Welcome back to The Monica Way
“Red is such an interesting colour to correlate with emotion, because it’s on both ends of the spectrum. On one end you have happiness, falling in love, infatuation with someone, passion, all that. On the other end, you’ve got obsession, jealousy, danger, fear, anger and frustration.”
– Taylor Swift
What does red signify for you? For me, the colour red says bold and fierce and I like to think that I, myself, encompass both of those attributes to some degree.
I chose to feature this look, as I feel it embodies a lot of my character, it’s adventurous and daring, but also expresses a sense of delicacy.
As I’m growing older and moving around between cities, my style is slowly changing from a form that was previously animated and perhaps a little provocative to something more classical, mature and structured.
As I write this article, I’m listening to Do You Want to Build a Snowman from Frozen, so it’s probably worth mentioning that I do still have some rather childlike and juvenile tendencies…I get major food envy daily, I like my toast cut into triangles, I prefer Disney to most things and love to be cuddled to sleep (whilst holding my cuddly elephant wheat bag). It’s important that my style reflects who I am and how I’m feeling. Infusing vivid colour into an otherwise rather monotone outfit warrants my playful and youthful side.
KENDRA PATENT Dr Martens £135
I’ve always been drawn to modish looking items. As mentioned previously in my blog, I’m on a mission to shop smart; to shop for longevity and quality. Naturally, I’m a big fan of Dr Martens, they’re renowned for their quality, in fact anyone who owns a pair will know just how durable and reliable they really are. What’s more, Dr Martens as a brand seem to have this amazing ability to adapt and embrace change while maintaining their touch of tradition in all their boots.
For this look, I chose a classic boot brand but in an atypical design. The heeled KENDRA Dr Martens combine the masculine look of the original Dr Marten boots with a feminine twist. I utilised these boots to infuse a sense of edge into this otherwise very imperial look.
Another side to me is my frugal and thrifty tendencies. You’ll find that approximately half of my wardrobe is either second-hand or re-worked.
This weekend I went on a second-hand hunt with an old school friend, Molly. We spent a couple of hours together, probing through the eclectic and ever-varying clothing rails at TRAID, Peckham. If you haven’t heard of TRAID, they’re a franchise of charity shops that are dotted in and around London.
What’s really great about TRAID is that their clothing is all sorted, picked and mostly of a really great quality. It’s almost like visiting a second-hand boutique of one-offs. Super exciting.
The aim of TRAID is primarily to increase clothing reuse whilst also helping to reduce waste, carbon emissions and consumption. TRAID proceeds go towards funding international development projects to improve conditions and working practices in the textile industry. To find your closest TRAID check out their website, they’re located all over London; Brixton, Camden, Clapham, Dalston to name but a few!
This weekend they were having a sale whereby all items were only £2-£7!
Scarlet Red Tailored Jacket TRAID £7.00
Wool Jumper Dress TRAID £5.00
Heeled KENDRA Patent Dr Martens Dr Martens £135.00
Black Felt Fedora Hat Random Paris Boutique €40.00
Wool Felt Fedora Hat Simon & Mary Audrey £60
There are still many preconceived ideas about second-hand buying. Some seem to think that it’s dirty, bad quality or for ‘cheapskates’. But I can guarantee you, there’s just as much beauty in pre-owned clothing as newly bought, sometimes even more.
We’re living in a society driven by consumerism not to mention the continuous digression of our planet. We can all do our bit to reduce landfill and cut down on manufacturing demands. Buying second-hand clothing means you are going to reuse somebody else’s piece of clothing that may be in perfect condition but would otherwise end up in landfill.
If that’s not enough to encourage you to shop second-hand, here are the top five reasons that I buy second hand.
- It’s affordable and gives you more freedom to experiment with your style without taking financial risks.
- It aids expression of individuality. Have you ever been to Zara and bought a jumper, to later find out that every man and his dog also has that same jumper? You never know what you will find in second-hand/thrift shops, so it can be really rewarding!
- It’s always different. Second hand shops are continually receiving new donations and merchandise. The hunt for that unique item is always new and fresh. Second hand shopping satisfies my craving for one-off items.
- You can still get brand names! If like me, you’re a sucker for a brand, then check out the charity shops in the more affluent areas. If you’re in Yorkshire try Harrogate and Ilkley, or if you’re in London, check out the charity shops in Kensington and Chelsea. It’s the perfect method to feed your fashionista needs while saving your pennies and helping the environment.
- Your Money Stays in the Community. This is a big one. Second-hand buying ensures your money stays within the community where it can benefit local businesses, charities and those from disadvantaged situations.
And that’s my On Red Alert look.
I would love to hear your thoughts on second-hand buying and this look of the day.
Thanks for reading!