Sunday, 6 April 2014

Charity shopping, the Seventies, and me

I know charity shops (thrifts stores, op shops) can be full of rubbish. Or more precisely, stuff I don't like and don't want, even though someone else might.


as I pottered around various charity shops this week, I was struck by how easy it is to construct a decent wardrobe very cheaply, including some higher-end high street labels in the mix. It might not be what I want to wear, but why shop for clothes at Primark or supermarkets when you can find Monsoon, Reiss, Karen Millen, Topshop, Kew, Phase Eight, Hobbes, ASOS, Gap and more in charity shops?

Here's my favourite find of the week, and the reason for this extraordinarily supercilious and smug expression.

A 1970s Co-op maxi skirt. 
Thank you very much, Barnado's charity shop in Dronfield; you can keep your M&S and Dorothy Perkins, but this will do nicely.

I picked up a little pointelle-style cotton t-shirt too, just because I need a short-sleeved red top and it was £1.99. I clocked the label as soon as I lifted it off the rail;

 British heritage knitwear brand John Smedley, which began manufacturing in 1794 just down the road at Lea Mills in Derbyshire. A quick look at their website reveals that their Sea Island cotton t-shirts retail for £100.

Oh I know; I don't need to tell you lot, you already realise charity/thrift/op shopping is a no-brainer.

Another label caught my eye too;

This groovy 1960-70s men's flower power cotton shirt started life on the King's Road in Chelsea; I can't find any information on the brand at all, I guess it was a little independent business which came and went, as so many did. The shirt is sadly too small for the man of this house, but I am sure I can find a new home for it.

I'm no label snob, but I like finding good quality clothing at cheap prices, and unusual vintage labels always intrigue me. 

1970s Co-op maxi skirt, velvet jacket, top, tooled leather bag, belt and bangles, - charity shopped
Boots and belt - retail (sale)
Necklace - gift from Gisela
Royal Worcester porcelain brooch - car boot

What else took my eye and came home with me this week?

1960s timer, 1960-70s engine-turned pendant, big rings, 1975 Tammy annual, and another 1960s amber genie bottle (the twisty one on the right).
Nothing cost more than £2. 

I found a 1977 Pink annual too. I remember reading Pink as a young teenager, it was an alternative to Jackie but doesn't seem to have been as successful.

The fashions and hairstyles are quintessentially Seventies, although the comic strip illustrations look very 1960s to me.

 I chuckled at Elton John's description of his ideal girl (I like a girl to be very adaptable), but shuddered at Gary Glitter's (Girls with black hair, that's what turns me on!)

Oh dear...

I really can't recall if I read articles like this at the time and believed them; I probably did, more fool me.

 1970s teen magazines were obviously a feminism-free zone. Telling girls and women how they should behave has always been the stuff of magazines, hasn't it?

As though inflicting Pilot, Mud and the Bay City Rollers on impressionable girls wasn't bad enough...

 That's better - some things about the 1970s never lose their appeal, at least not to me.

I'll be taking my skirt over to Patti's for Visible Monday - see you there!



Vix said...

That's one fabulous maxi skirt and great score on the John Smedley. I've a couple of mod mates who pay a bloody fortune for it. What kind of mentalist donates something so expensive to a chazza? Do they fancy taking us out for a drink!
I know, Its easy to construct a fantastic, top quality work outfit for less than a fraction of the price you'd pay at Fatalan or Primarni and the money helps a charity rather than lining the pockets of a corporate fat cat, too.
Love the Kings Road label, that Indian tote, the pendant and I'm wild about the glass, too.
I loved Pink, I used to find Jackie a bit wholesome and worthy, Pink was always a bit naughtier. The advice is shocking, though!
The 1970s, best decade ever according to you, me & Wayne Hemingway!
Love you! xxxxxx

freckleface said...

I can see why you're feeling pleased. £2.99 for a fab skirt like that, which looks amazing on, that's enough to make anyone happy. Get that fantastic Kings Road shirt on ebay, it's zero fees until midnight! I don't remember Pink, but then again, I was incarcerated at that age and our housemother was a lunatic French woman who thought the devil lived in the TV and forbade magazines. Apparently they were evil too. Seeing that advice, maybe she was right after all. You're right, the chazzas are filled with all sorts of treasure to suit all tastes. I always think if I got a proper job, that's where I'd go for that office look. Good old Dronfield, eh? How was your curry? Xxxxxxx

Mother of Reinvention said...

What a brilliant haul. You can sometimes get really good labels. My mate once bought a Balenciaga skirt for 20p at a jumble sale. I do love you new skirt though, the colours are amazing.

Carina Rosenholm said...

Great finds , the skirt looks really great on you and that pendant is fab .

Connie said...

Oh to live in a place where once upon a time people were stylish. Around here it's just beach beach beach cheap and cheesy. Always was. So finding stuff in thrift shops is quite a challange! You are quite the professional. Always finding wonderful things and looking beautiful in them. But then, you are psychic and they probably call out to you.

Diane said...

Brilliant finds - that John Smedley one was a good one. I totally used to believe all those "top tips" That might count for the total lack of success with boys! XXXX (ps I went to The Hide evening - I wasn't impressed ) x

Fiona said...

FAntastic maxi skirt Curtise and what a bargain, no wonder their tv advert claimed 'it's all at the Co-op now'. (Are you singing it?)
The Kings Rd shirt is another brilliant find. Crikey, those tips in Pink sound bloody exhausting, did you wear something suitable to match Simon's attire today? Totally agree with you about chazza shop garments, I hardly buy anything new these days.
Hope the boot fair was worth going to. xxxxxxx

Shawna McComber said...

So many awesome finds my head is spinning! My bank account is grateful that our thrifts shops aren't that good. Oh that magazine. How horrifyingly hilariously awful! I remember the naty little pamphlets put out by Kotex that told girls to embrace their menstrual cramps because it meant they were a lovely girl and could delight in being pretty.

Laurie said...

Great skirt and fabulous finds! You have the best shops there!:)

beate grigutsch said...

all that great finds!!!!
the skirt is gorgeous on you, with your hair and all.
my whole life i bought most (the other half is self sewn) of the clothes in "chazzas" - and often was misinterpreted as a rich girl - haha.
grown up in the eastern hemisphere there were no such mags - should i be thankful ;-)
p.s.: is your house made of bricks and sandstone? like mine? :-)

señora Allnut said...

oh yes, that's a fabulous skirt, love its print and shape, and love how you're sporting with polka dots top and your cord jacket, such an awesome color combo!!
I agree with you, even if my opportunities for charity shopping are so reduced here, I like a good old bargain, great quality clothes for a few euros!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful outfit, (as usual!) and that skirt, what a find! The velvet jacket isn't too bad either. Useful information too, thank you!

Veshoevius said...

What a haul! I love the maxi skirt and those amber genie bottles took me right back to being a kid in my grandmother's house - she had a collection of these.

Angels have Red Hair said...

Well done ... what great finds ... that magazine is a laugh and a half.

Sheila said...

I love looking up my thrifted brands and cackling to myself over the great deals I've found. That magazine article is so funny - gawd, as if.

Adore your new maxi! I am having some regret on putting back a full-length 60s housedress back on the rack yesterday. *sigh*

silvergirl said...

loving that jacket with the skirt
such a rich color palette

Kylie said...

Beautiful skirtage, et al Curtise x

Goody said...

You look so great in wine colours, and that skirt is so eye-popping.

Gosh, I remember having some of those hairstyles, and a perm that took years to fully grow out.

I'm not only amazed at the expensive clothing people donate, but how poorly made much of it is. I recently found a Valentino skirt for .98 cents which was a great deal as they sell for hundreds, but when I looked at the crappily sewn hem, and the absence of a lining (in a wool skirt) it really drove home the fact that spending a fortune on expensive labels does not assure a well made garment.

Those genie bottles and stretch vases sell for quite a bit in my part of the world, and the thrift stores are wise to it. Great finds.

Jean at said...

THAT SKIRT!!!! It's a dream come true. I love it sooo much. The print has a tribal feel, which I love, and the colors are perfect. You look spectacular in it, too.

Sometimes it's hard not to be stunned when you encounter a formerly-expensive piece in perfect condition, but who's complaining! Please, everyone else, continue to donate your fabulous things. :-) I rarely look at labels but occasionally one will jump out. I love the historical ones, too, just for fun.

Reading the "advice" from the 70's was both hilarious and a little depressing. I was there and although I wouldn't have taken all that stuff too seriously, I still needed plenty of lessons from my feminist friends.

Have a wonderful week!!! Love you. XXOOOOO

Winter Moon said...

Wow! So many gorgeous finds here. The skirt looks fab on you.

Eeew! Gary creepy Glitter! I shudder to think that so many of my friends had crushes on him back in the late 70s/early 80s.

I hope you've had a great weekend xx

Vicky Hayes said...

Just spent ages catching up with your blog Curtise and am now struck speechless! Glad you had a lovely weekend with your mum - and what an inspiration she is! I totally agree about chazzing although I'm not sure how much of the money actually goes to charity... Vicky x

Natalia Lialina said...

Ahhh! Such a gorgeous skirt! The whole outfit is very beautiful on you, Curtise! It really sounds like you had some amazing finds. As you know, I am only getting into thrift/charity shopping, and I am loving it. I don't think I will fully stop buying new clothes just because it is also fun. But thrifting, just as antiquing, satisfies my hunting instincts I guess. I got a few beautiful pieces over this weekend too. Not as good prices as yours though! :) Love seeing your home decor as well. Genie bottles are awesome!

Natalia Lialina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Beautiful skirt. Amazing pattern and colours.
I wonder if they have had to cull all the Look In annuals with Jimmy Savile on the front cover.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

Gosh, the John Smedley top is a wonderful find. We both have jumpers in this label and have worn and washed them for years. They are fabulous quality and really last a lifetime. A great buy!

You do have a great ability to combine pattern and colour in an exciting way. We have great admiration for people who can do this either in decorating their homes or in what they wear. You have such a great eye whereas we tend to stay much safer both in colour and pattern. You carry it all off so well!

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Glad you find the bargains at charity shops.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Patti said...

"Avoid arguments, whatever you do." ACK, can you imagine that "advice" in a boys' magazine. Although it *is* fascinating to know what Sir Elton was looking for in a girl. Anyway, love, love your new skirt and tee, and bag and all of it. Esp the kitchen timer - that's just perfect. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xoxox.

PauMau said...

Wonderful finds! It's quite hard to find anymore clothes from 60's or 70's here in Finland. All the thrift stores or charity shops are full of clothes from H&M and other new, cheap market stuff. Lucky you there :-)

Krista Gassib said...

Sometimes I love adding up in my head how much an outfit cost. Yesterday's was a whooping $7 and I felt like a million. I find myself looking do forward to warmer weather to wear some new old fabulous scores. My closet is turning into a treasure trove and I couldn't be happier. I think this maxi is awesome on you! I also like when you share old magazines and books....I'm laughing at the article on what Elton John likes in a girl:)

Forest City Fashionista said...

That maxi is so very YOU! I think you dames over there have much better thrifting than us. Pretty much all the thrift stores here are full of cheap garbage, with the odd piece of quality stuff. I have noticed though that if you needed to put together a decent conservative working wardrobe on the cheap, you could definitely do it. That flowered shirt is very cool - definitely put that up on Ebay and some lucky guy will be thrilled to have it.

Ines RdP said...

You have a very nice blog!!
tell me how about follow each other?? Let me know if you atart and I will follow back :)
have a nice day sweety!
xoxo from Spain

Lesley Extance said...

Curtise you look wonderful love the colours in the outfit.
I am more and more getting my clothes from the charity shops I always seem to find what I like there.
Wow you did really well with all your finds !, have a good week xxx.

Miss Magpie said...

I did get Jackie though I wouldn't have been allowed to buy Pink! We used to sit and read all the annuals when I worked at the library and roar with laughter.

Tamera Wolfe said...

Yes, you should be smug when you look fantastic in that maxi skirt!!!

I see fabulous stuff all the time in thrifts and wonder why anyone goes to the mall!!!

PinkCheetahVintage said...

You look fantastic!! I actually find WAY more high end modern retail, Ann Taylor and all that type of stuff, than I do good vintage in the thrift stores. With tags! I always tell the X-man I could dress like a rich lady if I wanted to lolzzzz
But, I don't.

Sue said...

Nice skirt, fits perfect and I do like the spotty top you are wearing with it. I love getting an expensive label for naf all, I cannot really see how any article of clothing can be sold for the huge amounts they ask for in the boutiques, it is not as if they are a one off!! Yay for people who throw their good duds out for us to find and buy.

Trees said...

Oh how I LOVE that maxi on you - you remain the queen of maxi skirts!

Sacramento Amate said...

Wonderful finds.
I am an 80s lover, but the 70s have also a place in my heart.
love and sunshine.

Mrs. D said...

Haha, funny that when I wrote about the Jackie book I got, I also pointed out Gary Glitter. Wwere these magazines obsessed with him? Sheesh! Speaking of that, I have a copy of that book stashed up for you, I'll bring it the next time we meet :)
I wish I could find more vintage I like and fits my body!
You make the best finds!!

peaches mcginty said...

The article is just genius! next time I go out with my smashing fella, I must colour co-ordinate my outfit to his and remember to flatter him lots (I suspect Dave would be deeply concerned though, and insist I have a lie down)
Your maxi is blooming lovely and a bargain! smug is absolutely right!! x x x

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

You manage to find the most amazing prints! I want to go thrifting with you.

Seriously on that advice from the old magazine! It is hard to believe that was the 1970's.


Northern mum down South said...

Loving the skirt/outfit and those twisty bottles are super. I have a bit of a soft spot for coloured glass.

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

Gorgeous maxi, divine little timer and those illustrations take me right back to my childhood. Great haul Curtise. I hope I do as well tomorrow! xxx

Kelly Jackson said...

Another glorious 70s skirt - quelle find!

I'm laughing at that "20 ways" article. It doesn't look that different from a contemporary Cosmo article!


Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Yes, you did score. The skirt and top (and all the other goodies) did merit your sly smile ... is that really your supercilious/smug look? Too charming to be supercilious, but I'll grant you smug. Delightful outfit ... they look very raspberry-ish on my screen. You have a fabulous eye, of course, and I congratulate you on a major score. Great with your boots!
I always get such a kick out of the teen magazines you show ... I read the stuff from the decade before, but it wasn't so different in terms of the advice columns. Good thing I had an assertive early feminist mother that made me the bossy little cow that I was/still am! (I'm signing on to the movement to remove the word bossy from polite use ...)
Loved me some Bay City Rollers, though. I've always liked a drummer that worked for a living. Please don't hold that against my character.
Have a great week, Beauty!

Janey G said...

wow what a stash! You look fabulous in that outfit! x

Rachel said...

The skirt and jacket look gorgeous together and such a lovely colour. You really do find some great things xx

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