It is lean times in this recessionista’s household, especially after my weekend / shopping expedition in London recently. To be honest it was getting me down a little – I was so broke at one point I couldn’t afford to go window shopping, even the bus fare was beyond my wallet’s reach that week!!
“Hmphh!!” I thought to myself one particularly grim Saturday morning “what am I going to do with myself now?!” as I lay on my bed (gosh, I really could do with a lovely new duvet cover, it occurred to me, pink….or purple…..or maybe, no, back to reality!!!) The ever-more bulging doors of my wardrobes loomed over me threateningly. I had been planning a clean out for months now but that is the thing with me – I am an excellent planner but not such a good “do-er”. I have the best of intentions, don’t get me wrong, it is just the executing of them that I fall down on! But bizarrely on that gloomy Saturday morning I was suddenly not merely a woman on a mission to clear out the clutter but more like a woman possessed! Once I started I couldn’t stop!! Every last item was dragged out and laid on the bed. I happily put aside everything that was now too big for me (Hallelujah!!) or was no longer my taste but that was merely the start. The discoveries, oh the discoveries! Dresses I had forgotten about (or, to be quite honest, don’t actually remember ever buying, let alone wearing, ooops!!), trousers which hadn’t fit for years but now snugly skim my hips rather than tightly bulging over them (woohoo!!), long forgotten skirts and I won’t even start on the shoes and handbags or we’ll be here all week!! I was effectively getting a partially new wardrobe for nothing; I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done this before. It was like shopping for free! When I had put everything I was giving to charity into bags I re-hung everything I was keeping, organised by style, then colour (where had this person come from?!?) Gosh, hard work had never been this much fun before. I was having a fabulous time. I even found long forgotten size 12, black skinny jeans - previously dumped, depressingly in the bottom of the wardrobe for being too small - which are now the perfect fit and length! They will be a great match with the green wrap-over cardi I got for an unbelievable €8 in the Clery’s Oasis sale and the £4 Matalan silk t-shirts I got in London earlier in the summer…….and oooh, there is a great M&S Limited Collection grey, ‘go-with-anything’ t-shirt which no longer makes me resemble a pot-bellied pig when I put it on….and then there are the Levi’s Trousers I have never fitted into since I got them as a gift from New York in 2005. I love smart, indigo jeans and these really fit the bill – and it helps that I can now breathe when I wear them. Why did no one ever tell me it was this much fun tidying up?!
So I discovered, quite by accident, that “recycling” old clothes can be lots of fun. I really am very eco-friendly after all, a practical green machine. My tip to you would be to combine your discoveries with more recent purchases and different accessories to look fresh and up-to-date and you will feel like new – I know I do!
As regular readers will be aware I am not only a fashion-lover but a beauty product addict as well. I’ve made some excellent value (sounds better than cheap, girls!) discoveries recently but what is better than getting something for free? September’s “In Style” magazine is giving away two free Body Shop Eye Definer pencils worth over €15! (www.thebodyshop.co.uk) Each copy of the magazine comes with a black eye definer and either a turquoise, green or metallic silver highlighter. They are super soft kohl so they don’t drag on your skin and you get them for the price of a magazine. (www.instyle.co.uk) I personally think too many of us play it safe with make-up, sticking to the one routine regardless of night or day, outfit or occasion. Where is the fun in that, girls? Play with colour – be it that of your eyes or your dress and make the most of yourself. Stand out from the crowd and look glam and gorgeous. Even the teeniest of budgets can indulge in some colour – Barry M Dazzle Dust eye colours come in a rainbow of colours to suit every taste and with excellent pigments are excellent value for just €6.99 a pop. (www.barrym.co.uk) Or for an even tighter budget 2True (available at Superdrug www.superdrug.com) will get you three similar products for just €7.50 or €2.99 each (by the way, their foundation is my new obsession, I love it!). The colour selection isn’t as wide but is still pretty good so you should find something you like.
Back to the freebies though! The current edition of Marie Claire is giving away a 100ml sample of James Brown’s new “Intensive Mask for Hair”. It smells delicious, covers your hair easily and leaves it super soft and silky smooth. I loved it – and more so cos it was free!! And by the way, we are not talking about James Brown of “Sex Machine” fame but rather Kate Mosses stylist and best friend so your hair will be in the best, most fashionable company if you get your hands on this freebie! (www.jamesbrownlondon.com / www.marieclaire.co.uk)
So ladies, if you love fashion and beauty but your credit card isn’t quite as flexible a friend as it used be, fret not. Be creative, re-cycle and keep your eyes peeled for freebies. You will be surprised at the sense of achievement you feel when you do and what little cash you do have can go on a night out in one of your “re-cycled” outfits and with super-glossy hair “styled by Kate Mosses best mate, don’t you know!”