Recycled fashion

By Liz Griffiths [email protected]

Liz Griffiths has a degree in Journalism and Editorial Design and, for six months, joined the Algarve Resident team as a news reporter and feature writer. Now back in the UK, she has started her own blog, The Girl Who Cried Fashion. Her main passions are Portugal, fashion, travel and vinho verde!

As the world continues to struggle its way out of the economic crisis, consumers continue to be hesitant to spend. Gone are the days when you wouldn’t think twice about treating yourself to a whole new wardrobe for your summer holiday.

It didn’t surprise me to hear a report last summer that said women spend more on their holiday wardrobe than the actual holiday itself. But I doubt that these figures still stand with people being hesitant to even go on holiday this summer, and are instead choosing a stay-cation.

Believe me – I love nothing more than the thrill of buying a brand new dress and wearing it for the first time, waiting for the compliments to come my way. However, I have recently told myself that I have more than enough dresses, skirts, t-shirts, flip-flops (you get the idea) and I don’t actually need another maxi dress.

Even our royals are being thrifty with their fashion. Princess Anne was recently seen in her favourite beautiful canary yellow coat dress at Ascot, and we know it’s a favourite because she has been photographed in the coat at numerous events since she first wore it back in the 70s. Now that’s what you call vintage!

The newest addition to the royal family, Kate Middleton, has been lauded for her thrifty fashion sense since becoming the Duchess of Cambridge. The Duchess could of course have her pick of designer couture but has instead relied on old favourites for first official engagements.  

Once upon a time, it was a cardinal sin in the world of fashion and celebrity to be seen in the same outfit twice. However, Kate has been seen in various outfits more than once. She was recently photographed at Prince Philip’s 90th birthday in a blue coat and dress ensemble, which she, shock horror, wore for a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago.

And most recently, on her first official royal visit to Canada, the Duchess wore the same elegant white dress (from high street shop Reiss), which she wore for the official engagement photos with her Prince. This time she teamed it with a fabulous red hat and an apt Maple brooch borrowed from the Queen, no less.

The Duchess is sending out a clear message that she intends to be frugal and will not be taking her new royal standing for granted in this time of economic downturn. She reportedly said that she does not want to be a “clothes horse”.

The Duchess is already under scrutiny for her fashion choices and will be an ambassador of British fashion and style, whether she likes it or not! And we should be taking tips from our savvy future Queen, who has seen the importance of accessories and how they can transform an outfit into a whole new look.

Take that black maxi dress in the back of your wardrobe from last summer. If you teamed it last summer with gold flip-flops and bangles for a glam look, why not add a fringed waistcoat and peacock feather earrings for a bohemian look? Or if you’re brave and a lover of colour, why not try this summer’s neon trend and wear a neon-pink, blue or yellow blouse over the top of the maxi and tie it at the waist to add some structure. This will also act as a cover-up when it gets sunny or for the top of your arms.

So invest in some key accessories that nod to summer trends – a string of pearls, a fedora hat, vintage sunglasses, an embroidered cover-up, a statement necklace, a brightly coloured belt and a fringed-hand bag.

Add any of these to a tired-looking little black dress, a pair of jeans or your favourite sundress, and you will instantly bring your outfit bang up-to-date.