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Why I didn’t buy any new clothes for my holiday

Nothing makes me happier than a new item of clothing.

Whether it’s the high street, a charity shop or a vintage kilo sale, I’ll be there, purse in hand, seeking the dopamine hit that comes with the latest purchase.

However, I have often bought items on impulse that didn’t really fit or suit me or didn’t match anything in my wardrobe. And this often happens when it comes to buying summer or holiday clothes.

These unworn items gather dust in bags, with me occasionally trying them on and discarding them in a huff and eventually they end up in the charity shop (usually when I move house because I’m quite the hoarder).

While going through my summer wardrobe, I realised I had quite a lot of things from the year before that I had not worn or only worn a few times.

For instance, I had two swimsuits and a bikini barely worn and shorts and a skirt that I hadn’t worn as they were *ahem* a little snug.

I have put on weight over the past year and a half and while I’m still relatively slim, I was hanging onto clothes that didn’t fit in the hopes I could somehow squeeze into them later in the year.

This is a toxic trap because I ended up feeling miserable every time I tried on something that didn’t fit.

While I ordered a couple of things online for holidays, nothing was quite right and I ended up returning everything. I was also short on cash prior to going away so I couldn’t afford lots of new things.

Eventually, I decided to just bring all my summer clothes and resolved to bring anything I didn’t wear to the charity shop on my return.

Here’s a taste of what I wore to Barcelona and how I created a capsule wardrobe with the clothes and shoes I already had.

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Wearing a men’s t-shirt from Bershka and cut-off shorts

On our visit to Park Guell, I wore a casual and comfy outfit as there was a lot of walking uphill involved.

I also wore these shorts on our first full day in Barcelona, with a Guns N Roses tee.

They are one of my favourite items in my wardrobe but they are almost threadbare and I needed to get them patched before holidays.

I recommend altering or fixing your clothes before buying new ones but I may have to say adios to these shorts soon.

For nights out, I had packed a couple of options, including my black leather skirt.

This was €5 from Betty Bojangles which sells secondhand and vintage clothing in Smithfield and I absolutely love the fit and mock croc finish.

I paired it with my Shein green sequin top for dinner on our first night and wore it with my Topshop floral bodysuit for drinks with friends.

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Excuse the lighting and setting!
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Black skirt with floral Topshop bodysuit

For our trip to the Bunkers del Carmel, which is a popular spot on the city limits where people gather to enjoy the view, I wore a summery blue and white dress which I found in a charity shop for €4 during the heatwave.

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Blue and white dress

It was the hottest day when we went to the Basilica Sagrada Familia (that big ol’ church) and I somewhat foolishly chose a crop top and high waisted skirt.

I know you aren’t meant to wear “revealing” clothing to sacred places and I was told to pull the top down on the way in but as it was the end of the trip, I was running out of outfits.

This top from Penneys and the blue a-line skirt was bought in sale from Stradivarius.

I did (unintentionally) wear cross earrings, which I feel made up for my otherwise poor outfit choice!

I choose this light floral H&M dress for strolling on the Rambla de Catalunya and admiring Casa Battlo.

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Floral H&M dress

To complete my wardrobe, I brought two bags, a crossbody and a rucksack, as well as several necklaces, earrings and four pairs of shoes.

When I came home, I immediately took the clothes I hadn’t worn to the charity shop- they were all too small anyway!

I think that if you’re struggling to let go of unworn/old clothes, giving yourself an ultimatum such as wearing them by a certain date can work.

I’m very glad that I didn’t buy any new swimwear as we ended up only going to the beach once for a stroll on our final day. We had attempted to go another day but got caught in a giant thunderstorm! So I actually didn’t get to wear my bikini or swimsuits at all!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on buying clothes “just for holidays”.

And in case you’re wondering, I did treat myself to some new purchases in BCN – look out for an outfit post coming soon!

I will be writing an in-depth post on Barcelona so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Thanks for reading,  if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

Visiting Belfast: Shopping and sight-seeing over the border

If you don’t normally go up the North for shopping or sight-seeing, you’re missing out. Recently I went on a weekend break to Belfast with my boyfriend and we had a brilliant time.

I’ve posted about visiting Belfast before but I spent less than a day there. This time around I spent more time in the city centre and was there for a full weekend.

I have only been to Northern Ireland four times including the last trip which is quite embarrassing!

Where to go shopping:

Belfast has two shopping centres, Castlecourt and Victoria Square. Castlecourt is slightly old-fashioned but has some decent shops, including a nice Debenhams.

Victoria Square is a more modern building and has all the high-street shops such as Topshop, H & M and River Island.

The Topshop is massive and I could’ve spent all day there! But that would’ve been the end of my relationship.. 😛

On the street there’s a massive Stradivarius (one of only three in Ireland), Zara, Primark etc.

What to buy: 

I always buy cosmetics in the North as they are a good bit cheaper. I picked up a new bronzer in Superdrug and got my eyebrows threaded there for only £5!

I also bought Queen of Shaves shaving gel for £2.99 (This is very gentle on your skin but can’t find it in ROI anymore). It was about €8 down here.

Nivea night cream was only £1.99 which was also good value, it’s about €5 here.

Perhaps VAT is to blame but when you factor in exchange rates, we seem to pay a lot more for clothes in shops like Topshop and River Island in the ROI.

For instance, this purple frill jumper was £15 on sale from £30 in Topshop. It ws €42 full price in ROI stores.

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Primark is similar value to what you get at home, one pair of nude tights were £1, a nail varnish £1.50 etc.

The Primark was undergoing a bit of a makeover and was VERY busy when we were there.

Overall the stock in Primark was only OK but the store isn’t the biggest.

 I bought a pair of Onitsuka Tigers for my boyfriend in Office, they were £65 with student discount.

Name brand runners aren’t much cheaper than at home.

Surprisingly I didn’t buy myself any shoes! Nor did I find a dress for my graduation but there’s plenty of time yet.

Bargain shopping/Charity shops

I visited two charity shops and both were pretty disappointing. If anyone can recommend a good one, please let me know.

Vintage shops

There are a few quirky vintage shops around Belfast and my favourite one was Octopus’s Garden on Wellington Street.

It sells records as well as deadly vintage threads and is a good spot for nabbing a band t-shirt.

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Markets

On Sunday, we visited St. George’s Market which reminded me of a smaller version of Spitalfields market in London.

We treated ourselves to a hearty Ulster fry and perused all the goodies the market had to offer.

There were loads of food stalls including some very tasty cupcakes, homewares, bric-a-brac, vintage records and jewellery.

I’d highly recommend this market to everyone, it’s an absolute gem.

Cash or card?

I brought cash which I’d changed commission free in the post office. If you pay in card in the North, there is a small fee, about 14 cent per transaction.

Withdrawing sterling with an Irish card from an ATM will incur a fee of at least €3. Ulster Bank customers can withdraw free from NatWest, EasyCash and RBS however.

Bag charges

FYI, there’s now a plastic bag levy in the UK, retailers must a charge a minimum of £0.05 per bag. Something to bear in mind if you are buying lots.

Where to eat/stay/have fun

Besides shopping, we did enjoy the sights of Belfast, including the Titanic experience which was fantastic. Give yourself a minimum of two hours if you are going here.

It’s an interactive exhibition and I learned so much, not merely about the Titanic but also the history of Belfast.

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We stayed in Jury’s Inn in the heart of the city and our room was gorgeous.

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On Saturday night we had dinner in Deanes Love Fish restaurant and the food was DELICIOUS! Hands down, one of the nicest restaurants I’ve ever been in.

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We also went for a drink in The Crown Saloon, which is one of the most popular bars in Belfast.

The beautiful Victorian decor has been preserved from the intricately-carved wooden booths and ceiling designs, to stained glass windows and funky floor tiles.

Unfortunately it was too busy to sit down.

Another watering-hole we visited was White’s Tavern which is one of Belfast’s oldest pubs. This is a nice little pub to relax and rest the legs in between shopping and sight-seeing.

Finally, City Hall is a must if you like architecture.

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 FYI, this was not a sponsored post.

Hope you all enjoyed this post, feel free to leave me a comment below.

Thank you for visiting my blog and  don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

Thrift Alert: Dublin’s best charity shops

There’s nothing better than getting your fashion fix while also doing a good deed. For years I’ve shopped in charity shops and am still amazed by the bargains. We’re talking brand new items with tags on, designer and leather handbags and beautiful vintage clothing.

Enable Ireland

This is one of my favourite charity shops with branches in Phibsborough, George’s Street, Capel Street, Camden Street, Finglas and Thomas Street. Enable Ireland have a good selection of items from workwear to children’s clothes and shoes. 100% of their profits go to funding disability services.

My best recent bargain from there has to be these black patent loafers which were brand new with a €70 sticker but sold for just €20. For more of my Enable Ireland bargains, check out my Charity Shopping Haul post.

I also found this lovely brand new Missguided playsuit in Enable Ireland’s Phibsborough branch. I got so many compliments when I wore this and it was only €4!

Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society shops tend to be quite small but I always enjoy browsing around. I’ve found some good stuff in their Rathmines, Phibsborough and Capel Street shops. The Rathmines one is the most attractive and in general Rathmines charity shops tend to be of a very high calibre!

Oxfam (George’s St)

Oxfam have several stores around Dublin but their George’s Street store is the jewel in the crown. They have both ladieswear and menswear, vintage and a dedicated bridal section with many brand new and designer wedding dresses from sizes 6-22. Brides on a budget, look no further! Oxfam’s profits go to alleviating poverty in third world countries.

I bought these black leather shorts for about €4 in their Stephen’s Green store.

Another gorgeous bargain was this Versace-esque silky bomber.

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Scarf print bomber jacket, Oxfam.

St. Vincent de Paul

SVP are dedicated to helping those living in dire poverty in Ireland and assist thousands each year. Their George’s Street store is a must visit for any thrift shop maven. I’ve seen Versace and Moschino items here and they even have their their own vintage line.

I bought this oversized denim jacket and this cropped red shirt in their Phibsborough branch. (These are both Penneys items but I was on a strict budget at the time!) The jacket was brand new with tags, €8 and the shirt was about €4.

 

Respect (Stoneybatter)

And now for one slightly off the beaten track, the Respect shop in Stoneybatter is one of the most amazing charity shops I’ve ever been in. It looks quite unassuming but is one of the best for a genuine bargain. Among the items I’ve bought there include a black leather DKNY backpack for €6, a €2 Longchamps bag and a red leather American Apparel skirt for €10. I’ve also picked up some great vintage belts here. Respect support people with intellectual disabilities so it’s a really worthy cause.

Macro Shop, Macro Community Centre (North King’s Street)

I love shopping here as the Macro centre gives back to the local community. It also pays to shop here in winter, I recently found real Levi’s cut-offs and a red suede effect H&M skirt for €2 each! Their community centre provides services such as free legal aid, citizen’s information and advocacy to the local residents.

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I later found this skirt for €2!

There are other second hand shops around such as the Second Abbey on Abbey Street which has an incredible selection of clothes, homewares and bric a brac. In some senses, it’s more of a museum!

In general, I prefer to shop in a registered charity shop where possible. That way, you can be sure your purchases or donations always go to a genuine charity. If you want to detox your wardrobe, these shops always welcome donations of clean clothing and shoes.

Do you shop in charity shops? Leave me a comment and let me know if I’ve missed any good ones. Hope you all had a good new year and enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

 

 

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Bargain Bonanza: My Sale Shopping Picks

There’s only one cure for the post-Christmas blues: online shopping and hot whiskey. 😛 I’m currently lying in bed feeling very sick and sorry for myself so what better time to browse the best sale bargains?

Missguided is offering up to 75% off sale items. FYI if you have a holiday booked, their swimwear is massively reduced right now. Go forth and shop…

They also have some gorgeous dresses in sale, from causal slip dresses to more glamorous styles. New Year’s Eve outfit dilemmas sorted!

This 2-in 1 leopard camisole dress is reduced from €37.50 to €18.75, great for casual wear.

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Leopard print 2-in-1 dress. Pic: Missguided.com

This black cold shoulder dress is a new twist on the classic slip dress. It’s reduced from €42 to €16.80.

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Black slip dress with white t-shirt. Pic: Missguided.com

For a New Year’s outfit, I love this Balmain-esque floral red dress.

It has all the Balmain details with zip front and black piping but has a more affordable price tag! This was €105 but now just €42.

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Red floral zip through dress. Pic: Misguided.com

Asos is offering up 50% off sale items. Among the shoes I’m lusting after are these own brand silver loafers, €16, reduced from €27.

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Silver loafers. Pic: Asos.com

Another own brand bargain are these studded black flats. At only €22 now, they will be ideal for spring. They were €38 full price.

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Studded black ballet flats. Pic: Asos.com

Daisy Street is one of my favourite footwear brands available on Asos, they have amazing statement ankle boots including these two-tone snakeskin beauties. These are reduced from €47 to €27.33.

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Two tone snakeprint ankle boots.

I’m a big fan of Zara jeans as they are quite hard-wearing and a good fit. They have lots funky styles in sale from grungy paint-spattered jeggings to pink mom fit jeans.

These are all reduced from €29.95 to €19.95. Word of advice, Zara tends to stagger their reductions so these may go down further in price if you can wait.

Denim-lovers will also appreciate these Zara shirts. These are reduced to €39.99 from €49.95. Still relatively pricey but may be reduced further.

Pretty Little Thing is offering up to 50% off sale items at the moment.

They have some beautiful sequin playsuits and dresses if you’re looking for a little sparkle this New Year’s.

One thing to note about PLT’s sale is that an item may be reduced in one colour but not in another.

For example, the sequin playsuit is reduced from €42 to €16.80 in green, silver and gold but a multi-colour version is still full-price. The premium sequin dress is reduced from €70 to €42.

They also have statement bombers and cute accessories like this chain detail bag and multi-colour scarf. The purple bomber is now 50% off (was €49, now €24), the scarf is €8.40 (was €11.25) and the bag €21 down from €31.

River Island have some great discounts on winter coats at the moment. The cream puffer is half price at €60 and both the brown and pink coats are marked down from €95 to €45.

For sale shopping tips, check out my previous post and for online sale shopping hacks and discounts click here. I’ve rounded up some of the prices as decimal points frustrate me. 😛

Remember to check the returns policy, it will save you a lot of hassle. I recently attempted returning a full-price choker to Forever 21 only to find they don’t accept returns on jewellery.

It was in perfect condition, still in packaging and the receipt was in date! *shakes fist*

I hope you all had a good Christmas and have a lovely New Year also. Do you love or loathe sale shopping? Leave me a comment below.

PS- these are all my personal choices, I didn’t receive any payment or incentive to promote these brands. Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel