RSS Feed

Tag Archives: elegance

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.

 

summerhouse

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.

 

_1

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!

navy-jewel

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.

010-copy-2

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

 

001

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.

002

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

 

 

003

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.

006

That is Tower Bridge in the background.

 

005

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!”

 

 

008

The back of our cruiser.

 

 

007

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.

009

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.

 

010

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

 

 

012

The back of Buckingham Palace.

 

 

017

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.

014

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

 

015

Souvenirs of all sizes!

 

016

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!

018

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.

 

Advertisements

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.

 

553

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.

hd_100671654_01

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!

 

 

 

hd_100671654_03

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.

hd_100671654_02

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.

001

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.

 

002

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?

hd_100580295_01

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.

555

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.

009-copy

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.

Tales from the Dressing Table – Blending Lipsticks

Tales from the Dressing Table – Blending Lipsticks

Hello and welcome to Gloriously Vintage, today dear Reader, I am sharing with you one of my pleasures in wearing makeup – Blending Lipsticks.

 

 

What do I mean by Blending Lipsticks?

There are a number of ways to blend lipsticks.  Here are three ways; some are more successful than others!

You can actually mix lipsticks together, thus creating a new colour, in a small pot.  I have tried this with the last bit of a couple of lipsticks, in the past.  It is hard to get a good colour because the outcome is practically unknown.  There is a risk you will end up with a sludgy mess!  It was not successful.  I do not do this now.

You can actually mix colours on the lips using a lip brush.  This can be very successful and allows for very interesting effects.  Using darker shades at the outer edges and outline, blending to lighter shades on the centre on the bottom and top lip, it is possible to make lips look fuller and really gorgeous.  It takes time and practice and is often referred to as advanced lipstick application in beauty books.  I do this for very special evening events.

 

 

In this post, I am sharing with you dear Reader, blending lipsticks by layering lip colour from lip pencil and lipsticks to create new colours that come very close to matching elements of your outfit.

 

I love to do this to find a match with a scarf, handbag or a piece of jewellery.

 

The principles work with all shades of lipstick.

 

I will be illustrating them here with shades of red and coral.

 

 

IMG_0816_crop

In the photograph above I am wearing a lipstick blend.  It is made up of:

Lip Pencil + Base Colour +Additional Colours =  NEW (Desired) SHADE

Bobbi Brown Sangria lip pencil + Revlon Red + Max Factor Chilli + Revlon Candy Apple =

A colour that matches the colours in the scarf very well.

 

 

Why Blend Lipsticks?

Well my answer to that question is twofold.  Firstly it is fun to blend two or more lipstick colours together to create new shades that are unique.  Blending lipsticks together extends the range of the single colours and the results are extremely satisfying because of how they look and wear.  Secondly, dear Reader, if you have a colour or tone in a scarf, handbag or outfit it is fun to blend lipsticks together to get as near a match as you possibly can.  This gives a level of elegance that is not difficult to achieve.  You can then get the blusher, nail varnish and the rest of your makeup to be perfectly in tune with the total look you are creating.

Matching lip colour to tones in accessories is something we see sometimes on the Red carpet at the BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards or the Oscars.  I particularly remember Angelina Jolie Pitt wearing an elegant full length gown that was very simple, carrying a red clutch bag matched perfectly to her lipstick.  This was very striking and memorable.

 

My husband often says to me, “Your lipstick looks amazing”.  I usually reply, “It’s a blend!”

 

714 - Copy

 In this photograph you saw on my last post I am wearing a lipstick blend.  It is made up of:

Bobbi Brown sangria lip pencil + Revlon Red +Max Factor Mulberry =

A lipstick that complimented my party dress and would be unique at the event

Shriener earings and brooch

Looking very happy on my 60th Birthday, wearing a blend to match the Schreiner Demi Parure!

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil Red + Revlon Red +Dior 999 =  A very bright, warm red that tones well with the jewellery and the scarf I am wearing.

 

 

If you are wearing vintage style clothes why not go a step further and really work on the lipstick to complete your look?

Sometimes it is possible to blend a red lipstick that is just the right shade, texture and finish so that your finished look is simply incredible.  The blending principles I am discussing here can be used with all colours to get the tone required.  I am illustrating this post with shades of red because love lipstick, especially red tones.  Blending is what I do most days. In A/W my reds are a warm red/wine base colour and moving to berry and purple, mauve tones.  I also love to blend russet, chilli tones into my red in the A/W.  At the time of writing it is May and S/S is here!  So dear Reader, let’s take a look at reds and corals to be ready for S/S!

 

 

What do you need to get started?

You need:

  1. Two or more lipsticks that you like and really know the colour. Think – is it bright, flat, pinky, bluey, does it suit me?  Does it make me happy to wear it?

  2. Lip pencils in a number of tones. When you are young lip pencils just sort out the outline of your lips, over 40 years old I think it is important to outline and full in the lips to give an excellent base to then fill in with lipstick.

  3. Good Quality quilted toilet paper for blotting. I have tried tissues, cotton handkerchiefs, blotting papers; you name it and have found this to be the best.  The quilted toilet paper sheets will take 3 or 4 blots and do not separate on the lips.

  4. A good moisturizing routine to keep your lips and the skin around your mouth well moisturized.

  5. A face flannel for exfoliating the lips regularly. I use a clean face flannel everyday to wash my face in the morning.  Then I like to use cleanser, toner and moisturiser at night with cotton makeup remover pads.  If your lips are kept well moisturised and you are following a good routine, they will look great.

 

It is worth following a disciplined skin care routine for life.  If you do not do this – start now.  I have cared for my skin religiously over my life and am keeping deep wrinkles at bay, for the moment!

 

How to get a great result

Here is my step by step guide to a great blend:

  1. Preparation of the lips is vital. Moisturise lips and then wipe away the moisturiser.

  2. I like to put a thin layer of foundation onto my lips to start.

  3. Follow this with a little powder to create a matte surface

  4. Outline lips with your chosen coloured lip pencil

  5. Fill in the outline with lip pencil.

  6. Apply the base colour.

  7. Blot on quilted toilet paper, 3 times. You will see the strong colour in the first blotting.

  8. Apply again and blot 3 times

  9. Apply another colour that will take the base colour up or down in brightness or toward coral or red. Blot again at least twice.

  10. Go on layering colours until the desired match is achieved. Blot each application at least once or twice.  Four layers, each blotted should stay on well.

  11. Use the blotting on the sheet to match with the outfit , scarf or even jewellery.

  12. Try on the finished outfit with your blend; enjoy the result – a truly individual look that is specific to that outfit. The perfect finishing touch!

Your new shades

When you practice the above is possible to create formulas or codes to enable you to collect blends that really work for you.

 

Lip Pencil + Base Colour+ Additional Colour(s) =

NEW SHADE

When blending it is very important choose a base colour.  This is the colour you apply first.

005

It can be a favourite you know looks great on its own, mine is Revlon Red.  It is a staple colour and has been available for many years.  It is a red with warm tones.

Find out if you suit reds with a blue tone or a more tomato tone.  I suit the warmer reds.  Bluey ones do nothing for me at all.  Search and try out testers in shops – go outside and look at the colours in natural light.

 

Texture and Finish

It interests me greatly how the texture of lipstick goes in and out of fashion.  Now I am older I follow the beauty pages of both Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.  I love to see how the lipstick textures are going to play out each season.  Sometimes it is matte or satin finish and of course glossy lips dip in and out of fashion.  These fashions can determine what colours and types of lipstick are available to buy.  Dita Von Teese advocates stocking up on your favourites.  The most annoying thing is when marvellous colours are discontinued and are unavailable.

Last year I bought 2 Revlon HD lipsticks in Poppy and Gladiolus.  I wore them in blends all summer and had great fun with them.  Thankfully they and still available and I am just now buying them again for this year!

 

Season by Season

Once you master this blending principle, there is nothing to stop you making many, many tones from your lipstick collection.  Why should you restrict yourself?  Blotting and layering the colour makes lipstick stay on to eat and drink and to just last well through the day.

I wear a uniform to work.  So every day I practice my blends when I do not have to match anything in particular.  I try out blends and assess how they have stayed on during the morning or afternoon.  I am using that work time to prepare great lipstick looks for the outfits I am planning to wear at the weekend or to attend a special party or event.

Some Lipsticks stay on better than others due to the amount of pigment in them.  Max Factor are excellent, L’Oreal Reds are lovely , I like Blake’s and Eva’s.

This summer I am also using Dior 999 and Bobbi Brown Parisian Red.  I will enjoy them on their own but will also be experimenting with some amazing blends!

 

Here are some examples of my favourite blends:

007

If I want a good warm coral I turn to:

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Red + Revlon Red + Bourjois 10 Rouge Buzz

 

010

011

This is one of my absolute favourite summer blends!  I wear this many times because it is bright, strong and a warm summer red that stands out well with a lot of my clothes.

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil Red + Revlon Red + Revlon  HD Gladiolus

 

013

For a bright summer blend that comes out slightly more red than the one above I use:

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil Red + Revlon Red + Bourjois 13 Jet Set

 

 

Inspiration

You can find inspiration for your look in many places. Dear Reader, please talk to me and share some of your inspiration in the comments.  As I love lipstick and wearing it, mine starts with the classic Hollywood film stars.  I look at Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, June Alyson, Rita Hayworth, Doris Day, Cyd Charrise and Lauren Bacall to name a few.  They all looked so glamorous and beautiful.  On Facebook there are groups who share wonderful photos of these film stars.

Images in magazines are helpful as you can find looks you like.  It is possible to emulate this style and put your own personal twist on it.  When I was in my early 20’s I read the beauty pages of Vogue magazine avidly and copied some of the makeup looks, learning all the time what worked and certainly what definitely did not!.

I also find inspiration now in my jewellery and scarf collections.  Can I blend a lipstick to match or to tone really well?  I am also inspired by the colour of handbags.  I have a bright tomato red modern handbag that I always wear with a specific blend.  I have to say I feel marvellous when I wear it!

021

Here I have used:

Bobbi Brown lip pencil in red + Revlon Red +MAC Lady Danger +Revlon HD Poppy = A good match to this handbag

 

 

Matching tones to a scarf will always produce a very “finished” and polished look.  If the scarf is near your face, it makes perfect sense to blend a lipstick to go with it.

022

Here I have used:

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Red + MAC Lady Danger + Revlon HD lipstick Poppy = A lovely bright colour to wear with my scarf!

025

To go with this lovely silk scarf I blend:

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Sangria + Revlon Red + Max Factor Mulberry =

A more purple tone that works for S/S because the Revlon Red base colour stops the Mulberry coming out too dark.  The Mulberry shade has little gold sparkles in it which adds an interesting finish.

 

 

A big thank you to Glenn for taking these photographs.

I hope you are thinking now about having a go at blending and creating your own blends to match your outfits.  Summer is ahead of us with plenty of opportunities to be out and about looking very glamourous. 

 

It’s been great to get together on Gloriously Vintage – drop by again soon!

Pearls – One, Two, Three even Five Rows

Pearls – One, Two, Three even Five Rows

I have always loved to wear pearls.  Are they  favourite of yours, dear Reader?

“Pearls are always appropriate”

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy was right, pearls go with everything and bring a timeless elegance to special outfits for special occasions and lift more ordinary clothes. There are many ways to wear them – how do you like to wear them?

It started for me when I was 19 years old  when I had my ears pierced.  The whole point was to wear pearl studs.  The process was very different to the piercing method now – I felt brave when my mother took me to a local jeweller to have them done. After the tiny gold sleeper stage, that was it , pearl studs all the time , with everything.

At 21 when I “came of age” I was given a single row of graduated Rosita Pearls that I still have and wear.  So from the end of the 70’s I wore my pearl studs and pearls with a lot of outfits, some more elegant than others.  As you know I love the old films of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and noticed so many film stars wearing pearls – 2 or 3 rows particularly.

 

 

Pearls are classic and reflect a glow onto the skin that is flattering.  Her majesty, The Queen is hardly ever seen attending daytime events without her beautiful diamond and pearl earrings and 3 rows of priceless pearls.  The necklace that is seen so often is a 3 strand graduated necklace that was made out of family pearls shortly after she came to the throne in 1952. That necklace is fastened with a small diamond clasp.  The earings are Queen Mary’s Button earings, inherited from her Grandmother.  They are her trademark.

For a very large part of my life I wore my pearl studs, the Rosita pearls and the gold bracelet that was a21st Birthday present from my parents.  That jewellery saw me through good and bad times, and helped me to feel more confident when I needed to be.  I am very lucky because I there has been a second chance to be happy as I am now in a second marriage with a wonderful, caring man and a large blended family.  I sold my engagement ring and wedding ring from my first marriage, added extra money and bought a single row of real, graduated pearls.  Why?  There were two reasons.  Firstly , I wanted them.  Secondly, I had seen many times “The Glenn Miller Story”!

MV5BNjUwMjIxNDE2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjM3NTU3MzE@._V1_UY268_CR7,0,182,268_AL_ - Copy

One of my favourite films of all time.

My Mother told me that James Stewart was more handsome that the real Glenn Miller, but the music and the story!  I just loved it all!  My favourite song is “String of Pearls”, a 1941 song composed by Jerry Grey, with lyrics by Eddie Delange.

In the film Glenn has a long distance relationship with Helen.  He pops in and out of her life putting his trombone in and out of hock.  He gets a good price on a single row of pearls for his girl. When he gets to see her , very late after a gig, he tells her “They are for your birthday!”.  “It’s not my Birthday until November.” says Helen.  “They are for your next birthday. “he replies.  Later when they are married, have found “The Sound” and are doing very well, he surprises her at a dance where his orchestra are playing. He bounds off the podium and presents Helen with a single strand of pearls, “These are for your birthday, they’re just real” he  says.  Returning to the podium , as the number ends he announces that it is called String of Pearls.  I love those moments so much, it is one of my favourite Glenn Miller Tracks.

just real

Single row of creamy pearls with gold clasp

Wearing my “just real” string of pearls brought great pleasure and a classic look well into my life as is it is now.  Those pearls have seen me through a lot of happy occasions and represent surviving a long tough journey.

My collecting really started with buying my first powder compact at a vintage and Arts fair in Stratford on Avon.  That Collection sparked an interest in vintage handbags and making my style more 1950’s – wearing fitted jackets, pencil skirts, heels of course and a nod to Christian Dior’s 1947 New Look silhouette.  So, to get a more vintage look my single row was all right , but really more rows were needed.

My husband always comes with me to Vintage Fairs because he is a savvy negotiator and will always tell me if he thinks something is not good!  About 5 years ago, following my discovering the brown corde handbag we started to go to the NEC to Antiques for Everyone.  I was buying powder compacts for my collection, but once there I could see amazing costume jewellery, handbags, vintage clothes and more.  It all felt new and thrilling, this hunting out treasures.

After asking a number of exhibitors if they had 3 rows of graduated pearls I was directed to Diane Ashman, of Ashman’s Antiques and Old Lace.  She had some amazing pearls, which I bought!

DA pearls

My first 3 rows of pearls

I also got a great deal on some ruched 1950’s nylon gloves in black and brown!.  The excitement at being able to wear these accessories, to feel a connection to the decade I was born into was both wonderful and freeing.  I had my three rows of pearls.

With collecting it seems it is easy to expand an interest into other related things, would you agree?  There is also the sense of living history that I have read about in other vintage blogs that expresses this very well.  It is a feeling of joy.  I love the fact that there is never anyone, anywhere who look like me.  I am unique and memorable!

To collecting powder compacts, I added 1950’s costume jewellery and vintage accessories.  I have found more three rows of pearls in different lengths and with different gaps between the rows. they can be worn with all kinds of outfits and necklines   I just adore trying on different skirts, tops, and jackets and then getting the jewellery right.  I call it doing my “styling”.

collection

My Pearl Necklaces

With experience and practice comes the understanding of what you really like and want.  I do not know if you have found this , but collecting goes in stages.  At first it is just collecting anything you can find.  Then comes preferences for certain styles and makers.  I love all my unmarked jewellery, but now favour Trifari, Monet, Napier, Christian Dior and Sarah Coventry.  For pearls I look for Lotus Rosita and Ciro in their original box if possible.

Lotus 2 rows

2 Rows of Lotus Pearls in their original box

I always take a magnifying glass out with me so I am prepared for hunting out treasures!  I have found some amazing things.  You develop an eye for what you like and get better and better over time.  There is a lot to help with knowledge on the Internet and aquiring reference books really helps too.

I have 5 rows of pearls often worn in films by actresses like Joan Crawford, but I have to admit I have not worn them yet.  I know they are they in the collection waiting for me.  I am too busy wearing 2 and 3 rows at every opportunity.

5 rows

5 Rows

Have you had any amazing finds?  I would love to hear your stories.

Thank you for visiting Gloriously Vintage today.

 

%d bloggers like this: