Thursday, 20 November 2014

Happy Shopper - In Praise of Charity Shops



Yeah, I know that I'm already preaching to the converted but charity shops really are great, aren't they? Take today, for instance. Desperate to wear the suede midi skirt I bought in Burton last week, none of my existing footwear looked quite right. What I need, I thought, is a pair of vintage tan knee high boots. 


What was waiting for me in the very first charity shop we visited this morning? Only these British-made leather beauties by Trueform. Due to their age the rubber heel tip had perished but, at just £3.50 to replace, our local cobbler can sort them out while I wait tomorrow. 



Picasso pendant (20p, car boot sale) threaded on my Afghani turquoise beaded necklace, a 35th birthday present from a friend (almost 13 years ago!)
After we'd cleaned the house ready for Monday's photo shoot I mused, we need something to add a bit of colour & interest to the floor space running from the hallway, through the middle room toward to kitchen. 


What did Jon spot in amongst the bric-a-brac at one of our favourite charity furniture shops this morning? Only this stunner of a vintage tribal kelleghi for a tenner! 


Of course you'd be a fool to walk around with a wishlist of stuff you wanted to buy second hand. Shop with a fixed plan and you'll end up missing something spectacular like these incredible vintage evening gowns I found today.


This is so beautiful its almost museum worthy, handmade from black silk velvet with Baroque appliqué work, sequins, a boned bodice, metal zip and a net underskirt. It weighs a ton!


How such an amazing dress ended up in a tiny Black Country town I'll never know.


This satin number was from the same shop, languishing amongst the endless rails of George at Asda and Primark. What a sorry end for the poor thing! The construction is astonishing. Its like something you'd see some celeb wearing on the red carpet.


Remember the bag I bought from Burton last week? My dear friend Sarah, who I bought my Pucci dress from, tells me that its a groovy Scandinavian textile, Glimminge by Mona Björk, Borås Cotton, 1967. Cool, eh?

1970s suede midi & tote bag (both St Giles Hospice, Burton), vintage boots (British Heart Foundation) worn with animal print top (Topshop via charity shop) and fake fur jacket (£7, catalogue clearance shop, 2012)
We've got another weekend off but then it's well and truly back to the grindstone, kicking off with a groovy Mod/1960s event we're helping to host for the Black Country Echoes Festival. In the meantime I'm going to scare myself witless with series 2 of The Fall, stupendously good drama from the BBC.

See you soon!

70 comments:

  1. You look gorgeous Vix, love love love your hair.
    Those gowns you picked up are beautiful. Totally red carpet worthy.
    x

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  2. Love the boots ! Perfect for you . The dresses are stunning and you kind of wonder what their story are ...
    hugs and love !

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  3. Lots of amazing finds! You look lovely, as always! xx

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  4. I remember Trueform, I used to have a Saturday job in Manfield and a few of the shoe shops all used to take our day's takings over to FHW who had a nightsafe.
    Love the Picasso pendant and that black gown. x

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  5. I'm gasping, fishlike, at the snaps of those two gowns - I'm just glad it was you who found them.
    And those boots! I tend to find footwear treasures in the men's sections of charity shops (small men's vintage shoes and boots sometimes means big enough for me. Hooray).

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  6. Gotta wear the new stuff immediately! Those boots are remarkably like a pair I had back in the day except mine had mock spurs, they were always ruining my long skirts but heigh ho - they were FASHIONABLE.

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  7. Oh Vix, I am dying over here just looking at those two dresses, especially the black and cream one, which does look like a museum quality piece. Does it fit you? Will you sell it? I would be hanging that on my wall for sure.

    Yay for Charity Shops, especially when you can find gems like these.

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  8. Those dresses are stunning! Love the boots too - in praise of charity shops indeed!!

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  9. What wonderful and extraordinary finds, I love the runner in the hall - as well as all the other things, those boots just spiffy with the skirt!

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  10. wow, that was an amazing day! The boots are beautiful and that runner, what a lucky find, you certainly do have your witchy woo working!!!

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  11. Oh that evening dress is amazing. What a find.

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  12. You look gorge! Love the dresses particularly the black one.

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  13. What fantastic luck on the boots! My husband has that kind of mojo. He was looking for new (to him) converse high tops (pretty specific,eh?) and the first thrift store he walked into had TWO pair in his size that looked virtually new.

    The gowns are stunning. Enjoy your weekend off!

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  14. You are so, so SO bloody lucky to have such *cheap* charity shops, never mind to find such interesting things. Here in London I can *find* interesting things in the charity shops (saw some amazing vintage dresses recently) but they are all really expensive. One of my local chazzas had a sale today, but their idea of a "bargain box" is pricing things at £9.99 (!!) , not 99p. Bah. Grumble. Londoners need cheap charity shops too, dang it :)

    I like how colours in the picture of your pendant matches the wallpaper in the pic below it :)

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  15. You're right about going without a pre-set list. I tend to do that. Went thrifitng with some friends and found so much more just hunting free-form. Amazing finds, as always!

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  16. dang, you find the best stuff! I never shop with a list (unless it was show related). Thanks for the birthday wishes.

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  17. That black and gold dress is beyond stunning! x

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  18. the vintage shopping gods are with you my dear!
    such fantastic finds!!!! and you look just beautiful in your suede skirt, tall boots, furry jacket and fab hairstyle! cool picasso necklace! xxxxx

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  19. These boots are PERFECION! The whole look is! Gorgeous, gorgeous, and even better with your big hair. All your finds are fantastic, please send over some of your charity shops, we need some too! :) Sending you tons of love xxxx

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  20. REALLY love that outfit!

    My belief is that you can always find what you need in a thrift store. May take some time, but it will eventually turn up :)

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  21. Preaching to the choir perhaps, but the choir loves it all the same! The gowns are astonishing, and I love the pattern in your new rug - I've been searching for a similar for a while. xoxo

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  22. Oh I do love the serendipitous charity shop finds. They are the best. You think 'what I need is...' and there it is! Love the boots. Those evening dresses are amazing. Look at the work in them. Beautiful.
    I had the same pendant in the Eighties. It was a key ring I got from good old Athena.
    Mad for The Fall. It's brilliant.
    Loves ya.
    xxxxxx

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  23. I love finding what I sought!!! Brilliant purchases there!!! I really like them!!! X

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  24. Here , here for charity shops, once again you look fabulous Vix what great boots and all your other finds are fab too ! have a great weekend Vix ,Best wishes xxx

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  25. I have the perfect events for both those fabulous dresses. Let me know if they're looking for a new home! Also, big love for your blog from a long-time lurker (I always mean to comment and never actually do. Emma xx

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  26. Oh my god, I love the kelim and the two gowns, you could make a fortune with these. well, I'd rather keep the kelim and the second dress for sure!

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  27. Ah, it's that cosmic ordering again! There's got to be something in it. Are those boots really vintage? They look brand spanking new!
    Enjoy your weekend off. xxx

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  28. Wow! That black evening gown, is unbelievable! What a find, it's just gorgeous! I have to say, I just came back from my favorite thrift store and I'm really disappointed. Not much vintage anymore and the crafting supplies are sparse and getting pricey. I mean $2.50 for one skein of yarn! I might as well go to the craft store!

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  29. You look delicious! a total treat, viva la big hair for ever too, I chopped mine today, I think I should try a bouffant with my hair piece - those boots are gorgeous and the hall runner, and yes! how we love the chazza's!! those vintage gowns are just divine though, no chance of me squeezing me in them, gah!! it's still wonderful to see such gorgeous gowns though, now rescued, someone is going to be very very happy! x x x

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  30. I think you do 'cosmic ordering' before you go out!
    That runner is just wonderful, fab colours.
    And I am in love with that black dress. What a beauty. Would love to know its' 'legend'.
    Zxx

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  31. It's just a joy sometimes, the whole chazzing thing. We all know it's perfectly possible to schlep round loads of shops and find nothing but Atmosphere and Per Una, but then you stumble across some real gems and it's all worthwhile!
    Those tan boots are fab; I know black isn't really your thing, but honestly the skirt is just great, the panelling and the shape are wonderful, and it'll look ace with all your print blouses, as you said when you bought it!
    The rug is perfect for your middle room, well spotted, Jon. What amazingly vibrant colours. And those dresses really are works of art, I'm sure they will command top dollar if you're selling them.
    I love your Burton bag/fabric story; it was obviously special. I've got a story too; that saddle bag I bought is a Grafea, made in England, and it's on their website costing £105. Fucking hell! Charity shopping is the BEST! Of course, it's tons more fun going with you, there were no pervy old gimmers getting an eyeful today...
    Love you! xxxx

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  32. You never wear midi length and it suits you so much. The carpet runner is a true find xx

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  33. What a good day of charity shopping. It's always great to find things on your wish list and things that aren't. Those dresses are stunning, I wonder what their story is. Love the rug too and your are looking lovely as ever xx

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  34. The charity gods were shining on you … that's for sure :0)
    xx

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  35. i can't even tell you how much i love that rug! the boots are killer too. love it all!!! x

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  36. What luck to find those beautiful boots just when you were thinking you wanted some like that. They look fantastic on you. And your new-to-you rug is terrific too! Either I'm not looking in the right places here, or our thrift stores just don't compare with your charity shops. You always seem to find such great vintage things!

    We watched the first season of The Fall and loved it, although you're right, it is pretty scary! We don't have the second season here yet, but I look forward to seeing it when we do.

    xo

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  37. That's my kind of outfit, lovely skirt. The velvet dress is amazing, I once found something along those lines at a jumble sale age 15 and wore it to death, I have never forgotten it's soft silky velvety beauty! I am quite excited about your rug - I have something similar purchased many many years ago for £350 when the Iran/Iraq embargo was enforced that same week and there were a lot of rugs to shift - the price label was £950 at that time - think your rug might be a nice investment piece (if you get bored with it, just think how many amazing carpet bags it would make too!!!)

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  38. Hi Vix Those boots were made for you. My word, those gowns you bought are gorgeous! I could see Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe in those gowns! The Fall is so good and creepy. ;-)

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  39. Wow, how fun are you? I'd thrift shop with you anytime, Dear! Love the looks!!!!
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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  40. You always find such great stuff. Sadly the chazzas where I live never offer up much! x

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  41. Vix or should I say Jon that runner is stunning like omg the colors it really is perfect right in you house! And those couture gowns no way, I wish I could see them in person, do they fit you? Will you model them if they do? Please!!! I can't imagine putting them in a bag and taking them to a shop, they are movie star dresses for sure!

    You my dear look gorgous in that skirt and fab textile on the bag indeed. The boots are sexy on you and look brand new, another killer score! It was so nic chatting this week. Have a great weekend darling!
    Love you!xxxxxxxxoooo

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  42. Wowzers, those gowns are exquisite.
    I'm dying to know how much the Black Country price was. What a fab find the boots were, they are perfect with your suede midi and Jon's eagle eye paid off too, the runner is a beauty. Isn't it a great feeling when you come home with something you've wanted and you got it for pennies, can't beat it. Have a good one. xx

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  43. Yes, what a smashing vintage gown! You should probably write a book on Vintage: The Marvellous Finds of Vintage Vix! :) Happy weekend. xx

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  44. What a beautiful dress that black and gold one is. I best it cost a fortune way back when it was new. I bet you sell it to someone who is looking for a fabulous Christmas dress (or even better keep for yourself - such a treasure!)

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  45. Wish i had seen that rug its lovely , you cant beat charity shops for finding great bargains can you xxx

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  46. Isn't it cool how the perfect item just shows up when you need it? I'm always flabbergasted and overjoyed when that happens! (and I absolutely love that carpeting)

    Happy weekend, ViX!! And I'll have to check to see if Netflix has season 2 - we watched and loved season 1. I think I'll binge watch season 1 of "Peaky Blinders" this weekend.

    xox

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  47. good god those dresses I am beyond words, I'd display them like a piece of art.

    Bah, I never find stuff like that I need to move!

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  48. Those dresses!!! Why can't I come across something like that???

    Those boots are fab on you too. You must have had the good thrifting fairy with you.

    I have to check out that series. You were dead on with Peaky Blinders. Be sure to check out Boardwalk Empire when it comes your way. It is brilliant. Granted the main character isn't as easy on the eyes as Cillian, but the story, costumes and acting are all first rate.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  49. You find the most incredible pieces, Vix! If I was taller and thinner I'd snatch up those dresses in a second, not to mention every single thing you're wearing ;-)

    Thanks for your supportive comments on my blog.

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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  50. Amazing. Wishing makes it so, eh? Must be all that good karma you guys have going. Those gowns, oh my. Such beauties. Definitely works of art to gaze at and admire. Just like yourself, Vix.

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  51. Those gowns are amazing! What serendipitous finds just before the holiday season! Do hope whoever gets to wear them shares the pix with us.

    The skirt looks like it was custom tailored for you, Vix, as do those exquisite boots.

    *sigh* at least the Picasso pendant appears to be my size...

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  52. This is a frigging magnificent ensemble, darling!!!! GloriARSE!!
    Sometimes, the Chazza Goddess smiles upon us and responds to our needs. Other times she presents with what we didn't know we needed until that minute! Both the boots and carpet are divoon! The perfect vintage tan boots have eluded me for many years, sadly!
    I can't get over those incredible frocks you found!!! Wouldn't the back story be amazing to know?!
    Love Helga XXX

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  53. those evening gowns are so stunning ...

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  54. Wow, ladies in the supermarket will be soooo envious of those great gowns!

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  55. Great post and I love the rug! I often find when I put the thought out in the universe on something I want, it turns up. I had been wanting a Briarwood bag, a NZ label and finally one fell my way for $4!! So stoked. The vintage gowns are stunning, they will sell fast.

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  56. I love your outfit top to toe - you look wonderful! The boots are perfect - what a find! xx

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  57. I'm kicking myself that we didn't go in ANY charity shops when we were up your way in the summer. Those dresses are to die for!! x

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  58. You have a lovely reflection painting over your front door.
    I was looking at your dress of last post and thinking how cute the sleeves were...perfect solution for sleeves that are too tight. And then I read the text!
    I love that you had to do so much clearing up before your photo shoot. Makes me feel better.
    Your charity shopping was amazing! I love the two dresses of course. And that rug!!
    You look well rcovered from the dramas of magazine glamour...or is that just for show hidden by makeup and glorious hair? :-) xo JJ

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  59. Ask and you shall receive it seems! Stunning boots and oh my gosh those evening dresses!!

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  60. Great stuff, it happens to me as well, when i need something it turns up always at the thrift shop.
    The suede skirt is simply gorgeous

    Those evening gowns are stunning, yes you wonder why they end in the most unlikely places

    Much love

    Arianexo

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  61. Those two gowns are AMAZING!! And I'm drooling over that runner rug!

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  62. What fab finds and that black gown is breathtaking! Those boots remind me of 1970's school teachers for some reason! The fashionable kind I mean xxx

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  63. Gorgeous boots! Definitely made for walking in style :-)
    Great finds as always x

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  64. Love your skirt, love those boots and love those two dresses! Oh, and really love how you have done your hair! M x

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  65. This post is a treasure trove! The black suede skirt is fabulous and I loved that bag instantly. I'm not surprised it proved to be something special. Fancy that about Curtise's bag too! The black and gold dress is exquisite and your boots are such a lovely elegant shape. But the piece which i am swooning over the most is that wonderful, fabulous runner. I love it so so much. Well spotted Jonny boy! Xxxxxxx

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  66. I say it again you have the best charity Shops up your way you never find Vintage clothes here in Somerset anymore and the charity shops are so expensive to. Charity should mean that cheaper than you can find in the main street shops sadly its not like that anymore here. I love love that Black and Gold dress its stunning. dee xxx

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  67. Still visiting your blog. Still love every look and especially this one. Elegant and bold at the same time.

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  68. The silk velvet dress is amazing as is the blue fur jacket. Can't wait ti see the photo shoot of your house!

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  69. Its a wonderful thing when the second hand shopping gods align and give you EVERYTHING you need!! I don't know how those two stunning gowns could EVER end up in a charity store!

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Love from Vix
xxx