Blouse, £3.49, PDSA
It's not often that I'll shop a "vintage" section in a charity shop and come away with anything not incredibly overpriced, so it was with some disappointment that I noticed one such section in one of my favourite local chazzas. All too often, shabby sheepskins, 80s cocktail dresses and shoulder pads aplenty are lumped together under a vintage sign and suddenly the prices are doubled - annoying, because one of the best parts of charity shopping is finding some lovely vintage pieces buried deep amid the rails of Primark cast offs and other throwaway fashion items.
I was thrilled to see, however, that most items in the 'vintage' section were priced in a similar manner to the rest of the shop's stock. Shirts and blouses range from £1-3.99, dresses were around £7, and skirts and trousers £4/5, so it wasn't extortionate pricing. I picked up a simple black jumper (the classic 70s granny style which is pretty much pure polyester and makes my hair go static) and also this, a striped blouse of which I had been considering purchasing a contemporary version. This pyjama stripe and stand up collar is really rather on trend, and I loved the length of this which could be tucked in or worn as a tunic over skinny trousers or shorts in the summer.
The deal breaker on this top were the little letter A's on the gold buttons. As if I would turn down a monogrammed button! I really like the small details like this - they give a simple item a little more character. This is missing, I think, from the high street today - recently I bought a blouse from Topshop (now returned) which was a navy poly blend type, pretty, with a double breasted button down detail. The buttons they had used on a dark navy blouse? bright white, school shirt type buttons. I had intended to remove them and replace them - even Adrian said 'those buttons make it look cheap' when I showed him - but after I found this I decided I didn't need it anyway and returned it. How difficult would it have been to use gold buttons? Or even black or navy ones?!
I've had a couple of good finds in the charity shops lately, which is useful because it's January and everyone's feeling the pinch. A quick look around the shops leads me to believe there's nothing there worth buying unless you were going on some sort of fancy cruise - all sequins, evening wear and formal pieces which are lovely, but fairly impractical for day to day wear. I'm also increasingly aware of how similar everything is; whichever shop I visit, I see a variation of things that I've already seen in many others. This is why I love vintage; it brings a touch of difference to any look, and you can wear high street top to toe but add a vintage accessory or two, and it really changes the look.