Tag Archives: genbrug

Second-hand finds: 2 x simple black dresses

I always get a little bit excited when I spot a simple but well-made black dress in a charity shop. But often they turn out not to be the right size, they’re in a bad condition or the cut & style just doesn’t appeal to me.

But sometimes they’re just right and you know they’ll become wardrobe classics that you’ll pull out of your closet regularly for years to come.

Like this wool/polyester-mix vintage dress, that I bought many, many years ago in my favourite charity shop in central Copenhagen (I used to visit it in all my lunch breaks) for around 6 pounds.

I love the simple design and the way the waist is accentuated with at thin curvy band, sewn into the dress.

And here’s another classic;  a black Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress found in a charity shop in LA a few years ago. It cost 20 dollars.

It’s a bit short so I prefer to wear it over leggings or very thick tights.

Who wore it best? – Sparkly gold Jaeger blazer

I bought this sparkly Jaeger blazer in one of my favourite Danish charity shops many years ago. I can’t remember the exact price, but it was probably between £5-10. I’ve only ever worn it once and that was at a Christmas party last year (evidence to the left).

So when we got invited to a “Bling”-themed party it was time to pull this little darling out of the closet again. All was well, and I felt well-prepared for the party.

But that was only until the husband snatched it and decided that it looked better on him. Let’s have a little side-by-side comparison:

And I of course had to agree! Must be the way he so trendily has puffed up the sleeves. So off he went to the party, looking like a slightly deranged Las Vegas magician (he did decide to leave the 3D glasses at home though).

And I was left with the second-best option: SILVER, in the shape of this oversized second-hand top which I also found in a Danish charity shop many years ago.

Second-hand find: Camel coloured coat

I was taking a friend on a tour of the charity shops in the Bayswater and Notting Hill area last Friday when I spotted this wool coat in the Octavia Foundation shop on Queensway.

At just £10 I saw no reason to fight the naughty shopping impulse, as I actually have been looking for a camel coat for a while. The coat doesn’t have any buttons so I’ll have to wear it with a belt to keep the cold and persisting winter wind out.

Second-hand finds: Paddy Campbell wool dress & wood bangles

I’ve said this many times before, but one of the really good things about second-hand shopping is discovering great designers, that you’d otherwise never have encountered.

Like the British designer Paddy Campbell, who is the woman behind this petroleum blue wool dress, bought for £12 in the Trinity Hospice Charity Shop in Chiswick.

I didn’t recognise the name on the label, but when the shop manager saw me looking at the dress she said: “Ooooh, that’s a PADDY CAMPBELL, that’s a really good brand,” I decided to take her word for it. Turns out former actress Paddy has been designing clothes since 1979 and is known for timeless pieces in a superb quality. And what’ s not to love about a designer whose  company slogan is “Clothes to Love Forever”. Read more about Paddy Campbell here.

I’ll definitely love this one until it falls apart. First of all there’s nothing better than those well-constructed everyday dresses that looks good in their own right. Only thing you have to do is pull them over your head. This one has tiny shoulder-pads which give it a bit of structure and the not too tight cut is quite flattering and doesn’t cling in the wrong places.

It’s a little bit plain though, so here I’ve spiced it up with a pair of second-hand wood bangles.

Second-hand find: Sparkly brocade wool dress

Black wool dress, bought many years ago in what used to be my favourite Røde Kors/Red Cross charity shop in Copenhagen (must remember to revisit it when I go back in December). Here’s a link to something I wrote about the shop when I worked at the city guide AOK.dk.

I paid around DKK 50 for the dress (£6).

The shape is simple and it’s not too short or dressy, which means I can wear it both in the evening or as a casual winter day dress, paired with a cardigan. I love the  brocade bit on the top as it adds that necessary bit of X-mas sparkle.

Second-hand find: White ruffled Betty Barclay blouse

White blouse from German designer Betty Barclay. It cost £7.50 in the Marie Curie Cancer Care shop in West Hampstead (one of 6 fab charity shops, living side-by-side on West End Lane, that I’ve only just discovered – guide to follow!)

I love the ruffles and the detailed gold buttons and the fact that it’s 100%  viscose.

I always feel kinda constricted and too dressed up when I wear blouses, especially white ones, so to tone it down a bit I make sure to pair them with something low-key and casual, like these suede trousers from Zara:

Or a black leather pencil skirt:


Second-hand find: Tory Burch silk dress

Incredibly comfortable Tory Burch silk dress with suede-lined belt and the American socialite designer’s characteristic T-logo gold buttons.

It’s as good as new and I paid around £25 for it in one of the second-hand shops on Queensway in Bayswater.

Second-hand find: gold studded Elsa Mahr pencil skirt

Black Elsa Mahr wool skirt, bought in Bayswater charity shop for 6 pounds. I love the pattern that combines round gold studs and embroidery. It’s 80% classiness and 20% rock ‘n’ roll.

I haven’t been able to find out much about the French designer, but judging by the quality of this dress, she’s pretty high-end.

Second-hand find: Animal print jacket

Who can resist a face like this?

I, for one, couldn’t. Although I was a bit taken aback when I located the £ 29.99 price tag on this jacket in the Oxfam shop in St. John’s Wood yesterday. Just because I have a soft spot for animal print doesn’t mean they can charge whatever they want.

But this being the reputable charity Oxfam and all, I decided to cough up the money, and the cute tiger face peeking out between the stripes and dots definitely helped win me over. Plus it’s made in viscose and very lightweight and comfortable. Its thin thermal lining makes it perfect for this tricky autumn-winter transition period.

Second-hand guide to St. John’s Wood

Second-hand find: Missoni top

For that extra bit of colour on a rainy day.

I love the Missonian play of colour. Just like Matthew Williamson, they really know how to intertwine clashing colours so that they come alive and bring out the best in each other.

Cost £8 in the Trinity Hospice Charity shop in Chiswick.

Second-hand guide to Chiswick.