Do you have any decades of fashion that you are particularly obsessed with? Today’s trends seem to borrow bits and bobs from all eras, to the extent that it’s hard to know what defines the times we are living through now. The great thing about this is that we aren’t nearly as restricted as we once were. It seems like almost anything goes – which accomodates my love of Sixties shift dresses nicely!
If you’re also a vintage fan, you’re probably also someone who takes inspiration from times gone by. But it’s not always easy to hunt down an original piece from the ’50s or ’60s for example. Obviously these items are very highly sought after and the price tag can often reflect this too. On the other hand, high street dupes can sometimes not be exactly what you’re looking for… Specific details such as raised hemlines or trend-led colours and patterns can mean that pieces are only good for one season and don’t have the classic, timeless look you get from a true vintage find.
So if you want something done right, why not do it yourself? I received this pattern for Christmas last year, along with this beautiful forest green fabric and matching lining material. Perhaps not everyone’s perfect Christmas gift, but definitely mine! The lining made it a particular challenge but the finish was is really beautiful, especially with the beautifully tailored cut and fabulous button-fastening strap detail, which really emphasises the waist. And best of all? You can tweak the fit until it’s just right for you! I ended up having to shorten this piece at the shoulders but it’s worth the extra work for that perfect fit! Just the thing for a stroll around my neighbourhood!
This dress is more of an autumn/winter piece and looks lovely worn over shirts and jumpers with a pair of tights and boots. Here I’ve added a fashionable touch in the form of this star-struck Mango shirt (from last year but stars are back this season) as well as these gorgeous heeled Topshop Chelsea boots that have been a wardobe staple of mine for years.
This week, we spent a day at the zoo! And what better to wear than…. a vintage polka dot dress? Ok, I really needed the addition of the beret, the polo neck and the tights with this one as it was typically crisp November weather and we were obviously outside all day. But it was actually the perfect outfit! I picked this piece for my first post because it really is something special for me. It’s one of my first ever vintage finds, from Pop Boutique in Leeds. I’m not even sure how long I’ve had it but it must be going on for ten years now and one of the most worn pieces in my wardrobe too.
You can really wear a dress like this for absolutely anything. It has a cool 60s vibe, with a silky slip dress underneath a sheer navy mesh layer with white print polka dots. Its special details include a beautiful gathered white piped trim to match the polka dots, creating a collar effect, and a lovely belt to cinch you in at the waist. Does it get better than that?
I still remember the day I bought it, plucking it from the rail, trying it on and feeling the thrill of snapping up something nobody else would have. Since then it has accompanied me on many a night out – especially dancing to The Smiths and Arctic Monkeys at classic indie discos in ye olden days of my youth!
The fabulous dress in pre-party mode
Cringe at that photo!! But I had the best time in it that night – a girl came up to me while I was losing myself to Florence & the Machine to tell me it was a gorgeous dress. Props to that person. It made my night! But that’s what happens when you feel absolutely yourself in a wondrous vintage beaut. If you’ve never had that experience, I wholeheartedly recommend it! However, even if you don’t find yours from the vintage store (although I’m sure you could!), a 60s navy polka dot shift is a classic for every wardrobe. And every occasion – even the zoo!
So the feature pieces in every post here will always be vintage or home-made. However, I still like to style these up with the other high street gems from my wardrobe. Here I’m wearing a cream zip-up coat from Zara with cute buckles and a hood, an ancient pair of brogues from Topshop and an equally well-loved satchel from Very, as well as a Zara polo neck plus woolly beret and tights from h&m.