I’ve spent the weekend planning my mini American roadtrip – in May, Rob and I will be flying out to Chicago, then New York, then Maine via Boston. Four amazing US cities to discover – I cannot wait!
The planning process has involved reading lots of US blogs – although I do want to see the tourist attractions, I really want to experience the ‘real’ USA and do things the locals do. Something that’s top of my list for our NYC stop is a trip to Beacon’s Closet. It’s a buy, sell and trade vintage store that I’ve been obsessed with ever since I started reading What I Wore back in 2009. Jessica’s early outfit posts are full of Beacon’s Closet treasures and she’s found some real gems among the rails, so of course I’ll be visiting… and reporting back!
All that thrifty research had me itching to hit the charity shops, so when Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny I headed out for some second hand retail therapy.
I picked up this beautiful embroidered jacket for £6.99, while the lace tee was £2.99, both from St Gemma’s. The jacket is the perfect spring cover-up, although I think it could stray into old lady territory… maybe a candidate for my next DIY Divas project?
I found a few other pieces on my trip – more lace, a pretty pleated skirt, a baroque coat (which I’ll be saving ’til winter), a couple of summer dresses – and assembled some of them for a photo shoot with my new camera! I popped into Jessops for some passport photos which came out so truly hideous (they made me take my glasses off! I was unprepared!) that I needed something to cheer myself up. Well, it wasn’t quite that impulsive – Rob and I have been thinking about investing in a DSLR for a few weeks and when we spotted the Canon 500D on offer, complete with two lenses, we decided to go for it. Many thanks to Kristabel for the inspiration – after seeing her amazing LFW pics I knew I needed something better!
One last thing – as I was paying for my charity shop haul, I spotted this adorable kitty tote hanging behind the counter. A quick enquiry and an inspection later and I’d added it to my total. All those staring kitten eyes freak me out a bit, but I knew Gem would love it so I’ll be sending it her way tomorrow. Kitty overload!
Have you been second hand shopping recently? Pick up any bargains?
PS – I’m often asked for charity shop recommendations – I wrote a post about the ones I visit regularly, but my absolute favourite is St Gemma’s. The entire chain (there are St Gemma’s shops all over Leeds) is brilliant, with very carefully selected stock and great window displays. All the pieces featured in this post were found at the various branches of St Gemma’s near me and although you can expect to pay a little bit more than other charity shops, the prices are still very reasonable. Also, the volunteers at the King Lane shop are absolute darlings (especially Mary, the Irish lady who always compliments me on my outfits). If you’re in Leeds I’d recommend finding your nearest shop and popping in. Keep an eye out for their vintage fairs too!