Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Making your mind up

I'm usually a fairly decisive person.
I'm not a ditherer, a waverer, or a fence-sitter.
I don't fanny about.

I hope I do think carefully about the stuff which is important, but the insignificant decisions around the edges? A rule of thumb to assess whether something is worth sweating over is to ask myself the question, am I going to be worrying about this in a week/month/year from now?

No? Then it's time to get my head out of my arse and stop wittling*

So, with that in mind, I am approaching my current pruning of the wardrobe with a hardened heart and a sensible head.

When in doubt - try it out.

These two 1970s dresses were on my make your mind up pile.
In true X Factor judge style, I have made my decision.
One stays, one goes.

That's my decision-making face. Don't mess with me when I've got that face on.

Blogging is a useful tool for me when it comes to deciding whether an item of clothing has earned its wardrobe space. Looking at photos makes it easier to see myself with a more objective eye.

And I spy with my objective eye an unflattering dress. It's not that I don't like the print (I do) and the colours (I do), I just don't like the shape on me. It's got that empire line maternity wear look about it, and lacks the waist definition which suits me best.

Don't look so sad - it's only a frock. Back to Ebay with it, from whence it came.

I look much more streamlined with a waist. 
This polka-dot dress isn't showy or colourful, but I really like the shape, and with a bright cardigan and tights and a funky faux fur, I can jazz it up through autumn/winter.

1970s St Michael pussy-bow dress, denim jacket, 1970s shoes and bangles - charity shopped
Fishnets and belt - retail
1960s tapestry bag - vintage shop in Birmingham (bought on a bloggers' day out)

Faffing with my pussy bow, while pulling another daft face. I have quite the repertoire, just ask my kids.

Ooh, 1970s patent leather, round toes, stack heels and slingbacks - does a shoe get any better? And bought from a charity shop too, bonus.

The two Midwinter mugs are Jessie Tait's Spanish Garden design, very popular in the 1960s. And still very popular with me, I have a few pieces, and spotted these at a local vintage market on Sunday. I was restrained; I only bought the mugs and the 1960-70s duvet cover behind them, a huge spend of £3 all told.

The cat and the flowers, I already own, and the raindrops came for free. 

My plan is this; to sell sell sell as much clothing as I can between now and Christmas, thereby avoiding the selling of my soul to the retail monster that is Meadowhall. Working at Debenhams as a Christmas temp last year was OK, but I reckon I can make the same money through my own sales, without standing at tram stops in the rain late at night and having to work on Boxing Day.

I might have a stall at our school Christmas fair selling some vintage homewares, knick-knacks, linens, and accessories too. We will see whether the local community shares my love of retro tat, and is prepared to buy it off me!

Wish me luck!
*Wittling is a northern dialect word for worrying, fretting. Not to be confused with whittling. Although there is clearly a metaphoric connection.)



Kylie said...

I would've chosen black polka dot too. It's lovely Curtise - definitely a keeper IMO x

Kestrel said...

I love the polka dots and also your 70s shoes - gorgeous! I'm also hoping to fund Christmas by selling stuff on eBay this year. Planning to get a start this week by listing all presents that need bought so we can get cracking and spread the cost. Haven't told my husband we're doing this yet- he'll be delighted (not!)

Sue said...

You won't need luck you will be awesome! When I need extra cash I have a cull and a sell. I quite enjoy the process too. I wasn't sure about the black dress at first but once you have Curtisized it I was convinced it was the keeper.

Rose&Bird said...

Oo-er missus - I dread to think of the searches that your pussy bow will generate! I would have chosen the black too - much more flattering. Sometimes it's good to have a few understated pieces that you can jazz up as required. Good luck with selling - have you looked into Etsy as an outlet? Personally I've given up on eBay as a seller, totally fed up with them! I really need to get rid of lots of stuff too x

Asparagus Pea said...

Oooh yes - avoid the xmas retail if you can. I like the blue one too - you make everything look good when you style it up. (I realisevthat's no help!) xxx

Suzanne said...

I'm delighted with your choice.

I too find taking photos the best way to decide if I really like an outfit. Funny how the mirror can lie.

Best of luck on your sales!


Vintage Bird Girl said...

Hello Lovely! I'm sorry for my lack of comments while I was away. I was still reading your posts when possible. A cull is on the cards here too. My frock obsession is starting to stress me. And I could do with some funds. I would have had a hard time letting that other frock go...I really like it on you! See I'm no help at all! Xx

Vix said...

Yes, that polka dot beauty looks stunning, a perfect fit and ideal for jazzing up with all manner of bold accessories.
Blogging is great for that although its usually my face i don't like rather than the frock and there's no chance of flogging that to anyone else!
Sod the Arcadia Group and all those strange people who insist on buying retail, an afternoon spent with them must feel like David Attenborough filming a nature documentary.
Recognised that Spanish Garden straight away. A classic.
Love you! xxxxxxxx

Patti said...

The camera never lies to me! I have done away with many pieces after seeing them in a pic (these don't often make it to my blog). I love your choice of the black polka dot maxi, it's so you and so versatile. Say yes to eBay, NO to soulless retail. Have you told us your ebay shop addy so we can buy there? xoxo

Ivy Black said...

Polka dot! Oh yuss.
I'mm culling like there's no tomorrow. I can't believe I have so much shit..I mean wondrous pieces that other people will love.
Love the shoes and can't beat a bit of Spanish Garden.
Defo have a will all sell.
Loves ya bits.

bahnwärterin said...

would chose the same dress! the empire waist dress looks a bit like a child´s dress. but the black dotted one is gorgeous on you!
lately i have sorted out 10 dresses (vintage and me-made) which are to small - my back got broader from working in garden and house renovation. but i fear the fuss with ebay.....
we´ll see-

mondoagogo said...

I like the black dress best, it's got a really nice drape to it. I think the proportions on the blue dress are a bit off...

"wittling" is a new one to me, but I like it. I'm fond of "havering" which kind of means "fence-sitting" -- I think it's a Scottish term, but there's a London borough called Havering too, which always makes me laugh.

Miss Magpie said...

In the first picture with the jacket over it that dress looked alright but with the jacket off all wrong.

Every time I see that bag I smile because when I spotted it I thought 'Ooh that's nice' and then you spotted it and it was meant to be :)

hippyatheart said...

Really love the black dress, it suits you much better, the other one looks a bid like a child's dress but is cute too.

Unknown said...

I think you made the right decision, but I would buy the other dress from you if I had extra cash! I love it! :)

Debberoo said...

Stall is a brilliant idea. Remember it's all in the presentation not everyone has an eye for what something can be so you need to make it easy for them. Oh and get some paper carriers and decorate them with the "Curtise" logo or something and add pretty tissue (pretty packaging is all part of the experience and makes the purchase feel special/adds value) - then your first customers will be advertising your stall as they walk around with their purchases in your bags. Ooooh you have my retail juices flowing, I'll have to come over and be your assistant what's the date?

Pretty ribbon for tying up parcels is good too. Color block your merchandise, put outfits together to help suggest add on purchases.

Krista said...

You know what's funny, I like the dress you are getting rid of better, but you are right the fit is not as good as the other so off it goes! I think tons of folks would want to buy vintage from you! Both you and Vix have an eye and not only that but you walk the walk. I hate seeing vintage sellers dressed like shit, what gives?

I love the dew dropped photos, we are getting some rain later today.

diaryofapennypincher said...

I was sure you were going to get rid of the polka dot dress, then I saw you without the jacket on and...well it all became clear. Such a shame, it's a pretty dress, but as someone else has pointed out, it just looks a bit badly proportioned. Not sure who it will suit though, Empire lines do nowt for me!

Kezzie said...

Good choice. Understand what you mean. Feel free to leave links on here to your eBay sales, I'd consider buying from your wardrobe!!! I'm good at hard decisione but not easy ones!!! X

thorne garnet said...

the short dress looked fine with the jacket. All wrong by itself. Bye, bye! Good luck with selling everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

I love the dress you decided to keep, that's a lovely little waist you have, you should absolutely highlight it! Also love your mugs and your gorgeous cat, fab pictures! x

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

I like both the dresses but you're right. You know what suits you. Your new money making idea is exciting. We've been having a lot of car boot sales which pay well and also clear out a lot of junk. Good luck with the selling. xxxx

Fiona said...

Go for it! I reckon selling your cast-offs is a great idea. As for your dresses, I prefer the print of the one you are going to sell but the style of the black one is more flattering on you. Loving the seventies slingbacks btw. I'd have a strong word with that cat of yours if I were you...look at her, she's sitting on the fence!

Lizzie Cole said...

Looking stunning as always - I love the belt.

Lizzie's Daily Blog

Anonymous said...

I've done some serious pruning in my closets myself. I'm afraid when summer comes around again I'll have nothing to wear!
Definitely keep those round toe shoes. Good luck to you!

Helga said...

Nice choice, darling, you look MEGA hot in that one, and just hot in the other!
I too have been doing some serious pruning. But I can't cope with selling, makes me cringe, so to the chazza it goes! I also pruned loads of shoes....and then promptly bought 4 more pairs. Ah, feck it.
Anyway, that BAG always sends me into RAPTURES, and I love the new mugs!!!
I love you more, however!

Goody said...

Oh yes, good call on the dress. I'm in a similar spot, looking to sell off all the pieces too good to leave for a dollar, but no use to me. I can't blame you not wanting to repeat the retail bit again this year, though when it is temporary it somehow feels less mind numbing.

Your hair is looking magnificent again-that hairdresser of yours is a definite keeper. Don't think I've noticed those shoes before-they're great looking.

Beth Waltz said...

I prefer the consignment shoppe venue for closet cleansing. However, like Helga, I usually just bag the overflow and return it to the charity shop whence it came.

The comments on this post are even more like a realtime discussion than usual! I, too, vote for the black dress -- but I can see the Empire dress as a keeper in Krista's closet.

Forest City Fashionista said...

I would agree with your choice, the polka dotted one is a much more flattering fit, and has a nice elegance about it. The other one has a bit of a maternity look about it, which is not a look that those of us who are past our child-bearing years are fond of.

I wish I had the time to try to sell off some of my stuff; it would be nice to get some cash from all the clothing that is going out the door, but at least it gets donated to a good cause. I love those Jessie Tait mugs - I didn't know who she was until an artist friend of mine did a watercolour of her featuring some of her popular ceramic patterns.

ArgentGal said...

I quite like the high waisted dress, especially the way you have it styled with the bright tights and boots. It's a cute look. But it is ultimately a question of personal taste and what makes you feel most you. And that is something you clearly have figured out! Love the garden pictures too!

Good luck with the sales!

Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

Kudos to you for your decisiveness--it's a great quality which I'd like to cultivate in myself. I first read your post on my phone, and now I'm viewing it on the desktop. Interesting: the difference in the flatteringness of the two pieces was actually starker on the tiny screen. When I look at the empire waist dress on the desktop, I fall a little in love with its good qualities, but I still think you made the perfect choice!

Unknown said...

i wish you good luck at your sale, you should be doing good
And you are right to keep that dress it's perfect on you -
About your name, i read that post - I admit i thought it was Curti-se now i know!


Natalia Lialina said...

I like the short dress - gives you a different character! But I know what you mean. I have some clothes to donate myself - someone else will love them more. You look so very elegant in the black dress, and oh my god such a tiny waist! I'd love to see how you style it with funky tights later. Your shoes are great! I used to have a similar pare, only the toes were a bit more squarish - very comfy and I loved them.

Love the design on the mugs! And your purse is so wonderful! I am sure you'll have a great day selling your vintage picks to people of Sheffield! Good luck! :) xxxx

Becky said...

Good decision about the dresses! Love the shoes and tapestry bag. The mugs are great!! Get to selling!!!

Señora Allnut said...

I'm loving that motto "When in doubt - try it out", wise words!!, and I agree with you about how the blog makes easier to watch if a dress look nicely on you (or not). Love that classic polka dotted piece, it's versatile and love you're going to jazz it up!! waiting for that twist!
It's great you've decided to earn some money with your own wardrobe, really fabulous idea!! I'm sending you good vibrations, dear lady!
besos & pretty dresses

Peaches McGinty said...

I'm not fond of an empire line dress either, your polka dot pussy bow is definitely a keeper, it's gorgeous on you, you have such a teeny waist and it shows it beautifully - Blogging is a brilliant tool for assessing an outfit too, I've put so many outfits together where I thought they were utterly swishy lovely took a pic and realised I created some shockers - Good Luck with the sales, your wardrobe is divine! people will be lucky to get their mitts on your goodies......(who am I? I turned into Benny Hill) x x x

Trees said...

You have made the best choice for sure! The other dress was cute, but you totally rock this black and white number. Good luck with your sales up to Christmas. I've just done a big wardrobe clear out myself, I'm too lazy to sell online so its heading off to the consignment store:)

Melancholy and Menace said...

I absolutely adore the polka dot dress, the beautiful shoes, the tapestry bag, the belt, and yes, the fishnets too. This looks like an outfit I'd wear.

So many gorgeous images, as always!

Have a perfect weekend Curtise xx

freckleface said...

Totally agree on the one you are keeping, you look super hot in a very sophisticated way. You know that look where you just have to put some bright lipstick on, swish your hair a bit, and men fall to the ground in front of you, whilst doing what they're told. Yep, sell, sell, sell. You've got the most amazing wardrobe and if it 'aint right, flog it. Better than messing about at Debbers any day of the week. I'm in the same mood, think there must be something in the air! Xxxxxxx

Unknown said...

Yup. I always love you in black, and your boobage just looks higher and perkier in the black dress. The other dress is sweet, and won't suffer for lack of a happy lady to adorn. Good luck to it out on the eBay block.
I'm still struggling a bit with the CurTISS change in my mistaken neural pathways ... I want to make sure it's right this time. Or is it CURTiss?
Lemme know sometime, Lovely.
Happy fall to you and all yours. It's still hot here, but only in the high 70s, so there's hope.

Pam in Texas said...

Reading your blog is always a special treat Curtise. I love your pictures and you write such interesting stuff.
I am of the same mind as you regarding selling surplus items.
I am listing on eBay every day and seem to make a couple of sales a day. I was only thinking yesterday that I make almost as much as when I was working part time.
Do you know that the funny thing is that one item in ten goes to the UK. Even though the postage is high, people still seem to buy. Maybe it is because I have vintage British offerings.
Thanks for all your posts, I read every one but sorry to say, do not comment often.
Love from Pam in Texas.xx

Jean at said...

Agreed, the black number is a keeper!! I've been on a bender too, THINGS MUST GO!!! I had hoped to sell on line or with Instagram, but I haven't made it happen. So I'm rounding up things to drag to the local buy/sell/trade shops. I've had a little success.

I remember your stint with Debenham's. I like the sound of this year's plan.

You're looking beautiful!!! Love you. XXOO

Angels have Red Hair said...

The black polka dots definitely look the best on you … but just to throw a spanner in the works I like the other one too … it has a certain boho charm. Selling stuff sounds like a much better plan than late nights and working boxing day … much better indeed :0)

Porcelina said...

I think you've made a good choice, albeit a tough one! I find as well that I look better in things with a defined waist, I left a dress in the shop today for that very reason. Polkadots are very versatile too - am sure you'll get loads of wear out of it. P x

LOLA FINN said...

The dress with polka dotts is soooo great!! :) You look absolutely gorgeous in it :)
xoxo from Munich

Mrs Bertimus said...

Please write a book.
Your blog cheers my day every time.
If you publish a best seller then you won't have to sell owt.
Having said that, if I was at your school fete I would buy everything of yours!
PS please put me down for your first copy ( signed of course....but please don't pronounce my name wrongly! Tee! Hee!)

Catherine said...

ooh yes! the black polka dot suits you better, though my preference is the other one. But good work, using the interwebs to decide, i shall have to try that myself one day!

bonsaimum said...

Go sell and make heaps! :)

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

It's a shame about that very lovely frock, but there's bound to be a buyer for it as it's such a gorgeous print. I too avoid empire line frocks, they feel weird and preggy-like - been there done that. I wish you all the very, very best for clearing out your wardrobe and getting some great sales for the Christmas spend-a-thon. I have heard many horror stories about MeadowHell. We have our own here, Carindale, re-named CarrionHell (cue instant panic, lethargy, flashing lights in head and hot flushes - sounds like menopause? No, that's just Anto). I go all gooey whenever you show us your glorious tapestry bag and oh yes they are most certainly THE shoes!!! Keep up with the faces, I love them and as always, thank you for your blessed garden sweetie. xoxoxoxoox

mispapelicos said...

I am not help, I love it all, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Much love, dear Curtise

Melanie said...

You need to advertise that the author of The Secondhand Years will have a booth and will be doing autographs for free (or a minimal fee) at the fair. That should draw them out!! (Or maybe Clementine will have a workshop...!?)

I love your Plan, to sell, sell, sell. I like both your dresses but if you don't like the empire waist, ba-bye. Your sensible head is looking mighty gorgeous.

Annie said...

I think you made the right choice with the dresses Curtise. The polka dot looks completely fabulous.
Can't wait to see you next month xxx

Shawna McComber said...

While both dresses are pretty, choosing the one that is most flattering and thereby probably makes you feel good in it is the best choice. I am sure you will have success in selling off your unwanted items and although I don't think there is a need for luck, I will wish it for you anyhow.

Free raindrops! What a concept. We have those here too. Your cats and flowers are always a joy to see, since in my view one cannot have too many of either. Sadly the condo-association where I live thinks otherwise.

Sheila said...

Agreed with all, that dress is fabulous on you. I also have the issue with empire waists turning the above-section into a great boobular mass (and no one wants that). Great plan to sell off your things!

at my dressingtable said...

Love the dress you like ,mind you I liked both the dresses ( Lol ),that's why I always have trouble sorting my wardrobe out , best wishes xxx