Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Rag Market

I'm a big fan of Birmingham's Rag Market, as I'm sure I've mentioned before.

I popped down yesterday, with the mission of completing my rather disastrous Halloween costume. And I wasn't even going out in it- I was slaving away behind a bar.

For those who might be interested, I went as some sort of angel/devil hybrid. This required me attaching two different coloured dresses together and, as I couldn't fathom out my sewing machine, I needed a hell of a lot of safety pins.

It ended up looking a bit bondage, but who's to say that's a bad thing? I'm top three in the running for the 'best staff outfit' prize anyway apparently- even though my boss couldn't really get his head around the concept, "so you're a female version of Two Face?" I thought the horns and halo would give it away but seemingly not.

(only one picture exists of the outfit so if I track it down, I'll post it to Twitter- @katieafox if y'all didn't know)

Whilst hunting down cheap safety pins and a single white stocking, I had a good browse of the Rag Market's vintage stalls.

If it's a new Autumn/Winter coat you're after, get yourself there! Here's some pictures of great coats I saw. Sheepskin flying jackets, furs, leopard print, Barbour- what more could one ask for?

I'm really coveting the fur-lined Levi's Sherpa jackets at the moment too. I spotted some vintage ones at the market and almost bought one for £25- not bad considering they set you back over £100 new. I can't seem to find any female versions online; however I've seen plenty of ladies rocking this jacket around Birmingham.

Picture courtesy of ASOS
 I also picked up some buttons that I'm going to add to a couple of garments.

I'll be sure to post these once I get round to it!


Friday, 29 October 2010

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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A new coat fur me...

Firstly, I vow to get my arse in gear and blog more regularly...
Secondly, look at this gorgeous new (well, old- you know me) faux fur coat I bought!
Sorry about the pictures by the way, I've lost my camera again! These were taken on my amazing new phone (though admittedly the photos aren't great!) And my general appearance probably warrants some sort of apology too...
Anyway, the most amazing thing about this coat, I think, is where I got it from.

Now, the words ‘Perry Barr’ may mean nothing to you, but to those familiar with this north Birmingham area, I’d image you’re saying, ‘seriously’?

Yes deadly. Perry Barr is the unfortunate area where my university is located. Let me tell you, it’s in no way Birmingham’s style hotspot.

Perry Barr, from what I’ve seen of it, has one charity shop- Age Concern (another which hasn’t yet made the switch to ‘Age UK’). This branch of Age Concern is right next door to the train station, so I pass it often enough.

Doesn't look pretty, does it?
I can’t really justify why I don’t go into this charity shop; though I did once pop in to buy a cheap picture frame for a uni project.

Maybe it’s the location within Perry Barr- so many students pass it on their way to and from uni; however I’m not embarrassed about my bargain hunting or anyone spotting me (I do blog about it for God’s sake!) so this isn’t really a good enough excuse.

Perhaps it’s the mindset that won’t allow me to believe that any residents of Perry Barr (besides the students of course, who I doubt give their clothes away often) have a single scrap of style consciousness.

(N.B. I’m sure there are some stylish Perry Barrbadions out there, they’re obviously just an elusive bunch)

So what made me go into this branch that particular day?

Well, I was on my way to uni via the inconceivably unreliable London Midland train service, a record 40 minutes late for my lecture (I still slipped in unnoticed), when I passed the Age Concern window.

I spotted said coat, proudly displayed at the front- and it wouldn’t leave my poor brain alone all day. It was like the coat was sending me telepathic messages of “buy me!” throughout my day.

With less than 5 minutes to spare on the way home, I decided to call in for a closer look. The coat had been removed from the window but I soon found it hiding around the corner.

I flung it on, had a quick glance in the mirror and made the split decision to buy at £10- and I’m so glad I did!

Like most things I haven’t had the chance to think about properly, I wasn’t so sure about it when I first got it home. I thought it looked too big on me and noticed a stain on the collar I hadn’t seen in the shop. Upon first outing however I loved it. It’s so warm and I got lots of compliments.
A yellow stain and a black one on the collar (noticed the black one after buying)
The fur is really soft, much better quality than my black C&A faux fur. It’s from Debenhams, and going off the label, looks like it could be a few years old- anyone like to hazard a guess?

 The label underneath says ‘tissavel of France’, which I’ve seen on a few other vintage faux furs. The lining is an orangey colour in a silky fabric. There were also a couple of the coat's original buttons, which had been taken off, in one of the pockets. I've placed them on top of the coat so you can see what they're supposed to look like. Personally I think I prefer the coat buttonless.

Anyone who knows me is familiar with the fact that I haven't really been a massive fan of brown in the past; however I've quite warmed to the colour.

I'll be wearing my new coat with this gorgeous satchel bag that my lovely friend Lucy bought me for my birthday (it's from Topshop) and these New Look brogues, only £27 with my student discount- bargain!

I didn’t really have time to look in this branch of Age Concern properly, but I also spotted a sheepskin flying jacket and a full length leopard print fur coat.

It may be worth a trip back; sorry for the preconceptions Perry Barr!

Foxy x

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Belated Tunbridge Wells times

I’ve been the worst blogger in history recently- but I blame the whole damn thing on my useless new landlords whose internet didn’t work.  But today is a glorious day, as we’ve just had Virgin Media installed! So expect a lot more soon- and I have a lot to tell you about!

I realise it's been a looooong time since I was in Tunbridge Wells, Kent (40 days now I believe. Almost like giving up the blog post for lent) but with the start of my third year of uni, a new job and shocking internet at my new accomm (are you reading Rooms4every1?) I've had a lot on my plate, which is quite ironic since I've pretty much been on the breadline (don't worry, your author has a job now!)

Anyway, I found the town of Tunbridge Wells pretty interesting so thought I’d tell you about it. The area is relatively affluent and has quite a lot of charity shops- so it was right up my street.

Though, as I mentioned in my London post, I had zero funds for shopping and was effectively working the 9-5 (well, 10, but the sentiment is the same) at my work experience so didn't have a lot of time on my hands.

Anyway, here's a map of where the charity shops that reside in Tunbridge Wells town centre.

View Tunbridge Wells Charity Shops in a larger map

I only really had my hour-long lunch break to check out the shops and I had to allow a good 20 minutes for the walk to and from my office to the town centre- so it was a flying visit.

My impression of the charity shops was pretty good. With the area being generally quite well off, the stuff in the charity shops was of good quality- not much tat around.

I only actually bought anything from one shop, I think it was Mind (on the map)- if it wasn't, forgive me- it was a while ago!

I bought this great Cath Kidston book called Tips for Vintage Style for £1.50. The back states an RRP of £7.99 so quite the bargain.

The book is really nice to look at, with pictures of (what I think is) Cath Kidston's own house and furnishings. It's great for home inspiration.

This charity shop also had a massive basket of old sewing patterns for a quid a pop, and with this recent aquirement of a sewing machine, I quickly picked one which I might have a go with at some point.

I chose this one for a few reasons. Firsty, it's definitely an old looking pattern. I quite like the style of garment too; it looks like something you could adapt easily. Most importantly though, the words 'Very Easy' jumped straight out at me.

I'm not a sewer- in any sense. I can hand mend things and sew buttons back on but that's about all. I have used a sewing machine in the past but not to do anything major. I also managed to sew a straight line on a scrap bit of material when I acquired this one- a proud moment.

The whole reason I wanted a sewing machine though was to have a go at making and altering my own clothes (more likely to be the latter of those). I bought a sewing pattern as a little challenge so if I end up making it I'll let you know how I get on!

Sorry again for lack of posting in recent times, but expect more regular updates from now on!

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