Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The once in a lifetime Salvation Army find

As part of my two week holiday in England, I take my mom, a thrift store junkie like me, thrifting at the Salvation Army shop off Oxford Street in London.

You can try on clothes behind a flimsy looking curtain on a shower ring. Picture my mom and me squeezed together shoehorning our ways into respective dresses whilst avoiding flashing the men perusing the men's section next to us with a vagrant boob or bottom. Yikes.

My mom tries on a dress, with a geometric blue print on it - sighs and gives me the wise advice that "ladies over the age of 40 should never wear puff sleeves". I take that is a no then. Then it is my turn, I manage to try my dress avoiding indecent exposure by having my mom clutch the curtains closed. It is a winner. Mom just goes OOOOoooooooooo and I think, gosh that is pretty nice. We put our clothes back on, and my mom treats me to the dress, we leave triumphant. A gorgeous Laura Ashley - with a 50% discount on the thrift shop price- a grand total of £12.50 (£20).

The fabric is gorgeous with the loveliest floral print.

I love it when you try on some thrift and it fits like a glove. I think this is a pretty fenomenal find. I cannot wait to wear it!

Such is the beauty of thrifting, you must sift through loads of random things until you can find that diamond. What are your once in a lifetime thrift finds?

The London Salvation Army shop is large, with women's and men's clothes, homewares, books, shoes, and also accessories.

Address: 18 Great Peter Street
For the love of thrift rating (from 1 to 10):
Selection: 7
Presentation: 7
Niceness of staff: 7
Bargain factor (ie pricing): 8
Thrift turnover: unknown

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's in the genes kiddo

I'm in London this week visiting family and friends. I'm staying at my mum's and quite frankly, am being spoilt rotten, and not minding being the baby girl although I'm a ripe old 32 year old.

The love for vintage is clearly genetic; I'm sure scientists will soon discover the tique gene.... My grandmother owned an antique shop for a while and my mom has a great eye for antiques as well as thrift.

Here are some of my mum's finds. First is a pair of dressers she bought in the Isle of Skye (the most beautiful island in the world - off the Northwest coast of Scotland!). You can see they are quite sober; they are probably 19th century - and reflect the conservative tastes and austere religious aesthetic of the islanders. I think they are also pretty cute. The first piece is my mom's bedside table.

What is also rather delightful about these dressers is that you can tell they are from the Scottish Highlands. You can tell that from the second item of the pair. These dressers are shorter than most dressers - so that they could fit under the eaves (the slopey roof part) of the houses (farmers' cottages) in the area back in the day. The mirror part of the first piece was probably added at a later period. My mom bought these in a second hand furniture shop in the Isle of Skye. On a totally different note, here is my mom's gorgeous art deco walnut cabinet. She bought this at an antique warehouse in Glasgow next to the Clyde river. I love the colour. Aptly, the beautiful woman in the photo in the middle, is my grandmother, who had a love for all things antique.

In order to keep with the theme of Fortheloveofthrift, my mom has patiently obliged to model her two best thrift finds. She bought these in Blackheath, London at the local charity shop - Cancer Research UK, for £8 (or $15). They are made of silk, are reversible and she's had a ton of comments on them. I think she looks fabulous in them.

Tyra Banks move over, my mom is America's next Top Model!
First the blue side, very earth mother:
Then the ivory side, very stylish classic mother:
Then the black jacket, very sexy sophisticated classy mama:And then the pink side, a rather reluctant and giggly model, my "I-look-like-a-giant-strawberry" mother! I don't think she'll be wearing the jacket on this side.....

Jacket- thrifted

Style - model's own

Friday, June 19, 2009

How many dresses can a girl own?

Quite a few I believe. This Sunday, a stall in Hells Kitchen fleamarket had a huge pile of dresses, all for $5 each. Once I saw it, I quickly packed the boyfriend to the neighboring cafe to read his newspaper - he's such a good man! I knew this was going to take time and skill. I went rummaging elbow deep next to a couple of other thrifters and checked out a few nice dresses, all too large, until I spotted these two. I couldn't try them on, but I didn't care, from looking at them I knew I was golden:

- Pink dress - perfect for summer, very delicate, very feminine. Sweet!

- Black dress - lovely cut, great sleeves

The photo in the first picture is one I bought in a market in Buenos Aires, Argentina - I love the face of the slightly grump lady on the left staring at the couples dancing tango. The frame was thrifted at Housing works.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On my thrift list: the white summer dress

On my thrift wish list is a white summer dress - with some embroidery perhaps. I haven't had any luck yet but I'm keeping my eyes open!

Here are some inspirational thrifted examples via Lookbook:
From Canada, a thrifted example of white summer dress AND leather bag from a flea market...beauty!
Some inspiration from Germany - This is the dress I would love to find - what a beautiful combination of the thrifted dress and a sharp blazer...
And finally, another example of a white dress, this time paired with some roller skates - also thrifted. Not sure about the skates.....I'd last about 10 seconds....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A thrifted classic - the leather satchel

Oooh how exciting! My first post for Colorado Lady's Vintage Thingies Thursdays!

Here is a gorgeous vintage brown leather satchel I thrifted some weeks ago at the Angel thrift store - for $35. It feels worn and loved, and the leather is soft with the deep dark colour of vintage leather. It has a pretty golden clasp and a kitsch green inner lining with little dogs.

I know nobody will see the lining but I like knowing the secret beauty of it - a bit like wearing nice underwear....
It is perfect handbag size, I feel it will make a good autumn bag.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Shoes - thrifted at Housing Works (Upper west side)
Scarf - thrifted at Hell's kitchen flea market
Handbag- thrifted in English charity shop
Cardigan - thrifted at Housing works (Gramercy)

NYC thrift guide: Upper West Side expedition

Starting off at 72nd street - check out Off Broadway between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue- a little gem of an indie store with vintage clothes, shoes and accessories. See the Dakota building on the corner of Central Park West and 72nd street - where John Lennon was shot and Yoko still lives. See if you can spot Lauren Bacall - another Dakota tennant - walking her dog in the hood.

Before you can thrift with gusto you will need some food/coffee - so here are some options:

- For proper brunch - the works - go to the Fairway cafe upstairs. Broadway and 75th.
- For a coffee and a pastry/sandwich - go to the lovely indie Cafe Arte. Columbus and 74th.
- For girlie scones and tea - served in mismatched china - Alice's teacup. On 73rd street and Columbus.

OK, time to shop those calories off. Dust the crumbs off your vintage skirt/trousers and get going. As you walk North on Columbus, there is a Jonathan Adler on Columbus and 74th street. Go get some design inspiration.

Just next door to Jonathan Adler is your first thrift hit: the Housing Works Upper West Side. Yipee!
I'm hoping the thrift gods have smiled upon you and you're carrying at least one bag. Keep walking on Columbus and go to the greenflea, the flea market on Sundays, on 77th. Yay! Check out all the cool stalls.

OK, by now you must be carrying at least two bags of goodies. Cross the street and check out Design within Reach. Yeah right - within reach of the trust fund crowd perhaps!! I always wondered who gave this shop its ridiculous name. Go for the inspiration.
Stroll North on Columbus and admire the Natural History Museum. Once you've had your culture fix, it is time for the second thrift store of the day - the Goodwill on 79th street and Broadway.
Carry your thrifted goodies down Broadway and walk past Barney's co-op and giggle at people spending a fortune on clothes.

Further down is Loehman's (Broadway and 73rd) - not a thrift store granted, but the place where many a bargain can be found. If you still have any energy left in you there is also an Urban Outfitters on 71st and Broadway.

By now you either need a:
- sugar rush to get you home - in which case try the delicious Levain bakery enormous chocolate chip cookies - a Manhattan secret (74th street and Amsterdam avenue) - you can thank me afterwards

- or a drink to get you home - for a glass of wine go to Wine and Roses on Columbus and 74th or for a beer chill out at Dive 75 on west 75th street and Columbus.

Go home, admire your purchases, and massage those feet!