The early part of this summer has been a bit hit and miss where Mostly Mum’s fashion finds are concerned!
Even though the fashion budget is exceedingly tight since our recent transformation from a family of four to five, I normally pride myself on being able to sniff out some amazing (often high-end) pieces through a combination of internet trawling and charity shop rummaging. However, as much as I hate to admit it, my ‘bagdar’ was seriously off this month and mistakes were made… 😩
But more on that later…
First up, let’s look at what could probably be filed away as Mostly Mum’s greatest ever fashion find… this denim jacket! 😍
Now, some of the more sensible among you might be less than impressed! I appreciate that, at first glance, there’s a bit of a ‘ripped jean/unfinished look’ going on which won’t appeal to all.
The view from behind
I, on the other hand, tend to veer towards the fashion victim end of the scale (a fact that I’m not entirely proud of! 😳) and so, without going down the ripped jean route (which I don’t really like to be honest!), felt that this was a good take on the latest distressed trend.
Also, I really needed a new denim jacket to replace my beloved old version which I literally wore to death…
And then there was the small detail that when I first spied it in my local nearly new designer fashion shop window, it was labelled Isabel Marant.
Now, if you haven’t heard of her, Isabel Marant is a cult French designer whose shabby chic French style I absolutely adore! When she collaborated with H&M a few years ago, I managed to pick up some of her much sought after pieces (those suede fringed ankle boots!) which I still love and wear to this day.
Added to all of the above was the price tag… £70!
£70, people! Just £70 for a wardrobe staple that I really and truly needed! Just £70 for a nearly new high-end fashion piece that would normally retail for at least two to three times that price… There were no ifs or buts about it… That jacket was coming home with me…
Only one problem… I had to run the gauntlet of a snippy shop assistant before I could proceed any further!
Now uppity shop assistants in high-end fashion stores in the city centre were one thing, and even they could be handled if they think you are going to land them with a nice fat commission but in a second-hand store in a small suburb?!
If I hadn’t wanted that jacket so badly the stress that ensued just wouldn’t have been worth the hassle but I was determined… So… steeling myself emotionally (sort of), into the lion’s den I walked… (metaphorically speaking!)
First of all, the item had to be freed from the delicate shop widow display.
I was already in the bad books for that impertinent request.
Then, I needed to try the jacket on… naturally! This is something I normally like to do away from pushy shop assistants who will usually proclaim that all looks ‘fabulous, darling!’, when it really doesn’t.
So imagine my shock when I was practically shoved into the jacket by this over zealous shop assistant lady and then told in no uncertain terms…
‘No! Absolutely not! Not for you, not today! It’s too small!’
Too small? I didn’t think so! It was exactly the same fit as my favourite denim jacket of old but I had no time to dwell on it as I was then practically shoved out of the shop doors once the prised jacket had been literally prised from my now clammy hands…
I could not believe it!
Rather than being convinced to buy some unsuitable item, I had been indirectly told that I was too fat for fashion!
Oh the shame! The absolute humiliation!
I felt hot and prickly all over as I scurried home to lick my wounds but, once in the door, I had a sudden urge to turn around and head straight back to that shop to complete the mission which had been aborted!
I knew that jacket was a great replacement for my old one and scary shop assistant or not, I was having it…
So face puce with embarrassment I reentered that shop some time later, steeled myself against the almost mocking expression on Her face as I announced that the jacket was for me after all as it would be featured on my blog (which was the truth as it happens!).
Her tune changed slightly after that but she still did not seem entirely pleased to be making the sale… Hmmm!
Whether or which, the jacket was now in my clammy clutches and my heart was pounding with excitement as I scurried to a nearby coffee shop to examine my latest purchase in all its glory.
But… Oh no! What was this on the label?
Not only had I been fat shamed but now the jacket wasn’t even an Isabel Marant as I had been led to believe by the labelling in the shop window!
Drat and double drat! How annoying is that! I proceeded to try it on in and regardless of the label letdown, I actually liked it! I really liked it! It had a beautifully expensive feel despite the distressed finish.
Too fat for fashion? I like to think not! 😉
Then, happy with my purchase (in spite of the snippy shop assistant and the label), I Googled the name just to satisfy my general curiosity.
Marques’ Almeida… Marques’ Almeida who?
Only one the brightest and best fashion labels the London fashion scene has had to offer in recent years!
It just debuted in 2011 after it had been founded by Portuguese designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, both former Central Saint Martins fashion students. But it has already won the LVMH young Fashion Designer Prize, the largest cash prize for a new brand in fashion, and has been credited by Style.com with helping to relaunch the distressed denim trend in the 2010s! Not only that, they are also featured in this month’s British Vogue as one of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund finalists.Embed from Getty Images
The faces behind the fashion, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida pictured this year at a London fashion eventEmbed from Getty Images
Marques’ Almeida on the catwalk at London Fashion Week in February 2018
And even more impressive is that fact that a jacket identical to the one I had just picked up for £70 was listed on eBay for almost £300 (original retail £450).
Ker- ching! 🤑
Mostly Mum had fought and decidedly won the snippy shop assistant wars! 😊
Wherever there is success, failure is all too often not far behind and so to Mostly Mum’s major style blunder…
A couple of days ago, my heart began that all too familiar adrenaline pumping thumping when I caught sight of this in the window of a local charity shop…
A classic Gucci Pochette?
£15 for what looked liked an original Gucci Pochette at a time when the classic monogram is enjoying a revival…
Gucci and Fendi prints seem to be everywhere at the moment… Here, they are featured in a spread from a June copy of British Vogue magazine ❤️
So without giving it too much thought (big mistake!), I marched into that charity shop to free that (to all intents and purposes) abandoned Gucci Pochette from its charity shop dumping ground.
After all, it was the same shop where I had located this jewel of a designer bag find…
An original Gucci ’70s crossbody… Just £40! Thank you very much! 💗
After all, at first glance, I had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the Pochette…
However, in the sanctuary of my own home, niggling doubt set in once I had the time and opportunity to examine the finer details, such as the label…
A bit ragged?
No serial number? Red flag alert!
Uh oh! Would an original have such an unfinished finish?
With the colour rapidly draining from my face and my heart beating loudly in my chest, a quick comparison with a certified original on the web confirmed my worst fears…
I had been duped by a dupe! Aaargh!
More Gucci than Eucci!
A worn but perfectly formed label
And the ultimate proof of authenticity (well, usually!)… the serial number
I know! I know! It’s not like I had spent a fortune! £15 isn’t going to completely break me (at least not when I’m basically broke anyway!) and it’s all gone to a charitable cause.
But why do I still feel so undeniably cheated, mugged, taken advantage of?
Does the fact that I bought it in a charity shop undo the shame of unknowingly purchasing counterfeit?
Is my initial ignorance an excuse?
Oh, it’s an ethical minefield and one that I don’t have all the answers to!
One thing I do know, however is… ‘once bitten, twice shy’.
Next time, I will do all the necessary Googling before dropping my limited resources.
Reason will trump the vagaries of the heart… maybe!
(Where fashion is concerned, Mostly Mum does struggle to be sensible but try we shall…)
As ever, I will keep you all updated…
On that note, sincere apologies to my loyal readers as I have been a little bit less prolific than I would like of late …
Am not so much burnt out of ideas (lots and lots of those!) but burnt out of energy…
Always so much to do… never-ending homework, school runs, meals to prepare, laundry etc, etc..
So, even if all is quiet on the blog front for a few days, I will be back as soon as I manage to steal a few hours in the daily madness, promise! 🤞
Also, I’d love to hear your tales of fashion woe in the comments section below. Console me that I’m not the only one… please! 😳
Until next time (in the not too distant future)…
💋 Mostly Mum