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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2017 from Gloriously Vintage

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2017 from Gloriously Vintage

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Merry Christmas!  I hope you are well and are enjoying Christmas Day!  Have a wonderful time over the Christmas Holiday and I wish a Happy , Healthy, and Fulfilling year for you, Dear Reader in 2017!

 

At the end of October Glenn broke a rib and my mother was unwell at the same time.  I had to step back from posting as with working too I did not have enough life to stretch round all my responsibilities.  Glenn is now fully recovered and my Mother is better although not 100%.  She will be able to enjoy a lovely time with the family.

We have a lot of catching up to do and I am so looking forward to the New Year.  I hope you will be able to join me on Gloriously Vintage and chat in the Comments – I have missed you and missed writing posts!

See you in 2017!

 

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The Last of the Summer Colour

The Last of the Summer Colour

Welcome to Gloriously Vintage, dear Reader I hope you are well and are enjoying the Autumn, with all the beauty of the wonderful colours. Finding out the heartbreaking news about dear Jessica and her husband Tony last week, has added great sadness to the Autumn this year.  I am missing Chronically Vintage and look forward to the glorious triumphant return, in the future of that inspiring blog.

 

It is starting to get cooler by the day here in the UK and Autumn is marching on as we will be turning our clocks back on 30th October. We have our central heating on to top and tail each day and I have been glad to wear my warmer clothes.

 

Do you enjoy this season, dear Reader?  What is your favourite time of year?

 

 

Change is afoot in a number of ways in our home. Our new kitchen and downstairs cloakroom work is almost all over, bar the shouting.  I am busy working through my Big Seasonal Changeover for A/W and will be posting about that shortly.

 

Today I wanted to share with you, dear Reader, the last of the summer hair colour, with a quick photograph taken by Glenn, literally , just before I departed to visit my Hairdresser at the beginning of October.

 

 

The photograph captured some seasonal “firsts” and a “last”.  I always go to see my Hairdresser, Ele, on a Saturday and I make my appointments for the whole year in advance.

My October appointment made in December 2015 was on the same day as a surprise family 50th birthday party, so the day had to be planned with military precision. Timing was very important!  Why not change the hair appointment I hear you say?  Well dear Reader, as you have probably guessed it would upset my Christmas appointment, and therefore my hair styling for that wonderful time of year.

The timing was important because to affect the surprise party we had to meet up for a family meal near Stratford upon Avon. We needed to allow travelling time and on this occasion, being late was not an option!  Do you have any tips for good timekeeping?  I usually start with the time to leave my house and then working backwards plan what I need to do to be ready.

Usually when I visit my hairdresser, Ele it is a wonderfully relaxing experience, not worrying over time – just totally enjoying the experience from start to finish. For this appointment time was of the essence.  I had to prepare more at home beforehand and as I wanted a roller set finished style done at home, to compliment my outfit for the evening.

I brushed out all the styling and washed and conditioned my hair at home. Then I dried my hair very quickly without any styling at all (!)and put a hat on.  I partially did my make up for the party in the morning using my CD of the Glamophones – which is great to get ready to.

The hat really saved the day.

The outfit was driven by my choice of hat. Those of you who know me through my blog,  Gloriously Vintage will be surprised – it is usually a handbag, shoes or jewellery that is the driver for many of my outfits.  What is the driver for your outfits?  Where do you start?  I would love to chat in the comments!

 

I so wanted to style the Hobbs jacket, which is a new find from Oxfam on line and the natural choice was the, lovely plaid skirt that I had bought the jacket to go with in the first place.

 

Well dear Reader, I had the hat, jacket and a skirt. I needed to pull in the colour of the hat and chose this lovely unnamed scarf from my A/W collection – another “first” because I had not worn these pieces together before.

I wore nude high heels and my nude coloured handbag that blends with one of the colours in the skirt. Dear Reader, a cream v necked top finished the choices because again it pulled out a colour from the skirt and did not clash with any of the colours in the scarf.

 

Yes dear Reader, I wore 2 rows of pearls, pearl stud earings and my stretchy pearl cuffs – all jewellery that I could take off easily at the hairdressers. Just as I was leaving Glenn took the photograph.

My hair has been fun to style through the S/S and you will see from this post how light the colour is.  I decided to put myself into Ele’s very capable hands and change the colour to a different, darker shade for A/W 2016. So the “last” is the light blond hair you see peeping out from under the berry coloured felt trilby from H&M.

 

During our consultation, Ele commented that if I wanted to stop colouring my hair, this light blond would be the point at which to do it.

“No! No! Oh NO!” my inner self cried “I am not ready to do this – NOT YET! NOT YET!”

So we decided on the new colours for A/W, with more definition and darker. New colours that will look great with navy blue, black, berry shades, camel and browns.  It will also look good with reds too.

 

Do you change your hair for the A/W? Perhaps trying a new shape or colour? I usually make a start in October and then tweak the colour again in December to have the best colour on my hair for Christmas.  This is when I go to town with an array of outfits for the Christmas season.  I am so looking forward to it!

So this post celebrates the last of the summer colour. On returning home, I set my hair and we were ready and on time for the surprise party.  It was a lovely happy evening and I felt very “new “and ready for Autumn.

My next task is to finish the Big Seasonal Changeover for A/W2016. I do hope to see you on the next post, writing about that…!

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Outfit Details

 

Nude Signature Shoes   Next

Alexon Pleated Plaid Skirt   Oxfam on Line

Cream V-Necked Top   Marks and Spencers

Nude Handbag (featured in this post)   Next

Autumn Hued Silk Scarf   Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair bought 4 years ago

Berry Felt Trilby with Black Hatband and Feather Trim   H&M bought 4 years ago

Ecco Leaf Brooch   Oxfam on Line

2 Rows Lotus Pearls

Large Clip on Pearl Stud Earings

2 x Pearl Stretch Cuffs   Dorothy Perkins

 

Lipstick Blend

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Sangria + Revlon Red Lipstick + Chilli Lipstick by Max Factor

 

 

 

Dear Reader thanks for joining me today and do leave me a message, just to say you dropped by.

 

 

As always, thank you to Glenn for taking this impromptu photograph!

 

 

 

Helping the Cangianos. Please Share.

Helping the Cangianos. Please Share.

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Dear Reader, early on Sunday morning when I was looking at Facebook I saw a post about a fellow blogger who had lost everything in a house fire on Thursday 13th October.  To my absolute horror I realised it was the home of Jessica Cangiano of Chronically Vintage.

Jessica and her husband Tony escaped the fire with their dog, Annie, but they could not find their cat, Stella.  All they had were the clothes they were wearing, their wallets and phones and their car.  Everything else was destroyed.

Many of my Readers know Jessica and have found their way to Gloriously Vintage because of her generous help and support of my blog.  I was invited to write a guest post in September on Chronically Vintage.

There is a Facebook Page and a YouCaring Page  set up to help Jessica and Tony recover.   Please share this post – all help and support means everything to them and will enable Jessica and Tony to get back on their feet again.

Let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they regroup and carry on.

 

 

Fit for the Queen

Fit for the Queen

Hello! A warm welcome to Gloriously Vintage today.  I am writing about the marvellous Day Out I enjoyed at the end of September. 

 

My husband and I went to Buckingham Palace to see the Exhibition of HM the Queen’s clothes -“Fashioning a Reign“.  This day was very special because it was the first time I had been to Buckingham Palace to see the State Rooms that are open to the public in the Summer when HM The Queen is at Balmoral her home in Scotland.

 

The summer has been different for us this year. 2016 is my 60th year and a lot of diverse things have been happening to us as we have celebrated, I started my Blog in February and we decided to get on with having a new kitchen and to create a downstairs cloakroom (rather like Harry Potter) under the stairs.  Our house is very small and therefore the impact of the changes we were making hit us hard.  One week into the project we suffered a serious flood in the kitchen due to a faulty valve that was traumatic, but could have been much, much worse.

 

I love a challenge and as we lost our kitchen inside the house, a kitchenette was created in the garden, in our little summerhouse and in the strong concrete shed in the garden. It is amazing how resourceful one can be and at the beginning of August it was summer!  I believe completely in the saying “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”.  It certainly forced some creative thinking to find a solution to not having a kitchen.  We have a dear little Summerhouse at the bottom of our garden.  As it has mains electricity were able to set up a comfortable kitchenette. The kettle, toaster and microwave all fitted in with a basic supply of cutlery and cups and plates.  We have two comfortable chairs and a table and chairs there already so it worked very well.

 

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I am relaxing in  our Summerhouse/Kitchenette after work.

 

My washing machine went into the concrete shed which also has mains electricity. As I provide all the materials for my Housekeeping Service it was essential to be able to continue with laundry throughout the project.  After the flood our kitchen fitter created a temporary sink on the terrace outside the kitchen with a cold water supply.  We had a gas BBQ in the garden too although this was not as appealing as the space around it turned into a builders yard!  It was a bit like camping.  At first the novelty of it all made it rather fun. As the weeks went by it was not as much fun and we were getting tired as meal preparation and laundry was taking a long time to do.

 

A great perk was to go out to eat after work on days when it was raining!

 

My laundry schedule for work and home and also my mother was working, but very slowly in comparison to how I work with the washing machine in the house at my disposal round the clock. As the power and water were “off” at times I had to agree with our fitter to have the power off in the mornings only which stopped my morning laundry schedule at 8.30am and pushed more into the night hours to maximise time.

What we were not prepared for was the length of time this would all take. August and September have been interesting and October is starting with phase 2 of the project which I hope will be far easier.  It is now Autumn so I am glad that I am not still using my garden kitchen and having to do all the “cooking” using our microwave oven in the summerhouse!  Glenn and I have continued to work almost full time throughout these weeks and have needed the British stiff upper lip, stoically carrying on when days have been challenging!

 

So dear Reader you can see from this backdrop a Day Out seemed like a beacon of hope and delight.

 

We went on a coach tour to London. I was losing heart through the summer as the dates for the Tour were not easy to free up due to work commitments.  I was thrilled when a last date was added -so we made our booking  –  we were going.  I had read about Fashioning a Reign and my friend went to see it at the beginning of the summer -so I heard how marvellous it was.

 

I was born in 1956, three years after the Coronation.  All my life I have known the Royal Family as HM The Queen was just slightly younger than my mother.  Like my mother, she has always been a constant fixture and reference for my life.  As I have grown older I have come to appreciate more and more the amazing life of service, the sacrifices she has made and now what a wonderful role model she is for living a full life into your eighties and nineties.

 

So dear Reader, I needed an outfit that would be fit for the Queen.

 

At first I planned to wear end of summer colours and it was just before the autumn equinox.  It started as my outfits often do with a choice of handbag.  This naturally leads on to shoes and then the rest of the outfit follows.  I definitely wanted to wear vintage style rather than trousers which would have felt too casual for me.

This was all sorting itself out swimmingly until I realised that my feet would probably not survive the day because of my shoes! So dear Reader, I decided to go and purchase a pair of flatter shoes that I would be able to walk in for longer.  I own some Hotter shoes that are lovely plain almond toe court and they have a low heel – they are my concession to being 60 years old.

 

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My “Shimmy ” Shoes from Hotter.  I really love high heels, but these were more practical!

 

I can wear them for about 4 -5 hours before my feel start to complain. This day was about 7.00am to 9.00 pm, considerably longer!

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My  “Jewel “Shoes from Hotter.  Shoes that are even MORE practical!

 

Once the shoes and handbag was sorted out I put together a comfortable skirt that would be good to sit in on the coach and a jacket to meet the in between season time of year that is so great for jackets.

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This skirt looks so much better with high heels!  I have three Buckingham Palace carrier bags now!

 

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Looking bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7.10 am, waiting to get going.

 

Outfit Details

 

“Shimmy” Nude Almond Toe Shoes (worn until just after lunch)  Hotter

“Jewel” Navy Lizard Shoes (worn from Lunchtime until returning home!)   Hotter

Viyella Blue Checked Pleated Skirt  Oxfam on Line

Cream V Neck Top   Marks andSpencer

Blue Jacket   Eastex (inherited)

Nude Handbag      Next, bought last year

Patterned Silk Scarf   Oxfam on Line

1950’s Navy Blue Ruched Nylon Gloves   Diane Ashman

Blush Pink Brooch on Top

2 Rows , Lotus Pearls

Large Pearl Stud Earings

2 x Stretch Pearl Cuff Bracelets in Blush Pearl

Ecco Leaf Brooch in gold finish   Oxfam on Line

 

There is something very special about getting up very early and moving about quietly outside because neighbours are either asleep or just getting up! Do you remember, dear Reader, early starts to go on holiday when you were a child?  I certainly do and the excitement associated with it still comes flooding back to me.  So getting up at 5.00am felt very exciting!

 

We went off to London at 7.30am and arrived at Tower Bridge at 11.00am.

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Our driver parked so well in this tight coach parking space.  He reversed out too!

 

 

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Smiling in front of the most vivid yellow wall in the  underground coach park.  “Great!  It’s nearly time for lunch – breakfast was AGES ago!”

 

The next part of the day was a River Cruise on the Thames alighting at Tower Bridge.

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That is Tower Bridge in the background.

 

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Glenn took this photograph of Tower Bridge.  Can you think of a good caption for this couple in the foreground?  Mine is – “Where have the Ice creams gone?  We were licking them a minute ago!”

 

 

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The back of our cruiser.

 

 

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Our boat is the one in the middle of the River waiting to come and get us all.

 

 

Lunch was served as we went up and down the River taking in the sights on port and starboard.

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Looking forward to Lunch.  The table mat was non slip.  Our cruise was not too choppy!

 

 

It was delicious and we were fortunate that it did not rain.

We returned to the coach and were driven to the Palace. The tour through the Palace is one way, so we were shown where we would be collected by the coach at the end of the afternoon.

 

It would take 15 minutes walk from the back of the Palace, through the gardens and out to meet the coach.

 

The entrance we went to was on the other side of the Palace – the Ambassadors Entrance. We had to pass through airport style security – our bags were x rayed and I set off the alarm with my metal brooches (as I had two – one on my top and one on my jacket).  Once through, we set off through the State Rooms towards the Exhibition.

The State Rooms were magnificent. There was so much to see that I hope to visit again next summer to focus on the State Rooms more, also having read the guide book thoroughly beforehand.  For this time, dear Reader, I was all agog to take in the clothes and to see the designs of Norman Hartnell, Hardy Amies and Angela Kelly.  What I really wanted to see was the Wedding Dress and the Coronation Dress.  These two wonderful dresses had never been displayed together before.  Do look at the video in this link to see the dresses.

 

There were cases of the Queens hats and it was interesting to see the way the designs varied from different milliners and decades. I could remember many of the hats from Tours, The Silver jubilee, The Golden Jubilee and the Family Royal Weddings.  All the outfits from the Diamond Jubilee and HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations were there too.

 

The only shoes displayed in the Exhibition were the Wedding Shoes. They were cream satin peep toes strappy sandals with an ankle strap.  There was the most charming deep oval shoes box with an E on the top, with a crown over the E.  I would have loved to see more shoes and handbags.

The Exhibition covered the Official Robes, Evening dresses and clothes for Tours. There was so much to see and take in.  Each outfit was displayed on a model, backed by large pictures of the event.

 

The clothes are of course brought to life by HM The Queen. However another element was clear – clothes have a diplomatic role and send wonderful signals of cordiality, deference and power.  The unspoken message in so many of the designs shows the care and integrity that goes into the design, planning, fitting and wearing of the completed ensembles.

 

This is a skill I know is being passed to the Duchess of Cambridge. She is learning how to do this and I am sure HM The Queen is eager to show how to use fashion to powerful effect, complimenting countries as we have seen on the recent tour of Canada by The Cambridges.  Kate looked wonderful in her striking first outfit with a hat adorned with maple leaves and wearing the maple leaf diamond brooch.

As we passed through the remaining State Rooms, I took in the wonderful paintings of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and 5 of their children, portraits of Queen Mary and George V. I also marvelled at the chandeliers shining and twinkling in every room.

We stepped out onto the terrace and saw the large green lawn where the Garden Parties are held.

 

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The entrance behind me is where the Royal Family comes out into the Garden for the Summer Garden Parties.

 

 

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The back of Buckingham Palace.

 

 

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Looking back  at the Palace as we were making the 15 minute walk to meet our coach.

 

 I was very affected by the thought I had walked where The Queen walks.  It was so special.

 

The shop at the end of the tour had many different souvenirs.

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There was a lot to see in the shop!  Glenn took these photographs while I was buying my book.

 

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Souvenirs of all sizes!

 

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This Steward is helping a visitor make her purchases!

 

I bought the book “Dressing the Queen” by Angela Kelly and I will be posting about it to share my enjoyment of it with you, dear Reader.

Glenn bought me a corgi soft toy to take home!

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So cute!

 

I have called her Susan after the corgi that the Queen bred her line of corgis from.  Susan is a dear reminder of a unique and memorable Day Out.

I was impressed by the Stewards at Buckingham Palace. They were in uniform and therefore easy to recognise.  They wore Dark navy blue three piece suits with a cape in navy blue with a red collar.  I think the uniforms are based on Court Dress which is navy blue with red trimmings.  The jackets were fitted and single breasted and had red on the back of a revered collar with navy lapels.  The capes reminded me of those worn by nurses in the 1960’s.  They looked so smart and were all friendly, courteous and helpful.  I kept asking questions as I went round and they did their best to answer!

 

As always when travelling, we seemed to get home quickly and arrived back at home by 9.00pm we enjoyed the picnic tea I had left on the coach to return to. My feet had survived very well in the blue shoes for the afternoon and I was pleased with my outfit, which had been just right.

Do chat in the comments, especially if you have been to a Garden Party or have visited Buckingham Palace.  It is very interesting in many ways and will elicit different responses. 

For me, dear Reader, I felt humbled by the evidence of such obvious hard work from everyone involved, from the Royal Family to the army of Housekeepers and Stewards who had made the Palace such a fascinating place to visit.

 

 

A big thank you to Glenn for taking the photographs.

 

Glamorous Getting Ready!

Glamorous Getting Ready!
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Feeling so excited to be off to London – we were up at 5.00am!

 

 

Hello dear Reader, a warm welcome to Gloriously Vintage today. The post Glamorous Getting Ready has been simmering nicely in my thoughts for some time.  It is a joy to commit these thoughts to this post now. 

 

This photograph was taken at 7.10 am. We had got up at 5.00am to be ready for our trip to Buckingham Palace to see the State Rooms and the Fashioning a Reign Exhibition of HM The Queen’s clothes.  I will be posting soon about that amazing Day Out.  Feeling very excited and with a very early start –  wearing pearls – I tried to make getting ready for this wonderful day as glamorous as possible!

Do have a look at this book “Your Beauty Mark” by Dita von Teese and Rose Apodaca.

 

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My favourite Beauty Book!

 

 

 

It is featured on the Gloriously Vintage Books Page. Last Christmas I gave a copy to myself as a Christmas present.  The book has been a great source of confirmation for me because it is written clearly and with honesty about all aspects of beauty, hair, makeup and nails – it is all covered with a sense of humour too.  A great read.

I have found myself saying “yes, I do that”, or “yes, what a great idea”, many, many times as I worked my way through the book and took in all the lovely photographs too.

 

We all need to be glamorous sometimes.  Glamorousness is there for us all to enjoy – accessing it can be tricky if life gets in the way as it frequently does.

 

The idea from the book that really leapt out at me on first reading was the way Dita gets ready. She knows her makeup routines inside out.  Although her look seems very high maintenance, it is not.

You could look at my hairstyle and say “high maintenance”, but it is not. The initial “set” takes time but thereafter it is quick to brush up to be ready to go out.

 

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Essential combs for the “Brushing Up “

 

The secret here is knowing how much time you need to get ready and vary it depending on the day or the occasion.

Dita explained beauty routines for going to work out, going to dinner and getting ready for her performances.

 

The great idea she follows is she uses a playlist.

 

When I am getting ready I have different approaches depending on what I am doing. Usually it is:

  1. Getting ready to go to work
  2. Getting ready at the weekend to be out and about
  3. Getting ready for a date or a special event – then it is the full works!

I have always loved to listen to music when I am doing jobs and often when getting ready. I sit at my dressing table and then make an important choice.

 

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Just add makeup!

 

 

The appropriate playlist, dear Reader is essential to my sense of purpose and feeling glamorous! I love The Rat Pack and especially Frank Sinatra, sometimes I will have music from Hollywood musicals, it all depends on my mood!

 

Since reading this book I have started to look at playlists differently. It is not a random collection of loved tunes.  Now it sets out the available time at the dressing table – usually 8 or 10 tracks.

 

I am relaxing into the songs and know exactly what stage I should be at with my makeup and hair. Dear Reader, I have clocks in strategic places too.  Time is important; I like to be on time if possible.  Planning my time to get ready is usually an important stage in agreeing with my husband how our mornings unfold.

When you follow a beauty routine, very quickly it is possible to grasp how long each element takes. It then follows that you can group these elements into chunks of time.  The result is that the same tasks repeated daily can be achieved in a set time with no surprises to make you late!

I can get my hair brushed up; add a touch of hairspray too in 15minutes or 10minutes if it is closer to the initial “set”. My make up routine can take 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on where I am going.

 

Speed can certainly be achieved with specific practise. It is not a case of practise makes perfect – more that practise leads to accuracy and speed.

 

As you are experienced at making up your face, so you can expertly apply moisturiser, foundation , concealer, powder and the base is ready for the fun part – the colour makeup. I spend as long on applying the base and the colour makeup.  It goes on accurately because it goes on almost every day.

When I want a new tweak to my look I set aside time to practise- to save oodles of time later on.  You have a beauty skill-set that makes it possible to cut corners when needed and relax into a lovely pampering time to get ready – it is all there because you know exactly what you are doing.

 

Looking at a clock continuously can be stressful, do you agree, dear Reader?

 

Listening to music has the opposite effect.  So a playlist is a marvellous way to work through your chosen tunes and you quickly know where in the routine you need to be on song 3 or 4!  I have been doing this unconsciously for a long time.  It is only thanks to Dita von Teese that I have captured this idea and really started to use it to help me get ready, feel so happy because of the music and be finished on time!  I also feel much more glamorous because of the music.

Tracks vary in length but the music of the 1940’s and 1950’s are often 3 minutes in length. This helps when choosing.  I put on the music and get ready – if it fits into my routine I take note of how many tracks it takes.  Then I know with each one what I need to be doing to be on time.

Apart from the oasis of calm I experience sitting at my dressing table, the music enables me to relax and not have to keep clock watching.

One of my favourite CD’s is the one I have of the Glamophones.

 

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Such a happy photograph of me with the Glamophones

 

 

It has 8 tracks –

  1. In the Mood
  2. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
  3. Chattanooga Choo Choo
  4. Johnny B. Goode
  5. Why do Fools Fall in Love?
  6. Umbrella
  7. Britney Spears Mash-UP
  8. Uptown Funk

I used these 8 tracks to help me get ready for my Day Out. Timing was so important as we were going on a coach tour and could not be late!

 

When I am giving myself longer pampering time I will increase the selection or play it twice. It works!

 

Have you used playlists like this, dear Reader? If you are tech-smart it is all probably easy for you.  You are possibly doing this with playlists in a number of contexts.  The advance in accessing music is one of the wonderful marvels of change in my lifetime.

I grew up with 78’s as a very small child and then collected 45’s and LP’s on vinyl all through my teens. At 18 years old I had a portable cassette player for my birthday.  That gift was absolutely wonderful.  I used it so much I wore it out!  The Walkman was also a great way to have music anywhere.  The access to music now is totally amazing.  I have over 3000 tracks on Spotify in creative playlists.  My next step will be to have a more elaborate phone to play them on.

As a teenager in the 1970’s I always had music on. I started with a love of Motown as a young teenager, Elvis and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  I still love all that music enormously.  I love new tracks too and keep up with the most played new music on Spotify!

 

Glenn and I both love the music of Glenn Miller.   Glenn is actually named for Glenn Miller.  He was born the year Glenn Miller tragically disappeared.  He was called Alan Lewis Glenn.  After the disappearance his mother started to call him Glenn.  So dear Reader, Glenn is Alan at the Bank and at the Doctors and Glenn to everyone else!

 

We were fortunate to go and see the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the UK, led by Ray McVay.  It was near our wedding anniversary and I emailed the orchestra and requested “String of Pearls”.  When they played it for us I said excitedly “That’s us!”  It was a magic moment.

 

I am listeningto the CD of the Glenn Miller Orchestra now and fitting the tracks into my beauty routine. It always feels glamorous as I hear the music -remembering that magic moment and what I wore.  The music adds a layer of glamour to getting ready in a way that clockwatching can never do.

 

I would love to hear from you about your playlists for getting ready. Is this a new idea for you?  Have you been doing it for years?  Do chat in the Comments!

 

A big thank you to Glenn for taking the photographs.

Make a Jacket Part of Your Signature Look

Make a Jacket Part of Your Signature Look

Dear Reader, welcome to Gloriously Vintage today. In the UK we are enjoying a great September, with the summery temperatures continuing into the month from August.  There is an autumnal nip in the early morning air and the evenings are cooler. We are moving into the time of year where a cool morning can give way to a warm afternoon.

 

Twice a year I do my Big Seasonal Changeover. I am not quite ready to do it as autumn officially starts on 22nd September.  It feels like an Indian Summer this year, which is lovely.  Once August is over I have a self imposed curfew on white shoes and handbags. I will still wear cream shoes and accessories but the adored white shoes of high summer are the first to be put away.  They are still in my wardrobe but very soon the largest white handbag will be exchanged for a large black patent one in the wardrobe space.  The shoes will have to wait now until next spring to be worn again.

 

Do you have a favourite garment you love to wear? Are you a dress or separates lover?

 

Well dear Reader, I love separates and suits.  Do chat in the comments about your best jackets!

It all stems from childhood as my “best outfits” when not in school uniform were suits.  My mother dressed me in matching skirt and jacket sets from about 5 -13 years old.  I had party dresses too, but the love of separates was rooted early on!

 

If pressed to choose I must say it is the jacket that is my all time favourite garment.

 

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In this photograph I am wearing my Gina Jacket.  It is a terracotta colour and was about £6 from Oxfam on line in the sale, about 3 years ago.  My dressmaker shortened the sleeves for me.  Here I am wearing it with a black pencil skirt, a lovely splashy bright scarf and pearls.

 

Why? Oh, dear Reader, jackets are versatile, can add texture and interest, work hard in the wardrobe and can take you from day to night with a change of accessories and jewellery.

 

You will see from my summer styling posts that it is not wearing a coat or a jacket that marks out the summer for me.  So once we hit September there is that glorious “in between seasons” time roughly mid September to mid October when the jacket comes into its own.

As cooler temperatures advance a Winter Coat can cover a jacket making snug layers. However when the suit or separates can be worn in all their glory – on view and accessorised perfectly – that is a golden point in the year.

 

If you really know your body shape, you can know the jacket style that works for you. Couple that with an awareness of cut and fit for different eras and you have an almost magic formula for elegance.

Why is a jacket so important? What makes it stand out?  How to wear it? How do you know when you have found the right one?  I will try you answer these questions using my personal style as an example.

 

Why is a jacket so important?

Here are some thoughts in answer to this question in no particular order or priority!

  • It can make or break an outfit
  • It must fit well and do what you want it to do
  • It will take a skirt/top combination up a number of gears
  • It will be a backdrop to display wonderful jewellery and scarves
  • Fur collars can change a jacket in A/W as no other accessory can.
  • If you can make it work as hard – match 3 or 4 skirts at least. I choose not to wear trousers for a dressed up look so I expect each jacket to match a minimum of 2 skirts and more if the choice has been expertly made!

What makes a jacket stand out?

To answer this question I have identified some key points to bear in mind when choosing one.

Cut and Fit

How long should the jacket be to suit your body shape? Does it nip in at the waist?  How long are the sleeves? For me, dear Reader, shorter lengths work well – about 24″ nape to hem.  I can wear 26″ and 22.5″ but; longer that 26″ is not so good on me.  Length makes all the difference to the outfit because of the proportion.

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This is a new purchase from Oxfam on line.  It is a Hobbs tailored jacket .  It is 68% wool and 32% Acrylic.  I loved the cut  immediately and the hounds tooth fabric.  It can be dressed up with different collars for the A/W – I am looing forward to making this jacket work hard in my wardrobe!

 

 

 

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The nipped in waist looks good with a straight skirt, but will also go with a pleated or fuller one.

 

The shoulder fit is vital.

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The shoulder looks good on this jacket.

Brush your hand down the opposite upper arm from the edge of the shoulder.  The shoulder of the jacket should be in line with your shoulder.  If it is too short then your shoulder fit is all wrong.  Equally, if the shoulder comes out too far past your natural body line the fit is not good.

 

Length

If I find a wonderful jacket in a great fabric that is too big I look and see if it can be refitted and shortened by my dressmaker. It is worth it as the finished jacket with be unique and of great quality. New jackets that are expertly tailored are beyond my budget.  I also hate to see other people in “my” jacket as can easily happen with new clothes.  So 23″ -24″ is a good length for me.

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This Eastex jacket was inherited from my mother in law.  My dressmaker took 4 inches off the length to remodel the jacket and give it a new lease of life!

 

 

When you are shopping for vintage it is so important to know your measurements and to be sure about the length that looks best on you.

 

Colour and Fabric

I love wool mixtures for in between seasons. Man made fabrics like polyester are great too but will have no warmth in them when the wind blows!  My man made jackets go away in early autumn.  The one or two I keep out for evenings are the first ones to go under a winter coat as the season progresses.  Colour and texture are the key to the success of the jacket.  Can you match tweed to jewellery?  Does the colour/texture compliment many of your scarves?  How does it sit with the skirt of your choice?  I love plain jacket/ patterned skirt combinations.  Plain jacket/skirt combinations take jewellery so well and complimentary patterns can work too.

 

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This is one of my “in between seasons” jackets.  I love the texture and colours in it.  In this photograph I am wearing it with a S/S look.  In the coming weeks I will be wearing it with a navy blue pencil skirt and navy court shoes and handbag.

 

If you look critically at the colour and texture of the fabric you can see the possibilities of the jacket working hard with pieces that are already in your wardrobe.

 

Collar

If you know the length that suits you, chances are you are very sure about the best style of collar. I love shawl collars.  They are soft and feminine and take scarves well.  Notched or revered collars are so smart.  It is very important to really understand whether one or two buttons and a deep V or a higher buttoning jacket suits you.  This depends on the fullness of the bust.  I am aiming at an hour glass figure and suit one or two buttons.  I have found some higher buttoning jackets to work too.

 

Buttons

Does the jacket have great buttons?

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This is another new purchase from Oxfam on line.  I have been watching this jacket on line for some time before buying it!   It is polyester, so now belongs in my S/S wardrobe.  I wanted a cream jacket to compliment most of my Summer skirts on cooler days.  The buttons are mother of pearl and have a slightly greenish tone in certain light.  The skirt in the photograph above looks great with this jacket because of the buttons.

 

It is possible to build up a collection of vintage buttons.  This is something I am doing now.   I try and buy some vintage buttons so can change then on jackets quite often to upgrade a look or to give faithful jacket a new look.  Buttons can be very tying.  A suit I bought in a charity shop had cream buttons on it.  I had them changed to a smoky grey and immediately the suit went with a lot of other tops and shoe /handbag combinations.

I buy jackets in charity shops for the buttons. The jacket will probably be too big or too long for me but will sport great buttons.  It can be cheaper to acquire buttons this way.  New buttons are expensive now and the quality does not compare to vintage buttons.

 

How to wear it?

Dear Reader the three ways I like to wear jacket are:

  1. Buttoned up
  2. Open
  3. Slung around the shoulders, like a cape.

Buttoned Up

Buttoned up is always more formal and smart.

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This jacket has an unusual style.  It almost has a peplum – you can see the split on the hip.  I like the way it adds interest to the side view, showing the skirt through the split.

If you make the jacket and skirt appear as “one” and treat it like a “dress” you can use accessories to powerful effect.  I love to wear at least one brooch or a group of smaller ones.  If I am going to a meeting and want to feel confident I choose a jacket that fits well on the shoulder and I wear it buttoned up.  The vital “first impression “is of elegance and power and can be very useful in some contexts.

I attend many meetings to do with the planning and organisation of Care for my elderly mother. It is always my objective to have the sartorial advantage, which silently reinforces the message that I mean business and will not settle for poor service or standards!

Open

An open jacket is more relaxed and can show off a lovely top underneath. It can work beautifully with brooches and scarves too.  Always try on the jacket open and look at the back view.  Some jackets look too baggy open.  Do think of this when you try on your outfit.  My grandmother always used to say to me that the back view was just as important as the front!

 

Around the Shoulders

Around the shoulders works well as long as it does not fall off! I use this way of wearing a jacket if I expect to take it off.  So going down to breakfast at an hotel, or going to the theatre for example.  Last A/W this was a popular way to wear coats and jackets loved by Victoria Beckham particularly.

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I am wearing this jacket round my shoulders, over my scarf and top.  A good fit on the shoulder helps the jacket to stay in place!

 

It is not so warm and is great for in between seasons. In winter I drape my winter coat around the shoulders if I have a light wool jacket and am getting into the car, for example.  It is fun to experiment and do some styling or trying on at home in front of a full length mirror.  Always check the back view.

Dear Reader, I use my landing as a dressing room at home with a full length mirror and hooks to prepare outfits I am going to wear and to air outfits before they are returned to the wardrobe.

 

How do you know when you have found the right one?

The answer to this question is dear Reader, the feeling of absolute delight when you put on a jacket that fits well on the shoulder, is the best length and just looks amazing on!

 

It is that moment when you say to yourself “Yes!  This works”! 

 

I plan my outfits for the whole of the Christmas period about 12 or more outfits – this involves going for as many “YES” moments as I possibly can.

 

 

The jacket that works hard in your wardrobe can be a powerful part of your signature look. Dear Reader, for me a plain black skirt can come into its own with a contrasting jacket and look different each time because of the accessories!  I think it is an easy way to extend the scope of the pieces in my wardrobe and I just adore adding fur collars or scarves, brooches of varying sizes and seeing the effect with various shoes and handbags.

 

Sometimes I have a styling session that is one skirt and jacket to see how adding different accessorises can push the outfit in many directions and find looks for different occasions! A styling session like this can confirm the jacket as part of your signature look.

 

Thank you to Glenn for taking the photographs of me in this post.

Guest Post on Chronically Vintage

Guest Post on Chronically Vintage

Dear Reader, I am so thrilled to be writing a guest post on Chronically Vintage. When Jessica invited me I said “yes” straight away. 

My first thought was to write about another aspect of my vintage life which is my love of classic film. So welcome today to this post.

 

An Appreciation of the Classic Film

“I Know Where I’m Going”

 

Do you watch “old” or “classic” films? Do you collect DVD’s of great films?  I have so enjoyed blogs which feature wonderful films from the 1930’s- 1960’s.  My own taste spans from 1930’s to modern days.  I like silent films to but love to hear the stars talking!  The Hollywood musicals are also firm favourites.

 

I like nothing more than settling down with a hot drink and a great film.  It is a marvellous way to relax and step out of the busy life and be taken up by the story.

 

Films from the 1940’s are interesting too because of the authentic fashions, social conventions and as a window into a time when life was extremely challenging because of world events.

Dear Reader, I found this film a few years ago and it is now a firm favourite. At home we take the “Radio Times”, every week.  This long running publication records the weeks TV and Radio programmes.  Selected films that will be shown that week are also reviewed.  There is a film critic called Barry Norman who is very knowledgeable about all genres and writes well.

 

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He reviewed this film in the RT and wrote about it in such glowing terms that I wanted to see it.  It was given 5 white stars, the highest accolade and Barry Norman has ranked this film in his top 100 films of all time.  Once I had watched it, I wanted my own copy so I could watch it again (and repeat the experience!).

 

 

It is Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell (1905 – 1990) and Emeric Pressburger (1902 -1988) they also made The Red Shoes (1948) and A matter of Life and Death (1946) and it is their fourth collaboration.  They called themselves The Archers and referred to the film as IKWIG.  It was made in 1945 in black and white because all the colour film had been requisitioned by the Air Force for training films.  The screenplay was written in six days, developed from an idea that Powell and Pressburger had been thinking about for some time.

 

 

This film is a romantic love story with most of the film set in the Western Isles of Scotland.  There is a legend, a curse and a number of romantic castles and a phone box next to a waterfall (that makes hearing the phonecall impossible!)

The thrust of the story is that the 25 year old heroine Joan Webster is travelling from Manchester to the Isle of Kiloran to marry a rich industrialist, Sir Robert Bellinger, who is old enough to be her father and is the Laird.  She will become Lady Bellinger, having the materially rich life she has chosen for herself.  She is sure having money is the key to her future happiness.  Joan is so single minded in her pursuit of this goal that when she is forced to wait on the Isle of Mull because of a storm she risks her life and the lives of others too trying to reach Kiloran in a small boat.

Joan meets a young naval officer Torquil MacNeil who is also trying to reach Kiloran on 8 days shore leave. They are compelled to wait on Mull.  She learns that Torquil is in fact the true Laird of Kiloran and her fiancé is renting the title, from him.  They start to fall in love with each other as MacNeil of Kiloran is a gentle and patient man who is at ease in his environment, and is wise and calm.  Joan is a city girl desperate to get to Kiloran but she is challenged by her time with MacNeil and struggles to see that the life she thinks she wants could be so limited and empty without true love.

 

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An eye-catching vintage movie poster for I know Where I’m Going starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey. {Image source.}

 

My favourite quotation from the film, is where MacNeil points out a big difference to Joan.  It struck me on first viewing and catches me every time I see the film.

 

The two leading characters are played by Wendy Hiller (1912 -2003) and Roger Livesey (1906 -1976).   Their performances are strong and so engaging.  I found Joan rather unlikeable but Wendy Hiller showed her struggles so powerfully that I warmed to her as the story unfolded.  Roger Livesey as MacNeil of Kiloran was handsome, charming and wise – I think I fell a little in love with him too!  He looked dashing in his naval uniform and so at home in his kilt!

 

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{MacNeil looking elegantly dapper in his classic Scottish kilt. Image source.}

At the start of her journey Joan appears in the most wonderful suit. It has a slightly A-line skirt that reaches to just below the knee and a hip length jacket and is beautifully tailored to fit perfectly.

 

She is wearing the most glamorous tilt hat in leopard print and has a matching large envelope clutch bag. On her left lapel she is sporting a big brooch as her only jewellery apart from the enormous diamond ring that shows she is engaged to “one of the richest men in Britain”.  Over her suit and simple top Joan has a wool overcoat that is waisted with a fuller skirt.  The coat and skirt lengths are just right together and of course the hat and matching bag look wonderful too.

 

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{MacNeil looking elegantly dapper in his classic Scottish kilt. Image source.}

 

During the film she has super pyjamas and a very 1940’s housecoat waisted , of course with a tie belt and wide stripped lapels.  Her travelling clothes are understated and so elegant.

She has with her two leather suitcases. One of the cases holds her silk wedding dress which she takes out and hangs up as she is heading towards Scotland overnight by train.  It is lovely and is probably made from parachute silk!

Joan is excited and so assured that she has her life mapped out. Her clothes are expensive – probably all paid for by Sir Robert Bellinger who had contacts to get round clothing coupons and rationing.

 

This film has inspired me dear Reader to try a matching hat and muff and a leopard print collar and matching muff to wear with A/W suits. I am looking forward to bringing them out later at the end of September.

 

I hope you will enjoy this film as much as I have. When I watch it again I am going to keep my eye on Roger Livesey.  This is because he was in a stage play in London at the time of filming and never went to Scotland!  A double was used of all the shots of him there and with careful editing his close up scenes were all filmed in a studio in London. “I’m not sure, but I think it was one of the cleverest things I did in movies,” Michael Powell recalled.  I have only just discovered this researching for this post!  I will be watching very carefully…

 

It has been such a pleasure to write this post about “I Know Where I’m Going”, a favourite film of mine. I am hoping to share with you more wonderful classic films on Gloriously Vintage in the future!  Thank you again to Jessica,  for this guest post opportunity.

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