Thursday, 30 September 2010

My Latest 20p Find

1960's Crimplene Dress (20p) and Vintage net gloves (20p) 

It's a busy day for us, not only did we go car booting this morning but there's also two jumble sales on. I'm between jumbles at the moment, so I thought you might like to see the dress I picked up from "The Twenty-Pence Man" this morning.

The sign that brings cheer to my life

Yes, there really is a 20p stall at my favourite car boot sale. You name it, Paul's got it, everything from vintage footwear, best selling novels, curtains, handbags, straw donkeys, china tea sets and CDs. He's always got at least two racks jam-packed with all manner of weird and wonderful clothing from Escada to Asda.

When I caught sight of the typically 1960's daisy chain braided sleeve poking out of the dross I almost shoulder-charged a granny to the floor in my eagerness to get at it. After years spent in the catering industry I'm not really a fan of black and white but perfect fit swayed me. Being glorious crimplene it was dry within an hour of washing it, too.

Needless to say the lounge is looking a bit like a jumble sale with my heaps of purchases scattered everywhere and there's still another one to go. 

Wish me luck, doing battle with the hardcore jumble saleing grannies of Tipton isn't for the faint-hearted.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Striped jacket (£1.25), Vintage hat (50p) and 1970's scarf (50p) All car boot sale finds. Charity shopped men's dress pants revamped into shorts by me (£1), Birthday pressie bag (Marks & Spencer)

The super-glamorous Christina and the lovely Sal tagged me recently, here's my answers, hope you don't get bored with all the writing and images.

What's your favourite fashion accessory?
Jewellery! I've probably got enough to keep me going for years but I can't resist picking up even more trinkets from abroad and interesting vintage pieces at boot sales and charity shops. When I realised that I'd left my holdall at home when we got to IndieTracks last year I was more gutted about having to wearing the same pair of earrings all weekend than I was about having no clean knickers.
Some of my jewellery
Who's your fashion role model?
I don't have a role model. I like anyone who looks cool without looking like they've tried too hard. Give me mismatched street-style over an over-styled wag any day of the week.

What do you always carry with you?
Black eyeliner, cash, lipstick, house keys and shocking pink blusher.
Vintage maxi (£5 charity shop), Red denim clogs (75p car boot sale), Hat (50p car boot sale)
How would you describe your style?
1970's Rolling Stones groupie meets Woodstock refugee. It's all about smudged black eyeliner,bed-head hair, vintage maxis, killer heels, fake fur, big hats and lashings of ethnic jewellery.
Vintage maxi dress (20p Car boot sale)
What's your favourite?  Jeans, sunglasses or heels?
I can take or leave jeans but I'd struggle to choose between the specs and the shoes.
I've got a huge collection of vintage sunglasses which I've found in charity shops and at car boot sales. Here's some of my stash:

 My high heel collection is similarly extensive.

Some of my killer heels but don't tell my orthopaedic surgeon.
What inspired you to blog about fashion?
I wouldn't say my blog was fashion-based. I love clothes but not fashion, as soon as something becomes mainstream it bores me. I started my blog as my friends always love to see my bargain finds and I wanted to show it was possible to be unique and stylish without spending a fortune.
My kind of shop
What is your favourite fashion store?
I hate the high street, at one time each shop had it's own individual style but now you can find exactly the same everywhere you go just in varying degrees of quality. It's beyond me why anyone would want their clothes to be instantly identifiable as H&M or Primark. Give me a pile-it-high-sell-it-cheap charity shop any day of the week or eBay, of course.

This silk maxi dress was less than £3 from a street market in Tamil Nadu
What is your favourite fabric in clothing?
I'm not fussy! I do have a fondness for crimplene and other 1960's man-made fabric, the colours are so vibrant and they drip dry in less than an hour. When I'm travelling I do like silk, it's so cheap in India so I stock up on it each time I go.

Me in a Dollyrockers maxi (found for £9.99 on eBay) with the beautiful Jem
Who are your favourite designers?
To be honest I buy stuff I like and rarely bother looking at labels. I haven't a clue about contemporary designers. I love Dollyrockers if I can find it cheaply enough. I also love John Bate for Jean Varon, vintage Biba and I dream of finding an original Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell collaboration piece.
More Dollyrockers, this skirt was 99p from eBay last December
Who or what inspires your style?
No-one really. My heart rules my head and I buy what I love. What suits others isn't necessarily going to suit me, I wear what I like in a way that feels right.

Would you choose to buy something high quality or make it yourself if you could?
I'm a novice dressmaker but love having a go at making or revamping stuff.

I made this maxi skirt from Terence Conran screen printed fabric I bought at a jumble sale

I made my festival poncho and rainhat out of a groovy flamingo shower curtain

I pass this tag onto ten of the blogs I love to read
(In no particular order)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Black Widow

Pussybow jacket, Vintage Pagoda print maxi (£2.50 for the pair at a car boot sale), Earrings (Colaba street market, Bombay)
I've known as being honest to the point of brutality by my friends. This means that whenever they need to buy something new, pack for a trip or sort out their wardrobes I'm the one who gets invited to help. I'm not mean but I like my friends to look fabulous at all times and they rely on me to tell me if they don't.

I've been helping Liz (my friend who moved house yesterday) with her wardrobe and I've dressed in what Jon calls my Black Widow outfit so show that I mean business. "It's Jean Muir" , "It's practical" or "I wore it on my honeymoon" holds no sway with me, if it doesn't fit, is tatty or doesn't suit then it's out.

We've condensed her three wardrobes and two bin bags into a neat and tidy double wardrobe (which now closes), a summer suitcase stowed away under the bed and a huge pile for her to eBay which should hopefully raise enough funds to pay for an antique chest of drawers. There's also a good selection for the charity shop and a pile for revamping and patchwork projects.
Print close-up
I'm nice really, honest!

On the subject of nice I've been awarded this award by not one but three beautiful bloggers: Taxonomy of my Wardrobe , Pull Your Socks Up, A Bit of Our Life

Thank you so much, you lovely ladies.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Being As You Asked So Nicely....

...I thought I'd show you the thigh boots I picked up at Thursday's car boot sale. Just the thing to add a bit of interest to my ancient skinny jeans I've had to dig out of the depths of beyond as I'm helping a friend move house and whafting around in a vintage maxi dress isn't really an option.

I'm actually the proud owner of three pairs of jeans, all bought for under £2. I do rather like jeans but lets face it, life's far too short to waste it wearing practical clothing.

I've added a 1970's Courtaulds' knife pleat blouse I found in a town centre charity shop last week along with a fabulous vintage crochet waistcoat sent all the way from New Zealand by my darling Helga.

This rather insane pendant was from a car boot sale a couple of weeks ago, even the lady selling it laughed when I bought it.

I bought this Indian ring bracelet from Oxfam when I was 12. Charity shops were my stores of choice even as a child.

This is my LFW goodie bag along with some of the contents - prettily packaged panty pads and tissues, a Sharpie Pen, Lavazza coffee, Label M hair product, Jergens moisturiser, a Joy lollipop, posh raspberry liquer (I had two as Jem's teetotal and very generous), Special K Strawberry & Chocolate cereal (there were three of these but Jon's demolished two of them), a Vodofone simcard, a Galaxy Ripple (which I ate on the train home) and a 30ml Juicy Couture Travel Eau de Toilette (which caused much hilarity with my friends who kept asking where my velour tracksuit was).
TopShop Jeans (£1), Thigh Boots (£3), Blouse (£2.60), Pendant (50p) Waistcoat (Free) Total cost: £7.10
I've been tagged and given awards by some lovely bloggers. I really appreciate this and shall be passing on your kindness later in the week.

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Vix & Jem do London Fashion Weekend, head to toe in vintage finds

As you may know I was lucky enough to win tickets to London Fashion Weekend and yesterday I tootled down to the Big Smoke to meet the fabulous Calamity Jem and to overdose on the best of British fashion.
Loved these lampshades

Jem was every bit as stunningly gorgeous, stylish and fabulous as she is on her blog, in fact she's even lovelier and we never stopped chattering and giggling the whole day. 

London Fashion Weekend takes place in the beautiful Somerset House just off The Strand. The place was packed with stalls, demonstrations and promotions. Jem and I rummaged through the racks gasping at the prices, being perplexed by the concept of a rail marked "ONLY £95 "and wondering what ever happened to the once-outrageous Vivienne Westwood after perusing the rather uninspiring skirt suits and trousers on offer.

As we are somewhat spoilt by car boot sale and charity shop prices it'll come as no surprise for you to learn that we didn't make any purchases although we were rather taken by Philip Treacy's hats and some fabulous statement jewellery made from crystal chandelier droplets.

The catwalk show was a treat and we were somewhat enamoured by the perspex see-through skirts and textured shoulder capes which Jem thought may go down a storm in Tesco. The "Kramer Vs Kramer" collection sounded like our kind of thing but appeared to be a profusion of beige microfleece and a rather limp tea dress that I couldn't recall seeing Dustin Hoffman wearing in the movie. There were some rather spectacular maxi dresses which I loved.

After we had our fashion fix and a fair few compliments on our outfits we made our way to Covent Garden generating a flurry of interest from the tourists who started snapping us instead of the living statues and landmarks. We popped into Rokit and spent a while in vintage heaven oohing and arring at the racks of vibrantly printed dresses, leather trench coats and sequinned capes then made our way back to Jem and her lovely hubby Mark's, groovy home where I was treated to a private viewing of Jem's immense and fabulous clothing collection.

Laiden down with my free goodie bag, a beautiful hair fascinator hand-made by Jem and a bottle of Polish vodka for Jon, we bid our goodbyes at Euston station knowing we'd be meeting again very soon.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Vintage Hairstyling Challenge - Day Five (The Swinging Sixties)

Welcome to day 5 of the fabulous Kitty's vintage hairstyling challenge. Today's criteria was:
1. Must be BIG
2. Must be 60s
3. Use whatever you like!

How fantastic, I adore big hair and I love the 1960's (some of the best people were born then, don't you know?). As my hair looks atrocious from this morning's swim and being caught in the rain I used my Amy Winehouse wig as today's accessory. Kitty looks amazing, I wonder what my darling Helga, Queen of the big hair, has in store?

Vintage frock and bag (found in town centre charity shops earlier), Leather backed driving gloves (Jumble sale), Wig (eBay), Faith killer patent heels (Local shoe stall on market)
Kitty's Sixties theme was a perfect opportunity for me to show off the 1960's Tricel mini dress I found in a charity shop this morning for £4. It was hiding amongst a rack of overpriced high street tat and really rather nice I think.

The rather snazzy 1960's blue vinyl bag was another of this morning's purchases. The volunteer on the counter thought it was somewhat overpriced for a non-leather bag, but I was more than happy to hand over my £2.99 and skip out of the shop merrily.

 A close-up of my Sheffield Steel 1960's pendant (This is for you, Jadis)

Thanks for the challenge, Kitty, I've had such fun.

I'm off to raid my wardrobes for a suitably fabulous outfit for tomorrow's date with Jem at London Fashion Week. Hope I don't let her down, she always looks phenomenal.

Have a happy Friday, catch you lovelies later.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Vintage Hairstyling Challenge - Day Four (Flower Power)

It's Day 4 of Kitty's challenge and our theme is "Floral", sadly the weather here in the UK is anything but summery, we've got torrential rain and thunder and we're confined inside for photographs today. Please excuse all the madness in the background.

Todays rules and tools;
1. 6 hairclips OR bobby pins OR small decorations
2. 2 large hair decorations
3. Brushes and combs, as required

My hair got a thorough drenching at this morning's car boot sale, I can't be bothered washing it and I'm off out with the girls later so I've incorporated a floral theme into both my outfit and the hair. I backcombed the front and pinned it back with hairgrips then I stitched the petals from a fake flower on to the waistband of an old pair of black opaque tights.

I bought the John Marks velvet poppy print maxi from Vintage Village at the Clothes Show (using birthday money, it was mega expensive for me), the vintage brass bangles and Lord Python pendant are vintage boot sale finds. 

You can't see them but I snaffled a pair of black thigh boots at this morning's car boot sale, very rock chick and perfect for tonight's visit to the biker's pub. All I need is a spangly leotard and the local weirdo who thinks I'm Cher will be totally convinced.

Here's a few things I picked up this morning before the rain started - Vintage lampshade (£1), two large pieces of 1950's fabric (50p) and an Art Deco wall sconce by Dartmouth Pottery (25p). I really wanted a 1930's ottoman with a quilted lid and a Galleon carved into the side, the nice man said I could have it for £3 but Jon put his foot down.

Off to down some Strongbow and scare the locals.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Vintage Hairstyling Challenge - Day Three (An Attempt at a Curl)

And so to day 3 of Kitty's hair-styling challenge and today it's curly.
As any woman of my age will know curls instantly bring back memories of the awful 1980's and the ubiquitous spiral wave.

This was me in all my permed glory back in 1985 and yes, I'm a natural blonde.

Today's criteria was as follows:
1. Brushes and combs, as required
2. Hairspray OR setting lotion OR a similar substitute that works for you
3. ONE kind of curling method. This could be rollers and pins, hot sticks (whatever they are), a curling wand...or anything else that works for you that I may not be aware of.

Vintage off-the-shoulder blouse (Car Boot Sale 50p), Customised shorts and wood mules (Jumble sale, 20p per piece), Goldette 1950's pendant (Salvation Army 99p), Hair Flower (Presented free with a curry), Gilt hoop earrings (Found in the depths of my jewellery stash)
As mentioned previously I'm rather low maintenance, Lush's Karma solid shampoo and Jungle conditioner and a wide toothed comb are my haircare repertoire. I don't possess any styling products. For my waves (curls are nigh on impossible) I used my Babyliss curling irons but got fed up halfway through and pinned the remainder up.

A bit 1950's perhaps?

Kitty's done another magnificent job, pop over and check out her 1950's pin curls.