Thursday, 5 January 2017

Adventures In Charity Shopping - The 2017 Edition



My first charity shop buy of the year....and, shock, horror it's not even vintage!


Aside from being younger than the contents of my spice cupboard, this TopShop floral tee ticks all the boxes, the right fit (which is madness considering it's a UK Size 6 - no wonder there's an obesity crisis, nobody has a clue what size they are anymore), super soft velvet devoré, the £36 tag still attached and priced at just £1. I'd been pondering on what to wear this vintage quilted maxi skirt with and, combined with these Mary Portas Armery sleeves Liz gave me for Xmas, it all came together quite nicely.

Topshop tee (clearance charity shop), 1970s quilted maxi skirt (free from a fellow trader at Vintage Village at Stockport Market Hall as the zip had broken), Fringed suedette waistcoat (clearance charity shop), Vintage Pakistani bullion work velvet tote (jumble sale), Armery sleeves (gift), floppy felt hat (car boot sale)  
What else did I find on my travels? A fairly decent vintage fix which should tide me over until I next hit the chazzas....in mid-February!

Clockwise from top left: Spanish souvenir glasses and ice bucket set; "Feminine" 1970s maxi dress; Jaeger pleated wool midi skirt; 1950s Lotus leopard boots; "Feminine" blazer which matches the dress but a different size; Repro spice tin; 1980s Empress leather knee boots; 1960s patchwork leather bag; 1950s Clarks' boots; 1960s vinyl handbag

I'd drafted a post on the contents of my travel bag but I'm still waiting for the elusive eBay item. I've had an email confirming that it's on its way so hopefully I can publish it before I leave. 

Other than the last minute purchase I'm pretty much packed and ready to go. I've even sorted out what I'm wearing to travel in, which is a first. Deciding what to wear on a long haul flight takes more effort than choosing the entire contents of a month-long travel wardrobe. A normal person can wear a winter coat and boots to the airport, board the flight, arrive at their hotel, stick the lot in the wardrobe and forget all about it until they fly home. As we never stay in one place we have to lug all our belongings around with us, so what we take has to be as lightweight as possible but also keep us from freezing our tits off on the 4am drive to Manchester, the car park courtesy bus to the airport and the hideous air-conditioning at both the airport and on the flight.

I've gone for layers - cotton jersey maxi dress, a long sleeved Hindu print cotton tee, a cashmere cardi and a huge velvet scarf with baseball boots and knee-high socks underneath. Its complete madness to think that if I'd bought the Miu Miu cardi, Whistles scarf and Converse All Stars at their full retail price, they'd have cost £550 (pretty much the same as I paid for our flight to India). Luckily, all three came from charity shops for a combined total of £5. Fancy labels or world travel? No competition, really.


I'm the idiot at security who always holds everyone else up by pulling all my jewellery off at the last minute (I feel naked without it). This time I'm being sensible and wearing the bare minimum, my 3 favourite rings, a cuff I had from Liz's Mum for my 50th and this plated bronze, Turkish abeque bracelet.  



This was from philanthropic American company Accompany, who sell artisan made, fairly traded, global goods. A few weeks ago they emailed me and asked if they could send me a gift, with no obligation to write about it on my blog and I was thrilled to receive this. Their website is a joy, a virtual trawl of the best foreign markets in the world. I'm more than happy to promote an ethical business - it makes a change from all those "Dear blogger" emails I'm bombarded with trying to get me to flog dodgy Chinese-made dresses.


Hooray! The postman's just been, my travel bag is complete and there will be a packing post before I go. Before that I've got a celebratory date at Wetherspoons, it's my prosthetic hip's 11th birthday tomorrow.

See you soon!

88 comments:

  1. Sizing is nuts on clothing. That's why, when shopping for costume pieces, I always carry a tape measure. Winter travel is the worse. Sweaters, socks, I can get twice as much clothing in the same suitcase in the summer. Enjoy your trip

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    1. Traveling outfits are a right pain, I'm never warm enough on the way there!
      Modern clothes sizes are so stupid. Footwear hasn't changed so why clothing? x

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  2. Nice score! Even us die hard vintage lovers can't refuse a great "new" bargain now and then. And it looks great with that maxi. That fuschia and purple color combination is very flattering on you. BTW, love those leopard print boots (both pair) Packing for so many different climate conditions is a nightmare. I feel your pain. Happy New Year and enjoy your trip :)

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! I can't resist a bit of proper velvet - no matter the age! xxx

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  3. I really love the combination actually, wouldn't have thought it would go so well! And oh God, sizing is crazy. I have some size 6 shorts and a size 16 jumper, both of which I'd say are more like a 10!

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    1. I noticed last week that my short sleeved white top was marked an 18 whilst my jacket was a 6, and I was wearing them together!!!

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    2. It is utterly ridiculous. I know a vintage size 12 is going to fit but the modern stuff is mad. I remember buying XL in Malaysia because I was a giant compared to the locals. x

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  4. Vintage or not, the top goes really well with that quilted maxi. Love your finds, especially the 1950s Clarks boots! Layering is the thing when travelling and you've done really well having sorted it out already. At least you now have reason to wear that Miu Miu cardi. Enjoy your prosthetic hip's birthday celebrations and looking forward to your packing post. xxx

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    1. Those boots are incredible, they're still stuffed with the original tissue paper! Oh for size 4 feet! xxx

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  5. Congrats on your hips anniversary! LOL! Love that 70s maxi dress you found, beautiful colors! And you're terrific outfit you are wearing! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! I love that shade of cyclamen pink, it always make it look like the sun is shining! xxx

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  6. Sizing really is crazy, I can be anything between a 6 to a 16 sometimes even within the same shop! You look fab as usual. I barely know the meaning of packing light so I'll look forward to your packing post, hope you have a wonderful trip!

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    1. It makes no sense, does it? I know where I am with vintage clothes, the sizes are fairly consistent. xxx

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  7. cheers to your hip!!!! :-)
    and hooray to the postman who´s delivering that last item of your travel wardrobe! i had to smile about your first purchase "not even vintage" because mine´s too - a bright sari pink cotton cardi for summer from lidl brand for 3€ at the 2.hand warehouse. and i know which skirt i´ll wear with it.....
    xxxxx

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    1. Your cardi sounds just the thing to compliment the Rabari skirt!! xxx

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  8. I'm wearing a 1960's size 16 today. Today? Who knows, it would probably be an 8.

    Happy Anniversary and many more to your hip! I will look forward to that final post before you head off, and look equally forward to your return.

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    1. Some of my customers get upset when the dress they try on has a size label 4 times bigger than the modern one they wear. If it fits what's the problem? xxx

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  9. You celebrate your prosthetic hip's birthday? You kill me :) I find figuring what to wear on trips difficult as well. Perhaps if you wear less jewelery on the plane you can buy more in India where it is incredibly cheap!

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    1. I have to, it's the day my life changed for the better!!
      Twenty years ago silver jewellery in India was super cheap, not any more! Mind you, they probably look at me with a ring on every finger and bangles up each arm and think I'm loaded! x

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  10. That topshop charity shop find looks wonderful with your amazing skirt! x

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  11. Ummmm......what is that thing from Accompany? A choker? A hair do-bob-a-jiggy? both? Whatever it is it looks fabulous!
    Bon voyage!
    xox

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    1. It's a bracelet, I'm wearing it on the photo above. It's pretty, isn't it? xxx

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  12. I bought a brand new outift yesterday in a sale and the skirt was a size 18. It's no more an 18 than I'm a fella.
    My pal was amazed at me buying from a normal shop. Hardly normal it was the Edinburgh wool shop haha.
    Can't blog at the moment as my photos won't upload (again).
    Its getting very exciting in your house now with holiday plans in full flow. How brilliant to find a cashmere cardi xxx

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    1. Haha! You do make me laugh! I'm surprised you didn't get chucked out of the Edinburgh Woolen Mill, you're far too young and not an American! xxx

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  13. I am pissing myself at you out celebrating your hips birthday. That is bloody fantastic! That is am amazing haul with your fabulous bargain outfit. I love that maxi, and Devore top, the colours are fantastic and your layered look is just the thing for this weather. Honestly, we are freezing our arses off up here. I never bother about size labels either. I have things with about 6 different numbers on the label and they all fit and don't look like I am wearing my Sprogzilla's clothes so it is all good. That bracelet is gorgeous. As one who doesn't know the meaning of packing light I am looking forward to your travel wardrobe post. You always take the best stuff. :) Xx

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    1. I know! It needs celebrating, I was a dreadful cripple for years.
      Isn't the weather appalling? I don't think I've seen daylight in weeks. So grey and gloomy. I'm counting the hours till I see sunshine again. xxx

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  14. Wow, that was an interesting find! It looks great on and I love the quilted skirt. The sleeves are a fabulous idea - I remember Mary Portas showing them in a programme I watched; anyway I think that they're a great idea and for those of us with bingo wings, a godsend! I love your bag so much.

    I'm going to have to come to Walsall on a rummage - your charity shop finds are just amazing; I particularly love the 1950s short boots and that lovely little tin.

    Loved all your fab jewellery and I think your travelling outfit is brill - especially the cashmere cardigan to keep you warm.

    Happy birthday to your hip!

    xxxxx

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    1. Our chazzas have their moments, you never know what's going to turn up. Strange to find two pairs of 1950s leopard boots in the same size in different shops on the same day!!
      Those sleeves are a really good idea, I like that they add some colour and interest. I'm not sure if they still make them, I've got a feeling Liz found them in TK Maxx. xxx

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  15. Great find and I just love how you've styled it. Topshop do still have gems from time to time, I can't believe it was in the charity shop so quick xx

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    1. Topshop do have some decent stuff. I love finding it second hand, far too expensive to buy new! xxx

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  16. Your outfit looks great, it's gels well, I love the quilted skirt it's gorgeous. I know what you mean about airport air conditioning, I hate it even in the height of summer. I agree with you about travel rather than labels but your talent with finding absolute bargains means you manage both :) xxx

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    1. Thank you. Those sleeves are a perfect match with that skirt, aren't they?
      I loathe air conditioning with a passion. I can't for the life of me understand why people pay extra for it in hotel rooms, I'd rather sweat. xxx

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  17. Love the quilted skirt- my sister had a dressing gown in a very similar fabric, but on an orange background. It's brought back some lovely memories of our 1970s childhood!
    Arilx

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    1. I bet it was one groovy dressing gown! I've a couple of quilted maxis and its like wearing your duvet. Brilliant! xxx

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  18. My youngest son has just flown out to Qatar, very hot, and is going to London, Switzerland and Amsterdam, thinking quite cold, then back to Dubai, again very hot. So watching him pack was amusing for me. But you are the Queen of packing so I am sure you have it all down to a fine art by now. Happy Birthday to your HIP!!!

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    1. How exciting! What a mix - heat, snow and dirty grey drizzle. I bet he'll have the time of his life. xxx

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  19. I always layer up for flights, I'm too lazy to carry anything bulky! Hope you have a super time (as if you won't!), I'm looking forward to seeing what's going in your suitcase, and to read about it all when you return! I'm taking my holidays vicariously through you at the moment!

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    1. Me, too! The thought of dragging a fake fur coat around India doesn't bear thinking about!!
      You need a holiday. Hazel. I hope you manage a few adventures in 2017. xxx

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  20. Loving the quilted skirt... the whole outfit actually, the Top Shop top was a fab find. I always take my Islamabad market pashmina on flights, it can be bloody cold especially if you're sat by the doors. Will look forward to seeing the contents of your parcel, in the mean time enjoy your session in 'Spoons. xxx

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    1. I'll be grabbing all the blankets I can lay my hands on when i board that flight! xxx

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  21. Your lipstick beautifully matches your sleeves!
    So glad your ebay treat arrived in time.
    Hippy birthday to you, hippy birthday to you...I'm sure I'm not the only one ;-)
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. I do love that shade of pink - as you can tell!
      Hooray for the postman! xxx

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  22. Hip, hip hooray, happy hip birthday! If there was ever an advert for charity shopping, it was you, Vix. Thanks for sharing the modern top shop top, it looks great, and will be as close to top shop as I ever get too. Looking forward to your packing post, have a great holiday! xxx

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    1. YEp, Topshop's far too expensive for cheapskates like us these days! xxx

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  23. Carrying a tape measure is essential with such nonsensical sizing, I even take one when I pop into a 'proper' shop! It's a lovely top though, looks great with the bag. Enjoy your Spoons outing xx

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    1. Honestly, modern sizing is mad, isn't it? No wonder you have to return half your purchases when you buy on-line, it's like a constant gamble, isn't it? xxx

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  24. I love the randomness of thrift shopping and the fact that you found the matching jacket for that dress.

    You are a pro at packing. My husband is lucky since I pick him up at the airport with a big puffer coat.

    I love your eclectic outfit for the plane.

    Can't wait to see the last minute purchase.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. We love the randomeness, too. We were walking back from our trip last week reeling off what we'd bought ....a Russian military hat, 1980s glow in the dark socks with "hip hop" printed all over them, a 1970s maxi dress and 6 spy novels...you couldn't dream it up, could you? xxx

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  25. The combination of purple and black is fantastic - what a great addition to your wardrobe! Happy hip birthday, happy packing and happy travels, dear Vix! Happy New beginning!!

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! I had to keep my hand in, after a month off I'll have forgotten how to shop! xxx

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  26. I always find shopping in regular stores confusing, I remember going into one store and I ended up trying three different sizes of trousers and they all fit? (They were different styles but it's still puzzling). You really suit purple Vix, you look great! I have a dress that I must have had for 10 plus years and I've always kept it as it's my "traveling" dress - it's always hard moving from a cool climate to a warm one without ending up carrying a woollen jacket around for the length of your holiday! Sounds like you've sorted it though - happy travels!

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    1. It just goes to prove that the only way is either vintage or make it yourself!!
      Once you've found the perfect travelling dress it needs hanging on to. I'm not convinced that the one I'll be wearing will last the duration, modern stuff rarely does. xxx

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  27. Oh girlfriend, you own it! Nice work. I will live vicariously through your charity shopping this year as I am not allowed to buy anything. Not even underwear, I have so many bras, all unworn, it's not even funny.

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    1. You're not allowed to buy anything? If I got told that I'd have to rebel!! Maybe you should put all your unworn bras on eBay and buy something with the profits? xxx

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  28. How odd that the dress and jacket are different sizes - perhaps they had one original owner whose bottom and top halves were different dress sizes.

    I was a size 8 in the 90s, and I'm sure that's a modern 6. I had 32-inch hips back then, and I refuse to believe it's more common for grown women to have a smaller hip measurement than that nowadays. Unless there really is a secret army of underweight women out there.

    Plus I have 1990s size 18 skirts that I can't get into, but I can get into modern ones. Sizing be bonkers!

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    1. Isn't it strange? I don't even think the dress and jacket look right together - a slinky sleeveless maxi with a keyhole neckline and a conservative-type blazer? Odd.
      I can't understand how people can buy modern stuff on online when there's such huge discrepancies in sizes. They must spend half their lunchtimes in post office queues. xxx

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  29. Oh good I am looking forward to your packing post, previous ones have made an impact on my own travelling behaviour and I now pack sarongs by the handful, layer them round neck and tuck in bottom of travel bag (with bikini in case of lost luggage crisis) and use them as blanket/lights out and draught excluder/extra layers on the journey to/from airport! I now own lots of maxi skirts/dresses too which are so much cooler and more flexible in hot countries.. have a great time at Spoons. Oh yes the size issue, I just cut the labels out, like you, if it fits I wear it (have noticed the more expensive the label the smaller they will claim their dress size to be - trickery) Betty

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    1. You're right. I think that's why in the olden days women were loyal to M&S, their sizes were quite generous and they could get away with wearing smaller size. I'm like you though, who sees the label anyway? xxx

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  30. I don't even know my size these days, except for when shopping at Lindy Bop. When asked, I just go blank. Sizing is utter madness. A Lindy Bop skirt will fit in my usual size, but the same size from a different place is huge on me xxx

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    1. They ought to label modern womens' clothes by waist and chest sizes like mens' stuff, it would make a lot more sense, wouldn't it? x

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  31. I need boots and refuse this year to buy retail. My goal is two pairs, black and brown, under $20 for both. The hunt is on.

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  32. I need boots and refuse this year to buy retail. My goal is two pairs, black and brown, under $20 for both. The hunt is on.

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  33. I need boots and refuse this year to buy retail. My goal is two pairs, black and brown, under $20 for both. The hunt is on.

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  34. I hope your hip is having a fabulous Birthday! Layering is definitely the way to go. xx

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    1. It certainly did have a fab birthday, thank you! Here's to many more! xxx

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  35. Glad I stopped by before you take off!! I always love seeing all your pics when you return, too. I smiled at your pared-down jewelry. Now I just hold up my wrists when I get to security and announce "These don't come off". After a little flustering on their part, I'm sent through the X-ray machine, patted down, and on my way.

    Happy New Year, Lovely One. Soak up the sun for all of us. xoxoxo

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    1. Security in India always let me though without making me remove my armour - sadly, the Brits aren't as appreciative. Mind you I set all the alarms off with my hip anyway. xxx

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  36. Hurrah for post! Seriously the pricing and sizing of modern clothes is insane, varies from shop to shop and even ranges within the same shops!?!
    Your top looks fabulous though. x

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    1. I remember buying some jeans in TopShop's sale about 12 years ago and having to try 6 pairs of the same size one as every pair fitted differently. You'd have to have the patience of a saint to do that on a regular basis. xxx

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  37. It's a constant source of fascination to me to think that people can afford to buy all new clothes, or even that they'd want to, but everyone's different. I agree, the flying outfit is so tricky when you know you're going to be carrying it around, but I think you've got it spot on. I'm rather intrigued by your mystery parcel...all will soon be revealed. I love your packing posts! Xxxx

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    1. There's no thrill in buying something off a rack of identical garments, is there? Nothing to beat a rummage and the thrill of discovering something fab in a sea of George at Asda!
      I better get that post finished, I've been told the bags are being padlocked and the keys confiscated this evening.

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  38. I love the purple, black and gold combination of your outfit. I'm not really a fan of wearing black, but you these colours together look great. I wonder what the mystery item is...Xxx

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    1. Thank you! Black's alright in moderation but it needs loads of colour and accessories to make it stand out. xxx

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  39. You can pull the outfit off- I could not,but on you, it's actually very nice. I like it.

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  40. Gorgeous t-shirt and a bargain! Don't get me started on modern dress sizes, completely ridiculous. Last year I bought some jumpers in the sale at m&s with a gift voucher, they ranged from size 8 to 14, with the size 14 being the smallest (it was sparkly and only £11, though).

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    1. That's daft, isn't it? M&S used to be one of the most reliable shops for consistent sizing. Can't go wrong with a sparkly jumper for £11! x

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  41. Love that quilted maxi skirt, I bet its so cosy. Great buy with the Topshop top too, you couldn't even buy it that cheap in the sales! Super-impressed with you chazza hoard - those 1950s Clarks boots are gorgeous xxx

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    1. It is super cosy! What a great invention quilted dresses and maxis were.
      I wish those Clarks' boots weren't a size 4 - it isn't fair! x

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  42. Morning Vix! I love that outfit! The pink sleeves match your lipstick nicely. As a Canuck, I know that layered dressing is a crucial part of surviving the cold. I would add your nice silk harem pants underneath your dress. Cashmere, silk, wool and acrylic are excellent for keeping heat in. But you probably don't want to bring wool with you to India :)

    Thank you for brightening my day with your colorful pictures.

    happy thrifting ;)

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    1. Morning, darling!! Damn, I wore all my harems to death, I'll see if I can find a replacement when I'm away! Layering makes sense - and looks more interesting, too. xxx

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  43. I can wear sizes from medium to x-large depending on the brand and the age. I look at an item and if it seems large enough to fit me I try it on.

    Brilliant travel layering! Hope you have a stellar trip.

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xxx