Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All The Fun of the Fair...

The VINTAGE fair that is!
Every month an aquaintance of mine, Jeannette Laight, organises a wonderful Vintage fair in my home town Birmingham.
It is held at the Hare and Hounds pub in Kings Heath, which is an appropriately alternative venue may I add!
Birmingham doesn't have as much as other major cities in the way of Vintage shopping so it is fabulous to have something like this to breath some individuality into us Brummies!

The Hare and Hounds pub

The fair will run from 11-5 and includes vast assortments of ladies and men's clothing, jewellery and accessories, 20th century ceramics, glass and other collectables, original 50's, 60's 70's furniture, Bric-a- Brac, arts and crafts and a yummy homemade cake stall for when you've worked up an appetite from all that rummaging!

So much to see!

Lunch will also be available at the Hare and Hounds so why not make a day of it!
I can't think of any better way of spending a relaxing Saturday afternoon! Can you?
Even if you don't buy anything it's so much fun to look at all the old bits and pieces.
I would LOVE to know the story behind them- where they came from, who owned them, was it special to them... I guess that's part of the charm of Vintage! 

Lovely, unique piece!

I have already joined the Facebook group so I can receive regular notifications about when the next fair is coming up, I would recommend you do too...

Love Claire x

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Knit one, design one!?

River Island are always doing loads to support fashion students (woo!) with their constant competitions and support of Graduate Fashion Week.
Now they are collaborating with Fashion Design students to create capsule collections.

The latest edition to their Design Forum is a knitwear collection by Royal College of Art student, Caroline Pambakian which is available this week!
One of my favourite pieces is this cable knit dress!

There are sooo many ways I could wear it if I can get my hands on one... on its own, over a sleeveless dress, with a belt, tights, no tights, boots, heels, sandals (when it's a bit warmer and dryer though I guess :( ), with a blazer... it's one of those pieces that is so versatile and understated. For £119.99 it's a little more than what I usually pay for high street but this is fashion history in the making, and therefore a true investment!

Check out the entire collection and other designer's work in selected River Island stores.
Love Claire.x

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cherry Picked!

I've always had a weakness for sweet stuff and it doesn't stop at food. These cherry print dresses by Moschino look yummy!
Once again that brand I LOVE, Jarlo has come to the rescue and saved my bank balance with these delicious 1950's inspired dresses.

The secret ingredients for the halterneck Sherry dress are a lovely full skirt and a fitted bodice, making it the perfect figure-flattering style. I would wear this with deep red lips for a totally vintage look. It's only £55 and comes in black and white.

Another style I have "cherry-picked" from Jarlo's collection is the Vivien dress. I lurrve a sweetheart neckline because I can wear my favourite necklace for the icing on a scrumptious cake. The Vivien dress is ours for just £60 and also comes in black or white.
Thanks Jarlo, they're truely good enough to eat! 
Love Claire x

Harem Dream

Harem style trousers have become a catwalk classic. They are so versatile in how you can wear them. The stylish drop crotch style looks great with sandals, pumps, tee's and vests for a casual day look or with jackets, spangley tops and heels they are instantly transformed into a timeless, contemporary night time look.
They are the chic-est shape that suits everyone and once again have been gracing the Spring catwalks thanks to designers such as Victor and Rolf.
The harem trouser can be added to your wardrobe for a look that is sleek, sophisticated and sexy.
And guess where I've spotted some GORGEOUS one's not dis-similar to these Victor & Rolf ones...

...In Mark's & Spencer!

That's right, their designer range Speziale by per una offers these slouch silk trousers in a muted pale grey-blue.
They will transport you from the dreary English "Summer" to hot Arabian Nights instantly.

These gorgeous sleeksters will be available in May for just £55 but only at specially selected Marks and Spencer stores.
Grab them while you can!

Love Claire x

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sarah Harding knows how to do cheap chic...

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding has been spotted wearing a lovely anchor necklace on more than one occasion. The necklace in question is by Me & Zena.

Nice necklace Sarah!!

As she has been wearing her blue anchor so much, jewellery designer Zena McKeown has made an exclusive version for Sarah.

The anchor necklace in cream and gold has Sarah’s name inscribed on it and for that extra wow factor, a diamond was placed in the centre of the design.

Zena said “I wanted to create Sarah an exclusive necklace as she has been spotted wearing my jewellery brand, ‘Me & Zena’ loads. I loved that she wore my designs. For the first time, I worked with gold and a special cut diamond to create a truly special piece. The necklace is worth over £500. My most expensive design ever.”

If however you don't have £500 then why not visit the Me & Zena website, and get the original ‘Take Me Down’ anchor necklace which is available in cream or navy.

Zena also creates lots of other kitsch and cute pieces including earrings and bracelets and it's all dead CHEAP! (so enjoy!).

Love Claire x

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cheap Vintage?!

With vintage clothing getting more and more popular and people craving individuality you cannot blame vintage shops for charging, sometimes, extortionate prices. When you think about it, why should someone else's old stuff cost SO much!?

Anti-commercial, anti-trend, anti-fashion is FASHIONABLE! But surely this ecological way of dressing could be more economical.

Well my loves, IT IS! At the East End Thrift Store it is anyway!
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the usual vintage haunts of Brick Lane and Spitalfields this store stands alone in an alley off the Mile End Road.

You have to go further out to get to it and you'll definately need a map, Stepney Green is the closest tube. If you hit Cookies & Cream ice cream parlour you've gone too far.

Downstairs is a mish-mash of vintage/retro jumble with some real bobby dazzlers hiding in amongst everything. There is so much stuff but at the low prices they charge you can forgive them for expecting you to rummage through it all like you're never going to be able to buy clothes again!

Upstairs is another story. Light, airy, almost boutique like. Everything is neatly hung and categorised. prices are slightly higher but there's not much over £60.

The verdict... if you're a keen vintage-aholic then don't give this one a miss! It is a hidden treasure (or was!- I was in two minds whether to tell you all about it at all!!!).
You're lucky I'm giving you a link to their website!

Love Claire xx

I BLOOMIN' love Topshop!

I know everyone else does too! But they have just got in a brilliant selection of bloomers, shorts and cullottes!

They are perfect for spring. I have been wearing them now while the weather's still a bit iffy with tights but as soon as the weather is warm I'll be getting the pins out or even 'cuting' it up with some sweet ankle socks!
Here's my short wishlist...
These lilac lovlies are fabulous. I think they're so elegant and can be worn day or night. Even though they have a pattern they could still be teamed with printed tee or a black lace top! They're only £35!
How utterly adorable are these chiffon heart print shorts? I want to go all out with a little blouse and ankle socks with sandals for a cutesy geek-chic look! So good for £30.
I'm in a flutter about these flirty, floaty butterfly print shorts. Perfect for summer. The contrast of black tights would look great too! Also £30.

I already have these and I have worn them LOADS! They go with everything. The way the fabric falls makes them look almost like a skirt but I don't have to worry about sudden gusts of wind! The side button detail is really flattering on the tum too. I got them for £35.
If high-waisted styles aren;t for you then opt for these frilly fancies! they can be worn with loads of different styles of tops including tunics or smocks for a laid-back summer look! £30.
Ahoy matey! these stripey shorts are so on-trend with the nautical look. They would look great with deck shoes or plimsoles! £30

Finally, these ditsy floral wonders emcompass so many summer 2010 trends. The harem shape is already a hit this season and everyone wants pretty floral prints! A little higher priced but SO worth it still at £38.

It was hard narrowing it down to these few pieces but you should definately check out ALL of them either online or in-store.

And don't forget that all you students out there get 10% off at Topshop so you'd save £3 or more on each of these styles!

Lots of love,
Claire x

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oi Cheeky!

I spend so long making it look like I have spent minimal time on my makeup! I use alot but that doesn't mean it can't look natural!

One of my favourite things to use a cheek and lip stain.
I have used Benetint by Benefit cosmetics but me being me I always manage to spill it, resulting in Spending another £22.50!

It's alot of money to keep spilling and stainging the carpet with!
So I was in Superdrug the other week getting the usual bare neccessities and I see this...

Hmmm... looks like Benetint... Smells like Benetint... but why is it only £3.99?
So i decide to spend the money to find out why, and here it is.
IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME! Ok, so it may not last hours like Benetint but for that price I can live with that.
Benefit will always have a place in my heart and on my face but in this case I give Me Me Me's Pussy Cat the thumbs up!

Don't believe me? then give it a while, what the hell- it's less than £4!

Love Claire x

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Double Denim!

Not being a total jeans-fanatic I'm not sure about this one, but thought I'd put it up as its a classic case of trickle down trends!
Gorgeous girls were seen top-to-toe in denim modelling collections by Ralph Lauren and Chloe for their Spring/Summer 2010 collections.

Seeing double! (Denim I mean)

And now H&M have released an entire campaign of denim called "The Blues". Jeans are a big deal, i guess it never goes out of style, but this summer, double denim (thats wearing denim all over!) seems to be making its mark.

H&M campaign "The Blues"

This tunic from H&M is only £5.99 and I do actually REALLY like this short sleeve denim shirt... its only £7.99! maybe this trend will be a grower for me!

To get this look make sure you pick up a pair of jeans of "Jeggings" to wear with!
For a summer look role the bottoms of you favourite skinnies and team with pumps or flip flops.

So this season we've seen another look make its way from the catwalk onto the good-old high street. But I'm sure even the best designers have to be inspired by something...

I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

C'est la vie I guess!

Lots of love,
Claire x

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fearne Cotton LOVES The Laden Showroom!

I've noticed that style icon Fearne Cotton has been papped loads looking super-cool in this tie-die effect jumpsuit when she was at the BBC Live switch awards!
Effortlessly chic, as ever! :)

Turns out, Fearne got her outfit from The Laden Showroom and you can too!

To get your hands on this stylish investment piece for just £50 visit the Laden Showroom and the iconic Brick Lane in East London.

Get Fearne's look for just £50

Fearne is wearing hers with some wickedly edgy heeled boots but you could wear the jumpsuit with your summer sandals,winter boots or favourite killer stilettos!

I'm also very excited to say that Laden also launched their website,, last month so you can get their amazingly cool and quirky products where ever you are!

Keep in touch for more celebrity 'Get The Looks'- coming soon!
Ta-rah for now,
Claire x

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I am MAD for Jarlo!

I absolutely love the beautiful vintage costumes in the TV programme Mad Men!

These vintage floral prints are everywhere this season and are a true staple for the spring and summer months!
Where to start looking for the perfect floral for you!?

For you girls which a tight budget but still hungry for fashion, look no further... Another favourite brand of mine, JARLO, offers bold, colourful styling, vibrant prints and vintage silhouettes, reminiscent to Betty’s wardrobe, in the TV programme.

The new Spring collection is a mixture of vintage inspired florals and prints for JARLO’s take on sexy yet feminine fashion. For styles that you will cherish, let JARLO inspire you (it has me!)...

The Rose Dress has finally arrived online, just in time for the sunny weather. I think this is the perfect
sundress for a gorgeous girly look. The classic style will suit everyone and looks super-cute with this season’s ankle socks.
ADORABLE!! The Rose dress is available now in white and beige for £55.

The Marilyn Dress is perfect for a day-to-night look. The fitted bodice is oh-so flattering and can be teamed with your favourite pumps or sandals. Swap these for some killer heels for a super-sexy evening look in an instant!
CAN'T WAIT! The Marilyn dress is available in April for £58.

Finally, I love the Grace Dress as it is by far the cutest piece around. It has an adorable high waistline and thigh-skimming hem, which make this just the thing for lazy Summer picnics or sipping cool cocktails on a balmy evening.
SOOO SWEET! The Grace Dress is priced at just £60.

You can check out the full collection at, if I haven't bought it all first!

Love Claire x

Yippee! Bonsui!!

This has got to be my new favourite brand (this week at least)! Bonsui has not long been out but is available in Topshop Oxford street and it has already made an impression on me.
For me, the epitomy of summer dressing is simplicity and that is what Bonsui have delivered.
My favourite piece is this eyelet dress. The broderie anglaise-esque fabric is so girly and feminine, which I love, and the contrast bow detail round the middle sets it off a treat.
Now I don't know about you but this adorable little number isn't far from very similar to this Moschino "Cheap & Chic" (yehh right!) frock seen on the Spring/Summer 2010 catwalk!

I bet the price tag isn't quite the same.
The Bonsui dress comes in at £60, which is a bargain for this investment piece.
I cannot wait to wear mine this summer. Just need some hot weather!

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I hope I'm not too late!!

I'm sure most of you are already aware as I have been a tad slow off the mark posting this but for those of you have been hibernating all winter...

How exciting that Henry Holland has has collaborated with department store Debenhams!
They definately needed SOMEONE to give them a younger, more feisty image!
And aren't we glad he came along when he did!

I adore the mixture of ditsy spring florals, girlish ginghams and block colours- the epitomy of summer style and totally on-trend.
The entire collection is bright, bold and oh-so brilliant.

(also available matching bottoms £12
LOVE IT! Check Playsuit £25

You can see he has taken inspiration from his own collections past and present but at our kind of price range. As of tomorrow we can all take a piece of Henry home with us, just make sure you leave this dress in a 6 for me!
WANT IT! Black Floral Tea Dress £30
(also available in yellow)

These are just a FEW of my favourite pieces but you can view the entire range including accessories and menswear at
Also, you can get 20% off when you spend £50 online.

Thanks Henry!

Love Claire x

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cycle shorts are in fashion?!!

That's right!
I have just seen this picture of Alex Chung, looking lovely as ever may I add, in a pair of cycle shorts!

Now we can't all be as lucky as Alexa, going off to the Chanel a/w 2010/11 catwalk show at Paris Fashion Week... But I've found this Cheap Chic version of her shorts in American Apparel!
I love how the girlish lace detail makes them look oh-so chic and almost elegant. Wear with sandals or heels- they are the new summer legging!

The only problem is... You know you're old when something you wore when you were a little girl comes back into fashion! Here is my mum and I sporting some right beauties back in '93!

I knew I was destined for the fashion industry!!
Lots of love,

P.S. Love the oversized sunnies mum!

Welcome to Cheap Chic!

Hi darlings!
My name's Claire, welcome to my blog!!

Some of us, including myself, have more dash than cash but we still want to look our best! We want luxe for less!
I am a sucker for a high street-designer collaboration. I'm a demon at spotting a catwalk copy and am always keeping an eye on what the most stylish celebs are wearing.

How often do you flick through the glossy mags and end up depressed that you can't afford anything in it?!
Well never again, as I am going to share with you my knowledge and observations of the trends, designers, celebs and most importantly the high street.

I just hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy finding it! Oh the wave of satisfaction I get when i see something in Dorothy Perkins that I swear was in the Paris catwalk report!

Anyway, better get on with it...
Love and shopping,