• Victoria Lochhead - Sustainable Personal Stylist

Guest Blog: Author Toni Kent tells us about her experience of Saying No to New!

Freelancer, writer, corporate escapee, wife, mother and all round lovely person Toni Kent is our guest blogger. Toni tells us about her adventures into the world of saying no to new:

Saying No to New | Fancy Dress Challenge

Have you ever tried to find a fancy dress outfit two days before the event is due to take place? This is the position I found myself in a couple of weeks ago when hunting for an outfit to wear to the Belinda's Wish 80's themed fundraising disco. I couldn't help thinking that I'd left it rather late….

Fancy Dress?

As it was 'fancy dress' my first stop was, naturally, a fancy dress shop and whilst there were a few character-based outfits that might have fitted the bill along the lines of Penelope Pitstop and Wonder Woman (although was she more 70's?), they were either a bit skimpy or very, very expensive for an item designed to be worn once. I like Penelope Pitstop but did I like her enough to pay £34.99? Wouldn't that money be better off put in the pocket of the charity?

Then I remembered Victoria mentioning the 'Say No to New Campaign' and that she'd found a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch jeans in a local charity shop. What was I waiting for?! With a renewed sense of purpose I headed into the Helen & Douglas House Hospice shop where the following happened:

The Most Amazing Shopping Experience Ever

Me: "Do you have anything 80's?"

She: "What size feet are you?"

Me: "Size 5"

She: "Well you're in luck"

The manager proceeded to bring out the beauties in the picture and then looked me up and down to assess my size before finding a neon pink shirt with the all important word "Miami" emblazoned across the chest, and a sequinned bolero jacket that couldn't look more Eighties if a member of Bananarama had burst in wearing it.

The sum total of my shop came to £10.50. I had an outfit and the money that I spent on it had gone to another great charity - win, win, winner!

What I learned

· People who work in charity shops know their stock

· Buying second hand (or pre-loved if you prefer) feels good

· I look better in neon stilettos and a pink t-shirt than I do in a "sexy" Wonder Woman outfit

All in all, a great shopping experience, a great night out and one great pair of shoes! I’ll definitely be doing it again.

Toni Kent is a freelance blogger, writer and author.

You can follow her @tonijkent or visit www.tkbc.co.uk to find out more.

#charityshops #charityshopping #tonikent #80s #charity #fancydress #events #shoes



Victoria Lochhead - Personal Stylist

I love being a personal stylist and helping my clients feel more confident in their style choices.  Having been introduced to jumble sales and charity shops from a young age, I show my clients how to look great and feel confident in pre-loved fashion as well as utilising what they already have hanging in the wardrobe at hom.  Read more about our story and what makes a consultation with us a unique experience.....


“Victoria Lochhead has been an absolute saviour.  Victoria was so gentle with me and so enlightening. If Victoria can make me feel and look good, then she really can help anyone” Margaret


“This session has unleashed the inner me! I feel more confident, enjoy colours more & wear clothes that make me look great!” Claire



Frankie & Ruby is a sustainable personal styling image consultancy business.  We offer styling sessions both in person and in our online courses.


We are based in Newbury, Berkshire, UK and work throughout Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire.  We are perfectly placed for clients visiting from Newbury. Reading, Basingstoke, Oxford, Hungerford, Marlborough, Swindon, Andover, Salisbury, Theale, Thatcham, Overton, Whitchurch, Didcot, Wantage, Abingdon, Pangbourne, Tilehurst, Streatley, Goring on Thames, Wokingham, Mortimer, Woolhampton, Aldermaston, Winchester and Tadley although clients do travel from further afield.


Find out more about personal colour analysis consultations, style analysis consultations, dress agency open house dates and group days and events on our website, or explore our range of online style courses.

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