Monday, 24 January 2011

Don't you want to see these clothes on me?

In some ways I failed in my Shepherd's Bush Market challenge. In other ways I think there were actually victories for more parties than just myself. I ended up buying three items for my Saturday night outfit from Shepherd's Bush Market that I had every intention of throwing together to create an outfit, however these three items (a hat, a neck scarf and a pair of earrings) sadly lacked enough flesh-coverage to be worn on their own. As for finding a whole outfit? Quite frankly the rest of the clothing stalls in Shepherd's Bush Market left me slightly uninspired and wanting to have a good wash. This is not a market to fulfil your fashion fix. However, it was a bloody good laugh trying to do so.

My favourite new hat - "Available in 55 colours, my dear" - £3.00 from Shepherd's Bush Market

As always the Shepherd's Bush charity shops came to my rescue and I managed to add substance and modesty to my outfit finding a cotton, red GAP dress, a vintage olive green faux-leather belt and a vintage (well past-season) Jigsaw handbag in Age Concern for a total cost of £18.00. 

I also had one of those rare but cherished moments when you find a true designer label bargain when I clapped eyes on a Massimo Dutti Women's black cord blazer in brilliant condition with a dress-size-reducing fit for just £3.00. 

By the time I landed in Fara I was on a crazy spending high and before coming down I purchased a Dallas-inspired 1980s patent plastic black and gold handbag (£6.00), of which I embarrassingly already have many. However I was restrained enough not to purchase a beautiful baby pink Cos cardigan in Fara and I didn't indulge in the now passing trend of velvet despite there being a number of very cool, very velvet, very vintage maxi dresses in all three charity shops. Flatmate Mo, who joined me and supervised the mission she set, was both impressed and slightly disturbed at my love for charity shopping as I nose-dived into each rack of clothes, but I must say she showed off some excellent skills herself when it came to identifying brilliant vintage home and kitchenware pieces. There was something quite exciting about all this charity shop shopping now that I have learnt more about the people who live in and around the Bush via this blog. I couldn't help but consider if anyone would recognise any of these items I've just bought?

Our Saturday night cocktails and dreams gathering went well and wearing most of my purchases I received no fewer than four compliments on my dress (including NewMan's "you look very nice" which is a very exciting progression from his usual "you look nice"). 

Then as I poured my 7th glass of homemade Pink Punch, my good mate JB's lovely girlfriend turned to me and said "Is that dress from Gap? And is it like really old? I think I've got the exact same dress. I wear it all the time,". Now then. I could have taken this as a loaded compliment, which insinuated that my charity shop choice was old and out-dated rather than re-loved vintage. Instead I chose to interpret it as a uncomplicated compliment; that I had invested in a reliable item of clothing, one that JB's girlfriend had loved enough to keep for many years. I chose to believe that this dress had served one person well and was to now serve me well. Furthermore the money I spent on it went to a good cause. When it comes to charity shop shopping, this is about as good as it gets.

It may not have been the precise mission I set out to achieve on Saturday but I'm proud to say there was at least one mission accomplished.

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