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My Style: Incorrect Sizing & Upycling (+ Instagram Stickers!)

By February 6, 2018 My Style

It’s been a while since I’ve shown you what I’m wearing around here so let’s start off February with some rather Valentines-appropriate colours and a little talk about upcycling and what to do when nothing second-hand is your size (at least, not in the way you thought)…


 I also have something exciting to announce! I’m now a verified GIPHY artist which means… you can now use my very own ethical and sustainable GIFs on things like Instagram Stories! Take a look at some examples in this post and on my profile, here.  


Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


WHAT I WORE: Red Blouse (Charity Shop) // Embroidered Denim Dress (Upcycled + Jumble Sale) // Leather Backpack (Upcycled + Charity Shop) // Tights (Old) // Floral Wanderlust Boots (Dr Martens)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)*


I’ve been embracing red recently. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s what I should call ‘my colour’ as I’m not entirely used to wearing it yet but there’s always fun in experimenting. I was actually making it my mission to add more of the colour to my wardrobe so it was delightful to find this old Marks & Spencer’s number in a charity shop towards the end of last year.

If you read my post on my ethical and sustainable fashion journey (where I admit it’s taken me three years to get to where I am, currently), you’ll know that I’m also making it my mission to pay attention to what fabrics are in my wardrobe because as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, our clothes don’t just affect the world we live in whilst they’re being made – they can also have negative effects on the world we live whilst we wear and wash them.

Thankfully, whilst I was in the charity shop changing room, I did a quick Google search to understand what fabric this blouse is made of…

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

To my surprise, it’s made of Cupro which is a biodegradable fabric made of waste cotton fibres. I was satisfied! This blouse isn’t any old Marks & Spencer’s blouse though as it comes from their old St Michael’s range which came to end in 2000 (the year I was born, which means this blouse is at least 18 years old), which has me wondering; do they still use this sustainable fabric? Or have times changed?

It’s also wrongly sized for me, it hangs off of me baggily and the sleeves are long enough for me to pull over my hands but that’s one piece of advice I will always give to people shopping second-hand (or even just newly); sizes aren’t essential to pay attention to unless you want something form fitting or trousers that don’t fall down. 

I have a floral blouse that’s a UK Size 16 and it’s perfect for layering and now I have this red number too, which sits on me loosely and creates a deep-V, which one day I may just be brave enough to wear with an intricate bralette. Try things on and see how you can make it work, regardless of the number on the label.

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

I’m not here just to talk about that though, I also want to discuss my denim dress. It’s not a new item of clothing to my blog – I actually wore it when I first received these very same Dr Martens – but it looks a little different than before.

Recently, I finally decided to get my sewing machine out and make it more wearable. Before I upcycled it, I couldn’t wear it for long periods of time as the apron-style strap weighed down on my neck so quite honestly, it’s stayed in the back of my wardrobe for the past couple of years. 

It didn’t take much for it to become something I now want to treasure (think about this before you decided to pass on an item of clothing). I used some denim scraps from my embroidered blouse to create two straps that cross-over at the back of the dress and it now sits perfectly on my shoulders; no back pain, at last!

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


Search “@tollydollyposh” on Instagram Stories GIF selection to use stickers like these wherever you like!


Speaking of embroidery, another reason to treasure this dress is because I’ve decided to embark on a new project – The Embroidery Dress project, in which I plan to completely cover the whole surface of the dress in embroidery as I learn new techniques and improve with my hand stitching.

I can already see where I’m getting more confident and so far I’m pleased with the result even if it doesn’t make much sense to anybody else catching a glimpse of it. If you want to follow the progress, I make sure to update you all with what I add, on my Instagram Story and you are more than welcome to send suggestions.

The numbered shape is a Community-inspired cootie catcher (my favourite show, you should know that by now), the paint droplets are something I plan to do more of once the rest of the dress starts to take shape and the other two pieces are pretty self-explanatory; the boot of Italy and the Many Questions pattern from my ethical t-shirt collection.

I also did a spot of upcycling on my mini backpack which I received for Christmas (because yes, receiving and giving second-hand gifts is perfectly acceptable). The leather bag had a small stain where you will now find a cluster of flowers, which was originally a piece of a broken necklace. Clever, huh?


What have you been wearing recently? What should I add to my embroidery dress, next? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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My Style: Recycled & DIY Denim*

By April 19, 2017 My Style

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block over the past week or so. I’m full of ideas but the words don’t seem to make much sense when I get my fingers to a keyboard. Showing you my recent outfits is always a good way to inspire me though because I love putting the photos together so much, and the response I get is always somewhat motivational. I’ve been apart from the majority of my wardrobe for over six months now but they are finally back with me and I’m excited to style up some new looks with what I’ve gathered since then. You might remember these DIY jeans…

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop


WHAT I WORE: Vintage Yellow Leather Jacket (Jumble Sale) // Golf Blouse €3.00 (Charity Shop) // Ripped Jeans (DIY + ASOS) // Wanderlust 101 Boots (Dr Martens)* // Denim Chokers (Yours Again)* // Sunglasses (Jumble Sale) // Headscarf (Jumble Sale) // Rings (Unknown)  


These photos have a different colouration to usual as I think its overall aesthetic deserved a greener hue, don’t you? Technically, this is a brand new outfit as I recently took to a charity shop and picked up three new items (make sure you’re following me on Instagram as I often share these sorts of things on my Instagram Story!) which I’ll undoubtedly share in future posts, including this golf print blouse which I almost didn’t take to the check-out.

I think styling often comes easier when you look at an item from a broader perspective rather than the item itself, in detail. I was drawn to the print of the blouse as it reminded me of a vintage scarf print and how it would work well with denim (more on that below) in the summer but was off-put when I realised it as golf themed. I don’t think one would suspect that on first glance though which is what made me push past my hesitance and add it to my wardrobe (the money going to a good cause of course and the item being saved from being passed on elsewhere). 

The hints of red, yellow and blue are what make it a little bit more me. I can add on my trusty yellow jacket and have it blend in seamlessly along with my Dr Martens which have elements of each colour in their print. Don’t forget – there’s sustainability in keeping an item for years on end when the item itself isn’t directly ethical or sustainable, like my boots.

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

As the title of this post suggests and as I’ve already mentioned, I knew this silk-like shirt would work well with a denim texture clash which brings us back to my DIY, ripped and dip-dyed jeans. I think for most people, the rips would be enough to end their life in a wardrobe but they are still the perfect fit and the rips now allow me to move more freely. Pro tip, though; perhaps don’t rip elasticated jeans as they will just keep. on. ripping. 

The blend of white is what keeps the outfit crisp and clean and leaves for a blanker canvas for accessorising. Also, the block colours of the majority of the outift ties in with the stripes of the shirt. See what I mean about looking at things as a whole? 

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop

ethical outfit ideas - yours again recycled denim chokers - charity shop


whomademyclothes

~ WHO MADE MY CHOKERS ? ~
Simona Uvarovaite, the founder and designer of Yours Again. Yours Again produce their collections in Lithuania but some pieces are also created in Denmark where Simona is based. Their Instagram is full of behind the scenes photos.


Speaking of accessorising, these chokers from Yours Again (a brand in my ethical directory) came into my life with perfect timing. I’m not one for blouses without a top button (this can be easily fixed with a needle and thread of course) but these recycled denim chokers make up for it and quite frankly look better altogether than what another button would do. I’ve never actually worn chokers before although they have always interested me. I believe it’s because I’m quite lazy in the accessories department. You’ll usually only see me with sunglasses and a handbag.

Yours Again turn used and pre-loved denim and jeans into new pieces whether that be chokers like mine or their first collection of waistcoats and jackets. I understand their pieces are on the higher end of the scale in terms of price but I can tell that they are coming from a committed and loving team which means you’ll be able to treasure the journey and story your clothes have been on. Plus – they look amazing and I can’t wait to style them up again soon.

I also added a headscarf to tie in the green of the blouse and I actually love the outcome. It was a decision I made last minute before stepping out the house and sometimes those sorts of decisions are the best kind.

How would you style up these chokers? Have you been second-hand shopping recently? Let me know in the comments!


I’ll be back soon with (hopefully) lots of new content for Fashion Revolution Week

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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