Wednesday, July 27, 2011

guest post: Comtesse de Ferveur

Meet the Comtesse de Ferveur: Dublin's Vintage Maven
There are some friends, I can't wait to meet. Dubliner fashion blogger, Elizabeth, the Comtesse de Ferveur is one of them. She introduced herself to me last year via e-mail, when she was just starting out- and we shared a fierce love for vintage. Since she has blossomed as a blogger and enjoys a wide range of readers. 

Her sweet face, her sharp eye for bargains and irrefutable style make up the components to this Irish girl's charm, and if you haven't stopped by her blog and introduced yourself already, I hope you take a moment to do so. She rocks. 

She is also my guest blogger today and is sharing her thrifting tips in Dublin. Since Dublin is on my wish-list to visit and shop, I will be bookmarking this post. 
Hope you enjoy!                                                                                                      -Bella Q
Hello Dublin!
Top  5 Thrifting Tips - in Dublin with the Comtesse de ferveur

Elizabeth here from the Comtesse de Ferveur. Many thanks to Bella for her kind invite! I am sharing my top 5 thrifting tips with you and setting them into a Dublin context for a little bit of local flavour. First of all, we are dealing with small charity shops in Dublin, many of which are well-curated (organised by colour, or category) and some of which even have specific vintage rails (though sometimes with a loose take on what can actually be considered vintage, as well as a far higher price tag).  Dublin has provided me with some fabulous treasures over the years and, if anyone plans to visit, do think about a quick charity shopping excursion – there are over 20 charity shops in the city centre alone and – the time-poor might like to note – many happen to be grouped together in clusters.
1.     Inspiration -  Of course we all love the chance factor involved in thrifting. And the extra-sweet pleasure that comes with rifling through a further-reduced bin. But sometimes you can have a hand in how things actually play out in a thrift store. Have you seen a look on a favourite blogger recently? Say a simple item they’ve styled in a cool way? Same thing goes for fashion magazines and runway shots – if you have spotted a style or colour somewhere that you would like to try, thrifting’s your in. I’ve been on the look-out for a hot pink blazer in recent times; therefore, I scope the pinks rail/blazer section within a matter of seconds upon entering a charity shop. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, to quote that great Irish songster Bono, but I’m convinced that I will eventually. With so many charity shops in the city centre here, it’s easy to pop into nearby boutiques and fashion emporia during your thrifting excursion and cast an eye over their ‘this season’ styling ideas. 

2.     Operations – Not unrelated to my ideas on how to work with your inspirations. Go into a store and concentrate on what you’d like to find. I always look at shoes, bags – and blazers, of course. Never thrift when hungry, you won’t have the patience for it.  If you’re a germophobe thrifter, always have hand sanitizer in your bag (you are guaranteed to pick up at least one thing that you’ll regret laying a finger on).  Though, I believe most of the bigger charity shops here now use a steamer to freshen up clothes at least.

3.     Examination – So, so important. Remember that someone has given this item away. There could be a particular reason for it, other than sheer closet-clearing goodwill. In Dublin charity shops, I’ve seen a lot of bits and pieces that are, well, missing bits and pieces. Make sure you give the item a good once-over and that if there are faults or stains, you are happy to deal with them creatively when you get home.  It is also worth getting au fait with stain removal. Organic ones will often come out; chemical-based ones are probably there forever. Which leads me to my next tip….

4.     Inhalation – Sniffing, if you will. Yes, you will get strange looks. You can subtly sniff clothing but, of course, even the most horrendously incongruous ‘beef pizza’ smell will come out of machine washables.  However, you will need to reserve your heartiest sniffs for handbags and footwear. Stinky handbag linings can be particularly impossible to contend with, and it is where your valuables will be nestling. Also, I have found with plether bags from the 1970s and 1980s (I thrifted one in Dublin a few years back) that the backing of the plether can sometimes discharge a fine dust through the lining and into the bag itself. Cough! I wonder if other people have noticed this with handbags of this period? If not, keep an eye out. My sniffing technique has noticed (read, inhaled) this fine dust (which gets over everything) on several occasions. 

5.     Remuneration – See an item that you’re interested in, yet still not 100% sure about it? Feel the thrifting tremours and go ahead and do it anyway! What’s the worst that could happen? You’ve donated  cash to a charity, you should be proud of yourself! If something doesn’t work out, or you’ve found that six months down the line, you haven’t even worn it once, get things moving. If you are happy to donate it back to the charity (and in Dublin, donations are desperately needed), do so and chalk the transaction down to a mistake made philanthropic.
Depending on the item, I sometimes sell things I haven’t really gotten wear out of on Ebay. If, after a couple of re-listings, the item still hasn’t sold, I donate it to a charity shop. It’s important to give when the getting has been so good.

What I really like about the Dublin charity shopping scene at the moment is that so many people are getting in on the act – no matter what their sex, age or creed. Yes, of course, it means that the good stuff disappears in the blink of an eye (never ever think to yourself “I’ll just pick that up in a sec”), but it also means that a real gem is all the more appreciated. I hope that the secondhand-loving readers of the Citizen Rosebud are finding such gems out there and cite beginner’s luck as a carrot on a stick to all hitherto virgins of thrifting fun. 

Be sure to add Elizabeth to your blogroll! 


Anonymous said...

Comtesse--How wonderful to bump into you here and to finally learn your name-name, Elizabeth. Plus, you've taught this old thrifter a thing or two. Gonna start sniffing!

Vix said...

I adore Elizabeth and have been following her blog for ages. We have the same ethos when it comes to charity shopping and bargain hunting and adore rescuing an old and stinky piece, washing it and wearing it with pride. x

Unknown said...

I wish I could have read about her before my visit to Dublin last fall! Her thrifting tips are spot-on with my own! thanks for sharing and having her guest post, bella! xoxo

Helga said...

The Comtesse is always a pleasure!

Unknown said...

Great tips! I now need to add Dublin to my list of places I want to visit.

Comtesse de ferveur said...

Thanks so much again, my dear Bella! Your warm words mean so much! xxxxx

Rosalind said...

So great to see the delightful Comtesse over here Bella. Great tips too, particularly the handbag lining checking and the sniffing suggestion! Definitely agree. I didn't learn this one until I bought a leather jacket from a festival charity shop/tent last year. When I got it home I eventually had to throw it away as NOTHING would get rid of the smell. However, I think that stands as my only ever charity shopping disaster. I try to sniff discreetly now!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

These are EXCELLENT tips, Elizabeth! I am an avid thrift shopper myself and while I do do some of these things already, others, like bringing hand sanitizer, are new to me! :)

Ofelia said...

I already got Elizabeth in my blog roll! She is gorgeous, smart and have a great personal style.
I like the sniffing tip; I do this all the time because some fabrics (specially jackets) have certain smell that doesn't go away after washing.

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Great post E - but aaargh to 'beef pizza' - too evocative, I was reading at breakfast time!

A BRIT GREEK said...

I've been following Elizabeths blogs for some time now, probably discovered her blog via your fine self!

She's got some awesome pieces that she mixes up in her outfit posts!

Great post B.

Eugene Raymond said...

Wow, great advert for Dublin, you really sniff out the best deals in town. Elizabeth II should have hired you as a tourguide - Elizabeth I!
Great feature post Rosebud!

Pearl Westwood said...

Two of my fav bloggers in one place!!

citizen rosebud said...

Elizabeth is awesome and I'm so honored to have had her guest post. AND I love this post!


Oh my! Thank you for introducing me to her, I love these helpful tips, also love #5. I love vintage & thrifting. :)

Sharon S said...

Hi my dear-what a wonderful post, the Comtesse is so lovely and a brilliant thrifter, a really good post with fab tips! xxx