No Bangers Allowed: Vix and Pearl v’s Gok Wan

I am sure you are aware of a certain TV show called Gok’s Clothes Roadshow. I am not all that sure why I even watch it. Gok is a likable enough chap, he is friendly and gives woman back their confidence, which of course is great. But I have two really big issues with Gok, firstly his demonic use of belts. Why, why, why would anyone belt an empire-line???? Secondly he wastes money. This series he sets two outfits for each trend, one with a ┬ú250 budget and one with a ┬ú50 budget. All very well, but what grates with me is his promotion of fast-fashion. Heading down the high street to Primark to spend ┬ú50 on a fashion look, then off to somewhere slightly more expensive such as River Island to slam down ┬ú250 for the same look. At the end of the show both looks are paraded down the runway for the gathered crowds to vote if they like the cheaper or more expensive look. I never like either because they always look really cheap and terribly over styled. Of course the crowd 9/10 times votes for the cheaper look, so we can all celebrate the fact we can go down to Asda and buy as many ┬ú10 frocks as we please.

Even if I don’t start ranting about how these garments were produced by underpaid workers, the fact is that the quality is so bad they wont last you over a month. But of course this is what the wheel of fast fashion wants. Together with the glossy magazines the fashion wheel keeps turning making you think you need a new look each week, a new trend to fulfill. What Gok’s show totally misses is the fact that you don’t need to buy new stuff every week and you don’t need to start gluing crap to your old clothes to make them ‘on trend’, all you need is some good styling. As for the budgets well I don’t really agree with going out and buying a full outfit, I prefer to collect pieces I know will work along side my other clothes. That way I can focus my budget on a well made, classic piece that will last for years not just one season.

So, after another headed Twitter debate during the show the fabulous ‘Vintage Vixen’ Vix and I decide to put our money where our mouths were. We will each recreate the four trends featured in Gok’s latest show from our own wardrobes, Vix with the ┬ú50 budget and me with the ┬ú250. Here goes:


Wearing: Vivienne Westwood shirt £70 on sale, leather trousers £5 eBay, Day Birger leather necklace a gift but approx £50.

As I have a rotten case of the flu I decide to have a look through past outfit photo’s to see what I could use. At first this was to spare you awful photos of me with a big red nose, but as I started searching I realised that by using past photos I was actually proving a very good point. That all the new trends aren’t all that new at all and most of us have the pieces already in our wardrobes we probably just never felt the need to label them as a look before!

So all my photos have been on the blog before some as far back as three years ago! You can tell this is an old one as I look really thin, I don’t think these pants fasten at the moment! Anyway the ‘Leather’ trend Gok chose a faux leather dress, I don’t want to think how sweaty that would be to wear, and I really don’t think I could pull one off. I know Vix could, wonder if she wears one?? Leather trousers on the other hand are fab, they are a wardrobe staple of mine through winter. This pair are real leather but I also have a faux leather pair of leggings from Topshop which are rally comfy too.

I also want to point out leather necklace, a really great way to take on a trend is to wear a simple accessory such as jewellery. You might have noticed I didn’t include the bag and shoes in the outfit description, well that is because they go over budget, so I want to raise you these two bargains instead. This is my own clutch, it is real leather a lovely vintage find for only ┬ú5. I also have to hold my hands up in the case of shoe snobbery, I don’t really own many pairs of cheap shoes mainly due to the fact I cant find any high street shoes to fit me properly having wide feet, being a half size and having inflammatory arthritis in them. But if I wasn’t such a pain I would totally love to wear these heeled loafers ┬ú65 from Topshop.

TOTAL – ┬ú195

Winter Brights

Wearing: Vintage dress eBay approx. £9, tights Primark £2, Fendi shoes via eBay £17.50, vintage necklace eBay £10, I want to trade this clutch for the vintage one above again.

The idea for summer brights to me is to wear a vibrant colour you would usually reserve for summer such as orange or yellow. Gok’s outfits were both orange party outfits I think – having trouble remembering, maybe it was mental blocking?? But I think most people actually want to wear their outfits during the day too so this shift dress is perfect as it can easily be dressed up or down. I really like to contrast colours so the grey tights were a must, and they will keep me warm! This outfit is a total bargain so I totally earned some expensive shoe saving points!

TOTAL – ┬ú43.50


Wearing: vintage leopard dress £20 thrifted, sequins shoes New Look sale £10, vintage clutch £5 thrifted

This was a hard one for me as Gok used flowing evening gowns, not something I have a call for in my life! Neither do I feel comfortable trussed up like a turkey so even when I do go out for the evening I tend to wear the same clothes I would wear during the day. An easy option for me is a frock and a pair of statement heels. This was actually a photo for when I was selling some vintage items but it is a great look, with a slight nod to the 1940’s I think. I love these shoes they are proper Dorothy shoes but I can’t wear them for long as they are a bit big and really not at all comfy for me. A simple wrap dress is a great option too, really easy to wear and I simply adore a splash of leo print! Oh dear this one is too cheap too!!

TOTAL – ┬ú35


Wearing: Primark top £8, vintage skirt eBay 99p, clutch bag Primark £8, vintage necklace eBay about £8, Pierre Hardy shoes on sale £100ish.

I love this look, it is so cheerful and it also goes to show that you can wear pleats and not have to do the prim and proper secretary look which dominate the magazines and Gok’s show.

TOTAL – ┬ú124.99

Well I am really disappointed in how cheap some of my outfits are ha ha! But of course as I said they were put together from things I had in my closet that I wanted to wear, I didn’t set out to wear a trend. I do love a bargain as much as anyone else and always trawl eBay and vintage shops. But I also love to save up for a beautiful investment piece, my brown Fendi clutch in the first two looks was bought A/W 2007 which I sat up and waited until midnight for it to go on sale in Net-A-Porter for a 30% discount it cost ┬ú350 and on cost per wear has more than paid for itself. Same goes for the brown court shoes in the first look, they are Vivienne Westwood and cost ┬ú200 when I bought them, they have now gone up to ┬ú365 shows how long I have had them for! They are the only shoes which I find fit me perfectly and are so comfy I can wear them all day and night. I would much rather have one pair of these shoes than twenty high street pairs. Quality lasts.

On a final note Gok mentioned a huge pile of pairs of Primark shoes you could get for £160, well here is something for you. A pair of Vivienne Westwood platform riding boots for the same price on sale. Good things come to those who wait!

What do you think, did I do better than Gok?

Now go check out Vix’s post!

30 thoughts on “No Bangers Allowed: Vix and Pearl v’s Gok Wan

  1. Fabulous outfits and great advice! You totally rock every look and what’s more you look like you were born to wear them. Nothing looks more attractive than a woman comfortable in her own skin.
    Your bigger budget outfits are still cheaper than Gok’s lower end ones because the cheeky monkey doesn’t include expensive jewellery and shoes into the price and let’s face it, the most rubbish dress can look fabulous with high end accessories.
    A rack of Chinese-made Primark ballet slippers or those riding boots? It’s a no-brainer. Those beauties will still be current in ten years time and no doubt increase in value. A wise investment piece.
    I hope Gok’s reading! xxx

  2. Hell yeah!
    You both win hands down. I’m totally with ou on the quality issue. I’ve not watched Gok for a while but I was never very impressed when he starting glueing bits on to other bits…drives me insane!
    I’d rather have those boots any day…they will never date and are total quality. As is your orange dress. I love it.

  3. Fabulosity! Both yours and Vix’ are way, way better! I love the brightness in the last one, so different from the usualy floaty pink pleats look!

  4. IÔÇÖve come over from VixÔÇÖs blog to have a nose and I think youÔÇÖve definitely beaten Gok. Your outfits are far edgier than his too. I think the ÔÇÿpleatsÔÇÖ pic is my fave as youÔÇÖve avoided the prim and proper look that can get yawnsome.
    I donÔÇÖt set out to wear a ÔÇÿtrendÔÇÖ either; I just wear what I like be it old or new. I wear bright clothes all year round when I feel like it, so IÔÇÖve been working the ÔÇÿwinter brightsÔÇÖ look every year!

  5. Ah but if he wasn’t encouraging folk to go out and spend on cheap tat every week the show wouldnt exist! Shame… 😉 Man I adore those boots! Love your superior-to-Gok styling, especially the leopard print dress 🙂

  6. You and Vix did amazing in this challenge. All your looks are unique and memorable. Your pleated outfit has me over the top with rainbow bright joy, I friggin love that skirt and those shoes, *PERFECTION* Thanks for all the fashion inspiration!

  7. Pearl you have definitely put Gok to shame. Your outfits are stunning, I love them all. I have always really liked Gok but I agree, it is really irresponsible to encourage people to waste their money on cheap low quality clothes and I didn’t particularly like his outfits. I did have to laugh at his Christmas decoration earrings!

  8. gwaan is all I can really say, as I seem to have a love/hate relationship with Mr Wan. I actually prefer the show when he was going up against Brix, and even though I can’t really afford the more expensive options there were a lot of times the designer was the winning look, and I think the audience were purposefully voting for Gok, as he was their high street champion. I think my overall favourite look on you was the pleats,great job, really amazing use of colour, and print it’s something I would wear.

  9. Couldn’t agree with you more – there’s something tragic, and as you say, wasteful, about the whole enterprise. You, on the other hand look FAB, especially (if I may single out one outfit) that leopard print dress. Fantastic! Going to Gok Off to look at lovely Vix now! xxx

  10. Hello, just popped over from Vix’s blog. Just like hers, I think this is a brilliant post! My favourite outfit? Your pleats one wins for me, hands down. That skirt is amazing – what a bargain? I dream of finding stuff like that! Emma

  11. You so fucking did it better babe! Oh my god, how much do I love you in those leather trousers, I would die for a leather dress, but hey I would look like the biggest part of a three piece and people might try and sit on me. Leopard dress, massive tick, love it and that last look reminds me of warm sunny days, gorgeous!
    I agree I ain’t taking apart a necklace to have chains dangling from my shoes, I also love Auntie Gok, but fucking hate what he puts together bless him! Bring back Brix, I always wanted her looks even before I knew they were the high end ones!

  12. This is an exercise in fabulousness! The pair of you are total winners,far more superior to Gok!
    Trend,schmend! You’ve done brillantly! I can’t figure why peeps can’t think for themselves,but clearly many can’t,which is why Gok is popular……but they need to be looking to ladies like you and Vix,real women working it!
    OMG those Viv Westwood boots are TO DIE FOR!!!!!


  13. Brilliant, just brilliant Pearl – I especially love the fact that you have used previously styled outfits from previous posts to illustrate. And excellent points about the quality and ethics of supermarket and other low price clothing. All I want to know now is: when are you and Vix going to be commissioned to do a show of your own??????

  14. Girlfriends you win hands down ! What is more, unlike Gok you both know where the female waistline is… not as Gok would say under your bangers!!

  15. I think that you look fab, and what’s more, you have a unique style over the high-fashion churned out look! 🙂

    I am finally coming round to the “quality” over “quantity” issue after realising just how much stuff I have acquired and how rubbish the quality of some/most of it is! (And how much money I was spending on lots of items when really I could get one nice, good quality item that will last/a timeless/essential piece)

    That said, I think mixing and matching is fab too. I think now though, I will be buying items from Primark etc for one off things/tights…

    Clare x

  16. Hi my dear-your outfits are totally on trend and gorgeous, more so as they are already pieces that are in your wardrobe-you prove that Goks challenges can always be beaten with style, class and quality AND at much cheaper than his too, very well done xxx

  17. Loved your post, but the lines were all mashed up together. I had to copy and paste into an email and read it there. Bit of a pain but it was worth it. xx

  18. Wow, you definitely trounced Gok fair and square. Now, I do like Gok, but not in that roadshow thing, not since he started avocating the use of a glue-gun and yards of what looks like my nan’s old dolies. Wasnt the point of him that he was about dressing the woman to make her look her best, and that might very well be in classic pieces? I’ve a sneaking suscipion that this new found love of the low end of the high street might be due to the production team than himself….just look at the range he produced with Sainsbury’s…..some of the best quality clothes I’ve seen anywhere on the high street… local store was crawling with people, all raving about it. But yeah, you look ten times better….maybe back to the drawing board channel four?

  19. I’ve been meaning to make it over to read this post for days – of course I already knew you’d both have done a way better job than Gok. I don’t mind a bargain but I can’t imagine ever wanting a pile of Primark shoes! Absolutely agree that quality is what counts – whether that’s well made designer pieces or vintage, both beat most of the tat on the high street.

  20. Absolutely brilliant indeed… I know that show, and your outfits here are simply amazing (as always) what a dynamic duo (Vix) & yourself. I do love vintage and bargains at any day. but, good styling hands down is my favourite approach, as I tend to keep my clothes for a very long time.. styling them in different ways makes some people think that I’m wearing new threads, trend or not. Your pleated skirt is marvelous! Of course you beat Gok dear! xo

  21. really good read, i enjoyed it a lot!
    ive never added up the value of my oufits, i wonder what it would amount to?..

    your pleast outfit is my favourite too (leather a very close second), i can’t believe you managed to balance so much colour without it looking garish!
    ive been thinking about the cheap/high street thing lately. i havent got a big budget to spend on clothes but ive still become tired of buying off the high street, from racks and racks of identical looks. im setting myself a challenge of trying to mix it up a bit more with smaller labels, maybe some vintage, maybe some of my boyfriend’s clothes.. we’ll have to see how it goes!

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