It was a very hot day and by the time I'd pushed my bike up the hill I thought I'd go straight back home rather than any shop visiting. Luckily my bike issue turned out to be a loose valve rather than yet another puncture.
Suitably cheered I decided to pop into the Oxfam shop in Wimbledon Village. I flicked through a few rails and had my worse fears confirmed with items that left me cold mainly from Marks & Spencer. I decided to look through one last rail before getting on my bike and looking forward to the breeze whilst going down the hill. That was my downfall or luck depending on how you look at it. My £5 in coins was useless. Because I stumbled on a lovely black satin Gerard Darel jacket - bingo at £15.99. I quickly ran my through the rest of the rail and my tally of three items went with me into the changing room. The black jacket was perfect.
The YSL Rive Gauche jacket was too big and very Dynasty with the shoulder pads but a great cut. Then I tried my find on - a Jean Patou two piece. The coat was perfect. A wonderful pistachio green. I tried hard to date it by the cut, which was impossible so then the length suggested 1950s, 1970s or 1980s - a wide span I know but sometimes great items are timeless and difficult to place. I knew Mr Patou wouldn't have designed it having died in 1936 but my heart fluttered given Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier had all done time at the House of Jean Patou. There was I resplendent in my Fax Carla Bruni-Sarkozy moment and there was the price tag of £79.99. This was not the thrifiting I'd envisaged a la Sharon Rose.
I paraded a few times in the shop to get the measure of the coat. Beautiful quality and so swish. Just what I needed to wear with my Roger Vivier shoes. The dress had seen better times and was either never finished or had lost the lining. One of the shop ladies said how fantastic it was and I sighed ah but the price, it then all went like this:
-yes but its a two piece and vintage.
- ah but the dress is ruined. Anyway its too expensive.
-are you buying it for a wedding?
-no I generally like to dress up (sigh as I put it back on hanger)
-would you buy it for £40?
-I'll speak to the manager.
Off she trots downstairs and I wait expectantly by the till with the Gerard Darel jacket. Back she pops handing coat over to till lady
-charge this at £39.99, she says.
- oh here's my other item, sing I, handing over card not coins.
- look at this lovely Vivienne Westwood skirt, is her next line as she puts it on the rail (myself and other shop ladies all coo at this point, particularly at the bustle detail. I hold it up against me.)
-such a shame it needs a slimmer frame, I say (silence, tumbleweed and no response from the two Irish shop ladies, not even a Mrs Doyle 'go on, go on'). So I hung the £29.99 VW skirt back on rail.
The net result of my thrift was a £55 spend, a tad over budget. Hardly the bargain browse I was hoping for.