Sunday, 16 March 2014

1960s Evans 'Tweensize dress and coat: charity shop WIN!

Needs a honking great cocktail ring, no?

Yesterday, the Gods of Vintage, Fat Chicks and Charity Shoppers smiled on me bigtime. I go round all my local ones most weekends – any dedicated charity shopper will tell you is you have to go regularly, because the stock is constantly changing. Some weeks you find something you'll like, many weeks you find nothing at all, and this week I found something so splendid I grabbed it off the rail on sight and didn't let go of it until I had paid for it: this wonderful 'Evans 'Tweensize' dress and coat.



Two other things dedicated charity shoppers will tell you is that it's nigh-impossible to get decent vintage in charity shops, and that they're all overpriced. I'd certainly go with the former statement; I find one or two really good items of clothing or accessories a year, though my local shops are really well priced. This suit cost me a mere £15, and I rarely pay more than a fiver for anything.

I'm pretty sure the suit is 1960s. There's a metal zip in the back, and the font on the label looks very 1960s to me, though I've been unable to find out anything about Evans Tweensize via Google. Evans was founded in 1930, and I believe it's always been aimed at the larger lady, but there's a real dearth of information on the firm between then and 1971, when it was acquired by the Arcadia group.

The A-line shape of the dress, and the length, sitting right on the knee, also make me suspect this is 1960s, though it's quite a conservative 60s. It's somewhat Mod-Mother-of-the-Bride. (Fairy Modmother, perhaps!) I love the sharp pleats falling from a little satin bow; they make the dress roomier without adding volume.

The coat has bow-shaped insets that echo the bow on the dress. I suspect the bow placement is done to draw the eye inwards, visually narrowing both the bust and hips, as that sort of thing gets suggested all the time in the vintage books and magazines I've read. They're a very pretty detail, at any rate.

The jewellery is a 1950s set I bought recently - it arrived in the post this week, and matches the suit beautifully. It's by Lisner, and cost around £12 from Etsy seller Mr Stones Vintage; if you have pieces in need of fixing, he sells equipment for repairing vintage jewellery, too. I've been wanting a set that includes a necklace for a while, and this was the ideal price and style for me.

15 comments :

  1. What a cracking find, it's gorgeous! I'm incredibly jealous.

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    1. Ah, but you got the splendid elephant bag on eBay!

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  2. What a super find. Looks fantastic!

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  3. Oooh, now that is what is definitely called a lucky find! Do you feel like the cat that got the cream? :)

    It is becoming almost impossible to find anything decent in the ones I go to when I get to town, even modern stuff, "vintage" doesn't exist for them. Even the one that used to get a lot of old linen doesn't seem to have it any more.
    Always been disappointed lately, and not just in the clothing department.

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    1. I couldn't stop grinning!

      I'm lucky in that I live in the one working-class town surrounded by pricier ones, so my chazzas seem to have a good supply of stock, but the prices are right for my town. Though since a few charity chains have started running pricy 'vintage' charity shops in Bath and Bristol, I reckon the range of stock in my area has not been as good...

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  4. Goodness me, that is a beautiful suit, lucky you! I love the bow detail.
    Our charity shops are full of overpriced modern clothing, but that's hardly surprising when there are two vintage shops in town who likely snap up all the good bits.

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    1. Yeah, I did live in fear of people coming round my local ones and hoovering up the good stuff, but that doesn't seem to happen much - it's more locals trying to make money off eBay, and they tend to look for the more modern labels. I don't seem to compete with the 'vintage' traders to buy things.

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  5. This is such a beautiful outfit. I am not surprised that you snapped it up straight away. It is gorgeous. I very rarely find vintage clothes in my local charity shops but will keep looking incase the good luck is catching!

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    1. Yup, look often, look either side of your own side but don't bother wading through stiff obviously too large/small, and get to know which ones are your 'best bets'. We have several in my hometown, but one is full of nondescript modern stuff - not even stylish modern stuff - while another is right up my frumpy street, so if I'm only going to one, I go to my favourite. Ah, but so many weeks go without success...

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  6. Super find Mim and I reckon that its early to mid Sixties myself. That was a bargain and you're lucky that the suit hadn't been split up to be sold separately. My local Sue Ryder shop does that, which I reckon is a shame. I found a lovely 70s Ossie Clark style skirt and blouse in the shop that had been put on separate rails and individually priced. In my innocence I thought this was an accident and mentioned it at the till (I didn't buy it as it was equivalent to a modern size 8!), to which the shop assistant brusquely said "I know, that's how we price them" and then ignored me!

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    1. They split them up?!

      *Quells back shouts of YOU EEEEEEEEDIOT, STIMPY*

      Frankly, if anything's survived as a suit that long, it deserves to be kept together. My local Age UK and hospice shop are both good at keeping suits as one item.

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  7. Shriek!! How absolutely stupid of them! What on earth are they think of? Collapses on chaise and shudders. In regards to trivial things that has to one of the daftest I have heard.

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  8. That suit is utterly wonderful. I'd go for early to mid-1960s, too.
    Our local chazzas charge less for vintage as its only me who ever seems interested. More fool them!
    You look gorgeous. I remember Evans being "Evans Outsize" when I was a little girl. x

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