Outfits: Mint green and Zebra stripes

Today I want to tell you about several charity shop pieces which made the cut for my holiday wardrobe without any ‘modifications’.

This mint green 100% silk designer top is by far the most interesting and/or unusual item I think I’ve ever found in a charity shop. It’s from the David Szeto SS ’06 collection and the medium-weight mint green silk has gold abstract prints on it, that have a subtle sheen to them.

The label is marked ‘DAVID SZETO printemps-ete circa 2006′ which confused me a little. Surely they know what year it is when they make the labels?! I had a look at his website and the latest collection is called AW circa 2013, so I guess it’s a ‘thing’. His shop lists some current season silk tops for 4-500 Euros (currently on sale). He has some items on Avenue 32, and here are some of his items on Shopbop as well. He’s apparently a Canadian designer working out of Brussels. So how the heck this ended up in the PDSA shop in Bolton… I guess we’ll never know. I paid £4.49 and ran out of the shop before they realised what it is and tried to charge me more. It’s described as ‘Medium’ but the inside label says 40.

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This zebra print skirt was screaming for some attention in the Trinity House Hospice Shop in Streatham.

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It’s a very lightweight 100% silk, with zebra stripes printed on and shiny dots woven in to give it some texture. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, it’s beautiful.

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The designer of this skirt is Flora Kung, and the label carries her brand name ‘Flora Kung New York‘. This Taiwanese-born designer does her own textile design as well as fashion design and combines the two for a rather distinctive look. The label was very active in the 1980s, and after an 18-year gap, was resurrected in 2008 (with even Kate Middleton spotted in a Flora Kung design in recent years). I have seen Flora Kung items with an identical label as this one described as ‘vintage 80s’ on Ebay and Etsy, but I am not entirely sure that this skirt is that old. If you can help me shed any light on how old this skirt might be, please get in touch.

I paid £15 for this, which you may think is a little much, but in response I would challenge you to go out and buy a designer silk anything for £15, especially when that £15 is going towards the good work that Trinity House does. The label says there are slight pulls in the fabric, but none are visible.

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This gold knit rib maxi has sparkly thread throughout so it glitters like… well, glitter. It was £4.99 from the British Heart Foundation Shop in Streatham.

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Outfit: Betty Draper does Kenya

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One of my personal favourite projects from last year was this Betty Draper-inspired dress. You can read the original post here.

This was made from a sheet that I bought for £4.99 in Oxfam, and I’m really glad I bought it. I still have the pillowcases left to make something else for next summer!

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The final dress was very like the Betty Draper original, except the skirt wasn’t as full, giving it more of a 60s vibe than 50s.

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Outfit: Magnum PI in Kenya

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Just a quick post today. This Hawaiian shirt remake formed part of my wardrobe for my trip to the British Virgin Islands a couple of years back, but I have worn it countless times since then. It originally came from the big Goodwill in San Francisco… I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the most travelled items in my wardrobe. Not bad for $10. You can read the original post here.

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Kenyan Bombshell

This project started with this blue dress. It’s really slinky, with a high lycra content, in other words, perfect for swimwear.

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I actually bought this a really long time ago in the Children’s society shop in Upminster (£6.99). It was brand new with the tag attached.

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I always had swimwear in mind for this but it wasn’t until Heather released the Bombshell swimsuit pattern that this dream really became a plausible reality. I know I’m probably the last person in the world to make this pattern, but whatevs. It’s a superb pattern and I can’t recommend it enough.

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Outfit: African print

I’m sure you remember this dress in African style fabric that I bought from Thrift Town in San Francisco a couple of years ago. This project was top of the list when packing for my holiday as I really wanted the chance to wear this in Africa (Kenya to be precise). Sadly this little African inspired number didn’t make the cut.

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I doubled my money with this by turning it into a skirt and top.

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Explorer outfit (Kenya ft. Budapest and Middlesbrough)

Happy New Year, Refashioners!

I’m going to start the year off with an extended series of posts showing the holiday wardrobe I made/acquired for my trip to Kenya last month. Spoiler alert: there are trillions of pictures #sorrynotsorry

First off is an outfit that was invaluable when exploring this beautiful country. I started with this vintage blouse that I picked up on a trip to Budapest last year. It has broderie anglaise style lace around the neck and arms and down the button placket, so pretty. Unfortunately it was a bit too big.

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I bought this in a vintage shop (below), not a charity shop, so prices were a little more than I am used to. I paid 3500 Hungarian Forints for it, and left feeling a little ripped off (I did not haggle; I’m British). On actually checking my mental arithmetic using a calculator, it turned out to be only £9.50 so not really a big deal. The shop was quite cute with lots of unusual vintage gear, including loads of bags and hats. Unfortunately my luggage space was limited!

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Turns out that Hungarians love second hand clothes shops and I spotted several of them on my travels. I was a little disappointed to realise that most were full of clothes from the British high street, but still enjoyed having a rummage. I did memorise the Hungarian for ‘second-hand clothes’ before I went over (in case you wondered, it’s ‘használt ruha’) to help me find suitable shops.

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Anyway… I digress. To complete the outfit, I selected this vintage Benetton skirt in the Age UK shop in Middlesbrough (from the sublime to the ridiculous…)

There isn’t a before pic of the skirt (sorry) as I didn’t really alter it much, you get the idea from the pictures below. It’s made from this incredible 100% cotton fabric printed with vintage French maps. Over the maps are palm leaves and tropical flowers. It fit the retro Africa vibe of my holiday wardrobe perfectly.

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The overall look I’m aiming for is “Dirty Dancing Baby in slightly more grown-up vintage outfit”.

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Mint condition

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I bought this ‘lovely’ coat from the Sense shop in Deptford for £9.95. It was only on getting it home that I started to feel buyers’ remorse. The buttons, the size, the style, all that can be fixed. The only real problem with it is… it’s mint. And by that I mean… it’s green. When I bought this I thought it was blue. How wrong I was. The mint green pastel shade has left it looking even more early noughties than it otherwise would.

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On the plus side, it’s a wool/angora/cashmere mix, and is well-made, from the now-defunct label Ronit Zilkha which closed in 2007.

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In terms of what to do with it… I decided to go a bit left-field and make a sleeveless coat. Believe it or not, sleeveless coats are in fashion now…. (L-R) Lanvin, Etro, Antonio Berardi, Marni, 3.1 Philip Lim…

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…and the queen of the sleeveless coat, Victoria Beckham.

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I had slight doubts about the practicality of such garments but the internet convinced me that sleeveless coats are perfectly fine with a thick jumper underneath. At least, they are if you live in Southern California. Sadly, this is London…

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Outfit: You. Are. GOLD!

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This beautiful vintage blouse has shiny gold embroidery all over it. The embroidery is in the form of a rope and tassel motif, which makes me think of the theatre, though they could just as easily be curtain tie-backs I suppose. The label says ‘Opera’ so I suppose it could have been worn to the Opera at some point! The gold thread is actually quite glittery, very eye catching. The colour of the fabric is a strong cream, definitely not white. It’s polyester, but quite heavy so it drapes well.

I bought this in the Scope Shop in Lewisham. They were having a sale when I was there, so I got it for half price, £2.25. That’s less than the price of a takeaway coffee, folks. A definite bargain.

It’s UK size 12 and although it’s loose on me, it’s a perfectly acceptable size. The only thing I did to it was to remove the shoulder pads.

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Gorgeous Georgia

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I bought this curtain (singular) in the Salvation Army shop in Deptford and although I the tag is missing, I think I paid £5 for it. I’ve had this in my possession for quite some time, just waiting for the right project. It desperately wanted to be a party dress. It’s cream and white brocade, not too thick, lined with plain cream cotton.

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And then this came along.

Introducing…. By Hand London’s Georgia dress!

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