Some magic works. Let nobody tell you otherwise. By way of evidence, this piece of vintage Retro Futurism, courtesy of Jil Sander, which appeared by magic in my local thrift shop. Strong in the shoulders, slim through the middle, seriously flattering on the middle aged spread. I walked in and made a beeline for it before I had even noticed it was there.

Best guess, late 80s, early 90s. I feel like Rachel from Blade Runner meeting Morticia Addams while throwing some Diana Vreeland shapes. I cannot bring myself to take out the shoulder pads. Look at those perfectly rendered pockets.

Is this the Law of Attraction in action? Could I have earned a dividend for investing so heavily in +J? Perhaps the Universe noticed me accumulating loyalty points, and invited me to cash in on a piece of the real thing.

I am steering my way out of the Doldrums. I miss the passion but the reflex is still strong. I had more or less given up shopping with any intention, other than to size up on a few basics to account for weight gain. Still, the best things in my wardrobe are often the ones that turn up quite randomly, and in spite of everything, this has been a very good year for it.

Exhibits B and C. A pair of wide legged pants in black linen by Margaret Howell (not shown) from a clothing exchange in York, and an oversized navy peacoat in Harris Tweed from a sale rail on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. This latter was a HEWI for a custom tailoring project, which I had been wanting to try for a while. A work in progress, of which more later. The fabric is a delight.

I have no idea how this works. I very much doubt it would work at all had I not developed a very focused shopping strategy to begin with. It helps with finding the treasure amid mountains of dross, and once found, knowing when to pull the trigger and when to walk away.

Possibly the best examples ever are the two pairs of George Cox creepers, which turned up unworn in another of our vintage emporia. I bought both pairs, even though they were a size larger than I was wearing at the time. But these are solid shoes, and once broken in, with boot socks they wear very well. I have long since worn through a smaller pair, while the larger ones are still going strong.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • April replied 1 year ago

    My word - you had me at "strong in the shoulders, slim through the middle".  Fabulous!  Had I been there, we would have had to arm wrestle for the Sander piece.

  • Dee replied 1 year ago

    Yes its certainly wonderful when fab items appear when you least expect it. The Jil Sanders piece is shoulder pad silhouette perfection, Enjoy!!

  • Bijou replied 1 year ago

    The JS is gorgeous on you and looks like it was made for you! No middle age spread is apparent at all. The Harris Tweed project is intriguing, I hope you tell us more about that.

  • ChristelJ replied 1 year ago

    Wow. Magical is right. I do believe you have earned your magic with the years of treasure hunting you mention. You certainly have the eagle eye. Beautiful dress on you.

  • Janet replied 1 year ago

    That’s amazing! It looks so perfectly fantastic on you. And yay to duplicating the creepers that work so well for you.

    That pea coat is to die for! I’m always drawn to pea coats but for some reason it’s hard to get the details right.

  • replied 1 year ago

    The dress is fab on you!

  • replied 1 year ago

    The stars aligned, and the magic happened.  The dress is a classic treasure, and the shoes are the cherry on top.  Lucky girl!

  • DonnaF replied 1 year ago

    I’m swooning.

  • LJP replied 1 year ago

    As Janet said.  Everything is so interesting and beautiful !

  • slim cat replied 1 year ago

    Gorgeous! The first one is to die for ( you had me at "Blade Runner" reference ;) ).
    The coat is fun project - excited for you!

  • Angie replied 1 year ago

    Blade Runner sprung to mind too. SMASHING ;)

    Rio, you wear the look well! Late '80s for sure. PERFECT with the shoulder pads. Please don't rip them out!

    Fashion and style are extra fun when the planets align, and you're in the right place at the right time. Happy for you! And welcome to Team Navy. 

  • rachylou replied 1 year ago

    Oh Hello! Yes, you totally had me at ‘Rachael Rosen’. I knew it was going to be good! And it is Fantastic!

    So jealous!! :D

  • Gaylene replied 1 year ago

    Wow, just wow!  That Jil Sander is amazing example of why I adore her silhouettes. 

  • kkards replied 1 year ago

    That dress! Fab…just enough austere but not too much, the work of a true master to know where just where that line is 
    yes sometimes the shopping gods just seem to be on your side! And sometimes your just more open to the possibilities and so things just seem to flow better. And sometimes, the best times, are when the two are happening at the same time. 

  • Style Fan replied 1 year ago

    Fabulous dress!  It looks like it was made for you.  Very exciting when we find a piece that works so well.

  • Jaime replied 1 year ago

    Yay for manifesting that dress, and yes it is possible in my universe. I once had a very similar pair of George Cox shoes, I think I even posted them a long, long time ago, but they were too uncomfortable to keep. I hope yours are as comfortable as they seem to be. Very intriguing pin job on that jacket. I look forward to the final outcome.

  • Runcarla replied 1 year ago

    Please do wear the Jil Sander (a lot!)

  • Joy replied 1 year ago

    What the others have said so well. Wear the dress a lot snd enjoy it . Your thrifting has been rewarded. You kept that beautiful dress out of a land fill.

  • Jessikams replied 1 year ago

    I firmly believe in the shopping gods. A reward for loyalty, for sure.

  • lyn67 replied 1 year ago

    I just swooned over THAT peacoat and the dress is also fab of course!! Happy for your haul!!:-I

  • unfrumped replied 1 year ago

    I love the tailoring and detail on that jacket ! Such a find.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 1 year ago

    It seems a combination of magic and your skilled eye. That dress--what a find! I love the shoes with it. Of course you had the perfect shoes. (Or whatever you would pull from your closet to wear with it would look perfect, because you have that eye!) And the others are terrific, too. I'm really liking the looks of what you're doing with the jacket.

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