Monday, 1 September 2008

If you go thrifting be sure for a big surprise!

Let's get one thing straight I'm no charity shop or thrifting type gal. Why for a make do style type I'm particularly rubbish and had to enlist the expertise of Style Bubble earlier this year to discuss the matter.Having enjoyed the successful finds of SharonRose-Vintage I've thought about thrifting second hand shops but haven't done anything about it. So yesterday I needed to get my bike checked over and took it to the best cycle shop in South London - Smith Brothers. Thinking I'd be leaving my bike at the shop to be repaired I took my card and about £5 in shrapnel to go for a rummage in a charity shop.

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?

- yes.

-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.


26 comments:

  1. Fabulous scores (even though those prices are making me feel a little bit faint)!

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  2. Wow! Fantastic! Love the coat and jacket! What success! :-)

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  3. Hi Kate-Yaay!!! I'm soo excited for you, you struck gold on your first visit and I adore your coat-what a find indeed! I love how a shop can decieve, you look all around expecting nothing and then wham-a great bargain right there waiting for you!! The coat is a unique find and yes, maybe £40 is 'expensive' for a charity shop, but you'll never find a piece like this again, plus Oxfam have received a lovely donation from you too! Very well done-are you coverted now?

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  4. Hi again-loved your interview with Style Bubble, I totally agree that a great wardrobe is achieved through a mix of high street, vintage and designer-thrifted as much as possible!! Your Jean Patou coat is such an excellent find and when you see how it incorporates with the rest of your wardrobe, you won't be without it!!

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  5. Skye - yes I felt all faint too but equally a tad guilty I manage to get it for less!

    everybodysaysdon't - surely your most impressed with the GD jacket it is brilliant in cut and quality. Obviously the coat is beyind!

    Sharon Rose - I'm thinking I need to save up and do this, but yes for a first timer I struck lucky. I really couldn't pass over a Jean Patou so I probably am a convert. I'm definitely thinking car boot sale too!!

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  6. PS - I'm wearing the JP coat for my nephews christening in November. It will be perfect.

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  7. The thing with any thrifting is, you have to keep showing up! There won't be amazing deals every time, but if you learn to enjoy the thrill of the chase, you'll find lots of great stuff. Anyone can take a wad of money into a mall and buy nice things. It takes patience, creativity and knowledge to do it at a thrift store. You found some fabbo pieces here!

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  8. Oh dear that is a shocker price wise but equally a major coup as its the fraction of the cost of new,amazing items esp. the coat.

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  9. I adore that coat and it looks really fab on you. Is it just me or is Oxfam just too savvy for its own good these days. *Sigh*. Thrifting just ain't what it used to be.

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  10. Hi kate-How wonderful you have an occasion for the JP coat too-this is perfect for a winter christening and you look wonderful in it too!! yes, try and catch some boot sales before the season ends, generally beginning October, maybe a touch later, weather permitting!! Although I love thrifting at silly prices, I would certainly pay a lot more for a unique piece-can you imagine what your JP coat would cost in a french vintage shop-three figures, definitely!!

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  11. How serendipitous! I'm happy for you, that pistachio looks perfect, and the jacket, wowee!

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  12. Hurrah! Welcome to the wonderful - and highly addictive - world of thrifting.

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  13. I'm not really that into thrift shopping. I have to be in the right mood. I always look in charity shops in the hope of finding some Chanel though.

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  14. I love charity shops, in particular salvos people seem to donate really good stuff.

    Great find and lovely coat.

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  15. you choose so well, I am happy for you and charity is always a great thing :)

    a kiss!!!

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  16. the pastel colour of Jean Patou coat is beautiful....looks great on you!!!!

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  17. and...

    would love to take a snapshot of you wearing that coat on your bike!!!! snap snap!!

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  18. Fashion Assistant - I seriously need you to take some photos of me anyway as need proper promo ones for brochures etc!

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  19. The coat is stunning -- what a great find.

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  20. The question you left in my photoblog, yes it's ottawa:)

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  21. The coat is so lovely; I love little details such as the one on the button. That color looks angelic!

    x Grayburn

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  22. I really like the coat, the color is so pretty...!!! And the buttons look so sweet too :)

    See you!

    Mademoiselle M/

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  23. Clever thrifting! The buttons on the pistachio Patou are making me swoon. xx

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