Anyone else looking ahead to a diary full of ‘socials’, festive get togethers + events before we even get to Christmas and New Year’s Eve? Never fear we have a whole host of party outfit ideas to get you feeling + looking awesome!
We had lots of fun shooting for this post. We headed to Brighton’s Photomatic – a definite if you’re visiting our fair town from afar or just heading out for an afternoon in town.
We recently ran a poll on our Instagram to see which textures you’re into this season and velvet beat sparkles with a whopping 80%!
This party outfit ideas guide has something for everyone as we look at Pastels, Brights + Classics for the festive season ahead – and beyond!
Outfits are NOT just for one night out – our clothes are made to be worn again, and again, and again.
‘Kaleidoscope’ Circle Two-Piece *SOLD*
Sienna wears ‘Kaleidoscope’ Circle Two-Piece *SOLD*
Amber wears ‘Pink Power’ Dungaree Culottes + Sienna wears ‘Kaleidoscope’ Circle Two-Piece *SOLD*
Amber wears ‘Pink Power’ Dungaree Culottes + Sienna wears ‘Kaleidoscope’ Circle Two-Piece *SOLD*
Psst! Want your outfit in time for Christmas?
If you’re in the UK you need to place design your own orders by midnight on Monday 17th December, with ready to wear orders placed by Friday 21st December. International shipping deadlines can be found here.
We’re very excited to present our Shop Independent Christmas Gifts Guide for 2018!
As you know we champion all things independent + handmade here at The Emperor’s Old Clothes. We’ve had so much fun compiling this year’s gift guide packed full of beautiful + useful gifts made with love from a host of amazingly talented UK independent designers + brands.
To be honest it’s basically my Christmas wish-list (hint hint)…
It’s SO important to support your local + independent businesses especially at this time of year! 💚
Where would you rather spend your hard earned cash? On the high street where items are more often than not made overseas for a pittance from polluting materials or from smaller brands who who champion the handmade by paying a living wage, support the development of their teams + consciously create their pieces to cause less harm to the environment??
Without further ado:
Shop Independent Christmas Gifts Guide for 2018
Handmade Laptop Case, £38, The Emperor’s Old Clothes; Handmade Concrete Planter with a Succulent or Cactus, £20, HiCacti; Recycled Brass Monstera Leaf Earrings, £35, Izzie Artisan; Fun recycled card A5 paper-cut notebook, £8.50, Pork Chops Paper Cuts; Silk Yellow Print Scarf, £70, Jennifer Hamley; Hand-painted Enamel Mug, £16.50, Pick Up Sticks Vintage
Made in Brighton, Hi Cacti started in 2015. The pots are inspired by the aesthetics of Mexico and its art, but more specifically their colourful concrete cemeteries.
Beautiful handcrafted Monstera Deliciosa stud earrings in recycled brass made by Izzie Artisan. Add a touch of golden glamour to your outfit with these striking earrings that are sure to turn heads.
PorkChops® paper cut, hand finished, blank paged super-notebooks that will make any discerning note taker, doodler, dreamer or organiser very jealous. Gift messages are also available to make your notebook gifts personal!
In their workshop based in East Sussex, Corinne Taylor makes natural, plant-based aromatherapy products using essential oils. All Corinne Taylor products are 100% free from Palm oil, sls, parabens, synthetic fragrance and mineral oils, and are never animal tested. What’s not to love?!
Calm Himalayan Crystal Bath Salts, £22.95; Inner Peace Soy Aromatherapy Candle, £26.50; Love Aromatherapy Room and Linen Mist, £19.50; Uplift Himalayan Salt Body Scrub, £24.95; All Corinne Taylor Holistic Therapies
Jennifer Hamley’s creations include striking lines, bold colours, innovative features and premium materials. Jennifer’s scarves are hand-drawn and dyed and are made with 100% silk. Also Included with each scarf is a pack of 20 styling cards so you’ll never be stuck on ways to wear your beautiful design!
Sustainable no-roll neck jumper, £125, Zola Amour; Scarlet Red Tiger Lily Lace Lingerie Set, £48, Brighton Lace; Wool Polka Beanie, £45, K.Moods, Orange Vintage Tapestry Purse, £12; Red Shimmer Purse, £12; both The Emperor’s Old Clothes
Zola Amour is a Brighton based sustainable clothing company committed to be 100% transparent with their supply chain. Their entire collection is made using only natural, organic certified fabrics and textiles they can give a second life. Every item by Zola Amour is considered by ensuring all the materials used are fully biodegradable or recyclable.
The Emperor’s Old Clothes is a British clothing label designing and creating beautiful one-of-a-kind clothing & accessories for women and men. We’re dedicated to sustainable fashion working exclusively with vintage fabrics & end-of-roll remnants which would otherwise find their way to landfill. Every item is handmade by our all-female team in our Brighton studio.
Kathleen from K.Moods is a textiles designer and maker who makes sustainable, comfortable knitwear which bring delight through colour. K.Moods aim to be zero waste – so you can wear guilt-free – and create pieces based around the slow fashion ethos.
K.Moods use waste, recycled, or second-hand yarn where they can, and garments last the distance in design and make.
Brighton Lace is a Brighton based lingerie business which was founded by Lou. She cares passionately about creating a sustainable fashion business that gives back – to the individual, local and global community. With the help of two lovely seamstresses, Brighton Lace is a three women team who come together to handcraft every element of their underwear.
‘Dotty Dozen’ Purple Polka Dot Dungarees, £135, The Emperor’s Old Clothes; Mini KT Bag, £325, Jennifer Hamley; Irridescent Green PVC Purse, £18; Irridescent Pink PVC Purse, £18 both Hey Kitsch Kitty; Fun recycled card A5 Papercut Notebook, £8.50, Pork Chops Paper Cuts; Love Aromatherapy Room and Linen Mist, £19.50; Calm Himalayan Crystal Bath Salts, £22.95 both Corrine Taylor Holistic Therapies
All the leathers by Jennifer Hamley are specifically selected, tanned and dyed for their exclusive use. A donation from every bag sale funds an education programme for disadvantaged young girls. So not only are you buying something lovely, you’re also helping a worthwhile and important cause!
We hope we’ve inspired you to SHOP SMALL this festive season – don’t forget when you buy something from an independent brand an actual person does a little dance!
Comment below to let us know which items you have your eye on!
Give your loved one a hint by sending them the link to this gift guide + join the conversation on social @emperorscloth
Photography – Kate Branthwaite
Models – Beth Shenton + Sophia Allison
Here at The Emperor’s Old Clothes we love to shop small! Being an independent clothing brand ourselves, it’s something we proudly support and encourage.
Many people don’t realise the benefits and importance of shopping independently, so we are going to highlight a few pointers which you may not have thought about:
Boosting your local economy
By spending your pennies at an independent retailer, you will be contributing to boosting the local economy.
Research has shown that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-size business, 63p of that stayed within in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger high-street store.
Owners of local businesses are likely to live in the area you are shopping in, meaning they are less likely to leave and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future.
Originality & Individuality
We all know that when you shop on the high-street you are guaranteed to see someone else wearing the same piece of clothing as you whether it’s the following week or months down the line.
When you shop small you are buying limited one-off pieces which designers have worked hard on to produce.
In a world of shops which have been designed to all look and feel the same, independent businesses bring originality and diversity to local communities.
Creating local jobs
Investing in pieces from local businesses means you are having a positive effect on the health of local jobs in the area.
Small, local businesses are the largest employer of jobs nationally and are also more likely to pay a higher average wage than commercial chain stores.
Here at The Emperor’s Old Clothes we are proud to say we are a living wage employer!
Going back to the originality and individuality point – buying independent also means you are buying quirky one-off gifts.
If you’re stuck on what to buy your nearest and dearest for birthdays or Christmas, you’ll always be inspired just by looking at your local shops instead of your standard high-street chains.
There is also little risk that the gift receiver has seen their present elsewhere before…
Independent shops often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere.
Thinking of buying a new outfit for your Christmas party?
Shop small or independent and there will be little chance you’ll turn up wearing the same thing as someone else!
Where the innovation happens
Everyone knows that fast fashion is a huge issue in the world right now (did you watch Stacey Dooley’s: Fashion’s Dirty Secrets a few weeks ago?).
The hundreds of thousands of new styles coming out of fast fashion houses are having a negative impact on our world and it’s the independent clothing companies which are bringing innovation to the high street.
Here at The Emperor’s Old Clothes we pride ourselves on using one-off vintage fabrics which would otherwise find their way to landfill.
You actually matter!
Independent businesses pride themselves on listening to their customers feedback and making sure they provide a face when something goes wrong – or right!
We all know that if you have an issue with a large company you will most likely end up speaking to a robot for 20 minutes before you get to speak to an actual person.
Local independent retailers would much rather speak to their customers face to face to find out exactly how they can help you.
Remember, independent businesses are run by real, passionate people – not robots!
The list is endless when it comes to the importance of shopping independently, but we hope we have inspired you to think twice about where you are spending your money – especially with (dare I say it?) Christmas around the corner…
We are extremely proud here to be supporting our local community and have a positive impact on the fashion industry, something which is very important to us, and the world! We’re also proud to have such a thoughtful, loyal tribe of customers who make sure they also think before they shop.
Keep your eyes peeled for our Independent Gift Guide coming soon – it’s bound to give you endless amounts of inspiration of where to spend your pennies this holiday season! We’ll be featuring a curated selection of our favourite independent brands right now
Don’t want to miss our upcoming guide? Sign up to our mailing list to stay in the know – plus you’ll get 10% off your first purchase – yay!
The sudden change in temperature means winter is officially approaching and it has got us yearning for cosy winter essentials like our velvet dungarees and heavy coats. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Zola Amour to present our sustainable fashion autumn lookbook for the season ahead.
At The Emperor’s Old Clothes we love collaborating with other labels that share our ethos + love for the handmade. A fellow sustainable fashion brand, Zola Amour is also based in Brighton and is committed to being 100% transparent about their supply chain. Their entire collection is made using only natural, organic certified fabrics and textiles which can be given a second life. As you know we’re passionate about using up fabric that already exists + supporting fabric production that takes care not to harm the environment. We have previously worked with lovely Emily – the designer + owner behind Zola Amour – for Fashion Revolution in 2017 and Zero Waste Week earlier this year.
Here at the Emperor’s Old Clothes we love how Zola Amour’s basics complement our colourful designs, so we have put together this sustainable fashion Autumn look book to give you some seasonal fashion inspiration!
Beth wears our ‘Burgundy Beauty’ floral mini skirt & ‘In the Forest’ green cropped jacket with a grey sustainable long sleeve t-shirt by Zola Amour and Fenia wears our ‘Cord Queen’ mini skirt with a black sustainable long sleeve t-shirt and a organic cotton fleece poncho by Zola Amour
Fenia wears our ‘Paisley Party’ high-waisted Louisa trousers
Beth wears our ‘St Germain Stroll’ high-waisted trousers with a white sustainable long sleeve t-shirt by Zola Amour, Sophie wears our ‘Red Alert’ high-waisted trousers with a black sustainable long sleeve t-shirt by Zola Amour and Fenia wears our ‘Paisley Party’ high-waisted trousers with a grey sustainable long sleeve t-shirt by Zola Amour
Do you head for the great outdoors or hibernate with all the cosy socks + blankets indoors?
Let us know which outfits from our sustainable fashion lookbook are on your wish-list this season. Remember every item we create is one of a kind so once it’s gone, it’s gone!
Here at Emperor’s HQ we’re big supporters of a capsule wardrobe. We love working with our customers to design garments that they will love to wear again, again and again! With so many of our customers spread out across the country, and indeed the world, we don’t often get a chance to see your one of a kind garments in action. Except when you send us and tag us in your photos which we love by the way…
So this week we’re super excited to invite you into the wardrobe and home of one of our biggest Brighton fans: the gorgeous Suzi Jench.
Since discovering us Suzi has been thoughtfully creating her Emperor’s capsule wardrobe – each piece working across different activities and occasions from nights out with friends to the school run + everything in between. Suzi likes to mix her two-pieces, culottes + shorts in with vintage and second-hand items meaning she no longer shops from mainstream shops or the high street.
We love Suzi’s attitude towards her wardrobe and how she makes the most out of every single item. So without further ado let’s have a nose around her house + learn the story behind her favourite Emperor’s items through her conversation with owner Cecily:
Blue Floral Amy Dress
C: So this was your first dress I believe; I’m pretty sure this one was from your personalised samples wasn’t it?
S: It was and I think what happened is that you gave me a sample that had a slightly different colour-way which I liked but I was worried it might be too much.
C: The flowers were denser weren’t they..
S: Yes, they were denser blue. Although I loved it I was hoping we’d find something a bit more me, with a more neutral background and there it was!
C: And we had to line it because it was quite fine but actually this cotton we use is pretty fine anyway.
S: It’s so breathable and light to wear in the summer it’s lovely and has little pockets which I love.
C: We’re going to be doing a lot more pockets coming up so that’s quite exciting. And then obviously the V neckline as well because it’s not as popular a style – I think because some people just don’t realise we do it as much as we don’t do as many of them but I think it’s really suited to the horizontal print as well.
C: And what kind of context have you been wearing this in?
S: I first wore it to a comedy night and it was boiling, boiling hot and it was just the perfect thing to wear. I have also worn it during the day but it does feel a little too special and dressy to just pop on for a regular day.
C: I think dresses are a bit like that a little bit more stand out piece rather than the separates which are a bit more every day to day.
Black Floral Mini-skirt
S: The mini again was chosen for the fabric – I just loved it. That was a sample and once I felt it’s texture i thought that could be a really nice mini and it is. I love it, I’ve worn it a lot already.
C: Because you weren’t sure to begin with the mini then you tried them on…
S: …I wasn’t sure if I needed something a bit more a-line, but it works so well.
C: Well it was a new design. I think that’s what happens when the new stuff comes out you kind of have to think how it’s going to fit with the other pieces that you normally wear but also obviously not every new design is for everyone so its which one you’re more drawn to.
S: Absolutely. And I have worn it with this dark grey tee, just tights and black boots. It’s nice to not have too many things chucked in the mix, right?
C: And that works more to the capsule wardrobe idea…
S: Yeah that’s where I’m trying to get to – keeping it simple. There’s also very little here that’s new apart from my leather jacket I think; everything’s second-hand or vintage from eBay or Flock or elsewhere.
S: I think these are my all time favourites, I love these so much. It’s the fabric that sold me and I knew the weight of them would be really, really nice; they just hang beautifully. They get the most compliments of all the pieces; on the school run honestly someone will always stop me and ask me where they’re from, everyone loves them. They’re such a flattering style, particularly for my shape because they nip you in and everything else is just skimmed over and the length is great too so you can still see your ankles.
C: I always think that kind of opens up the possibility for shoes, if you’re wearing black skinny jeans or even normal jeans or trousers, I find it harder to pair different kind of shoes with that really but with these I think it’s partly the distance so they can be more of a statement or less of a statement depending on what you choose. And that fabrics just very unusual, wonderful, woven.
White Lace Cotton Top
C: I firmly believe it’s going to come into it’s own..
S: It’s definitely going to come into it’s own this AW! I saw at first the bright blue version of it and then you showed me the white and I was like ‘oh my goodness’ I’d love to have a top in that and again, I went with my classic V shape and I think yes, just because its double-lined it’s been too warm so far this year.
S: I think a pair of jeans with it I think will be really nice.
C: Its quite a nice alternative to a white tee, it’s a bit more interesting..
S: Oh really nice, definitely.
Golden Silk Tee
C: And this was from our Studio Saturday with one of Kate’s fabrics…
S: …I thought the tee would be a really nice way to get the most use out of such lovely fabric.
C: And those kind of fabrics an only do certain designs like the shift dress which I don’t think you were as drawn to.
S: No I think that is one of the few that wouldn’t do me any favours but the tee is great because I can tuck it in or wear it over the top of skinny’s. I wore it out the other night with black skinny jeans and I turned them up a little bit with the black boots and it gave the top a bit of edge. I’m wondering with the culottes if it might look a bit formal but then that’s a good workwear look.
Cosy Catherine Dress
C: The Catherine: that was a samples one.
S: It was, there were loads of lovely ones, there always are, but I just loved the feel of it as much as the colours really and it’s such a comfortable piece to wear. So, so comfortable.
C: And again it’s that thing of like the Catherine is quite a formal shape normally but because of the fabric choice it’s not and you don’t have the restriction then of wearing it on occasions.
S: Exactly and because it’s soft and more flowing you can get away with it. Like when I wore it with the leather jacket it kind of worked and you can vary the shoes a bit because it’s not too formal.
C: And I guess that’s the benefits of the samples for this one because if you’d just seen it as a photo in Instagram stories or something I don’t think you’d necessarily be able tell it was going to have that softness that’s the difference really with that process and I really like that we did the green bias binding.
S: I love it, it’s gorgeous.
Bold Floral Circle Two Piece
S: This one: I saw the fabric when I was shopping in London and fell in love with it – I immediately thought ‘circle two piece’. I just looked at it and thought that’s just going to be beautiful so I texted you to see how much of it you’d need.
C: Perfect because you get that huge volume of print!
S: Exactly. So when I wore it out recently to a party in a dark cocktail bar, I didn’t walk in and feel too dressed up, but after a little while, someone spotted it and then they want to touch it and feel it and everyone loved it. I didn’t feel self-conscious thinking I’m wearing a great big petticoated-out number because it’s nipped in so nicely at the waist.
C: I think the pockets make it more laid back too.
S: Yes, definitely and the two piece element does as well. I think if it was a dress it might feel a bit more ‘prommy’ but it doesn’t cause it’s broken up a little bit.
C: And because of the flatness of the top you get to see the print still whereas with the fall of the skirt you’re just seeing aspects of it and it’s quite nice to have that contrast. And you always go sleeveless pretty much?
S: I do get the odd tee but most of my stuff is sleeveless and then I pop a cardi on – it just suits me.
C: I think the way the weather is going now that’s kind of what you have to do really because it could be snowing in the morning and baking hot in the afternoon.
Cropped Teal Velvet Jacket
C: My current fave of yours is this jacket…
S: Yeah! I just fell in love with both the velvet and the silky lining which were both included in my samples. I thought the jacket would be ideal because the velvet is quite thick, then you put the gorgeous lining in.
C: Yeah and we just had enough which was really good – it’s great because it’s kind of a surprise element.
S: And lovely that you can fold back the cuffs if you want to – I think that’s going to give it loads more versatility for me.
Classic Black Culottes
S: I knew I needed those in my life – the perfect slightly alternative black trousers.
C: They were a bit more of a ‘need’ rather than seeing a fabric and falling in love.
S: They were based on the fact that these were so successful (blue geometric culottes) that I just wanted a staple, go to pair in black .
C: And that goes back into the capsule wardrobe thing which is the aim.
Big thanks to Suzi for inviting us into her beautiful home! Such a pleasure to see her garments in situ.
Which of Suzi’s Emperor’s items is your fave? Have you ever considered a capsule wardrobe?