Monday 30 October 2023

Pies & Prejudice

Breaking off from my mammoth weekend of eBay listing for a bit of a blog hop, I had to roll my eyes at a snarky comment levelled at a woman who mostly wears secondhand clothes, Well once again a charity shop guru, fine if you want to wear others casts a child my mum often came home with bags of clothes given to her and whether they fitted or not I had to wear them, so no. Well, like that commenter, as a child, I too was dressed in clothes handed down from Mum's work colleagues, from secondhand shops or jumble sales and I didn't mind one bit that they once belonged to someone else. Even as a child I LOVED looking different. The more people with that prejudiced attitude the better, it means all the more cast-offs for me!

(PS I nicked my blog title from the excellent book by 6Music DJ Stuart Maconie)

On Saturday we popped into town to run an errand for a friend and, as usual, was dressed from head to toe in cast-off clothing; a River Island hat, ancient leather cowboy boots & Topshop linen top (all charity shopped), a 1970s Indian Imports of Rhode Island block printed maxi skirt (via eBay) and a fabulous vintage sheepskin gilet which used to belong to a very stylish friend. 

 The rest of the day was spent eBay listing. Jon made some lovely baked bean and sage pies for tea, accompanied by some homemade oven chips. Needless to say, the Mason's individual bowls were part of a six piece set, bought from a charity shop and the Rangemaster, in which we cooked our tea, was a hand-me-down from a neighbour.

After the success of the Five Ingredient Vegan cookbook, I bought another of Katy Beskow's books from Abebooks (£3.17 including postage) and I was surprised to discover that it was brand new when it arrived.

We don't use tomato ketchup so Lord Jon used chilli sauce.

Just like with the mystery of the horseshoe nail pendant last week, once again a blog reader came to my rescue and made a recommendation for our next binge watch, the excellent time-travelling thriller series, based on a graphic novel by Si Spencer, Bodies on Netflix (not to be confused with the brilliant Jed Mercurio medical series of the same name!) Unfortunately the commenter didn't leave a name but thanks so much, we're loving it. As soon as I discovered Stephen Graham was in it I knew we'd enjoy it.

We popped to the clearance chazza on Sunday morning but were very restrained and only came home with a handful of things which, with the exception of the three paperbacks (Tombland, the only CJ Sansom book I haven't read & two novels by Dave Eggers, whose A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius I absolutely loved when I read it twenty years ago) went straight into the stockroom.  

I had to wear my new-to-me vintage 1960s maxi dress and being 100% wool I didn't even need to wear a coat over the top. 

I also wore my Arts & Crafts era Ruskin brooch. 

Funnily enough, we watched an old Bargain Hunt on the iplayer when we got home and one of the teams bought one for £45  (mine was 20p from a jumble sale). As I've mentioned before, there's loads of Ruskin-Style brooches out there but unless it's stamped Ruskin it ain't one.

Here's why other people's cast-offs rock my world....These Carvela for Kurt Geiger "Wallace" over the knee leather boots were pick of the week in The Guardian's fashion pages last year and retailed at £220. Mine - which had been worn twice - were £16!

Didn't that extra hour make the day interminable? I was ready for bed by 9pm on Sunday night and could only manage a chapter of my latest read before nodding off. It didn't hep that William didn't get the clocks going back memo and insisted on attacking my feet at 5am!

Monday, and another day of wearing other people's cast-offs although, to be fair, the puff sleeved Levi's denim shirt was new last year (albeit with 50% off). 

The vintage skirt was an online buy and the sheepskin hat and 1970s leather belt came from a charity shop. As I was outside taking photos most of the day, that hat was a necessity. Not sure what was going on with my hair here or why my zip was down - Jon never told me!

These amazing handmade Moroccan Kilim & leather boots were £5 (secondhand, of course.)

Sunday is nail day. This week it's Barry M's Rhubarb. I found this turquoise and silver ring beneath the chest of drawers in the bedroom, I bought it in India in 2005 but lost it years ago. 

The bracelet was a 21st birthday from my workmates when I was sous chef at a posh golf club. The silver brooch is another hand-me-down, it was my great-grandma's (my maternal grandfather's mother). Her photograph hangs on our wall. 

Jon popped round to Tony's house to put some kitchen shelves up and made some chocolate & hazelnut pinwheels to take with him, using the puff pastry left from Saturday night's pies. Tony couldn't believe he'd made them himself. The Midwinter plate (Focus by Barbara Brown) was part of a dinner set my parents had as a wedding present in 1966. 

I'm off to watch more Bodies, see you soon!

Friday 27 October 2023

Yesterday's Papers

Remember the sneak peek of the groovy garment I showed you earlier this week? Well, here it is in all its glory, a super trippy velvet blazer decorated with newspaper headlines from 1969.

Like the label quite right says its distinctive, it's stylish and it got loads of attention when I wore it out on Wednesday. I had to slowly revolve so people could read the headlines, including reports on the Apollo moon landing, Richard Nixon visiting East Europe, the Investiture of the Prince of Wales and, in an almost uncanny echo of current events, Israelis strike hard.....

The 1970s Miss Polly by Polly Peck maxi dress was a charity shop find back in 2018 and the Accessorize feather trimmed hat a more recent chazza shop buy. 

And here's some of our latest finds to keep those Kinky Melon rails topped up. 

 1950s Vinmont fake fur swing jacket: Red leather Diesel bag; 1980s mustard suede belt; Jose Piscador 1980s waistcoat; 1990s Nickleby's ivory leather blazer; 1970s Swears & Wells leather blazer; 1980s Canda paisley smoking jacket; 1980s Choice Egyptian goddess & hieroglyphic novelty print jumper; Monsoon Indian embroidered mini dress; 1980s Kriss, Swedish-made cardi; 1980s novelty knit; 1970s suede waistcoat; 1980s brocade waistcoat; 1980s handmade cable knit cardi.

It's been a good week for 1980s knits, waistcoats and leather jackets!

You'll be relieved to know that I was under strict supervision when I took the stock photos. Where's his collar? That's the fourth he's lost now. Bad boy.

Who says short sleeved cotton dresses are just for the Summer? This Monsoon maxi dress (from their SEW Sustainable artisan collection) is far too pretty to pack away so, by adding a thermal polo neck and some 100 denier thermal tights, it was toasty warm when I wore it on Thursday. 

The brass & enamel earrings were from FabIndia in Mumbai back in 2019 and the lion buckle belt was out of the 3 for £1 basket from a charity shop about ten years ago.

This back view took me by surprise, I didn't know my back was so muscular. That'll be twenty months of press-ups, swimming and planks.

After an early morning swim and our Spoons breakfast we had our six-monthly dental check-ups. Happily we were both given a clean bill of tooth health and the bill was £25.80 each - hooray for the NHS.

We'd not seen our friends G'n'T since August 2020 so we were thrilled when they popped round and we were able to meet the newest member of their family, cheeky little D, for the first time. They'd found me this humungous mirrored Louis Shabner print in a charity shop for 50p on their travels back in the Summer - they know my kitschy tastes so well. 

This morning (Friday) I wore one of my Dollyrockers dresses (this one was bought from the legendary Second to None in Walsall back in 2009) along with my bruise coloured suede coat for a speed shop - we needed to be home early as John the roofer was popping round. He's coming back next week to replace some of the slates, so no new roof needed just yet - phew! 

The 1960s purple suede go-go boots were a gift from Gisella, I bought the Kuchi pendant from the desert frontier town of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan back in 2020.

Of course, it would be a strange week if I didn't add to my ever-growing collection of vintage clothing (or should I call it an archive?) This late 1960s all-wool maxi dress with marvellous beagle collars is a keeper. I'm almost hoping that it's cold next week so I can give it an outing!

I've not mentioned our TV viewing for ages. We've recently watched (and enjoyed) these series: Hijack, Mr Inbetween, The Reckoning, The Long Shadow Black Snow and have the final instalment of Des to watch later (I can't bear David Tennant but he's okay in this). Although we usually avoid anything celebrity-related the celebrity edition of Race Across The World was just as exciting as the normal show. We've revisited Gladiator, Mama Mia & Mama Mia (Here We Go Again!) and watched new releases Barbie & Blackberry for the first time. I shall ponder on our next watch over a rum and cola later.

Have a fab weekend and if you're in the UK don't forget that the clocks go back on Sunday morning!

Tuesday 24 October 2023

For The Love of Clothes

Clothes, clothes, clothes , my life revolves around them; buying them, mending them, washing them, selling them or wearing them, not that I'm complaining, it sure beats working for a living! I photograph my stock outside which can be a challenge - rain and wind make it impossible and too sunny and bright & they're in shadow and the colours are bleached out. Fortunately Saturday was perfect and I was outside until dusk, snapping away.

When I looked in my wardrobe on Saturday morning I noticed that the colours of my vintage block printed kaftan were identical to those in my Morris & Co Kennet gilet, an accidental outfit.

On Sunday we met Tony & my brother Marcus for a few beers in Spoons. Although when I say a few, we started drinking at 1pm and didn't leave the pub until gone 9pm - tsk tsk! As it was a bit on the chilly side I wore my 1970s Shubette Mythical Beasts brushed nylon maxi, bought from a fellow vintage trader in Walthamstow back in 2017, and my massive-sleeved velvet jacket. 

I bought this olive green leather belt in Santorini. I really struggle to find belts to fit and this is brilliant, you can clip the end off and remove/add more links depending on whether you wear it around the waist or threaded through jeans.

Jon accidentally bought these limited edition Clarks Originals/Polyveldt desert boots when we walked past Clarks on the way home from swimming last Tuesday. He didn't need them but they were marked down by 60% so it would have been rude not to! 

Despite the eight hour session the previous day I was up at 5am on Monday, managing to list a few more items on eBay and squeezing in a half-hour Wii Fit workout before Jon got up at 7.30am.

After breakfast we popped over to our second favourite Black Country town for a bit of charity shopping. My beloved vintage Afghan coat got its first outing of the season, worn over an Indian block printed prairie dress.

I made the necklace from a vintage Banjara tribal necklace and a child's Kuchi bangle.

Here's today's (Tuesday) outfit. I bought this vintage 1970s Anokhi quilted midi skirt from the Oxfam stall at Womad. It's like going out in your duvet and is perfect for the 7.30am walk down to the baths.

The B Young high-necked black blouse was £3 from the Shelter charity shop last year, it was a part of a large donation from a posh boutique which had closed down and originally retailed at £69.99! I bought the 1960s cranberry suede & patent leather Go-Go boots from a car boot sale back in the early noughties.

This mad looking pendant was 50p in the clearance chazza yesterday. I've no idea where it came from, the beads are wooden and each prong is stamped with what looks like a "W" but my research hasn't come up with anything useful. 

UPDATED! Many thanks to Adrienne, Louise & Anne - the pendant is made using horseshoe nails, the "W" is actually an "M" which represents the American brand Mustad, supposedly the finest manufacturer of horseshoe nails in the world! I love that I'm recycling something made from recycled materials, that's proper sustainable fashion!  

Talking of shopping, the nice weather means that I'm finally able to photograph the latest additions to the Kinky stockroom.

Clockwise from top left: 1970s Golden Arrow, USA mohair cardi; 1980s aviator jacket; 1970s Grenson of Northampton handmade leather boots; 1980s Rodeo Drive cowboy boots; 1970s wool military-style overcoat; 1980s Phool harem pants & waistcoat set; 1980s St Michael wool blend cardi; Bimba Y Lola Spanish-made western boots; 1980s Anokhi dhabu wrap-around maxi skirt; 1980s Pine Ridge English-made blanket jacket; 1990s Betty Jackson velvet opera coat; 1960s fringed suede jacket; 1970s prairie dress; Nanette Lepore USA-made fleece wool riding jacket; Dents tooled leather grab bag; Loblan suede cowboy boots (made in Venezuela); 1980s fringed suede cowboy boots; 1960s Weldrest, London green wool midi coat; 1970s black leather blazer; 1970s crushed velvet jacket; 1960s mustard vinyl bag.

Keepers so far this week are this new with tags linen blouse originally from Topshop. You have to laugh at the sizing, I'm exactly the same weight/ measurements as I was back the 1980s when I wore a Topshop size 10, now I'm size 4! The basket also started life in Topshop (pointed out by the manager of the Air Ambulance as she knows my fetish for baskets) and the straw cross body bag originally was sold through Hush.

Here's a sneak peak of an amazing piece of vintage 1960s clobber I've found. It's a bit grubby and in need of some steaming but it should be ready to wear before the week's out. It's pretty trippy!

And, because this post is very clothes-heavy, here's William at 6am this morning on the Chair of Judgement. 

And here's a few more meals we've cooked recently - a mushroom & leek pot pie with homemade oven chips, a beetroot, thyme & red onion galette and a Mediterranean briam (all made following recipes in the five ingredient vegan book I wrote about last week) plus a creamy vegetable pasta I made using leftovers (liberally sprinkled with parsley from the garden). 

Thanks for reading & see you soon!