Baby blue polka dots, Alice in wonderland and sitting on my back step – these are a few of my favourite things. I purchased this baby blue polka dot skirt back in 2013 from Blue Rinse in Leeds. – It was to be my first piece of vintage and the stepping-stone into self-discovery. As cliché as it may sound, experimenting with vintage and my style back then really help me find my confidence.
I had never ventured into a true “vintage” shop before visiting Blue Rinse – I was always absolutely petrified of buying something that was classed as vintage for the fear that I looked old fashioned or simply like an oddball! I had no idea what to pair vintage with and certainly was not brave enough to go out in anything remotely second hand. I sheepishly walked in and was hit by the nostalgic smell (this is a vintage lovers way of kindly describing the “old lady mothball” odor that takes your breath away!) and all the array of colours in front of me. When you walk into a high street shop, there is order and a colour scheme and “looks” put together and you can get an idea of where to start. The array of vintage means that there is a collection of similar items put together but your eye is not necessarily naturally drawn.
I didn’t really know what it was that I was looking for, more that I wanted to buy something that I could style easily without feeling too out of my comfort zone. I looked at a few dresses but nothing caught my eye then there it was – the pretty pastel loveliness just swishing gently on a rail. If I remember correctly I think it was between £16-£18 and I was in love straight away. I tried it on and the way it moved, the way it hung, the white spots, the pleats just everything was lush.
When I got home I tried lots of plain tops on with it and different shoe colour combinations and I knew that vintage and me would be a long life friend. I have worn this so many ways over the years and was very sad to have to put it away when I became pregnant – the vintage waistlines were not designed with pregnancy in mind! I recently went to watch my other half play rugby, I got this vintage beauty out of storage and was delighted that it fit again!
Paired with this cerise pink crop top I found on eBay and my favourite pair of Royal Blue Sun Jellies (that have literally blessed my feet this summer!) I also wore this very fabulous wooden Alice In Wonderland necklace c/o Laura’s Jewellery – a gorgeous boutique I found on Etsy. You can find them here. I love the colour combination of pinks and blues and this necklace ties them in perfectly. Adding the finishing touch was this pink orchid hair piece c/o Southern City Bellles.
If you are brave enough to venture into a vintage shop and try something new – I would love to hear from you, please get in touch and share your experiences! It is a big scary pin up world out there and if you are dipping your toes in but are not sure where to start then here are my top three tips for getting it right the first time around:
- Start slowly – perhaps accessories with a scarf, a brooch or one item. Don’t go head to toe in vintage if you don’t feel completely comfortable with what you are wearing. Choose a top or a bottom and pair with something you have in your wardrobe already
- Find an era that you like the most and that works with your body shape. If you like showing your curves off, go for a fitted wiggle perhaps closer to the 50s shape or if you like your legs – show them off with something sassy from the sixties.
- Take a tape measure with you. If you are not going to have time to try things on, measure your waistline, hips and bust before you go and compare with a tape measure on garments. Whenever I visit a kilo sale, charity shop or vintage boutique I always pop a tape measure in my bag. Sometimes you find something beautiful on the edge of a market stall and if it’s pouring down with rain and there is no where to try on then if you have measured, you can be sure that it will fit. Don’t forget that vintage sizes vary greatly from modern day high street versions. Definitely do NOT feel rubbish about having to size up quite a bit – remember that tailoring and fits/cuts etc were completely different back then and sometimes a vintage “16” will fit a modern day size 8/10 and this is completely normal.
Many thanks to Southern City Belles & Laura’s Jewellery for gifting