Saturday 5th April, I was invited to take part in a Bloggers Style Challenge at the Corn Exchange in Leeds. I was super excited for the challenge and a look around the independent fashion stores which I hadn’t visited for about a year.
The challenge was to find an outfit for £50.
It was a beautiful sunny morning as I parked up outside the Corn Exchange. I met Catherine at the Management Office where she kindly handed me £50 and send me on my way.
I started by going into every single shop for a browse and photo taking, in order to gain inspiration. I had no idea what look to go for, and the large choice of varied styles made this challenge quite a tough one. There are currently 10 fashion stores (you can view them all here), all very different but with the overarching theme of independent fashion designers.
Now, as you all know, I love the High Street and tend to pick up bargains from the likes of Primark, New Look and Select Fashion, so I thought picking an outfit here for £50 would come easy to me. Unfortunately not! Mainly because of the choice available, but more so because there were some key items I instantly fell in love with which were £40-50 alone meaning I wouldn’t meet my challenge!
After the browsing, I first ventured into Mad Elizabeth – a store which has been an immense success over the last year resulting in them featuring on ASOS! I was excited about buying from here as I follow them on Facebook and all other social channels and love what they do. Frustratingly, I struggled to find anything I loved. I almost bought this Victorian style lilac blouse which was only £10, but couldn’t find anything in this or the other stores to pair it with. No doubt though, that I shall be venturing back to purchase this
Next up was another of my favourite stores – Alice Found Treasure. Also appearing on ASOS Marketplace, the overall feel to this place was so feminine and floral – perfect for me!
I tried on a stunning nude, pleated, silk skirt (which didn’t quite flatter me) and a few floral tea dresses. As soon as I tried the one seen below, I knew I had to have it! It made the best of my figure and made me feel very ladylike! So, at only £25 I ran straight for the till to make my first purchase of the challenge.
Another store which caught my eye was the Bead Hive. Like a sweetie shop – except full of beads! My mum is a keen jewellery maker so I thought it would be a lovely touch to pick out some beads to match my dress and have my mum make some beautiful earrings. I wanted to keep it fairly simple so I opted for blue/turquoise and peach beads as seen below. My mum created these for me that evening and I am very pleased with them. All beads and equipment totaled a teeny £1.80!
Sticking with the accessories them, I set foot to find items with my £23.20 remaining budget. I bought a very unusual ring made from pale peach faux leather with rose gold circled jewels on – very pretty – this was from The Little Pink Jewellery House and cost me £10. I started to think I hadn’t chose wisely as I wasn’t left with much to complete my outfit. However, this ring is so unique I just couldn’t resist and I know it will suit any outfit.
So, £13.20 left. I wanted a bag or shoes but the ones I fell in love with were £30-£50 so I hadn’t planned that well at all! I chose a scarf with a matching material bag for only £9.99 at Yellow Sunrise – a unique gift store with everything from candles, to picture frames, to handbags and accessories. The scarf is lilac with a feminine floral print and I think adds a nice twist to the outfit. I can also wear this scarf as a shawl to the races or a wedding this year, so am happy with the purchase.
I was set to return to the Management Office to hand my receipts in, when I saw an adorable little handmade notebook for £1.99 in Yellow Sunrise on my way out. This is perfect for bloggers who are on the go and find inspiration in a range of places. Handy to pop in my bag or pocket, I can sketch out ideas at anytime – I love it (plus, it matches the outfit!).
I am happy with my outfit as I can wear everything I bought for a nice lunch with the ladies, or just wear the dress alone to a wedding this Summer – teamed with some peach high court shoes and matching patent bag it will look dreamy. The scarf will also be a great accessory for many occasions from a day in the office in a suit, to weekend shopping teamed with denim, or even a night out with a LBD.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, and it has made me think twice about heading into town on a weekend just to visit the high street. The Corn Exchange will ensure whatever you pick up will be unique and there will be no chance of being caught out with the same outfit at a party
Have you visited the Corn Exchange? What do you love about it? x