Thursday, 30 July 2015

It's a nice day, to go to a wedding in a Vivien of Holloway Kitty dress

‘Tis the season for weddings! Yey! Who doesn’t love a wedding? I adore getting dressed up for events and an excuse to buy a nice new dress is always appreciated.

This was the first wedding I have been to since my own wedding so it was really fun to see it all from the other side of things.

As it was a summer wedding I decided to go with something light and floral and luckily for me Vivien of Holloway had just put a new Kitty dress on their site in peach and royal blue florals.

I have ranted and raved about the Kitty dress so many times I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how wonderful it is again. But if you had any doubt, it is amazing. It is still my favourite design of their dresses by a very long way. It's just soooo flattering!

Because of the dress’s blue tones I wore the dress with a blue light cardigan and a pair of blue highwoods from Lotta from Stockholm. I felt they were the perfect summer accessories.

I made a particular effort when pin curling my hair I let them dry and set for even longer than usual and gave them a very thorough brushout. I was really very pleased with the result, it ended up being far smoother and sleeker than usual. I only wish I knew what I did differently this time that lead to the lovely smooth curls. But sometimes you just need a bit of luck with hair.

Outfit Details
Dress: Vivien of Holloway
Cardigan: Monsoon
Shoes: Lotta from Stockholm
Belt: Vintage

What is your dream wedding guest outfit?

Monday, 20 July 2015

Vintage Event: Riding the old trains at the Bluebell railway 1940s weekend

A little while ago I went to the Bluebell Railway for their Southern at War weekend. It was a whole weekend of memorials and activities dedicated to preserving the memory of WWII.

The Bluebell railway is a preserved heritage railway and it has many working steam trains there for visitors to ride and authentically kept stations, platforms and surroundings. This meant that the whole place was the perfect location for a weekend of vintage style frolicks.

I decided to get dressed up for the event and wore a true vintage 1940s green dress and a (late) 1940s suit jacket over the top. I got a few compliments on my look and I was quite pleased with how it turned out.


 The husband and I got train tickets so that we could explore the other stations and ride on the train. I'm so glad we did as the 20 minute train journey in the vintage carriage was lovely, there were so many bluebells along the line too it was clear to see where the line got its name from.

Here is one of the lovely steam trains:

And me by one of the carriages:

There were also other period vehicals on display too from vintage army vans and trucks to fire engines.

Best name for a car ever!

Something that I really liked was the fact that they had renactors around who were playing the role of the home guard, as well as singers, dancers and stalls selling vintage wares. All of these things added to the authentic feel of the weekend and I loved it. I also really liked how many visitors had decided to get dressed up too, there were moments when you would look down the train platform and see only people dressed in 1940s clothing and it really made you feel like you had stepped back in time.


There was also a flypast by a Hurricane which did a pretty amazing job.

 The railway platforms were great places to be a bit silly to take pictures, there were lots of props. I especially liked the huge pile of luggage!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Vintage
Jacket: Vintage
Gloves: Vintage
Bag: Vintage
Hat: Vintage
Shoes: Rocket Originals

Yeah, I went pretty hardcore on the outfit this time around.

Have you ever been to a reenactment event?

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Jennie on Jenny: My New Favourite Skirt from PinUP Girl Couture #JennyJuly

I have always lived the look of a big full skirt and a fitted top, whether that comes in the form of a Dior New Look dress or in the form of a full skirt and t shirt. So it was only natural that I fell in love with the Jenny skirt. Even without seeing one in real life I knew they would be amazing. They come in a vast array of novelty prints and colours with huge gathered skirts that really emphasise the waist to hip ratio.


In the last 6th months or so I have been so obsessed with PUG. No, not little doggies, but Pinup Girl clothing. In particular their Jenny skirt. The skirts are not cheap, retailing at around $100 but after a lot of scrimping and saving I managed to scrape together enough money to try a Jenny skirt from the Magic of Mary Blair Collection.

The design I went for was the commuter skirt which was in a gorgeous olive green with a 60s novelty border print featuring train commuters in shades of black and white. I almost felt like this skirt was designed for me ESPECIALLY given the name ;)

I bought the skirt form UK PUG stockists Deadly is the female who were great, super quick delivery and really well packaged.

Once it arrived I decided to wear it for a picnic with my husband in the park. Much fun and frolicking was had, and I spend a ridiculously large amount of time twirling around and lounging in the grass.

Pretending to be a statue... as you do.
Now, shall we discuss the skirt itself?

I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!! It is the best skirt ever. I feel really special when I wear it - which utterly amazing given how down I have felt about my figure lately.

It swishes when you walk and it really makes me feel like a 50s siren.

It is really full and made with a very thick brushed cotton, it feels very sumptuous and has an almost shiny, luxurious feeling to it. There is also sooooo much of it, like, yards and yards - totally justifies the price.

Now a lot is made about the sizes of these skirts and the fact that they are small fitting. I ordered and XL and when I measures the waist it was 32 inches. This is what I would expect for a UK 14 so the sizing seemed about right to me.

The thing that I really especially love about this skirt how well it swishes and twirls, I imagine it would be great for dancing too! In fact, here I am mid-twirl, looking like I am about to take off. Lulz...

I have decided that I love this skirt so much that I have even ordered another Jenny in the Italian landscape print. I look forward to showing you that skirt too!

Outfit Details:

Skirt: Pinup Girl

Top: Primark

Shoes: Rocket Originals

Bag: Vintage

Several other bloggers I follow are also obsessed with Jenny skirts like Miss Amy May and Atomic Amber of the British Belles. In fact Miss Amy has even started #JennyJuly so that other Jenny obsessives can showcase their pretties. Check them out if you want to see more of Jenny.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Pinup-Style Stars and Stripes Outfit for the 4th of July

Ah, who doesn’t love a good holiday?! Especially one that you can dress up for. Now I may not be from the USA and maybe it is a weird conflict of interest if a Brit dresses up for 4th of July but what the heck. I did it anyway.

Back in November I made a skirt for my appearance on a panel about women in comic book movies. I dressed as a retro version of Wonder Woman with a blue circle skirt printed with white stars.

It was only during the depths of winter that I accidentally got the skirt out of my wardrobe while wearing a red stripe t shirt. I actually took until I looked at the skirt and the top in the mirror that I realised how much it looked like the ol’ stars and stripes of the USA.

I decided to save the outfit for the 4th of July for obvious reasons.

So here is my USA themed outfit:

It was rather a lot of fun to wear and I can’t help but feel that I will end up wearing it again.

Outfit Details:

Skirt: Home made

Belt: Charity shop

Top: Primark

Shoes: Lotta from Stockholm

What do you think? Have you ever dressed up as a flag? It seems like a good Eurovision party idea…

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Thrifty Vintage: A summer dirndl skirt and a retro jumper

Wow its warm isn't it! I can't decide whether I love the warm whether because it is a chance for me to experiment with new outfits, or whether I hate it because EVERYTHING is too warm.

One day when it wasn't soooooo hot I decided to wear a new to me dirndl skirt in a cotton gingham check. It has a gorgeous gathered skirt that manages to be full, but also quite flattering. I also love the black lace trim at the bottom of the skirt as it add a bit more to the look of the skirt (I am a bit obsessed with border print skirts and that type of thing so I have been on the look out for anything with a border feature).

The best part though is that it only cost £9 from eBay!

 Also on a side note words cannot describe how pleased I was with my hair in these photos!

I have also discovered a new brand of shoes, I am sure lots of you vintage lovers will know of Rocket Originals, but if you haven't you should check them out. Their shoes are not cheap (between £60-80) but they are made in the UK from old vintage designs. I want all of the pairs in EVERY colour.

Outfit details:
Skirt: Vintage
Shoes: Rocket Originals
Top: Wallis
Necklace: Vintage


Monday, 29 June 2015

Tutorial: A 1950s pincurl set!

Hello everyone! It's been a little while but I am back, and I have something for you that has been requested by a few people. An explination of how I do my hair!

I have always felt that the icing on the cake of an outfit is the hairdo. I love experimenting with my hair and although I am not an expert at doing my hair I am a frm believer that practive makes perfect, and the more styles I try the better I get.

At the moment my hair is a sort of shaggy bob/midi hybrid and I have tried a few different ways of setting it, such as foam rollers, bendy rollers, curling tongs and using GHDs and I have come to the conclusion that the best, and most authentic way to get the type of set I want is pincurls.

 I am aiming for a sort of Elizabeth Taylor meets early Mad Men Betty Draper:

 So here is how I go about it:

Step 1: Gether equipment
I use the same equipment every time, a tail comb for sectioning, pin curl clips and section clips for holding the curls, hair grips for holding everything secure, a wide paddle brush for brushing out and I use Lottabody setting lotion because it is THE BEST!

 Step 2: Setting
I set on 95% dry hair, I let it dry naturally mostly, but as I am setting it I gently spritz with the setting lotion that has been diluted in a spray bottle. I spritz as I section, just enough to make the hair a bit  tacky.

Starting at the top next to the parting I then take 1 inch squares of hair and curl them around my fingers and clip the curl down flat to my head. I then work back towards the crown and then start a second row. I use roughly 3 rows of pincurls from front to back.

(apologies for the naff webcam pictures, it was all I had to use :S)
Step 3: Waiting
I keep pinning until I have about 25/30 pins and all the hair is clipped up.
I then wait for it to set. Usually I wait over night, but sometimes I will wait for a few hours while wearing a headscarf. I would say you should wait for at least 6 hours, but overnight is better if you have time.

 Here is me putting a hearscarf on, looking like a bit of an idiot...
 Step 4: Brushing out
Once the curls are set I take out all the clips. I don't do anything with the hair until it is all out, then I run my fingers through the hair giving it a thorough comb with my fingers and give it all a shake.

At this point you probably look like a frizz bomb but that's okay, the vital step is going to hapen next. Using a wide paddle brush I take sections of the hair and brush it, I brush flicking the ends as I do so and I twist and shape the curl while I brush. I tends to take a few minutes of brushing and it will get less frizzy as you go, the key is to use your hands to shape at the same time.

I often will add a little bit of pomade at this point to help shape the hair, prevent frizz and give it some hold.

Step 5: Fringe and final shaping
For the front fringe section I always brush the hair straight up and shape into a big barrel curl, this way I get to keep as much of thevolum on the top as possible.

Step 6: Hairspray the life out of it!
Once I am happy with it I give it a spritz with hairspray, either elnette or treseme usually as they hold well.

Aaaaaaand hopefully you end up with something like this:

Now the outcome of these sets is very variable, it depends on the twist of the curl, it depends on the shampoo, it depends on how you sleep on it, but if you follow these steps you should end up with fairly similar results each time.

It did take me about two weeks of experimental setting before I managed to get this one to work on a regular basis, but lets face it, that is part of the fun!

Do you set your hair? Do you have any tutorials to recommend?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

An open letter to the men who insulted me at Comic Con... Is Snow White supposed to be hot?

Hello everyone I have something a bit different for you readers today, a change in tone from my usual posts, but something that I thought was important to say non-the-less.

Last weekend I went to London Comic Con dressed as Snow White.

Looking neat before Comic Con
Some thoughtful ‘gentlemen’ insulted me from a distance so I thought I would write a letter so that could fully articulate my response.
Here it is:

Dear Men who shouted at me at Comic Con,

Yes you boys that insulted me as I walked past in my Snow White costume. You also sniggered when I turned around to see who had been making fun of me. I hope you are proud.

I just have a few things I need to say to you. I was sad that I couldn’t respond at the time, but by the time I had processed exactly what you had said I had been swept away in the quickly moving crowd. I was also afraid that I may shout at you, or cry, and I didn’t really feel like giving you the satisfaction of showing you how much your words hurt me. But congratulations they did.

I spent hours making that costume, I sewed it from scratch, I researched new techniques to help me put it together and I did hair and makeup trials to make sure everything was just the way I wanted it. I was so proud of my hard work and I was feeling so good about what I had achieved. I didn’t realise that all that good feeling would be so easily spoiled by your throw-away comment: ‘Isn’t Snow White supposed to be hot?’

Is Snow White meant to be hot? Serious question...
Now I don’t know if I am shallow or silly but I was really taken aback by this random verbal assault. I straight away thought ‘Am I ugly?’ Despite the fact I had previously been told how beautiful I looked by a very sweet lady who served us food. My thoughts very quickly moved from a general ugliness to my biggest insecurity - it’s because I’m fat - and you can't have a hot bod if your fat right?

That had to be it, I was too plus size to be a hot Snow White because Snow White is petite with a tiny waist not a 5’7’’ size 14 woman. Right? I’m sure it was meant to be a silly comment, something for a giggle, not to be taken seriously. But it made me feel terrible about myself, it even made me wish I hadn’t eaten the delicious takoyaki for my lunch.

I am aware that I am projecting a certain amount of my own insecurities onto this situation, but isn't that exactly what a comment like this does? It reaches deep inside of you and gnaws at your perceived imperfections. That is why it can be so damaging.

Maybe as UK size 14 I do not fit the typical ideal of the ‘hot’ woman, or heck, even if you think I am completely fugly why should I have to fit in with your ideals of what is hot or not. I can wear what I want. I don’t define myself by what you think is hot. Why should I have to strive to meet your beauty standards? (see #effyourbeautystandards for more on that).

What really infuriates me is that I feel so bad about being upset over a hurtful thing you said? Why do I feel so responsible for my non-hotness. Why do I feel so guilty for feeling insulted? Its only a small thing, I'm not hot, so what, yet it still hurts.

Having said all this, it has also occurred to me that perhaps you don’t actually know what the traditional Disney Snow White looks like? If you google Snow White costume, the majority of costumes available tobuy have tiny skirts (like so many of the costumes available to women these days). Perhaps you don’t realise that Snow White actually has a fairly high neckline and a long skirt? My costume was designed for accuracy, it was meant to be a replica of the design from the film. It was not made to be sexy, but more elegant and regal. Surely you can appreciate the craftsmanship in that?  
Disney's Snow White
 Or perhaps you just think it is a woman’s job to look sexy for you?

I left comic con feeling rather down and in a fluctuating mental state. It was only once I was far away that I could appreciate the more disturbing implications of your thoughts on hotness.

Snow White is a folk tale from the 18th century about a girl, not a woman, a girl who is OFICIALLY 14 years old. She it meant to be fair and beautiful yes, but she is also sweet, shy and na├»ve, and certainly too young to be hot in the way you are suggesting. So sorry if my Snow White costume wasn’t hot enough for you. But with the information above I think it is very clear who actually has the problem defining what should or should not be hot.

Finally, I just wanted to add that I find you revolting. Firstly for your limited view on the female form, secondly for your disrespect for the craft of cosplay and lastly for your inability to keep your mouth shut when a nasty thought pops into your mind. If something similar happens to you in future can I politely request that you take some advice from another 1930s Disney film?

Yours sincerely,

The Not Hot Snow White

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