Friday, 17 June 2016

Slowly Does It


Sometimes the world can feel very bleak, especially after the horrific events of this week, but we have to remind ourselves that despite the sadness, life goes on. Most of the people who inhabit this planet of ours are kind and good and lovely.


Like Lynn and Philip, who we met as customers at Manchester's Victoria Baths and, over the last two years, have become dear friends. They'd spent a week visiting family in Oxford and, en route back home to Lancashire, popped round for a visit on Tuesday. 


If you follow Lynn's blog or her Facebook page you'll already know that she's a super talented artist and creator. She made us this beautiful cushion using her favourite technique, slow stitching. I'm all for taking it slowly, good things take time. That's why I choose home cooking over fast food, the time-consuming but wonderful community of blogging over the instant but inherently vacuous, hash tag driven world of Instagram and shopping second-hand over buying new. Finding the right piece can sometimes take years but when you find it, that's it. You'll never go off something you've spent half  your life looking for.


But sometimes those much sought after pieces all appear within a couple of days.


We have a couple of friends we originally met at a jumble sale (you never know what you'll find when you're queuing outside a church in some godforsaken Black Country town) and like us, love vintage hunting. They're always out and about on our behalf, even on their holidays, finding cool clothing to keep the Kinky rails stocked - brilliant for us, especially when we're tied up with festivals and can't get to the car boots or jumble sales. This dress was one of their finds, bought with me in mind.


Treacy Lowe was a label started by Kathy Lowe Howden, who started working in fashion in 1948 as a buyer for Marshall Fields' Import Bazaar. She took a break from fashion in 1961, returning to work as a fashion and merchandising coordinator for Jaeger in London in 1966. She started Treacy Lowe in 1971 with her husband Kenneth Howden, a retired English businessman. Their garments cost between $120 - $300+ in the mid 70s.  

Information from the Vintage Fashion Guild website.

Treacy Lowe silk midi worn with vintage tooled suede belt (50p, car boot sale) and Aldo boots (£1, car boot sale)

I've got Ossie Clark, Miu Miu and Pucci in my wardrobe but this dress is by far the best quality garment I've ever had on my back. Gossamer light, fully lined and f*ckin' fabulous. My friends know my taste to a tee.... and that's why we're happy to let them shop for Kinky. 


I was hyperventilating when I spotted this Freedom for Topshop breast plate in the Salvation Army charity shop yesterday. It still had the original price tag of £18.99 attached. I was more than happy to pay £5.99. To me, charity shopping isn't about buying something as cheaply as possible, it's finding something you love at a price you can afford and helping out a good cause at the same time. Who in their right mind wants to give Sir Philip Green any more money?


This Indian block printed midi dress was another Salvation Army find, on the sale rail reduced to £1.99. Similar dresses are selling for silly money on eBay yet this had been hanging up in a charity shop for a month and didn't sell at the original price of £4.99 - hardly extortionate!

Block-printed Indian-made midi, silver costume jewellery and 1960s suede jacket worm with Aldo leather boots (£1, car boot sale)

Traidcraft is still in business. Founded in 1979 it sells fairly traded goods and runs life changing development projects and campaigns around the world. The drop waist, button-thru' style is exactly the style of dress I was wearing for my post-O Level work experience in 1983 so I'd say this is from the same era.


I found some good jewellery yesterday - the faux turquoise necklace was 99p, the Mexican silver and real turquoise bangle (on the right arm) was 49p and the Indian bangle with the paisley filigree design (top one on the left) was 50p.


This British Mist 1960s suede jacket was another find by our friends. Its got circular pockets, petal shaped lapels, a self belt and worn just on the right side of knackered. I've been after something similar for most of my adult life - it's a keeper. 


As usual, I'm totally obsessed by the Euros and haven't missed a match yet. I had to laugh at myself having a long discussion with a roofer in the avenue this morning about Italy's fluid style of play, the strength of the Icelandic team and the euphoria of Daniel Sturridge's goal. With my disinterest in weddings and babies, preference for nuts and crisps over chocolate & cake and not finding either Tom Hiddleston or the bloke who plays Poldark remotely attractive, my ex-work colleagues were probably right, I should have been born a man.

See you soon!

103 comments:

  1. That first dress is fabulous! You look gorgeous! The second one is something like the dresses my mother lived in, with her afgahn coat and rose tinted glasses. You'd love the clothes she wore, I have a few bits that she gave me: silk tunic, blue leather jacket with fluffy collar, red gingham ruffled midi dress, weird gold/green taffeta ruffle neck mini dress. Her afghan was peed on by her cat and ultimately ended up in the bib! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! Your Mum's clothes sound gorgeous, you should do a blog post about them! x

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  2. Lovely finds. Love that top picky of you and Lynn. And my fave, the circular pockets.
    Watching Royal Ascot this week....if I take it any more slowly I think I will be comatose!
    Zxx

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    1. I love a circular pocket, too! Enjoy Royal Ascot. xxx

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  3. Woah, that maxi was really expensive in its day. It does look beautiful on you.

    I'm feeling the need to take things slowly right now too. Time to look around myself, spend time on things that matter, not constantly rush on to the next thing. Lynn's blog looks really super - full of good things.

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    1. It was, wasn't it? Must have been the equivalent to a month's wages back in the 1970s.
      I think we're all guilty of rushing through life, wishing our weeks away and ticking off lists. I'm trying to pace myself a bit more, not feel too guilty if I don't achieve something every day. Sometimes just sitting and watching is good for the soul. xxx

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  4. That jacket is fabulous, as are your jewellery finds! x

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    1. Thank you! I haven't found any good jewellery secondhand for ages and then, like buses, they all arrive at once. x

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  5. There's no harm in having an interest in traditionally male things. I'm all for breaking down gender stereotypes! I've always thought, purely from your blog, Black Country must have the best charity shops. Have a great weekend and enjoy the footy. X

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    1. Too right, Lou! The local chazzas are brilliant, helped by not having a vintage or hipster scene locally. Have a fab weekend, too! x

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  6. You'd get on well with my Sis she can give any fella a run for his money on any topic of conversation.
    I used to do volunteer work on a traidcradt stall and loved their stuff and the ethics behind it. The frock is lovely.
    It was fabulous spending time with you both away from work and thank you for the little housekeepers book. I'm waiting for a nice moment to sit down and read it. In the garden I think in the sunshine xxx

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    1. Traidcraft are brilliant, one of our neighbours used to a stall for them at Xmas and I got some smashing presents for friends.
      Hope you get some of that elusive sunshine soon, we had a dry day yesterday - at last!
      So lovely to spent time with you both, can't wait till August! xxx

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  7. I just Googled Tom Hiddleston. Ew. I don't get it either. I'm happy with my Kashmiri Sheikh thank you very much.
    What fab finds! I love that suede jacket! My mom & dad used to sell jackets from Mexico like that out of their VW van when I was a kid in California. I'd never heard of Treacy Lowe but that dress is gorgeous! Love all that silver & turquoise jewelry on you too!
    xox
    https://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.com/2016/06/puhtzah-ghanduh-tool-kashmiri-green.html

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    1. No, I don't get the appeal at all - his acting is distinctly wooden, too!
      Your Mum & Dad sound really cool, the epitome of 1970s hippiedom! xxx

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  8. Well I'm glad that you were born a woman, Vix. :) We all, men and women, come in so many different hues. The first floral dress is incredibly beautiful - and you look gorgeous wearing it! Great styling, as always. I am also in love with this jacket. Fantastic finds! And I love what you said about the world full of kind and lovely people. :) Much love!

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    1. It's all too easy to dwell on the negative, isn't it? I'm a glass half full kind of girl, "annoyingly positive" as once described by an old boss! xxx

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  9. What amazing finds, Vix! And how lovely to see you with Lynn and Philip. And Lynn's even wearing a maxi skirt in your honour! Speaking of finds: I managed to buy a Twiggy head yesterday. I won't have it until I'm well and truly back from vacation, but it's something to look forward too! Yay! Have a fab time at Glastonbury, whatever the weather! xxx

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    1. Didn't Lynn look fab in her maxi? I knew she'd rock one!
      Have a wonderful time in Welsh Wales, sending good vibes for sunshine! xxx

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  10. again you look like a million Euros/Pounds/Dollars for next to nothing. Both those dresses are so beautiful.

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    1. Thank you! It never ceases to amaze me what you can find second-hand, it just takes patience and persistence, there's something for everyone out there, no need to line the pockets of corrupt billionaire retailers or support sweat shops! xxx

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  11. I love your midi, everything in fact, suede jacket especially. I went chazza shopping, although nothing came up this week these things take time; I am getting to know the staff - I scan the bottoms of the rails, if it's a maxi then I take a closer look! one shop had noticed I do this ha ha. It's like you say, always looking for that elusive Biba item, a Monsoon maxi or a tartan kilt in my case (all things I owned once in another life but was a size 8 then so wouldn't fit now!) one day these will turn up in middle aged me size, I just know it!

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    1. I love that the staff have clocked your technique, Betty! I've only found one 1960s Biba piece in all my years of hunting but I do see modern Monsoon maxis and kilts often. Email me with your size and I'll keep my eyes peeled. xxx

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  12. Such gorgeous clothes (and model too!). The pattern on the stunning Treacy Lowe dress reminds me of a William Morris design and that British Mist (fab name) jacket is an absolute stunner. The collars, the poppers, the pockets - its a keeper in every way! Have a great weekend you two xxx

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    1. It does have a William Morris look to it, the colours especially. I've hung it on the wall and keep looking at it! I wonder if British Mist is part of the same company as London Fog - or just a cheeky twist in the name. xxx

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  13. p.s.I do believe men are pleasantly surprised and respectful of women like you who know their sport and talk intelligently about it.

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  14. Oh man, that jacket is fabulous!!! You did very well. I got a Mulberry bag today but it's a fake. You win some, you lose some. xxx

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    1. I love it! It goes with everything I own.
      Damn the fake Mulberry bag - it must look the part though for you to have snapped it up. I bet nobody would ever guess. xxx

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  15. Hah! Loved this brilliant witty post. So glad I didn't go down the Instagram road, 'inherently vacuous' gave me a titter. And couldn't agree more about Philip Green, and Tom Hiddleston...and as for Poldark MarkII he's a poor substitute for Robin Ellis in my opinion. You can keep the football though, the only thing I like about it are the opening titles and Trenet's La Mer. Loving the purple Sally Army frock, £1.99! madness. No wonder the suede jacket's a keeper, just look at those pockets. I see you've got your boots on... me too, bastard wet weather! xxxxxxx
    PS Disparue is gripping, eh?

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    1. I loved Poldark as a kid, Robin Ellis was definitely a draw (unlike Hiddleston!)
      Disparue is brilliant, gripping in fact. I don't want it to end.
      I've done my best to resist resorting to boot but there's only so long I can live with gritty toes! xxx

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  16. Amazing what you gals get up to X

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    1. Wish it could happen more often! x

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    1. It just screams 1960s hippy, doesn't it? xxx

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  18. Vix - it's so lovely that you have friends who can shop for Kinky Melon - and you. What wonderful garments they picked up on your behalf and you look fabulous in both of them. The suede jacket is brilliant, too, and gives me hope that one day I will find my fur coat!

    You found some wonderful jewellery as well - Mexican silver and real turquoise for 49p! An absolute steal.

    The cushions Lynn made for you as beautiful - what a very talented lady.

    I do love your soldier kimono!

    Have a lovely weekend

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. You will, Vronnie! The search for that elusive special thing is what makes charity shopping so brilliant, you might not find what you wanted but there's always something that you never knew you wanted until you saw it.
      That solider fabric is fantastic, isn't it? xxx

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  19. What a beautiful gift and so lovely to receive something made with such thought and love. Your vintage clothes are amazing and go you with the chazza bargains. I think that you must have a sixth sense for finding the best stuff. I love all your jewellery, especially the Mexican silver. Think that I have fallen in love with your Treacy Lowe dress. It is gorgeous and the colours are perfect for you. The fabric of your maxi in the first photo is bonkers in a great way. Looking fabulous as always, Lovely. Xx

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    1. I'm surprised I didn't go completely mad and buy everything - I felt like I hadn't been charity shopping in ages (well, just over a week!)
      Home-made gifts are always the best. xxx

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  20. Hand-made gifts are the BEST.

    That was a very lucky find with the Mexican bracelet. Having a suede jacket like that was worth waiting for-and it fits you perfectly.

    Slowing down, cherishing your friends-good advice, and worth being reminded often.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. They are, they are! Made and given with love, beats some dodgy gift set from a chain store.
      I love the Mexican bracelet, I found an almost identical one at a jumble sale when I
      was a teenager and over the years it seems to have gone astray so this is a timely replacement.
      Have a cracking weekend, too! xxx

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  21. Good grief I'd forgotten Traidcraft I used to wear their stuff when I was at college.

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    1. Have you checked the website? The clothes aren't very exciting but some of the bags and jewellery are lovely. xxx

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  22. You're absolutely right, Vix - there are more lovely people in this world than not.Fabulous photos - love that Lowe maxi on you - stunning!
    I'm obsessed w/the Euros too but also the Copas, and last night I was slow-stitching while watching games. I'm just catching up with the Czech/Croatia game now.
    xoxo

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    1. I'd forgotten you'd got the Copas until we heard the news that Brazil had been knocked out - what's going on?!
      Stitching and football - a perfect evening! xxx

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  23. That is so profoundly true. So often in the wake of a terrible tragedy - especially with the media buzz around it - one can easily start to forget that there are far, far more good, decent, honest, caring, law abiding citizens in this vast world of ours than those that would perpetrate heinous crimes. Thank you for that important reminder.

    I'm in love with your Tracey Lowe silk midi. The colour palette is me (and my endless love for all things red) to a tee.

    Many hugs & wishes for a serene, fantastic weekend,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Those rich colours do remind me of you, Jessica - you've got an amazing eye for colour.
      Of course we're all shocked and saddened by terrorist attacks but we can't allow ourselves to dwell on them or be cowed into not living our lives the way we wish, thats playing into their hands. xxx

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  24. Love everything. Am I mistaken or are you wearing green nail polish?

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    1. Eagle eyes. Yes, it's Spring Green by Barry M, they've stopped making it now so I can only wear it very occasionally. x

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  25. Once again a lovely philosophy lesson from my guru, Vix.

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  26. Vix, you have a great, positive attitude! And what lovely friends you have, helping you find some treasures. I love your tan suede jacket. Earlier this year I found a dark green suede jacket at a market, and I absolutely adore it. Now that the weather is getting colder and colder, I'm looking forward to wearing it more and more.
    Jess xxx

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    1. Hello Jess! That green suede jacket of yours sounds heavenly. Suede only gets better with age. I'm hoping I won't have to wear mine too much until at least October but with our British weather I've had it on every day since I got it! xxx

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  27. I have been feeling a bit down lately due to a number of things including the sad state of the world. But this post did really cheer me up - never stop doing what you do Vix xo

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    1. Thanks, Trees! Sometimes I just have to disconnect myself from social media and 24 hour news channels and go and live my life (usually by sewing) - its all too easy to become a grief junkie. xxx

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  29. You're right of course, and sometimes the bleakness really can suck you in. It's good to remember all the decent, kind people who inspire us. I sit across from a wonderful person at work, and her attitude constantly inspires me and helps to keep me on the straight and narrow. You and Jon look so happy and comfortable in Lynn and Phil's company. It's a nice thought that we can make friends in any situation. You really have scored some wonderful jewellery, the silver filigree and the turquoise pieces are gorgeous. I'm impressed with your friends skills and generosity, very warming. The Treacy Lowe dress and the round pocket detail on the suede jacket are fab! Xxxxx

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    1. Yay for positive, happy workmates! It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of grief and angst. I'm glad I can only access t'internet from my PC so I can escape.
      Lynn and Phil are smashing, I can't wait for you to meet.
      I'm that pleased with my finds this week that I can't be arsed to go car booting this morning! xxx

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  30. Like shoes, jewelry doesn't need to wait for me to lose 50 pounds. Love your jewelry finds.

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    1. Thanks, Sam! It's rare I find jewellery that appeals. xxx

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  31. Wow what gorgeous finds. And how cool to hear a bit of history behind the pieces. That is part of the fun of vintage buys. You have incredible taste.

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    1. Hello Sabina and thank you! xxx

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  32. Ha! Brilliant post. Sad times at the moment, but there are so many wonderful people out there and so much good stuff going on, we have to take our inspiration there, I feel. And you are always an inspiration and how lovely to see you and Lynn. I love her slow sewing; she makes fab things. I do agree with all you say -what's the chances?-I prefer to take it slow. I'm two steps off being an off-grid spoon whittler in fact.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Likewise, Em! You and your blog always cheer me up and inspire me to sew.
      Lynn is lovely, we really need a girls' day out, it's been an indecently long time.
      An off-grid spoon whittler, you say? Can I come and stay? xxx

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  33. omgosh what a beautiful dress vix. it is gorgeous on you! but may i ask a question about the dress you are wearing in the first photo? what can you tell me about the soldiers on it bc i recently found 3 v old cut out soldiers just like them at a yardsale. they look to be toys for a child maybe? they are heavy cardboard or wood and are on stands. any info would be appreciated. thanks love. xo

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    1. Thanks, Janet! The print on the first dress is of the Grenadier Guards and I think, judging by the moustaches, a Victorian impression of them (the fabric was produced in the 1960s, starting life as my brother's bedroom curtains). They're an iconic symbol of British and the image is still used a lot. xxx

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    2. thanks so much dear vix. now i have something to google. i love that they were your brothers bedroom curtains. fabulous! xo

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  34. Lovely dresses, such beautiful colours and a gorgeous suede jacket, I know what you mean by waiting for the right thing to turn up!

    I was reading an online discussion about the oldest clothes in your wardrobe and I realised I have quite a few. I have a velvet jacket that was my mum's, a silk shawl that belonged to my great aunt, a fake fur coat that was my grandma's. All things I still wear and love. Not to mention lots of charity shop bargains (good quality bargains, as you say, not just cheap).

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    1. Hello Tanya!
      What an interesting discussion.
      I love that you've got some inherited pieces in your wardrobe, wonderful testament to your family's good taste. I'm lucky enough to have a few things that have survived the years, I think the oldest thing is either a Victorian mourning jacket or a ceremonial Cheshire Rifleman's jacket from the Boer War. Both belonged to my Grandma's grandparents - I think I come from a long-line of collectors! xxx

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  35. lovely dresses!!!

    www.myunfinishedlife.com

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    1. Thank you! Good to see you again! xxx

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  36. Beautiful finds. I, like you tend to just look and be open to anything and I have been lucky to find a lot of beautiful things for pennies on the dollar in the thrift stores.

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    1. Yes, having a wish list means you miss gems! xxx

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  37. Lovely finds. Salvation Army are always good.

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    1. They do - one of the rare charity shops that seem to put everything out so you can have a good old rummage. xxx

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  38. Radiant and beautiful as always, Vix! I admire your style, but especially your own philosophy of life: a courageous choice and very up to date; although for many people it may appear to the contrary. Slowly my way of living and thinking is changing, starting from food (my garden this summer is larger, however my spending to smaller supermarket), luckily in Italy we still have much attention to the quality of the food (at least in Tuscany , difficult to guarantee to the south and north, unfortunately, the cultural differences are still huge), but what about clothes .. is a bit 'a tragedy, very often the "vintage" un'inganno, and the "second hand" a waste of time, we do not find anything nice .. For this reason it is difficult to change radically and give a kick to consumerism ..
    About the sad events of recent days, I am very sad for the act of violence is terrible .. but they are also angry about how everything is manipulated to give strength to a good European policy just for the powerful, and for multinationals, while peoples must endure and suffer adverse changes. My excuse for this long dissertation .. Last thing ... fortunately there are kind people, creative and colorful as your friends!

    baci

    serena

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    1. Wonderful words, Serena! You're very lucky with your food choices in Tuscany, how I envy you.
      I agree, I hate how tragic events are manipulated to add fuel to political aims and ambitions. xxx

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  39. Those dresses are so you! But the suede jacket has me really drueling! What a great find! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! Hope you're having a fab weekend. x

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  40. You're a lucky duck! I need friends that are scouring estate sales and thrift stores for golden pieces like these! I'm drooling over that jacket!!! One-of-a-kind and perfect for me...oops...I meant you! Freudian slip ; P

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Aren't I lucky? I love it when they message me to ask if they can bring round a couple of sacks of clothes, it's like shopping minus any effort!
      I'll leave you the jacket in my will! xxx

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  41. If you were a man, I'd date you in a minute, and we could go thrift shopping together (is that creepy?). Occasionally I have people tell me they saw something that was "definitely me" at a thrift store but they never buy it for me, so kudos to you for having friends that buy stuff with you in mind. The silk dress is a stunner, and I had a jacket very much like that suede one I found in a thrift store about 20 or so odd years ago.

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    1. And I'd be over to London like a shot! Can you imagine the fun we'd have?
      Isn't it frustrating when someone tells you that they've seen the perfect thing for you but by the time you get there it's gone. I'd rather not know! xxx

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  42. your friends are totally jumble sale wizards!! both dresses and the jacket are extra-ordinare!!!
    and i love the jewelry - silver & turquoise is one of my favorite pairings....
    once a friend bought a dress for me in a 2.hand-warehouse - she´s the same frame and high like me but flat in front - so she used 2 oranges from her grocery bag while trying the dress on for me :-) best birthday present ever!!!
    much love! xxxxxx

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    1. Ha! I'm loving the orange story!!
      They both have a great eye, Jon's been kitted out by them several times. xxx

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  43. That silk dress is stunning! I bet it feels wonderful on xx

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    1. It's like wearing nothing, I love it but now I know how valuable they are I'm a bit scared of wearing it. xxx

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  44. Look at all that delicious jewelry! I'm loving your nail polish color too!! When my kids are old enough to not drool or get peanut butter and honey on my garments, I'm totally going to get me a suede jacket.

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    1. A few more years and you can have one! Suede isn't the most practical thing in the world but, man, isn't it the coolest? xxx

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  45. What a fabulous post, thank you! Full of colour, style, and wonderful stories. Circular pockets! Fabulous. I love your background of plants and home...and so agree with you that most of the people on this planet and inherently good and beautiful. (I also love that I've discovered another blogger who doesn't Instagram!I started to - because it seemed that was one way of getting ahead as a new blogger - but! Like you, I prefer to read the whole story, not just a # and a word)Namaste.

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    1. Hello Elizabeth and thank you! Everyone told me that I needed Instagram but I just can't see the appeal. I'd rather be out experiencing life and writing about it later than living behind a phone screen. xxx

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  46. Both those dresses are gorgeous! I bet the silk one feels so beautiful to wear too

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    1. Thanks, Kerry! The silk one is incredible, I'm not surprised it was so expensive originally. xxx

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  47. The Treacy Lowe dress is a knockout, and on you, even more so. How wonderful to have those who know your style find vintage for you. Shopping second hand is always fun and exciting. You, however, are the master!

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    1. Secondhand shopping is the only way, I can't imagine choosing from a rack of identical dresses, it seems such a soulless way to chose something as personal as clothing! xxx

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  48. YES to the SLOW!! And how nice to find one of my fave bloggers feels the same as I do about instagram... Thanks for sharing this week's treasures, especially that FAB jacket, what a beauty!

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    1. Hooray for another non-Instagrammer, sometimes I feel like I'm on my own island!! Thanks, Sarah. xxx

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  49. I like to take my time over things, but I do indulge in Instagram too. It's designed to be fast and instant, what I don't like is rushing something that should have time taken over it. Cooking, finding the perfect gift for someone, sewing, a coffee with a good friend :)
    You found some amazing pieces. I often marvel at the things that can be found. I used to run clothes swaps and at the end of the session some of the best things where left behind, while the ordinary tat was snapped up. I couldn't believe it, but I guess it's about the right person coming along to find it.

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    1. All good things to take time over, Hazel.
      It never ceases to amaze me what's out there, second-hand and waiting for us to snap it up. I'll often see things at vintage fairs and tell myself that if it's still there at the end of the day it was destined to be mine and it usually is. that's either karma or proof I've got strange taste! x

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    2. hehe, let's call it karma - you have amazing taste.

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  50. I love to slow down, need to do it more! Fabulous finds and wow, that suede jacket is everything. The two dresses are lovely as well, and even better on you. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. You enjoy life, Patti and appreciate what you've got. That's a gift in itself. xxx

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  51. That suede jacket is to die for! What a fabulous find. I just love anything suede, even though it's not the most practical of fabrics! x

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  52. You truly scored some gorgeous pieces here... I'm super impressed!

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xxx