Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Vix's Guide To Unearthing Car Boot Sale Treasure

Vintage Moss Crepe blouse, customised Diesel denim shorts, 1970's pendant and cocktail ring, Gianfranco Ferre boots, Tassel Earrings, 1950's rose print bag (All car boot sale finds)

After a prolonged absence my friend Queenie has rediscovered her blogging mojo. She mentioned that she liked the tips and tricks I used to share in previous blog posts so just for her here's Vix's guide to finding car boot sale treasure:

1. Leave your inhibitions at home and have a rummage. Don't worry what people think as you sink to your knees rooting through the 10p box. If I was bothered by what anyone thought of me I'd never have found this 1970's moss crepe blouse at the bottom of a box of over-washed polyester.

2. Dress to impress. Make an impact when you go booting. Regular sellers will get to recognise you and know your style. The Cat's Protection lady clocked my costume jewellery and saved me this fabulous 1970's cocktail ring and Celtic pendant (charging £2.50 for both pieces).

3. Learn to trust your gut instinct. Genius cut and outrageous patterns usually point to quality labels. I loved the green snake detailing on these boots and happily paid 50p for them only discovering that they were Gianfranco Ferre when I got home.

4. Check out the older sellers' stalls. Younger stallholders generally know the value of their stuff and it's mostly boring old high street stuff anyway. Posh or eccentrically dressed old dears are often downsizing and happy to sell off their interesting gems for peanuts. My 1950's rose print bag was 20p.

5. Don't get hung up on sizes and labels. If the fabric feels good or the print is glorious buy it and find a way to utilise it. By contemporary standards vintage clothing is often a couple of sizes smaller than the original label. Denim is always a good buy, look out for Levi's and Diesel as the denim is better quality and wears well. If the Levi's zipper fly finishes before the waistband rather than going up inside it usually means it's a fake.

6. Never ask stallholders if they have any "vintage" clothes, it will perplex the older ladies (who think you means couture gowns) and cause pound signs to light up in the eyes of savvy younger sellers. Asking for "unusual" or "old" usually gets better results.


  1. amazin jewellery and amazing top!

  2. Those boots. The Celtic pendant. Fabulous. Great tip to ask for "unusual".

  3. Yay, the return of the how-to!

    Do you think you have good luck with car boots and jumble sales or is it all about persistence and digging? Admittedly my car booting experience is minimal and quite recent but I genuinely don't think I've seen any clothing that isn't high street or more than a few years old. Not that this bothers me too much as I've found some nice things, but I do dream of turning up something fantastic. Should I rummage more?

  4. Fab tips and will give them a try! Love your blouse and boots - wonderful. xx

  5. Love the tip about rummaging!!


  6. Oh, I love that blouse. Great tips too. xx

  7. These are great tips..love, love ur blouse..it really fits u well..

  8. Great tips - I really want to start getting my butt to car boot sales, but I need to look more into it first - there's a couple that are relatively close to me, but not walking distance & I don't drive.. so I need someone to escort me I think!

    Thank you so much for the lovely comment - I now want to be brave enough to take the step & wear a maxi dress just casually one day.. we'll see!


  9. You look gorgeous. Love your accessories.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and your lovely comment :)

  10. Good points! It makes sense to not ask for vintage, I can see where seller's eyes would light up with dollar signs! Thanks Vix! XO!

  11. Hi Vix, Great tips and i love your top! xxx

  12. OMG that blouse is sublime.Most excellent tips,my precious twin,whom I am missing like HELL.And so true!When you stand out people often offer you special things,or point out what you haven't seen that may appeal.No point in having any pride either,as you say,Years(and years)ago,one of my fave opshops had enormous bins that I would get into and root around.I didn't give a shit.Still don't!It truly is amazing what people dump.One woman's trash is another woman's treasure!
    That bag is quite a treat too!And shit you look foxy in those shorts!
    LOVE Helga XXX

  13. yay! thank you Vix for a fab post :) some other good ones would be how to get the best experience out of a festival (not that I'm going to one I'm just nosy!), reworking a second hand item of clothing into something totally different (I remember you did one about turning a dress into a play suit a while back), the last thing I've thought of is something not related to clothes or fashion but something about living your life for you, you don't conform you seem to be quite a free spirit, I'm not sure exactly what I mean but if you could figure it out! I think what I mean is that you seem to live life the way you wear your clothes, with freedom, passion, abandon, care free. I'm waffling now! lots of love x

  14. Fab post, I am far too shy for boot sales I need to be more assertive to get the bargains.
    Kandi x

  15. Great tips, my friend! I especially love the fake Levi's spot - will definitely look out for that. xx

    PS - You look fab, as always! Love the snakeskin! x

  16. That boots are very unique. Great tips

  17. That pendant is beautiful :) I love your style, it really stands out!

  18. And it looks like you've also got a way with the sellers, hearing that they save things especially for you. Great tips and incredible finds! (yeap, I'm still here, never left the island, it's a sad story which I will tell tomorrow.) xxx

  19. Okay i'm armed with some extra tips! Thanks Vix
    Our carboot sales here in NI are not of as good quality unfortunately BUT i shall be visiting my aunt in warwick soon (she's a carboot addict!) so i'll be keeping these in mind ;)

    BTW, that blouse is gorgeous!


  20. We would have so much fun together! I too dig for gold and am not afraid to dive into any old thing. the cruddier the box, the better treasures reside in ;)
    I went to the dentist and need a crown. They actually thought I'd pay $2000.00 for one!!!
    Holy cow! I managed to find another who charges 1/4 the amount.This month is starting off kinda strange.
    First, on Sat. nite, I busted my knee and exploded my big vericosity. had to go to E.R.
    While recuperating, my leg lifted on a pillow, I bit into a cherry pit and broke my tooth!
    I am notorious for falling down, etc...
    but this is nuts.
    thanks for your concern!
    I need to "smudge' my aura or something ;)

  21. love how your denim shorts and the bag complements the boots --it's such a great combination!

  22. Great finds and great tips, Vix.


  23. Dear Vix,
    Brill tips, especially number one...if you want to find the treasure hiding underneath the trash, you've got to dig!
    Airs & graces are indeed rather unhelpful when bargain hunting at a car boot sale.
    I generally do the complete opposite to you as regards to tip number two.
    I dress down for the occasion cause I have found that if I look as if I’ve got more than pennies in my purse sellers will ask a higher price for their goods.
    I always make a beeline for the old grannies rather than the young trendies clearing out their used Topshop & Atmosphere garb.
    Tip number five is where you and I acquiesce completely, thinking outside the box & keeping an open & imaginative mind is without a doubt the best way to be when car booting.
    Sizes & labels really don’t mean a jot when armed with creative flair & a little elbow grease you can transform the most wretched looking items into amazingly amazing ones.
    As for your last tip, I agree, asking for vintage is tantamount to asking for a higher price tag & it generally puts me right off when a seller plays the ‘V’ card, unless of course it happens to be an actual couture gown.
    My own top car booting tip is to never ever forget the golden rule i.e. if you like something don’t put it down to think about it cause nine times out of ten someone else will dive in and snaffle it up.
    I frequently forget the golden rule myself, last Sunday for instance I missed out on a vintage 20s ermine stole cause I was hesitant & unmindful :(
    Secondly I also usually go twice round any market or car boot sale; firstly a super quick scope out swoop to see who’s there & then a second more purposeful tooth combing rummage round.
    It’s always good to scope out first cause you just don’t know if the seller of your dreams is standing right at the end of the boot sale & any dilly dallying could mean that by the time you get round there all the good stuff is gone.

  24. You really have THE EYE, Vix!

  25. Brilliant post Vix. Lovely top. Will definitely be mindful of these tips next time I go, I'm very bad for not getting stuck in!

    And thank you for the very lovely comment you left me. That meant so much. It really love the topic and was hoping that would come across so your message made me smile.


  26. Fab tips, I need to find a local boot sale pronto!

  27. Great tips, expected nothing less to be honest. :)

    I LOVE that cocktail ring. Wish Cat Protection ladies would look after me like that. :)

    And re the hairdryer. I knew, as soon as I saw it, that's a lamp. haha! My blogging friend I am beginning to know you to well!

    X xx

  28. Stunning jewellery and beautiful blouse! I found out the other day that where you live is renowned for jumble sales and car boots so at some point I'm going to schedule in a road trip!


  29. Great tips .. will try them out when I can pursuade my hubby we NEED to go to a car boot sale!!!


  30. Thank you for the tips - sadly old/vintage clothes seem to be a rarity here (unless they're already on sale in vintage shops), certainly only saw piles of Primarni and Matalan etc at yesterday's boot sale.
    Having said that, I think I'll ask at my local charity shops and see if they ever get anything other than the usual high street fare.


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