Being forever strapped for time, I haven't got the patience to queue in shops, wait for unreliable public transport, be stuck in traffic or put up with cold callers, who, I'm sure, have all put me on their to-be-avoided list by now!
However, I'm the complete opposite when it comes to shopping. If we need something for Dove Cottage, for instance, I'm always prepared to look around the charity shops first, rather than rushing off to the high street, or worse, joining the crowds at the Swedish warehouse of sameness.
Take my beloved vintage wardrobe. We trawled around charity and consignment shops for many months until finally, in March 2015, I met the wardrobe of my dreams!
And then there is clothes shopping! As an almost exclusive second hand shopper, I usually go shopping without any particular expectations, and it is the element of surprise, the stumbling upon that one, unique, serendipitous find which makes my heart beat faster.
But once in a while, there is something which is on the wish list residing at the back of my mind, for which, as with the wardrobe, I am biding my time.
I'd been looking for a particular style of red skirt for well over a year but, even though red skirts aren't exactly a rare commodity, I hadn't come across the one, in the right shape, size and material. Until two Saturdays ago, that is. It was on the same day that I found the cape-sleeved vintage maxi, so it must have been my lucky day!
The skirt is an A-line midi length and has a pleat at the front, half hiding a row of buttons. It strongly reminds me of a skirt I had back when I was about 15. The top I wore with it was the same style as the one I paired the red skirt with here, but in plain white, with a red placket and collar, and showing just a little bit more cleavage. I remember getting wolf-whistled at when I rode my bike to school, something which had never happened before and, feeling embarrassed, it was a long time until I wore that top again with any confidence.
Another item on the wish list was a jumpsuit.
The chances of finding a vintage one had always been very slim and new-to-me ones weren't turning up at the charity shops either. As they have been back in fashion for a while, I'd even ventured onto the high street but I hadn't been able to find anything I liked. Even when it comes to fast fashion, I am very particular and not willing to compromise until I find exactly what I want.
One particularly hot day, I was returning from a work-related errand, when I walked past a recently opened shop here in Antwerp, one I always vowed I wouldn't be seen dead in. Consequently, ever since it opened, I'd been avoiding it like the plague but, as it was still early morning and it looked relatively empty, I walked in, relishing the coolness provided by the air conditioning.
And there it was! It wasn't skimpy as most jumpsuits I'd seen in the shops, it had sleeves and a print I instantaneously liked. Still not expecting too much, I made my way to the changing rooms, but I needn't have worried as it fit like a dream!
Although it came with a tie belt, I chose to wear it with a yellow vinyl one, piling on some coordinating jewellery.
You might have spotted the groovy bracelet I'm wearing. That was picked up during a short charity shopping trip last weekend. There was an accompanying pair of earrings (which I won't be wearing as my ears aren't pierced) and a necklace too, and the whole lot went for the crazy price of € 1,50.
I also found some lightweight short-sleeved summer tops and two cardigans.
The print of this vintage C&A frock might be a bit more demure than what I'm usually going for, but its cotton fabric and fresh green and blue print will be perfect for hot Summer days. Its skirt had a row of boring buttons down the front, which I replaced with more fitting, pale green ones from my stash.
The day's final find was a Devon Blue Ware teapot which was sitting rather forlornly and feeling sorry for itself amid some other blue and white pottery on a shelf. Apparently, it had been there for quite a while, as we could only just make out its price, € 0,50, on its faded label.
And now, let's look at last Saturday's outfit.
My Diolen dress has a full-on print of bright Summer flowers, in red, acid green and light blue. I admit that it got somewhat neglected, as I don't think I wore it at all last Summer.
Feeling a bit off that morning, its fiery print was just what I needed to cheer myself up.
My accessories, a lavender blue belt, sky blue flower corsage and light blue necklace helped chase my mild case of the blues away.
In order to balance out all the blues, I wore my mustard yellow short-sleeved cardigan on top.
Sadly, one of its handles broke off while we were out shopping, and it's now awaiting repair.
I can't finish this post without showing you the wonderful canvas peep toe wedges I was wearing.
They are Tamaris and a lucky sales bargain from a couple of years ago. A pair that should definitely come out a bit more!
I'm taking my jumpsuit to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style!