Monday, 22 October 2012

Vintage & Thrifty

My Mr and I had a long chat about this whole vintage and thrifty thing the other day. We reminisced about all the old stuff we've always liked before it became fashionable to desire someone elses cast off's. When we wore secondhand clothes people used to say "yuk someone might have died in that." In my teens I dressed in as much original 50's style as I could get my hands on. Some were originals passed on from an elderly Jewish aunt who had all her clothes tailored for her in the 40's and 50's. She was a very stylish woman with a life and wit to match. I grew my hair and swept it into a high hairsprayed quiff. I had a big thing for the psychobilly boys with their sharp pointed quiffs and brothel creepers. I had a whole lot of fun with old clothes, but then everyone else at art college did too.

What I love best about vintage being a fashionable thing at the moment is that it means there's so much more gorgeous old stuff about (for a price, but at least it's not being binned as old tat). 

Vintage and being thrifty seem to go naturally hand in hand. I've lovely bits and bobs about the place that I've found and collected sitting on shelves waiting to become something new and useful. Some of it comes from hating to waste stuff when I don't need to, some from saving money, but mainly it comes from a love of collecting and turning something cast off into something useful and beautiful to us. Take Alfie Blue's dog bed.

On Friday he pee'd all over his nightime bed. That meant I couldn't lock the needy wee fella away from us at night, which he's used to, as he only had his bed in the sitting room left and I didn't want that trashed too. Free to roam about he kept us awake gassing the room out, licking and grunting. When I shut the bedroom door he scratched and cried for his master. I needed to sort a dog bed out quick today before he killed us. When I looked at dog beds they were mega expensive and ugly so I spent £8 on a pair of pillows instead so I could make my own for Alfie Blue.

I chose some 70's sheeting and ran up one with a red bone as his smarter one to lay on in the kitchen. A brown floral sheet covered the pillow for his nighttime sleeps.

He looked thrilled to bits with his new bed and loved it even more when a doggy chew appeared on it.

While I was whipping up Alfie's beds, I thought I might aswell run up a few more handtowels and teacloths from the odds and ends of soft fabric and towelling hidden here and there. A proper thrifty and vintage day methinks.


  1. lovely post...being a teen in the 90's wasnt much fun when you liked to be retro!...but as soon as i started art college everything seemed like the wizard of oz- from plain clothing to COLOUR!!!!!
    we were all dying our hair in muppet crazy colours and dressing how we wanted too! it was such a fab time...i started going to a retro club and everyone was either wearing 70's clothing or going through the grunge and goth styly.
    i was more tame in my style but did have some original pieces of clothing that i brought in Camden , london. And loved my flared trousers and wearing flowers in my hair. i went through a bleach blonde era with my hair for 6 years, even red and pink!. university was even more adventurous as it was in London and everyone looked cool!!!!...i think doing textiles and being next door to the fashion folk inspired my design and fashion sense of style too.
    I think i lost that flare a bit after having sophia and some low relationship period. but ive started feeling more 'me' again, especially now ive lost two stone in weight. colour and vintage sure pleases my soul ;0)

    love the doggy bed- fab!!!! x

  2. i love the doggy bed special! i have a sneaky feeling all of us bloggers were doing the same thing...lots of memories of camden and buying and wearing retro clothing....being experimental.....i once went to a party with a piece of gorgeous material strategically wrapped around me by a very creative friend(now a set designer in the theatre!!)!:)

  3. what a lucky dog, a handmade bed! I miss the markets in London. Keep thinking I should go back and visit some again. Just for old times sake! Heather x

  4. I have the most wonderful impression of Alfie in my mind, you must all love him, to put up with his individual ways!!!
    I grew up in a house full of second hand stuff, as you know it wasn't called vintage then! I do LOVE the word vintage though, don't you? I decorated my first bedroom when I was 9 and chose all second hand furniture, even though I could have gone down to the Co-op and got new! Mum was great at turning old stuff into something great, I must have absorbed it all without knowing!
    My first home with Mr B, was full of secondhand stuff, I think only our bed was new, and that was because my parents brought it for us. Lots of Laura Ashley, and old china. Then, one year I decided to try modern, out with the old, in with the new. It only lasted about a year, my home looked stale and I hated it! Now I have a mix, new sofas and beds but mixed with lots of vintage loveliness too! Your home looks always looks lovely! Ada :)

  5. Helloooo,
    I too did the art college 'arty look'.... my friends and I favoured the 30's/40's look for day, head scarfs and all!
    ... went for the Malcolm Mclaren 'pirate grunge' for the evening look, very particular.
    Later in my 20's I got rid of some gorgeous vintage dresses through lack of storage space...I mourn those frocks and miss them to this day.
    Daisy J

  6. I too grew up in a 1960/70s vintage home, my mother was quite an "old mum" and very old fashioned, we had a mix of 1930's/ 1950's utility furniture and floral curtains and carpets and formica everywhere, our clothes were secondhand and nothing was has stayed with me although my taste is a little different now, I never buy New and get great pleasure of hunting down what I am looking for
    Thank you for sharing
    Thea x

  7. I was a teenager in the 90's and I remember my mum dragging me around all the local charity shops and car boot sales. At 13 years old this was so embarrassing, back then I was into all the labels - Kickers, Naf Naf *blush*.
    It was only when I got to Uni to study textiles and fashion that I found my sense of style. Now it's me dragging my mum and children around my local charity shops.

  8. As a child in the 80's it was all hand me downs in our family. Clothes donated from cousins from all sides. Jumbles were visited on Saturdays with my nan and I remember looking through piles of clothes with the old biddies not having a clue what I was looking for! lol. But I did love the little trinkets we brought back with us.

    As I got older I did grow an aversion to second hand clothes. I was more into cheap and not so cheerful (goth) clothing from markets that were a bit different and quirky. As an adult I am happy to upcycle and recycle furniture, and little trinkets. I am still a bit funny about secondhand clothes like trousers and shoes! Other than that I am open minded. But the vintage way of dressing passes me by because being rather big would never fit into those teeny tiny framed beauties anyway.

    I think its a shame though that because something is now vouge that prices get hiked up to silly heights.

    P x


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