Summer keeps teasing us by showing us a glimpse of her hit, balmy days! But as quick as she appears, her warmth turns to moisture and it's raining again!
As a result only a small clutch of my summer frockage has had an outing! I'm not impressed. I have 4 new skirts- all summer prints/colours and 4 sun dresses. I had hoped to have debuted them all by now for your perusal!
So today's update bares only a scant few! But how cute are the skirts? The gingham blue and the pink foxy are both Hell Bunny. I'm so in love with them both! I'm hoping to much more wear out of them before the season changes.
My 'Fiji' print sun dress is also Hell Bunny and is a firm favourite. I love the shape it gives me! The 'v' neck and back is so flattering.
I was hoping to be sharing with you my pick of cute vintage inspired sandals but the weather just hasn't been right! I've opted for sneaks- fake converse! I have quite a few pairs now in a rainbow of colours!
I'm also becoming a small bit addicted to 60's style plastic and Bakelite beads! Keep an eye on my Instagram to watch the collection grow- vjvintagetreasures
It's been a month since we last spoke but that's not a bad thing! I'm still wearing frocks everyday and I LOVE it!
I have really got to grips with choosing my frock each day, matching tights and finding cute cardi's! My collection of brooches has doubled too as they make the perfect accessory!
Here's afew of my latest additions!
I've also been surprised at how much my shoe collection has grown! Although I'm still a 'flats fan' afew pairs of heels have crept in! Check them out!
My new found love of cardi's has led me to try my hand at jazzing up one or two of my plain ones. I've bought some iron on transfers- sugar skulls, butterflies, mermaids and flowers. I plan to 'pimp up' the boring black ones, maybe even add some lace trims and pearl buttons! Watch this space for the results!
It seems that just as I get comfortable with my look the season changes and so the 'look' needs tweaking! I'm currently on the hunt for sun dresses, thin flesh/tan tights and sandals! I adore genuine 1950's dresses, often coverting many via my EBay watch list. But, as often the way with most vintage clothing, being a bigger girl means the sizing is just tooooo tiny for me. So I've enrolled in Slimming World to help shift afew dress sizes (6 weeks and 1stone gone!). I'm hoping this will mean my summer wardrobe will be bursting with vintage frockage! I will keep you updated!
I'll leave you with a pic of my two fave frocks so far! Which are your faves?
Such a busy busy time for me lately! Spending a lot of time searching the world, from the comfort of my sofa, for the perfect summer (vintage) collection! I'm managing (just!) to resist buying too many new frocks for my personal collection, but have bagged one or two beauties which I look forward to sharing with you in the summer months.
My predictions for hot trends this summer are pastels, polka dots, yellow and skirts! You heard it here first folks!
I will leave you with afew pics from this last weeks 'frockage'.
This week I am loving a skirt! When I started this challenge I was nervous about skirts. I was unsure how I would make them work for me...... I think I'm over that now!
This skirt is from a new range by Lindy Bop- the Ohlson range. We stock this swallow print version- £30 size 8-26.
I teamed mine with a red petticoat, black twinset and cute red, suede, block heels!
This is a true vintage, wool, full circle skirt. It's surprisingly heavy! I love the way it hangs and the way it swooshes when I walk! Best part.... I found it in a charity shop on the £1 rail! Again it's teamed with a black jersey top, keeping the top half simple and the skirt as the statement!
Tricked you! This is infact a dress! The Lindy Bop Ophelia! But by wearing a navy cardi buttoned up and a bow belt it creates the illusion of a skirt and top. I've put a petticoat underneath for a more dramatic effect. Plus it helps narrow my waistline, making me look slimmer- bonus!
I'm two months into my challenge now and feel like I've really got into it! I'm loving the new found confidence I have. Also loving finding new dresses to try out so feel free to recommend away! Ssshh just don't tell my hubby!
Next month I will be on the hunt for great jewellery to team with my dresses... Any tips???
Do you wear vintage? Actually if your reading this it's possible you do! Both genuine and 'inspired'!
Often, in the shop, I get browsers admiring the dresses whilst saying 'but I don't wear vintage.... It's not my style.... It's not for me....' Which I fully accept and understand BUT, and it's a big but..... Most high street and high end fashion labels use 'vintage' (or by-gone fashion) as inspiration! And then the other day, whilst enjoying a rare five minutes 'me' time thumbing through a copy of Vogue, the penny dropped. We all wear 'vintage' some of us just embrace it (more) for what it is!
Here's what I've sussed out.....
Looking through Vogue I saw Spring/Summer 16 at London Fashion week was littered with vintage throwback! This seasons 'on trend' looks are fringes, ruffles, 'granny chic', 'geek chic', pearls; plus you will find the high street full of 70's inspired gear!
Let's start with the 'fringes and ruffles'. This fashion look was huge in the 1920's- flapper? Charleston? Dresses in the 20's often featured fringing for extra pizazz when dancing and the ruffles created a floaty, more 'feminine' look to an era's fashion that tended to be quite masculine.
Take a look at the catwalk collections (for SS16) of Valentino, Moschino & Christopher Kane. Fringing!!!
Plus the collections from Michael Kors, Alexander McQueen and Delpozo all feature heavily on the ruffles!
I find it really amusing that big brands such as Mui Mui, Dolce & Gabanna and Karen Walker have labelled their SS16 collections as 'Granny Chic'! I think what this means is they have gained inspiration from 50's/60's fashion and tried to make appealing to their high end fashion set by giving it a seemingly trendy label! Where as us vintage fashionistas wear these styles and embrace the fashion for what it is- vintage! I realise that as these are new designs and new fabrics it would be wrong for the fashion labels to call them vintage collections.
In keeping with 'Granny Chic', according to 'Hello Fashion Monthly' Magazine, on trend for SS16, in terms of jewellery, are pearls! Erm.... 1950's necklace of choice!! Many designers incorporated pearls into their collections. Take a peek at Delfina Delettrez for matchesfashion.com
Apparently Prada 'rebooted' the brooch last season making them another must have accessory! With the likes of Gucci, Asos, River Island and Topshop all releasing a line in brooches! Top tip- buy one from a charity or vintage shop for a far more authentic look!!
High street brands such as Zara, M&S, River Island and Wallis have clearly gained inspiration from the 70's with maxi lengths, folksy/gypsy prints and floaty fabrics!
Even Mrs Beckham's SS16 collection has smatterings of a 60's vibe!
So you see in a way we all wear vintage! It's fair to say fashion goes in cycles drawing inspiration from what's come before. Just because you may choose a Gucci dress over a Lindy Bop Ophelia doesn't mean your fashion isn't inspired by 'vintage'............
A little while back we ran a 'What's your body shape and how to dress for it' session. The session was run by Jo Marshall of Frankie & Ruby's Dress Agency. Jo spent the evening talking about what 'shape' your body was and the best (and worst) ways to dress in order to highlight your shape positively.
This talk had a huge effect on my deciding to take up the challenge and wear only dresses, here's why!
What's your shape????
This useful diagram can help you decide what 'shape' your body is. I'm a 'full hourglass' - since having children I've certainly become more 'full'! But ever since a teenager I've been an hourglass shape.
During the 1950's it was THE shape women aspired to have. Another nod to the fact I was born in the wrong era! Over the decades social 'norms' have pushed the 'Lean column' into fashion (very much in fashion in 1920's). Women today often express feeling pressure to hide/mask/cover up their curves, or in fact not to have curves at all. My view, and purely my thoughts so not at all 'right' or 'what should be', is that our bodies are a gift, they keep us alive, they bear the scars of the life we live. The world would be boring if we all looked the same!
No matter what 'shape' your body is, learning how to dress in the best possible way, making you feel fabulous, is what counts! For me, wearing dresses makes me feel feminine and confident, but maybe for you it's when your wearing something else. The point being it really doesn't matter what the item of clothing is as long as it makes you feel like you........
So back to my body shape- the Full Hourglass- How do I dress my shape to look it's best?
Advice is I should stick to 'curve enhancing' dresses (last post?! I discovered that!) plus using a belt to nip in my waist and enhance it's narrowness. however, it's not always best look for my shape to add a big full petticoat. Personally I prefer the sleek pencil dress/skirt look! I don't own many pencil skirts, but I'm on a mission to find some that give me that wow factor- so let me have your recommendations!
If you're interested in finding out how to dress for your body shape take a look here. There's a bucket load of tips and suggestions.
I liked this little info graphic, it is handy to know what dress shape might suit you, often I find (initially) customers have a complete different style in mind, but after a process of elimination they discover the advice (demonstrated in the picture) to be true!
Next time you pop in try on a dress that is suggested for your body shape as a pose to a style you 'like' and see if makes a difference................... Go on... I dare you!
So it's been a whole month since I started #TheYearOfTheDress challenge! I think it's safe to say I am getting into the swing of it! For example, I now know the best denier tights to wear for certain dresses in my wardrobe! You see,when I started this frock lovin, I never knew such mind boggling problems would arise!
To be honest I've learnt so much about tights!! Not only is there a denier choice but a fabric, colour, pattern, lining (fleece, thermal) and size! All of which needs to be considered in conjunction with the dress being worn! My current tight faves are full figure tights! So soft, breathable and sizing is generous! I like these- http://m.primark.com/en/product/black-fuller-figure-tights-60-denier,r35397112017220
I've also discovered a new found love for seamed tights- perfect for those 40's style dresses as well as the 'pin up' look wiggle dress, more about those in a min!
I discovered a brand of seamed tights (I don't do stockings! Just too fiddly and stressful!) called Dancing Girl. They do the most amazing tights with various coloured seams! Brilliant! The stretch in the weave of nylon is good too as I managed 4 wear (and washes) before I laddered them! They have a Cuban style heel so the foot is reinforced stopping that annoyance- toes poking out the end!
Over this last month I have also discovered how much I love wearing a 'wiggle dress'.
Wiggle dresses (sometimes called a pencil dress) were huge in the 1950/60's. Seen Mad Men tv show? Think Joan! See below! Women wanted to create or show off their hourglass figure. It was thought off as 'sexy' and feminine. Society today seems to have lost this love of women's curves!
The wiggle exploded to 'height of fashion' in the 1960's but was around long before then known as a 'sheath' dress. I can see why that name never really caught on!
A sheath dress- named so due to the fact it was constructed from what looks like a tube of fabric, flattered most figures as it clung to curves giving women that saught after hourglass figure. Over the years, as fabrics have developed, the ability of the fabric to cling and hug curves has gotten greater! Think of today's 'body con' or illusion dress! Lycra!
My figure is quite classically hourglass! Meaning that the wiggle dress suits me to a 'T'! I love the way is accentuates my curves, it gives me confidence. I realise, for some, that the fact wiggles are so clingy is the absolute reason NOT to wear them. The amount of times I hear customers say "oh no I don't do wiggle/pencil dresses coz they show off all my lumps and bumps". But take a look at the pictures below. I think the tighter, 'clingy to my curves' dresses make me look
slimmer?!! Or am I just kidding myself?A&B v's C&D?
Today I wore my first skirt, not first skirt ever, but first in terms of this challenge!
I choose a terracotta, woollen, full circle skirt that I found in a local charity shop! It's most definitely vintage, 40's style but probably 1970's made. There are no labels or tags, even the waistband is just a loop of elastic sewn inside a fold of the woollen design.
I adore the colour, very autumnal! I also love the fact it is a full circle meaning I can add a petticoat underneath when I fancy swooshing around all day!
For me skirts have always felt like a challenge to wear. Being 'top heavy' aka big boobs means I have to careful what I wear as tops. Chunky, heavy knitwear is out and high neck tops can make me look matronly! Blouses and shirts end up gapping! Another issue I have with t.shirt or vest style tops is that they are often too short in the body once stretched over my boobs! I'm on an eternal quest to find quality t.shirt style tops and fine knit jumpers or twinsets! If you discover any please do share!
My top of choice today was from Lidl!!! It's a stretch my black round neck t.shirt with three quarter sleeves and a cute zip down the back, plus a faux leather trim around the collar! At a bargain price of £5.99, I wish I'd got other colours! I love that it's also long enough to tuck into the skirt which creates a flattering look.
I've discovered when wearing skirts I need to follow three simple rules (in order to achieve the most flattering look)
1- team the skirt with a simple top that is fine knit or made from stretchy fabric in order to lessen the 'top heavy' bulk!
2- Make sure any top finishes at the waist band of my skirt or tuck top in to achieve this. This helps create a smooth silhouette and nipped in waist look, so for my body shape (hourglass) this is flattering!
3- Always wear heels with a skirt. This lengthens my legs making the 'line' of my body longer again more flattering!
Obviously these 'rules' won't apply to everyone as our body shapes vary! Have you discovered any rules that fit your body shape?
Here's a little look at some of my frocks so far! I have to say I am loving the ease of just slipping on a dress everyday! I've also been fascinated to see how very different my body shape can look depending on the cut of the dress! This is really evident in the collage below!
I'm also really surprised at how much support and 'joining in' is going on- you guys rock! Keep sharing your frock pics on our Facebook page ( VJ Vintage) or tag me in your Instagram with #TheYearOfTheDress
After yesterday's wobble I decided to think about how I could be more prepared for them! Let's face it there will be more set backs I'm sure! Thoughts about getting organised ran across my mind.... How do you get more organised in terms of your clothes? After all the events, weather and your mood on the actual day play a part in the choice of the outfit don't they???? You can't plan for outfit in advance surely???
Well of course you can, you can do anything you want!!
I've already outlined why I will no longer let the weather phase me when it comes to outfit choice. It really only plays a functional role in terms of temperature- cool for summer and layers for other times (here in the UK seasons are becoming a thing of the past! Our weather can be very unseasonal!) But no longer will I spend time thinking about whether dresses are suitable in the rain!
Most of us lead such busy lives that our days, in some form or other, are planned out. For example a work or non work day, a meet with work related people or friends day etc. So in terms of what the days 'events' may be we are able to 'plan' in terms of suitable outfit.
For me if I'm at home with the kids, being mum, doing housework etc I may choose a frock that; isn't precious to me (incase I'm spills/puked/sneezed etc on), is easy to move around in (on the floor with cars, a quick game of footie, a bounce on the trampoline etc) and can be washes easil. If I'm in the shop (meeting customers and showcasing my brand) I might choose my fave vintage frock with full petticoat!
In terms of planning for mood...... From the challenge point of view I am doing this so that everyday I feel 'like me', so I feel feminine and 'like I made the effort'. Ultimately I want a wardrobe consisting of outfits that make me feel this way. So maybe I need a quick cull of any dresses that I know don't make me feel this way! I do think though that mood does influence your outfit choice so any planning ahead would have the caveat that 'may change due to mood'!
After some extensive Google searching..... I discovered that outfit planning is an actual thing! In fact it's big business! There's apps and websites, books, webinars and printables!!!!!
I found an app called 'Pureple'. It's a freebie available from the App Store. It allows you to photograph every item of clothing you own, including accessories, jewellery and shoes! I'm not going to lie this task is a huge one but may be worth it in the end! Also taking the time to photograph all of your clothing is a good way to 'declutter' your wardrobe!
Once you have your entire wardrobe logged in the app, which allows you to store in sections of clothing items, you can use the photos to plan your outfits.
You can plan days, months, events in advance by clicking and dragging photos! Seems like it could help take the 'what shall I wear' stress out of the mornings. So I'm thinking I will give it a go, just as soon as I've logged all of my clothes.....
It was always going to happen. Statistically 95% of all people who set New Years resolutions have broken them/given up by 15th January. Today was my first 'fuck this' moment! I had hoped I'd last longer before feeling this way!
Here's what happened.....
Number 1- The weather for the last few days has been soooooo wet and windy (this poses such a challenge for dress wearing).
Number 2- I was having a 'what shall I wear/nothing too wear' day.
Number 3- we were in a hurry to get out of the house, so much so the hubby and kids were already waiting in the car and I felt under a huge amount of pressure to get dressed quickly. Added to this pressure was the nagging thought that it had to be a 'great' dress- word has got out locally about my challenge and I've had afew ladies come up to me in public asking about my dress/challenge etc. Don't get me wrong I love this, their support, interest and inspiration is fab!
I literally sat on my bed and cried surrounded by a pile of rejected dresses!
Thoughts running through my mind- why did start this? Why did I throw away my leggings? (So glad I did as I may have weakened) Who actually cares what I wear?
But then I remembered the whole reason I began 'The year of the dress' was to tackle moments like this! I wanted to create a wardrobe of easy to wear, feel good, 'whatever the weather' outfits. Creating that was never going to be easy! It was always going to involve tough, low points that test my resolve.
As I was now really pushed for time (remember the kids & hubby in the car?!) so I pulled on my 80's Debenhams day dress (worn earlier in the week) and decided that rainy days only affect footwear! As long as your feet stay dry and your coat is suitable to protect from the rain, the outfit underneath can be whatever you desire! I think I've just created myself my first 'rule'- I hate rules!
So today was a day of activity! Walking the dog in the rain and wind- no ones favourite job! And then swimming session with my littlest boy! Both provide individual challenges when wearing a dress!
My frock of choice today helped me tackle my day! It is a 'bodycon' dress from H&M, part of their Autumn/winter collection 2012. An oldie, but a favourite! It is so easy to wear as it's quite thin fabric so I can add layers to keep warm. It goes well with tights and boots, heels or pumps! I've dressed it up for a night out by adding heels, sparky diamanté jewellery and seamed tights. It also served me well during the first few months of my last pregnancy!
Today I wore it with a purple boyfriend cardi, purple patent brogues and my cute 1940's inspired beret!
So what's a 'bodycon' dress?
Short for 'body conscious', meaning it clings to you body highlighting your curves! For some, making you conscious, for me it made me feel super sexy!
Written by the lovely Rose. She really documents the history of the 'bodycon' well!
I'm not the best at keeping my clothes for more than 2 seasons but this dress is just so easy to wear (and wash) plus it has lasted really well. It's held its 'shape' and not got baggy or shrunk. The colour has lasted well too!
Unexpectedly I always receive a lot of complements when wearing this dress as apparently it makes me look slimmer! Bonus! It's probably one of my 'top 5 dresses'! Do you have a favourite dress? Do share!
Sundays are my day off! Day off of hair styling and make up! Just comfy clothes! But that still includes a dress, unless of course I stay in my night dress all day!
I've discovered that over sized jumpers teamed with thick tights (mine today were fleeced lined!) make a perfect 'Sunday dress'.
In order to make Sundays less about photos of me looking 'lazy' I will mix it up abit and share my #hotdressfinds #styletips and #dreamdresses.
So today I will share a pic of a dress I love!
This dress was made famous by Grace Kelly in Rear Window. It has been copied 1000 times over and I'd love to own a copy!!
The biggest challenge for me, I should have known, will be uploading pics of myself onto social media. I HATE photos of myself! I'm rubbish at taking selfies! I think a 'selfie stick' might be required! Any advice for taking top notch selfies? I will also have to train up Mr K and my eldest son in taking flattering photos!
I won't upload daily pics on this blog, maybe just my best from the week. But I do plan to share a pic daily on Instagram. So make sure you follow me on there too! Vjvintagetreasures is moi!
Here's a pic of yesterday's dress! An old favourite from Sainsburys SS15!
Thanks for following! Don't forget to share your Fave dresses with me!
Who knew 2016 was the 'year of the frock'? Yeah me neither but it totally is...........well for me anyway!
As many of you know I own a vintage clothing boutique (www.facebook.com/vj vintage) selling a range of vintage inspired dresses (often referred to as 'repro') and genuine vintage clothing. Day in day out I meet ladies who put on a dress and feel fabulous! It got me thinking about my own wardrobe and how it had become 'sectioned'.
One section was my fabulous, favourite, (mainly) vintage dresses. I loved this section of my wardrobe! It was a joy to browse the rails and choose a dress! Wearing them made me feel feminine, confident and happy!
Section two was a jumble of baggy jumpers, cardi's, ill fitting trousers, jeans of various fit- bootcut, skinny,slim,etc and leggings 😱. None of these items made me feel good or feel like me. I wore them on days when I 'just couldn't be bothered'. On days I lacked self confidence and self esteem. But why?! Why wear clothing that perpetuated my negative body image?? Us ladies are strange creatures! No no no- 2016 will be a different story! It will be my year of looking fabulous, feeling fantastic and wearing only frocks! Well ok skirts count too but you get it........
Follow my journey, share my vintage frock finds, reviews of various repro brands and my charity shop bargains!
Are you brave enough to join me??? Maybe for the whole year? Maybe just 100 days? Or maybe for 'wear a dress daily in June'...... Who's in?