Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Chazzing For Dummies


Charity shops, god love 'em. Despite their boutiquifying, the wooden coat hangers, subtle lighting & laminate flooring most of the time they still haven't got a clue.


This morning the vintage section offered a choice of frocks from Primark & George at Asda along with a couple of polyester Marks & Spencer blouses from the '90s whilst this fab 1970s wrap-over cotton maxi languished on the household rail for a quarter of the price. (An apron?!)


I could tell you how to spot true vintage amongst last year's high street cast-offs but there's a wealth of information already out there, so I won't. In fact, I'd go as far as to say stop worrying about whether its vintage or not (if you want something authentic visit a vintage fair and track down a reputable seller - like me!), instead buy what makes your heart race and your palms go sweaty and sod how old it is.


Concentrate on the quality of an item rather than the label inside (who sees it anyway?). Run your hand across the row of coat hangers and pull out those which feel the nicest. Don't rifle through the rails like a (wo)man demented, take your time, step back and look carefully, picking out the colours and prints that excite you. I can almost guarantee that the things you choose will either be vintage or high end.


Forget any notion of age appropriateness, what's in (or out) of fashion, whether it suits your lifestyle or if it matches stuff you already own. If you love it and you can afford it - buy it. 


Own clothes which make you smile every time you throw open the wardrobe doors.


Trust your judgement. If you love it you'll wear it & feel happy and confident. Free yourself from from the tyranny of fashion. Pack your wardrobe away at the end of the season and be equally excited when you unpack it the following year, never feeling inadequate or outdated. 

Bambi House batik maxi (£2.49, BHF), Rajasthani mirrored silk tribal top (Approx. 50p from an roadside stall in India), Over sized hand painted leather clutch bag (£10, vintage fair), Lamani gypsy coin pendant (Approx. £6, Goan street market)
Hope that wasn't a pile of patronising twaddle. Feel free to ignore my advice and just admire my Barry M blue hued nails instead, done on a whim when I couldn't decide which shade I wanted.

I'm spending tonight shouting at the telly, starting with the incredibly annoying This Old Thing and then on to the Holland Vs Argentina game (I can't imagine it will be half as thrilling as last night's match). I'm sure a rum or three will calm my frayed nerves

See you soon!

66 comments:

  1. Top and maxi skirt are incredible and totally agree with the feel factor when it comes to fashion!

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  2. Great minds thing alike!!! Or perhaps you and I are fools who seldom differ. Love your post! The best way to find 'good stuff' at thrift stores is by touch and having a good long look. Guess what? My nails are metallic green and cobalt blue today!! If you cannot make up your mind you can also try mixing different nail polishes together. Happy thrifting :)

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  3. Give that woman a TV show, for gawd's sake!
    You know I agree with you wholeheartedly, so I'll just say "hear hear"! Some people seem to find shopping and getting dressed so difficult, fraught with rules and anxiety - but where the hell is the joy in that?
    You, my darling, are a joy! Love your apron (ha!) - what a beautiful print, and the Indian top and pendant are fabulous.
    Yes, more TV angst tonight, I'll be doing the same as you. I can't believe there will be as many goals as last night (Weirdest Match Ever) but I can guarantee I'll be thoroughly irritated by This Old Thing. I wonder what monstrosity will be completely remade in "Dawn's" workshop tonight? This being the woman who doesn't know what an epaulette is...
    Vix on Vintage - the TV show title's right there waiting for them! xxxxx

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  4. Well said dear Vicky!

    You always look stunning and your photographs are always so bright and cheerful, I love them.

    I adore your rings and bangles.

    I hope you've had a perfect day, enjoy the rum and footy xx

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  5. I have just blogged about my charity shop day , Nail polish too lol , I do that stand back to see what jumps out and feel the fabric , although i think it takes years to develop the skill , i have bought a great maxi dress today in just that way for £5.99 , I agree with you about this old thing , there are so many people who are jumping on the bandwagon of people like you who have been doing it for years , I twittered about the program transforming houses for £5,000 , a few days ago and the carpenter of the program favoured my twitter and photographs when i said i could do better lol xxx

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  6. Hi. I am mostly a lurker, but I had to comment on your post. I just love thrifting as it is called here in America. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing all your lovely finds. My local thift has ten cent days to reduce their stock. I have found nearly new tops in the ten cent bin and a couple of weeks ago I came across a pair of genuine leather pants in there. Last Halloween they put out a bunch of stuff on racks labeled as "costumes", among them were several 70's maxi dresses. I immediately though of you and mourned that they were not my size. If they hadn't been asking ten dollars each, I would have bought them anyways.

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  7. Your wise advises are always welcome dear Vix !
    Last time , luck brought me two romantic fairy dresses with each one top ...The price was ridiculously cheap ( second hand of course ) , but on top of this , I received a totally unexpected discount , so I ended paying half the price ...Can you imagine how thrilled and overexcited I was ? I still am !
    Your outfit is , again , simply magnificent , especially the printed skirt :I just love it !
    And haha , I once painted my nails emerald green and purple !
    ~Indian kisses~
    ~La Dryada~

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  8. There's nothing better than when something is labelled wrong! Also that clutch is absolutely stunning. Great advice as always. x

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  9. Great advice, and a great maxi skirt find - I have been venturing out and found myself wine glasses and sarongs but no vintage dresses, they just don't happen around these parts - maybe one day. In the meantime, I try to keep an open mind when I walk into the chazzies and see what colours draw me and try not to be too disappointed when I go home empty handed as you can't win em all.

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  10. Indeedy Curtise! Sod Dawn Porter (O'Porter? Please) Vix is the authentic, reasoned voice of vintage. Not to mention not being a patronising, bandwagoning turn off.
    Love the 'apron'-ha. I didn't find anything in the Bath chazzas, but my friend found a fantastic Seventies maxi relegated to the back of the shop with some 1980's shockers. I still love 'em and won't stop shopping in them not after 30 odd years...some of them very odd come to think of it.
    Loves ya.
    xxxxx

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  11. I couldn't agree more. Inevitably I am always drawn to the best pieces. It is natural.

    You have the prettiest apron on! ; )
    I expected you to turn around and have your ass hanging out the back end. LOL I'm so disappointed.

    All the colours here are so beautiful. That clutch is like an artist's brush carrier and handbag rolled into one.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  12. Speaking words of wisdome .....
    xxxx

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  13. I agree with Curtise! Vix on Vintage would be a guarenteed hit! I would watch it! :)

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  14. Lucky old you, that would have been about 10x the price down south.
    It really is a stunning piece. Great advice, sifting through the tat and finding the quality, it's what I attempt to do. Wearing my chazza'ed Hobbs cardi today which my 14yr old niece just pronounced as 'cool' Loving the two tone nails and agree with Curtise's comment about the epaulette...I shouted out 'you thick tart' at the telly. Enjoy the footy.xxxxx

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  15. Top advice Vix. I like that leather clutch & like you I will also be shouting at the telly again tonight. (it'll probably be a 0-0 draw)Come on Holland!!

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  16. Now if you wrote a book full of your words of wisdom on the many things you share with us bloggers, it would sell out so fast! I would be your southern hemisphere promoter for sure! Oh great wise one!! :-)

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  17. That 'Apron' dress is fantastic! I love the fabric. I will be watching This Old Thing too, even though I agree it is annoying!

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  18. inspired by your page I hit the village high street chazza's on Monday. no vintage finds but I did pick up a Hobbs skirt, a red silk cheongsam, a roxy sundress and an Etam dress that's retro 60's all for under a tenner.plus 2 beach dresses for 4 quid. So a couple of hours well spent.

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  19. Once again Vix wise words you have wrote in this blog post.
    Love the blue nails and of corse your outfit , have a good week Les.

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  20. You'd be SO COOL on a tv programme!!! What a find that batik maxi is!!!! Me jealous???* x

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  21. Ooh yes, I'd watch ''Chazzing with Vix''. Come on TV companies. Take note!
    Love the skirt. Not so much the bag. It looks like it was painted by a pre schooler. Perhaps it was.
    xxx

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  22. What a beautiful apron you have there! It's gorgeous and it must have been put away in the wrong department just waiting for someone who would appreciate its brilliance.

    Enjoy the game and the rum! xo

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  23. Montreal is all hyped-up about soccer as well!
    You are absolutely right about your shopping tips, I do the same as you and always pick high ends or vintage items -

    Love your outfit, love the mix, your are awesome!

    Enjoy the game gorgeous

    Arianexo

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  24. another hear hear! Love the apron, which is why you should always check out the whole shop. I've found woman's things in with men's and a lovely handmade crocheted cape in with the linens. You do know that Esty calls vintage anything 20 years or older? That's 1994!!!!!!!!!!!

    ps: I find soccer boring. Almost as boring as baseball

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  25. Looking incredibly exotic and tropical today! Great advice.

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  26. Wise advice, as I would expect from you. You look fab in your vintage "apron" (cracking up at where you found it, silly sales people- their loss, your gain!) I wished I saw the match yesterday but when I got the news flash (was at the pool, you'd be in heaven its so hot here!) was completely in shock! We'll see what happens at today's match... XXX

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  27. I love your apron! I too shake my head at what they do in the thrift shops. What they put a higher price on or what items they group together often make no sense to me.

    Your advice is completely sound. Labels don't matter, but the quality of the item is definitely worth paying attention to and loving it is what matters. I love it when I stand at my closet and can't decide what to wear, not because I don't like anything but because I love it all and it's like trying to choose an ice cream flavour. Keep on preaching. Nobody has to to follow your advice if they would rather not, though they'd have to be a bit thick.
    xoxo

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  28. Another cheer here - so well written, Vix. Wear what makes you feel wonderful (like this fabulous skirt) and who cares the age (or one's own age for that matter!)

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  29. You would think that [people didn't need fantastic advice like this; to me it is so obvious!! But they do, so thank goodness you are here to dispense it!! And indeed, they'll either be enlightened or not! I think I'm pretty speedy when chazza shopping, I have my eye so finely tuned!! Ha!
    I fecking LOVE that skirt!!! Apron?! How very bizarre! O, well, another grand sacore for you. Fantastic top, too-such a spelndid combination!
    The clutch is really unusual! And a winner! I have missed chazza shopping whilst I was away, so have Friday dedicated to visiting my faves!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  30. I laughed out loud when I saw the 'Apron' tag on that skirt - briliant! You gotta love charity shops.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who finds This Old Thing really annoying! xx

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  31. O, yeah, I'm with Curtise, you really need a show! You are far better at this shit that those revolting Trinny and Susannah tarts! And much as I like Gok, you are way better than him!!! XXX

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  32. oh yes, I'm enjoying your colorful nails and pretty bijouterie, and your cute top and printed maxi (and magnificent bag!), but I'm enjoying a lot your fabulous advices!, particularly love that you encourage anybody to buy what makes their hearts race!, it's the best advice I've ever read!
    wish you're enjoying your rum, dear lady!
    besos

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  33. Well said that woman! Thank the lord Holby is on tonight so I don't have to make myself sit through that bloody Dawn O'Porter twaddle. x

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  34. Wise words Vix! Wise words! Love the "apron" hah! Your gain that it was mis-labelled really as it looks perfect for summer (or an Indian beach holiday!)
    I must try to catch this series This Old Thing on the internet or something as Curtise mentioned it too.

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  35. Labelled as an apron made me laugh as I had a similar experience with my Chagall skirt. What a score. How envious I am that you are wearing a backless top and enjoying summer too. I totally agree with your advice about shopping, I tend to do a couple of circuits which allows me to see things I did not see on first pass. Hope the Holland Argentina game lived up to your expectations, I thought it was thrilling. xx

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  36. I think it's great advice ... and it works for vintage AND brand new.
    Love your new apron ;0)
    xx

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  37. I'm ogling your clutch and you have filled my head with thoughts of looking at leather remnants... Everything you have on resonates with power. Yes, you should have your own show. This advice is truly valuable - for anything. Be calm and hone in with grace rather than attack. Enjoy the game!

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  38. Hi Vix! I love your advice, its so true and quite useful! I agree, if u love it, can afford it, then buy it. I will buy something if I know I will be thinking about it the next day, then I can't help myself, its mine! ;-)

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  39. I agree. I dress by how I feel and as you know colour is a must for me. You look beautiful! And,yes what a match last night, hooray! xx /Madison

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  40. You know I agree with you totally! Our goodwills are charging high prices for crap quality and the vintage is still reasonable, so far, but I still but what I like always! Thanks for bring the style inspiration I have ever known. I love you honey, you look beautiful as always!
    Xxxooo

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  41. Definitely some great advice! I need to get myself chazzing as we have some great charity shops in my local town and I haven't had time for ages. Particularly love the advice to look for the colours and prints that excite you and to forget about age approriateness.

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  42. If not your own special spot on television (perhaps simply gliding across the boring set of an excruciatingly cheerful morning news program?), then consider becoming a calendar girl.
    Your outfits are timeless, so why not? I'd much rather face the day with your inspiring 'wearable art' and words of wisdom than contemplate flowers or kittens.

    That hand-painted leather clutch is such a good idea, well executed!

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  43. Hi my dear!! Looking gorgeous with a gorgeous chazza find- as usual!! Like you I'm ever so slightly obsessed with charity shopping- I love the bootys but charity shops just edge them- there are always finds if you're prepared to look! That clutch bag is just adorable too! So pleased you've had such a great time at Glastonbury too!! xx

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  44. don´t give our shopping secrets away!
    ;-)
    your new "apron" is totally cute, with that price even more! i envy your ability to wear this rajasthani tops - this things are always much to tiny for my valkyrie frame. so i will enjoy the look on you!
    that clutch is genius - it would lift every outfit in every thinkable style with the uniqueness.
    if you ever get bored of that necklace - i would take it :-)
    xxxxx

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  45. Not many bargains in chazzas here in Chichester - but I got a multi coloured (jazzy) skirt for £1 in one that was closing down. Worn it to death here on holiday, result!

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  46. yes! yes! yes! I totally agree with you! the thrill of finding something you love in the Charity Shop is addictive, I love it! and finding it in my size too! I got a fab dress at the weekend, it needs something doing to it, too short, but once fixed *mwah!* one chazza we went to was so bizarrely over-priced, £29.99 for a pair of men's shoes, wtf! you look hot as fuck in your gorgeous apron (apron? hehe)and beautiful top, just gorgeous x x x

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  47. There was a time when you could get good quality stuff (vintage or not) for cheap at the thrift stores here, while stuff from The Gap was going for a ridiculous price, but now they have raised the prices on everything and it's hard to find anything under $10.

    I agree with the other dames that you should have your own TV show - you give practical advice, are opinionated and sassy, and look fab!

    When I do go thrifting, I can spot the vintage pieces pretty easily just from the fabric, and I leave all the cheap polyester junk on the rack.

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  48. I keep missing 'This old Thing' I would probably get irritated by it anyway. It looks so sunny where you are, could do with a spot of that here in Scarborough today. Xx

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  49. "Trust your judgement. If you love it you'll wear it & feel happy and confident. Free yourself from from the tyranny of fashion."

    I love, love, love this! You have me excited about getting dressed and being who I am, even in this summer heat. Keep up the great work Vix. The world needs more voices like yours.

    I'm completely drooling over your "apron" maxi!

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  50. You are awesome. I know I say that every time I comment, but it's so true. Wear what you love, that's what you're saying and that's what I like to say too ;)
    XOXO

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  51. vix i wonder if your thrift shops raise prices in the "vintage section"? all ours here do now. what used to cost me $5 or under is now $35 or so. it has really taken the wind out of my sails.

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  52. Love the "apron"! And as ever sound advice from your good self. With your oft said advice to only wear things that make you feel gorgeous ringing in my head I've had a good wardrobe clear out today! My wardrobe is a lot lighter but I now smile when I look in it instead of rummaging through umpteen items that either don't fit or make me feel grotty.

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  53. My dear friend, this is such an inspiring post - one of your very best (and yours are always wonderful!), from the photos and the outfit to the end of your last sentence. You are brilliant and enormously gifted and free. Love you so much! :)

    Apron? It looks amazing!!!
    xxxxx

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  55. I always love all your posts.great advice & taken :)
    I love your clutch the most ,it has some aesthetic feel to it.Lovely outfit again.

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  56. What a stunning top! Typically Indian front, bright and colourful, and a bare back. I simply love it. "The apron" too looks fantastic!

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  57. Superb post Vix! I do agree, sometimes looking for quality products and things that YOU like is the easiest way to opp-shop! I do like to look for nice fabrics and 100% wool or lovely embroidered things for next to nothing! There is an awful lot of crap at the opp shops too, but i guess the original reason for these shops is to sell essential items to those who have so little.

    Lol at the apron comment though. Some opp shops have pros working there to over value things and some just want to get the stock out of the shop! Any price will do!

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  58. Once again Pearls of Wisdom from the Beautiful Vix. You SHOULD have your own show. There are so many idiots on the tube. You would bring intelligence and authenticity to general public and the world would be a better place. It's so true. I know zilch about labels and designers but when I pull things off the racks at the shops the proprietors often comment, "Oh that's a Tory Burch or a Gucci or more lately a genuine Hale Bob!" Whatever. If you are honest in your style, the good stuff will find you.

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  59. "instead buy what makes your heart race and your palms go sweaty and sod how old it is" AMEN SISTER!!

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  60. Totally agree. What I always look for is pattern and colour first.

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  61. I'm happy to report that that's exactly what I do when I thrift! Never really thought about it specifically. The other thing I've found is that my peripheral vision will often catch something that my "regular eyes" won't, like a fabulous print or detail on something. I try to give myself enough time so I can scan aimlessly before I leave.

    You always look extra amazing when the weather is warm. How do you do that?! :-) Maybe it's that glow from being in your element. Love you!! XXXOOO

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  62. Yep. Yep. Yep again. I met a 77 year old on holiday. She was the first on the dance floor, and the last, danced like a demon. We sat together at lunch and she told me her mantra. 'Wear what YOU like, what makes YOU feel good. Behave how you feel. When people say, act your age, I say, what age? I feel young!' I thought to myself, you're in our gang! Like Helga says, it seems so obvious when you know it. You look absolutely lovely in that gorgeous little Indian top and your new apron. I agree it's good to mix it up, doesn't matter what age it is if you love it. xxxxxx

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  63. Buying clothes you love is pretty much the best advice out there xoxox

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  64. Excellent advice Vix! I have put on an extra stone over the last year (bleugghhhh) leading me to feel awful in a lot of my clothes & so buying ones that "hide" my tummy but which really don't excite me :(

    Now working on losing the stone and the depressing gear in my wardrobe! And, yes, I'm having a Sunday stalk-Vintage-Vixen catch up!

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