Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be…Fashionable!

Oops, sorry, I guess I should have warned you about that before you fell off your chair.

Are you ok?

Your surprise at my declaration is mildly irritating but you are forgiven. No you did not misread me.  This is happening – my first ever blog about fashion. Before you know it pigs will be flying and Taylor Swift will be able to end a relationship without writing a ballad.

If you know me you’ll know that I have about as much fashion sense as a wet paper towel. I wear mittens in winter and big floppy hats in summer. I went out at the weekend wearing a dress TimeHop told me I had worn 6 years ago. Cara Delevingne eat your heart out!

This is all about to change.

There are several people to blame for my new found interest in all things Vogue. The first is my friend Pete (or “Puh” as we call him but that’s a story for a different day).

Instead of doing the usual birthday drinks and dinner Puh has decided that this year he will do a charity pub crawl. How very nice of him you might think. Until you read the rules.

c/ @Friends_Back

c/ @Friends_Back

The Rules


  1. Everyone has to dress from head to toe in Charity Shop attire (as cheap as possible).
  2. Most expensive outfit buys a round of drinks for everyone
  3. The best dressed female & male will automatically be excluded from losing the competition & win a 1st place prize (so your strategy could be – go big and win outright not worrying about ££).
  4. The most boring dressed individual will receive a shot from the most expensively dressed person
  5. Anyone NOT wearing head to toe charity shop attire will have to buy the most expensively dressed male and female a drink of their choice
  6. Bring your receipt otherwise you’ll automatically be crown most expensively dressed.  Ouch!

There is one caveat – women can wear their own footwear but men have to wear charity shop footwear.

Now I am usually one for arguing women shouldn’t be treated any differently in work or life in general but on this occasion I am happy to overlook my feminist principles. I struggle to walk in my own shoes never mind someone else’s. Plus I’ve heard that if you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes it can give you perspective or a verruca or something…not sure I fancy that.

This sounds like it could be a hoot and a half until I remembered that I am the worst shopper ever. If there was a Buzzfeed titled “13 non-famous people who dress like their mum bought their clothes even though they are nearly 30” I would be on it.

Still it’s for charity and no one will care right?


This brings me to the second person responsible for my transformation. Whilst surfing the wonderful world of WordPress I stumbled across this lovely blog from the mega talented LucyJLoves. Being the cocky little thing I am I commented on the post and told Lucy of Puh’s birthday bonanza.

Somehow, through no fault of her own, Lucy thought it would be a good idea for me to get involved in the event she’s collaborating on for London Fashion Week! Pretty sure she’ll regret this once she claps eyes on my poncho but I am nothing if not up for the challenge.

Lucy is part of the Back of the Wardrobe team who are partnering with British Red Cross this London Fashion Week for the event #CharityFashionLive. Their personal mission to prove that you don’t need a big budget to be on trend, that fashion is for everyone (we’ll see about that) and that second hand clothing is totes amazeballs. Ok they didn’t use these exact words in the official press release but I’m jazzing it up a bit.

According to the fabulous Emma Slade Edmondson at;

“1 million tonnes of clothes go to the landfill each year. Fast fashion has created a climate in which people have a throwaway relationship with their clothes. As a result of this people and the environment are readily exploited by the garment industry.’’

In an effort to prevent the shirts hitting the fan (see what I did there) Emma and the team are hosting #CharityFashionLive this Saturday 13th September at the Red Cross Shop, Buckingham Palace Road, London, which also happens to be the most English address ever!

For the whole day the team including super-sylist Emma will be challenged to recreate the catwalk looks direct from the shows at London Fashion Week as quickly as possible and only using clothes they can find in the shop with top fashion photographer Claire Pepper on hand to capture the moment. If you don’t believe how good it can be here are some pictures of what they managed to achieve last year.




I’m no stranger to public humiliation so I have agreed to attempt my own challenge using clothes I find at the Red Cross in Chorlton on Saturday. Slightly less glamorous location but what’s a Northern girl to do? I need an outfit for Puh’s pub crawl anyway and you couldn’t ask for a better cause than the Red Cross. They keep old ladies company for crying out loud – we all know how I feel about that!

So…(cue sad music) This is an appeal from Sophie Fox. If you are in the Manchester vicinity and have even a hint of fashion sense, I’d really appreciate your help on Saturday. Get in touch and we can muddle through this together. I warn you – it could either go incredibly well and I will come out exuding Alexa Chung-esque style; or you’ll finally be able to say “So that’s what an insane pensioner with an alcohol problem looks like”.

If you fancy taking part in your own version of #CharityFashionLive and need inspiration, I can tell you a bin-bag full of Primarni dresses and jeans that are too small will be heading to the Red Cross in Chorlton if you get desperate.

Keep up to date with #CharityFashionLive via Twitter on Saturday.  Follow @backofwardrobe on twitter and @backofthewardrobe on Instagram to see all the live action on the 13th September.

I’ll let you know how I get on. *gulp*

If all else fails the #CharityFashionLive outfits will be sold on ebay after the event so I could just cheat and get them on there.

Don’t tell Puh – I want him to buy me a drink!

Speak soon

Seriously Stylistically Challenged

Soph x


If you still don’t believe how good this will be check out the video here.

Back of the Wardrobe is a genius idea of how to put outfits together from your existing clothes.  Definitely worth having a gander at.

LucyJLoves should be followed if for no other reason than she recently did a post dedicated to Tina Turner Proud Mary!


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