Saturday, 17 March 2018

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

I'm rewinding to last Saturday, when it was time for the famous (or should that be infamous) annual charity shop event here in Belgium, called Retrodag (Retro day), loved and loathed by vintage aficionados in equal measure.

While I'm the first to admit it isn't much fun that throughout the year most of the exciting vintage stuff is put aside, to be sold on this day at often inflated prices, I mustn't grumble, really, as it's still worth having a look at what's on offer.



This year, we weren't looking for anything in particular - we've got more than enough of the Boch dinner services we are collecting, for instance - so we were just browsing.

Here I am posing beside a truck advertising the event, which was parked near one of our local shops.

But that wasn't our first port of call.  Having been disappointed with that shop's offerings in the past, we started at a shop which is usually last on our list, as it has a good, reasonable priced selection, and therefore we have yet to leave it empty handed.

They also have three huge racks of vintage clothing which, apart from the odd exception, they are selling at their regular fixed prices.


I ended up with my arms full of stuff. Just browsing, you know ...

But let me tell you about what I was wearing first.

Mustn't grumble about the weather either. It was quite mild and the forecasted rain held off until mid afternoon - but we were back home by then. 



Fed up with the coats I've been wearing on rotation, I took advantage of the mild weather by opting for the shorter length, three quarter sleeved new-to-me swing coat I snapped up back in February.

There was really no need for the beret, but I love wearing them and have to wean myself off them very slowly.

Although most of my accessories were red, I chose this blue rimmed plastic brooch for contrast. There is a tiny bit of red in it as well!


I didn't even wear a cardigan, but pulled this vintage waistcoat from my wardrobe. It's made from red and white marled wool and knit in a diamond pattern.


The print of the black dress is a riot of colour and pattern. The fabric is smooth and silky and, especially when interacting with its lining, makes a satisfying swish-swish sound whenever I move around. 

I added a red belt, red beads and red opaques. 

The brooch I chose was a big green butterfly, as it needed to compete with the dress's pattern.

A turquoise scarf and navy handbag and booties completed my outfit.


After spending our money at the first shop, we made a little detour to the shop near the park. 

We'd packed a picnic, fully expecting to eat it while sat in the car, but as there was still no sign of rain, we went off in search of a suitable bench in the park.

The green thing I'm carrying under my arm is a picnic rug to put on the bench in case it was still wet. It's from CADW, the Welsh version of English Heritage, and bought when visiting Tintern Abbey back in 2009.


While we were enjoying our picnic, Jos suddenly noticed these two delightfully bushy-tailed red squirrels, who seemed to be playing  a game of tag in a tree. Tiptoeing ever closer, I was able to catch them and their antics on camera. Aren't they the epitome of cuteness?

Now, without further ado, let me show you what I found in that first treasure trove of a shop!

Uncharacteristically, I didn't try anything on as I couldn't face the inevitable queues, nor did I use my tape measure as I didn't have it with me. But I'm happy to report that all, apart from two dresses which I will be selling on, are perfect fits.


First up is this charming lilac frock. While its bodice is rather sparsely patterned, the print gets denser on the skirt. I love lilac paired with orange, so I was delighted to find timid splashes of orange in the print, prompting me to add bright orange beads and an orange belt. 


You can never go wrong with red and white and the bamboo print of this handmade frock, with its simple cut, short sleeves and tie, is particularly appealing.


Navy and green is another favourite, and I love how the skirt is cut on the bias, creating a chevron effect in the front and the back, contrasting with the vertical stripes on the bodice.


Love at first sight for the funky print of this dress, although I am not totally convinced about its neckline, closing with a little tie string, and its puff sleeves. Oh, but that print!



Last to join my wardrobe is this blue and white patterned dress, which still has its self fabric belt. It is hemmed in white with a blue stripe, which also appears on the collar and the placket. 

I couldn't get enough of the funky fabric of the penultimate dress, so that I used it as a background for the jewellery I found lurking on the counter of the same shop.


These two necklaces (the one on the right isn't vintage but I love its colours) came home with me, together with three brooches I plucked from a basket. The large one in the middle is Limoges and was my most expensive find at € 10. 


Finally, among the racks of vintage fashion was this psychedelic print bathing suit, made from a soft, strokeable towelling fabric. I took a chance on it and by a stroke of luck, it fits me to perfection.

All I need now is an occasion to wear it, but with temperatures plummeting back to the sub-zeros, that's not likely going to be anytime soon!

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style!

40 comments:

  1. very chic bathing suit and it fits! sensationell!
    love all your new dresses - and i cant wait to see you wearing them. you look sweet in that little coat with your red beret and red legs under the funky frock <3 and how cool that you could snap some pics of the cute "eichhörnchen"!
    here is the snow back and -8° - brrr.
    stay warm! hugest hugs! xxxxxx

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    1. Thank you, my dear! Finally, a bathing suit that I like and that fits too. I love "eekhoorntjes"! We had a little bit of snow last Saturday but it was gone within a day. xxx

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  2. Oooh, you did very well! The blue and white dress makes me think of mushrooms-perfect for spring. Now you need a beach holiday somewhere warm to wear the suit.

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    1. I never even noticed, but you're right: they're mushrooms! I love it even more now! xxx

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  3. What a fun treasure hunt, Ann! I love all of the dresses, and I love the way you accessorized them with colorful belts or a scarf! The swimsuit is a great addition to a summer wardrobe, I love the charming print and colors. And of course the jewelry is great as usual, I especially like the orange vintage necklace.

    Those red squirrels are fantastic looking and well fed! :)

    <3

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    1. As I was dressing up Angelica, I thought I might as well accessorize ... Those squirrels were indeed looking well fed, I don't think I've ever seen such huge ones! xxx

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  4. What scores! LOVE the bathing suit. I hope you find somewhere to wear it this summer.

    I was hoping to see the two dresses you would be selling on...maybe they would fit me ; )

    We have a "vintage crawl" here every year where stores also mark up their inventory. I went a few times when I'd just started collecting and wearing vintage. I don't bother anymore as it is too crowded and expensive.

    Suzanne

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    1. Those dresses were way too big for me, so I guess they'd be the same for you, Suzanne! I'm not sure I'll bother next year, maybe just that one shop with the clothes ... xxx

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  5. Oh my goodness Ann, I can’t believe you had such a fantastic haul of dresses. Lucky you. You must have been thrilled to bits. I don’t know how you do it.
    You’d need your big coat and hat and boots if you were here now, it’s thick with snow again and very windy and cold
    Lynn xxx

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    1. I don't know how I do it either. The dresses just find me ... Had to dig out my furs again last weekend! xxx

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  6. Ann your stuff is so wonderful. This swimming suit looks amazing, what a luck it fits perfect! You have a great eye for prints and colour :)
    I wish you a wondergul sunday, XO Tina

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  7. Fabulous finds! I love the red and white bamboo dress, and the blue and white is very smart. Love the funky print too!

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    1. Thank you Linda. I've a soft spot for the red and white bamboo dress too! xxx

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  8. I love the pairing of lilac and orange, it's wonderfully vibrant. You had an amazing stroke of luck to find such a haul in one day.
    Your green butterfly brooch is unusual and I love the Limoges one too.
    You are so lucky to have seen red squirrels, last time I managed to photograph one was in Sweden, they are seldom seen here.
    I hope it's not as cold today there as it is here brrr! xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally! I don't think I'd ever seen red squirrels "in the flesh" before. The green butterfly brooch is modern. It comes from a little shop in Antwerp. xxx

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  9. I love that there is a Retro Day and what a fab haul you have! All the frocks are gorgeous but the blue and white is divine! Roll on some sunny weather so you can wear that awesome swimming costume.xx

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    1. The Retro Day isn't what it used to be, but that first shop really has an excellent selection. I'd go there for the clothes alone. xxx

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  10. Oh, so much fun things! I love all the dresses, but the one you're wearing is my very favourite. Squirrel! We have grey squirrels here, which have nearly ousted the black squirrel native population. Hope the rest of your weekend is lovely, Ann!

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    1. Thank you Sheila! The dress I'm wearing actually came from the same shop. I found it end of last Summer. It is a tiny bit too large, but it looks fine with a belt. I just had to have it as I love the print! xxx

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  11. I love your embrace of bright colors. And the coat is special, too.

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    1. Thank you Ally! I'm loving that coat! xxx

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  12. Your cheery outfit is lovely, the red tights in particular. I have a pair somewhere! What good buys. The chevron dress is my favourite! Glad the Cadw rug got an outing. Not picnic weather here, snow again!! Xx

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    1. We always have the CADW rug with us! I have several pairs of red tights which I'm wearing on rotation. They really add an unexpected pop of colour! xx

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  13. Wow! You did so well, Ann! ;) I love all of your new purchases. I especially love the red and white bamboo dress and the peasant neckline dress with the funky print. I love the psychedelic print on the bathing suit, too! You'll have to come and visit me Ann, so you can wear them! Today was another hot and humid day! ;) XXX

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    1. Thank you Sasha! I can't imagine it being hot and humid right now ... xxx

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  14. Didn't you do well? I'm a sucker for a vintage swimsuit, I'm so glad that beauty fits.
    I adore how you've teamed the lilac frock with the orange accessories. xxx

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    1. The vintage swimsuits I usually find - if I find them at all - are always too big or too small. It's a miracle that it fit perfectly, as I didn't even try it on. Wouldn't have been too bad if it hadn't as it was only € 4! xxx

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  15. Blimey, you did well, what a haul! I love the swimming costume at the end, it reminds me of the sort of thing my mum used to wear back in the 60s and 70s. xx

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    1. I can remember swimming suits like that from back then as well ... xxx

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  16. Woah, that's some 'Just browsing'. Here's hoping the sun takes the hint and comes out so you can wear your swimsuit this summer.

    Oooh, Mattel has brought back Barbie's 1962 Dream House. Retro Renovation did a blog post on it, so I thought I'd mention it in case you hadn't seen it/wanted one: https://retrorenovation.com/2018/03/19/mattel-reintroduces-barbies-1962-dream-house-mine-is-on-the-way/

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    1. I didn't know they brought back the 1962 Dream House, so thanks for the tip. It is rather tempting, but I don't really have the space. It looks very much like the original one, but the doll that's with it looks like an obvious retro. I have the vintage version of the dress she's wearing! xxx

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  17. My goodness, that's quite some haul. What a lovely selection of frocks, I have to say that my favourite is the one you're not sure about. The cozzie is a fab find, not sure you'll get a chance to wear it if you're holidaying in the UK though....just sayin'.
    xxx

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    1. We're going to Shropshire this year, so I don't think the cozzie will be of much use there! I love the print of the frock I'm not sure about, but it's the puff sleeves that I'm a bit bothered with. I'll have to wear it on the blog, and then decide ... xxx

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  18. My goodness didn't you do well! I particularly liked the red and white and blue white dresses and yes the print on that dress is brilliant. i love how teamed the lilac dress with orange and green goes so well with navy and white...

    The jewellery is wonderful; I love those orange beads and I have something similar to the Limoges brooch you bought.

    Magnificent swimsuit. I also loved the outfit you wore -how nice to wear a jacket for a change!

    We continue to freeze here...
    xxxx

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    1. Thank you Veronica. I always go for green/navy/white, and have quite a few frocks in those colours ... xxx

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  19. Ooh, I love the swimsuit! All of your purchases are gorgeous but my fave is the floral shirt dress with the chevron-type pattern- beautiful!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you love that dress, Kezzie, as it's a firm favourite! xxx

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  20. Now that's what I call browsing!

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    1. I wasn't planning to buy anything, honest! xxx

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