Tuesday, 19 January 2016

First skirt alert!

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? 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

So far so good!

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

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Outfit planning is a thing??!

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.....

My first wobble.........

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! 
1- The weather doesn't dictate the outfit! 
I wonder if I'll discover more???

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Oldie but favourite.....

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! 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Lazy Sundays!

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! 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Welcome....... Put on a frock and join in!

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?