pro bono by interior design Kate Monckton on a cinema theme. Already that 1) an interior design did the shop and 2° that she did it for free for the charity blew my mind. You have the red velvet, the theatre seats, little cartoons playing for the kids and old movies plastered on the walls. It makes for a warm welcome.
Nathalie, the shop's manager explained to me that this shop has a strong editing policy in order to propose only the finest items that were donated to the Save the Children charity. The idea is basically not to overwhelm the customer with loads of clothes, unfiltered and difficult to look through. Instead, there is a lot of space in the shop, between the hangers and among the accessories. In this shop, less is more.
Consequently the selection is quite impressive. From DVF to Banana Republic, Michael Kors to H&M, the brands are diverse but each piece is there for a reason. It might be the color or the cut or that this top would look good next to that trousers. Nothing is left to chance.
Having a window on Upper Street is a treat but it is not easy competing with the high street. Yet, it is fair to say that Mary's Living & Giving Shop stands out. Maybe because of the movie stars lightbulbs outside or because of its original atmosphere and of course because of its sophisticated selection.
If you don't like to rummage though millions of M&S knits in order to find a gem, this is the charity shop for you, as the knits have been thoroughly sorted out. Prices are overall higher than the classic charity shop, but so is the quality of each items. It is likely that you will find something at your taste, and still at a fraction of the prices of something new.
The other original thing about the shop was that they also sell new items that have been generously donated by brands such as Aspinal of London, House of Holland, the Cambridge Satchel Company or Ralph Lauren. These pieces are still sold for less than their original prices and the money go to the Save the Children charity.
I really enjoyed the shop. I felt welcomed by the staff and not forced into buying anything. Even to have a look at the décor, it is worth a tour. Nathalie explained to me that each Mary's Living & Giving shop has a different theme (there are currently 16 shops) and I am now curious to see the other ones.
As Always in a charity shop, each piece is unique and the turnover is quite fast so you never know what you will find. If you are in Islington, do have a look in Mary's Living & Giving Shop, it is an exciting project. Charity shopping never looked so chic!
Mary's Living & Giving Shop for Save the Children: 138 Upper Street, London N11QP
Phone: 020 7226 8840

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sun's out!

It feels so so nice to have the temperatures coming back up and to feel the sunshine in London. I am happier just standing in the sun. Everything's easier: the school run, the park, kids are happy, I am happy!
And so I couldn't wait to show you this summer dress. I know I know it is wayyyy too earlier. But can you blame me? Because that's the thing with the charity shops, you may find your perfect parka in July and the best sleeveless dress in November. Though the shops try to adapt to the current season, you never know what you will find. And I love that, the unexpected!
This All Saints dress was calling my name at Sue Ryder care charity shop and I had to own it. I love All Saints, but  only buy second hand. The fabric feels amazing and I love the color. I find it quite versatile and you can downplay it with flats or upgrade the look with heels.
I paired the dress with wedge espadrille from Jigsaw, that I also found in a charity shop. Okay, it was a bit chilly taking these pictures. But we are looking at SUMMER people! Get in the mood! I sure am :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

London charity shops: current favorites

Given that I haven’t bought new clothes in more than two years now, I start to know quite a few charity shops in London. There are hundreds and they all have their own perks. But I see myself drawn to some more than others and I thought I would tell you which ones!
I live in Islington and like to stick to my neighbourhood as much as I can. I love the village atmosphere and don't feel the need to get out though I really should see more of London. So around Angel, the two charity shops I try to visit the most are Sue Ryder Care (72 Essex Road, London N1 8LT)and Cancer Research UK (34 Upper Street).
I can not start to list the items I found in both. Okay those are the shops I visit religiously every week, so of course I found the most amazing pieces. In Sue Ryder, that includes American Vintage Tees and skirts, a Mulberry coat, Chanel ballerinas, Maje tee, jacket and boots, Lululemon leggings, Antipodium dress, and much more.
In Cancer Research UK, I found my Belstaff winter parka, Abercrombie coat, Nine West booties, Zadig & Voltaire dress, Comptoir des Cotonniers Tee, etc.
Gloucester Road:
I only go to Gloucester Road when I have to go to the French Consulate as it is pretty close. So that I turn a painful administration issue (passports for the kids, ID cards...) into a good charity shop day. There are two shops there that never failed me: Oxfam (5 Gloucester Road London SW7 4PP) and Fara (26 Gloucester Road London SW7 4RB). In these two shops I found the J Brand kakis and the Maje knit that I presented last week.
Camden has tons of charity shops and you can easily get lost in it. My absolute favorite is the Sue Ryder Care (46-50 Parkway, London NW1 7AH). In particular, check out their Vintage section, it has lots of good things. I once saw a pair of Louboutin in great condition for less than £40!!!!! Second best is Cancer Research UK (81 Camden High Street, London NW1 7JL) where I found great Comptoir des Cotonniers and All Saints Tees.
If you are looking for kids clothes, my recommendation is Fara Kids. I visited the ones in Fulham (662 Fulham Road, London SW6 5RX) which I reviewed here, and in Chiswick (40 Turnham Green Terrace, London W4 1QP). The clothes are amazing and the prices unbeatable (think £4 Catimini sandals for Stella...).
There are a lot more shops, that was just to give you a taste. The way I do it: every time I have to meet someone or do something in an area, I look before where are the local charity shops. They are part of the community and also a way to discover a bit more about the neighbourhood. I do the same thing now if I visit another city (check out my posts on NYC, Antwerp, Berlin or Vienna). High street shopping is so globalised now that it's the same boring fashion lines wherever you go. So why not try your luck in second hand? For the charity shops, you get to do good in the process!