All photos: Maria Dragan Photography
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to one of my all time favourite shops, The Real McCoy in Exeter, to take part in a Styling Challenge. When I had been asked to participate initially I was a little nervous, I really enjoy styling, and the concept of styling looks from an amazing plethora of stock, such as is found at The Real McCoy, was really exciting, but I didn't know if I would be any good at it when it actually came down to selecting pieces for specific looks...it's difficult to put your own personal style aside when taking part in a challenge like this but I think that's all part of the process!
When I was arrived I was instantly put at ease by the beautiful Sorcha (who writes an amazing blog herself, Gin and Handbags) and the lovely team at the store who made me feel so welcome. This is an element of The Real McCoy that isn't always found in vintage boutiques, you feel like you've stumbled into a real treasure trove of fantastic goodies-and you're free to have a real rummage! There's no ceremony here, or having to ask if you can look at something-drawers are carefully labelled but overflowing with accessories and ready to be opened and explored, rails are laden with dresses, skirts and tops and there are plenty of fitting rooms to try everything on!
Along with my lovely friend Milly of A Sensible Heart, we got stuck in with the customers picking out looks to style under the "Style Challenge" themes which ranged from "picnic in the park" to "absolutely fabulous" and "summer festival." The best part of the challenge was being able to have so much creative freedom, and to be able to interpret the themes in the way we liked, and putting our own spin on the looks. I created 3 looks which I will share in a post to follow, I didn't want to make this one too photo heavy but there were so many wonderful pictures taken by the extremely talented Maria that I'm going to have to split it into two parts to share them all!
Sorcha kept us refreshed with drinks and cakes and was on hand to help us if we needed to find any last touches to our looks. She ran the whole event effortlessly and along with the store staff, made it a really exciting day for the customers as well as for us bloggers! At the end of the day we were given a voucher for taking part which I was really touched by as I had such a wonderful day anyway, I didn't expect anything else! Additionally, readers of this blog can claim a 10% discount on their purchase from The Real McCoy; just mention Credit Crunch Chic at the checkout!
The Real McCoy has always been a really special place for me, when I lived in North Devon I would take trips to Exeter more frequently and I would always pop in and (usually) leave clutching one of their pastel pink carrier bags, filled with lots of lovely new (to me) vintage finds. The prices are varied but you can pick up anything from silk scarves for £2.50 to amazing jackets and coats from as little as £5 on the balcony-the balcony sale rails are the stuff of dreams-through to exquisite beaded flapper dresses for those after an original garment and wanting to spend a little more. Going back yesterday was really exciting for me and reminded me how much I had missed it-safe to say I will be going back again very soon!
Check back soon for part 2 of the post, where I'll share some outfits that I created!
In the meantime, why don't you check out some images from the day on The Real McCoy's Facebook page?