Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Dressing myself ... in autumnal vintage [and bargains]

If family folklore is to be believed I've been dressing myself since I was tiny; from around 18 months, or so the story goes. And I reckon that, even before then, I was laying there planning outfits in my head, just waiting for the day my thumbs could tackle buttons and zips unaided and my nappy wouldn't spoil the line of my trousers ...

I'm telling you this to explain why I have the urge to share some outfits here occasionally. I've done it several times in the past but not for a long long time and I miss it.

So I'm planning from time to time to share some of the vintage/second-hand items I pick up on my travels [it's not just old paper I sniff out in charity shops] with the emphasis on how it's easy to introduce 'vintage' pieces into a regular wardrobe; proving that you don't have to look like you joined a historical re-enactment society to enjoy wearing retro clothes!
[I've just realised I should never have used the words 'sniff' and 'charity shops' in the same sentence. I can only apologise.]

And so ... here's an outfit I wore to have breakfast in town [in the Olde Young Teahouse] on the last Saturday in October.

[Note: If I look a bit awkward ... it's because I felt it! The photos were taken on our driveway and I was paranoid that the neighbours would see.] But anyway, the outfit...

The vintage piece:
  • I picked up this autumnal coloured knitted tunic from the Oxfam stall at The Festival of Thrift, Darlington, this September.
  • There's no tag in it so I can't gauge the age accurately, but it feels like something from the 80s to me. [Certainly the static it creates is reminiscent of the clothes I wore growing up whose sparks could light up a dark room.]
  • When I first spotted it, I didn't know exactly what I'd match it with once I got it home ... but at just £2.00 it was worth taking a chance and leaving it open to experimentation!

The outfit I built around it: 
  • I like the slightly preppy look of having shirt collars poking out from under a jumper/cardigan so I started off with a white shirt.
  • I also like a bold/shiny focal point when I'm wearing a collar so I picked out a necklace I thought went well with the geometric shapes in the knitted design.
  • Everything else fell into place after that ...
  •  My latest favourite Gap skinny jeans [I only ever buy Gap jeans]: approx £20.00 from their outlet store. [I can't remember the exact price, but it won't have been a lot.  I only ever buy them from outlet stores.] 
  • Faux leather/pleather/plastic-yet-pretty-convincing jacket: £19.99 from TKMaxx.
  • Leibeskind leather boots £20.00 TKMaxx clearance shelf. [For the record, everything was paid for by me. No blogger promo freebies here!].
And that's it: a nice mix of comfy, warm and practical ... with the vintage element adding a little bit more of a story and the clearance/outlet prices taking less from my bank account!

"Does it look weird?" I asked James after I'd finished putting this outfit together.
"You've always dressed weird." He replied, comfortingly??


Before I go ... I always like to try to make my posts useful to you ... even if it's only to make you laugh [because that's useful!]. But right now I'm not sure I've worked out if this post is or not/

If you've been laughing at my awkwardness or the bulging beneath my tunic - [why didn't I tuck my shirt in? And why didn't my photographer point it out? Although, on second thoughts ... he knows better to tell me I'm looking lumpy...] then I'll take that!

If you found any other redeeming features in the post ... let me know in the comments. I'm probably going to do more posts like this ... so we both might as well get used to it.

Julie x


  1. I just saw this post in my FB feed and thought, "Ooh, that looks Scandi ... Julie would like that ..." and there you already were. You're obviously on trend!

    1. I didn't make the Scandi link before .. but I see it now. Another reason to like it!

  2. Nice outfit Julie! I agree, your tunic looks like it is 1980s, the wide shoulders give it away! I am very interested in this sort of post, I too love charity shops and of course, sewing vintage dresses!

  3. When you live in an ex mining town where the main clothes shop is a large food retailer then the charity shops usually have little to offer. But I have learnt that a black jacket and brown boots look good together.
    I was brought up being told that shoes/boots had to be the same colour as your handbag and coat! This could be very liberating for me.
    You could write your shopping list out and we'd find it interesting Julie but I enjoyed this post - and I think you look fine in those photos - no laughing here.

    1. You'll make me blush!

      I'm thrilled to have [maybe] liberated you from same-colour-boot-coat drudgery! ;-)

  4. This outfit is so cool! You look very good...not weird! =) I'm not much of a clothes person myself (I mean, I wear them, but I don't really like shopping for them) but for some reason I love seeing outfits that other people have put together. Maybe I'm fascinated because making clothes look cool is a skill I lack. I look forward to seeing more! =)

  5. Love it! Bit of a voyeur with what Other Peeps Wear.....should've got 'over it' now I'm over 50 I guess....but I'm a Op Shop [as we call 'em in Oz] gal from way back. I have 'Op Shop' days out with my GF!!!! So right up my alley. Deffo late 70s-early80s I'd say. I remember owning a boat neckline stripey top ..... & I LOOOVE the 'preppy' shirt under your top..... & lumps you say? Just WAIT 'til you hit 50!!! More please ;)

  6. "comfortingly" and lovingly!

  7. I think the 80s is probably right (Although I spent that era trying to channel my inner Lady Di) sometimes it's just the fabric that gives a bit of clothing its age. My son was thrilled with a blue nylon parka he found in a charity shop for about £2 when he was living in Edinburgh. My husband and I looked at it, then looked at each other and we both agreed that it was probably from the 70s, in fact Paul thinks he had exactly the same style when he was a teenager.
    Great to see how you pull your outfit together - looking forward to more of the same!

  8. I'm totally in love with that jumper! and I didn't notice any lumpiness AT ALL! The whole look is uber cool and exactly the sort of thing that'd make me desperate to talk to you at parties.

    Me: look at that girls outfit - she's so stylish.

    My husband: Go say hi then

    Me: I can't I've already spilt hummus down my top, and am having anxiety about my earings - I'm not sure they say 'ironically wearing grannies earings' after all, maybe they say 'massive Margaret Thatcher fan'. I can't make a new friend when I'm not sure what my earings are saying.......

    etc etc

    Thank goodness for the internet when I can say without a hint of awkwardness that I love the whole outfit and think you are very clever for putting it together x

    1. Aw. You should definitely introduce yourself - I'd also have humous lurking somewhere

  9. I am completely envious of your perfect jumper!

  10. Aw, you're all being so nice! Thank you!

  11. Er, am I the only one brave enough to admit that my Mum made me a jumper like that? It would have been late 70's though.

  12. Sorry, in my befuddled state, that didn't sound quite right. I meant brave enough to own up to the 70's; not brave enough to wear the jumper. Which looks excellent.

  13. Lol!!! First I had to smile when you said about sniff and charity shops, gosh, I do wonder sometimes how they get that distinctive smell. Not all of them, just the occasional. But boy does it put me off! I can't distinguish it, not mothballs, not fresh air spray (no, definitely not that)! But moving on, I love your bargain vintage tunic and it looks very stylish on you. I remember some of your fashion posts from the past, yes, they make an interesting read so I'm happy to get used to them being more regular!
    I had to laugh when I read about James not commenting about the bulges (though yes, he would have to be a brave man!) But I quite understand your mentioning this because I have a lovely photo taken of me this summer on the side of the canal. I don't have many photos of me that I like, and delete a good many, but this is presentable..... until you look at the position of my leg. It is kind of hooked over and looks like a false one prompted against my other knee. 'Why didn't you tell me I look weird?' I asked. No answer. Probably for the best!! At least I can crop the photo.... and as for your bulge, I'm still trying to find it!!

  14. Ooh yes, being a follower of many sewing blogs, I do love a good outfit post. This also appealed to me because I a) love charity shop shopping and b) only ever buy Gap jeans and only from the local outlet village.

  15. You look great in your 'vintage' outfit! I have always enjoyed your clothes posts, especially as I feel rubbish at looking cool or trendy. Those colours look wonderful on you ...

  16. It's a brilliant outfit. I remember your shares of previous ones fondly (wasn't there a purple theme?). But... You didn't say where the necklace is from? It's a real statement piece and I love it! Do tell....

    1. There was a purple theme - and a yellow one too. You know how I like a themed blog feature!

      As for the necklace - I have no idea where I got it from, I've had it a good few years now. It's definitely highstreet costume jewellery but other than that I'd struggle to remember where it came from. If I see anything similar on my travels I'll give you a shout!

  17. Love that tunic!! Also, Gap outlet skinny jeans?? We have a gap outlet here..I know where im going tomorrow.


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