Tag Archives: fashion

6 reasons to love vintage polyester

Polyester, that fabric so abundant in vintage shops but with such a bad reputation. Sure, it doesn’t let your skin breathe like a nice cotton or linen would and it can cause more static than a thunderstorm… but I must admit to having a soft spot for this synthetic textile in its vintage form.

Polyester use boomed in the late 60s through the 70s and 80s, as did clothes manufacturing in general, which is why you find it a lot in vintage shops nowadays.

On one level, of course polyester is BAD because it’s not biodegradable and its production pollutes the environment (though so does the production of many natural textiles, depressingly enough). I’m not saying “hey clothes producers, hit me up with some polyester clothes like nanna used to wear”, but I am saying that seen as the stuff that has already been produced is here, let’s not let it fester in charity shops or clutter up landfill. Let’s bloody well wear it!

Some vintage enthusiasts have purposely chosen to distance themselves from this type of clothing. And that’s fine, whatever floats your boat, I say. But I have a little soft spot for the shiny stuff, and here’s why…

  1. It doesn’t crease. I am not well acquainted with the iron so this is a win-win for me! They’re great to just chuck in an overnight bag and take out the other end perfectly crumple-free.

    80s does 50s polkadot vintage dress

  2. It’s soft and shiny, like silk. Ok, maybe not like silk. But it does have a nice flow to it that flatters many body types, and it’s actually really comfy.


  3. It comes in a rainbow of colours. Man did they like colour in the 70s and 80s! Their prints are bright and bold, and they don’t fade.

  4. It’s easy to work with. If you want to play around with modifying a vintage dress, I’d suggest starting with something (cheap) and polyester. If you go for the thicker stuff, it doesn’t fray when cut, so you can even turn up and stitch raw edges.

  5. It’s in plentiful supply. This is kind of a negative into a postive thing, but the fact that there is shed loads of polyester vintage out there (most deadstock flooding the market is from the 80s) makes it easy to find if you want to add a little touch of vintage into your wardrobe.

    Vintage polyester clothes on rail

  6. And finally, you don’t have to look like an old lady in it. Just because a dress is old, doesn’t mean you have to look old in it. With a few nips and tucks, most outdated clothes can be given a new lease of life.

MATE collection: When You’re Strange

When it comes to music I like it how I like my clothes; vintage.

So I was very excited when I saw the latest collection from MATE, an independent and ethical clothing label designing, knitting, cutting, printing and making tees all in downtown LA.

The When You’re Strange collection is inspired by the lyrics of The Doors, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, as well as some low-key, easy wearing pieces that fit very much into Mate’s laid back aesthetic. Styles include tees, low cut tanks and baseball shirts.

Twinned with lace, velvet, leather and layered necklaces for a distinctly bohemian seventies vibe, the styling is on point. What’s not to love?

Vintage Style: Blue Monday

Happy January! I thought I’d start doing a few vintage outfit inspiration posts on the blog, I love putting together outfits – and what better way to do it than trawling Etsy and making a little collage – it doesn’t cost a penny, but satisfies my vintage hunting urges (that is if I can resist the temptation to buy the things I find!!)

I’ve taken my inspiration from the fact that today is known as ‘Blue Monday’ here in the UK, aka ‘the most depressing day of the year’. Boooo! So I thought I’d see off those winter blues with a few blue-hued threads. I’ve put together two looks, one fancy and one casual though you could easily mix and match both… how cool would that dress look with a pair of Converse? Or boyfriend jeans with a sequin cardigan and heels?

blue-monday-fancy

dress | cardigan | shoes | handbag

blue-monday-casual

sweater | jeans | trainers | bag

 
And, seen as it is Blue Monday… a little music for you!

DIY Fashion: Update an Old Blouse

Sometimes you find a vintage or second hand item that has the best colours, pattern and some sweet features (hello collars!) but the style is just a little, well, frumpy.

Recently I was lucky enough to hit the motherload of discounted Japanese vintage blouses. I love everything about this one, but the arms are too long and the whole thing just swamps me a bit.

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If you have a top or blouse that fits the bill, today I’m going to tell you how to give it a quick update – NO CUTTING or machine sewing involved. There’s just a little bit of hand sewing, so it’s totally reversible (good if you’re just borrowing it, hehe).

What you’ll need

  • Blouse (of course!)
  • Matching cotton or polyester thread
  • Sewing needle

For mid-length sleeves, the ultimate quick update you can do to give it a slightly more contemporary edge is roll the sleeves.

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  1. For an even turn up, fold the hem back on itself on itself once, then as many times as necessary to achieve the length you want. It can help to get someone to do this for you whilst you’re wearing it, then pin to make sure you don’t forget.
  1. Now to get it to stay in place. Take a length of thread and tie a double knot in the end and thread your needle.

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  1. Find a spot on the centre top of the sleeve where the back of the cuff meets the sleeve. Sew from the inside of your sleeve out – so your knot is hidden – going through the top of the cuff and back down. It only needs to be a tiny stitch, so it’s barely noticeable. Repeat this 2-3 times. When the needle is threaded inside for the last time, tie off with a double knot.
  1. Repeat on the underside of your sleeve.
  1. Then repeat 1-4 on the other side.

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Finally, another nice touch for summer is to take your blouse in at the waist with a simple knot. If, like mine, your knot won’t stay in place, put in a few small stitches to hold it.

Et voila! One fresh and funky (not frumpy) new blouse to stay cool in this summer.

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I must say, this one looks particularly lovely with my mint green Ladybird Likes heart collar clips.

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TV Review: This Old Thing

It’s not very often that people make television programmes about things I’m really interested in, like yoga, or cats. And I definitely never imagined that someone would make one about vintage clothing!

But with the rise and rise of the craft movement, Kirstie Allsop making do and mending all over our TV screens, and the popularity of The Great British Sewing Bee, it shouldn’t really have come as much of a surprise that upcycling clothes was next on the cards.

Step forward Dawn O’Porter, TV presenter and vintage clothing lover, whose new show This Old Thing: The Vintage Clothes Show debuted on Channel 4 last night (25th June).

this-old-thing-book

Dawn is a gal after my own heart. Dressed impeccably in vintage with her 60s bump ’do, she wants to show the world how repairing, reinventing and revamping your clothes is a viable alternative to shopping on the highstreet. She wants us to buy less but value what we wear more by investing in a few key, unique items. And learning handmade skills to fix up our old threads along the way which, I have to say, ticks all the right boxes for me.

For the main part of the show, Dawn tried to convert a couple of vintage-phobic shoppers, who looked like they’d rather walk down the road naked than wear something someone else has worn before them.

“Old is not good” one of them exclaimed. “They might have diseases on” said another. But both wanted to look unique. And despite spending all their money on current trends, they (quel surprise) didn’t feel like it reflected their individual sense of style… especially when they walked down the street seeing someone else wearing the same outfit as them.

This was a handy segue into some vintage shopping tips – to step outside your comfort zone and just get stuck in, look for patterns and details you love, try everything on you like. And if you love it, buy it, there’s a chance you’ll never see it again (though word of warning, this is the reason I have 50+ vintage dresses!!)

It was great to see their transformation into vintage vixens, especially when one girl was presented with a reworked dress that used to belong to her nan; I actually had to reach for the tissues. But I’m interested to see if this concept has legs over its 6-week run without getting a bit samey. Though if anyone can do it, you get the impression Dawn can.

As well as convincing fast fashion addicts that vintage clothes don’t smell of dead people, the show also focuses on a particular fashion ‘moment’ – this time the 60s shift dress and mini.
I liked how they did actually show how such trends can be worn and styled without straying into fancy dress territory, which I know is a big fear for vintage newbies.

But, unsurprisingly, perhaps my favourite bit of the show was the bit where clothes actually got reinvented.

Of course, Dawn and her crack team of tailors, dressmakers and costumiers have the benefit of working in a lovely, light, well-stocked workshop that any seamstress would dream of, where they run a sort of walk-in clinic for the kind of eBay purchases you only make when tipsy (no? only me then).

Laura, who bought her red leather dress for a few quid on the internet is a prime example of what can happen when you get a bit eBay happy. But with a few cuts and a bit of ribbon and a zip it was turned into a snazzy little jacket and a matching clutch.

All in all I really enjoyed the show and I’m looking to see how it progresses. There’s also a book to go with the series that I can’t wait to get my mitts on, and a page over on the Channel 4 website where you can learn lots of handy sewing and dressmaking skills as well as styling tips.

Did you watch the show? What did you think?

Vintage inspiration: Festival Fashion

This week it’s really starting to feel like summer for me. The sunshine is helping, but also the Solstice and the start of Glastonbury Festival are two key events that always remind me the seasons are a changing.

Festival fashion is so classically summer, and it borrows heavily from the sixties and seventies when the festival movement began. But I also like the grungey and ethnic inspired elements that typified Glastonbury in the nineties. Now it’s a melting pot of all of the above.

I’m going to my first every festival (well, one with camping), the wonderful Wilderness in Oxfordshire in August, so I’ve been trawling Pinterest and Etsy for some inspiration…


More boho luxe looks here - http://dropdeadgorgeousdaily.com/2014/02/boho-luxe/

Woodstock!

The greatest summer party ever? Woodstock Festival 1969

Stevie Nicks..bohemian Rock queen

Perfect festival look. Floral skirt, vintage style Tshirt and lots of jewellery x

PAISLEY stella fagin MAXI dress kaftan moo moo muu muu BOLD graphic print. petite fit. front zip festival dress. bohemian cool hippie dress.

Are you going to any festivals this summer? What’s your style inspiration?

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