Wednesday, 10 October 2018

She Drew The Gunne




I'm not sure if my latest eBay purchase is a Gunne Sax - it's a cheesecloth-type of fabric, American made with an ILGWU tag but no brand labels and with the Renaissance-inspired corset-style laced bodice it has definitely got the look. It was listed with a Buy It Now price of £8 so I didn't think twice, I clicked the button and bought it straightaway.


I can't make head nor tail of American sizing but this vintage dress is marked as a Size 5 and fits perfectly. I'm thrilled that it's still warm enough to step out in white cheesecloth. If this unseasonably hot weather is payoff for our terrible winter then bring on another Beast from the East.


I wore my new-to-me maxi with my exotic snakeskin Gohill's boots from 1966 which, you may remember were given to me by the favourite teacher (HERE). The choker came from Biba and was Mum's back in the 1960s.


We've had another full-on week of stock hunting and have been all over the place looking for choice vintage gear. Yesterday was the turn of the East Midlands and, as it was another glorious day, I wore my 1960s embroidered Indian cotton hippy-tastic maxi dress with a quilted Phool waistcoat and a shedload of Indian tribal jewellery.


This was last Friday's outfit. The amazing burn-out velvet bells were from the fabulous Suzanne Carillo and the 1970s Jeff Banks W1 tunic was an absolute bargain from a Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair a couple of years ago (it's twin is currently on eBay for £165). The cherry coloured wooden bead thong necklace was Mum's favourite thing to wear when she was expecting me and the leather & suede 1960s-does-Victorian lace-up boots were £1 from a car boot sale.

Stock hunting hasn't been half bad. Here's a few of the pieces we've picked up this week.

Clockwise from top left: 1960s Psych midi dress: Windsmoor coral belted Spring coat; Ethnic tunic; 1960s pussy bow mini dress; 1970s Prova maxi; Vintage pussy bow blouse; Jaeger cotton velvet jacket; 1960s High Class sheepskin; 1960s Dereta wool coat.

Clockwise from top left: 1970s ethnic-inspired midi dress; Tissavel fake leopard coat (RESERVED); 1970s handmade day dress; Butte Knit pussy bow blouse; 1960s dress suit; Hand knit bag; 1970s bird print pussy bow blouse; 1980s Velvet and gold dot midi dress; 1970s Ladies pride day dress

Clockwise from top left: 1970s Dereta wool coat; 1970s fake wrap midi; 1970s floral midi; Pussy bow day dress; 1960s wool shift; Fake fur jacket; Mr John for Liberty, London wool blouse; Printed day dress; Frill collar midi dress

Clockwise from top left: 1980s leather flying jacket; English-made chores jacket; 1970s belted mac; Hepworths car coat; Vintage Wrangler denim jacket; 1960s Crombie overcoat; American chores jacket; 1960s suede country waistcoat.
You'll find us (and our latest wares) at Vintage Village this Sunday. I'm not quite sure what to wear for a scary fair - some people might say that I'm a terrifying enough sight already (especially when I've left the house at 6am).


It's Wednesday which means it's Apprentice and rum night. Not too much booze though, yet another day of shopping awaits tomorrow.


See you soon!

PS If you get a chance you have to watch Stacey Dooley Investigates: Are Your Clothes Wrecking The Planet? If you've ever been a consumer of fast fashion, I guarantee this will ruin your appetite. (HERE)

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

59 comments:

  1. Synchronized posting again ;-) Brand label or not, that cheesecloth maxi is divine, and a bargain to boot. Talking of boots, I'm drooling over your teacher's Gohill's boots (what a lovely story that was), and your Mum's Biba choker. Your 1960s embroidered maxi is such a lovely colour. Almost bought a dress in that colour today ... You did really well stock hunting, quite a few pieced I'd picked up too. Wishing you a great trade and a fabulous time at Stockport Vintage Village. I'm sure you'll come up with something fabulous to wear! xxx

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    1. We haven't sychronised for a while, I love it when it happens!
      I knew you'd like some of those pieces, a lot came from the same lady. Sadly she was bigger than both of us! xxx

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  2. There were some Gunne Sax inspired dresses of pretty good quality in my high school years-may be one of those. You are a tiny one-a size 5 in vintage would be probably a 3 or even a size 1 now with vanity sizing. Americans tend to have given more leeway over the years with what constitutes what size to make our expanding hips and wasit eel less well, expanded. Doesn't work for me though.

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    1. Vanity sizing is ridiculous here as well, Sam. I'm not surprised people aren't aware they're putting on weight, clothes sizes just get bigger and bigger! xxx

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  3. Hello, I have been a fan of your blog and personal style for years but have never before commented. I bought a Gunne Sax dress earlier this year, purple velvet with cream high lace collar. I think you would probably like it. People tell me in my small village that my style is quirky, I just like to have fun with my clothes. Thank you for your inspiration.

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    1. Hello Alysia! I'm thrilled that you commented. I love the sound of your Gunne Sax dress, it sounds just my kind of thing.How lovely that people comment on your appearance, seeing you in your finery must be a highlight for many of your neighbours. xxx

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  4. I love Stacey Dooley, fearless and wonderful. Also big Apprentice fans so we'll be watching. I love so much the pieces you have inherited from your mum and family in general. Your mum had such amazing taste.

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    1. She's brilliant, isn't she? I really hope people sit up and take note of that documentary, It's appalling how people are suffering for the sake of fast fashion.
      I love shouting at The Apprentice...bring it on! xxx

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  5. Yes! The Stacey Dooley documentary was terrifying! I knew about the pollution fashion causes but the extent was unbelievable. The extent of The disappearance of the Arral sea a nd the consequences for the surrounding towns was heartbreaking. It all made me very angry that witless people who haven't the sense to realise that cheap fashion is cheap for a reason are destroying the planet.
    Sorry for the rant­čśÉ Shelagh

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    1. Rant away, I feel exactly the same, Shelagh. I was horrified by the amount of water used to produce a single pair of jeans. Anyone who goes to the high street and buys a pair of jeans after watching that can't have a conscience. The way those poor people in Kazakhstan and Indonesia have to live because of people's relentless need to look fashionable is absolutely heartbreaking. xxx

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  6. Not another piece of clothing could be manufactured and there would still be plenty to clothe us all for decades. I still buy 95 percent of my wardrobe at the thrifts except undergarments and socks. I think a scary gothic witch might be in order for the fair lol

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    1. You're not wrong there! I found a bin full of expensive bras with the tags still attached a few weeks ago, all priced at 25p - should keep me going for years! xxx

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  7. A vintage 5/6 US would be about a 32-34 bust and 24in waist.
    The Gunne Sax dresses tend to be elaborate in the trimmings, but even if it isn't Gunne it is a wonderful piece for your wardrobe. My High School graduation dress was a Gunne Sax (bought new by my mother) which REALLY offended my punk sensibilities with all that ivory lace! I still have it, and it fits. Maybe I should wear it?

    No fast-fashion here, thanks. My fashion is so slow I've barely made inroads to the 70's ;)

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    1. Thanks for the size guide!
      I'm not keen on the overtly frilly Gunne Sax dresses but there's one with forest green velvet panels that I love (not enough to pay the price it seems to sell for, though!)
      You need to get your gradation dress out and wear it, I need to see it! xxx

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  8. I wore Gunne Sax to High School Graduation and as a bridesmaid. Several of my friends got married in them.

    The size 5 was part of the "junior's" line. Odd numbers up to 15.

    Some were very lush. The last one I wore had a brown velvet corset bodice and floral for the rest of it. Very comfortable.

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    1. They were massively popular over the pond, weren't they? Probably our equivalent was Dollyrockers and Laura Ashley.
      Your velvet one sounds gorgeous!

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    2. Love the dress! Junior size range probably is perfect for your body type, although we wear what fits and we like, don't we? We had Gunne Sax and Laura Ashley (which was the more expensive of the two), but they were not my style. Obviously saw the wrong garments!

      American size ranges - back in the day:

      Junior sizes were odd numbers, as 50 and Counting noted. As the name implies, they were designed for more youthful figures with a higher bust point, smaller cup size (usually AA to small B) and a slightly smaller waist to hip ratio. Measurements expressed in odd numbers.

      Misses were designed for adult females with a slightly lower bust point, cup sizes B to small C, with a slightly larger waist to hip ratio. Measurements expressed as whole, even numbers.

      Half Sizes and Womens sizes were designed for more mature, heavier figures. Half-sizes usually ran from about 14-1/2 to 24-1/2, geared to shorter women. Measurements expressed as even numbers + 1/2 inch. Womens sizes ran from about 16W to 28W for average height, depending on the brand. Measurements expressed as whole, even numbers. Both of these size ranges had a bust point lower than Misses sizing, with C to full D cup and larger waist to hip ratio. Many manufacturers graded up from the largest Misses size without fitting on a larger model, resulting in ill-fitting clothing.

      Measurements for sizes across (and sometimes within) brands were not standardized any more than they are today. sigh

      I know these size ranges existed through the 1970s. Not sure when Juniors and Half Sizes were phased out and Womens became Plus sizes. Probably late 1980s to mid-1990s.

      Sorry, Vix! Probably waaay more information than you want or need!

      Taja

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    3. Taja - that's absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much for all the information. Next time I come across any American vintage listed online cheaply I'll know whether it's right for me.
      I occasionally come across British-made vintage clothes labelled "youth fitting" which were probably the same and I've got quite a few 1960s dressmaking patterns labelled "Misses" which always seem to fit well when I make them up, now I know it's because I don't have much of a bust. xxx

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  9. What a fabulous dress! I always love seeing your outfits, and peeking at all your vintage finds, Vix. I'm utterly horrified by the devastation that fast fashion creates (and really, any mass-manufactured items - I refuse to shop in Walmart or big box stores). So glad to be shopping second hand!

    Odd sizes are juniors as noted (smaller in the hips and bust), and even sizes are women's (bigger in the bust and hips overall). You'll often see sizes like 9/10. Around 1986, vanity sizing hit big here and all sizes dropped by 2 increments, so a 5 would be about a modern size 2. To give you a rough idea, add 20 to the vintage size to get approximate waist measurement in inches - so a modern US size 6 (vintage size 10) is about a 30 inch waist.

    Thanks for the tip on the Japan-made toque! I love the knowledge-share! Happy week to you and Jon and the kitties! Sending you good shopping karma.

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    1. That's brilliant advice, Sheila. thanks for taking the trouble to explain those sizes to me. Looking at Etsy after a few drinks might get very dangerous now! xxx

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  10. You always manage to scoop up the best deals on Ebay! I never find stuff like that.

    I'm glad enjoying those velvet bell bottoms. They were destined for you.

    Your boot collection is really making me swoon. The size of the heel is perfect!

    Wishing you loads of sales at your Scary Fair. Ha ha! Can't wait to see what you wear : P

    The unbelievable destruction of the earth's resources to feed fast fashion and over consumption is truly terrifying. I've watched and read so much on it. I do feel I'm helping a bit but it is like spitting into the wind.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. I love my bells, they're going to be perfect when it's too wet (or snowy) to risk my maxi dress hems trailing on the ground.
      I have a love/hate relationship with eBay, some sellers are seriously deluded as to the value of vintage clothing - and a huge amount of it isn't even old but I have got quite lucky over the last week and found a few gems at a good price.
      I knew cotton production used a lot of water but had no idea quite how much. The only answer is by buying second-hand clothes but sadly the vast majority of people only want new, it's so depressing. xxx

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  11. I'm surprised you don't see more Gunne Sax dresses around as they were so popular in the 70's and most of the 80's (at least in California). Looks fab on you & the velvet burnout bells are amazing!
    xox

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    1. Back in the 1960s and 1970s most of our clothes were produced here hence the vintage gear I come across in charity shops is British made as opposed to American. Many girls back then went for Laura Ashley - or if they were cool, Dollyrockers, brands that command daft prices in the USA! xxx

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  12. the velvet bells , my mother bought me some as a teen and i was horrified in my pre goth phase , then to make it worse youve bought Maggie Thatchers pussy bow wardrobe . ive noticed that this years students at the uni , seem to have fallen for that era of vintage so commercially its a good choice , but for me its the stuff of nighmares...lol

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    1. Blimey, your students sound a lot better dressed than the ones who shuffle to the university campus around the corner from my house in the fake Uggs, skanky leggings and Primarni tat! x

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  13. Looking fabulous in this Indian summer! I have always wanted a Gunne Sax but have never found one in my size that wasn't a stupid price. I am yet to see that documentary, one for the weekend maybe. X

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    1. Thank you! Some of the prices they command are eye watering, aren't they? There's an absolute beauty on eBay at the moment with forest green velvet panels.
      Watch that documentary if you get a chance. I still can't get over the amount of water needed to produce one pair of jeans. xxx

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  14. Hi Vix, you should dress up in a Morticia Addams style for the scary fair! You could pull it off with your long black hair! Xxx

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    1. Good plan, Jess! I've got a black 1960s panne velvet maxi dress that looks exactly like something Morticia would wear! xxx

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  15. Great finds Vix and I love your cheesecloth dress.
    Hugs-x-

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  16. What really is 'scary' is the blatant consumerism that is slowly destroying our planet. I read that article and the statistics regarding jeans are horrifying. I note that all the dreadful Xmas tat is already in the shops and I hate to think of the impact on the environment producing all that rubbish has! On the plus side I have noticed lots of YouTube videos on the subject of slow fashion, but is it all too little too late? Xx

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    1. Scary is about right. I've seen all that hideous Xmas tat taking up entire aisles in the shops now and it utterly disgusts me, all wrapped in plastic and no doubt will end up in landfill on 1st January.
      Apparently it can take 40 years for an item of synthetic clothing to decompose. It's horrifying. People really need to wake up and stop buying mass produced tat. xxx

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  17. Oooh, I love the check Dereta coat! Would you consider possibly selling it online (depending on the size of course), rather than taking it along to the fair?

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    1. Hi Fran! I can't find your email address. I'm at kinkymelon@hotmail.co.uk Let me know which Dereta you like and I'll send photos and measurements. xxx

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    2. So sorry I didn't respond before now - life rather got in the way! It was the check coat in the top left of the third set of new stock images. I expect it's already been sold now!

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  18. The Gunne Sax looks truly beautiful, mystical even.
    A friend was talking about the Stacey Dooley programme earlier this week, she said we all need to change and buy fewer new clothes, then looked at me and said 'not you of course'!! I was horrified that cotton production is so destructive, and the dyeing process so damaging to the rivers. It's good that people are talking about it though. Seeing the damaged coral reefs has made lots of people look at their plastic useage. TV can be very powerful can't it.
    I'm still loving the weather, wearing summer clothes again is great, even if only briefly. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally!
      I was horrified by the amount of water it took to grow cotton and when you see the rail upon rails of last season's denim jeans in every charity shop in the country it's truly appalling that we're f*cking up the planet just to look fashionable. xxx

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  19. great stock! wish we would find such cool menswear here..... german men are such a dull bunch - if they are not railroad keepers of cause :-)
    everytime i see it i swoon over the blue embroidered dress.........
    have a successful fair! xxxxx

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    1. The railroad keeper is a shining example of a sharp dressed man! xxx

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  20. I am constantly amazed at what good finds you discover. Anything pre-90's is almost impossible to dig up around here. We do find some stuff from the 80's -- a fun era, but the fashion was horrid!

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    1. The Eighties! Some of the gear was good like the coloured leather jackets and the oversized mohair jumpers but the Princess Diana type dresses were truly horrible, weren't they? xxx

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  21. What a totally gorgeous cheesecloth dress! You look amazing in it.It is very medieval looking; very 'Game of Thrones'. I loved the blue maxi, too, and the fab tunic and trousers.

    I continue to be awed by your vintage finds; I am getting a better eye for vintage stuff and can spot more in our chazzas, but I don't like a lot of it. I tend to like most of what you find, though!

    Hope you sell shed loads at the Scary Fair...
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni. It does look a bit fairytale-like. A mate's suggested I get married in it, ha!
      We go in loads and loads of charity shops and sometimes find absolutely nothing but I do think the more often you visit the better you get at honing in on the few spectacular items. xxx

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  22. That white cheesecloth dress looks spectacular on you... I think for the scary event you would look great in head to toe black :) Love the faux leopard coat on your latest stock pile, surprised you aren't keepint for you .

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    1. Thank you, Betty! I do love that leopard coat but there's a huge demand for them and I'm thinking of the India fund! xxx

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  23. Your posts never cease to delight. Those bell bottoms, yes! And it doesn't really matter whether it's a Gunne Sacks because it still does the job of looking amazing on you.

    The planet is in big trouble. The biggest change I've seen here is we have to pay 5 cents for a plastic bag at the supermarket if we haven't brought our own. I'm not sure that's going to save us, but it's a tiny, tiny, tiny start, right? RIGHT? Gaaa. Thrift and vintage all the way.

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    1. I still can't believe people are annoyed when they're asked to pay 5p for a carrier bag, it's ridiculous, isn't it?
      Sometimes you wonder if it's all too late. xxx

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  24. Stacey Dooley is inspirational yet so down to earth and life affirming. I'm going to watch the programme and the one on plastic over the weekend. I know I'll find it heartbreaking, but it inspires me to do more on a personal level and encourage others through the green volunteering I do. Our repair cafe is tacking an afternoon session on from next year focussed on textiles in which people will learn how to mend, upcycle, knit, crochet and swap garments. Can't wait. Arilx

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  25. I read the article you linked to. While I didn't seen this particular documentary, I've seen documentaries on this subject before, one of them was called Toxic Clothing or something like that and it gave me a pretty good idea of a scale of pollution fast fashion produces. Alarming stuff.

    I love your outfits. The first dress is so beautiful. The blue maxi dress is stunning as well, and it looks great paired with that vest. Those flares paired with that oversize blouse are so chic and your vintage purchases are simply dreamy.

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  26. Sorry I'm late on my commenting!. Anyway, you look fabulous in your white dress and I enjoy particularly your summery attitude!. And the hippietastic dress looks stunning with the cute waistcoat and statement necklace, you totally rock!!
    And I'm loving your velvet pants and the amazing sleeves tunic!
    Glad that you got all these beautiful clothes (this is making me green with envy of your happy costumers!)
    besos

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  27. I'm a little bit in love with Stacey Dooley. Her documentary brings a whole new meaning to the saying 'costs the earth'. I had no idea that cotton was so bad, I knew the fashion industry was a huge polluter but I didn't realise to such an extent. It was interesting to see the fashion influencers reaction, but what will be more interesting is what they now do with that information.
    xx

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  28. That would make a fabulous wedding dress, although I know you have no desire to wed nor me neither - but it would be so much better than most of the wedding dresses you see. xx

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  29. Wow, all that new stock looks FANTASTIC.
    You are always the champion of Ebay, I have tried using your tips over the years but have never quite managed to get the bargains you do - that dress is amazing.

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  30. Your new dress def. looks like a Gunne Sax, one of my favorite teen-year brands. Your flared trousers are super-cool too. Love both the faux furs you have for your next show. What shoppers you two are!! xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  31. Check you out Renaissance Princess! WHat a marvellous outfit and a bargain too! AS IS THE JUDY TOP!!Wow, I LOVE those sleeves!!!
    You have done well on the stock! Bravo!!! Hope that you make some lovely sales. CBC is going to Manchester this weekend- I was supposed to come but have a concert- it's a pity as it's totally easy to get to Stockport from Manch!!!x

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  32. Wow, this is my third time trying to comment. I don't know what's up with my computer today. Anyway, you've outdone yourself this time. The Gunne-esque maxi looks positively dreamy on you. The Indian maxi, peasant tunic and flares are all fab. And those snakeskin boots, oh my!

    As far as polluting via clothes and textile manufacturing, I have known about this for a while now. It's great people are making documentaries to enlighten those who have no idea how much this negatively affects the planet. But we have a long way to go to clean up all the environmental messes we've created. There's only so much we can do as individuals. Until governments step up and make earth friendly policies and regulations, I fear it will get worse unless something is done on a large scale. Right now money take precedence. Maybe tax breaks or some other incentives to encourage businesses to adopt more "Green" processes. All I know is something has to change. It's not like we have somewhere else to go once we allow Earth to become uninhabitable.

    On a lighter note, you sure got yourself some real gems on your latest shopping trip. Love the 70s plaid belted coat. Hope you sell lots at the Scary Fair. Why not dress as a Scary Fairy? Look forward to what you come up with

    xxx
    Theresa

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  33. Fantastic finds! That 60s dress suit is brilliant. I actually complained about one of my local chazzas recently; after picking up a tweed jacket and putting it down hurriedly, telling Pete I wasn't paying £40 for it, the staff stood at the till loudly making remarks about how 'If you're not into vintage you really don't understand the value of things..." So they got a dinging from their head office, I believe. And they won't be getting any more donations of *actual vintage* from me either; I've given them 1940s dresses in the past.

    For you, a scary fair is wearing beige, or possibly a shellsuit...

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