UK charity shop haul

XBNC0530A trip back to England to see my family also means a trip to the charity shops. Pictured are some of my bargain buys from my latest visit across the channel.

Deane & white cashmere jumper: £15 at St Oswald’s Hospice shop

La Redoute breton stripe top: £2 at British Red Cross

Live, Laugh, Love cushion: £1.99 at The Salvation Army


Le Dressing Chic – Love&Dress x Emmaüs Alternatives


Last night was Le Dressing Chic at the boulevard Beaumarchais boutique of Emmaüs Alternatives in association with Love&Dress.

Love&Dress, which sources vintage and recent designer clothing in Paris, handpicked a fantastic selection pieces among the mountains of donations that French solidarity movement Emmaüs receives from the generously wealthy and fabulously stylish.

Think Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Manolo Blahnik, Jil Sander, JC de Castelbajac

A special mention goes to the See by Chloé checked jacket with fur collar and skirt combo (pictured) that was very Cher Horowitz in Clueless, and the brand new with tags midnight blue Marc Jacobs dress. 

There was a great turnout of shoppers, and a stylist was on hand to dispense fashion advice. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening with drinks and nibbles to boot. I only wish I had been able to get there in time for the doors opening—I spotted a seriously cool pale pink dress on the arm of one lucky bargain hunter as I arrived.

I bought a black Zara skirt that looks like a catwalk copy of…something for 9.50.

My friend bought a black leather Maje mini-skirt for 28.50 (I had originally spotted this for myself but it was so short and tight it made me look as though I should be wearing it on a street corner somewhere) and a rust-coloured silk Comptoir des Cotonniers top for 18.50.

This week’s fashion finds


This week’s fashion finds are not mine, but a those of a friend. (There’s no way I’d fit in that skirt). The red, long-sleeved vintage blouse was €2 at Emmaus, ditto for the dark purple wool Cacharel skirt. And the boots, originally from Jonak, were €8 from Ma Ressourcerie in Paris’ 13th arrondissement. A whole outfit for just over €10, with all proceeds going to good causes.

A visit to Bis Boutique Solidaire

Bis Boutique Solidaire
is a Parisian secondhand shop with a difference. One, it’s cheap for Paris, and two, its concept revolves around the social and solidarity-based economy. In other words, buy from Bis Boutique, and you’ll be getting a fashion bargain while helping others.

Bis Boutique buys items wholesale from associations in Paris and Ile de France, allowing these associations to finance their actions in support of deprived populations. It then sells, recycles or gives clothing to partner associations. Since 2012, Bis Boutique Solidaire has helped over 100 people by employing and training them, enabling over two-thirds to find work in the mainstream economy.

The organization says that between 2012 and 2015, more than 300,000 items were sold through its shop on Boulevard du Temple in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement. Since then, Bis Boutique Solidaire has opened a second outpost in the French capital, which I’ll blog about in the coming weeks.

The Boulevard du Temple store features clothes for women, men and children, as well as shoes and accessories. Brands range from Asos to Armani, and prices are attributed depending on the brand and condition of the item. When I visited, late on a Monday afternoon, the shop was very busy, proving the popularity of the concept. Prices are said to be between 5% and 15% of the retail price.

If you have the patience to flick through the rails, you’ll surely come up with a gem. I spotted a Maje t-shirt for 6, an Asos Curve prom dress for 12 and a silk scarf for 3.

While I didn`t see anything I loved enough to buy on this trip, I have previously bought a Banana Republic jumper for 12 and a Chloe dress for 16.

Bis Boutique Solidaire
7 boulevard du Temple 75003 Paris
Metro : Filles du calvaire
Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 7.30pm.
Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 78 11 08

Dressing down


When the temperature drops, there is nothing better than pulling on a cashmere jumper to keep you warm. And sometimes, you find it so hard to get out of bed in the morning that jeans, jumper and converse is your favourite, lazy-girl outfit.

A comfortable and cosy combination that I keep coming back to again and again, this outfit is a mix of secondhand finds from France and England, and cost less than £20. The most expensive item, ironically, is the cheapest brand: H&M jeans that cost me 5.
Pink Converse: bought from a UK charity shop
H&M jeans: bought at a vide grenier in Paris
Collections at George cashmere jumper: bought from a UK charity shop
The Kooples check shirt: Bought in a Parisian friperie