Saturday, 30 May 2015

My vintage life: What vintage means to me.

Vintage is defined as 'denoting something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind'. Yet over the last decade, the term 'vintage' has become so widely used (and in places overused), that it has come to be synonymous with anything that is 'old' - original clothes from the 40's, 50's, 60's (and even through to the 90's), reproduction clothing, music, antiques, second hand furniture, 'shabby chic', retro, - pretty much anything from times gone by.

So when a person says that they "like vintage", it can mean a plethora of things, to a huge range of people. As much as the details of their passions will all be a variation on a theme, I think that every person who is a vintage enthusiast will have a different take on vintage and experience it differently. 

With that being said, I would like to talk you through what vintage means to me...

My love affair with vintage began in 2010 when my work colleague decided to put some music on in the office. She chose a swing album called Peppermint Candy which featured music by Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Etta James - the list goes on. I had never heard anything like it and before I knew it, I was swinging along to the album in the car, in the shower, whilst hoovering; I was absolutely hooked. I felt so incredibly good whilst listening to it, that I soon began to listen to more and more music from the past, not just Swing and Jazz. I discovered music from all eras; music from the 1800's right through to the 1950's. I discovered Classical music and Waltzes by Strauss and Tchaikovsky, Ragtime by Scott Joplin, popular music from the early 20th century by Ada Jones and Billy Murray and swing music by Al Bowlly and The Andrews Sisters from the 30's and 40's. Just discovering vintage music alone enriched my life so much and opened my eyes (and ears) to a lifetime of culture that I never knew existed. I had only just scratched the surface and I was eager to find out more.

The Andrews Sisters were America's most popular female singing group of the 1940's.  
My interest in vintage music sparked an interest in history in general and I started to research some of the times in which these musicians lived. This, as you can imagine, opened a huge can of worms. My imagination went wild! Victorian London, Jack the Ripper, Prohibition, World War 1, World War 2, the Plague, the Great Fire of London, the Blitz, inventions, medicine, the Titanic, historical architecture, Land Girls, the home front, post-mortem photography, graveyards, shipwrecks....(gasp for air!) You name it, I've Googled it! As a child, I liked history and was good at it, but I have never been as interested in it as I am as an adult. If I could have one magical power, it would certainly be the ability to go back in time.

RMS Titanic
One of my many historical obsessions is the Titanic  
Not only do I love reading and learning about history, I love touching it too! Most weekends you will find me in my absolute element at some antique or vintage fair. Most people cannot stand it, but I love the smell of antiques shops. That kind of 'bottom of an old ladies handbag' smell; the smell of history - fusty, slightly unclean, moth eaten and worn. I love all sorts of antiques - furniture, china, Victorian oddities (I once tried to buy a file containing cross sections of real body parts from 1904, but was told it was too weird), old food tins, vanity sets, sewing machines, teapots, books, tapestry bags. When it comes to antiques, I love anything from the early 20th Century. 'Titanic era' stuff really floats my boat (no pun intended!). I don't buy these items because they have any particular use to me, I buy them as I find them interesting - constantly. I often look at my 1920's Singer sewing machine and wonder who it belonged to originally. The same with my Art Deco tea spoon set and my tapestry bags and luggage. Who owned them originally and how did I come to own them?

Antiques and Vintage Fair Alexandra Palace
My recent trip to the Antiques and Vintage Fair at Alexandra Palace
 in London was my idea of heaven on earth!
When it comes to vintage fashion, I started to look into buying true vintage at one of my many trips to Lou Lou's Vintage Fair in Norwich. Yet I have found that neither my styling skills (nor my body shape) were quite up to scratch for original vintage. So I prefer to wear reproduction clothing. My eras of choice - the 1940's and the 1950's. I also love other fashion styles from those eras including Rockabilly, Hawaiian and Tiki, Asian Pacific, Mexicana and Latino.

To sum up, I love vintage as it feeds my uncontrollable need to be 'different'. Although the saying goes that there is nothing new under the sun and rarely can anyone be considered truly unique or different any more, wearing vintage style fashion and adopting a vintage lifestyle, does make me feel different. I often get stopped in the street and complimented on how I look - not by men, but by predominantly women; women who remember wearing my outfit the first time around in the 50's! I know that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people around the world who wear the same clothes as I do, yet its not just about that. It's about all of the above.Vintage is not just 'The 1940's' or 'The 1950's'. It is more subjective than that. Not all vintage lovers love antiques. Not all like history. Not all like old music. Some like retro as well as vintage. Some like genuine vintage fashion and others reproduction. All these little idiosyncrasies make all vintage lovers unique.

So the next time someone asks you why you "like vintage" sit them down with a cup of tea. If you are anything like me, the discussion may take a while!

- x - LMDW - x -

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Pinup Girl Clothing Wishlist!

So my soon to be Husband and I are going on our Honeymoon the day after our wedding in July and I could not be more excited. I am excited as not only are we going to be spending 10 nights in Hawaii, (where I will be sunbathing while an attractive, dark haired man called Keaweaheulu brings me pineapples and coconuts filled with alcohol), but we will also be stopping off in California on the way there. This means, you've guessed it...PUG! By a complete stroke of luck, our hotel is just a 10 minute drive from the Pinup Girl Boutique, located in Burbank, California.

Pinup Girl Clothing Boutique
The Pinup Girl Clothing Boutique in Burbank, California. 
So I have told (not asked, TOLD!) my future Husband that we just must go! I have wanted to buy so many items from Pinup Girl Clothing for such a long time, yet without knowing how their clothes are sized, I have been anxious about doing this, for fear of ordering a dress, paying for postage to the UK (and potential custom charges), for it to arrive and not fit. This would be pretty devastating! So I have decided to go the boutique, in order to actually try on their clothes, in order to determine my size.

So in preparation for my pilgrimage to the land of PUG, I have devised a Wishlist. I hope to bring some items on my list back to Blighty and review them for anyone else who, like me, would like to join the PUG club, but just doesn't quite have the confidence to buy online!

So please join me in the first part of my PUG journey...the wishlist!

Pinup Girl Clothing Basics
I absolutely love pinup basics. I am not the kind of girl who wears a full circle 1950's dress to lunch. It's just not me. So pinup basics are great for me to wear for a friendly lunch, a casual drink or a trip to the cinema. Here are the following basics I will be looking for:

Ride The Lightening Baseball Tee
Pinup Girl Clothing Ride The Lightening Baseball Tee
Ride The Lightening Baseball Tee - c.£22
I love this t shirt. I have been after a Baseball style top for a while and this one is just perfect in terms of colour and style. I absolutely love red and I think this top would look great with a pair of Freddies jeans or a black wiggle skirt. 

Deadly Dames Capri Pants in Red
Pinup Girl Clothing Deadly Dames Capri Pants in Red
Deadly Dames Capri Pants in Red - c.£53
The Deadly Dames Capri Pants are everything! I mean, just look at them! I have a pair of Hellbunny Capris in black and I love them so much, so would just love a PUG pair in red. The Leopard Bengaline capris are also to die for, so they may just magically find their way into my shopping bag too.

Doris Top
Pinup Girl Clothing Doris Top
Doris Top in Black - c.£35
The Doris top is a great pinup separate. It can be worn with wiggles, circles, capris or shorts! I would like one in black (obvs) but a red one would also not go amiss! 

Vogue Skirt
Pinup Girl Clothing Vogue Skirt
Vogue Skirt in Black - c.£40
I don't think that the Vogue skirt needs any explanation...just look at it! Although I am not sure that my waistline will look like Doris' while wearing it thought! That's a future blog when I have invested in a corset! 

Now, as previously stated, I am a wiggle dress kinda girl. I feel like this is an area that is often overlooked when it comes to reviews of Pinup Girl Clothing. I see so much online about circle skirts and dresses, yet not a great deal on more fitted styles, so hopefully I can share my findings about fit if I manage to pick one up!

Malibu Tiki Dress with Bolero in Orange Tropical Print
Pinup Girl Clothing Malibu Tiki Dress with Bolero in Orange Tropical Print
Malibu Tiki Dress with Bolero in Orange Tropical Print - c.£90
I could not have a holiday in Hawaii without wearing a tiki dress! This dress and bolero twin set is just to die for. The colour looks quite red on the website, so I hope that it is not too on the orange side in real life. 

Hello Sailor Nautical Wiggle Dress with Red Stripes
Pinup Girl Clothing Hello Sailor Nautical Wiggle Dress with Red Stripes
Hello Sailor Nautical Wiggle Dress with Red Stripes - c.£70
I love nautical themed clothing, so I am certainly going to try and get hold of this dress. It looks perfect for a fun night out, but could also be teamed with a bolero or a cardigan for a more casual look.

Voodoo Vixen Dress in Black
Pinup Girl Clothing Voodoo Vixen Dress in Black
Voodoo Vixen Dress in Black - c.£93
This dress is gorgeous and again, perfect for a holiday in the tropics. The Tiger print version of this dress is also amazing. 

So 10 nights in Hawaii is going to require swimwear and I have a passion for all things nautical when it comes to this department! So the Bettie Hello Sailor swimsuit looks like a winner to me! 

Bettie "Hello Sailor" Swimsuit
Pinup Girl Clothing Bettie "Hello Sailor" Swimsuit
Bettie "Hello Sailor" Swimsuit - c.£50
So that is my little wishlist. To be honest, if I only get 1 of the items on this list, I will be happy. At least I can say that I brought it from the Boutique! I will also know going forward what size to buy when I get back home to the UK. If I do manage to buy anything, I will be sure to report back on sizing and fit for any PUG virgins in the UK like me!

On a separate note, if anyone would like me to bring anything back for them from the boutique, please do get in touch, as I may be able to bring back 1 or 2 items and save you a pretty penny on shipping and customs!

Wish me luck!

- x - LMDW - x -

N.B Prices listed are based on the exchange rate at the time of writing and have been rounded up to the nearest whole GBP. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

You little Floozie you! Nautical, dotty and fruity accessories from Floozie by Frost French.

So I took a trip into Great Yarmouth town center a few weeks ago to do my regular pilgrimage to Wilko to buy a thousand face wipes, when I saw that Debenhams had a 20% off Blue Cross sale. I can honestly say that I have not purchased anything from Debenhams for years, but I was passing and I thought I would give it a go. Yet to my utter joy and disbelief, I saw this little beauty staring at me from the handbag aisle. I was so excited, I did that little skipping run thing that children do when they are too excited to walk, yet not allowed to run and darted towards the cutest handbag I have seen in yonks! So without hesitation, I took my little polka dot cherry find to the tills and, because of the 20% discount, got her for a steal at £14.40!

Floozie by Frost French White spotted cherry saddle cross body bag
The Floozie by Frost French white spotted cherry saddle cross body bag
 is only £18!
This little bag is perfect for casual nights out when you don't want to carry a huge amount of stuff with you. It has a delicate chain strap which you can wear cross body as suggested or off one shoulder. It has a popper fastening inside and a little pocket for your mirror or compact. 

If you are looking for something equally as cute but slightly bigger, Floozie have got that covered as well. They also do the white spotted cherry bag in a 'Grab Bag' size. The Grab Bag has 2 grab handles, a detachable shoulder strap, a zip pocket and 2 pouches. 

Floozie by Frost French white spotted cherry grab bag
The white spotted cherry 'Grab Bag' is £29  
Yet if you still need a bit more room, Floozie also offer a 'Tote Bag' to match. It is the same style as the Grab Bag, just slightly bigger. The tote bag is equally as affordable at £35. Plus, they do a purse to match! I just die! I cant even...

Floozie by Frost French white spotted cherry medium ziparound purse
The little ziparound purse is £18. 
So if your polka dot addiction is as severe as mine, you will totally get how exciting this it! 

Polka dots aside, in terms of handbags, Floozie by Frost French have designed a great range of nautical inspired accessories:

Floozie by Frost French Blue striped nautical charm kettle bag
The Blue Striped Nautical Charm Kettle Bag - £35. This bag also comes in yellow
Floozie by Frost French Blue striped nautical charm cross body bag
The Blue Striped Nautical Charm Cross Body Bag - £25. This bag also comes in yellow
Floozie by Frost French Blue Striped Nautical Charm Bowler Bag
The Yellow Striped Nautical Charm Bowler Bag - £35. This bag also comes in Blue

If polka dots, cherries and nautical themes were not enough, they also love a good fruit based accessory! Don't we all!
Ladies yellow melon dial watch
The yellow melon watch is £25
Ladies pink melon dial analogue watch
The pink melon watch is £20
And shoes! These cute little watermelon ballet flats have a cute silver pineapple pendant on them. They are also only £25! Plus, there are flamingo flats! 
Green textured watermelon pumps. £25

Floozie by Frost French Navy Flamingo Slip on Flat shoes
Flamingo Flats! £22.50
The piece de resistance in my opinion is the Green Flamingos Skirt Swimsuit which is cute, yet a bit slutty at the same time! Which I kinda like. Plus, it has flamingos on it! Always a winner. There are also individual bikini pieces available in this same range. 

Green Flamingos Skirt Swimsuit - £38
What I like about Floozie by Frost French is that it is all so pinup perfect, yet won't break the bank. The handbags are well made and are a lovely statement piece to compliment any pinup outfit. I like that they come in a range of sizes and colours too. 

I will no doubt be buying all of this loveliness soon! 

- x - LMDW - x -