“I’m Cathy, also known as Perdita on my blog ‘Perdita’s Pursuits’. I live a bit of a double life as a school teacher by day and a blogger of all things thrifty, vintage and unusual by night! My interest in vintage started during my childhood, when I adored going to antique fairs and bootsales with my dad and searching out bargains. As I got older, I loved the retro scene of the 1990s – their focus on Mod revival and disco drew me into the styles and decor of the Sixties and Seventies. I would spend much of my time bargain hunting in Camden market or in ‘retro shops’ in Magdalen Street in Norwich.

The eras appeal to me because of their diversity and complexity, and (in contrast to earlier vintage eras) the way that they are ‘just out of reach’ … it’s relatively easy to get first-hand sources for inspiration, indeed talking to my mum is one! I love this close connection with the history – often things happening right now have echoes of the Seventies, and that fascinates me.

The range of styles out there for these two decades is phenomenal; it’s actually a very diverse look! From flared jeans and a cheesecloth blouse to elaborately sequinned formal dresses, there’s something for every day and every mood. My current obsession is late Seventies businesswear; longer skirts, tweeds and high tan boots – it’s a fabulously confident look!

I do most of my shopping in ‘second hand’ places – bootsales, fleamarkets, eBay and of course charity shops. I simply cannot resist a bargain and am a bit of a magpie when it comes to sparkles and brights! I’ll pick up items that I feel will work with my look and are really affordable. Sometimes I discover crumpled and musty gems- but being Seventies (well into the washing-machine era), I can just pop them in the wash and they’re restored!

The same bargain-hunting goes for housewares and my guilty pleasure, garish retro recipe books. I find that I save a lot of money this way and therefore, when I want to, I can make a real investment purchase such as a designer vintage dress or something handmade.

My style varies- sometimes it’s pretty clearly late-20th-century, and at others I will have combined contemporary styles with vintage finds. I enjoy the freedom vintage clothing gives me; being able to use my knowledge to create an ‘authentic’ look or to combine it with good-quality modern, indie fashions to create my own look. I wouldn’t want to slavishly follow one style- be it modern or 40 years old- 365 days a year. My maxim is: if I love it, I wear it.”

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