Friday, 2 December 2011

Wardrobe finds for film and theatre

Why not use charity shops for your production wardrobe? You might find that geography comes into it: for instance Bath is the best place to find period costume and Falmouth or Plymouth are good for pirates.

I will update this blog with photos and examples of theatre outfits found in charity shops.

There are plenty of Santa outfits in Falmouth's charity shops in the run up to the Cornwall Hospice Care Santa Fun Run (1.5km or 3km) taking place across Cornwall.

Do post up if you are looking for costumes for a production. If you find a costume in charity shops, please post up a picture for all to see. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Charity Shop Wedding outfitters

Latest dress in Cornwall
Animal Hospital shop
Bridal Ideas
With the cost of weddings increasing rapidly, why not take your own champagne and hunt for a wedding dress and bridesmaids' outfits in charity shops?

So brides don't despair. Bridemaids, you may still have to despair, where ever your dress comes from.

Today, maybe, even Miss Haversham would have donated her wedding dress to a charity shop. Although, perhaps not if she was still wearing it.

Oxfam - Southampton
There is a dedicated Oxfam charity shop in Southampton entirely dedicated to bridal dresses. A quick search for charity shop wedding dresses shows how frugal you can be if you are tying the knot during this recession. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Triumph over tiny vintage sizes today!

I know Charity shopping, I say what I want and I find it usually in the window, or in the shop; where a handy shaft of sunlight or light bulb will illuminate it for me so I don't miss it! My wardrobe consists of so much vintage I've actually thought about starting a stall. I actually studied pattern cutting at London College of Fashion and know my measurements in inches. That last bit is important so I'll say it again, I know my measurements in inches. You need to know this when you buy vintage so you can know what will fit.

When buying vintage you have to factor in the fact that sizing for women was actually standardised untill about the mid 198o's by these measurements. Waist 28 "= size 10, 30" = 12, 32" = 14 and 34" = 16 and 36"= 18. The hip size would be 6" bigger than the waist and so the bust 4". Also many figures were pulled into fit that hourglass using the joys of girdles, corsets, long line bra's etc.

About the mid 1980's many stores changed their sizing lasts to catch up with the changing bodies of their customers, M&S was one of the first to change the measurements in the UK. Also the fact that we didn't wear shape wear any more also meant figures became more natural so waists weren't so tiny. This meant that the size measurements had to be moved, 28" became the size 8 and the 30" = a size 10 etc. This change was not standard for all stores and some still use that 1940's sizing to ensure not everyone can shop there, naming no names here as that would be libel.

Then there is the story of how lycra/elastaine which again happened in the 1980's changed fashion, styles beame more relaxed so no more tailoring as you could cut a general shape and it would streatch to fit. The general rule is 1% elastaine gives you about an extra 1 inch stretch of fit.

Sometimes a girl has to buy that size 16 and be cool with it, or just wear the correct underwear for the clothing, (I love a good waspie under a pencil skirt and shirt, I also love Spanx) we don't want US vanity sizes over here now do we?

Charity Shop Sizes Fit All

Sizing Types
With a mixture of all types of sizing, from the opinionated: Small medium and large, standard but variable 10,12,14,16 etc, the trendy/modern 1,2,3,4, and European sizes in inches 40,42,44,46 etc, more and more charity shop managers do a fantastic job in sorting clothes by their sizes.

I do notice how, as sizes get larger, the clothes become darker, drabber, less flattering and made from nastier material. However, there are plenty of gems to find. At least they sort clothes by colours, sizes, designers, vintage and other categories that make rummaging through the wares satisfying and fun.