Second Han News

Contrary to popular belief thrift, second-hand, vintage, hand-me-downs, loft-love-ins, jumble-rumblings are not grubby ferreting amongst a lot of old crap, but rather a refined art of discovery, the revelation of treasure, a freeing of riches personal to just you. And on top of that, hopefully, a bargain to boot.

Amen for Emmaus, the French homeless charity, and scene of much furtive riffling on Saturday afternoons all across France. For just two Euros this vintage silk blouse was procured. Teamed with skinny grey jeans and a blazing blue sky this classical cream French blouse ticks all the hot fashion boxes.
As is often the case en France, home-made clothes abound. Within Emmaus many, many skirts and blouses are hand-sewn and classically cut. But sadly, made for, and by, the tiny old French ladies normally found feeding their poulet and cutting garden-grown lettuces in rural parts.
However, this does mean that many classic, unusual and fabulous lengths of cloth can be easily picked up. As can many other accoutrements of the sewing trade. Rather like these simple and unique sets of buttons, which were nestling in a box with many more, and appeared as if they had been left unused since 1945…

Vintage French Nightdresses

In France few charity shops exist unlike the proliferation of charity shops in the UK, which adorn every high street and have become an important common denominator in the commercial sector. Here most people hang out for the vide-greniers and brocantes; regularly held markets selling second hand junk. However, in the winter, due to the open-nature of these gatherings, there are few to be found.

Fortunately, for junk addicts like myself, the homeless charity Emmaus provides much needed jumble riffling during the long winter. Open just once a week, Emmaus provides a haven of dirty bed linen, old handbags and chipped teacups for the junkies to trawl through in the hopes of finding hidden treasure.

On a recent visit through a rather large expanse of night clothes including several saucy vintage French numbers bought and shown here…