I can’t remember exactly when Oranges & Apples made it’s way onto my blog reader.

Whenever it happened it’s now found a permanent home. With her colourful outfits mixing home made, vintage and thrifted pieces with High Street buys and insightful and intelligent posts on everything from sustainable fashion to fat activism Franca never fails to make my day a little bit more interesting.

Reasons you should read her blog:

If you’re scared of colour she’ll fix that in a jiffy.

She mixes outfit posts and beauty features with insightful and thought provoking social commentary.

She inspires me to try and be more creative with layering.

She posts pretty photos.

1. What was the first piece of vintage clothing you remember buying or owning?

I grew up with second hand clothes (they weren’t called vintage then) and I wore a lot of my mum’s old clothes from when she was young. One of her things I remember in particular is a tshirt with mickey mouse giving minnie mouse a kiss on the cheek. I still have it, but I haven’t worn it in a while because it’s got a hole in it and I want to preserve it to maybe pass on to my daughter, if I end up having one.
The first vintage thing I remember buying on my own is a pair of 1960s navy faux snakeskin wedgy sandals, when I was in first year of university. I should wear these again soon!

2. What was the last item of clothing you bought?

A vintage dress from Dolly Mix Vintage in Leicester. It’s from the 1980s I think, but 1950s-style, with a fitted waist and a massive circle skirt. The fabric is a multicolour patchwork print with a caption that says ‘I like you America’ which makes me smile!

3. What is the most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought?

A pair of £150 camper boots. This was five or six years ago, when I was temping on minimum wage, and was always skint, so it was a massive deal. I’ve worn them constantly during winter since then though, and they’re still ok to use, so it’s been worth it. The other thing is a Tula leather handbag that I got when I got promoted at work, which I’ve also worn constantly. That was £135, and I felt a little bit sick spending that much on a bag. I don’t think I could ever get a proper designer handbag, no matter how much I liked it, I’m far too thrifty.

4. What’s your current favourite item of clothing?

I love this blue checked puff sleeve dress that my lovely boyfriend-fiancee-partner-person Dave made me out of an old duvet cover. I love handmade things, but unfortunately I’m too clumsy with the sewing machine to have ever got into sewing clothes myself, so I’m so pleased Dave has discovered that he has a talent for it!

5. Do you prefer heels or flats?

Flats. I can totally appreciate the beauty of heels, but I can’t walk in them at all! Whenever I do put some on, my feet are agony within about twenty minutes. I have been getting into small (2-3 inch) heels though recently, particularly if they’re chunky, or wedges. So maybe I’ll work my way up to proper heels at some point!

6. Describe your style in 3 words.

Colourful, quirky, feminine

7. Skirts or trousers?

Skirts! When I look through my wardrobe remix set, about 95% of the outfits are based on either skirts or dresses. It’s just more fun, there are different shapes, you can see the shoes better and it’s an opportunity to wear different coloured tights! I’m partial to the dress over trousers look though, which sadly seems to have gone out of fashion. So I guess I would say skirts AND trousers.

8. How much do you spend on clothes in an average month?

This is a really hard question! I do shop a fair bit (though I’m trying to cut back), but I mainly get stuff from charity shops, so cost wise it’s not much. In August I got three dresses for a combined cost of £75, and in July all I spent was 15 euros on some jersey basics from h&m. So maybe £60 a month on average?

9.How is your wardrobe organised?

I have a three door wardrobe that I keep organised like this: dresses on one side, and skirts, shirts, jumpers and jackets on the other side. My tshirts and my vest tops are in easily accessible boxes at the bottom of the wardrobe, my trousers and special occasion dresses on separate shelves, and long sleeve tops in a drawer. My gym clothes, pyjamas and the jackets I’m not currently wearing are stored in boxes on top of the wardrobe. I have separate storage for underwear and hoisery, shoes and bags. I did a post about it actually, when I first came up with this organisation. This system works ok, but I do get lazy after a while and need to do a big tidy up every three months or so.
I’m also pretty ruthless with getting rid of clothes regularly to make space for the new ones. It doesn’t matter what system of organisation you’ve got, there’ll always come a point when it fails if there is just too much!

10. Are you sentimental about your clothes?

I’m sentimental about some things, like my mum’s stuff, which I’ll never get rid of, and some jewellery I’ve inherited from mine and Dave’s grandma’s. But I’m trying to not get too attached to too many things. It is just stuff at the end of the day. Giving things you don’t wear that much away to go to someone who will is good karma!
Check out her blog at Oranges & Apples