Friday 18 November 2011

Compliments of the season

Today I wore one of the dresses I bought last Saturday at the vintage and craft fair.

When I tried it on, a stall holder (not the seller, actually) said, "That dress could have been made for you." Which pretty much clinched the deal. It is a perfect fit.

Vix, that most astute of bloggers, has commented that my wrap cardigans function in much the same way as her waistcoats/jerkins; they pull an outfit together and make it more me/her.

I think she's spot on.

I do like the dress without the cardigan too.

I was walking home from school, after dropping the kids off this morning, when a bald, burly window cleaner stopped me by saying, "Excuse me love, can I just say that dress is wonderful?" To which of course I replied, "Yes, indeed you can. And thank you!"

So we had a little chat about old clothes and bright colours, and I went on my way grinning. A Sheffield window cleaner, in his 50s, who didn't appear to be the kind of bloke to think about clothes at all, appreciated a bit of vintage glamour. That made me smile!

1960s Courtaulds Dicel maxi dress (vinatge fair), blue wrap cardi (charity shop), assorted bracelets and earrings (charity shop), smug smile (random compliments from unlikely sources)

I went Christmas shopping to Debenhams today, as it's their sale plus an extra 10% off for card holders (I've had the card for years but rarely use it now, apart from for buying gifts.) Good grief, things are so expensive! I know I sound like a ridiculous old fart, but I am so attuned to charity shop prices that the "real" cost of things in "real" shops shocks me rigid. 

So here's my dilemma. 
I would love to buy vintage/secondhand gifts for friends and family, for all the reasons that I choose to shop that way for myself. But is that imposing my beliefs and tastes on them, and should gift giving be about what the recipient would like first and foremost, rather than what the giver wants to give?  

I'm trying to do a bit of both - a vintage scarf to accompany some perfume, maybe, in an attempt to break people in gently!

What do you do? Vintage/crafty/homemade gifts whether they like it or not? Or the high street, with resentment in your heart and a wailing in your wallet?


While I wait for your sage replies, I will swan about in my gorgeous frock, which at £12 cost far less the party dresses I saw today.
And it brings me a million times more pleasure.
Window Cleaning Man agrees!

Have a wonderful weekend, my dears. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Helga said...

I freaking LOVE that frock!It;s just gorgeous,and you look gorgeous in it!EEEK!
Indeed,jerkin,wrap cardi-my way of making it more mine is just a standard cardi!
Hurrah for burly window washers with taste!
Re Chrissie pressies,I don't buy them at all! I think you can still be discerning with secondhand/vintage shopping though.A bit of both new & old is a great idea.I reckon a good discussion amongst those you swap pressies with is a good idea beforehand,perhaps.Clear the air on the subject.You may find that they feel the same.Your kids won't,of course!!!hahaha!
LOVE and gropes!

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

You do look lovely indeed, hurrah for the gallant window cleaner!

I would only buy second hand/vintage for those I knew would appreciate it and as my Christmas list includes 60 year old uncles and 2 year old nephews it can be tricky. Sister and sisters in law are more amenable though. x

lucy joy said...

What a beauty, indeed, the perfect fit and so very you. Love the window cleaner's compliments, I find men generally like ladies to wear pretty dresses and can't understand why so many women shun skirts and dresses.
I don't buy many Christmas presents, only for Rob's mother and my SIL. I don't buy second hand or handmade/unique type things for MIL, she'd be mortified. I wouldn't actively search for 2nd hand gifts, I never find things when I am looking.
My advice - shun the high street, and don't buy 'disposable' gifts. Give something that will make the recipient think about you for years to come. I was given vouchers for B&Q from colleagues when I bought my house (I bought paint). One colleague opted out of the voucher whip-round, she wanted to buy me a gift. She presented me with some Chinese good luck ornaments (I detested them initially). I found a home for them, and I'm reminded of her daily. The paint has been painted over.
Hope you get what I'm trying to say, its taken an age to type this on my phone!

'New' prices are a joke, seek out locally made stuff, there's loads of it.

Have a lovely weekend,

Lucy x

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

That is one stunning frock with or without the cardie. No wonder the window cleaner was impressed.

I tend to buy a mixture of new and second hand for my friends and certain members of my family. As we all know, one of the advantages of buying second hand is that you get more for your money - it's a win win situation if you ask me.

Vintage Coconut said...

That dress is absolutely delightful. You look gorgeous!
"The man who complimented you was spot on!"

Kylie said...

I love your new/old dress. It is indeed made for you. It reminds me of a peacock. I think it looks even lovelier without the wrap, but that's just my opinion. I bet you walked with an extra spring in your step after your chat with the window cleaner. He sounds like a charmer.

I am happy (thrilled) to receive vintage, op-shopped pressies, but sadly not too many of my rellie/friends would be happy to receive them (with the exception of my husband)

Have a v lovely weekend x

Unknown said...

Do you know what i think that dress has to be one of my favourite outfits on you so far its a gorgeous fit, style and shape on you and the colours just lift and look gorg against your skin tone..beautiful. No wonder the window cleaner commented ;-) I always try to buy people what i think they would like i buy secondhand and vintage for some of my friends and family and make things for others and then also buy new i think its a personnal taste thing and has to be within your budget. Have a lovely weekend, dee xx

Kitty said...

I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress, totally awesome!!!
I do a mix of new (mostly BNIP from garage sales so still very cheap) and vintage for Xmas, I think gifts do need to suit the recipients to a fair extent but if you dig hard enough you can usually find something vintage for most people.xx.

Alison Cross said...

Frock looks great!

Christmas - I think that purchases should be tailored to the recipient. But that doesn't mean that you can't do it Vintage style!

Anything from buying books or jewellery right through to household baubles and clothes.

Do it whichever way you like - if it's done with love, it's done with the spirit of Christmas :-)

Ali x

mispapelicos said...

Wonderful dress, ahhhhhhhhhhh No surprised you made an impact even in the window cleaner.
It is amazing the people we can move when we dare.

Unknown said...

I think that dress is simply gorgeous i would like to find one somptuous frock like yours for Xmas! About the compliment you received, i got one of those at work, i was wearing a kick ass mix patterns and a no clue fashion minded but very sweer gentleman said that he liked very much my outfit du jour! i was very pleased

About the vintage gifts...i would be very carefull, not everybody likes vintage


Krista said...

Hot digitty DAM woman that friggin dress was made for you. I LOVE IT come here I wanna hug on it and you! I mean the fit is perfect and those gorgeous patterns and colors DELICIOUS! I love that a man had to just stop and tell you how fabulous you look. KISS to him!

I agree with you and Vix I usually use some lil sweater or bolero to complete a look too. God I just friggin love this dress on you!

Shopping~ I am in the same predicament as you I want to mix it up a little this year with X-mas. I spent the last month and a half thrift shopping and I am having a hard time buying retail. What to do? I love your idea of a lil of both.

Have a great weekend beautiful! I always love reading your comments on my blog, your too sweet to me :)

Vintage Sweetheart said...

You looks gorgeous in maxis and this one is no exception. The print is stunning. I'm lucky I only have to xmas shop for 2 year olds and they are easy to please!


Unknown said...

That seller was right - that FABULOUS frock could have been made for you! I love the colours and the beautiful shimmery fabric - you look just BEAUTIFUL.

I do a bit of both - I try to buy something from my loved one's wish lists and if it's a book that I can buy pre loved then I have no problem buying it - and my loved ones are all as frugal as I am so they don't mind receiving it.

Sarah xxx

Vix said...

That dress is one of my favourites ever! it fits you like a dream and looks equally brilliant with or without the Curtise trademark wrap cardigan.
Men really do appreciate a fab frock although a man got quite weepy with me one day as he reckoned I was dressed like his beautiful dead mother.
I don't really do Xmas, the recipients I used to enjoy buying for are no longer with us (God, what a sad old cow I am).
I'm on the look out for suitable pressies for the few we buy for all year round. Everything's second-hand although mostly new with the store tags attached and not necessarily vintage. My friends know how I shop and quite frankly if they didn't approve they can sod off! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Debberoo said...

Beautiful fit, you look elegant and statuesque.