Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Soothed by Shoes

So far it's been one of those weeks that makes you despair of people's lack of sense or attention to detail. I won't bore you with the minutiae of it here, but lets just say I've been saved by three things: the brilliant series two of Fargo that's currently being shown on Channel 4, a good friend - well that's a surprise! 

My friend Jill and I get together once a month to go charity shop shopping together before we pick our girls up from school. Jill's awesome to shop with; she has a brilliant eye for clothes, loves her bargains too and is always frank with her opinions; its great fun picking out clothes for each other and finding that they suit. So yesterday, we hit the shops together and boy, was I in need of quality company!

Coming across these shoes lifted my spirits too. And they fitted - double bonus. 

They're Russell & Bromley and in super condition considering their age, with leather soles and uppers, and trimmed with snakeskin. Now, I reckon they could be late 1940s/early 1950s, looking at their style, shape of the heel and also the branding label. But I'm open to comments, so feel free to put forward any suggestions.

I also came across in a pair of 1920s Egyptian revival earrings and a WW2 Women's Voluntary Service badge. 

An eclectic array of buys but that's what I love about charity shops! 

This was interesting though. In the Red Cross shop a heated exchange of words was happening between two customers and the staff. Jill and I left the shop at the time as these two women and it turns out that another customer took pity on a guy who's apparently homeless and most days sits on the pavement a few doors down; he doesn't try to hustle anyone and is always polite if you buy him a coffee or snack. Anyway, another customer went into the Red Cross shop to buy him a coat to replace the inadequate one he wears. As the jacket was £15, the customer asked the staff if they could reduce the price considering who she was buying it for. The staff refused and maintained that it had to be sold at full price. The other two women intervened and questioned the shop policy as the jacket was in effect, being given to the homeless guy as a charitable act. The staff still refused and the women left saying that they'll choose another charity to donate their stuff to. 

I'd be interested to know what you think about the above, especially if you work/have worked in charity shops. Mine and Jill's viewpoint was that they could have heavily discounted the coat, providing that the staff witnessed her give the coat to the guy sitting outside and wasn't trying to make an excuse up to buy it cheaper for herself. 

To be honest, I'm probably biased though as the staff in this shop are notorious for being rude; one of the reasons why I stopped donating to them and give my unwanted things to a local hospice shop instead.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Label Lover

I haven't come across much 'under the radar' vintage clothing in charity shops over the past few months much to my disappointment. What I have found though, is lots of over-priced stuff similar to that Vix described in her recent post here. However, I did find this 1980s tuxedo-style jacket last week in one of my favourite out-of-the-way shops.

What surprised me was that it hadn't been worn and still had both the manufacturer's and retailer's labels attached. But check out the original price for the jacket: £72.35 *gasp* - reduced to £10 in their sale (closing down one I reckon if the rest of their stock was similarly priced) then sold to me for £4.95!

I've done a bit of research on the Bernshaw label (love the fabric label with its font) and the company is still in production. Back in the day though, it looks like they supplied glam dresses to a few celebs including the ladies from 'Dallas'...

Photo Source
On my recent travels I've found some other old delights like this Venetian glass necklace, which I reckon pre-dates WW2...

...they look like sweets!

Also two books by Odhams: "Practical Home Dressmaking Illustrated" and...

..."The Practical Home Handywoman".

Not only does the last book cover the usual things you'd expect from a book of the time such as cooking and handicrafts, but it also explain things such as the maintenance of domestic machinery like the vacuum cleaner and lawnmower, and basic carpentry skills to make 'simple furniture' and even a dog kennel. This had me thinking; as it was published during the late 1940s, I wonder whether the book's primary audience were those women widowed during the war and left having to bring up a family and look after the home single-handedly. Even so, it still makes for an interesting albeit rather dated read.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Wednesday on Saturday

Just a quick 'hello' to hope you all enjoyed your Halloween last night and for those who don't indulge, hopefully you weren't plagued by annoyingly insistent callers.

Monkeychild loves a good Halloween get-together with her friends and although last night's costume wasn't as dramatic as 2014's three headed green furred zombie monster, she had fun all the same with a slightly more basic costume. 

This years choice?


Everyone's favourite ghoulish girl...Wednesday Addams.

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