Sunday, 29 March 2015

You can always trust Cath Kidston to brighten up a spring day!

 Is it spring yet? Spring and Autumn are my favourite times of year as you don't get the extremes of weather and you can really work on layering. The only problem is that sometimes in those months fashion can get a bit dingy and boring.

With the dregs of my Christmas money I ventured into the Cath Kidston sale and I found this amazing bright floral tea dress and lovely red cardigan. I simply couldn't help my self. Especially when I discovered that the dress had pockets!

I have a couple of Cath Kidston cardigans now and I have to say that I find them to be one of the better fitting styles of cardigans. I find that the yarn is high quality and it doesn't stretch horribly when I inevitably roll the sleeves up and it also is able to be buttoned up fully while also having enough stretch to not hang limp when its open. YEY! Living the cardigan dream!

I continued with the colour theme with some burgundy tights and my vintage moreland boots (that have been so well worn the sole on one of them fell off recently!!).

I decided to wear my vintage camel coat with the dress and cardigan. I think the camel colour is a lovely contrast for the red

What do you think? What brands do you trust for a splash of colour?

Outfit details
Dress: Cath Kidston
Cardigan: Cath Kidston
Shoes: Vintage Morelands
Coat: Vintage
Hat: Accessorize

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Casual Cosplay: Harley Quinn meets Vivien of Holloway

Some time ago I entered a costume competition run on the Vivien of Holloway facebook page. I didn't win it, but I had a lot of fun putting together this little casual cosplay.

The challenge was to create a costume using a Vivien of Holloway dress so I decided to use my Peggy Lee dress. The red colour and the white collar really reminded me of Harley Quinn so I decided to throw together a vintage inspired Harley look.

I made this look by tacking the diamonds on to the dress. I tacked them on very badly because it was just for a one off but I would applique then neatly if I was going to do this again.

I also wore two pairs of tights, in this instance I didn't cut the tights, but I would have cut them and re sewn them if I wanted to wear this costume again.

It was also a great opportunity to break out the Worbla mask again and the blonde wig.

I also decided to have a little fun with some prop signs...

Have you ever thrown a costume together in a rush? Did it work?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

A post about one of my best charity shop finds to date!!! EEK! A vintage early 60s Harrods dress!

I've been very much neglecting my charity shop duties of late as I've been trying to cut back a little bit and save some money. However I missed my train home a few weeks ago so I decided to have a peek in the local charity shop Hospice in the Weald. This is one of the better charity shops in my area as they have a really good mix of items.

Anywho, I was drawn immediately to a blue sleeve on the dress rail and absolutely delighted to to pull out this 1960s shirt waister dress - in my size!!

Things got better still when I checked inside for labels and found the label saying Harrods. EEP! A lovely dress, true vintage and from Harrods? How could it get any better?!?!

Price tag: £6.

Well how could I not get it...

(On a side note I used Vintage Fashion Guild for label checking - they are an amazingly useful resource for the vintage gal/chap)

The only downside was that it was unlined, however I wore it with a vintage slip and I don't think you would ever know the difference.

All in all I thought it was a delightful find. It is also worth noting that this post was one of the earliest with my freshly coloured hair. I think it goes rather well with the dress and belt!

And one last one with my vintage Laura Ashley coat:

What is your best charity shop find?

Outfit Details:
Dress: Vintage Harrods
Belt: Vintage (from my Nanna)
Scarf: Gift
Coat: Vintage Laura Ashley

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The day I saw a random vintage 1950s caravan...

I visited my parents in Durham not long ago and while I was wandering around the city centre I came across this delight!

The folks at Beamish were out promoting their new development a 1950s area!! For those of you that don't know Beamish it is huge interactive museum that allows its visitors to experience living history. So far most of the developments have been areas based on the late 1890s and earlier 1900s. Which is brilliant in itself, but the fact they want to open a 1950s area is soooo exciting!

I also got to nip in and have a look inside the caravan and while I loved some of the decor...

I wouldn't say I was enamoured with the facilities - just look at that sink!

A question vintage enthusiasts are often asked is whether they would rather live now, or in one of their chosen decades. I can certainly say I would rather live now than in the 1950s... I've watched enough Call the Midwife to know that!

What is also really cool about the whole development is that Beamish are running a competition for your house to be built in the area if it is a post-war semi. Because the North East was so damaged by bombing in WWII there are a lot of these types of houses in the area so I think it is a great chance to get involved. Here are the details.

If you haven't been to Beamish and you visit the North East I would highly recommend it. I've had a great time whenever I've been (I went for Halloween last year, you can read about that here).

The ladies that were promoting the new development were really nice, when I walked up to them one of them even said 'oh, you look like you should come work with us.'
Not exactly true but I appreciated the comment.

Here is what I was wearing:

Oh boy did the Collectif sale ruin me this month! I know I go on and on about this brand, but when you're a bigger lass it is sometimes really hard to find true vintage in your size. Both the jumper and skirt are from Collectif and this jumper is becoming a fast favourite of mine!

I also adore how swishy this skirt is!

Do you think you could spend a week in a vintage caravan?

Outfit details:
Jumper: Collectif
Skirt: Collectif
Hat: Accessorize
Shoes: Clarks

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Review: A Rapunzel dress for World Book Day (even if it is the Disney version...)

I have always been a big fan of fair tales, whether that come in the form of a Disney Movie, or the original word of mouth tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm. Something about those fantasy worlds always thrilled and excited me. The adventures of unfortunate Princesses were always the ones that really got me particularly excited. I think fairytales have an important place in European literature as they are often a gateway for many children into the world of reading and (feminism issues aside) the value of these stories cannot be underestimated.

I think that's why I am drawn to these characters for World Book Day (March 5th in case you were wondering) and I don't think there is anything wrong with using the Disney versions of these characters for fancy dress as they are far more recognisable. This year my work is having a 'Girl Power' theme for World Book Day and I have been thoroughly exploring costume options.

The costume website All Fancy Dress very kindly offered to help me out and sent me a Disney's Tangled Rapunzel costume to check out. The costume is made by costume manufacturer Rubies and is officially licensed by Disney so I had high expectations. In the interest of fairness in this review all pictures are taken with the dress completely unaltered - this is literally how it came out of the packet.

The costume arrived in a packet that was similar to most other fancy dress costumes (it also arrived the next day after it was ordered so I can highly recommend their quick service) and it consisted of the dress only. All other accessories such as the wig, hair flowers and frying pan are my own.

As far as the overall look the dress has the right colour and style to match Rapunzels dress, I appreciated little details like the netting on the sleeves and the lace decoration on the waistline and neck. There is a mix of fabrics used, most of the dress is made form that light weight satin-type fabric that so many costumes are made from. It is cheap fabric, but to get a princess dress made in anything else would cost a lot of money so I don't mind, I think the shiny-ness works as an advantage on a gown like this anyway as it makes it appear more full.

Surprisingly I found this dress very comfortable to wear and I thought it fit quite well. I ordered the medium or 12-14 as I had read reviews saying that the bust was ample and the dress was quite a large fit. I found that the front of the bodice fit very well and there was a stretchy panel on the back to accommodate larger sizes. I found that this bunched up around the waist a little bit but it was a fairly minimal problem. In an ideal world I would like something much more sturdy in the bodice and waist, but without having a costume specially made you will probably never find that in a fancy dress costume. 

I would have liked to see the waist lace going all the way around the back too...
In side the dress and attached to the waist is a mini petticoat that is about 8 inches long. It has a lining inside with a netting overlay to give the dress a bit of fullness on the hips. I am not entirely sure what this added to the dress as Rapunzel isn't especially noted for curvaceous figure and her dress is one of the more slim line of the Disney Princesses (not counting Elsa of course!). I am also a woman with a very ample set of hips so I really didn't need any additional full ness so I am considering taking this out for future use of this dress but it really is a minimal issue and could be done very easily.

That grass was COLD!!!!!
 Overall I am pleased with the general look of the dress and for a fancy dress costume you can get away with wearing straight out of the bag £35.99 isn't too bad a price.

I did notice that the official picture of the costume the bodice looks a lot longer and I found the bodice to be quite short in real life. This is something that isn't a problem for me as I have quite a short torso but perhaps it is something to bear in mind if you are longer in the body.

 I used the blonde wig form my Princess Zelda costume and applied some hair flowers of my own. I know that this wig is no-where near long enough to be like Rapunzel's, but I think it is long enough to give mostly the desired effect... I hope at least!

At the time of publishing All Fancy Dress had sold out of Rapunzel costumes, but did have several other Disney Princess, like Snow White and Cinderella. They also have a dedicated World Book Day section with plenty of suggestions for both adults and children - and their quick delivery means that you still have time to get a costume before World Book Day on the 5th of March (you know you want to!!!)

Friday, 27 February 2015

How long are you allowed to wear Christmas jumpers/cardigans for? Is this even a Christmas cardigan!?

Apologies up front on this one readers, it may be a little ranty... 

I was a work the other day and I was wearing the cardigan featured in this post. A young person (a teenage girl, the font of all fashionable wisdom, after all) said to me; 'why on earth are you wearing that cardigan? Don't you know its not Christmas any more?'

She said it with such conviction that I though I must have committed some kind of heinous crime against fashion. Now I utterly understand that if I was wearing a bright red jumper with Santa on it or a large red nosed reindeer, then sure, that's a bit too Christmassy for February. But a fair isle snowflake cardigan?

Allow me to defend myself for a moment:
1. This cardigan is really very, very warm.
2. It is from Primark (via charity shop, yes I'm that cheap) and it was from about 5 years ago when         Christmas jumpers weren't the phenomenon they are now.
3. It only has little reindeer and snowflakes on it...
4. I was going for this sort of look with a blue pencil skirt and white blouse:

So I suppose I am asking for advice. It this too much for a cold February day? What do you think, does fair isle automatically equal christmassy?

On a side note, I know I've shown this vintage sailor dress before, but now I have a vintage Laura Ashley wool riding coat to go with it!! I honestly can't describe my love affair with this coat this winter, it was one of my better charity shop finds of late (well apart from my 1960s Harrods dress, more on that later) and was an utter steal at only £20!

Red scarf, not so glamorous...

And a further side, side note, look how white my hair is! I am not officially a badger and I'm in my 20s! Late 20s yes, but still. I'm really glad I recently got chosen to work with Vidal Sassoon to trial some new hair dye - more on that later too. If fact, you may have seen a little on this already if you follow my instagram (@fancydresscapades).

So there we have it. Help me out please, should I pack away my fair isle cardigans?

Outfit details:
Cardigan: Primark via charity shop
Dress: Vintage Laura Ashley
Coat: Vintage Laura Ashley
Scaft: Gift
Shoes: Hotter (gift)

Friday, 20 February 2015

Giveaway and Review! Hair colour transformation with Vidal Sassoon Salonist

So lately I have been complaining a lot about my badger hair, by that I mean the grey patches at the top and sides, and I have finally decided to do something about it.

The decision to change was brought on as I was selected by Savvy Circle to try out Vidal Sassoon's new hair colour Salonist (you've probably seen it advertised on the TV quite a bit lately).

So here is s sneek peek, but all I have to say first is what a change!! 

I was really excited to try out Salonist. I've never experienced a hair dye quite like this, the trick is that it is a two step process where you apply with a brush at the roots first and then add a serum to the colour mixture to colour the lengths of the hair.

I used the medium intense red (5/45.2) but with my hair being quite dark I wasn't expecting a super bright red, but I was after a deep auburn. 

Savvy Circle also sent me a VS towel
I actually had some concerns about the whole roots then lengths part as I though it would end up multi coloured but I was really pleased to see that it didn't at all. The only place where I got some colour variation was on my grey where the red was much brighter, but that's to be expected when you have your white in badger patches. I'm sure this would give a great natural highlight effect if you have grey all over, which I don't.

Not that I have enough grey for it to be a problem.

Badger hair, or rogue from X-men hair?

Here is a quick glamourous selfie while I was waiting for the dye to take. I was really pleased that it wasn't drippy at all, although I did find the colour around my skin to be a bit alarming, however this washed away no problem.

After 30 minutes I washed out the dye, I did find that this took a while, but I have a lot of hair. The whole process from start to finish was around an hour and 15 minutes which included a 30 minute waiting time, a conditioning treatment and rinsing time.

I then let my hair dry a little and put it up into a lazy wet set, and the best part was that there was no colour bleed onto my pillow over night! Phew!

But more than anything else, the best part of the whole process, was taking out my wet set and finding my hair looking like this: 

I think I managed to get my deep auburn colour. I'm super happy with it.

So I am only just in the second week of my freshly dyed hair so I will have to up date you as time goes on but so far I am impressed!

Now over to you lot! Would you like to have a go at dying your hair with Salonist? Savvy Circle sent me three additional shades to give away and you could win the shade of your choice.

Here are the three colours I have on offer:

Darkest Intense Violet 3/66.2
Light Neutral Brown 6/0
Medium Neutral Blonde 8/0

If you would like to win you need to:

  • Enter your details in the Rafflecopter below.
  • You must submit your colour choice in the comments below too.
I will draw a winner at random that will get their first choice of colour, then draw further winners until all colours are selected. Open world wide although our post is super slow :(

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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