This week I’m feeling Spring flowers, floaty dresses, escapism, shells, pearls and puff sleeves. Dreaming of shooting in fields barefoot. The warmth of the sun of my skin. Spring is in the air.
Wow, where to start with this post. With everything that is going on, I’ve felt overwhelmed to say the least. Shutting the shop, everything shutting, adjusting to working from home for the foreseeable future. Now I work from home 80% of the time anyway so this wasn’t an adjustment for me-but having my boyfriend here at the same time, ALL OF THE TIME, I’m finding it so much harder to concentrate on anything, the flat is tiny so I can’t really shoot or do videos unless he goes on his once a day walk.And he’s now become my new photographer so I’ve had to patiently wait to shoot content (although he takes present bribes). Plus I do like to overshoot so I’ve stockpiled a ton of images so there’s no chance of running out of that.
I’ve got the worst organisational skills at the best of times, so trying to organise shooting ideas or videos is out of the window right now as they usually come to me in the moment. Plus the flat is an absolute state as we’ve had to take most of the vintage out of the shop to shoot, that’s all over the place, and guess who is our only cleaner? yours truly. Mini-rant over as it’s not that bad is it, in the grand scheme of things. It’s really not, I’ve actually never been so grateful to have someone here with me, and Stan too.
I’ve seen so many people over instagram being super productive and shooting videos/scheduling blog posts and Getting.Things.Done. And I just haven’t felt like doing anything and my motivation has really dropped. I’ve got anxiety I’m not going to get anymore work. I’ve got anxiety about my family-both my nana and grandad are 91 and my mum is on her own. My emotions are all over the place and I feel like I can’t concentrate on anything until this situation becomes almost….normal? Will it become ‘normal’?
This is a surreal situation that no one really knows how to navigate. There’s no right or wrong way. If you feel like you’re the most creative of your life-go for it. If you need time out to pause and reflect and look after yourself, now is the time. There is no right or wrong way to react to this situation as we’ve never been in it before, and I must admit when I’m sitting in the flat the outside world can almost feel as though nothing is happening and it’s just me sitting in, but what it is so important to remember is that we are all in this together. And it will pass.
So I just wanted to try and carry on as ‘normal’ as I possibly can, whatever that may mean in this current situation. Which doesn’t mean that I’m being ignorant to everything going on right now, but the absolute best thing for all of us is to stay at home, with the incredible NHS workers and everyone on the frontline of this pandemic holding our country and healthcare system together, we will be forever grateful. (PS: If you want to become an NHS volunteer I’ll leave the link here)
I’m just trying to provide some escapism for people, through my instagram and blog (and maybe YouTube if I get my act together) because creating content and posts is what I really enjoy, and to me, this provides escapism. That sounded very serious like some kind of school essay. Actually if it was a school essay I’d probably get told to use a different word than escapism twice. Oh god I’m trying haha.
Well I don’t know about anyone else but these random glimpses of sunshine recently have got me craving Spring even more. Literally as soon as the sun comes out even just a little bit I’m tempted to swap my wardrobe over and rediscover all my summer pieces again but I know I’m peaking that little bit too soon. I went out with no coat on the other day as it looked so sunny but let me tell you I was FREEZING. Big mistake.
However I thought I’d put together a little post on all the brands and pieces I am coveting and want to buy for Spring that I’ve been day dreaming about for a LONGGGG time now. It’s very easy to get carried away and impulse buy (which is something I am trying to no longer do) so be having this as a post I can see the things here on my wishlist and if I still want them in a couple of weeks/a month when it finally gets warmer I know I’ll be ready to make that investment. I’ve just chosen my three favourite pieces, otherwise we’ll be here all day.
First up we have Sezane, which suit I’m wearing in these photos. I love this french brand, every collection just gets better, it’s my favourite place to shop knitwear in winter, and pretty tops in summer. The white top is such a summer staple piece and one I’ve been searching for for a while, and the mustardy one looks like it could be vintage-I dream of finding something like that. I love how vintage inspired Sezane is (it started off as a vintage shop I believe) their quality is amazing, and this collection is their best yet.
Second we have the whole new Faithfull collection. I want it all. I’ve always loved this brand they really epitomise summer for me. If I could afford to own it all I would. However, I’ve narrowed it down to three pieces (oh and also possibly this dress) which I feel would work well in my wardrobe. First up we have the vintage floral midi dress-how cute would this be with a cream cardigan and mules, or a basket bag come summer? The print might not be to everyones tastes but it’s definitely to mine. Next are those 60s inspired patterned trousers which I adore, there’s a matching bikini top that goes with them-or would look amazing with a cream puff sleeve or vintage blouse. And lastly we have the dress in the same print, I’m just sold on that sweetheart neckline, shirred bodice and puff sleeves. So flattering !
Next on my wishlist, (and that first dress has been on it for a longgg while-I have dreams about that dress) is anything by Doen. It’s a little more of the expensive side so it’s definitely more of an investment piece, but they are woman owned ethical clothing brand from LA and really care for the environment. You can buy selected and exclusive pieces from Net-a-Porter so you swerve the customs charge too. I’m hoping they add more pieces soon but at the moment these three are at the top of my list.
I feel like I’ve saved the best til last. I want everything from Dodo Bar Or! Just look at all. Have you ever seen a more me brand? It’s seventies inspired heaven. Omg I can’t wait for summer. I am definitely investing in something from Dodo. They do matching swimwear as well, I just love a retro print with a modern silhouette.
I love cardigans. There’s something so chic (and also of course they have that perfect French vibe to them) They look great tucked into jeans, paired with a slip skirt or thrown unbuttoned over a dress. The versatility of them really is endless and they’re perfect for layering. Definitely a wardrobe staple. Oh and most recently I’ve been obsessing overlaying them with an oversized collar too. See I told you they were great ! I think some of my favourite French brands do the best options-think Sezane, Rouje, Musier etc, their cardigans are almost always sell outs. Trust me, I’ve created so many alerts for my favourites to come back in stock, it’s worth doing.
I especially love the details that they can have, the posibilities are endless-short sleeves, oversized, chunky knit, cropped, patterned, floor length, embroidered (I LOVE the trend for embroidered ones at the moment I have a beautiful vintage one), puff sleeves, matching buttons, etc etc I literally could be here all day. There’s so many variations there really is something for everyone. The only problem I have with them…is that I need more of them! Who knew one person could be so passionate about cardigans? I’m just here to share the love.
Also, before I share with you my ten favourite below, here is a special mention to one I discovered via instagram. It’s on the more expensive side but it is handmade to order, this Tach embroidered cardigan is truly beautiful. You better believe I’m saving up for that beauty.
Being a vintage shop owner/lover of vintage for many, many years now (can you believe I started my shop in 2014? where has the time gone) I thought I’d put together a little guide for you on how I shop for vintage, where to go, what to look out for and what to avoid. I did write a similar blog post years back but I thought I’d do a more updated one and share with you all my tips and tricks on how to find great vintage pieces.
It can be overwhelming when going vintage shopping or buying but there’s nothing better than the thrill of finding that amazing vintage piece no one else has.
This one may be an obvious one but it’s something I never seem to learn to do, last time I went vintage buying I wore a silk skirt and it kept snagging on things, disaster. When vintage shopping I always find it better to wear simple outfits you can get in and out of quickly when trying things on-either jeans and a top or a dress and wear easy shoes, there’s nothing worse than spending ages in every changing room trying to wriggle out of a jumpsuit or some tight boots to try things on-this lesson I’ve (nearly) learnt haha.
Keep an eye out wherever you go-if I go to a new place or country I always research the vintage shops, then the markets, then the thrift/charity shops so I’ve got an idea of where I want to start hunting. Then I check their instagrams and read any reviews so I make sure I cover them all. I always save searches of the vintage items I’m looking for- especially on ebay and Vestaire and I create an alert so anytime anything is added I’m the first to know. Also my vintage saves folder on instagram is a real help on for any online vintage stores I discover because I always end up forgetting the names.
Make sure to be on the look out for any stains/tears/holes-hidden tears in the lining, as a lot of vintage in shops sometimes in the greatest condition. For example, sewing a missing button back on is one thing, but replacing a zip or a million hidden moth holes is another. It’s just not worth it sometimes-especially when it comes to the dreaded moth holes or suspicious looking stains no amount of vanish will get rid of. If there are any noticeable defects etc that you spot and they haven’t been written on ‘sold as seen’, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
If you look closely you might see that the vintage dress I’m wearing in the photos has been cut by a previous owner (not very well) and it’s that little bit too short to hem now, but it totally doesn’t bother me (luckily it’s made out of material that won’t fray) as I’m not planning to sell it, ever. I LOVE IT. This is the kind of thing I mean.
This is a fun one ! Always check the labels (and if I’ve not heard of one I always google) to see if it’s rare/designer. I stumbled across an amazing oversized houndstooth check blazer the other day, I loved it anyway, but when I opened it and saw it was vintage Burberry! I also found an amazing YSL cardigan in a flea market that no one else seemed interested in/noticed the label. More often than not vintage shops will have already checked the labels, but if you’re hunting at flea markets/car boots/charity shops this is a great one to double check.
This may sound weird but it’s an important one. Take a sniff of the armpits- as vintage fabrics, like polyester, the smell of a previous owner can linger, and so can stains. The standard musty vintage smell is usually an easy one to wash out/dry clean but anything else usually isn’t-I’ve learnt this through experience especially when it comes to under the arm. If you are desperate to buy it and it doesn’t smell too great in the armpit area-use baking soda as a paste (it almost always works)
Although something may look great on the hanger, it might not on, and vice versa, you honestly don’t know until you try it on. It’s always great to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to trying on different vintage styles and you may try on and fall in love with something you never thought would suit you. Take lots of options in the changing room-esepcially with jeans. Also remember that vintage styles fit a lot differently to todays clothing, so just ignore the size labels and try it on for yourself. It’s fun to take a friend and have a trying on session of vintage clothing you wouldn’t usually go for too.
Now this I do a lot. If you find a vintage piece you love but there’s something not quite right about it, think to yourself: if you buy it, could you customise it to suit you? If you love with a dress but it’s an odd length/too long for you, shorten it! cut the hems of jeans if they fit like a dream but drag on the floor and leave the hem raw, take out shoulder pads of 80s blouses, reworking vintage pieces can bring them a whole new lease of life!