Thursday, 18 December 2014

Secret Santa Gift

We have a little tradition in our office which is Secret Santa but the rules state that the gift has to be from a charity shop, and cost under £5.

I was rather pleased with the gift I put together for my boss; a pretty 'floral alphabet' Ulster weavers t-towel (which had never been used) and a sweet edition of Madame Bovary.

My gift came well in under the £5 mark and actually made a rather smart little present. I would have been happy to give this as a gift regardless of what the rules stated about the presence of a charity shop in the gift giving process. Heck, this chic little parcel would please lots of fabulous ladies I know.

Lovely Jasmine, who I have mentioned before, gave me the idea to free-hand embroider names onto ribbon for the gift tags - a lovely little personal touch.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Vintage Liberty Print Skirt

A couple of weekends ago I struck gold on the Walworth Road.

Behold - a thing of a beauty, character and history - an absolute wonder which will never date... a genuine Liberty print skirt. Size 10, for £3.99.

YES. £3.99

To any second-hander, finding Liberty print really is like finding gold. Even in high-end second-hand and vintage shops, genuine Liberty print is hard to find. And the reason for this: Liberty print is so expertly designed that it will be a thing of charm forever. And so, Liberty print items stay in families forever and get passed down between generations and can be worn quite comfortably for years.

I think this skirt is from the 60s because of the chic pencil shape. And as this is the time of year for giving, I will be gifting this find to a lovely friend of mine who I know will absolutely treasure it. Plus, I know it will fit her like a glove, her Twitter profile even says: 'ultra-journalist in Liberty fabrics'. I saw this and thought of her; she has to have it. Sorry for ruining your Christmas surprise, lovely Jasmine. I couldn't keep this from my blog any longer.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Bright Old Things - Vintage Lamp

Can you believe that I got this chic lamp from my favourite charity shop in Luton for the princely sum of £2.90 last weekend?

I have been searching for a lamp of this high class caliber for a while now - sturdy and classic, just the right size - Perfect for brightening up a dark corner of my room.

The added bonus: you can't get 100watt bulbs in regular shops anymore because they're too ridiculous for the sensible EU standard deciders... unless, you get really lucky with a charity shop lamp which comes with a now obsolete dazzling bulb. It's bright enough for me to apply my make-up on a dark morning in December without looking like a complete clown come proper light at 10am. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Vintage Books

Look at these super cute books found on the Walworth Road this weekend. So awesome, cue drawing club - pencils at the ready!

These charming little books were an absolute steal - about 75p each - you could expect to pay £5 and up-wards for this kind of thing at chi-chi vintage fairs in east London! The drawings are annotated in a very sweet way with a friendly tone (like any good teacher) - and that typography! They just don't make books like this anymore. 

The drawing animals book had a very old bus ticket as a bookmark in it. The ticket was so old that it was actually made of cardboard, cost 1d, and had a hole punched into it to mark the destination.. I wonder who was learning to draw animals from a book on a bus from Shepherds Bush to North London all those years ago?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Second-hand Elizabeth and James?

Here is an outfit of two amazing charity shop finds to make a chic, androgynous look -

1. Elizabeth and James shirt. I couldn't believe my luck when I found this in Luton for £2.50. I picked it up because of the stripes, and had a closer inspection... Elizabeth and James... in Luton... Really? Yes, the details reveal all, very soft quality cotton, and subtle pleats at the back marked with small 'X' stitches - the shape and fit are beautiful and it hangs divinely. Elizabeth and James is the Olsen twins label (more relaxed than their famous, 'The Row'), it's known for exquisite textiles, pretty details which give this masculine shirt and feminine edge. I love this shirt - what luck!

2. Reiss tuxedo trousers. I found these on the Walworth Rd for £3 or so, lucky me - the fit is excellent and they're one of those 'no brainer' things for when I don't know what to wear. They're chic and effortless.

And who do I feel like when I wear this ensemble? Lauren Bacall in one of my favourite films, How to Marry a Millionaire. What could be better than that?

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Thrifted holiday attire...

My holiday wardrobe from my recent trip to beautiful Cape Verde was made up of some of my best charity shop and thrifty items... Here a short summary - 

Outfit 1:The french / dog shower tee (probably one of the best t-shirts to ever exist) - this is a hand-me-down from my mum and is a firm essential for beach living. Flattering, comfortable and... memorable - especially with children - (owing to the hilarious concealed dog in the shower). For me it means nostalgia - I remember my mum wearing this when I was a child, and since reading 'The Adventures of Sally' by PG Wodehouse, the character pictured will be lovely Sally - (I'm thinking the scene when she is on the beach in the south of France with the crowd of dogs, ha)!

These cool denim shorts were once a pair of Gap jeans (bought from a chazza shop whilst at university) - now they are a super awesome pair of high waisted denim shorts. I cut them myself - the lengths are wonky which adds to their charm. 


Outfit 2:Cos shorts - these were a triumphal charity shop purchase. I saw them when window shopping in Cos last summer and I almost couldn't believe it when I had found them in a charity shop a few months ago - £3 - and my size! Thank you Walworth Rd. Great print which I will never tire of - Modern day William Morris on a summer trip to Stockholm? Yeah. 

Grey t-shirt is also a good one - 'chinti and Parker' is the brand - and it's very soft organic cotton, flattering cut - and it cost about £2 from Walworth Rd a while back. Another excellent staple. 

And the hat - I came across this in Topshop whilst doing some high street shopping with my Mum. I tried it on and loved it - but alas, too much money. My mum is so sweet and returned to Topshop a few weeks later with the sole purpose of buying this for me - and as luck would have it...  70% off sale!! £5 awesome straw hat which will see me through a lifetime of gardening and beach holidays if I take care of it (which I will, I LAVE IT).

Birkenstocks - TKMax sale - £16 mid September - 
Chic? Yes. 
Classic? Yes.
Always in style? Yes.
Goes with anything? Yes.


Sundown attire - number 1:

Jaeger skirt - a firm favourite of mine, so chic and made of silk - I wear this at home a lot, but the navy and white pattern just says 'sun'. When I wear this and it makes me think of Henri Matisse cut outs, and his studio of chic helpers.


Sundown attire 2:

This lovely green dress has been a staple for years - lovely colour, print and shape. I struck gold with this dress in one of my favourite charity shops in Luton a few years ago. Apart from the obvious colour difference, this outfit really isn't a million miles away from this one in Blue Hawaii - the ultimate in beach holiday fashion inspiration.

Straw bag - Another chic holiday item I have my Mum to thank for - it cost 99p from the Jansel House charity shop, it's just the right shape and size for the few things I need for evenings out on holiday, and it has a pretty lining which says aloha to me whenever I look at it.