Saturday, 31 August 2013

Why are red vintage skirts so hard to find? Oh and Bettie Bangs again... yes I'm obsessed.

I have been on the look out for a good red skirt for a while. I knew I wanted it to be a bit floral but not too garish which is a combination that can be difficult to get right. Furthermore, I wanted it to sit just below the knee... and I wanted it to be a soft and reasonably floaty fabric. Not pleated. With a fitted waist. It didn't even have to be vintage. Right.

While I always love a good charity rummage I found hunting for a skirt like this to be very difficult! My observation seems to be that lots of charity shops have a huge number of blouses, a fair few dresses and not very many skirts, let alone vintage ones. I'm not sure if people just didn't wear skirts as often back then, or if maybe they wore them more so they don't last as long... who knows. If you can shed any light on that I'd love to know.

Anywho, what I did eventually find after a lot of browsing on eBay was this lovely little number:

Which was basically everything I was looking for :) I'm not sure what brand it is or even fabric it is as it has not labels but I didn't care. Its perfect! Even better - it only cost £4.

Skirt - eBay unknown brand
Blouse - Primark
Shoes - Lotta from Stockholm
Hairband - Accessorize
Belt - Charity Shop
Sunglasses - North Laines Brighton

Now you might have also notices that I've had a bit of a trim. My fringe was getting a bit unruly again so I bought some hairdressing scissors from Boots and decided to do it properly. I have been trying to decide whether to go for the blunter shorter cut Bettie Bang lately and doing a quick search for Bettie Page gave me a few ideas.

Bettie Page's hair was probably her most iconic feature but I have to say sometimes it did look a bit wild, it have me hope that it might be more of a style I could be manage. I've popped a few images on here to show where some of my inspiration came from. I particularly like the ponytail variant! The bottom right is from the biopic film The Notorious Bettie Page which is really worth checking out as it is very good.

...and here is my hair!

I don't think I did a bad job although the cut needs to relax a little bit and I LOVE the fact that it will take that little bit of extra time before it gets too long again :)

In other news I have began plotting costumes for London's MCM Expo in October, I can't wait to get my hands on my sewing machine to get going with that ;)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Hooping Around...

So... I got a new toy.

A hula hoop! But not just any hoop, one of those weighted exercise hoops, because like many of us out there, I want to trim my waist. I've heard that hula hooping can do wonders for toning your mid section as long as you stick at it. At present I am about good enough to go for 30-60s on a good turn, but I don't usually keep it up for any longer than that, but with a bit of practice maybe I'll be able to do some tricks? Hey, I can dream right?

So for your viewing pleasure, here are a few completely embarrassing pictures of me getting hoopy...

What do you think of red and orange?  Does it work?

This is a bit of a 90s combo, the dress is a St. Michaels grungy number I got from a charity shop and the cardigan is also M&S but considerably more recent. The headscarf was for hiding my ugly bendy rollers and although you can't see in these pictures, it has little blue and red cats on it - so cute! The shoes are a favourite of mine, they are Topshops current stock and are the cutest little T-bar flatties I believe on they are listed as 'geek shoes' not that I'm really sure what that means but I thought they'd work okay.

Oh yeah, turns out hula hoops are quite good for working out your arms too!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A Yellow 1970s Dress

You know, I can't help but think that this outfit was somehow inspired by bees... Even with that in mind I do still like the combination of yellow with bits of black.

When I spotted this dress on eBay I knew I had to have it! It is pretty difficult to find a good yellow dress and I was really pleased that it turned out okay once it arrived. I'm not sure what brand it is as the labels aren't very descriptive. It was sold to me as a 1970s dress and I can believe that is about right, although in my head the 70s was filled with more drab browns than bright yellows, but maybe I'm just being a bit judgemental there...

The dress does have a check pattern to it and a reasonably full skirt. It came with a matching fabric belt, but I rather liked the contrasting belt too. I wore some black shoes that came from Topshop that gave me an awful blister, but oh well, hopefully with a bit of breaking in they will be okay.

Dress - eBay
Shoes -Topshop (via eBay)
Belt & Socks - Primark
Hair Flowers - Accessorize
Sunglasses - North Laines Stall

I added a couple of hair flowers to go with my curly hair although it was fairly windy so any styling I had done was completely pointless but never mind.

I met up with Sadie of The Vanity Case for a wander around Brighton and we popped into Taj's Tea Parlour for a quick drink. I had a popcorn tea which was a little bit weird, but yummy, and it came in a huge pot which made me happy. We were too full to try any of the cakes but they did look quite good, I'll have to go back and let you know how they are :)

 Look how gorgeous that tea pot is!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Clogs from Sweden with Lotta's from Stockholm

I have been dithering over summer shoes for some time now, even though summer is nearly over... I really struggle to find comfortable sandals, ballet pumps that fit and shoes that don't shred my feet when I don't wear socks...

The idea of getting some vintage style Swedish clogs has been floating around and there are several brands available for varying prices but since I am waiting for my first pay check I felt a more budget friendly option was important. I came across Lotta's from Stockholm via their eBay shop which has pretty extensive stock but nowhere near as much as their online store.

I decided to buy a pair of red low heeled peep toe shoes to try out. They have featured in a few posts already (here and here) and to my surprise they turned out to be pretty comfortable once they were broken in, but they did take a few outings to soften the leather up and break them in. The low heel meant that the soul was also pretty comfortable and the orthopaedic sole means that my rubbish fallen arches were well supported. One little note on these shoes would be that they are quite big fitting, I usually take a size 40 and I ended up with a 39 in this style although you are well warned about this on their shop information.

I spoke briefly to the folks at Lotta's and they sent me a second pair to review free of charge! I decided to try out a different style so I chose the braided style in a higher heel and in that tan colour that goes with everything. I had to order a size bigger than the red style as they were a more average fit, however I will say that they took more breaking in than the red pair. The braids themselves were very tight when I first received them, but with some pulling and a bit of in house wearing they soon stretched to fit. They are less easy to walk in for long periods of time than the low heel but they're not too bad once you get used to wearing a heel. It probably isn't such a big deal if you're not a complete high-heel wuss like me!

All in all I'd say for this type of shoe Lotta's are pretty good value at half the price of some of the other brands. I can't speak too much on durability but I've been wearing them quite a bit for most of August and they seem to be still going strong!

Of course it wouldn't be a blog post without an outfit too! So here is the dress I wore my tan clogs with when I had the photos taken. It is from BHS but I have no idea when, it has shoulder pads which makes me think the 1980s, but the colours seem a bit off for that although I think the style looks quite 80s too. Anywho, I love this dress' pastel florals, it has an elasticated back but its so old the elastic has stretched indefinitely so I needed to re-sew pleats back into the back of the dress - I think I got away with it though :)

What shoes do you wear in the summer?

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Brighton Pride 2013

Well well well, what a way to come back to Brighton - for Pride weekend! After living in Brighton for 4 years I managed to miss pride every year, mainly because it always fell in August which was when I seemed to end up taking annual-leave during my PhD.

Not this time though! This time I managed to hit it about right, time wise, however I have been living out of a suitcase so I didn't really have the wardrobe resources to be able to truly dress for the occasion. I think Pride is a great excuse to celebrate how far LGBT rights have come, but are also a reminder that there is further to go.

Overall though Pride is a great opportunity to get dressed up, to dance in the street and celebrate diversity and equality. It is great to know that so many other people are able to happy to celebrate too - including cafes, shops and individuals. I loved seeing the shop windows all done up - especially choccywoccydoodah! With their Friends of Dorothy cakes, they looked so good!

I absolutely loved this boutique window with the wedding dress accompanied by rainbow shoes!

Of course, then there was the parade! There were lots of different floats, and many people on food too, I couldn't really get close enough to take amazing pictures, but I wanted to show my favourite floats:

Since I didn't have a rainbow dress I had to make so with a red and blue multi stripe dress that is Per Una at M&S via eBay and cost £9.99. I also got some new sunglasses from a stall in Brighton and they had an exaggerated vintage wing style which I really liked the look of.

I put my hair up in lots of twists on the top of my head which I think worked quite well and helped keep it out of the way in the summer heat.

Have you ever been to a Pride event?

Dita Wig Winner - and a Discount Code too...

First of all I would like to thank everyone for the entries into the competition I had some really great suggestions for where to wear the wig! Everything from wearing it out to the shops, for special events, to surprise friends and family or to shed one's inhibitions and dress in something new and unexpected.

I'm really glad to see so many people embracing wigs as a way to change their look :)

Anywho the lucky winner of the wig is *drumroll*

Carrie T! - I'll be in contact on the email you signed up with to arrange delivery.

But there's more!

For those that didn't win, I do have a special offer from Wonderland Wigs:

If you type in the code FANCY at checkout on their site you will get a Fancy Dresscapades exclusive discount of 10% off any order (excluding human-hair extensions).

Enjoy getting your wig on everyone!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Cotton Tail Club Brighton Blogger Meet

Back in Brighton I was invited to the Brighton Blogger Meet Up at Cotton Tail Club and hosted by Hayley of Vintage Vessel, Sadie from The Vanity Case and Matt from Southern Retro. The event was held at the regular night Cotton Tail Club at Above Audio in Brighton and I felt lucky to make it back to the south just in time to go to the meet up. In my experience Cotton Tail Club is a fairly relaxed night with good half price cocktails and lovely tunes spun by resident DJs The Gin Slingers.  

I was really really stressed about what to wear (cue complaint about living out of a suitcase...) and in the end I chose a dress from Monsoon that I felt had a bit of a 60s vibe to it. Sadly I had to spoil the outfit with a cardigan as this was the one day with bad weather in the last two weeks. I'm not really sure what happened to my hair that day, for some reason it ended up being huge! Which is one type of achievement, but not exactly what I was after with this outfit... oh well, I got rained on anyway so never mind.

Devil Horns?

A special for the bloggers meet meant there were a few stalls including some rather lovely hats from B Millinery and some extra special discounted cocktails containing Bootlegger WGS (my favourite contained Amaretto and Blootlegger and was called Flaming Boot).

I got chatting to a few bloggers and vintage specialists including Liz from Advantage in Vintage who has a great vintage eBay and Etsy store (and a love of Laura Ashley!) and another Liz aka Miss PeelPants.

A trio of vintage DJs

Upon entering we were each given a raffle ticket for a cocktail and an entry into a draw to win a bottle of the Bootlegger. And guess what? I won! Here is a picture of me with Ginger Fizz of the Gin Slinger and the, beautifully presented I might add, prize. There are some really good recipes on the Bootlegger website here so I am going to experiment with those later - thanks Cotton Tail Club!

I also got some sunglasses from Bobby & Dandy's stall and a lovely scarf from Beyond Retro who were giving them away with a handy tote bag.

I do love a good blogger event, hopefully I'll get to go to another soon!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Leaving Durham in a Summer Hat, Monsoon Dress and with some New Headphones

Hi everyone, I'm pretty overwhelmed by the response to my Dita wig competition, I'm so pleased to have so many people interested :) The winner will be announced the day after the competition ends - exciting!

Anywho this is my last post with pictures in Durham for a while as I am in the process of moving. I am currently staying in Hove after ferrying some of my things to the South East while I wait for references on a flat in Tunbridge Wells to go through. So its all change!

Since the weather has been so nice all over the country I have been enjoying wearing some light and airy dresses. But it also means I am able to wear a big sun hat and not look silly - YES!

For one of my final trips into Durham I wore a really light dress from Monsoon a few years ago. I managed to pick it up in the sale for around £25 which isn't too bad, to me it has a sort of 1970s feel with lovely crochet detail around the neckline and a floaty skirt. I find white dresses are usually really difficult to wear, but this one is lined underneath so its not see-through.


I teamed the dress with some contrasting red shoes (there will be more on those in a later post) and a red belt. But my favourite item is my wide-brimmed summer straw hat. This hat came from a charity shop and cost £5 it needed a little bit of work to re-secure the ribbon around the middle but it didn't cause too much trouble given the bargain price.

Just one little side note is that I also got some new headphones. I really like bigger over ear headphones as I find the little in ear ones so uncomfortable but finding big ones that fit well and have the kind of look that goes with my wardrobe can be quite difficult. What I did find was a great pair of Panasonic headphones that have a retro vibe and come in a range of colours, they weren't cheap at £30 but I find that for a good sound unfortunately you tend to need to pay a bit more :( Let me know if you've found any cheaper ones that do the job too I'm always open to more headphones!

That's all for now! See you soon for more adventures in the south!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Blog Give-Away! 'Dita' from Wonderland Wigs

Alright everyone! I have a special post for you today. A little while ago I did a post about the Dita wig from Wonderland Wigs and as part of that I was given an extra Dita wig worth £24.99 to give away to one lucky blog reader!

You can read my review of the Dita von Teese inspired wig here, but it was a really nice shape and style and in general I think Wonderland's Wigs are great quality. The wig is brand new so if you have ever considered experimenting with a vintage inspired shorter style then maybe this is the way for you!

The Dita from Wonderland Wigs site

Here is me trying out my version of the same wig:

To win the wig you can gain entries following, commenting or tweeting and by using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Green Floral Vintage Dress Part II - Fountains Abbey

This is a little post where I just wanted to share a few pictures of one of my favourite vintage dresses (again). We took a little detour on the way beck from Leyburn a few weeks ago and visited Fountains Abbey it was a weird mix of sunshine and rain so I took the chance to snap a few pictures.

I do like taking trips to National Trust places but this time I didn't go into the Abbey area this day as it was late and I didn't think I would get my moneys worth by going in (although I have been before and would totally recommend it), but there is a very large park area that is free to visit and frolic in.

This is outside the main deer park entrance to the area it has a lovely lake with lots of ducks (and lots of duck poo!)

Fountains Abbey is a strange sort of place with lots of huge trees which are fun for climbing on, but I was worried about climbing in my wedges and a vintage dress...

What is your favourite place for a day trip? Can you recommend any in Sussex and Kent?

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Leyburn 1940s weekend 2013

For the second year in a row my family and I took a trip to the Leyburn 1940s weekend. The event runs for the whole of the weekend but while prepping to move and such I was too busy to make it both days and had to head down for the Sunday. The morning weather wasn't great, it rained, the wind blew and the clouds were in the way of the lovely sunshine, but during the car drive things started to clear up and eventually the sun broke out.

I don't think the event was a big as it was last year, or maybe the sad morning weather kept people away, but there was a general buzz about the town centre and there were plenty of people dressed up in period clothing.


The square was filled with re-enactors, singers, performers and people taking part in the remembrance service - an awful lot was going on. There was also lots of room for dancing, whether that was in the station while waiting for the steam train to arrive or in the main square. At one point there were several people doing the charleston stroll to Sing, Sing, Sing which I couldn't help but join in with.

I also managed to get a bit of time to dance with the Mr. which was nice as its been a little while since we danced together.

There were a few stalls selling vintage clothing and trinkets which made for some good browsing and I got a lovely little vintage dress that I'm sure will be making an appearance on here shortly!

As for my outfit, I decided to go with something authentic. I have a lovely green and faun floral tea dress that I think is from the 1940-1950s judging from the size, fabric and finishings. This dress is a labour of love of mine. I bought it on eBay for around £26 but it had some holes that needed sewing and the bows on the sleeves needed fixing too (to be honest a price I was willing to pay for such a lovely dress). It wasn't really that much work, but it could use a bit more TLC once I get access to my sewing machine again.

I matched the dress with a pair of green sandals from Clarks via eBay, a vintage hat and beautiful gloves that I bought at Leyburn the previous year.

I was also really lucky to have my mum with me and she is a great photographer so I spent a bit of time posing, naturally, but I really have her to thank for the great photos in this post (by the way you can see her stuff on Instagram here).

Here are a couple of photos of me in front of a replica Spitfire, it was pretty cool!

Have you ever been to a vintage weekend?

You may also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...