fashion blog

How To Find The Best Vintage Clothes On eBay

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know that I’m pretty obsessed with vintage clothes. It all started when my nan handed me a patent leather, Louis Feraud belt when I was 12 and I haven’t really looked back since. In fact I would say a good 50% of my wardrobe is vintage and it’s way better quality than anything I’ve picked up on the high street. This is why scrolling through eBay has become such a habit for me, because I can get a Hardy Aimes blazer cheaper than a tee at H&M.

I post everything I pick up on my Instagram and I get loads of questions from you guys about how I find the best pieces and what I search for. It’s actually way easier than you might think but I’ve put a few of my go-to tips below that I think you’ll find really useful.

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Select The Vintage Clothes Category

This is the number one thing I would say to do as the true vintage pieces tend to be listed here. It’s so simple but once you’ve searched for your item you need to make sure that you’re looking in the ‘Vintage Clothing & Accessories’ category. I would then narrow it down further by clicking ‘Women’s Vintage Clothing’ or whichever one is more applicable to your search. I know this is really simple but sometimes eBay will default your search into the ‘Women’s Clothing’ category and you’ll miss out on all the vintage!

Search For An Exact Item or Decade

There is so much on eBay that it’s really worth getting specific with your search, especially if you don’t have hours to scroll through items. For example rather than looking for a vintage dress try ‘1920s style dress’ or ‘flapper dress’ to narrow it down. You can also search by decade, like ‘1970s’ and then select the ‘Women’s Vintage Clothing’ category to find pieces from your favourite era.

ebay-vintage-shopping-hacks-style-rarebitShop By Size

I love shopping for vintage blazers but if they’re too big the shoulders can look a bit crazy so I always include my size in the search. This helps to eliminate all the pieces that would be too big or small for me so that I’m only looking at garments that fit. That being said I don’t mind them being slightly oversized so I search ‘vintage blazer 8, 10, 12’ which brings up all the items in the sizes I’m looking for.

Consider Alterations

If you find something that’s one of a kind but it’s not in your size then it’s 100% worth investing in alterations. Some vintage pieces are so timeless and going to a tailor is a great way to get them updated. It may be a little pricey, but if you’re going to wear it forever then it’s a good investment.

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Remember The Brands You Love

I’ve made a list on my phone of all the vintage brands I love, especially the ones that I know are great quality, to help narrow down my search. Some of my faves are Escada, St. Michael and Louis Feraud but there are some great brands that I forget about so it’s always worth noting them down.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For More Pictures

As a lot of the listings on eBay are by regular people and not shops some of the listings may not have the best pictures. I’ve asked loads of times for people to send me more and 90% of the time they reply because they want to sell their item.  Don’t be afraid to ask for close ups or specific angles either so that you know exactly what it looks like.

Or For Measurements

One of the hardest things about shopping online in general is finding clothes that fit but vintage clothes can be particularly tricky. There’s quite a few listings with vague sizes too like ‘medium’ which doesn’t really mean anything, so I’d definitely ask the seller for measurements. This is especially good for high waisted, vintage jeans or skirts that you want to sit really tight around your waist.

Save Your Searches And Favourite Sellers

There’s this really great feature on eBay where you can save your favourite sellers and searches. This is so useful as all your categories and shipping preferences will be saved too. I use this a lot for my favourite brands or if I’m looking for a specific thing as I can just click on my favourite search and it’ll bring up all the new items. It also works for eBay sellers, so if you find a great vintage shop you can save it to your profile too.

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Get The App

This is dangerous but also amazing and I’ve found some of my most loved pieces on the train home from work. The eBay app is way easier than shopping on the desktop version and it also means you can bid on items when you’re not at home. It’s also free so there’s no excuses.

These are the basics and as much as they’re really simple tips I hope they’ll help you guys to find some great vintage pieces. I love shopping on eBay and I also love that it’s totally sustainable and saving lots of clothes from landfill. Which makes me feel way better about spending too much money… whoops!

The dress I’m wearing in this post is vintage Mondi and the belt is vintage Escada both from eBay. My bag is vintage Dior, which was a hand-me-down from my grandmother but I’m sure you could find one on eBay too!

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Boux Avenue Blogger Event & Bra Fitting

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Have you ever had a bra fitting? Because up until last week I hadn’t either but gorgeous lingerie brand Boux Avenue really kindly invited me to their Cardiff store to do just that. I went along with some of my favourite welsh bloggers and it was like one big girly night in. It was honestly one of the best events I’ve been to in a really long time, the girls in the store were really sweet, there were drinks, makeup and hair stylists and loads of gorgeous lingerie to try on, so perfect!

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I was actually really nervous about the bra fitting part as it’s something I’ve always put off. I think, like a lot of women I would rather guess than get my bra out in front of someone but after last week I so regret not doing it sooner. It was so quick and easy and Liv who helped me with my Boux Avenue bra fit knew so much and gave me a lot of really good advice about what to look out for.

I actually decided to film my bra fit for my YouTube channel (vlog below) because I know how many of us are intimidated and I thought it would be good to show what really happens. I was actually wearing a back size that was two sizes too big and a cup size that was two sizes too small which I was adamant was my size for YEARS. I can’t believe how long I was kidding myself and also how much bigger my boobs look now that I’m finally wearing the right size!

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Now that I’ve been once I would definitely go back and pick up some more pieces as it was just such a lovely experience. The bras are so pretty, there are so many different options and trying them on in the french chic style changing rooms felt so glam. They also gave me a discount code for you guys to use in the Cardiff store, CARDIFF10 for £10 off when you spend £50 so there’s even more of an excuse to treat yourself!

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Testing Out Discount Make Up With Tofs

tofs-discount-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogThis week I was sent some new discount beauty launches that are going into Tofs stores as of last Friday. They offer 70% off big brands like Rimmel, OPI, Elizabeth Arden and Clarins but today I’m going to show you a few pieces from DMM makeup that are really pretty.

tofs-discount-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogThe first thing is the Mineral Makeup compact. It’s a light, pressed powder that evens out your skin tone and provides light to mid coverage. As it incorporates colour correcting shades including mint for redness and lavender to brighten your skin it’s a really nice way of freshening up and mattifying your face during the day.  This compact is £5 so it’s totally affordable and great if you want something to just throw in your handbag for touch ups.

tofs-discount-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogNext I tried out the 3D Fibre Lashes duo which isn’t like any other mascara I’ve ever seen. You basically apply the gel formula first and then take the fibres (fluffy wand) and apply them over the top so that they stick to your lashes. The result is really soft and fluttery and I found that the gel really helped to separate my lashes to avoid any clumps. I’ve popped a little before and after below and I think they gave me loads of lift and separation which is what I normally look for in a mascara.

tofs-discount-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogtofs-discount-makeup-style-rarebit-fashion-blogLastly I tried the HD Fibre Brows powder which is also £5. When I first opened it I was surprised that it had a doe foot applicator but I think that’s just to help you pack on the fibres. They literally look like little brown hairs and have the most insane staying power that gives you a really natural finish. Again I’ve put a little before and after below just using the HD Fibre Brows. I think it would look even better if I went in again with a pencil and neatened up the edges but it’s totally up to you what look you go for. You can see how natural and soft the finish is though and it’s really good for the price!

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If you want to test out any of these or just pick up some discount makeup then click here to find your nearest Tofs store.

An Interview With Couture Designer Tobias Malfoy

There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a new account on Instagram that you absolutely love. I know because that’s exactly how I felt when I first saw designer Tobias Malfoy’s feed. His monochrome, minimal aesthetic really spoke to me and in particular a gorgeous, black, lace up jumpsuit that was to die for. I feel like he’s a young designer that has a real appreciation for good tailoring and the talent to execute it.  As a recent graduate he’s decided to set up his own studio here in Cardiff, making him the perfect person to interview for my blog. Here’s what he had to say…

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Graduating from a creative degree can be pretty tough but you’ve done so well since leaving uni, do you have any advice for graduates?

Thank you so much, my success is purely down to hard work, determination and passion. My advice to fashion/creative graduates is to find your niche and carve your own path. So many follow the same journey to join the fashion industry, but I think it’s so much better find what you really love doing, focus on that and be yourself.

What made you want to start your own line over working for another brand? 

I followed my own advice, I wanted to stay in Wales and set up a business focusing on creating high-end styles in a way that I’m really passionate about. Everything I do is hand-made using Haute Couture techniques with fine fabrics and materials, something I wouldn’t be able to do if I was working for another company.

I have interned for fashion designers/labels, whilst I enjoyed my time working for other people I always felt like I wanted to be my own boss and make my own decisions. The passion for what I do really drives me forward, my failures are my own but my successes are my own too and that really does give you a sense of pride and accomplishment you can only learn from taking the leap and going solo. It was a challenge setting up my own label, it still is a challenge but I enjoy it so much and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m excited for what the future holds for me.

What’s a typical day in the studio like for you? 

A typical day in the studio for me usually starts around lunchtime, I like my sleep and my brain doesn’t seem to kick into action until after noon! I have a beautiful view overlooking the water of Cardiff Bay, so it is always flooded with natural daylight, the first thing I do everyday is open the curtains and put on some music. I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, many would say awful but music is key to getting work done for me. ABBA, Blink-182, Poppy, plus my carefully curated playlists can always be heard coming from my studio.

I spend most of my day sewing, pattern drafting and packaging orders. Going to the post office is always a nice little break from work, I walk there so it’s a little bit of exercise, fresh air and allows me to get my daily dose of Pokemon Go. Then it’s back to sewing usually, I work till quite late most days, Im definitely more of a ‘night owl’ as I can happily work until 1/2AM. I do of course take regular breaks, and I always make time to go cook, have dinner and watch Netiflix with my wonderfully supportive boyfriend. He sometimes surprises me with cookies when he comes home with work and it honestly makes my day.

Who is the Tobias Malfoy woman? 

The Tobias Malfoy woman.. I think she’d be a pretty awesome person. She would be someone who truly loves and appreciates fashion and style, someone who respects trends but isn’t a slave to them, someone who can appreciate the craftsmanship, talent and artistry that has gone into the pieces she is wearing. I feel that she could be the curator of her own wardrobe, each item carefully selected and each item loved dearly. She would be the sort of woman to buy less, but buy well; quality is very important to her. I would like to meet her one day, and I’m sure I will.

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Are there any other designers or creatives in Wales that you love?

Wales is full of amazing, creative and talented people. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many during my time at university and at events such as Cardiff Fashion Week. I absolutely love what The Sustainable Studio has done, it’s so great to have a space for creatives in Cardiff and there are so many awesome people there doing awesome things. I would definitely like to have a space there one day, being surrounded by other creative souls is just so inspiring. BEWT Studios is another great place, I’ve had the pleasure of working with them and I look forward to doing more there in the future, my debut collection was shot there and it’s such a beautiful building. Tailor Green at the Castle Emporium; he was the first boutique to stock my work and he’s not just a great guy to work with but he’s such a close friend now. His store is a hidden gem in Cardiff, he stocks vintage pieces, festival/club/drag wear and my own label. You are likely to find me in there on my days off, having a good chat and planning future events and projects! Finally, I have to mention Wenda James-Rowe, I was fortunate to work with her during CFW2018. She’s an incredible woman, from her styling talents to her charity work, I’m excited to work with her again at future Cardiff Fashion Week events.

Loved this? Click here for more chat with my fave Welsh creatives.

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A Chat With Delicious Monster Tea

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll know that I used to interview welsh designers pretty regularly. So far I’ve chatted to some of my creative faves including Swag and Tassel and Xandra Jane and I’m so excited that I’m finally getting around to writing some more.

I first spotted Delicious Monster Tea on Instagram after seeing Claire’s t-shirts everywhere and I haven’t stopped following since. From the pink colour scheme to the super cheeky slogans (my personal fave is “thick thighs, thin patience”) there’s nothing not to love. Now that she’s taking the venture full time I thought it was the perfect opportunity to sit down and talk all things embroidery.

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I LOVE the name Delicious Monster Tea, where did it come from?

I wish I had a good answer to this question!! The idea came from the giant monstera plant we have in the lounge (Latin name: monstera deliciosa). I’m not sure where the tea bit came from, but basically it means absolutely nothing!

The slogans on your tees always make me giggle, what was the first one you embroidered?

The first one I did was a “ladyboss” one on a white tee from Primark, and then I want on a spree embroidering everything I owned!

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You quit your 9-5! Yass! Living the dream! What’s instore for your brand now that you have so much extra time on your hands?

I can finally start ticking things off my to do list!! I have a few weeks left at work, but I am so stupidly ridiculously excited to finally make a start on the things that have been itching in my brain over the past year. Top of the list are vest tops, embroidery workshops and some DIY blogs.

You’re so active online and I love your Insta stories! How has social media helped to grow your business?

Thank you! I didn’t have any form of social media before I started the business, so it has been a very steep learning curve, and there are often days when I think “what the fuck have I got left to say?!” I haven’t quite figured out Facebook, but I’ve fallen in love with Insta and have ended up meeting so many people from the grid in real life. To be totally honest, my business wouldn’t exist without social media. About 90% of customers currently come from Instagram. I worry that I rely on it too much (there’s a lot of fear mongering at the moment about “what will happen when Instagram dies?”), so on my list for the next few months is to get out and about in the real world, shouting about Delicious Monster Tea.

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#notyourbabe 💁 (📷 by @the.littlenomad)

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You’re one of my favourite girl bosses in Wales, are there any others who inspire you?

OH, SO MANY!! Again, Instagram is a great tool for finding small businesses and learning from them. @themonday.club (a group of women in business in South Wales, run by @theroamingcaravanco and @sadlerjones) has introduced me to so many great women who are doing their own thing and absolutely smashing it. There are too many to list, but my favourites at the moment are: @potyertitsawayluv (boobs and ceramics), @jazmoodie (embroidered nudes), @tayneetinsley (gorgeous illustration of lovely naked ladies)…..there’s definitely a theme there!

 

Follow Delicious Monster Tea!

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4 Dry Shampoos For Fine Hair

the-best-dry-shampoos-for-fine-hair-style-rarebit-beauty-blogWhen it comes to beauty I’m actually really, really lazy. Especially with my hair because I’m hating it at the moment, so the sooner I can hide it in a messy bun the better! It figures then that dry shampoo would be my go to product, as prolonging the gap between washes and getting some extra volume is exactly what I need. I thought it would be cool to share my 4 faves on here to inspire some of you who are just as lazy as me and to hopefully make your hair care routines a little bit easier.

Batiste  or Batiste Divine Dark 

Batiste is the original and it’s so heavy duty, it’s like the power lifter of the dry shampoo world. I find that it keeps my hair looking fresh even on the worst days and gives me an unbelievable amount of volume and texture. It’s very thick which can be a blessing and a curse but you just need to really work it in and brush it out properly. I also wanted to include the Divine Dark version that I’ve been using recently as I find it way easier to blend and I don’t get any annoying white patches either. You do have to be careful though as I had a smudge of brown on the side of my face one day last week but at least I didn’t look like I was going grey. Not sure what’s worse?

 4-dry-shampoos-for-fine-hair-style-rarebit-fashion-blogCoLab Original Dry Shampoo

I love this one because a. it’s invisible and b. I’m totally obsessed with anything Ruth Crilly does, she’s amazing. It comes in the nicest packaging too and each one has a different fragrance so they kind of double up as a hair perfume, making it perfect for reviving your locks in between washes. This one has a bergamot and rose scent which is really pretty and works with my regular perfume so it’s become my go to. The formula is also completely transparent so it’s perfect for taking around with you and for touch ups as there’s no risk of stubborn residue. I was also lucky enough to go to the launch party of this a while ago which you can read about here.

Paul Mitchell Dry Wash

This is a new discovery and one of my most used products last year. I don’t know how but it always makes my hair look freshly washed and sucks up the excess oil without drying it out at all. It’s so light and there’s no residue so my hair looks really fresh and is easy to style.

I hope you like these! If you try any of them let me know and leave me your recommendations in the comments box, I’m always up for trying new hair products!

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Snowy Rarebit

snow-day-fashion-blog-style-rarebit-1 I finally made it outside today! I literally can’t tell you how bloody happy I was to get out of my house. This storm is driving me a little bit crazy and I’ve realised that snow days as an adult definitely aren’t as fun as snow days when you’re a kid. Mainly because I had to work from home and couldn’t spend all day in the park throwing snowballs at my friends…

I was sent home on Wednesday because the pipes had frozen and worked from home on Thurs and Fri as it was too much effort to get to a coffee shop. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever spent inside! I’m the polar opposite of a home bird and it was definitely a struggle.  So glad I made it to the park today though! It’s amazing how beautiful everything looks in white and I have a million times more energy just from getting some fresh air. My mum, little brother and I also dug out our neighbours drive for them, which got us out the house and helped me to burn off all the tea and biscuits I’ve been eating.

As beautiful as the snow is, I’ve got my pics now so I’ll be glad when it melts and I can get back to normal… might miss my snow beau though.

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Betty Rae Vintage Interviews Me

After my little trip to BFW I was approached my Anam from Betty Rae Vintage to do an interview for their blog. I love the website and she had some really good questions, so I decided to share the answers here to. If you like vintage I recommend checking out their website BettyRaeVintage.com or find more Vintage related posts on their blog http://bettyraevintage.blogspot.co.uk.

brCan you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
So, I’m 23 and I recently graduated from UCA Epsom in Fashion Womenswear. I started my blog after I finished studying- it was something I wanted to do for a long time and I was in need of a creative project to keep me motivated. Style Rarebit is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog full of lists, photographs and advice that I hope readers will find entertaining and useful.

You mentioned on Style Rarebit that you started blogging quite recently. Do you have any advice for bloggers who are just starting out?
My main piece of advice would be to make sure to get involved with your local blogging community. People who have been blogging for a long time are a wealth of helpful knowledge and are always the first to know about events that are happening nearby. I think it’s also really important to self-promote when you’re first starting out. I really loathed the idea of tweeting and sharing my posts, and I felt a bit embarrassed sharing my blog but I’ve got over that now. Opportunities don’t find you, so it’s really about getting it out there and making people aware of what you’re creating.

We love the way you mix vintage and contemporary fashion in some of your outfits. What’s your favourite vintage item?
Well, firstly, thank you! I’ve loved vintage since I was little and my grandmothers started passing down designer gems to me. My favourite piece at the moment is this Neiman Marcus dress which I think is from the mid-1960s. It has this block of crazy bright pink and I always get a lot of compliments in that dress. It also has pockets, I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with that, but there’s just something really cool about a smart dress having secret pockets.

What did you most love about Bristol Fashion Week?
I loved the ‘So You Think You Want to Work in Fashion?’ Q&A hosted after the show. I know it was really a side note and not as all singing/dancing as the main event, but I just felt I learnt a lot in that hour of time. I particularly connected to Shelly Vella and Jørgen Simonsen, I thought they both had some really concise advice about breaking into the industry. I actually tweeted about Simonsen straight after the show, I just felt he had such a great energy and passion for what he does and that’s really lovely to see.

Which of the trends on the catwalks of Bristol Fashion Week are you most excited about for Spring/Summer 2015?
I would definitely have to go with Utility, I just fell in love with everything from the Marc Jacobs show and I feel it’s the easiest trend to adapt into your wardrobe. Saying that though, I’m coveting some 70s platforms too, but it’s hard for a girl to choose just one!

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