Friday, 25 July 2014

Thrifty Outfit: A Splash of Colour on a Rainy Day

In amongst the scorching days we've had in Tunbridge Wells so far this summer there have also been a few really hellish thunder storms. 

Since its not cold but it is rainy a light rain coat is a must for this time of year. Now rain macs come in all shapes and sizes but my favourite one for brightening up a rainy day at the moment is this blue number from M&S.

I believe this coat is Limited Collection from a few years back and I got it in a second hand shop for under £10 (just). Its shower proof, lined and it has a hood. I think its a slightly too bright colour, but I find that it goes with so many different colours (red/yellow/green/black) that it really isn't a problem.

The jumper was bought online and has a lovely bit of beadwork around the neck. The skirt if old St. Michael stock and is the best shade of green.

Obligatory I'm wearing a hood shot:

Rain Coat: M&S via eBay
Jumper: Unknown via eBay
Skirt: St. Michael via charity shop
Shoes: Clarks

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hands on History: WWI Dress Up - A Nurse From the Great War

While I was a Penhurst place the other week they were having a bank holiday weekend special. Hands on History (and here for their facebook group) were visiting for a WWI themed dress up and photo gallery and a bit of paintballing. They had a mix of authentic and replica costumes and naturally since dress up is a passion of mine I decided to have a go.

This was an authentic WWI uniform:

The one that caught my eye was the replica nurses uniform.

My mum, aunt and grandmother are/were nurses so nursing has always been a big part of my family life. So naturally I am drawn to old nurses uniforms. In fact so is my mum, she has a replica blue nurses uniform from the 1940s and she wants me to make a cape for her to go with it.

I couldn't help but be inspired by these women who served in both of the great wars, or in fact any war, it must be such a tough job I can't even imagine. And the uniforms, while designed that way for very specific reasons, they do not look like the most comfortable outfits.

Image Source
So here is me in the uniform. It was about 4 layers (depending on what you count as a layer) and it was made of quite a thick heavy cotton. I didn't have appropriate shoes to wear in this instance but I was reliably told that the nurses would have worn simple lace up black boots, but you'll have to use your imagination on that front.

Layering wise there was the grey dress, the thick cotton apron, the gauntlet sleeves, the removable cuff, the cape, the hair cover and the hat...

As I was thinking that all of those layers must have been inconvenient I realised that they were there for a reason. A really sad reason. These nurses were dealing with so many injured soldiers that they needed elements of this outfit that could be changed quickly. It really did make me think long and hard about nurses in war. Not that their job is any harder than an one else's in the war, but its something that feels a little closer home than others.

I can say from first hand experience that dressing the part really makes you think about history in a new way! I hope that I manage to encounter Hands on History somewhere else in life as I'd really like to do something like this again!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Vintage Hair Inspiration: Retro Rolls

Ahhhh, victory rolls, poodles, twists and beehives, I love them all. I especially like elevated pin curls (a roll that sits up on top of your head rather than lying flat on your head) largely because they look good on the day, but because they make your hair wonderfully curly after you take them out too.

This is the type of thing I mean, somewhere between victory rolls and a poodle do:

Image source
So now that my hair is getting longer again I have decided to experiment with up dos again.

Here's a more recent attempt at an elevated curl up do:

I'm currently finding my fringe super annoying as I have decided to grow it out and it is too short to do anything with it yet. But soon it will be long enough to get it out the way. Hopefully. As soon as its long enough I'll probably want a fringe again...

Oh well.

(P.S. Look how grey I am!!!)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Comics Unmasked at the British Library and a Vintage Dress

Why hello everyone! Last weekend I went to the Comics Unmasked exhibition at the British Library. It was a really interesting exhibition that covered so many aspects of comic book culture that are still contentious issues today and showed rather excellently how much influence British writers and artists had on comic book culture.

We spent about two hours in the exhibition, which I think is actually quite a lot, and they had comics from victorian era right through to modern ones from this year. My favourite part was seeing original pages of artwork full constructed, in some cased you can see where the sketch lines are and when tip-ex was used to remove errors and to highlight. One thing I learned was that in many cased the text bubbles were stuck directly over the panels in the old fashioned way. I thought they were amazing. Sadly photography wasn't allowed.

They were selling a whole load of really cool merchandise, from comic books to notebooks and buttons:

Since the weather's been so nice lately I decided to wear a sleeveless vintage dress. I love the mix of colours on this, I think its 80s (based largely on the colour) but I do think it fits quite well with a rockabilly style look. So that's how I wore it.

I added a wide cinch belt, matching red ballet pumps and cats eye glasses. One of my favourite accessories at the moment is my moonglow necklace, I've become a bit obsessed with retro and vintage plastic jewellery so finding a super shiny red necklace was a total winner.

To go with the dress I put the hair in a bumper bang. If I'm honest I am amazed by how neat I managed to get it - that pretty much never happens!

Sunglasses: North Laines Brighton
Necklace: Vintage/Thrifted
Shoes: M&S
Belt: Primark
Scarf: Vintage

What do you think of the outfit combo? I wonder if I would make a good comic book character?

Monday, 30 June 2014

Vintage style with a Hell Bunny dress from Tiger Milly

 Hello everyone!

Today I want to tell you about a gorgeous dress I was sent c/o Tiger Milly, an online shop that specialises in vintage style and rockabilly clothing.

In particular, they have a lot of Hell Bunny dresses. Now Hell Bunny are a brand I have come across before and worn on a few occasions so I was very excited to work with Tiger Milly to style up a dress of my choice *lucky*.

After a lot of deliberation I decided to go with the Francine dress in green. Now I know that red and green should 'never been seen' but I truly believe this dress is the exception to that rule, there is something about the colour combination on this dress that is just so visually striking. AND it reminded me of Snow White - what's not to love.

I should mention that while I was on my jaunt about town, I received no less that FOUR compliments on my outfit from complete strangers. I am definitely not used to that and I attempted to be gracious, but I think I probably just came across as a bit embarrassed. None-the-less it was a rather lovely way to debut a new dress!

When I left the house I was also wearing a red cardigan but that was quickly removed as the sun came out. I continued the red and green them with red sunglasses, my vintage moonglow necklace and some red ballet pumps.

The dress itself was actually a much lighter colour than I expected, somehow really floaty and light which was absolutely perfect for a warm summer day. 

Then there was the skirt. This dress well and truly passed the swish test with loads of fabric to give a great twirl.

Since it was hot I sort of piled all of my hair on top of my head in a sort of rolley way. I'm so sick of my semi-grown-out-fringe now, I feel like it's limiting my choice of styles at this point. But oh well, I suppose if you can't do the time, don't do the crime (never let me get a fringe again!).

Dress: Hell Bunny c/o Tiger Milly
Beads: Vintage via charity shop
Shoes: M&S
Cardigan: M&S via charity shop

What do you think to red and green?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Spring to Summer Florals: A One Pound Vintage Dress and a 99p Vintage Hat

A few weeks ago I was trawling my favourite charity shops and I came across this dress. Now, I'm usually quite against 100% polyester clothing as a rule, but I really lived the vibrant print on this dress and I thought the button across neckline was something different to the style I usually go for. The thing is though, the dress had a couple of split seams so the lady in the shop decided she would sell it for £1!

How could I not get it?!

Even better than the £1 dress was this hat that I got off eBay. For 99p. It is hard to find a good black vintage hat, especially a summer one, but this on was able to tick my boxes. 

I don't know if you've noticed but it seems that jelly shoes are the latest in thing but I'm not sure that any of those clunky 90s style ones that are so ubiquitous at the moment were for me.

What I do have, however, are these Vivien Westwood/Melissa flats that I got for my Princess Daisy costume back in October. They are soooo comfy and water proof so they are a perfect alternative to the clunky jelly shoes. Mine came from eBay and because they were second hand and from an auction ending at a really silly time, I managed to get them for a steal at £15!!

I thought with the bright floral look I was doing a pretty good job at blending in with the flowers around the park... sort of...

And finally:
How much grey hair do I have?! It is simply not right that someone under 30 should have this much... How long before I start to look like a badger?

Dress: Hospice in the Weald
Vintage Hat: eBay
Bag: Sue Ryder
Shoes: eBay

What do you think, a whole outfit for under £25!

What's your best thrifty outfit?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Summer Princess Daisy Cosplay Costume

I went to the Street Pass Brighton event a few weeks ago and I decided to dress for the occasion (you can read more about the event here). Since they were playing Mario Kart 8, I thought it would be a great change to get out my Princess Daisy costume again. The only thing is, that dress is big, it has poofy sleeves, its long and its all round too warm.

So I decided to make a summer version of my Daisy dress, a somewhat toned down version that I would be able to wear without dying of heat exhaustion.

I took inspiration from two of Daisy's looks. Mainly this fan picture showing her shorter dress and the top and shorts combo from all the Mario sports games.

I took the pattern I made for the other Daisy dress and widened the neckline and added binding to the arm holes instead of adding sleeves. I also did a flared gathered skirt rather than one with knife pleats to give it a bit more of a swishy fullness. I tried to make the orange trim a little more subtle as well by using a ribbon rather than making a full ruffle.

I used the same earrings, gloves and crown from the previous costume.

It was such a beautiful day, just windy enough to not be unbearable, and swishy enough to get some nice photos showing how swishy the skirt is. The band stand on the sea front is a lovely regal backdrop too!!

We also tok a few photos on the beach itself. We had to wait for it to be quiet enough, but eventually...

I have to say, walking around Brighton dressed as a princess was pretty fun! I think I want to have a go at a Disney princess costume too soon. Until then...

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