Saturday, 21 September 2013

How to wear vintage: The Oversized shirt dress

Remember when vintage exploded into the fashion world with a trail of dust and a few choice mothballs? It was funny to see a demand for older people's clothes surge amongst people who would never set foot in a charity shop. But of course, high street shops made their own 'vintage light' versions of typical retro pieces, allowing us to purchase tea dresses without the frankly ugly shoulder pads and essentially meaning that dressing like your grandmother was the ideal look. We have Alexa Chung to blame for that. Now it's become a bit of a saturated market. There's nothing particularly bargain basement about selling seemingly vintage dresses (although I've seen the suspicious 'Atmosphere' logo on many pieces before) at £35 a pop. But my determined desire to be a total cheapskate continues with ferocious force. Sure, vintage can sometimes be hard to wear, whether it's too long, short or seems to be made for a doll (they were smaller back then)! but it's definitely worth it to find something truly special, and to avoid the awkward moment when you buy a unique new piece from Topshop only to find everyone else on the street wearing it.
There is still hope for all us vintage toting hipsters who line the globe with lumberjack shirts and paisley trousers. I recently discovered Brag Vintage, a Sheffield (which I visited only recently) based online shop that sells actual vintage clothes at a, wait for it, reasonable price! I was relieved to see their dress selections were priced at around the £20 to £30 mark, and there's some seriously good quality stuff on there too, and no used underwear to rifle through (though some of us clothes hoarders will make that particular sacrifice for fashun).
This tunic/smock from their selection represents what I tend to like about vintage clothes. I always like vintage that is a bit oversized, as it can double up as a top and a dress (or a drop if you want to use fashion lingo.) A size 20 shirt suddenly becomes a clever fashion statement, and looks really great paired with a pair of leggings and a cardigan. This sunflower print beauty is relentlessly cheerful looking and goes really well with my newly purple hair! Then I've paired it alongside some knee high socks for that thigh chilling look, along with my new cut out boots so I can avoid looking like a five year old's drawing.

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Smock/Tunic - Brag Vintage

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Coat - Charity Shop (originally Whistles)
Socks - New Look

I bought this coat one Christmas Eve in a charity shop the next town over from me. I almost didn't pick it up, but I'm so glad I did now as it's genuinely one of my favourite coats (and I have quite a few!). I'm obsessed with anything brightly coloured and furry at the moment, so this was one hell of a find!

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Shoes - River Island

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And lastly to my newly acquired shoes. Apparently it's an unspoken rule of fashion that you need at least two pairs of cut out boots or something, so naturally I rushed out to River Island to pick up these. What I love about them is that they are pretty much the spitting image of the Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes, and were only £45! You have no idea how quickly I grabbed these. They also do a version in blue which I'm keen to pick up, but I'm sensing that three might be a push.

I'd be interested to know your opinions on vintage clothing, have you ever found something incredible? And where are your favourite places to find it?



Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Friday, 13 September 2013

Holiday Snapshots

Sometimes we all need a break from the dizzying world of fashion. This includes taking a break from any sort of fashion sense whatsoever, which is something I seem to have done on my recent holiday.
I've always seen holiday recaps posts as comparable to that moment when one of your relatives subjects you to 300 slightly off kilter photos of some famous landmark on the tv from their travels. But I wouldn't inflict that upon you, primarily because lugging a DSLR across an extremely hot country isn't entirely comfortable (yes, I am often struck down by disgustingly 'first world' problems) so I didn't actually take that many.
The last twelve days I have been in Turkey, staying at my friend Bradley's house, who was kind enough to let myself and four others come, including my lovely food blogger friend Luke of Chew Kamu and skincare overlord Daniela from Couture and Crumpets. Being what could only be described as a country bumpkin, I'm not particularly well travelled. My last proper holiday abroad was aged two in Northern Italy, where I apparently charmed Italians with my blonde hair and smiley nature (how times have changed) and sat next to Yoko Ono. So being able to go to a faraway country was a truly special experience from me, from the plane ride (I really really enjoy takeoff) to the totally different climate (minimum 30 degrees!)As a consequence I didn't give much thought to my fashion choices, and I packed ridiculously lightly. Generally I packed floral dresses, my new £1 kimono from a charity shop and shorts. I decided to keep makeup to a minimum, giving my face a rest from foundation for a week and only using a mixture of Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer and tea tree moisturiser, to let the tan do its work. Anyway, here are just a few snapshots before normal blogging services resume in full force!

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Left - Bodrum Castle, Turkey: Dress from Primark, Converse shoes. Right - Kos Ampitheatre, Greece: Top from Willam Belli Merchandise, trousers from Primark.

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A big beauty staple on my holiday was a recent rather guilty purchase I made with my friend (I've since learned that it's quite dangerous to go into Mac when you're angsty), that of Mac's Candy Yum Yum lipstick. I originally saw it in Sunbeams Jess's videos and thought it would be a perfect holiday lipstick. You can see it more vibrantly in my post about natural beauty, it's such an amazing colour and really brings out my (extremely gradual) tan. Also, Mac lipsticks are £3 cheaper in duty free, something to consider if you're jetting off any time soon.

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Kos, Greece

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'What's in my beach'
Toni Morrison 'Beloved', Topshop Lipstick in purple, Asos Cat Eye Sunglasses, River Island Pyjama style top (for when my swimsuit gets a bit cold on its own), EOS lipbalm, Disposable Camera.

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And so it's goodbye holiday from me, hello mundane final dregs of further education!

Where did you go this Summer? And did you give your otherwise impeccable fashion sense a break when you were there? Come on, make me feel better here.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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