If there's one thing you probably know about me already, it's that I bloody love a bargain. One place I can recommend for heaps of bargains is eBay. If you've never shopped this website before, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s simply a portal to buy and sell second-hand items. In fact, it is a wondrous minefield of new items too. They can be new with tags, new without tags and also there’s all kinds of shop outlet pieces, items the shops had left over or individual shop sellers who've managed to get hold of new items by any method available. Of course, as a buyer the auctions are fun, but if you want new stuff without the hassle of the bidding process and sometimes undignified scuffle to win, you can simply set your sights on the Buy It Now button. With one click the item is yours. I can highly recommend this option to cut out the kerfuffle. eBay doesn’t have to be a melee!
Take this dress for instance. Originally sold on Very.co.uk, it retailed for £70 which is far beyond my budget and expectations of what a dress should cost. In this price bracket, it would never have normally appeared on my radar, except my friend Sarah was wearing it one day and I knew I needed it in my life. Sarah helpfully informed me it had been reduced to £35 in the sale, but I still couldn't be arsed forking out this much. So I did what I always do in these circumstances, lurk about on eBay to see if one would turn up. I've found that if you hang about long enough, the item you're looking for almost certainly gets listed. In the case of this dress, it was there straight away, new with tags for £18!!
I'll be honest, I'm that tight and skint I even hesitated slightly at the £18, but luckily I was able to give myself a stern talking to. It went along the lines of, ‘Laura, stop being a bad tight arse! This frugal stingy thinking is a load of cock and bull, you big balloon head.’
It worked!! I realised not even I could exist on Primark and chazza shop clothes alone. I was worth a friggin gorgeous gown that started out at £70 and I wanted to be the same as Sarah. I pressed the Buy It Now button and within days, the beautiful frock was in my life and making a massive difference to my overall wellbeing. I wore it on a day out to Pendle with Alan and his Mum and it received a terrific reaction!! I don’t think I’ve ever received such a huge bounty of compliments and it made me feel like a massive tit for ever questioning the purchase.
As it's quite a fancy specimen, I dressed it down for daytime by teaming it with leopard print pumps. Can you guess where they are from? I'll give you a clue, it begins with P and ends in rimark! Well where else would they be from?!
The dress is elasticated at the waist, but I felt it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi so I chucked on this brown woven belt to cinch me in and create the illusion of an hourglass physique. For jewellery, I added a selection of layered necklaces, but my official photographer didn't tell me they were wonky so sorry about that. I’m loving a layered necklace situation right now and luckily the shop that begins with P has a gargantuan selection. My pro-tip is to always hang them up somewhere after wearing and not just shove them in a drawer; they’re a bastard to untangle.
I can promise that when these necklaces are straight, they look damn fine you know.
I concluded my accessories with a silky black and cream scarf in my ponytail, because why not? Scarves on the head are a new favourite thing of mine, They are the perfect topping to an outfit. Like putting the fairy on a Christmas tree, it’s important to pay attention to finishing touches.
For my outerwear, I opted for this fluffy leopard print jacket I got from a vintage shop about 5 years ago. I enjoy a good print mash-up and think if the colours of your outfit are in the same palette, then you can get away with clashing prints and textures. It pleased me greatly to contrast the floof of the coat with the more sublime smoothness of the velour dress. Although there's absolutely nothing wrong with clashing colours of any palette and in fact, I do it all the time! There's no rules in fashion, I firmly believe you should wear whatever the hell you want and express your creativity through your outfits. Life's too short and you could be dead tomorrow!
By the same token, you should also wear sunglasses in the middle of winter when it's not sunny if you want to. Especially if they were only 49p from Barnardos and you just can't stop telling people.
For anyone who doesn't know, Pendle is known for the most famous witch trials in English history. After we'd had our lunch, a walk and my fashion shoot, we set about exploring the area to see if we could spot a witch or two. I was particularly looking for good witches, like Glinda from the Wizard of Oz or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but we were stumped. And then just like that..
We stumbled across a witch in the street! Closer inspection revealed she was undoubtedly a fake, but it was an important coup nonetheless. No funny comments about which of us is the witch please!
Tune in next time to see what other bargainous clobber I've sourced and trussed myself up in!