A Week of Outfits: Sue Poole | Cup of Jo

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A Week of Outfits: Sue Poole | Cup of Jo


“Whenever I passed a Zara, I used to always think, ‘Oh, I’ll just have a quick look.’ Now I can’t tell you the last time I went into one — I haven’t been into a clothing shop for three years,” recalls Sue Poole. “I feel so much happier with my style since fully shopping secondhand. It’s so much more original.” Residing in Windsor, England, Sue lives with her husband and three sons and runs the Instagram shop At Source Vintage. Here, she shares five go-to looks…

Sue Poole style

Vest: Depop, similar. Dress: thrifted from Stories in Clothes, similar.

“After I got on Instagram, I found myself trying to keep up with trends but no longer enjoying clothes. In 2019 I participated in Second Hand September, where I wore only what I had or bought secondhand. At the end of the month, I realized I didn’t need new clothes. I learned how to dress true to myself. This sweater vest is my favorite piece, and it looks brilliant with a flowy dress.”

Sue Watson Style

Jacket: thrifted from Wild Daisy Vintage, similar. Housecoat: thrifted from eBay. Shoes: Zara, similar.

“I’m always looking for vintage housecoats, a garment women wore in the ’60s around the house before they dressed up to go out. I love how each one has one pocket. I think it’s a bit Betty Draper-y from Mad Men, how she always has cigarettes on hand. I live in Windsor, England, where everyone wears darks and grays. So, when walking down the road in a vintage housecoat, you get some looks, but I quite like that.”

Sue Poole style

Jacket: thrifted Simon Ellis. Jeans: thrifted, similar. Necklace: thrifted from Wild Daisy Vintage. Shoes: Maje, found on Vestiaire Collective.

“I find joy in sourcing vintage because there are so many unique pieces needing to be rehomed. I’m always trying to find heritage brands, like Dior, Celine, Bill Gibb, Jean Varon and Frank Usher. I’ve started using eBay’s ‘save this search,’ where you type keywords for whatever you’re looking for — like ‘vintage Christian Dior’ — and receive daily emails with all the items. You get to see everything as soon as it drops, and it cuts down on searching time. This is a Simon Ellis top from the ’80s. The three-tier sleeves are sculpted so beautifully, they remind me of the back of a dinosaur.”

Sue Poole

“Transitioning to wearing only vintage isn’t easy; you need a bit of ‘time privilege’ to do it, and you have to know your measurements to shop online. But once you get three staple pieces, you can start adding them to what you already own. I think some people get scared off by vintage because they think they can wear only full vintage outfits. But you can mix and match. I’d wear this top anytime; it’s like wearing a T-shirt and jeans.”

Sue Poole Style

Shirt: “a handmade Italian one” from Froxhound Vintage. Vest: “an old Austrian knit” from Wild Daisy Vintage. Trousers: Daks, found at Oxfam. Shoes: “old Celine,” found on Etsy.

“These trousers are called ‘plus fours’; the gentry would wear them to go shooting ducks. They’re wool, absolutely fabulous and get the most reactions. I also love big prints, which work so well under dungarees or a sweater vest. Lately, I’ve been into novelty print blouses with ladies on them. You type in ‘vintage novelty print’ or ‘art deco lady print’ when searching online. If you just write ‘lady print’, everything will turn up, from tie dye to cheetah.”

Sue Poole

Dress: thrifted Scarvin from Oxfam. Shoes: Golden Goose, found on Vestiaire Collective. Glasses: “Italian flea market on holiday last year”, similar.

“I got this dress at Oxfam, the charity shop and organization. It has the most gorgeous wiring sleeves and velvet pencil skirt. It was £50, a steal, and I knew I’d never find something like it again. I’d wear this for an evening out, birthday party, or Sunday lunch. The sleeves are SO out there. This lip is NARS Dragon Girl topped off with Mac Ruby Woo. It’s the only lip I wear — I used to be a makeup artist, so I know what I like and stick to that. This color is really good for photos.”

Sue Poole

“As I’ve gotten older, my style has grown bolder. I’m always telling my kids, ‘You don’t have to conform to trends,’ because it’s really just a marketer’s tool, isn’t it, the trend? I wish I had known earlier to follow the beat of my own drum.”

Thank you so much Sue, we love you! You can follow her on Instagram, if you’d like.

P.S. More women share their week of outfits, including an English writer who lives in pastels and an activist who’s all about ‘modest glam’.

(Photos by Joséphine Elvis.)

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