Thursday, 22 November 2012

I Love Charity Shopping

Do you ever question your love of charity shopping? Weeks can go by, the rails are sparsely spread with last years' optimistically-priced, over-washed supermarket branded fast fashion and you're so desperate to make a purchase you even start to find 1990s Next attractive? 
Yesterday was the day that reaffirmed my lifelong love for chazzing.

The atrocious weather had ruled out any possibility of the town flea market or the mid-week car boot so we jumped in Gilbert and headed off on a mini road trip. 

Rain of near biblical proportions meant the town was virtually deserted and through boredom the charity shop staff were extra attentive. I clocked this Dr Zhivago hat straight away and the manager told me it had been donated with a couple of other things "a retro lady" like me might appreciate. Off she went to the stock room and returned with this amazing 1960s leather and fake fur trimmed coat.

And this ruffled and braided maxi dress. 

 I hadn't been in that charity shop for over 2 years, it may be a more regular haunt in future.

Our other finds would make for an epic blog post (and I'm sure you've got far better things to do that waste a day reading my witterings) so here's three gems. 

This late 1950s lurex cocktail dress is destined for next month's vintage fair. It's beautifully hand made with groovy zip fastening cuffs.

Another treasure for Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique. A satin "Demi Dress of London", so vibrantly coloured it looks almost contemporary, but it's an original from the same era. 

This is the find of the day decade! The equivalent of me finding an Ossie Clark & the holy grail for most bikers, an early 1970s Aviakit "Lightning" jacket by iconic British label Lewis Leathers. 

HERE is one reason why the brand is so massively desirable.

We've a friend coming to try it on later, he's dreamt of owning one all his adult life.

Don't worry, I've donated four of my coats to the stock pile to accommodate my latest find, now I'm off to do battle with the full-to-bursting hat cupboard to find room for this beast.

See you soon.

PS Happy Thanksgiving to my American sisters!


  1. Fabulous haul! I've got a pale mink hat but always wanted a huge one like that :-) There's nothing like the thrill of finding a vintage treasure x

  2. oooh that coat is such a find, it looks lush! And that 50s lurex dress is totally right up my street! :)

  3. I love, love, love charity shopping, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    When we are trekking and I don´t want to go any further, Victor says: imagen there is a charity shop round the conner, hahahahahahhaaha.

  4. Wow what an incredible haul. So glad you are keeping that gorgeous 'Lara' hat, it looks utterly fabulous on you. So envious of all your finds, and wish I could score stuff like this 'darn sarf' without paying a fortune.

  5. From Sherlock Vixen to harlequinwoman in a very nice nightgown/dress in one post, and both looks fit you perfectly.

  6. Dearest Vix,
    Wow, that is a haul and a half.
    I hope the jacket fits your friend, there's nothing better than uniting an item of clothing with someone who really really wants it...he must be as excited as a kid on Christmas morning right now, I'll keep my fingers crossed. I love all the frocks but the blue one is especially spectacular.
    You should definitely revisit that chazza shop more than every two years, I know I would. Around here the pickings are slim when it comes to vintage in Charity shops, thank goodness I've always got markets and boot sales to fall back on.
    You look awesome in all the outfits you are sporting here. I'd be very tempted to keep that braided maxi, it really suits you and you rock both the leather coats like a bona fide rock goddess.
    Lot's of love,

  7. I really hope it fits him. GOOD LUCK ANONYMOUS BIKE FRIEND

  8. It's lovely to share your joy with us, I'm always really excited about your finds, you should put them in a history of costume book!!All you are wearing here completely satisfy my daily need of fashion tips, a green outfit from head to toe (that hat is something I couldn't describe how much I like on you!!)and then you surprised me with one of the most magnificent fur hat that I ever seen and a perfect coat to match it!I imagine the previous owner wearing them with that wonderful dress: she was a stunning lady I suppose, it's great to fantasize about who bought such great clothes!
    Lots of love xxxxxx

  9. Wow it always amazes me that you find so much, our equivalent shops are largely sent their stock from a centralised warehouse where the retro has already been sorted out and sells for prices higher than mine. There are a few independent church-type op shops but they are often over-shopped.xx.

  10. What great finds ! You look smashing in thoose outfits !
    And yes - we love charity shopping !!

  11. And the umbrella! Only everyone else will be reading it when you're standing at the bus stop...ah well. However do you decide what to keep and what to sell? I guess that's the beauty of it - you can just do both - right?! duh.

  12. Yes, I definitely recognise your description of drought weeks going by when charity shop rails are crammed only with over-washed supermarket and fast fashion, when I think 'OK that's it, I'm never going to find anything interesting ever again'. And then, all it takes is one gem, one held breath 'I don't believe that no one else has spotted this' moment and the itch is scratched and the pursuit begins in earnest all over again. However, I don't think anyone but you so consistently finds such fabulous stuff.

  13. It definitely is trial and error with chazzas but you always end up striking gold eventually. Fabulous finds and perfect for a vintage retailer! I love your first outfit, the green leather looks fun xxx

  14. I'm head-over-heels-in-like with that first green ensemble! Wow!

    And the brown maxi, too.

    I'm wearing a bit of brown to our Thanksgiving Dinner today. I'll photograph it after my hair dries :)

  15. What a fortuitous trip that was! I'm salivating over the coat, naturally, and that dress - new entry to my top 5 favourites.

    I've had a pretty good run in the chazzas lately, what with the vile weather and roadworks in town. I get a real buzz from charity shopping and always feel like that 'find of a lifetime' is around the corner.

    I do think I buy too much sometimes, but as hobbies go it's pretty cheap and won't harm my health,

    That jacket is an incredible find, I bet the original owner never imagined its fate leading to this kind of thing!

    There's no cure for charity shop fever - we might as well embrace it.

    Can't wait to see the next instalment....

    Lucy x

  16. First you are resplendent in that amazing green coat and hat, and then you go and show us your new purchases, and I am drooling all over again! Love all the ruffley detail on your new frock too.
    Yes, there are good weeks and not-so-good weeks when chazzing, but it just shows you have to persevere, you just never know what will turn up. I adore both of the dresses which are destined for your stall, and the leather jacket is a brilliant find, I hope it fits your mate.
    Had a pretty successful morning at Chesterfield flea market myself. Keep on chazzing, everyone! xxxxx

  17. 'The Greens' are quite stunning on you and I love the high crown on the hat. What finds! The blue dress leaps off the screen and I can only imagine your excitement at finding the leather jacket. The DR. Z hat is absolutely amazing.

  18. Love that green coat, and I'm hoping the blue silk dress is my size when it goes online.

    I definitely know someone who would have that biker jacket if your friend doesn't like it. :)

  19. Blimey great finds and yes im with you on the lack of good findings lately in the chairty shops. Im loving you green leather coat though thats gorgeous and so is the brown fur trimmed one. That umbrella is brilliant mind you the wind is so fast here today that beauty would get ripped out of your hands if you atempted to open it up. Im currently counting my smashed plant pots. Im hitting the chairty shops with my friend tomorrow tyring to find her 50's style pointy black shoes as she is my other bridesmaid home from tassy. Fingers crossed we find those with some other goodies to ;-)) dee xxx

  20. What excellent finds. Fingers x'd that jacket fits your friend.
    Z xx

  21. That satin dress is bloody gorgeous. I'd love to find something like that.

  22. vix you are such a breath of fresh air. you really are. we are now down to 3 charity shops in my town and they are all pretending to be upscale shops now. it is so depressing to me. but i will not give up. i adore both hats on you. on this thanksgiving i'm so grateful to have found you in this crazy blog world we live in. xoxo to jon and you!

  23. Oh oh oh I love those hats! And that brown dress looks amazing on you, so beautiful Vix!
    I love nosying around charity shops myself, the hunt for hidden treasures gets me going. Plus I love Oxfam Online, where one can plunder the clothes of oxfam shops across the UK.
    I've found some amazing bargains there, plus it feels good to be giving the total cost of the sale to charity :)

  24. You had to know the biker-jacket would catch my eye. Nice history of the company. I loved "Rollerball." The blue dress is very attractive and I like how the green hat makes you look taller.

  25. Just when I thought nothing could be better than that baby blue leather jacket you find one in green! It looks so killer with the green hat too! Good stuff just wants to go home with you! I hope that leather fits your friend, how cool would that be! You know I'm not into brown but wow this maxi with its ruffled front it's sweet! That hat in black is super sexy! I'd call that outfit Russian spy Stones groupie:)

    The weeks been crazy here! Super bad storm early on, and now thanksgiving! I just put my 23lb bird in the oven. Sipping coffee staring out at the fog. Lets catch up tomorrow or Saturday. I miss you!

  26. I love thrifting because it's the best treasure hunt of all time. You never know what you'll find. And yes, I love to stop at shops when I'm on vacation. Sometimes those little hole in the wall shops in out of the way places have the best stuff.

  27. Yes, we can all relate to that feeling of "is the search worth it" and then discovering the find (or in your case, multiple finds) that restores your faith in charity shopping. I always get an adrenaline rush when charity shopping and it's such a downer leaving empty-handed. On the other hand, I have to be careful not to buy things I regret later.
    The green ensemble looks fresh and uplifting despite the bizarre gale force winds and monsoon-like rains of yesterday. (What's that yellow print bag? Have we seen it before?)
    You're looking very sultry in the brown ruffle maxi, too.
    I so happy for you to find such thrilling treasures. And it's great that you'll be passing on that joy to friends and customers.

  28. Hi my dear!! Oh very well done on these super finds-the dresses are really spot on gorgeous and your hat and coat look awesome! As for the leather jacket find-a big WOW indeed, no wonder you're soo excited!! I also go through my phases with charity shopping-its like the buses, either nothing or lots at the same time! I had some good thrifting luck today in the charity shops and at the booty on Sunday-it really is such a thrill and look how much we are donating-not just in our other unwanted pieces but when we pay for more treasures!! Have a great weekend xxx

  29. What a great haul you have there today Vix, it shows that it sometimes pays to break away with the usual.

    Loving the biker jacket, reminds me of one I used to own.

    P x

  30. Congrats on a successful road trip! I am swooning for the blue dress.

  31. Firstly you are a fantastically fabulous in green and if by some remote chance that your green coat is destined for the pile, I could be interested. Perhaps cheeky of me to suggest, but I just had to put it out there and ask. Secondly what op shopping affirming score the dress, jacket and hat are perfection on you they were destined for you. The dress is gorgeous. The Lewis jacket wowzers I hope your friends dreams come true and it fits him perfectly. Oh and finally who ever said we would be bored with being bombed with epic photo runs of your finds........never, not possible, bring it on, we want to see.

  32. Phwoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar, that hat is amazing!!!!!!!!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, enveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

    I love that blue 50's dress, what size is it? Can I buy it????
    By the way, I tried clicking on the Kinky melon facebook link but it just took me to a main menu. I don;t have Facebook so I'm not sure if yours is a members only thingie?!

  33. Wow. You are sooooo gorgeous in Green!!! I'm impressed at how well you just dive on and buy stuff. I always have to think about it & walk around & try it on twice & go home & think about it again & go back to the store & hope that it's still there & then maybe buy it & it hangs in the closet a while and THEN I wear it. I must learn from you the PRO!
    Love You, Vix.

  34. Truly amazing find Vix, I bet your friend is truly delighted with that jacket. I've always loved that Vogue umbrella of yours. I've missed you and your fabulous finds xxx

  35. IF you ever come to Suffolk let me know - we've a wonderful lady who owns our florists who sells vintage clothing and wears the most amazing stuff - I just know the 2 of you would get on so well :)

    BTW saw your Twitter link - barstewards :( (good choice of song though)

  36. Yup...there's been a bit of a drought in the local chazza shops of late. My tactic of not visiting for a few weeks and then going back to find some treasures hasn't worked. I think it's a seasonal thing here. I still love the search though!
    You have some lovely things there ...that blue frock is stunning, you watch that vanish!
    I adore that green coat of yours so much.

  37. I'm completely dying over that jacket (and I groaned a little at the fact that I'll never have one!) I'm used to our Schott Perfecto jackets (Marlon Brando in the Wild One) but oh how lovely it would be to wear one of those with our pretty vintage Triumphs (using the term "our" loosely as I'm pissed that hubby traded my BSA chopper without asking, so I'm taking one of the Triumphs nah-nah on him!) Synchronicity is such an interesting thing... just last night I mentioned "Rollerball" to my husband (haven't thought of that film in years), then read the Lewis Leather page today! You look amazing in everything -- you're a chameleon! Okay, back to cooking... XXX

  38. Great haul!
    I can go weeks without finding anything interesting and then the temptation is to buy something I'm not sure about. Usually ends with me giving whatever it is away.
    I love your brown maxi dress & the blue dress is beautiful.

  39. That brown maxi dress is amazing.
    What a good friend you are - I hope he likes his leather jacket.

  40. love the "Dr Zhivago hat", warm and chic :D

  41. Yeah, charity shops totally rock. I'd been having a right dry spell for a while, but did really well yesterday with lovely velvet trousers and all sorts. One man's trash is anothers treasure. Xx

  42. I wonder, when the pickings are slim, given the small population here in NZ if there is much more funky stuff to be had?! I do worry that we are just running out!!!
    It's so unpredictable. You just gotta keep going, going, going...and sometimes you score in the MOST splendid way, like you just have! EEEEEEEEEK!!! You look frigging HOT in that divoon hat! I love it AND the coat, most excellent scores!YAY! Hope your mate fits that leather well, it's pretty damned smooth and he'll probably never take it off if the fit is good.
    Adoring that green leather coat...OMG, the most perfect shade.mmmmmm
    I have a lunch and movie date after work with G today, but plan on at least one opshop before lunch! Has to be done!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

  43. Hi lovely, sorry for lack of comments - computer problems, I've been keeping up a bit via Facebook on my phone though, so congrats on the new vintage venture! You look like a fantastic national costume doll I used to have in that fluffy hat. I have a genuine beaver version somewhere, but I don't wear it as I'm a bit adverse to real fur - don't mind leather though.

    Hopefully I have patched up laptop now xx

  44. you're a dream, a Green Dream with your pretty coat and hat, love that first outfit!
    And also I'm loving that fur hat and fabulous coat, you look like a 70's rock star, absolutely gorgeous!

  45. WHAT a fab haul of finds. I felt the same when I unearthed the MaxMara coat the other day. I've been unsuccessful on so many chazzer trips just lately so when you hit the jackpot it makes it all worthwhile!
    Much love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  46. Stunning, my dear, absolutely STUNNING! Great finds! Let's face it; there must be items in charity shops and jumble sales just waiting for YOU because no one else can pull them off (or fit into them) as well as you do!

    Can relate to the feeling of those "dry" times at the thrift shops. You've got to tell yourself to hold out for the good stuff. And then ...SCORE!

    Last week, I found a 70s Chowichan sweater and matching beret a local charity shop; perhaps my find of the year. Also found two 70s embroidered maxi dresses from Oaxaca, Mexico at an estate sale. I really LOVE those dresses, but am being good and reseling them as they bring good prices.

    Isn't it just flippin' EXCITING to find great, vintage stuff?!

  47. Dear Vix, you are on a roll!
    and looking fabulously beautiful in your new finds!

  48. I would love my head to be mauled by that beast! And your coat and maxi are amazing. You opening paragraph sums up my experience thrifting lately too. But the great thing is you never know what's clearly demonstrated by your excellent finds!

  49. Amazing haul dear but love love love the green coat, its so amazing !!!

  50. I know what to look out for now!! Those are some spectacularly iconic and glam film stills. (Gorgeous looking guy in the Mackenzie Break)

    Now we can be matching mushrooms in our Dr Zhivago hats! It looks stunning on you. Everything else you got is fantastic - the colours on that 50s dress are so vibrant. I'm very jealous of your green leather jacket as well as your latest find xxxx

  51. I've said it before and I'll say it're a absolute bargain magnet, Vix! That Lewis Leathers jacket is a superb find - I'm sure it'll be treasured by its new owner. As for your new maxi dress - it fits you like a glove. You look stunning in it. xxx

  52. Score! I know what you mean with the frustration of going through crap for ages until you find something... anything interesting. Wonderful finds, all of them. xo

  53. Wow! Both of those coats are gorgeous! The Dr Zhivago hat and brown leather coat are fabulous finds. As is the brown ruffled maxi. Surely you'll be keeping those?

    Really hope the biker jacket fitted your mate. That would be a great C*mas treat for him as he's wanted one for so long.

    You're right about charity shopping. It's such a great feeling when you find something that has your name on it, and it makes the 'lean' times fade away! xxxx

  54. That blue dress is an amazing find! I can't wait to see how you'll wear it))

    I also love the outfot with the fur hat really much <3

  55. Grrr something went wrong.... A new try to leave a comment. :)
    That green coat is one that I can fall in love with! It is gorgeous! And you are such a lucky lady that the maneger showed you that other coat with the fake lammy. It looks so great on you.
    I must have a bikers-jacket somewhere.... I never wear it. I use to wear it when I was younger, but now I've "grown out of it". Still have it....

  56. Fabulous haul - its like some days the op shopping (charity shopping) gods smile down upon you!

  57. Gah, I love the blue dress! And that fur hat! A great way to keep cozy and dry.

  58. Sorry to turn up so late Vix, the green coat is gorgeous, I love that shade of green, and you do look very Lara in that lovely hat and coat. You'll be all kitted out now if your travels ever take you to Russia. I know the feeling of having no luck for ages in the chazzas but it's the thought of the wonderful find that might be in the next shop next day that keeps you going. Right now a town centre charity shop that never had much in the past has been where I've had all my best finds lately. Xx

  59. Vix, I swear you just get more beautiful and more stylish with every post, and I never know where to look first with all of your great stylings. Your photo in green took my breath away.

    Like Terri, I am in love with the blue dress.

    I wish we had charity shops and vintage stores like you guys do.

  60. I muat admit I love a good rummage in the charity shops. I love that leather and fake fur coat its stunning and the boots you are wearing x

  61. fabulous finds ... such an awesome coat. no, two awesome coats.

  62. I am in lust with the green coat!!! What amazing finds!!! The lurex dress is gorgeous!

  63. OMG - the Dr Z hat lady and you would have got on like a house on fire. Fab hat and coat :-) Jo

  64. Well thank god for rainy road trips!! I hope you're keeping safe and dry what with all the floods and wind gusts. The op shop was waiting for YOU to turn up to relieve it of the delicious treasures you snaffled:). The coat and hat and simply divooooon darling and the frock is beautiful with its ruffle-bib:). Hope the jacket fit your friend. xoxoxo

  65. GORGEOUS!!

    I do love a Dr Zhivago hat - they're my favorite kind!



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Lots of love, Vix