Saturday, 27 February 2016

Skirt love....

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??? 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

But I don't wear vintage........

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
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'............  

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

What's your body shape?????

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!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

One month in!

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-,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! 
Find them here-

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?