I was very excited when one of my students invited me to a Jubilee Concert to celebrate Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s 40 years on the throne. I was really happy to be able to attend – though I had a minor panic about the dress code. I have very little in the way of formal wear, and because of my job, my daily outfits are inevitably plain and simple, usually in black (jazzed up with a nice handbag of course!).
In the end I ran into Judits Secondhand after work and had a quick rummage. Judits is probably the best vintage clothing store in Stockholm. They have an impeccable eye and sell both vintage and modern clothes but always fantastically chosen. I take clothes in there to sell and they can pick out the gems within seconds – if I take in 20 items they may take 8 at most, and they spot them all instantly. Their turnover is high and they are always busy, even though they are not situated in the city centre.
I bought a pair of black t-bar heels by Opening Ceremony, and a vintage velvet and silk dress with a net and a satin underskirts to give the dress flare. As jewellery I tied a lucite bracelet I got free in a magazine around my neck and carried a red pashmina I got free when I bought shampoo a few years ago. Total cost was about £60.
The concert was amazing – we sat in the first balcony and had a fantastic view of the entire royal family and the acts which celebrated him. For me as a new Swedish citizen, it was so nice to be able to stand and sing my new national anthem for the first time metres away from the King. I am not a monarchist but it just felt so…wow! Yes I am easily pleased. I guess at heart I am just a country bumpkin from a tiny town in Africa.