Outfit: Red Cashmere Jumper
So this post is mostly going to be about a simple red jumper. I bought this in the Age UK shop in Orpington for £4.99. It was a little worn, but crucially, it’s 50% cashmere, 50% silk, so it feels lovely. I thought it would be a great addition to my red, white and blue holiday wardrobe for my trip.
All I did with this was to gently remove some bobbles and it was good to go.
Swedish Blouse from England
I bought this white blouse on my recent trip to north Sweden, in the Red Cross shop in Jörn, to be precise. There are very few shops in this small town but amongst them were several second-hand shops (“loppis” – I got some great stuff there too, more of which, later) and a rather fun charity shop run by the Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset). I had a good browse and bought several pieces there. If you’re in the area, I recommend it. They have free coffee and everything.
I came across this 1980s white blouse in approximately my size. It has ruffles. I mean, a lot of ruffles. There are ruffles at the neck, ruffles at the shoulder, ruffles at the cuffs and even two big ruffles down the front. I love ruffles but this was a little much even for me.
I paid SEK 30:- which is about £2.60.
So anyway, I was looking for something especially Swedish to remake. I was delighted to see that the blouse had originally been sold by Swedish department store Åhléns. Thinking that nothing could be more Swedish I happily carried this home to England to be remade.
On closer inspection…..
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.
This zebra print skirt was screaming for some attention in the Trinity House Hospice Shop in Streatham.
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.
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.
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.
Outfit: Betty Draper does Kenya
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!
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.
Outfit: Magnum PI in Kenya
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The overall look I’m aiming for is “Dirty Dancing Baby in slightly more grown-up vintage outfit”.
Outfit: You. Are. GOLD!
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.
Outfit: Red lace in casual mode
Hello again Refashioners!
I am sure you remember this red skirt from a few weeks ago. This started out as a plain Country Casuals red straight skirt in 100% wool.
I took it in at the back and added lace trim in a similar colour to jazz it up a bit as part of the lace trend that’s everywhere this season.
I wanted to report back that I have been wearing this skirt a lot since it debuted here a few weeks back. Today I want to share a more casual look with you.
Outfit: Yellow polka dots
What can you get for £2.75 these days? How about a vintage silk top? This beauty is 100% silk and came from the Cancer Research shop in Streatham.
The name ‘Susan Wolff’ dates this from the early 1990s (the brand is now defunct), and clothing from the early 90s is now classed as ‘vintage’.
Truthfully, this top is a bit too big, but I’m quite happy to wear it like that as it’s so hot here at the moment. It has a lovely, flowing drape and feels beautiful to wear.
I’ve previously found this colour yellow rather difficult to wear, but I’m giving it a good go, pairing it with a black skirt and gold, black and grey accessories.
Hi folks, today I want to show off this coral/peach coloured beaded cardigan I bought recently in the British Heart Foundation shop in Middlesbrough. I paid £4.99.
This cardigan, though it’s synthetic, is heavily embellished with beading. Heavy being the operative word – it is pleasingly weighty to wear!
I think someone has added a lining at some point as this has clearly been hand-sewn.
The beading is so great. There are intricate patterns and the edges have chains of beads dangling freely. It’s brilliant!
Although it is a little big, I chose not to alter this at all; working with anything beaded can be difficult. Instead I’m going for a loose-fitting 1920s vibe.