Saturday, 29 August 2015

Marchin' On - Charity Shop Finds



This morning we were driving through the arse end of nowhere when I spotted a charity shop on the main road of a grim ex-mining town. The pavement was littered with boxes of old VHS tapes and grubby looking pushchairs but Jon parked the van and we jumped out, 'cos you just never know.


On first glance the inside of the shop showed the same lack of promise as the outside, until I spotted a hint of blue fake fur set on a trumpet shaped sleeve. I pulled it out and to my absolute amazement discovered a garment dripping with tassels, sequins, rosettes and metallic trimmings. 


Handmade from Crimplene with a chunky metal zip, this could only be one thing, a vintage majorette's costume from one of the many marching bands popular in the Midlands from the late 1960s through to the 1970s. Find out more on local legend Brownhills Bob's blog, HERE.


As a kid with a bad limp and no musical prowess I was never a member of a marching band. The closest I got was being a cheerleader with our town's American football team in my late teens. We wore orange sweatshirts & black Lycra hot pants and shook pompoms. Away matches would often descend into chaos when we took exception to the terrible abuse we had to endure from supporters unused to the multiculturalism of the Midlands. Pom poms would be tossed aside as we scaled the terraces to punch the racists. You can't say they weren't warned, our theme song went, We are the Titans, the Walsall Titans, you take us on boys, you should be frightened.


 At 48 my scrapping days may be over but an abiding love for dressing up mad costumes remains.


I've had this 1970s pattern in my stash for ages but haven't got round to making it.


I wore this majorette's costume at the End of the Road Festival in 2012 and funnily enough I'm going back next week (as a trader this time).


I think this outfit will be joining me, it'll match my red wellies. I like how the bolero detaches from the dress, it'll be fab over a maxi when it gets chilly after sunset, dead practical you see!

Vintage Majorette uniform (£4, Humanitarian Aid), white go-go boots (courtesy of Emma)
A post on a Saturday, that's something that hasn't happened for an eternity. Hope you're having a fab weekend (a long one for some of us!)

60 comments:

  1. What a find! It's like it was made for you.

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  2. Sometimes the best stuff comes from the worst thrifts. My best score of vintage Christmas ornaments came from one that had an awful reputation. I would hesitate to buy anything that couldn't be washed there though :) I bet someone tried to buy it off you at the festival!

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  3. What a fecking brilliant find! I love it! Sometimes the best things are lurking in the unlikeliest places.
    Never was a cheerleader. Shouting from the lines at school Rugby matches doesn't count. Funnily enough, away matches always descended into a punch up off the pitch. I love the thought of you chucking down yer pompoms to give someone a leathering!
    Have loads of fun at the End of the Road, and be seeing you at the end of the month!!
    Loves ya.
    xxxxxx

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  4. my junior high marching band uniform was white....boring. I do love a parade

    And it just goes to show don't judge a thrift shop by the outside

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  5. Wonderful find Vix! Have an amazing time at end of the road xxxx

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  6. Frikkin' brilliant! Nuff said!!
    Zxx

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  7. Haha what a brilliant find, you've cheered me up. Have a great long weekend xxx

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  8. Majorettes always had the best costumes! I was in band playing the flute, but I never had a cool uniform.

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  9. Awesome find Vix. You remind me of my 70's Pippa doll who had a majorette costume. And it doesn't get any more 70's than Pippa. xxxx

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  10. Amazing find, it's perfect on you!!

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  11. What a find ! and only you Vix can wear that and make it look fabulous !, Mr M
    and I went to a car boot sale last Sunday had only a few seller's there but I got some great bits ! have a great long weekend best wishes xxx

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  12. Beautifully written! I had tons of fun learning more about you. This magnificent find suits you to a T! Enjoy! Much love!

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  13. That's so cool, and it fits you perfectly ... that's what you call fate :0)
    xx

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  14. What an awesome find! The moment I saw the picture I thought, that looks like a majorette costume! Swoon. You look amazing in it and I can't wait to see it worn as a dress, and the bolero too.

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  15. That is one of the most epic finds ever. You're so right yiu can never judge a charity shop by the outside appearance. There could be just one of the most epic finds inside if nothing else.

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  16. What fun! So lucky it fits like a glove.

    Everybody will be marching directly to your stand if you're wearing this!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  17. What an absolutely incredible find! It fits you so well it was definitely meant to be. And I had no idea marching bands were a thing in the UK so I learnt something new!

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  18. Brilliant find Vix - and you have the courage to show it off enjoy the weekend.

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  19. That is totally brilliant! You truly look adorable in that!!! Just proves that occasionally a gem can be found in an unpromising charity shop!!!x

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  20. How much fun is that! Xo Jazzy Jack

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  21. I can see why you posted on THIS Saturday!

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  22. How I wish, "Dial a Poet" were a real thing.
    That's a fun find.

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  23. I love the way you do your hair, I need to learn! Would you be open to doing a video tutorial? X

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  24. HOLY CRAP VIX! This is amazing!! Dress ups always & forever!!!

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  25. If you can not sing, you should take lessons. Or play the triangle. You should be at a stage.

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  26. Wow, that outfit is amazing. I remember majorettes. There were loads in Scotland, although not at my school. I would have been too clumsy for the twirling baton thing anyway. How cool being a cheerleader. Sounds like a load of fun and I bet you have lots of funny stories. You really made me laugh with this one. Good for you! Xx

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  27. This is the most fabulous bolero I've ever seen!!, those fab sleeves, details and fake fur!!! and you look gorgeous wearing it!!, love, love, love it!!!
    besos & enthusiasm!

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  28. Love it! You just need a baton to twirl! x

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  29. So f*** cool!!! And I love your hair, too, Vix!
    Did a quick google search re: the Titans, but didn't find much but did find a FB page with a lot of photos and I was looking to see if you were in one of them (I did see pom poms!). How interesting that it was an American football team! I was a cheerleader in seventh grade - needed to be near the team as I wanted to play on the team so badly. xox

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  30. I twirled flags and had a ridiculous costume with these odd white boots-cross between a cowboy boot and gogo boot. Hideoous. You rock the look.

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  31. That's fantastic! And it fits you perfectly .... What a find. I was in the school band but our outfit included a boring blue blazer worn with black pants or skirt. A tassel or two sure would have been fun!

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  32. So fabulous, what a find! And your fighting song is my new favorite. xox

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  33. aaahhh that was just waiting for you to find it. It looks fabulous on you teamed with those boots or your red wellington boots its going to be another show stopper :-) Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dee xx

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  34. I always loved the majorettes. They had a slightly slutty badass vibe that the cheerleaders just didn't come close to. And you have nailed it in a non-slutty though completely badass way. I love your cheer so much. I was an annoyingly perky American cheerleader in high school. Our favorite cheer, "Hit 'em in the right knee. Hit 'em in the left knee. Hit 'em in the weenee weenee we need a touchdown."

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  35. sooo cool! and in your size! you really have a nose for such things!!!
    xxxxx

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  36. This is quite a find, isn't it? I fell in love with that faux fur jacket and I was just thinking how cool it is it came with a matching dress, when I've read this is actually a vintage costume. How cool is that!

    You totally rock this ensamble....and I had fun imagining you like a fierce cheerleader...somehow that doesn't suprise me!:)

    xoxo fabulous Vix!!!

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  37. Good god what an amazingly awesome outfit! I lasted ooooh about 5 minutes as a drum majorette at school, can't dance, no sense of rhythm etc

    I can still twirl a baton mind!

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  38. The practicality of this piece is definitely a selling point. No jacket for warm weather, jacket for cool. Hahaha! Good eye, good eye! I'm glad you went in for a closer look. You're the only one who could wear it. Truly magnificent. You are a schtar!!
    I wish you had photos of you punching jerks in the stands.

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  39. I would have snapped that up too!! I love the more flamboyant things one finds in charity shops. I passed on a Samba costume recently because it was £30 but would have gone for it if it had been cheaper. Where would I have worn it? who knows! xx

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  40. I can honestly say that I can't think of anyone else that could throw on a vintage majorette outfit and make it look feckin' fabulous. That one is pretty fab, and I would have liked to join that band just to wear the costume (even though I have no musical talent). I might have been able to be the baton twirler. After reading your description of your cheerleading experience I have a clear picture in my head of you and your fellow cheerleaders scrambling over a fence in your lycra hotpants to beat the crap out of the arseholes in the stands. You really should be a superhero (get working on your costume!).

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  41. Show us yer batons!
    What an incredible outfit! It just goes to show, treasure can be found in the unlikliest places. Hope you are enjoying your weekend off and have you been watching Young Montalbano? X

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  42. Fark. I would just piss myself (or worse) with excitement if I found one of these. Even more so if it covered my girth! Jaysus, it's AWESOMENESS!!!!!
    I think you need to wear it shopping. Please.
    Love Helga XXX

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  43. SCORE!!! And it fits you perfectly, now you need a whistle.

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  44. HOLY CRAP! That looks freaking amazing on you (like it was custom-made to fit).

    You will get so many people trying to but it off your back - but cling tight!

    Have a fab weekend :)

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  45. What an amazing outfit. I love it. Have a great long weekend. X

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  46. What an amazing outfit. I love it. Have a great long weekend. X

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  47. What an amazing outfit. I love it. Have a great long weekend. X

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  48. My dear, your intuition is great! You've found a treasure. First of all: it seems created just for you; it goes very well.
    I find this costume majorette very versatile, it reminds me of something exotic, India but also tsarist Russia! Fantastic!
    I want to see him soon with red boots, but even these whites are perfect!
    I also have never been part of bands (in my village there never was, but then I'm a disaster with music!), But my boyfriend has started playing in the band of his country, played the clarinet although hated him and wore old military uniforms, really bad ... this is Italy !! heheh

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  49. Good you stopped and what a treasure you found. It looks great.

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  50. This is the coolest find Vix, you look awesome! I love the fact the bolero detaches as well. You always manage to find the coolest things and you look so good in 'em too! - Tasha

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  51. That's fab. Such an interesting piece of history too; I had no idea majorettes had been so popular in the midlands.

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  52. Absolutely amazing find! I remember the majorettes, not sure I'd be able to twirl a baton quite so well these days!

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  53. What a find!! and so perfect on you!
    I love all the detail - so well made.


    Hair Advice & All Things Nice

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  54. You never cease to surprise, Vix. Never would I have guessed you'd be wearing a vintage majorette outfit that fit you to a T. They'll be lined up for miles just to see you give it a whirl.

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  55. Of course you and majorette uniforms are meant for each other. It could not be otherwise. This one is stupendous. (I'm working really hard on my adjectives today). I love it with the white go-go boots but can imagine it equally well with red wellies. I love your story of cheering and brawling. I can imagine you doing both and have a lovely image in my mind of you flying over a fence to punch a racist clod. xoxo

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  56. That is one amazing find, Vix! It's stunning and look at all the work that went into making it! I'm sure its original owner/maker would be happy knowing that its ended up in a good home.

    P.S. Love the theme song! xxx

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  57. Cor, Majorettes, that takes me back, they always used to come out at carnival time, which is coming up soon isn't it? I never did anything which involved twirling or shaking things, so you're a step ahead of me. I'd love to have seen you with your pom poms, way back when, but this makes up for it. Honestly, they should make a doll of you. Imagine the outfits! I'm enjoying picturing the arse end of nowhere and you and Jon screeching to a halt in Gilbert. That could be a scene in a road movie! Xxxxx

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  58. You're such a wild little inspiration! Much love from Canada :)

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  59. I love this! What a great find x

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  60. What a find!!!! This Majorette uniform is so fun! Somtimes you find the best treasures in the most weird places.

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