Friday, 27 September 2013

Purple polka dots and victory rolls

Here's a little dress I inherited from my mum when I moved from Durham. It is made by East which is not a brand I am typically drawn too as I tend to find the styles a little... erm... nana-ish. However this dress is more of a vintage style, my mum got it to wear at Pickering and the North Yorkshire Railways vintage weekend last year and we are a similar size so after a little bit of badgering I was able to borrow it.

Dress: East
Shoes: Clarks

I have to admit when it comes to doing my hair I have always totally sucked at doing the two victory rolls on the top of my head. I used to get away with doing them asymetrically but symetrical ones were always impossible for me. Of course since having a fringe cut in I can't really ge away with the one big roll look and I'm having to learn to do a bit better. I used this tutorial from the Cherry Doll Face to give me a better idea on what I was doing (she has some really great videos by the way) and I think I am starting to get it a bit better.  


The secret to getting the volume seems to be the back combing and teasing so I decided to buy a teasing/smoothing brush similar to the one she uses in the videos. I have found that Batiste dry shampoo is a miracle worker too when I need to give my hair a bit more texture for a style.

Here's a slightly closer look. I still haven't managed to make the rolls meet on the top of my head, but hey maybe next time. I was pretty pleased with how these ones turned out!

What are your top tips for doing vintage hair?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sailor Mars Costume Review

Something costumey for you today! I suppose since we are now in the run up to Halloween. Earlier this Dave from Otleyrun Fancy Dress wrote a guest post about getting high quality photos of costumes and outfits (it has some good tips, you can read it here) and we discussed the possibility of me reviewing a costume.

There is a lot of choice on the site and I was waiting for something really special to catch my eye, and oh how it did. They had Sailor Moon costumes in stock!

Now you need to understand that I have been a fan of Sailor Moon since I was a girl and I still watch the DVD collection on a regular basis, I have all the manga and I spent much of my teenage years drawing the characters. I LOVE SAILOR MOON!

So the chance to get my hands on a costume was something I had to jump at. The site had a few different costumes and my two favourite characters are Sailor Neptune and Sailor Mars. Overall I think I have a look closer to Sailor Mars so it made sense to pick that costume to review (costume tip number 1 - if you pick characters you look similar to you will have an easier job).

I was so excited waiting for my costume to arrive, and when it did I had to have a good look at it. I was pretty pleased to see that all the costume basics were covered including sailor dress, gloves, choker and tiara. The costume looks to be the super iteration of the outfit as the shoulders are the more pointy style rather than the rounded ones. The choker is a piece of ribbon with velcro on it, not exactly hi-tech but does the job and nicely matches the costume. The tiara is similar but since it will eventually be going under a big wig its not really something you'd be wanting to spend a lot of time on.

The main sailor dress was pretty good. Some of the stitching isn't perfectly straight, the stitching attaching the bow on the front needs a little re-enforcing it really needed a good press but overall it was pretty good for a costume. I'd say the quality matches that of most mass produced costumes you find, but the real plus of this one is the accuracy. Its near perfect. Its missing a few little accessories but the overall shape and style is spot-on. I will comment on the skirt as many sailor moon costumes you see have slightly longer skirts to *ahem* preserve dignity... bit sailor moon costumes are meant to be very short and this one seems to fall about right. I think if your slim you can get away with it, but I have a bit of junk in the trunk as they say so it comes up a bit short across the buttocks, but don't worry! I've got a great pair of pants to go with it when I wear it out so don't worry, most of my modesty will remain intact! 

I have to say though I was very very impressed with the gloves, they look a bit odd when you're not wearing them, but once they're on they look great! Just the right kind of shape.

I ended up with a size M of 10-12 which was a risky choice but the fabric on the bodice is stretchy and I didn't want it to be baggy. I think it looks okay just.

Now I am only posting one picture as I'd like to save a full reveal once I have a whole costume put together. I still need a few accessories like the long wig, a brooch and shoes etc. but as a costume its nearly there. I think if you weren't such a costume pedant you could definitely get away with it as-is bur you know me, I've got to do it properly.

I am DEFINITELY looking forward to MCM Expo now. My other costume is a secret and I am making that one from scratch so it is great to have a second day costume that I don't have to spend a ton of time sewing too!

Anywho, see you around!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A pick-and-mix outfit inspired by Boden

Last year sometime, while I was still living at my parents house my mum was sent a little catalogue from Boden. Now Boden is a brand I have been aware of a while but I have never bought anything from them; although I do have a blouse and a dress I got from eBay. But the when I flicked through the catalogue I liked a couple of outfits. One that stuck in my mind was this:

I have to say I do love the colour mustard, in dresses and in knit wear, oh and tights, and although I like the blouse and jumper combo its not something I've been able to pull off very well. I already had a vintage skirt that was a little bit like the one above, it is wool and a bargain from a vintage bargain bin (and it fit!) so I was off to a good start. I have searched charity shops for months trying to find the right kind of shirt to pull of this look but I found that almost all long sleeves blouses have frilly or frumpy bits on the front. If I was a bit more flat chested I would have just worn a mans shirt but I couldn't really get away with it.

Eventually I found one! In Oxfam in Tunbridge Wells and I found a mustard jumper too, it was like fate. Here's my take on the outfit:

And striking a similar pose as the model, natch...

Skirt: Ark vintage sale
Shirt: Oxfam
Jumper: Primark via charity shop
Brogues: Clarks

I thought I'd update you a little on my hair too as I have been trying lately to get a bit more creative with it. Here I wore a little beehive, using some Batiste XXL powder (thank you BzzAgent its awesome!) and my teasing/smoothing brush to give it a little more volume.

What do you think?

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Last days of summer in Tunbridge Wells

Ah September, officially autumn and the weather is changing, working its was to winter and my posting has been a little back logged lately what with starting a new job and moving house AND having to survive without any internet. Cries. Its been a tough ol' time.

But on the bright side, I am not fairly settled into a work routine and have a cute little flat with my husband in Tunbridge Wells. Which I LOVE! I've lived in the south before so its not too weird for me but Tunbridge Wells is very different to Brighton and Hove. We have a little flat close to the station as I need to get a train to work, but the city isn't too big so we can walk pretty much everywhere. Across the road from our flat there is a short cut to the shops through a park which is quite pretty.

The slightly dried out grass made me think of another country, somewhere warmer probably. There is a more conventional park attached as well a little further down the hill and one close to the road on the other side of the building our flat is in. Park life it would seem...

I have to say I am really enjoying being in Tunbridge Wells, I haven't taken a lot of photos of the area yet but I will post more as I find new and exciting things :)

That stride is me feeling happy to have a few moments to walk in the park!

This dress is Laura Ashley and is fairly typical of their 1980s styles but I think what makes this one special is that the print is so wearable. It is navy with a red flowers and hints of green in the leaves but they are pretty small which makes the whole dress a bit simpler.

What do you think of the shoes?! They are from Topshop and I have not bought anything from that shop for at least 4 years, and I am pretty sure I have never bought anything full price before... but these shoes were the thing that broke me. They are lovely little red flatties with a T-bar and remind me of school shoes (that I hated at the time!) and are pretty much the most adorable footwear I've had for a while. 

One place I did manage to get a little bit of a look at was the Pantiles it has really pretty architecture and is an area full of cafes and shops with things for houses. Sadly right now I can't afford much of the latter but I will be making an effort to try some of those restaurants!

Here is me sitting in the Pantiles, you can get a better look at the colours of the dress is this picture. I have to say that the side bits of my bangs that I am growing out are driving me a bit mad though...

Dress: Vintage Laura Ashley
Shoes: Topshop
Headband: Accessorize
Sunglasses: Brighton stall
Satchel: Yoshi

Anywho, hopefully I will be able to keep you updated on some of my southern adventures and since it is coming up to October I can reveal that I have started working on some costumes :P but there will be more on that later on.

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