Saturday 14 December 2019

Just add some red

Lately, my posts seem to be a bit all over the place, travelling from Zeeland and back as well as time-travelling between November and December.

It's mind-boggling to think that it's mid December already and that the silly season madness is in full swing. Gazing down at Antwerp's main shopping street from the lofty heights of my office window, the teeming crowds of frenzied people carrying armfuls of shopping bags make me count my lucky stars that I'm not one of them. Oh, but they do tend to exasperate me when I need to run an errand during my lunch break or when they find it necessary to clog up public transport with said shopping bags during rush hour!

But enough of that, what about some outfits?

For these, we have to backtrack slightly, to the last days of November.

Unintentionally, and for reasons totally unconnected with the season, I seem to be have been wearing a lot of red lately. Take this outfit, which was built around a new-to-me dress, for example.

The dress was a recent Think Twice find and the only item I bought from the shop's most recent collection, which seemed to be mainly consisting of ugly oversized jumpers and other assorted stuff I wouldn't have been seen dead wearing back in the decade that style forgot: the abominable 1990s. 

Its pattern groovily combines several shades of grey with a delicious raspberry red, so adding even more red seemed the obvious thing to do.

Judging from the loops, once upon a time the dress must have come with a belt, which had done a disappearing act somewhere along the line. But never mind! As you know, I often prefer to use a belt from my stash, and this red leather, square buckled one turned out to be just perfect for the job.

A translucent red beaded necklace, red plastic ring and a brooch featuring a threesome of Scottie dogs - one of them red - were picked for further accessorizing.

It was a Friday afternoon, and I'd just arrived home from work, which is why I am still wearing my beret. Oh, and here's a naughty peek at my vintage slip, while I'm showing you my red opaques!

And then it was Saturday, and nothing could stop us from finally going on that charity shop trawl.

It was a sunny day, but with a tinge of crispness in the air, so I needed  to dress accordingly, and as my craving for wearing red hadn't dissipated, I plucked this navy, red and white bouclé (boo-CLAY, as Sheila would say) skirt from my wardrobe.

I didn't want to do a boring plain jumper, so out came this lightweight one from Zara, which came to me by way of a charity shop. It's got such a classic, mid-century shape and print. And even if at first sight you'd be forgiven in thinking its colours would clash (it's got a different shade of red from the red dots in my skirt, as well as some purple) it turned out to be a surprisingly balanced outfit.

I tried to wear the jumper tucked into the skirt, but it didn't look right, so I wore it on top, cinching in my waist with a tan leather belt.

Some more red appeared in the skirt worn by the lady in my brooch as well as my ring, while the blue and white tones in my skirt were repeated in my necklace.

Right, let's go shopping!

We visited two of our favourite shops, which we always seem to combine. The problem with our charity shops (called kringloopwinkels) is that the vast majority of them are out of town, so that an average charity shop trawl involves some driving around. 

These shops are generally much bigger than an average UK charity shop and the first one we visited, on an industrial estate in a town called Mechelen, is spread over two floors. 

Browsing the new-in books I was delighted to find this heavy and heavily illustrated coffee table tome on the Pre-Raphaelite British painter, illustrator and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

There was nothing in the clothing aisles to even remotely tempt me, but then I found this amazing pair of boots by Anthology, combining leather with a knitted shaft. They are in pristine condition and were mine for € 6.

Our next stop was the shop in Duffel, which not only is our very favourite, but is only a stone's throw from our favourite park.

When the weather's fine, like it was on that Saturday, we always go for a short (or longer) stroll before or after our visit to the shop.

The light on this last day of the year's penultimate month was just perfect, illuminating the last of Autumn's splendour with pale yet brilliant sunlight, the yellow and amber leaves contrasting starkly with the hazy blue sky.

I was wearing my plaid wool jacket with its soft furry collar - a fairly recent find - to which I yet again added more red. Both my red beret and red and purple scarf were charity shop finds. 

Even my handbag got the red-carpet treatment and and was given a long-overdue ourting. I picked up the handbag in question, a small red vintage one, at a flea market back in April.

In spite of the gorgeous weather and the strangely uplifting sights and scents of the park's dying foligage and fallen leaves, our walk was a short one.

Days of rain had left the ground quite soggy, and I wasn't wearing the most adequate of footwear. Comfortable these boots might be but they are no match for muddy patches.

Besides, that charity shop was calling us!

This one is on three floors, the ground floor being mostly dedicated to furniture. However, there's a jewellery display near the checkouts, which I always browse before tackling the other floors.

This time, these two funky necklaces caught my eye and came home with me.

While the second floor has everything from assorted household goods and crockery to books, records and toys, the basement is fully dedicated to textiles.

I love browsing the aisles there, my only bugbear being the colour-coding, which seems to be common in many charity shops these days. 

This particular shop has recently introduced sizing, where before all sizes were being put willy-nilly (yet colour coded) on the rails. Still, it pays off looking at everything, as they don't always get the sizes right.

That day, for instance, I found a cute embroidered cardigan on an XL hanger, while it clearly was only an S. 

It will make its debut in my next post. 

My final find of the day was a handmade and lined orange tweed skirt with a flouncy hemline. 

The photograph, which was taken on a dark day, does not really do the colour justice, but it will have to do until I'll take it on its first outing.

We had another rummaging fix on Sunday, when we went to a flea market, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait until my next post to find out whether we found anything exciting!


  1. Red is my favourite colour. :-) Nice findss! I'll go on thriftstore shopping on Tuesday afternoon. Have a lovely Sunday! Regula

    1. Thank you Regula, I hope you found some nice things while out thrift shopping! xxx

  2. What a beautiful red dress! The bright red belt looks great paired with a red beret and cardi. You look lovely. I also really like the red sweater and blue skirt combo. You found some great things. The funky necklaces are fabulous... And I just love that tweed skirt.

  3. Replies
    1. I can't resist anything with a Scottie dog on it ;-) xxx

  4. I love both those necklaces you got, and I really like your first red outfit! So beautiful! :)

    Hope that you are having a great weekend :) We took the kids to see the new Frozen movie today and then out for lunch.

    Away From Blue | Handbag Gift Guide

  5. That orange skirt is fab!
    Yes for more red!! Its perfect for this gray days with low light.... You look radiant in your outfits.
    Happy sunday! xxxxx

    1. Thank you Beate! I do love a bit of red, any time of the year ;-) xxx

  6. oh red is great and I love it when you wear it :)
    This embroidered cardigan is very cute. You had luck, the right size :)
    A very huge hug Tina

    1. Thank you Tina, yes I know how lucky I was ;-) xxx

  7. I absolutely love your first outfit, Ann! That dress is gorgeous and your styling is amazing, as always! You really look fantastic in every single colour, Ann! ;) Hope you have a wonderful week ahead! XXX

  8. I have been wearing quite a lot of red lately, too! I loved your dress and the boucle skirt is just fabulous! The jumper looked great belted over it and your red beret was lovely.

    Your funky necklaces were great finds; as were the material and leather boots and the brilliant orange skirt. I'd say that was a very successful rummage and ooh I nearly forgot your book.

    Talking of books I did say in your response on my current post that I will happily post the Juliet Nicholson book to you. Just let me know...

    Hope you have a great week and stay warm and dry!

    1. Thank you Vronni, and never mind about the book. I'm sure it will cross my path one day. xxx

  9. You are looking very festive in red. My favourite outfit is the one with the red and purple. Isn't it interesting how fast fashion has replicated vintage styles? Sometimes when I'm thrifting I have difficulty distinguishing them if there are no tags.

    I found a Dior kelly green bouclé suit about 10 days ago. Shame is it is for a size zero.


    1. Thank you Suzanne, and you're right, I often have the same problem. Oh, a green bouclé suit by Dior sounds heavenly. Did you put in in your Etsy shop? xxx

  10. I do love your red outfit. Reminds me of the Cure song: (hey you) yes you, yes you the one that looks like Christmas! Love that song :)
    I agree about shopping overload. We have a gentle, homemade, handmade and pre loved policy, and I love it.
    I also have a 20 odd year old tree that comes out each year, it's like an old pal.
    Your gorgeous nature photography never disappoints me, such a treat. xxx

    1. Thank you so much Sally! I have to admit I don't know that particular Cure song, but I'm heading over to YouTube to have a listen. xxx

  11. Lovely to see loads of red on your post today! That top dress is gorgeous and the jumper and skirt are utterly perfect together.
    That Rossetti book looks wonderful, you must put Wightwick Manor on your travel list next year!
    Love those chunky plastic necklaces and that flippy hem skirt. I had a pair of chazza shopped flat boots almost identical to your new-to-you ones, they didn't wear well sadly! Love yours.
    Your park walk looks wonderful. We've had a bit of sunshine today and it didn't half life the spirits. xxx

    1. I'm checking out Wightwick Manor for next year! I haven't yet have a chance to wear the boots, but I'll let you know how I get on with them! xxx

  12. I'm afraid silly season madness has become a world wide frenzy. Even though I love Xmas, it is becoming way too crazy for even me. And don't get me started on Xmas music in shops - it really does my head in!

    You made me laugh about your comment on 90's fashion. So true! I would add the 80's to that, as that decade was the worst in my mind. I have the photos of my teenage self to prove it!!

    Love how you take a lot of pride in your appearance. Your attention to detail is so impressive. Red is such a good colour on you. This week my favourite outfit is the boucle skirt and jumper together. Magnifique!

    Your new finds look interesting. A cup of tea and your new book would be a lovely way to spend the evening. Also loved your embroidered cardigan and orange skirt.

    You look beautiful standing in the golden sunshine. As my nonnna used to say "sunshine is good for the soul".

    1. Merci, my chère. Taking pride in my appearance is a way of life for me, and often gets me through a difficult day. I used to think the same about the 80s, but I think I've come to terms with them, even if I'm not about to go out and wear vintage 1980s. How can it even be vintage :-) As for the Christmas music, I particularly hate it when one of those tunes get lodged in your head ... for days! xxx

  13. I am trying not to be a humbug, but I really don't love all the hustle and bustle of this season!

    Your outfits in this post are stellar, Ann. I laughed out loud at the boo-CLAY! comment - yes, I would type that (I'm too lazy to make an e with an accent, then paste it in and reformat it - besides, a lot of readers don't know how to pronounce those French terms). Your sweater outfit really shows off your fabulous figure, girlfriend!

    While I love the pictures from your walks and meanders, I'm here to see what you bought, and you did not disappoint! What a gorgeous book that is! I love the two necklaces, especially that red one. I agree about sizing second-hand stuff - I would prefer straight colour-coding or just don't bother. I go through everything anyway, because of the wild range of sizes out there. Your cardi with the sweet little white flowers reminds me of a sweater I had back in the early 80s, and that orange skirt made me gasp. I do love a bias-cut ruffle - so sexy!

    Wishing you calm and peace over the next week!

    1. Thank you Sheila, even if your comment about my so-called fabulous figure made me chuckle ;-) The wonders of photography, eh? Living in a bilingual country does give us the advantage, doesn't it? xxx

  14. Oh yes, I totally agree about Christmas frenzy and crowded streets. Don't understand this overshopping urge!.
    I totally love all those red details you added into your first outfit. The dress is stunning and you make it shine with brilliant accessorizing!. You know I love particularly this doggies brooch!
    And also love your boo-CLAY (;DDD) skirt and love that you didn't pick a boring plain jumper!. Skirt and jumper make a fabulous ensemble and they look even more fabulous with red accessories. You look so gorgeous!. Love those pics in the park and the golden autumn light!.
    I'm admiring your recent purchases, love the book and those boots!

    1. Thank you so much, Monica! I'm pleased to read you agreen on the frenzy and overspending. I think it's getting worse each year! xxx

  15. Love the red in your outfits, Ann, and your beret is just divine.
    You've scored such wonderful treasures. X

  16. The red necklace makes me think of the snack Hoola Hoops! I love your jumper and skirt they go together so well.

    1. Thanks Gisela! You're right about the Hoola Hoops ;-) And the green one somehow reminds me of pasta .. xxx

  17. Sizes being put out willy-nilly would drive me potty - there's less in larger sizes and having to sift through small clothes getting ever more disheartened would be awful.

    Those necklaces are fab!

    1. Can you believe sizes were being put willy-nilly until about a year ago? And it's still the same at Think Twice! Oh, the disappointment of seeing a gorgeous print, only to pull the garment out and find it's the wrong size! xxx