Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Lucky Lucky Lucky Me!


This dress was waiting for me when I went charity shopping last week. It wasn't hard to spot, a beacon of colour and grooviness in a sea of manky stretch jersey and feeble High Street prints that generally dominate the rails of chazzas up and down the land.


The previous owner had made some odd adjustments, opening up the side seams and adding a two inch strip of black polyester on each side and taking the hem up so much that it was midi length (fortunately she'd just sewn the hem and not chopped it off). It took the best part of a day to restore the maxi to her previous glory. The poor thing was so dusty that the colour looked completely different after a spin in the washing machine. 

SOURCE
Polly Peck was a small British fashion house which gained prominence in the Swinging Sixties with Sybil Zelker's bold designs on ground-breaking modern fabrics. The label was bought out by disgraced businessman, Asil Nadir in the 1980s and collapsed in 1991 with debts totalling £1.3bn. 

WEARING: Vintage 1960s Miss Polly for Polly Peck maxi (British Heart Foundation), Orange fedora (new, retail), Lamani coin belt worn as a necklace (India, 2000), Clarks' Orinoco Club boots and 1970s tooled leather bag (both eBay) 

 After finding a polo neck that perfectly matched my hat the previous week, what were the chances of finding a dress in the same shop seven days later!  I wonder what'll be waiting for me this week? People often tell me that I have great charity shop luck but the secret is to go regularly and with a clear head. Don't go with a wish list in mind, you'll see past the potential of everything else in the shop in your mission to accomplish wardrobe nirvana and more often than not miss some chazza shop gold. Do I need another vintage maxi dress? Of course not. I've probably got enough dresses to wear a different one every day for months but that's the rail I always peruse first. 


Talking of lucky, I thought I'd share my birthday presents. I have been spoilt.


This spoon and bangle were made from the bombs that devastated Laos between 1964 and 1973.  Something beautiful from something so ugly. 


Do you love Inspector Montalbano as much as I do? Here's the entire back catalogue of Luca Zingaretti's other work. I'll be fluent in Italian by the time I leave for India!



William de Morgan porn!


Did I ever mention my teenage love for Blondie? I have every piece of vinyl they ever issued. Looking forward to reading this.


I've been meaning to try some beeswax wraps for ages. I've got no excuse now.


 Yum! 


I'm a coffee table book! Thanks to lovely Lynn & Philip for creating this masterpiece!


Artisan made beachy necklaces from my favourite fair trade company.


 Jon managed to track down a vintage silk sari. I'll be taking this to a tailor in India, I have a plan!


A pewter ring stand ('Scuse the cat hair, it's an unavoidable evil in our house).


Ethnic textile heaven.


This bottle of Rosé will be coming to the curry house with me on Xmas Day (I know, aren't I restrained?) It did come accompanied by a box of baklava but that didn't last long enough for a photo!


I've heard great things about Snag tights, a British independent company who make tights in a variety of sizes and leg lengths. I'll let you know how I get on with them.


This ceramic jug should be full of blooming crocus by the Spring.


My birthday card from Curtise is a piece of original artwork from an arts project she supports. I've already framed it and hung it in the bathroom.


She also sent me the blue maxi skirt and the pansy print dress I'm wearing below.


Aren't I a lucky girl? All I need now is for Jon to finish the bathroom and I can use the shower for the first time in three years! Maybe there'll be news about the bathroom by my next post (or maybe we'll be running for the hills if the general election doesn't go our way tomorrow....arghhhh!)

See you soon.

63 comments:

  1. You look gorgeous in that restored maxi!!! I love all those little treats--- so many things to enjoy!!! I'm sure the shower will be done soon lolol!!!

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    1. Thanks, Becky! Still waiting for that shower - man flu stopped play! xxx

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  2. Again, one of your best ever dresses, so pretty. Wow, you made out like a bandit for your birthday - love that Hamsa hand picture

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    1. Thanks so much! Isn't that picture fab? Thoroughly deserving of a frame! x

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  3. You look really stunning in that heart dress Vix x

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  4. You have had some fab presents , I discovered the shop last week where you got your beautiful dress from , I didn't have much time i was on route to my moms via the bus and stopped off before going to wednesbury , I did get a large vintage earthenware casserole dish for £3.00 i was thrilled , I have just ordered a pair of those tights to try only in black though but will have some colours if i like them xx

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    1. I wore my pink Snag tights on Sunday and was really impressed with how they felt! The weren't shiny so it must be just the black ones.
      That shop is so good, I love it! Yesterday I bought two huge paisley wool shawls for £1 each, I'll be wrapping myself up in one on the plane next month! xxx

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  5. Your happy spirits attract Luck! So many great gifts, you deserve every one of them!

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  6. Looks like you lucked out on the birthday presents!

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  7. Oh my, you have been spoiled! That Polly Peck frock is absolutely gorgeous. Glad to hear you were able to undo the weird alterations. I've come across some odd ones over the years! People always tell me I'm lucky, as they haven't been able to find anything exciting in the charity shops or at Think Twice, and keep telling them the same, to go regularly and keep an open mind. I'm often told: oh, I haven't got the patience for that, but that's exactly the point isn't it? That William de Morgan book looks very tempting, and I was quite a Blondie fan in my day as well. xxx

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    1. I'm endlessly fascinated by other people's alterations - I admire the fact that they've done their utmost to prolong the life of something when they've outgrown it but am often baffled by how they've done it. Although the inserts were really professional for some reason they'd overlocked the sewing with white thread - it looked hideous! xxx

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  8. You got some really interesting and thoughtful presents. I cant wait to see what the sari Jon gave you becomes.
    I loved Blondie too, I remember first seeing her on totp when she sang Denis Denis, so impossibly glam. I'm going to have to read that. xxx

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    1. Debbie Harry was impossibly gorgeous back in the day (although she's still lovely now), those cheekbones! x

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  9. Well aren't you the lucky girl, indeed? Fabulous presents. I just love the idea of a bangle and spoon made out of a bomb - what an absolutely brilliant idea! Loved everything you got and the William De Morgan book looks amazing. I know if it was mine I would drool all over the pages...

    The Polly Peck dress is glorious; I only remember the Polly Peck brand as tights - I wasn't aware they did clothes, too. I have never spotted this label in the charity shops and in fact I rarely see 1960s/1970s dresses in the charity shops in this area. I don't know if that's because they don't get donated (the people in Walsall hold on to their clothes for longer maybe?) or if they're rejected at the sorting stage and ragged...what ever the reason it's interesting! And as you know I visit the chazzas on a regular basis and with an open mind.

    Hope you have a fab week.
    xxx

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    1. I was very spoilt! I love recycling so the bomb bangle and spoon fascinate me.
      I've had a few Polly Peck dresses in my time. My favourite was a green cotton halterneck maxi with Toulouse Lautrec prints all over it, I could kick myself for leaving it behind in a house move! xx

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  10. Ooooooh! To all of it really but the Polly peck and the pansy print are totes amazeballs). Happy birthday, Lovely One!

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  11. wow birthday haul! Snag is a fun name for tights. Shout out the Curtise!

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  12. Oh, didn't you clean up on presents?! You are well-loved, obviously. That wonderful dress blows me away - I'm so glad you were able to restore her. I always just hunt for the treasures when I'm out - I think I must have good clothing radar, as things often leap out at me. I also think that the more you shop second hand, the more you acquire and hone a taste for the unusual.

    A happy birthday again, my dear! You look fabulous! Give Stephen Squirrel and Frank some squirmy hugs for me!

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    1. You're right - the more you shop secondhand, the better you get at it. I don't need to shuffle through the rails laboriously, the great stuff just leaps out at me. I often panic that I've lost my touch when I've been in India for a month or so but the skills soon come back! xxx

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  13. Thanks to introducing me to another vintage designer I didn't know...Polly Peck. That dress was waiting for you to show up and give it life.

    Isn't it funny how we often find pieces that work together around the same time or even on the same thrift day?

    I agree that shopping secondhand is all about persistence and patience. Of course you are right that you can't go in with a list! Good grief. That'd ruin it all. Imagination doesn't grow with set limitations.

    You made out like a bandit for your birthday. I cannot wait to see your finished bathroom.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. My pleasure, Suzanne! Like Vronni says, Polly Peck was best known for quality hosiery they produced in the 1980s, there's some great dresses with the label online and because the name isn't huge you can often find a bargain - there's an embellished 1960s kaftan currently on UK Ebay with a Buy-It-Now of £12! xxx

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  14. I agree with you about visiting charity shops regularly and keeping an open mind. More often than not, it's usually by way of a quick, random, sticky beak visit that I encounter things that I really like. Lucky you having such thoughtful friends who've spoilt you with fantastic gifts, especially your handmade coffee table book. How special is that! I've got a copy of the Debbie Harry book too, which I'm taking on holiday in a couple of weeks. Can't wait to get it started - loved her when I was young (like just about everyone else!) Curious to see what becomes of your silk sari. And finally, you look stunning in another bobby dazzler maxi dress.

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    1. Thanks, Suzy! Yes, you have to keep visiting charity shops, of course you won't find amazing stuff every time you visit but when you do it more than makes up for the times you've encountered nothing but Primark cast-offs! xxx

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  15. Many happy returns, Vix! Wonderful presents - I've always loved Debbie Harry, I must check out that book

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  16. That dress is stunning! What a great find.

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  17. How on earth do you stay so slim. You must work out every day. That dress looks absolutely stunning on you. Orange is very clearly a good colour for you

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    1. Thanks, Cherie! 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Three meals a day. I don't eat after 6pm (unless we're on holiday) and never eat between meals. I've been a vegetarian since I was 18 months old and don't like sweet things like cakes or ice cream! xxx

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  18. wowww, this dress was totally waiting for you to make it shine! and your orange fedora and cute handbag are such perfect accessories! You Are Brilliant!, not everybody is able to see the potential in a dusty dress with odd adjustments!.
    Totally agree on visiting 'chazzas' regularly with an open mind, this advice has changed my shopping experience!.
    And so glad to see that your friends have been spoiling you with those lovely presents. I'm a huge fan of Montalbano's series (and books!), and also love Blondie (she rocks) and Arts&Crafts, lots of fabulousness!. And so cute to receive a personal table book!. Also lovely silk fabric and pendants.
    I'm looking forward to read about your experience with those beeswax wraps, which I've been also meaning to try. What I've already tried are Snag tights, they fit me nicely which is something not so usual, and I think we bought same colors (I also bought another one called 'Beach Bum' ;DD)

    besos & felicidad

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    1. I know you and I both love orange clothing!
      Yes, shopping with an open mind is the best way to do it, it's easy to get blinkered in a quest to find something special and that's when those useful little essentials get overlooked.
      Those Snag tights are great, aren't they? Liking the look of Beach Bum! xxx

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  19. lucky girl indeed!
    finding that dress **swoon** - and getting all this fabulous pressies....can´t wait to see the sari silk made up by an indian taylor.... the tights have gorgeous colors to start with.... oh - and macramee!! in my early youth we made tons of this.... always loved blondie and still do.... lovely to hear from curtis <3
    xxxxx

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    1. Wasn't I spoilt?
      I can't wait to get that sari made up into something fabulous. Indian tailors are so talented but tend to be lacking in resources like quality buttons and zips. I shall take some antique mother-of pearl buttons with me just to be on the safe side. xxx

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  20. I think the hat is the secret to the other items finding their way to you...

    Glad to know you love Blondie/Debby Harry -- I lived outside NYC the same time she and the group were coming up, so we saw them at clubs and small venues before they got more popular. She was my idol!!!

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    1. I think you're right, that hat has magical powers!
      Wow, that must have been brilliant to catch Blondie in their infancy. I saw them at Glastonbury but that's nowhere near as cool as your experience. x

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  21. Looove the dress, Vix, it goes perfectly with your hat.
    Ooo, I didn’t know Debbie Harry had a new book out. She is utterly fabulous and I love her Blondie music.

    My sister has made some beeswax wraps – we really ought to be using them more often.
    You’ve been spoilt, what wonderful gifts. Looking forward to seeing the tiled bathroom. X

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    1. It's taken Debbie Harry a long time to release a book, hasn't it? I do admire her for keeping herself to herself, she's so enigmatic! xxx

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  22. You are a lucky girl indeed! A lovely selection of gifts. The Polly Peck dress was waiting for you to rescue it. You'll need something bright and cheery to wear today, the breakfast news is unpleasant... Xx

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    1. I really am! You're right, the breakfast news on Friday was dreadful, unlike your news. many congratulations to all three of you! x

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  23. Ooh we do love a birthday don’t we. You have had a good ‘un.
    I’m smiling at all your lovely gifts, bet you didn’t know what to play with first heehee. Xxx

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    1. We do love an extended birthday, don't we? x

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  24. Wow great birthday presents, I would have been pleased with everything too! I love the cat ring holder and the Polly Peck dress is superb, I love those colours - I remember the label from my younger days, must have had some of their stuff myself methinks, it looks great on you.

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  25. Oooh I've heard about those beeswax wraps I'd love to know if they are any good. What an amazing dress, I think most people would be to scared of something so colourful!

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    1. I'll let you know when I try them! We keep eating everything before it needs to be wrapped. x

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  26. I guess we all better get running for the hills! I was so depressed to see the results in my area- the Tories got 38,000 and Labour was 2nd with 9000- I live with 38,000 idiots!!!
    Great pressies- so excited about your charity shop dress too- gorgeous! You look so svelte in it and the hat loves the dress too!!! Haha, Montelbano, my favourite Lush bar must be named after that man!

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    1. Surrounded by 38,000 Tories, that must be hell on earth! Thank goodness my part of Walsall remained Labour - 45 years so far!
      Inspector Montalbano is who Lush named their shampoo bar after. He's from Sicily, the land of lemons! xxx

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  27. You look fantastic in that heart print maxi dress. That is such a lovely vintage dress. I'm sure you are right about second hand shopping, it is not just luck, it is also about shopping with a clear head.

    You did get some really cool gifts... I do like that art piece. It is always nice when friends can remember us.

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    1. Thanks, Ivana - it's true, the more you go, the better you become at finding stuff! x

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  28. BTW I like Blonde too. Debbie is such an icon.

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    1. Debbie Harry is fabulous - she keeps herself to herself which, in a world of oversharing on social media, is a rare thing! x

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    2. you are so right about that,especially when it comes to public personas, they would do well to keep some things to themselves.

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  29. Did you make an offering to the Thrift Gods before heading out to the chazzas? That Polly Peck dress is a brilliant find, even if you had to do a bit of restoration.

    You did very well on your Birthday - so many marvelous, earth-friendly, creative gifts! I like Debbie Harry so I am interested in hearing how you like the book. The bombangles are such a awesome idea.

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    1. I did - I dropped off two bags of books and homewares - it always works! xxx

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  30. Ulla-Marie NilssonSunday, December 22, 2019

    Envy might be a deadly sin, but I cant help envy your hair (and body!). Amazing.

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  31. OMG that first ensemble is SUBLIME! You look fabulous in it!

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  32. I'm assuming from your IG presence you didn't run to the hills, though like many of us I'm sure you felt like it.

    Those were some lovely birthday things - so glad you had a good one.

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