Friday, 4 February 2011

Bostin' Black Country Bargains


I spent today shopping in the Black Country with my oldest friend, Liz. Some girls like a gentile day out with stops for tea and cake interdispersed with trying-on sessions in high street shops but that's not for me. I prefer chips and beer to Earl Grey and fairy cakes and chain stores bore the pants off me. 


My idea of a perfect day out is rummaging for vintage bargains in charity shops and a lazy JD Wetherspoons' lunch picking over your purchases with an audience of all-day drinkers decorated with spider's web face tattooes and love and hate inked on to their knuckles. Our charity shops are rough and ready, often staffed by young offenders on Community Service and because local unemployment is so high, donations are thin on the ground and everything gets put out on the shop floor. There's no wooden coat hangers, changing rooms or fancy vintage rails and expect a gem to be grappled from your hands if you're not quite quick enough.

Don't let that put you off, it's great here, bostin' in fact.

Here's what I got:


This 1970's Madiera embroidered shopping bag came in very handy for carrying my purchases home.  (Acorns Hospice £1.95)

 This Jaeger cropped wool jacket is a lovely shade of vibrant coral and is immaculate.
(£2 from Cancer Research)

I do love a vintage label especially a British-made one.

A 1980's Laura Ashley cord waistcoat

Mango herringbone wool shorts

Jon loves mod style and was very happy with this 1960's Tootal smoking jacket (£1.99 from Banardos). This will add a touch of class when he's smoking his roll-ups on the doorstep.

"All Wool, Made In England" windowpane check ladies tailored jacket. Aren't the lapels splendid?


This vintage trevira pinstriped blazer looks fab on, it's a skinny fit with huge lapels and a label to die for:



I love it. He reminds me of John Lennon.


I nearly came to blows with a jealous granny over this 1970's Rajasthani velvet mirrored waistcoat priced at £2 but I came away triumphant. 

A cute little evening bag, just big enough for my lipstick and purse.

I'm not a massive 1980's fan but this Gloria Vanderbilt flannel midi skirt won me over. It's a gorgeous shade of jade green and still has it's original tag.


Total spend : £17.80 which includes chips, a shared bottle of house Chardonnay in Wetherspoons and a day return on the bus. Who says a day spent shopping has to be bank busting?

English Lady jacket (inherited) Len Vogue of Melbourne maxi (The fabulous Sarah), 1960's leather boots (British Heart Foundation £4.99), Silk bird print headscarf (Local vintage shop £1)

Off to order an Indian home delivery and crack open the Havana Club. Have a lovely evening.

69 comments:

  1. I love your bandana .. I am a bandana girl especially in the Summer with the roof down otherwise my hair sticks to my lip gloss xx

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  2. Sounds like a great day :) Love the evening bag. I had the trousers to match that LA waistcoat!!

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  3. Our thrifts are often staffed by people with lives on the mend, whether criminally or from an addiction. You have several great finds here. I love the coral jacket and the smoking jacket. The mirrored vest is lovely too, but it is the green coat that might make me start lurking on your eBay site.

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  4. You got so much for your money. Can't imagine a granny in that velvet mirrored waistcoat somehow, so well grappled!

    Ah that Vanderbilt tag brought back memories - I didn't know they made clothes, but my Mam used to have the perfume with the engraved swan on the bottle, I thought it was brilliant and so glamorous!

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  5. I love the idea of Jon smoking on the doorstep in that very elegant smoking jacket. Mr J and P always wanted one!

    What bargains, Vix. Have a brilliant night.

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  6. So many things I'm loving from your haul! That coral Jaeger jacket, the herringbone shorts and the pinstripe blazer especially! I love your vintage shopping tales - they always crack me up especially when I think of you wrestling with grannies for loot!

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  7. Ooh - the pinstriped blazer (the Mr Christopher label!!!) and the Gloria Vanderbilt skirt are FABULOUS and you look beautiful in that frock. YAY! I would LOVE to go op shopping with you Vix, I bet it would be a blast!

    Sarah xxx

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  8. "Mi gorgeous creature."
    spectacular finds amor.loving the bandana look Vixcita..oooo what a jem.the Madeira bag I would wear with mi Mexican skirts.that shade of green is gleaming beautiful and evening bag..shorts are right up your alley..cant wait to see you in those tiny cute shorts.the plaid jacket reminds me of a skirt I found at charity.
    mmmm I love Indian food.
    enjoy your night love.

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  9. I can't believe you got Jaeger jacket!! I think our charity shops don't even know there's such thing, much less stock it :P

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  10. Wow! You kind of day is my kind of day too! lol! Fab finds, Amy has the same bag I think - it looks fab with your outfit!

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  11. Bargain! Loving the Jaegar jacket x

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  12. Luverley stuff! I have the same bag I bought on holiday in Maderia 1977! I like that skirt, I know what you mean about Eighties stuff but that's quality. xxx

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  13. You always come home with such a splendid selection of goods, I am forever inspired by your ability to rummage through and uncover the most wonderful pieces. I am so smitten with the 1980s Laura Ashley waistcoat xxx

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  14. Ha Vix, I'm sure you put your bag to good use doing a Maggie Thatcher if anyone dared trying to take one of these fabulous items off you. The elegant woman know knows how to use her handbag! xxx

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  15. It's all bostin', ay it ar kid! I was in the CS in your neck of the woods the other day. xxx

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  16. Sounds like my perfect day too! Good finds - The only things I've ever found in our chazzas for 50p are clothes for Baby Bird! They're mostly of the wooden coat hangers and laminate floor varieties here, so I 'spose they've got to cover running costs.

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  17. Mr Christoper - I wonder if that's any relation to Mr Darren?

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  18. Wonderful bargains Vix...i love those wool shorts! Have a great night xxx

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  19. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so jealoussssssssssssssss.
    Love it all.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  20. Oh I'm so jealous of your Mango shorts find, I've been after a similar pair for so long! Do please let me know if you put them up on fleabay. Love your dress, do you own any clothes that aren't completely fabulous?! x

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  21. Super haul, Vix. Those men's jackets are amazing finds - I love that Mr. Christopher label too; it reminds me something Jason King would wear!

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  22. Love the bag, I had a vintage Laura Ashley fest yesterday, there must be something in the air.

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  23. It's taken me all this time to realise you have an ebay shop. May I have the details for it? I tried to find you but no joy.

    Thanks! xx

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  24. Quite frankly I have got to spend a day shopping with you. I would probably spend the whole time looking at what you are picking up and looking at nothing for me! Would love to know your techniques! I love the jaegar and the green skirt. xx

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  25. I particularly like the smoking jacket and the wool shorts.

    Have a great weekend, Vix.

    Love you.

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  26. The Shopping bag is lovely & the dress you are wearing in the pics is delightful plus I love your English lady jacket.

    You got some really nice stuff, thanks for sharing.

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  27. fab purchases Vix. My mum got me a bag just like the oneyou bought but with a different design on. They're such a good size. Bargain charity shopping, ours are so pricey! x

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  28. Oh my word, I can't get beyond that handbag, it's gorgeous! I bet that'll get lots of summer use! Xx

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  29. Bargain of a day out and what fabulous finds. I love the thought of you having to cluth on to your items to save them from the grans. Great smoking jacket for Jon. x

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  30. Hehe, my Brummie friend always makes me sing the Birmingham/bostin' song. I don't quite have the accent but I give it a go...

    Sounds like a fab day out! Seriously, am I the only other person apart from you that hates fairy cakes? What on earth is the point? I'm not averse to a giant mug of coffee on a shopping trip but wine is always a better choice, isn't it?

    Some great finds today but I especially love the checked jacket with the funky lapels.

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  31. You are just the best at spotting the bargains, I picture you glamourously striding out of the charity shops dressed to the nines with armfuls of wonderful bits and a pile of old ladies strewn on the floor behind you... makes me smile :)
    Kandi x

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  32. You are so amazing at spotting the bargains! I love the Laura Ashley waistcoat and the lovely green skirt, it is the perfect shade! Give me charity shops over high street shops any day! x

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  33. Holy shit,you show us how it's done,darl!!!
    Freaking loving the bag!! And I desperately wnat a shot of Jon classing up the doorstep in his smoking jacket & with his roll ups.Yeah!
    That's the perfect way to spend the day!
    LOVE YOU-gotta get chatting!!argh
    XXXxxxXXXxxxXXXxxxXXX
    Helga!

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  34. the very word "bostin" takes me back to my childhood!!! (grew up near Mere Green but am not posh- promise!) also , the Trevira fabric - my best friend at school made a skirt out of it and it sounded so grand!!! thank you Bx

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  35. FINALLY, I thought that I was the only fashion blogger who would rather chips to cupcakes!

    Your new bag (that one you're wearing) and the velvet waistcoat is to die for <3.

    x x x

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  36. Hello Vix
    Just stumbled accross your amazing blog and really love your style what fabulous shops you
    have in your neck of the woods
    Im also a big VW fan we have a camper and beetle so we spend all our wonga doing them up
    xxxxxx Louise

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  37. OMG, I WANT that green GV skirt!its such a fab colors. Cant wait to see how you style it..

    have a great weekend!

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  38. sounds like a pretty darn good day, vix! i adore the green midi skirt, i can't wait to see how you style it. xx

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  39. That purse is GORGEOUS!! And I love your skirt. :)

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  40. That's my kind of day, wish I'd been there with you.xx.

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  41. A good old boozer is the right way to go!

    Me and my mum went for lunch at Wetherspoons in Taunton about 2 years ago and Emma Chambers (The woman who plays Alice in The Vicar of Dibley) was sat on the table next to us haha.

    I love that little evening bag you found and that English Lady Jacket is so beautiful!

    You've had a very prosperous day! xxx

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  42. Fantastic bargains. The evening bag, the embroidered bag and the green Gloria Vanderbilt skirt are my favorites.

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  43. Great haul.
    I had to laugh at the thought of Jon smoking his roll ups in the posh smoking jacket!

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  44. Ahhh love it all. You never ceaser to amaze me with your thrifts.
    The pinstripe blazer is so dapper. Amazing!
    x

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  45. I'm in love with your new green midi Vix! Also, you described a day in Lincoln for me - oodles of great charity shops and a handy Wetherspoon's - what fun, how I'd love to have it lined up for tomorrow!
    xxx

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  46. dang the ring on the left middle finger... how fun! you went thrift shopping, we need those places around here... and ur jacket looks so warm:)

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  47. Dearest Vix, your description of your day out and the pub's clientele is priceless. You never fail to make me laugh.

    Another great day out! Love the Jaeger jacket, Madeira bag, shorts, Vanderbilt skirt - I can't believe it still has it's label on! and Jon's smoking jacket.

    I need to think about places to take you, you'll have kittens when you see the prices in some of the charity shops. There are a few good places left. I'm ashamed to say I still haven't been to the PO! I will on Monday I promise. Have a brilliant party tonight, much love, C xx

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  48. Woo Hoo way to go VV making me want to go hunting but I am on a week long ban (will I be able to make it?

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  49. The more I get to know you, the more I like you! That's my kinda day, you just bag the best bargains, and my OH loves Havana Club, so if we ever meet I'm sure we'll get on famously!

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  50. It's insane how cheap your charity shops are! I reckon the only reason their stock's thin on the ground is because you've bought it all ;)

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  51. Your idea of a perfect day, sounds very much like mine!
    Wish you a wonderful saturday

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  52. Hi my dear-a gal after my own heart-fantastic bargains, just adore your first bag, the Jaeger jacket and the Vanderbilt skirt, Jons smoking jacket-they're all just knockout bargains!! I wish my Sue Ryders was as cheap as yours, lol!! Sounds like the perfect day out-I agree, high street stores are just so boring and bland in comparision. Have a really good weekend my dear xx

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  53. Fantastic buys, loving the Jaeger, so stylish!

    The LA waistcoat took me back; I had a matching waistcoat and skirt (good grief!). There's a picture somewhere, I'll blog about it one of these days lol ... :0)

    Shirl xxx

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  54. 'Mr Christopher' is superb! He reminds me of my husband.

    I prefer proper charity shops too- ours are staffed with a Youth Offending kid and a scary old lady (one of each per shop, standard issue) and the scary lady can be scathing with her tongue! (Once told me she wouldn't get a dress out the window for me because 'she doubted it would fit' cheeky).

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  55. Excellent finds, dear! Shopping is such fun especially with one's long-standing friend;-)
    The green skirt is delightful as are the other fanciable goodies. Have a sweet weekend. xoxxo

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  56. you look great and the photos you share was adorable
    check out mine if you have time :)
    i would be happy if you give sweets too

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  57. Love the Jaeger jacket and I much prefer chips and beer to tea and cakes!

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  58. I can't believe you almost beat up a granny for a vest. It's so funny, but I understand where you're coming from. The elderly can be a bit aggressive and sometimes a polite word just won't do. In the end you won and that's the most important thing. And that robe that you got for Jon I can totally see you wearing it as a dress in the future with bangles up to your elbows. I think that you are Cher born again. You definitely have the looks and wardrobe, but can you sing? :)

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  59. A cracking day's shopping there, Vix. Am well impressed! x

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  60. You are the undisputed queen of finding a bargain Vix. An absolutely amazing haul. I've really noticed the difference in the charity shops here - the 'rougher' shops are certainly the place for bargains to be found.

    And I'd also far rather have chips than a cupcake anyday.

    Oh I have got to get the Aussie a smoking jacket, maybe to go with those sock suspenders... Hope you are having a great weekend xxx

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  61. And more amazing finds!!! Sp. love that Jaeger cropped wool jacket!!!

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  62. Wow! you sure are the queen of thrift with those excellent value quality togs with change from a £20.00 note too!

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  63. That green skirt is GORGEOUS. I loev the shape, lenght, and shade, and it looks like a ncie heavy weight too. Will look fabolous with knee high boots.

    I am so greedy Vix, I like charity shops, pub lunches and cider, but also Earl Grey tea and cakes and shoe shopping! I do hate most high street stores though, I can only really handle them online. The awful music is the worst thing, it just makes me want to walk right out immediately (now who sounds like a granny) xx

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  64. I stopped reading when I got to this description, and am just enjoying the words: "...all-day drinkers decorated with spider's web face tattooes and love and hate inked on to their knuckles"

    You're good!

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  65. I'm hopping on a train to the black country then!

    london is pretty good if one makes an effort but sometimes the best charity shops betray you and turn into chi-chi second hand places that have been sadly touched by the mary portas effect *shakes head*

    Really nice use of prints in what you're wearing =)

    my fave is the green skirt!

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  66. Love that green skirt, great bargains! :)

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  67. Loving your bargains, esp. the green skirt. I need to do a weekend bread to the sticks, even the small outer towns of Brighton aren't as cheap as I'd like (but then I am quite cheap!!)

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  68. love the greeen skirt, and in a weird way also the waistcoat..

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Love from Vix
xxx