There are parts of autumn and winter fashion that just scream ‘chic’ in a way that can’t be denied. Houndstooth print, faux fur accents, moody autumnal colour palettes, capes! This season Voodoo Vixen are ready to serve up delicious examples of each one of those features, and boy, oh, boy, am I excited about it.
Cape: Josephine Houndstooth Cape C/O Voodoo Vixen
Bag: Iris 1940s Tan Ostrich Effect bag C/O Voodoo Vixen
Gloves: Tan Driving gloves from eBay
Skirt: Joni by Hell Bunny
Boots: Cognac Cecily by JustFab (Referral link for bargain price)
There’s something about capelets and cape coats that just make me feel so sophisticated and elegant. Little beaded capelet over a decadent evening dress? Yes. Heavy woolen hooded cape with worn with faux fur trimmed-gloves and -boots in the depth of winter? Yes! And this little slit sleeved houndstooth cape that can work perfectly with both a classic pencil skirt ensemble for sassy put-together feels and casually with skinny jeans and rider boots for busy, low-key days? YES DEFINITELY YES!
A cape that has the capacity to truly look effortless and casual is a rare thing, but this Josephine cape can achieve that easily. I know some ladies worry that a cape can add bulk to the eye because it hides the waistline, but as shown with my styling above it’s possible to add a belt to the waist if you wish to achieve a cinched effect that doesn’t detract from the elegant flow of the sleeves down the arms.
In terms of construction, this cape is a simple piece that functions like a poncho–there’s no sleeve holes, no pockets. You just fasten the 3 sturdy poppers on the left shoulder and go. It’s a light-medium weight acrylic fabric with a soft lining. Because it’s not fitted to your body anywhere but across the shoulders, it’s not an item that requires careful sizing consideration. I’m wearing it in the XXL, even though my Voodoo Vixen size these days is typically 1X.
Now, let’s talk about the bag. While I love all aspects of mid-century vintage styles, shoes and handbags have always been the accessories I’ve still often bought in modern styles, partly for the sake of ease, partly because I like them. I have a large handbag collection that spans materials from wicker to vegan leather, clutch bags made of both bamboo and gold wire, bags shaped to look like books and baubles, as well as vintage-reminiscent acrylic box bags.
Still, despite all that, there’s a certain style of classic vintage clasp-framed handbag that I’ve always meant to search out. I never make the time to travel widely enough to achieve a potentially successful true vintage search in thrift shops, countryside dweller that I am, and similarly scouring eBay and Etsy for pristine examples bores me. So I was delighted, thrilled, downright excited even, to load up Voodoo Vixen’s New In section recently and find that they have produced the 1940s style handbag of my dreams.
This Iris bag is the epitome of the sleek, oversized-purse clasp handbag I think of when asked to picture a standard vintage handbag. It’s easy to picture delicate gloved hands opening it to retrieve a lipstick and gleaming gold compact, fastening it closed again with a gentle ‘click.’ The tan brown shade makes it a versatile piece that can be used year round, though it is especially lovely for autumn. It’s made from a faux leather featuring these little ostrich-skin effect nodules that give the bag texture and visual interest. The two handles are made from the same material and the purse clasp frame is a metallic gold.
The bag is 25.5cm long, 32cm wide and 9cm in depth at the base. There’s 2 zipped internal compartments to keep your smaller items safe, creating an additional open pocket compartment between them for further sorting, leaving the remainder of the bag space for your larger items, like your wallet. It’s a lovely practical piece suitable for daily use that isn’t too bulky nor too stingy. Needless to say, it’s going to be getting a lot of happy, happy use.
The Josephine Houndstooth cape comes in sizes S-XXL, available directly from Voodoo Vixen as is the Iris 40s Style Handbag in Tan Ostrich Effect. Voodoo Vixen also have online and in-store stockists all over the world.