So it’s a staple in every girls wardrobe… the white shirt. When my H&M perfectly fitted white shirt ripped on the sleeve ( clearly from over wearing!!) I decided that as I was taking my wardrobe ever more vintage my new “simple white shirt” had to follow suit…..










Ok so it’s not so simple or really white ( more cream) but I adored it the second I set eyes on it in Banardos Vintage in Wilmslow where I volunteer. I wore it to school the other day and someone said oh very Joan Collins. I was going along the lines of Princess Di when I saw it but I can see the Joan Collins comparison. The shoulder pads are a little on the large side especially when you have to wear a cardigan to stay warm in the crazy freezing cold of St Helens!!

Anyway my point in this post is not really to even show you my vintage purchase but really to consider the idea of simple fashion, its been playing on my mind lots recently. My quest to buy vintage and try really hard to just stick to second-hand items ( sometimes I have slipped, the odd crazy splurge in Primark…I paid for it, the gorgeous mustard work top I bought shrunk on first wash!!! That will teach me!!) has led me to think about how drawn in we can all get by the quest for more. By the constant stream of adverts we get I find myself lured into the consumer culture. My family will vouch for me that I have a little saying… “I’ve always wanted one of them… ” as my justification for buying something new… And really although I may have always wanted one, do I really need one!! I’ve just been up in my wardrobe clearing out, I have three navy work skirts.. I don’t need three navy work skirts!! One of them I have only worn once!! Now please do not switch off I am not bashing shopping in any way shape of form.. As you can see from this blog I love it however I just wanted to share with you my change in mindset and a little challenge I have set myself. ( More on that later)

Another inspiration has been the lovely Vicky of Sewabee. She has spent a year wearing a different outfit and not buying any new clothes. She has donated £50 a month to charity in remembrance of her lovely father who died last year. She has allowed herself to buy material to make her own clothes but has blogged her different outfits on her fantastic site. We are off to a Frock Shop tomorrow evening to celebrate all her hard work and raise even more for Cancer Reasearch. Vicky has really inspired me and made me realise that shopping and fashion are not a quick fix. That we can find contentment in what we have and be creative and have fun with the clothes that we already own. We don’t need to keep buying more.

My final inspiration that is a little bit of a weird one but really got me thinking about this idea of simplicity was a programme on channel 4 about the Amish. I have always admired their simplistic way of living ( I certainly couldn’t do it myself) however when visiting America when I was younger I became fascinated by their approach. Simplicity does allow more room for contentment, something so many of us crave. By filling our lives with stuff we can get distracted by what really matters to us. For each of us it will be different things… faith, family, friends etc… But ultimately a cluttered and I guess that includes busy existence can totally throw us off course and send us chasing after things that are not necessarily important.

So all of this pondering… blimey I’ve done lots of pondering recently has led me to a little bit of a challenge for myself… It may not be as grand or as big as others and its more of a personal quest to teach me the value of what I have and to help make life a bit more simple. Keep things in perspective. Also mum it will help me to stop saying ” oh I’ve always wanted one of those!!” I hope that this little personal challenge will help me to curb my spending and live a but more simply, learn to place value even more in the right places.

So as of January the 1st ( crickey I really have to do this if I put it on here!!) I am limiting myself to £15 a month for clothes that can only be purchased from Charity Shops or Vintage.  Jeans or shoes can be bought from the high street. I will also allow £10 a month for crockery for Olive & Em. The pact is when I buy something new something old has to be donated to charity. I’ll place my lovely findings of course and keep you updated on here along with my usual ramblings:-)

A new year and a fresh approach to buying. Making sure that its is quality not quantity, saving for a special purchase and appreciating all that I have.  I tell you what none of my vintage items has ever shrunk in the first wash!!

Let me know if you want to join me and keep me posted on how you’re doing. I know a few people have said that they will do it with me 🙂 Hoping also, thanks to the inspiration from Sewabee to set up a Frock Swap in Manchester in March time to encourage sharing and swapping our lovely clothes without spending the earth.

So what started with a white shirt ended in a challenge!! Happy Vintage hunting.

Lots of love

Olive & Emxxxx