It’s still hot here, blah blah blah, heatwave, pale English people unequipped, blah blah blah.
You get the gist, right? We’re all fed up of it, all over the world, and honestly it’s a wonder my pasty English arse bothered to get pinned up at all this month, because the humidity is slowly sapping us all of strength. We did have one rainy day, though, which gave me the chance to wear one of my winter dresses, which was genuinely exciting, so that was fun.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of vintage inspired companies in our little vintage-loving corner of the fashion world that produce beautiful designs for us to wear, twirl in, and generally fawn over. As someone who doesn’t have the time, money, accessibility or motivation to search out true vintage in my size, I am vastly grateful for and fond of these companies that produce modern examples of vintage styled beauty all over the world for likewise ladies who can’t have or don’t want closets full of true vintage.
One of my favourite such companies producing modern takes on vintage gems is Retrospec’d. Founded and run by two sisters, Sharon and Teena, they were inspired by their vast collection of true vintage to produce fabulous dresses for all woman, regardless of size or age. Retrospec’d produces high quality items that are made in Australia, all painstakingly and lovingly designed by that dynamic sisterly duo, right down to the perfection of every print and pattern. The result is gorgeous dresses that feel the most authentically vintage of any other reproduction company currently sharing the market.
This particular dress, the Enchanted Fleur Gigi, is a dress of that exact ilk, stopping my thumb in mid-scroll the first time I ever saw it because I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a true vintage piece. Despite my immediate love for it, it took me months and months before I finally got my eager little hands on it, but I’m so glad I did. Enchanted indeed!
I’m not usually one for lobster motifs. These little red critters are a popular novelty feature in the vintage realm, but the reasoning behind that has always flummoxed me. Who would want a crimson crustacean featured on their clothes? I wondered, confused, as my Instagram feed filled each summer with beautiful modern pinups buying item after item in lobster print. I just don’t get it.
…And then, as always, I found the one dress that made me finally understand something I hadn’t previously, and now I’m like ‘lobsters? How cute!‘ So to whom do I owe the credit of this bending of my previously steadfast opinion? Collectif, step right up!
This month I’ve really learned how hard it must be to rock the full head-to-toe 50s style in countries that easily break and exceed 30c in summer–let alone in spring and autumn, too. Good lord, our heatwave here in the UK has only been off and on for a few weeks, not often topping 30c, but the humidity is so unbearable that the idea of setting my hair in pincurls for a nice curly brush out is nuts. This month it’s been all about getting as much hair off my neck as possible, despite the fact that I’m not crazy about many updos on myself in general, so it’s been clip-in ponytails and neat buns to the rescue! Do any of you hot-weather pinup babes have good tips for cute vintage hair that doesn’t leave you feeling damp necked and pink faced?
The heat aside, it’s been a busy month, with the season of summer birthdays officially beginning. Most of my family have their birthdays over the next 3 months, so it’ll be a fun whirlwind of celebrations starting now.
There are some specific features that make up a good leopard print, in my opinion. Famously leopard print can either look incredibly expensive or incredibly cheap, and putting aside the impact styling choices can make on a leopard print item, I think the print itself needs to have two things to read as the former; a variation in its depth of background colour, showcasing darker brown and near black patches mixed in with the lighter gold swathes, and a variation in size, shape and openness of the spots.
These things, when done correctly, will make the print look more realistic, and thus, expensive. What irony, then, that one of the best leopard prints I’ve found in our vintage-inspired realm comes from one of our most budget-friendly brands: Hell Bunny. Their Panthera leopard print is luxe and rich, and is available on a range of items that covers everything from capri pants to dresses. So whether your leopard style icon veers more Peggy Bundy or more Jackie O, Hell Bunny is bound to have options to fulfill your heart’s purring desires.
Wicker handbags are one of my favourite things. Every summer I find myself buying more, then going to add it to my collection on my shelf and realising, oh, I have much more of these than I thought, I probably shouldn’t have bought another one…
And then I do it all over again. Considering that wicker bags are kind of delicate as far as handbags go, unable to handle an accidental bash against a wall or bump by a stranger without the risk of a snapped weave, that makes my compulsion all the worse. You’d think, then, that I would feel guilty about the subject of this post, but on the contrary, that delicate natural of my favourite arm candy is the exact reason I do not. Because sometimes with reproduction items, you miss out a bit on the magic of what the originals offered in the eras gone by, but sometimes reproduction fixes a problem that modern life only highlights, and these Hell Bunny bags do just that; say hello to wicker style handbags that don’t need babying!
If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’ll have read me announcing at least a dozen times that it was love at first sight for me when I saw a certain dress, or skirt, or bag, or pair of shoes…okay, maybe less like a dozen, and more like a hundred. But what can I say? I find men hard work, but falling for pretty things I can twirl in is easy.
In this case, I actually saw the skirt version of this dress first, and thence came the fall. I quickly realised, though, that Voodoo Vixen would not be making the skirt in their plus sizes. Thence came the devastation. Such heartbreak! Why would they forsake me so? However, it was coming in a dress version, I was told, and so returned hope.
I wasn’t fully sold on the dress style when I saw it initially, for reasons I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but after mulling over the reality of missing out on this print entirely, as well as reminding myself honestly that I almost never wear skirts compared to dresses, I came around to the idea of the dress and decided to give this print a second chance. We could make it, this print and I. I just had to be willing to open up my heart again. And boy oh boy, am I glad I did.
I’ve been dressing in vintage styles for 5 years now, my love for swishy skirts, perfect curls and a crisp cats-eye wing ever-growing. Dressing in this way has given me an endless boost of confidence and an excitement to get dressed, replacing the common dread many face when having to consider what they should wear when they leave the house. For me, embracing vintage fashion has given more than just my wardrobe a new lease on life.
I tend to dwell in the 1950s, where the cinched waists and full skirts make me feel most at home, but embracing such an unusual style of dressing–by today’s standards–has also taught me that it’s good to shake things up occasionally with something different. For me, that tends to mean either slipping into a form fitting wiggle dress or winding back the clock a further decade to dabble in the styles of the 40s. Today, we’re looking at an example of the latter, by taking a spin in something that is a first for me, shockingly, even after 5 years of vintage dressing–my first ever tea dress.
May is always a great month; it encapsulates my birthday, which I really do drag out for the entire month. But even that aside, it’s been sunny, I’ve been able to spend a lot of lovely time with friends and family, and even though I’m generally not bothered either way by the Royals, I must admit I ended up being swept away by with the excitement surrounding the big wedding, and rather touched by it. Now we’re looking forward to June, which begins the string of summer birthdays among my loved ones that always makes for lots of laughs and fun. If the weather could settle on being sunny but as a mild 18c with a gentle breeze, that would set us up for perfection!
Splendette, Bow and Crossbones, and Luxulite accessories finishing off an outfit to perfection
There’s a lot of small accessory brands out there in our vintage inspired community, but because they’re small companies, often owned and run by one woman doing everything herself, it can be hard to discover them because they don’t have the same advertising budgets as the larger vintage inspired clothing brands/shops we see constantly promoted on our feeds.
In my experience the best way to find new accessory brands is to check the tags and captions of the photos you see in your news feeds or the blogs you follow, so that when you see a fakelite bangle or a reproduction handbag you like the look of you can establish whether it’s a true vintage item or something currently for sale. All of these businesses below are ones I found scrolling through Instagram and spotting them on the arm or in the hair of one of my favourite fellow pinups. Continue reading