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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Wardrobe Feature: DIY Vintage Winks


What do you know? I managed to pull together a wardrobe feature. Apologies that it's five days late, but writing and photographing for a post in two days was more than I could take.

Some time during the past academic year, I picked up some winklepickers from a charity shop - true winks, unlike my others (which I love regardless). Being favoured for donation by women who got them in the eighties, Dundonian charity shops have a lot of them, and though most aren't to my tastes I knew that if I waited patiently a pair in my size would show up. As predicted, after a year of keeping an eye out a pair eventually did - and, as charity shop winklepickers go, they were rather ugly.


Still, given the difficulty I have finding shoes that actually fit (and these do!), how long I'd waited and the £5 price tag, in the bag they went. The only true winklepickers I've seen new online are sold by RetroShu on ebay (no returns), Demonia (reportedly terrible quality) and Underground (expensive to the point of ridicule), so these were a golden ticket fluttering from the sky. Like a resourceful make-doer, I planned on cutting them down to ankle height and adding straps to make them them more to my taste. They then promptly sat stagnating for several months at the back of my wardrobe, because for all my optimism, am I really going to be proactive enough to do all that?

I finally pulled them out of their incubation this week and considered them. The length isn't a particularly easy one to work with, but they've surprisingly grown on me; if I could add something to form a visual break to the zip they would look far better. Two skinny belts later and I'm actually excited to wear them out now.



I sometimes wonder about people complaining that they never see anything in charity shops. It's a different state of mind from normal shopping; most are overpicked nowadays, but for all the charity shop tips on adapting and repairing and reconsidering, the most valuable tool you can have is patience.

Has anyone else found any gems in second hand shops recently? Revived something that's been lurking in the back of your wardrobe?



Fee

8 comments:

  1. I have three precious thrift store finds - a chiffon 50s dress, a 80s velvet dress and vintage Indian wedding skirt, which is the purest gem in my collection of clothing (it's so heavy I probably could kill people with one swing of it). Sadly, winklepickers are hard to find where I live - I'm looking for them for years and seen them only twice, first pair was really hideous (and contemporary), second was too big... I'm waiting to see your pair on you, they are a little too long also to my tastes, but I'm sure you'll make them work and look fabulous.

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    1. Indian wedding clothing is gorgeous - what a find! Dundee has quite a lot of winklepickers, mainly with kitten heels (which would kill me if I tried wearing them), made with suede or in a dingy colour, but these ticked all the boxes. They are still a bit long for me, but I'm planning on wearing them with a maxi skirt which should make them look better.

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  2. Charity shops are very hit and miss. A frustrating thing with some of the bigger charity run ones is that they now have a policy where they throw damaged things out. Good bye to a lot of beautiful vintage items! The very idea makes me cry! I still find some of my best things in the tiny, dingy little shops that sell things that are not quite perfect!

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    1. I find them less hit and miss, and more 'patient waiting'; every charity shop is different, but if you keep checking back there will invariably be something you'll love and cherish. I think it's often fair enough that charity shops throw out some damaged things, as a lot of it may be irretrievable and won't be bought. My local charity shop lets me sift through their recycling bags if I ask nicely, however, so perhaps try that!

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  3. Love these! I used to go all the time--we've got some nice ones in NYC--but some of them have bedbugs. So its a whole ordeal to go shopping because we hit the laundromat immediately after.

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    1. Oh god, my relatives had bedbugs, and it was an absolute nightmare for them. I've never had that problem with charity shops before, but I do wash everything before wearing it.

      Thanks!

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  4. I never see any 50's garments at sharity shops nowadays. But in my youth I found them in piles for very cheap prices. Today I can find winklepickers very easy. they were in fashion in the end of 90's and are now available, I have 3 nice looking pairs. I have lot's of charity shop hits in my closet.

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    1. That's a fair point; other than replica pieces, there's not terribly many fifties pieces outside of second hand vintage shops. These are my first true winklepickers, but I have plenty of other charity shop finds too!

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