Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Year Christmas was Banned

Not really, I absolutely love Christmas. I am of course referring to my Dancing Days by Banned outfit that I received from my Dad and wonderful Step Mum this Christmas. Today on the blog I am going to be taking you through the outfit details and sizing and also my experience buying it. 


Dancing Days by Banned 50s Apple Of My Eye Tartan Skirt in Blue and Red

The Husband and I took a trip to my hometown of Northampton a few weeks ago in order to spend some time with my family before Christmas. My Step Mum needed to do some last minute Christmas shopping and hadn't bought me a gift yet, so she suggested we went to town to go shopping. I cannot remember the last time I bought clothes from an actual shop (I exclusively buy all my clothes online nowadays) never mind from Northampton town centre, so I was really looking forward to a girly shopping trip!

Dancing Days by Banned 50s Apple Of My Eye Tartan Skirt in Blue and Red

So we did some gift shopping and then headed to Bohemian Finds, a lovely little boutique that stocks 40s and 50 reproduction brands, including Collectif, Hell Bunny, Voodoo Vixen, Banned and many more. I knew about the shop before I moved away from Northampton in 2010, but I haven't visited since. I had been hearing so many good things about it from my friend Vintage Doll Laura, who does promotions for the store, so I was looking forward to my trip. I also managed to bump into Laura at the shop, which was an added bonus!

Dancing Days by Banned 50s Apple Of My Eye Tartan Skirt in Blue and Red

I tried on the Lola Dress by Voodoo Vixen first. I had seen it on Miss Victory Violet and some other lovely pinup girls and fell in love with it, so I had to try it on. Sadly, it was far too long for me and I looked like a 5 year old who had raided her Mother's wardrobe - not the look! So back on the shelf it went! Then the Apple of My Eye Tartan Skirt by Banned caught my eye. The skirt has a lovely tartan print, 2 cute little front pockets and a size zip and button; it was totally up my street. I picked it up in a Size XS, which is a 25.2-26.8in waist. Size wise, this skirt is pretty spot on. I have a 26.5 in waist and it fits like a glove. The Dancing Days by Banned 50s Apple of My Eye Tartan Skirt retails at £32 and is available from Bohemian Finds. 

Dancing Days by Banned 50s Apple Of My Eye Tartan Skirt in Blue and Red

Once the skirt was in the bag, the rest of the outfit just fell into place. My Step Mum Deb was super helpful in putting the finishing touches to it and found the Banned Wow to the Bow belt in Navy; it just finished off the skirt beautifully. I picked it up in a size Small which is a 26.1-31.5 in waist. It is not too tight, which is nice as the skirt is pretty snug! The Dancing Days by Banned Wow to the Bow belt in Navy retails at £11.05 and is available from Bohemian Finds or Top Vintage Boutique.

Dancing Days by Banned 50s Wow to the Bow Belt in Navy

Dancing Days by Banned 50s Wow to the Bow Belt in Navy

Dancing Days by Banned 50s Apple Of My Eye Tartan Skirt in Blue and Red

So, next was the top. I picked up the Jenny Plain Wrap Cardigan by Collectif but I wasn't sure about the v-neck. It was too low to wear alone and I wasn't crazy about the idea of adding a top underneath, so I put it back. I then picked up a red cardi but it was very cherry red and didn't match the skirt at all. So back to the Jenny cardigan I went! I later picked up a plain navy cami from Primark for a couple of beans which solved the neckline issue. I picked up the Jenny cardigan in an XS (UK Size 8) which is a 34-36in bust. I am a 35in bust, so it fit perfectly. The Jenny Plain Wrap Cardigan retails at £30.50 and is available from Bohemian Finds.

COLLECTIF VINTAGE JENNY PLAIN WRAP CARDIGAN

By this point, Deb and I were in full swing and loving every minute of our shopping experience! There was just one final addition needed to make the outfit complete- shoes! I have needed some black dress shoes for some time, so as soon as I saw the 20s Sparkles On My T-Strap Pumps by Banned, I knew I had to have them. They have a cute little glittery heel and are perfect for tottering around in on a night out. Plus, as I got them in black, they will go with pretty much anything!

Dancing Days by Banned 20s Sparkles On My T-Strap Pumps in Black

These shoes retail at £42.77 and are available from Bohemian Finds or Top Vintage Boutique.

- x - LMDW - x -

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Freddies of Pinewood 1950s Jeans - A Guide for Slim Hipped Gals

I have never been curvy. I got fat once in 2005 when I went to Uni for the first time and not only learnt about trilobites and other prehistoric creatures, but also about the benefits of portion control. The weight I gained didn't make me curvy, it just made me a larger size overall. After losing about 21 pounds, I quickly returned to my natural, 12 year old boy figure.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

I take after my Mother in the body shape department. I have always (except for my Jurassic Portion phase) been slim. I am extremely lucky in that on the whole, I eat what I like, do very little exercise and don't put on a pound. My body is built this way. If I were to pick an era in time in which my body shape would be best suited, it would be the 1920's. Slim and boyish, I would be right at home. But my preferred style of dress as you know, is the 50's and the 50's were all about the bass. Being curvy in the 50's was actively encouraged. So as much as some may look upon my body shape with envy and wonder what the hell I am complaining about, being into pinup fashion and the 1950's with a body shape like mine, isn't always easy. Just as it isn't easy for someone who is 'plus size', being petite also poses its challenges.

1950s Weight Gain Advert
Being skinny in the 50s was not the look. 
I have no hips - period. I have a small waist at 26.5 inches, but my hips are only 34 inches. According to a very questionable 'body shape calculator' on the internet, my figure is very similar to that of a banana - excellent! Who wouldn't want that?! So I have a really hard time fitting into clothes that are made for a curvy, 50's shape, something in which I can imagine I am not alone?

So with this in mind, today on the blog I want to talk you through my experience buying my first pair of 1950's jeans! I don't remember when I first came across Freddies of Pinewood but for those of you who don't know who they are, they are a UK based brand who produce amazing reproduction 50's style jeans, tops, jackets and also menswear. They have a huge range of jeans in a number of different styles. I bought my first pair from them last August for my Birthday and to be honest, I got it all wrong!

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

I went on the Freddies website, picked out a pair of jeans I liked and placed an order based on my waist measurement alone. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!! There is a huge amount of information on the site, telling you how to measure yourself for their jeans and what to do and not to do - like the kind of rebel I am, I ignored it all. The consequence, my Jeanies (which are described as being 'slim-cut') made me look like I was wearing clown trousers. This is not the look. "What did I do wrong?" I thought - everything, you complete Muppet.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

So, desperate to not accept defeat and to prove to myself that my little banana bod can be a proper 50's pinup, I tried again. After receiving loads of Freddies gift vouchers for Christmas, I had the pennies in the bank. Next step - research. I watched the tutorial on 'How to Measure for Freddies Jeans". I urge you to watch this also. It shows  you on a real model, how the jeans should and should not look. I also read all of the information on Sizing. This is a crucial read. It takes you through each measurement you need and how to take it. I then took my measurements. I measured my waist, hips, rise (the length between your crotch and the waistband) and leg length, according to the website's directions.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

After doing my research, I realised one crucial factor - a 26" for one pair of jeans, will have different measurements to the next size 26". It is not enough to simply pick a style you like, select your waist size and leg length and hit 'add to basket'. Chances are if you do this, they wont fit. So, I managed the process the other way around. After taking my measurements, I then compared all of the jeans on the site, picked the ones with the slimmest hips and then chose the style I liked the best.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

The result - they fit!!! This process took me a long time, so for your convenience, I have created a (hopefully helpful) Freddies of Pinewood Jean Comparison Chart! It lists the jeans (excluding pedal pushers, trousers and dungarees) and provides measurements for a size 28" (for comparison purposes) and ranks the hip size in terms of Small, Medium and Large. (You're welcome). Of course, you must use all of the measurements available, not just the hip or waist size, but if you are slim hipped like me, this should help to eliminate styles that will be far too curvy for you.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

In the end, I opted for the Ton Up Jeans. Now, while these jeans fit me, they do not fit me like they do the model on the website. They are by no means tight. They fit me more like a classic jean, but I would take this look over circus performer any time! They are perfect in the waist. They are a great length and only require a couple of turn ups (which is great news, considering I am 5ft 2"). The rise is a little long, but it is not a deal breaker. Overall, a much more successful fit. When I compare my measurements to the size chart, the jeans come up a little bigger on the waist, but the hip and rise are in the right area. The waist on the jeans however is adjustable, with a popper clasp, providing 2 size options.

Ton Up Jeans Size Chart
In addition to the jeans, I also bought a Beatnik top in the Navy Stripe colourway. Again, a crucial thing to keep in mind is that not all Freddies tops have the same measurements. I previously brought one of the Patchwork sweaters in a Size Small (B42 W34 L43) but the Beatnik in a Size Small is a different size (B46 W32 L48). Now, you could argue that its a different top, so of course it is a different size!! But it was only because of my failings on the jean front that I inspected the sizing further. Otherwise assumption would have got the better of me. Freddies tops are also measured as "over bust" measurements and you have to measure an existing top, laid flat from side to side, to get an accurate size for yourself.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

The Beatnik fit like a glove (once over my head), but I could do with a little more room. Having bought 2 tops from Freddies and experienced the same longing for a little more wiggle room, if I buy again, I will definitely size up.

Freddies of Pinewood Ton Up Jeans and Beatnik Top

I had to put in a lot of work for this relatively simple outfit, but it was totally worth it. The quality of Freddies clothing is great and completely justifies the price tag. Their customer service is also brilliant and nothing is too much trouble (I sent about 100 emails to them asking for them to amalgamate my gift vouchers!!). But most importantly, I have my 50's style jeans!

- x - LMDW - x -




Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas with Betty – 1950’s glamour from Weekend Doll

It's December and Christmas is well and truly on its way. So today on the blog, I am going to tell you about the gorgeous little 1950's inspired 'Betty Dress' from Weekend Doll, which is the perfect vintage inspired outfit for all of those impending Christmas shindigs! 


1950s vintage style Betty Dress Christmas

There are so many things that I love about the Betty Dress, that I truly don’t know where to start! Well, let’s start by stating the obvious...it has polka dots; the first box in my ‘Perfect Dress’ criteria ticked! Secondly, it is black (second box ticked) and features a rather festive red bow in the centre of the dress. Thirdly, it has a gorgeous lace panel at the top of the dress, making it perfect for day (with the additional of a black bolero) or night. However, last, but by no means least, the thing I love about this dress the most, is that it is lovely and stretchy!

1950s vintage style Betty Dress Christmas

So, even though it is a wiggle dress, there is no need to deliberate over whether you should scoff that third mince pie. EAT IT! You will still feel comfortable in the Betty dress not matter how many pies you eat, due to her generous amount of stretch! 

1950s vintage style Betty Dress Christmas

One word of warning regarding this dress is that it is of a pull-over style. There are no zips or buttons, so do make sure that you pull the dress on over your head, BEFORE you have done your hair and makeup!

1950s vintage style Betty Dress Christmas

Size wise, I am wearing a Size XS here, a UK Size 8 and I have the following measurements: Bust=35in, Waist=26.5in, Hips=34 in. According to the size guide, the dress should come up a little smaller than it actually does, so I would say that there is a good few inches of stretch in the dress. I did have a little trouble getting it over my head, but once in, it fit like a glove. The Betty Dress is £66 and available in two colourways (black and blue) and available in sizes UK 8 – 18.

1950s vintage style Betty Dress Christmas

For a little bit of added sophistication (and let’s be honest, because it’s brass monkeys outside at the moment), I teamed the dress with the Lori Gloves. These gloves not only complement the colour pallet of the dress, but the lace detailing also ties in nicely with that on the dress.

1950s vintage style Betty Dress Christmas

Plus, an added bonus is that these gloves come with Tech Enabled touch finger tips, so you can add a video of yourself visiting Santa’s Grotto to your Instagram story without the need to remove your gloves! What a time to be alive! The gloves are available in one size only. They fitted me...like a glove? I have quite small hands, so I would say that they are on the petite side. The Lori gloves are £16. 

- x - LMDW - x -