Tuesday, 12 November 2013

In Praise Of Charity Shopping


Who needs drugs when there's chazzing? Nothing beats the buzz you get from rummaging through the dross and unearthing treasure. Even if you occasionally come home empty-handed you're almost guaranteed to get your fix the next time.


Retail shopping bores the pants off me, racks and racks of the same old stuff, shoddily made, uninspiring and stupidly priced. Second-hand is so much more fun. Will there be anything that takes my eye? Will it fit? Will it make me feel fabulous? Whatever I find I know damn well I'll be able to afford it and that a good cause will benefit. 


Just like darling Helga, the past week has been chazzing gold for me. I've found this Dollyrockers peplum-waisted maxi and the insane beaded panda bag. (I also have this bag in a drawstring style but I couldn't leave it's big brother behind).


How about this fabulous psychedelic number from a local homeless charity...


...from Polynesia to the Black Country. Mine for a fiver! 


And this suedette fringed cape from a hospice fund raising charity, at £4 it's cheaper than a pint in a fancy London pub.


Today I came back with a ridiculously blingy Formica cocktail cabinet, which will be part of Kinky Melon's display in our Leamington Spa pop-up shop next month. 


This pretty blonde lady by Peter was £2 and already on the wall of random,


as is this gorgeous copy of Rose In The Workshop, signed by Tretchikoff. A snip at £2.


This 1950s poodle money box was 60p


and fits in a treat with the rest of the poodle parlour.


I didn't photograph the 1960s Kings Road velvet jacket by Dandy or the Austin Reed blazer - Jon's snaffled them already. I need to do a blog on his vintage wardrobe - it puts mine to shame!

Wearing: Dollyrockers maxi (£2), beaded panda bag (£3, both Cancer UK)
I'm wearing my Great-Grandma's monogrammed silver brooch today, here she is wearing it.


Jon & I were both brought up to buy our clothes second-hand, that's over 93 years of combined chazzing experience, we can spot a deal at 100 paces. We'd love to share our hunting ground but then we'd have to kill you.

If your local charity shops really are full of overpriced, over-washed contemporary tat why not look further afield? This website's brilliant if you're a Brit.


We've a busy weekend ahead with not one but two vintage fairs to prepare for - Stourbridge and Burntwood. I've a veritable mountain of washing, ironing, mending and pricing - oh, the glamour!

See you soon.

83 comments:

  1. Oh i love and want that cocktail cabinet ....so great . And the painting ..
    Xxx

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  2. How perfect is that cape with your boots? I think you're going to need a bigger poodle shelf soon. Perhaps they should move to the display cabinet?
    The framed photo of your Great Grandma is beautiful. I bet you look just like that with your makeup off! xxx

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  3. OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD its a good job you didn't have that 50's glass cabinet on Sunday because I would have whisked it away in the van :-) Its gorgeous and right up my street. Love your finds, that Tretchikoff print is a real find I have never seen that one before how exciting :-)Love the poodle that shelf looks fabulous with them all together. And you look gorgeous in your dress you always find such fabulous stuff and at great prices to. Enjoy all your lovely goodies, dee xxx

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  4. Love the poodles - shall think of you if I see any on my travels :)

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  5. hurrah for your chazzing mojo!!, you're so gorgeous and love so much your colorful printed maxi and that pink tropical dress!!, and you're right: retail shopping is really bored once you've tried thrifting!
    besos

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  6. My thoughts exactly, been to brum today to buy my daughter present for her birthday , I should say i loved it as it was shopping for my daughter but its full of snobby people who have got more money than sense paying a fortune for something you can get from a jumble or charity shop for less than a tenner , i just wish my daughter would follow my example of finding treasure in more exciting places, but then it takes great talent to spot a bargain from the other side of the room doesn't it vix xxx

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  7. The room I'm in ("The Den") is about half furnished second hand. I love shopping second hand because I don't want my house to look like all the places on the home shows. Boring! And it is the biggest treasure hunt on the planet!

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  8. That cape for £4?! Lemme at it!!

    You look fab (as per usual)

    And hear hear for chazzas!

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  9. Oh my word! I am speechless at your array of loot. First of all that dress, the 70's does Victoriana, what an epic combination! I love the panda bag and the 60's poodle and the cabinet too. Perfect for a vintage display xxx

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  10. I do love thriftying! I'm absolutely addicted!

    -Paige from kaydove.com 

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  11. Oooooh, love that cabinet. Love all your delicious and frugal finds!! Happy thrifting!!

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  12. I'd love to see Jon's wardrobe!!!! Can you post some pics?

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  13. As you say, you can't beat the thrill of a little chazza shopping. Looooooove your blingy cocktail cabinet - fabulous find. I trawled six charity shops this morning and came away empty handed but as there are two Christmas Fairs this Saturday I'm sure I'll get my thrifting fix there instead.

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  14. The poodle parlour is fantastic! A good old op shopping fix is good for the soul, the mind and the wallet. The thrill of discovering a treat to take home is the best buzz for sure! Good shopping Vix!

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  15. Chazzin' gold indeed! The local charity shops don't even display vintage... can you believe it? Most of it I think goes to the rag man...
    It's ridiculous if you ask me.
    That new dress of yours is beautiful!

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  16. I like that you were raised to shop second hand too. We never went to thrift stores but we went to plenty of estate sales as kids and loved how we could find things for just the change in our pockets. I am also teaching my daughters to shop the thrift stores. They love it now and I hope they always do.

    xoxo

    Vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  17. First Helga, then Krista and now you! The chazzas are going mental. I best get myself out there or I'll miss my turn!

    But you are of course right, it's the thrill of the treasure hunt. Never knowing what you are going to come across. Very exciting. And especially when you get rewarded like you have this week. It's the Polynesian dress, the beaded panda bag and the poodle for me. Great stuff Eagle Eyes! xxxxxxx

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  18. Hi there! Hurrah for charity shops, I went to a few today but came home empty handed, it makes me look forward to the next time! Great dress find, it looks lovely! xx

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  19. Another one raised in an eclectic household of ancient passed-on and secondhand stuff here! And dressed from jumble sales and in hand-me-downs too. It's just a way of life, isn't it? And SO much more interesting than high street shopping. I swear you find whatever you're looking for, if you wait long enough and search persistently.
    Pandas, poodles and a Polynesian dress? Dollyrockers and a cape? Cocktail cabinets, art prints, not to mention Jon's jackets? That haul could only come from charity shops, and it reflects the two of you just perfectly!
    You look beautiful, what a stunning dress, always a treat to see you wearing some of your inherited jewellery, and yes please, can Jon do a photo shoot, modelling some of his favourite vintage treasures?
    Now crack on with that stock, love! xxxx

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  20. That cocktail cabinet is wonderful!

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  21. I totally agree with you,charity shops give me a real buzz. Love your finds
    Twiggy x

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  22. beautiful pics...and you look beautiful ;-)

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  23. The glamour indeed! I feel that mended rescued and cleaned secondhand finds are much finer to shop for than dirty ol' sweat shopped produced bile found at the mall. And you get to look original- I love how you've paired that glorious maxi business with that beaded bag- IF I SAW YA ON THE STREET, I WOULD SO WANT TO KNOW YOU.

    And PLEASE share Jon and his wardrobe- nothing cheers the heart so much as to see a dude rock vintage style when done right. PLAHEEEZE!!!

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  24. What an amazing treasure trove of finds. The Dollyrockers dress is utterly gorgeous. Your friend at Prick-me-Dainty will freak out when she sees that! And just looking back a couple of posts, how amazing is that Moghul print dress!

    No matter what your taste, the thrill of the chazza is a real buzz, although a good vintage store like Baklash can't be beat either.

    Can't wait to get together for some more fun at the end of the month.
    Annie
    xxx

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  25. Bossons Poodle ...I spotted him , Bossons another thing i have a problem with..lol

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  26. lordy is that cocktail cabinet for sale vix? can i buy it? love love love love love! too much love all cominng your way and your grandma in the brooch made me well up! tears and love thats what you have and lust....cabinet lust and poodle lust ooo and your figure.....kinda wanna swap! xxxx

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  27. I have been lucky too with thrift shopping lately plus lots and lots of half price sales, it's great, i love it -
    I don't need drugs either, i get my fix too - It beats the winter blues for sure -
    The dress is so fabulous - Hard to find good vintage at good prices here, but i have too my hunting grounds!

    Ariane xo

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  28. You said it! There's nothing like thrifting. Where else can you find an awesome cape for the price of a pint? I so much enjoy ogling your treasures.

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  29. I SO agree that thrifting is so much more fun than retail shopping. Retail depresses me.

    Look at you with all your ceramic poodles - lurvs them!

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  30. What a motherload of awesome delights you hit with all of those wonderful finds. Your long sleeve peplum maxi is exquisite, the panda bag cute as a button, the poodle is a standout amongst his buddies, the painting what can you say but incredibly wonderful and lucky finds.

    I f'ind it funny hearing people complain that there was nothing at the op shops, if it's not that they're complaining of prices and quality. I'm of the opinion if you're not finding anything with any regularity you're just nit looking hard enough lol.

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  31. Yes indeedy, it's the lure of finding treasure/tat for a few pounds that has me heading to chazza's time after time. That, and not wearing the same thing from Marks as everyone else. (I'm speaking as a 51yr old woman) I know I'm not as 'out there' as some of you but I've definitely been bitten by the bug. LOVE the dollyrockers dress, gorgeous print, colours... and smocking to boot, your great gran's brooch is perfect with it. The Polynesian perma-press is a fab find too and as for the wacky cocktail cabinet...words fail me. Off to look up that website now.xxxxxxxxx

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  32. O, fark, indeed, why WOULD you waste time in a retail shop?! UGH! I was having a good laugh at a co-worker recently when she was telling me about some coat she saw on sale at $300NZ....and I was like, well, if you come out with me and that $300 I could find you at least 10 coats......but she like new, she likes labels, she likes to think she's POSH!!! Bahahahaaaaa, feck that!
    I frigging LOVE that Dollyrockers frock!!! The style, the colours-exquisite! And the panda bag!!! EEEK! Of course you couldn;t leave that behind! I think the chazza Goddesses were smiling upon us last week! GLORIARSE!
    The formica cocktail cabinet is one of the most heavenly things EVER! It would go a treat with my 3 sets of formica drawers, actually. I think I'd display jewellery in it. I bloody love it!
    Yes, a post about Jon's wardrobe would rock our world!!! G has some great pieces, but I reckon Jon could put ALL of us to shame!!! He's the Funkmeister!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  33. If only there weren't an ocean between us I'd be at your next vintage fair.

    That is just fantastic that you wear your Grandma's brooch.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  34. That is my favorite dress ever. OH MY FRIGGIN GAWD! You have thrifting fairy godmothers following you everywhere!!! I know you work hard at finding the goods so I think you deserve ever treasure you uncover. I am dying at that vintage cocktail cabinet WTF????? Who could let that beauty go!

    I really am blow away if we were neighbors my entire house would be filled with kinky melon stock! Your eye for the goods is amazing and the fact that you don't overcharge when you resell always many to enjoy vintage. You are extra beautiful today Vix, this dress really blows me away. Show us Jon!!!!! You should do a feature and call it , WHAT JON WORE!

    we want it!!!!!
    LOVE YOU!!!
    XXOXOXOXOXO

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  35. I love that buzz from a charity shop find. My last one was a few weeks ago finding a Hobbs coat.
    Would love to see JOn's wardrobe.

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  36. Beautiful dress, and very demure too! I'm even starting to like those poodles, is that wrong?! The charity shop finder is great, I've often used it to lure an unsuspecting OH through the most charity shop heavy street whilst on holiday, he just thinks I have charity shop radar!!

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  37. Defo. I always find something tasty in a chazza even if it's one thing I still get a buzz. Mind you nothing beat 'doing the chazzas' and going from one to the other and finding things. I still love it after all these years of doing it.
    Love the blonde she's so sweet and the Tretchikoff. I feel an art essay coming on!
    Your frock finds are gorgeous and the cocktail cabinet is inspired. Will look great on your stall.
    Have fun.
    Loves ya.
    xxxx

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  38. You hit the nail on the head with the "who needs drugs" sentiment. The adrenaline rush of the possibilities that await in a thrift store is addicting. My local one had all the potential "Halloween costumes" out during Oct. i.e., true vintage. I was there every day and made some amazing finds. Then when they put it all at 50% off last weekend, well, I bought so much I could barely get it home.
    The colors, style, print, everything about that Dollyrockers is fabulous. And that cape does also remind me of our Pakistani bags

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  39. Im in love with that Dollyrockers dress! I haven't been op-shopping in a while, i need to give the shops a bit of breathing time before i come in and snaffle up all their good stuff again. My favourite places are chazzas in country towns the church opp shops. Lots of nannas make their donations there and sometimes i find the more popular thrift stores like Salvos down here tend to sell a whole lot of too new stuff. so the hunt becomes quite tiresome digging through spaghetti strap singlets from the 90s.

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  40. ooh, that cocktail table! I am with you in loving the thrill of the chase, and the ecstasy of the find. And having something very different from all the rest - that's part of the joy too. You look gorgeous, xoxo

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  41. Oh my, that maxi is divine! You wouldn't find something that well made on the high street xx

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  42. just starte again buying my bags second hand on ebay, so sad we have no charity shops here :( love your dollyrockers dress and that cape is amazing!

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  43. So many fabulous finds ... you're either extraordinarily lucky or incredibly talented at discovering treasure ... or both ;0)
    xx

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  44. That little cocktail cabinet is just the coolest thing ever!! I would have to have a cocktail every evening if I had that at home ;)

    I don't venture into retail stores much anymore except for things like underwear and shoes. The thrill of the hunt is much more fun, and knowing that whatever you buy, you will not see anyone else wearing the same thing. You are acquiring quite a collection of Dollyrockers maxis! I want to see a photo of Jon's closet with all his fab jackets.

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  45. Hoping to come to one of your vintage fairs this weekend, (new grandchild permitting!) and if I buy anything I insist on paying full price for it, I feel like I've taken advantage of your generosity, especially as the jackets Luke and I bought are such wonderful quality, they have barely been off our backs!

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  46. Oh that Dollyrockers dress is SO nice!! Very funky Edwardian school marm!x

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  47. Sometimes you just make me sick with jealousy, what an incredible haul!

    I'm going to go against the crowd here and say I'm not a fan of the blonde she looks like she is suffering from a demonic possession, gives me the creeps....

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  48. That cocktail cabinet is freakin' fabulous!!

    The new Dollyrocker maxi is perfect for yuou!1 and the panda bag is so awesomely kitsch!!

    I'd LOVe to see Jon's vintage wardrobe!!

    I'm with you about chazza shopping. I get vapors in the mall or a department store over the prices and the boringness of everything. I'd rather root around on a rack full of potential treasures!

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  49. You tell it, Sistah! Lookin' fabulous you are!:)

    Say, that's a sweety of a cocktail cabinet! You should do well with that. Love your "Wall of Random".

    You do seem to find better stuff than I do. I used to find stuff like you do only a couple of years ago. Thrift shopping has become more acceptable and even chic here and the amount of great items that I've been able to find has declined significantly. Also, so many people now comb the thrift shops looking for things to resell online. You see them looking stuff up on their smart phones.

    An article I read stated that the two big thrift shops in the US (Salvation Army and Goodwill) resell much of their vintage clothing to Japan these days so it never makes it into the stores. I've tried going further afield to shop, but just ended up wasting gas as it was only more of the same. Yard sales, rummage sales and estate sales can be good at times, but the area I live in is relatively new. When I visit older, more remote areas, like when I'm on vacation, I tend to find better, older things. But part of the fun is in the chase, right?

    Good luck at your sale this weekend!
    xxx

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  50. I've not really had much chance to check out the chazzas of North Yorkshire, but I'll report back when I do. Really, I don't feel much need at the moment as unpacking all those clothes I forgot I had after moving was like a haul anyway. Love the cocktail cabinet. X

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  51. oh the chazza's! I am in need of a good chazza shop, Mr F is off work soon and that will be our day out! we love it! my lot love a little chazza gold, and the eldest is quite the frugal student! the cape is magnificent and £4, says it all! your dresses are spectacular,the peplum waisted maxi is delicious, you look so good, love the bun too - viva chazza's!!!!! x x x

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  52. Second hand shopping is definitely an adventure!

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  53. So much to love here!! I can't chose only one or two, although your Dollyrockers dress is to die for. I nearly gasped when I saw the cape with the braid trim. I'm going to send you a pic of a piece I just got from the thrift store. The boots in that same picture are divine as well.

    I'll never forget my first rummage sale. I would've been about 10 years old, and I remember finding the perfect pair of faded madras-plaid shorts for 5 cents. I was hooked for life. XXXXOOO

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  54. you find soooo much good stuff. I'm a seasoned chazzer shopper, and I've found some bargains in my time but you lady are the queen of them! However my nosiness is far stronger than my envy, so please keep sharing your finds, I love seeing them ;)

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  55. I do try and try to find things to wear when I go to the thrift store, but all there ever seems to be is 'over-washed tat' as you put it. I have been lucky with some accessories, but alas, the clothing is a real challenge. But that will never stop me from searching, because treasure hunting is so much darn fun.

    And look at what you have found! I love the bar cabinet. So cool looking. And the dresses and panda bag are excellent. As is the new addition to the poodle shelf!

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  56. Wow, you have a whole pack of poodles, I am impressed. I totally agree with your comments about retail shopping and I too love the thrill of finding a treasure or two. I particularly like the polynesian dress - the colour and style is lovely. The cabinet is quite enchanting, it will be a great display piece.

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  57. Wow, you have a whole pack of poodles, I am impressed. I totally agree with your comments about retail shopping and I too love the thrill of finding a treasure or two. I particularly like the polynesian dress - the colour and style is lovely. The cabinet is quite enchanting, it will be a great display piece.

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  58. Great haul, i really don't know how ppl wear fast fashion, love your psychedellic maxi and the cocktail cabinet. x

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  59. I love that cabinet! Treasures are few and far between and over priced in our local Chazzers. I need to look further afield ...
    M x

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  60. I need to see that drinks cabinet rammed to bursting with dancing señorita in full flamenco regalia glasses and coasters, and other wild kitsch-tastic goodies! It's so gorgeous and you are a picture in your new Dollyrockers frock with your beautiful, inherited brooch ... one cannot leave those 70s beaded bags behind, it would be a crime! I def think it's time Jon had his own vintage gear post :) xoxoxo

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  61. that cape is a killer! gorgeous!!!!!
    would wear this with a dark wool dirndlskirt and a black lamb fur hat :-)

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  62. Wow!! Love the cape and the beaded bag. Gorgeous stuff Vix!
    That cabinet is perfect for showing off your fabulous bits.
    xx

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  63. Fabulous finds as always dear Vix.

    That cape is just divine! And loving the display cabinet, it takes me back to grans house as a child.

    X x

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  64. You find such marvelous things. I love the Dollyrockers dress -it's a beauty and those boots are amazing.
    I don't think our charity shops are nearly as good as yours but I have looked in some towns & realise they are not so bad after all.
    Thanks for all the inspiration. xxx

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  65. Oh dear Vix, terrible news (for me at least!) I will not be able to come and see you at Bridgnorth on the 23rd, as I have booked a stand at a fair myself. It's my annual thing, and wouldn't you know it, it is on YOUR day. Drat!

    Another time!

    Cheers from
    Rosemary of www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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  66. Just an awful lot of gorgeousness here, but grandmas brooch takes 1st prize for me with the poodle money box a close second. Looking beautiful and happy as always Vix x

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  67. Too true, there's a natural high from hunting that can't be beat. Nothing can get me down when I'm on the hunt and curating a collection, I get lost in the art of it. Your collections are incredible, BTW. :)

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  68. I do envy you so! There aren't any charity shops where I live - I'd love to run one, actually - hopefully one day :)

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  69. The maxi with the peplum is divine, Vix - what a gorg style, pattern and colour combo. Since moving to France I've bought more new pieces than I have in a while, namely because second-hand is hard to find here, alas - but then again, my vintage Ebay and Etsy consumption have gone up substantially! If we ever move back to the UK, I am using the website you've kindly provided to suss out towns before we move there! Xo

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  70. Is there any doubt that you are the queen of charity shopping? Not likely. You find some pretty darn awesome items! x

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  71. Those close ups certainly show just how gorgeous you really are !!
    You certainly shine splendidly in colors ~ love, love, love it.

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  72. Poodle parlour! Completely adorable.

    sagegrayson.com

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  73. I love it when someone else puts to words all the things I think & feel about op shopping. I love love love it....it gives me a thrill at prices I don't have to feel guilty about. I love wearing second hand stuff. Your dresses are amazing, & I love the beaded bag. I'm dying to see Jon's collection. Xx

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  74. I don't know how I missed this post, but better late than never!

    All your outfits are lovely, and you make them look gorgeous with your beautiful long hair and slim figure.

    I adore the cabinet too.

    Have fun at your vintage fairs x

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  75. Hey Vix

    OOH great finds! I will share mine soon!! :D

    http://hayleythrills.blogspot.com
    http://www.youtube.com/users/hayleythrills

    XOXO

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  76. Yes, yes, this X a million.

    I get the most unusual, high-quality and style-pushing clothes from charity shops (and consignment and vintage shops). And take great pleaure in telling people where I got it from and how much, so more people understand what they are missing out on. But not everyone likes to rummage. I think it is a specialist skill xxx

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  77. I've never seen your poodle parlour before - it's brilliant!! I had a good day yesterday having only popped in on my way past, got a gorgeous big Pyrex casserole dish in a design I've never seen before, so happy!

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  78. Thanks for the link-that is sure to be useful! I've exhausted the charity shops in my city, many times over and virtually never do I find vintage anything. I don't know if it's a 'south' thing but they are starting to make them into boutiques...one even groups everything in to colours!? And another has an overpriced vintage section too!

    We only really have big name charities too which I think makes a big difference.

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  79. I couldn't agree more. Yes, yes and again, yes.

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  80. Vixcita,
    You look ravishing amor! I would be showing off my great grandma's brooch pendant everywhere I went. She would be so proud.Your so lucky to have such precious herilooms. That cape is to die for and with your boots even more death. That poodle collection is getting bigger.
    I want that formica cocktail cabinet!
    Besones

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