Friday, 20 December 2019

Nothing New To See Here - December's Charity Shop Finds





This time of year wears me out. Talk about mithered, I'm already looking forward to a drink later.
Don't be mistaken into thinking I've driven myself daft over Xmas, though, as far as I'm concerned it's just another Bank Holiday and certainly not worth getting my knickers in a twist over. For us mid-December is when we have to apply for our Indian tourist visas and despite having done it for the last twenty years the process never fails to stress me out. It took the best part of four hours to submit our application forms this morning.

On the plus side the Indian Government has slashed the visa prices and five year tourist visa is now cheaper than we used to spend on a six month one. On the minus side my passport only has four pages left so when the times comes to replace it I'm going to have to cart two passports around India with me. I was going to renew it when we got back from Greece but discovered that the Home Office sneaked through an amendment to the law during the Summer and the time remaining on British passports is no longer added to your renewed one, meaning I'd be paying for an eight year passport rather than a ten year one. Gotta love the Tories.

WEARING: Janet Wood for Monsoon Afghan waistcoat, Eastern European embroidered folklore blouse, Ayesha Davar block printed midi skirt (all vintage, all eBay finds), 1960s-does-Edwardian boots (car boot sale) and tooled leather belt (charity shop) 

It's been pissing it down since yesterday afternoon so you'll have to excuse the blurry indoor photos. Everything I'm wearing today has been seen before, just in different combinations. 

Whilst I'm no fan of Christmas, I'm a huge fan of charity shops at this time of year. While everyone else and his wife seems to out trawling soulless shopping centres and bankrupting themselves buying tat presents, Jon & I have the chazzas to ourselves. Jon's found some ace stuff for himself including an Alexander McQueen skull print shirt which currently sells for £360 for just £1 and a Roderick Charles of Jermyn Street overcoat, priced at £495 on their website, for £2. Seriously, who needs to set foot in some depressing fast fashion emporium?

These are a few of my finds over the last couple of weeks. There is more but by the time I'd ventured to the Kinky shed and back twice I was a tad on the soggy side. (Click on the collages to enlarge.)


Biba beaded silk flapper dress (don't get too excited, it's from their contemporary label, which I'm not  particularly keen on but the sparkle should appeal to a festival goer), 1980s velvet and tartan oversized parka and a 1970s black midi coat by the Leather & Suede Centre, London.


1970s sequinned Indian silk butterfly top, an amazing quilted kimono jacket and a 1970s angel sleeved maxi dress by Peterson Maid.


1960s groovy floral polo neck by Keynote (which was Littlewoods' in-house label), a 1960s lamé evening dress and a 1970s polyester midi dress.


Snazzy Korean-made 1970s anorak (with concealed hood), a 1970s backless lurex maxi dress and a 1960s tartan wool waistcoat. 


1970s Reldan, London russet cord jacket, 1970s tassel-trimmed kaftan by Eastex and a 1960s plush jacket in the wildest shade of green ever.

WEARING: Vintage Adini block printed maxi (charity clearance shop, 2018), Clarks' clog boots,, plum fedora

Another of my finds was this fringed cape. The charity shop manager told me that I could have it for £3 as it had been in the window for a week and I was the only person to show any interest it in whatsoever (I insisted on giving her more).


Andrew Stewart was based in the Scottish border town of Galashiels. In Victorian times, at the height of the town's prosperity, Galashiels had twenty textile mills and 44% of the population was employed in wool weaving. Andrew Stewart filed for bankruptcy in 1989 after the then USSR cancelled a very substantial order for scarves. 

I've sold a fair number of Andrew Stewart tartan capes over the years but this is the first plain one I've come across. It's deliciously cosy and a keeper.


Before you ask if that's a Xmas wreath - it isn't. It's my handmade rosemary wreath, said in Old English folklore to deter thieves and encourage elves at least, I hope I've got that the right way round or we're doomed. Rosemary grows in abundance in our garden, it seems a waste just to use it to season our roast veg.

Talking of which Jon's doing roasted veg for tea, I'd better rush off and have a bath in readiness.

See you soon!

49 comments:

  1. What beautiful finds....I especially love the cape.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! It's so cosy but really lightweight, too. I can't believe nobody looked at it for a week. Walsall people are weird! x

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  2. Love your cape, and seriously a necessity this time of the year. Glad you can buy a 5 year visa for India, Visas are such a hassle. Since our Mexico trip got set back now I've still got 97 days to go :( Love your rosemary wreath, thieves are the worst

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    1. Capes are great, aren't they? I can always wear it over a coat if it turns extra cold.
      Visas are a pain. The India application seems to change every year, it's never straightforward.
      Thieving is always bad at this time of year, we've been burgled twice at Xmas. xxx

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  3. If I could jump of the silly season bandwagon I would. They are all mad out there. I’m off to Todmorden tomorrow and there’s no doubt it will involve a few chazzers and a pub or two for the welder.
    Bet you can’t wait for your trip. Seems only two minutes since we were reading about last year’s trip xxx

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    1. It seems to start earlier and earlier. The only thing I'm excited about is Steven "Peaky Blinders" Knight's adaptation of A Christmas Carol on the Beeb - Bah Humbug is my middle name! xxx

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  4. You look beautiful in your purple hat Vix-lovely ensemble.Several years ago I planted a rosemary plant at my garden gate just for that reason and it grew so big I had to prune it a bit as even I struggled to get into the garden x

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    1. Thank you so much, Flis.
      Apparently rosemary grows best when it's planted in the garden of a strong woman. I love the stuff, it smells divine and looks so pretty, too. Apparently a sprig of it is good in gin. xxx

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    2. Oo perhaps I am a strong woman after all then Vix,I always thought I was a bit of a mouse - thanks for that info. x

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    3. I get the impression that you're an incredible woman with all the love you lavish on your doggie family! xxx

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  5. Indian bureaucracy sounds like a nightmare if it takes the better part of four hours to apply for tourist visas! No wonder you are frazzled. Not that you'd notice, as you look as gorgeous as ever. Your first outfit looks very folksy, and I'm loving that mohair cape! You did more than well in the chazzas too. I can't say the same for the chazzas here, which last time we were there were busier than ever. As I'm already a nervous wreck from having to deal with crowds of what I call Christmas Zombies all week, I do hope for some quieter charity shopping tomorrow. I'm completely done with the silly season! xxx

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    1. You're brave venturing out tomorrow - they call it "Super Saturday" here, the last Saturday before Xmas when every fool in the UK decides to go into town and shop. They're hopefully a lot more sensible in Belgium.
      Gah! Six pages per application - they need to know everything from your parent's names and birthplace to your past employment history, professional qualifications and if you've ever been arrested for trafficking not to mention trying to compress PDF files and resize photos. Where's that rum? xxx

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  6. the flapper style dress would be perfect for my daughter. We literally have nothing like these finds in my part of the world.

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    1. That's such a shame. I'm not sure why we have such riches here! That dress deserves to go to a glamorous girl! x

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  7. Lovely finds but my favourite is the wonderful fringed cape and that fabulous padded kimono!

    I'm with you on the quiet of the chazzas at this time of the year. Our charity shop has been pretty quiet when I've been there in the last few weeks; but we are the top sales shop in our area so we must be having lots and lots of customers - only on the days I'm not there!

    This rain seems endless doesn't it - I wish it would stop!
    xxx

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    1. I was very tempted to keep the kimono, it's such an amazing piece.
      That's great news about your charity shop doing so well, maybe the few customers you get just spend more rather than hundreds buying single items.
      This rain is so depressing, I feel for those towns that are already waterlogged, the flood risk must be so scary. xxx

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  8. I'm off to do some thrifting myself soon. I have my fingers crossed that I'll stumble across an Alexander McQueen shirt for Robert. I'm praying to the thrifting fairy right now. Jon won't be parting with that piece.

    The closer we get to Christmas the crazier people are I find.

    I'll be happy when the Christmas music stops. I cannot wait!

    I love that cape on you. I found a couple of nice Welsh capes when I was last in BC visiting friends and family but I find them hard to wear for myself. I only do cross body bags and none of them stay on me when I'm wearing a cape.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. People really do get crazier and more obnoxious the closer we get to Xmas - so much for it being the season of goodwill to all men!
      That Xmas music is torturous, after six weeks of it I'm slowly being driven mad.
      Good luck in your quest to find a AQ shirt for Robert. We live in an area with several premiership divisions football teams, I can only assume these high end pieces are the player's cast-offs, thank goodness Jon's got a slim physique to fit into them!
      I'm a fan of cross-body bags, too . I wear them on the inside of my capes - deterring the pickpockets! xxx

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  9. Such great finds. I seriously don't know how you do it. The charity shops around here are rubbish, as well as being overpriced. X

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    1. The price you pay for living in such a lovely part of the world. I did find an original 1968 Biba dress in a charity shop in Windermere a few years ago, at an amazingly good price. xxx

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  10. Great finds, especially the butterfly top! My daughter would go nuts over the Korean jacket! Sorry you had a bugger of a time with getting visas for your trip to India. A lot of the charity shops here have items that are picked over, not properly tended to (or kinda smelly from either being boxed up to long from the prior owner or cleaned before placing on the sell floor), or overpriced!

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    1. I've bought and sold so many of those butterfly tops over the years, they're always lovely and look great on everyone.
      There's a lot of overpriced charity shops in the UK, luckily not in my area! xxx

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  11. I love Christmas time but I get how the craziness frustrates some people.

    You and Jon have found some wonderful things at the charity shops. This post has reminded me that I ought to pop into an opshop while everyone else is busy at retail stores. I wonder what I'll find.

    Enjoy your holiday. I'm sure you'll be more relaxed in India. X

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    1. I'm only stressed over spending four hours doing our online visa application. Xmas doesn't bother me, I ignore the craziness and enjoy a lovely curry in good company on 25th December. I completely understand why you embrace it, I used to love my extended paid leave when I was an employee back in the day. xxx

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  12. I have that exact same cape in mustard yellow! I love it, it's so cosy. You wear yours better though!
    I used to love Christmas, but I'm just not feeling it this year and can't wait for it to be over. All of the fake forced happiness, feeling obligated to buy things that I know the receiver probably doesn't really want, the same recycled songs are grating on me, I'm turning into a bit of a misery about it all and think you've got the right idea of how to spend it!

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    1. I bet you look wonderful in your mustard cape!
      You described my feelings for Xmas exactly, I hate all that enforced jollity, the expectation to spend beyond your means and don't get me started on the music. xxx

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  13. That cape is very cool - and i love the look with the waistcoat!
    I have the feeling, that the x-mas pressure is much higher this year - be it because the world turned much worst this year...... I try my best to turn to alternatives though.
    You found some fab stuff. The festival crowd will love this mix of glam and practical.
    Good to have sorted out the visa/passport thing - india is waiting for you!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! You're right, the world is becoming such a crazy place people are throwing their every hope and expectation into creating the perfect Xmas, something that only exists in schmaltzy American films.
      Keeping everything crossed that our applications are accepted - I can't wait to escape the UK for a while. xxx

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  14. These are lovely outfits. The Eastern European white folklore shirt with red details is so pretty. It looks amazing paired with that Afghan vest and a maxi. A great outfit for sure. I also like your second outfit. The plain black cape is not plain at all. The details make it special and it is wonderful to know about its interesting history. So nice of you to offer to pay more for that cape than the vintage store owner asked for because you know it's worth more. Speaking of worth, how amazing that Jon found an AM skull print shirt for one pound. He must have a great eye too, to be able to find so many great stuff. I like your vintage purchases too.
    I hope you'll enjoy your vacation in India. That Visa application process sounds terribly complicated but at least you're done with it. That pagan rosemary wealth looks lovely. Your rosemary looks a bit different than the one we have here, somehow softer, I wonder if it is a different kind. Our kind of rosemary is quite harsh and spiky, I'm not sure could I make a wealth out of it- maybe if I wore gloves. I can understand why Christmas craziness annoys us, I think it can get on the nerves even of those who like the holiday but don't like what it has turned into. There are many Christmas traditions I like but crazy shopping isn't one of them, I hate crowds. I definitely enjoy Christmas decor and making my own ornaments, but I doubt I will have time to do much for this Christmas though, our Christmas break will be short, but I'm looking forward to spending a few days at home and enjoying family dinners.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ivana! I know you're a fan of the Eastern European folklore blouse.
      Yes, that cape is quite interesting despite being plain black, the texture, fringing and big Celtic button fastening lift it from being boring. I don't understand how it stayed in the shop window without garnering any interest.
      Jon's brilliant at shopping. Like me he was dragged around jumble sales as a child.
      How interesting about your rosemary. Ours is similar to lavender, spiky to look at but almost feather-like to handle.
      Crowds, crazy shopping and rude pushy people drive me mad, good company and taking it easy should be what the festive season is all about not bankrupting yorself buying presents or eating to excess. xxx

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    2. I couldn't agree more. Excess buying doesn't make anyone truly happy and the excessive eating is just really bad for health.

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  15. God the India visa application!!!! I turned the air in the office blue filling mine out for work, it's such a stressy process.

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    1. Such a nightmare, isn't it? I had an email confirming that our applications has been successful two hours ago. Can you imagine a UK government agency replying to you on the Sunday afternoon before Xmas? It'd probably take them 4 months, not 48 hours! xxx

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  16. Gosh, four hours for a Visa application would have made me consider holidaying in the UK instead! It'll all be worth it, I'm sure, when it's holiday time.

    You look gorgeous in your outfits. Your waistcoat and block printed skirt are lovely.

    You've both found some beautiful pieces. Your new cape looks lovely and warm.

    I understand people's frustration with Xmas - the crowds, the music and the incessant need to follow America's glam on the season does drive many over the edge. I don't sweat the big stuff, focusing more on my family and yummy dinners. With all that's going wrong in this world, I find it comforting to spend some quality time together. Plus, like yourself, I look forward to our holiday to get away from it all. What ever you do at this time of year, I hope it finds you in good health and with love all around you.

    On a final note, how lucky are you that Jon's got a vege roast underway for dinner!

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    1. Thanks so much, Suzy! Despite the horrible weather I felt the need to dig out that white embroidered blouse and slap on some bright lipstick to lift the winter gloom.
      The visa thing is such a pain but I've just heard back, they've said yes to our 5 years visas, I won't have to stress now until 2024.
      Xmas has become crazy, it's all some people can think and talk about for months. It's a shame that's all that's good in their lives. They really need to get a hobby.
      We'll be enjoying a curry on Xmas day with the rest of the Dead Relative's Society.
      Jon does most of the cooking - I used to do it for a living and it holds little interest for me. He's a good 'un! xxx

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  17. Who could pass up a cape like that??? So, you're the only lady with good taste in your neck of the woods.

    A lot of our community shop the thrifts for Christmas because it's what their income allows. As a result, there are many good sales/reductions. Since that population isn't looking for the stuff I like, I do pretty good.

    The thought of going to a mall this time of year puts me in a panic!

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    1. I know! It appears they'd rather buy ugly acrylic made in China jumpers that will fall apart in the wash after a couple of outings. There's nowt as queer as folk!
      Shopping malls fill me with dread, awful places! Give me a chazza. xxx

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  18. Rosemary as an elves-attractant and porch pirate deterrent? One learns something new from this blog with every post! Must confess, dear Vix, that I'd heretofore thought of rosemary as the not-so-secret ingredient in Hungary Water and an essential component for funeral floral arrangements.

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    1. I'm a mine of useless information, Beth! I've never seen rosemary used in a funeral floral arrangement (i must be going to the wrong funerals!) and I'm off to Google "Hungary Water" as it's a new one on me! xxx

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  19. I'm utterly convinced your magic, how else do you find such steals?! That 60's floral polo neck is heaven, will that be going up on your site? Pray for Christmas monies as that is something that might find it's way into my wardrobe if I'm so lucky!! I genuinely think if I ever met you at a vintage fair it would be like meeting the Beyoncé of vintage and I could only babble or stare. As ever I'm in awe! <3

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    1. Lovely to see you over here, gorgeous gal! I'm sorry, you've been pipped to the post with the floral polo neck, it'll be winging it's way to Australia this week.
      You are so sweet! xxx

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  20. I'd be crawling the walls after a 4 hour stint on the phone.
    That's a very fetching Cape.
    Rosemary makes a lovely hair rinse, especially for darker hair. xxx

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    1. It was on-line form filling and not a telephone call - thank goodness!
      Somebody else mentioned a rosemary rinse so I gave it a go, it did make my hair really soft and shiny! xxx

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  21. As Suzanne mentioned, I also will be happy to not have to listen to Christmas music whenever I venture out of the house. Even though I avoid the malls, they still play it in every coffee shop. I have a padded japanese winter jacket that I thrifted quite a while ago too. They are very cozy, but not warm enough to wear alone for the winters we have here. The cape is beautiful - I'm glad it found a home with you. I am off work for a week and a half and looking forward to squeezing in a visit to thrift store over the holidays.

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    1. It's dreadful, isn't it? It's enough to make you leave the shop instantly and never return. I did a few vintage fairs in December and was on the brink of throwing myself in the nearest canal after eight hours of listening to the trip!
      We don't have winters as cold as you do - thank goodness! I'm terribly tempted to keep that quilted kimono but I really do have enough coats! xxx

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  22. I've had SO many conversations with colleagues this December who talk about having spent £500 on their offspring and when I've said "YOu don't HAVE to do that! Just buy ONE thing!" they've said things like, "Oh, but it's probably the last year she'll ever ask for a doll/pram/etc again and we want to give it to her!" despite having already bought x,y and z. My Mum ALWAYS made it clear to us that money was tight and we could only have a certain thing- I still know parents like that- my little darling who loves Hildegard Von Bingen nun music told me that they don't have KFC for example because it is too expensive and they eat pasta every day and mum says they can't have this or that because they can't afford it and she understands- offer the child the truth with love, honesty, sincerity and love and they understand, even if they'd love to receive everything they wanted- it worked with me and it seems to work with Y- people need to be braver and actually trust those they love to have compassion, understanding rather than fearing rejection or animosity!

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    1. Gah! Isn't it ridiculous? The wanton spending drives me mad. Why on earth do people think they're being good parents by buying their children so much stuff? As kids we used to write Xmas lists but never expect to get everything we'd asked for.
      Your little darling sounds like a wonderful child who will no doubt grow up into a well rounded adult who doesn't get into debt and lives within her means. xxx

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  23. That green plush jacket is a beauty. After you mentioned Snag tights, I had a look at their site and bought myself a pair in exactly that shade! And that lamé dress is fab, straight out of Modesty Blaise.

    Have fun in India! We're just going to a few new bits of Spain this year.

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    1. Isn't it fab? I wish it fitted me!
      Hope you're getting on well with your Snag tights, I'm really pleased with mine, they're so comfy and I love the website, their models look like they're having so much fun.
      Your Spain plans sound exciting. I love the look of the area Monica (Signora Allnut) lives in, that looks well worth a visit. xxx

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Lots of love, Vix