Well, in case we were in any doubt, I think we can now all agree that Winter has most definitely arrived! I’ve found the turn of the seasons more than a little confusing this year – the day before I went into hospital to have the twins was unseasonably warm, yet by the time I came out again a few days later there was no denying Autumn had taken root – the trees had changed, there was a definite bite in the air and everywhere had that damp, slightly mouldy smell you get after days on end of drizzle. Normally I dread this time of year with a passion, but with two newborns an a toddler to look after while we all had the mother of all colds, I actually relished the idea of wrapping up warm and hibernating on the sofa. Still, the weather remained pretty mild, and while we had the odd prettily sunny day where we could marvel at the pretty colours and Bailey could frolic in piles of crunchy leaves, sartorially speaking I was in a strange state of limbo, cosy knits over floaty dresses while rocking bare ankles. But then this weekend – BAM! Storm Arwen came along and dumped a couple of inches of snow on us unexpectedly! I say unexpectedly – the weather forecast did indeed state it would snow, but in my confused state I refused to believe it, and it was a bit of a shock to feel the world around us plummet to minus degrees overnight! I just couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that what felt like 5 minutes ago I was pregnant and complaining about the Summer heat, and suddenly I had 6 week old twins and was hurtling towards Christmas with a speed that left me rattled!
It also left me in a bit of a panic about my wardrobe – I have no shortage of clothes, it’s true, but my body is still in an very inbetween state following the twins birth with a lot of it not fitting right, and the rest needing to be breastfeeding friendly, so my choices are a lot more limited than usual. Add to that the promise of some festive outings after 18 months of having to stay at home and my old shopaholic tendencies are twitching to get out! So in an effort to avoid buying a load of new stuff I didn’t need (I’m looking at you, sequined dresses I would wear but once!) I knew last week it was time to buckle down and write my annual thrift list, particularly as Black Friday was about to hit with all it’s tempting discounts!
Last year’s thrift list was very successful – I ended up managing to track down all but two of the things on that list and only one of the items I bought brand new:
So kicking off this year I’m carrying over the two pieces I didn’t manage to find – the houndstooth blazer and the camel sweater:
I’m actually quite happy to see them both here again – not, of course, because I haven’t found them yet, but because the fact I still want them proves my new system is working and that I’m slowly freeing myself of those consumerist shackles. I wanted to make sure I was only buying things I really wanted, and if they’re still on the list a year later, that’s a pretty good sign!
It’s not so great that I’ve added a load of new things, but I’ll ignore that for now…:
Wide Camel Trousers
I’ve always been a fan of a wide trouser style so I’m thrilled they have been ‘back in’ over the last couple of years. The are such a refreshing change from the skinny trousers that don’t always flatter us pear shapes and the retro baggy styles that I’m just not sure I can pull off! I have most bases covered in a wide leg, but I feel like camel is a great neutral that would work well with all my existing pieces and makes a change from black! Given that I’ve been pregnant for most of the year I haven’t done any serious searching for these yet, and I will keep any online hunts as vague as I can to hopefully yield the best results, but this M&S version are currently top of the wish list.
Black Patent Ankle Boots
I feel a tiny bit ridiculous, truth be told, that I’m including yet more footwear on this list because we all know I don’t need any more. It seems even more ridiculous that it’s a pair of black boots I’m after, because I already have several! And yet I’ve managed to identify a gap in the collection that is grating on me somewhat. I have stilletto heeled black ankle boots. I have flat Chelsea boots. I have suede studded ones. I even have sequined ones! And while all of these hold value for me and specific occasions, I found myself regularly feeling like I didn’t have quite what I needed to finish an outfit for that inbetween occasion when you have somewhat casual plans, but still want to look smart! Essentially, what I needed was a chunky heeled ankle boot, ideally not suede so they could be worn in any weather. And it seems as though that should be a relatively easy thing to find, but as of yet the perfect pai has not made itself known. Something like these Topshop boots would be right up my street if I could find them for a decent price.
Khaki Knee High Boots
Ok, yes, I’m aware this is another item of footwear… Similarly, I don’t have any legitimate need for any more knee high boots, i have plenty. But khaki is a neutral I wear a lot and I’ve often felt myself wishing I had some. The only other khaki boots I have are my Ted Baker ankle boots which are a little high (and expensive!) for every day wear so I’d love something I could wear more casually. I’m after a chunky heel again, and fell for these Zara ones last year, so often keep my eyes peeled for them in my quest. While looking this week though I did happen upon some forest green Karen Millen ones which I’m very taken with, so I may have to decide between the two…
Neutral Chunky Wrap Cardigans
if there was one item that defined my style last Winter it has to have been the chunky knit cardigan. I acquired more than a few of them preloved, mainly because up until this point in my life, my cardigans were largely slim fitting and cropped to go with all the 50’s style frocks and skirts I used to favour. By far my favourite of all of them though was this gorgeous oversized wrap one from Topshop care of my sisters as a birthday present. I found myself wearing it so much that I quickly tracked down a similar one in black, and now I’d like to expand that further with some more neutral colours – namely white, beige or khaki (and, to be honest, any other colour I happen to come across!) The style suits me down to a tee – it can help to nip you in at the waist(when you don’t have a baby bump, obvs…) without clinging to any bits you’d rather keep under wraps (hello, mum tum…) I can breastfeed in them without faffing with buttons and they look great layered over my miriad of dresses. Plus, SO WARM! So don’t be surprised if you see me sporting a different one for every day of the week fairly soon. I love them THAT much!
White Nursing/Wrap Top
I’ve found myself a lovely little community of fellow thrifters on Instagram, and when I found out I was pregnant I was thrilled to receive lots of offers of maternity and nursing clothing! Some of the most useful bits I picked up were these cross over maternity tops from Jojo Maman Bebe, c/o @adayinthemidlife – I didn’t buy any maternity tops during my first pregnancy as I managed to cover my bump with ordinary clothes but the same couldn’t be said for my twin sized monstrosity! Now that the babes are here and I’m still pretty bloated in the middle I’m still wearing them on the regular thanks to them allowing easy access to my boobs for feeding! I especially like to use them to layer under dungarees and pinafore dresses as it’s much less stress trying to feed when I’m out and about! For this specific reason I’d really love a white one, but so far I haven’t been able to find one. Fingers crossed I can tick it off my list soon!
Fluffy White or Cream Beret
Years ago back when I was trying to find my style and thought I’d try to be a bit ‘edgy’ I bought myself a fluffy white beret (I know, not the most revolutionary of accessories, but I was a young 20 something who didn’t have the most confidence, and hats were then considered the fodder of people who thought a lot of themselves!) I loved that hat. I got the piss taken out of me many times for it – it became lovingly known as ‘The Cat Hat’ in fact – and I wore it to death, up until the day it suffered the fate of a rogue broken biro in my handbag one sad day. I don’t know why I never replaced that hat, but after picking up this red one last year I’ve decided now is the time to right that wrong!
And for now that about wraps it up! If you don’t count all the party frocks and glittery shoes I’m pretending I haven’t favourited anyway… Keep your eyes peeled for me!
What’s on your thrift list this year?