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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

TRY THIS - Style & Community Support

I found this strand of amber glass beads at the NEW West Ealing Antiques Market CLICK HERE on Saturday. Mark your Calendar: October's market is scheduled for the 25th. At September's kickoff about 8 wonderful stalls adorned the pavement in and around The Drayton Court. Stallholders offered a nice variety of quality items, including interesting 2nd-hand and vintage clothing and accessories. I found prices reasonable and stallholders approachable, friendly and willing to bargain. It was a sunny, stylish morning, right in my own backyard. Supporting your community by ATTENDING events like this is the best way to BUILD community. Thumbs up Ealing! The beads were a tenner. See you there in October?

Check out Huntress London's first Oxfam Fashion 
blog post at Circle of Style  

Monday, 29 September 2014

FOUND - Uniform Style Really Works

I found these high-waist sailor trousers at a men's second-hand shop in Soho. They're made from heavy quality wool, and keep me warm as toast. All the buttons are working, they're not just for looks, and the wide legs hang beautifully. A lovely lace-up in the back of the trousers had to be removed when the waist was taken in but worth it for the custom fit. Don't shy away from items because they need mending or tailoring. If you've found a quality piece, the extra care needed will be well worth the effort. Check out Army-Navy surplus shops, 2nd hand men's wear and always be on the look out for 'former uniforms.' The utilitarian feel of 'work wear' can make an interesting style statement. These super dark navy trousers were £20.        

Friday, 26 September 2014

TRY THIS - Double Belted Double Time

I found this double wrap belt at Oxfam in Putney. It's a quality accessory that I'd never buy new, the expense would be too great. My friend Lucy accuses me of "living richly." What she means, I think, is that I manage rather nicely on a shoestring budget. She respects my choice of time over money because I seem to rarely go without. I once competed hard for the best office jobs with the highest salaries, indeed I whirled round the hamster wheel of regular work. Today however, I forgo potential money in exchange for more time. My purse is lighter but I've hours in the bank for writing, thinking, creating, blogging, yoga-ing etc. I work in a customer service position at a theatre where any number of people have also chosen time over money. My friend Susan, someone who stepped outside the mainstream work circle some years ago, has a belt just like this. Maybe it's part of the uniform all us "time earners" wear. It was $8.99 and it's about time I wear it.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

TRY THIS - Make Sequins Shine Your Way

I found this sleeveless, sparkly top at Mary's Living & Giving charity shop in Ealing. I don't go to red-carpet shin-digs or ball gown blowouts but I do turn up at evening events with friends or the husband which long for a little glamour. Just a little. Paired with black three-quarter length trousers or straight, rolled-up jeans and kitten heels or flats, this boxy top is exactly what my after-eight affairs require. Sequins that aren't trying too hard, thank you. It's a true vintage piece, 1950s or 60s. The label tells me that the bodice is 100% lambs wool, covered in shimmer obviously. Made in Hong Kong, a place I'm keen to visit, it was likely created for the export market. A classic with only a few sequins missing - I imagine they fell into the punch bowl when the previous owner was reaching for a vol-au-vent. Every wardrobe needs at least one sequinned piece. No matter your style - even minimalist - sparkle brings your basics to (night) life. Pinky here was just £27. Shine on girl! 

Tweet your 2nd-hand style finds to 
@annielistening, #best2ndever -- Go on, I'll RT!  

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

FOUND - Spectacular Specs for a Song

I found these sunglasses at the Octavia charity shop in Ealing. Large frames with pastel inlay - the curves and zig zags on the frames are actually light blue & pink in colour - they're high quality and importantly, sport a brand name. Unfamiliar labels offer me lovely little challenges. I can't wait to research an unknown brand, uncover its story. 

"What really knocked me out was her
cheap sunglasses" 
                                   -ZZ Top

Saphira is an exclusive German eyewear brand circa 70s/80s known for bold modern design. While I've found little else about the brand, what I have noticed is that on 2nd-hand and vintage selling sites (Ebay, Etsy and others) Saphira sunglasses range in price from £50 to £125. Initially I had no idea these were SUCH a well-loved brand but it was worth finding out. Let's say I had a hunch. These specs saw me fork over just $4 - worth the risk, as either way they're knock out, cheap sunglasses. 

Check out the new West Ealing antique & vintage market 
THIS Saturday. For details CLICK HERE  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

FOUND - Tangy 2nd-Hand Silk Scarf

I found this huge 100% silk scarf/shawl at Oxfam in Richmond, southwest London. It's a Shanghai Tang and was still sporting the original tags. Shanghai Tang was founded in 1994 by businessman David Tang with the aim of reintroducing Chinese fashions of the 20s and 30s to a global audience. Tang brought back Manchu Chinese clothing, giving it a modern twist. The company slogan, "Re-Orient Yourself," is the sort of marketing word play that really speaks to me. I came to London the first time as a visitor in my 30s and I can remember wandering into the Shanghai Tang shop on Sloane Street. I was transported. All the silks, brocades and lacquered surfaces piqued my style sensibility. Now - expensive doesn't equate to stylish in my book but silk does. So this absolutely gigantic slash of worm work is top quality, no doubt. But if you need hard numbers as proof, a scarf much like this on Shanghai Tang's website is currently retailing for 189 Great Big Pounds! Really. Me? I took this yum-yum home for just £24.99. Okay, does that put to bed once and for all the idea that charity shops are full of chipped crockery and smelly polyester housecoats?
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Monday, 22 September 2014

FOUND - Stretch-The-Seasons Skirt

I found this skirt at the Fara charity shop in Ealing. It's a French Connection creation but for me, its voluminous folds swirl it back to something from the 1950s. This generously cut circle skirt has weight, making it feel substantial and frankly, expensive. I'll pair it with a short black military-style jacket found in a second-hand stall behind Truman Brewery. Shoes? Well, I'm toying with black peep-toes and flashy tights or brown suede ankle boots. I know, it would be better if the boots were black, but would it? Is black possibly too heavy? The truth is I don't have black ankle boots so I'm going to play around with the skirt using what I've got in my closet to create Style. With a capital S. Call it a Sunday afternoon fashion project - everybody needs a hobby, right? I want to find a way to make this seemingly summer skirt transcend itself and blossom as a piece workable in early Autumn. Can I do it? I hope so as I love this skirt - and at just £7, what's not to love?

Tweet your latest charity shop finds to 
@annielistening, #best2ndever