The word ‘recycled’ has become very fashionable again in today’s more environmentally conscious climate and Anna (Annasislandstyle) chose it as the theme for this month’s Style-Not-Age challenge. The idea is that we put together an outfit by borrowing or buying second-hand and shopping our own wardrobe.

I used to be an avid second-hand shopper. The Americans call it thrift, but we tend to use pre-owned/pre-loved or vintage if it is really old, like from the 60′,’70s or ’80s!

Early second-hand experiences

When I was in college, there was a shop in George’s Arcade in Dublin called Jenny Vander (@jennyvandervintage), where you could find the most amazing vintage clothes (it is still in business, but has moved down the road) and I loved it. I remember a lovely black dress and hat I bought there which I wore to the Trinity Ball in the mid-70s. New clothes were a lot more expensive back then and this shop had beautiful and far more affordable items.

As a child, most of my clothes were hand-me-downs. But I did get the most wonderful parcels from my Mum’s cousin in America, which were way more fashionable than what we had in County Laois. I remember a particular pair of brown trousers with a zip at the front. Of course, front zip trousers for girls had not reached the Midlands at that time and at school I was ridiculed for wearing boys’ trousers.

My daughter, the fashion stylist, is an avid vintage shopper and she did kit all of the family out in ’60s outfits for my 60th a few years ago.

However, I have to admit that I have not been good at buying from charity shops, though I do drop my clothes into them when I do a clear-out.

Success at NCBI

We have charity shops in the village of Malahide but nothing took my fancy in the fashion stakes in the first three I visited.

I came up trumps, however, in NCBI on Townyard Lane. The shop is only open a few months and I was thrilled to see Karen, who I know, volunteering that day. I had spotted a denim jacket in the window (€10), but I ended up buying a shirt and bag too. I will use them in another post.

Karen also tried to sell me a wedding dress or evening gown from their large collection upstairs. I did remind her that I was happily married, but it well worth a look if you know anyone in the market for either.

I borrowed the dress from a friend who has wonderful style and the rest is recycled from my wardrobe. The eagle-eyed among you may notice that I changed my sandals from the beige in the first photo to blue mules above. I prefer the blue.

The Style-Not-Age response

Now my friends are seasoned recyclers:

Jacqui looks fabulous in her striped dress, given to her by a friend, and worn her at her daughter’s hen party. Seemingly there is a story behind this dress!

Emma often shops in second-hand stores and this denim jacket has had many lives in different guises. She is an up-cycler too. Look at those badges; I need to know where she got them.

recycled thestylesplash

And Anna wears a trouser suit, one of her recent charity shop finds but she thinks it might actually be a man’s because of the big shoulders. Her frilly blouse and clutch are pre-loved too.

You can learn more by heading over to their blogs. Do pay them a visit by clicking on their highlighted names above.

If last month’s challenge of pastels was easy for me, this was a real challenge, but I think I have now re-found my love for second-hand shops.