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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.

 

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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.

Can A/W 2016 Trends “do” Vintage?

Can A/W 2016 Trends “do” Vintage?

Hello and a big welcome to Gloriously Vintage. I hope you will enjoy a quick round up of the A/W 2016 Fashion Trends and start thinking about how they could work with your wardrobe.

 

 

 

I love to wear vintage style and always mix in a few new pieces as well. My favourite Era is the 1950’s and I love influences from the 1930’s and early 1960’s too.  Looking at the seasonal fashion trends is a big part of my interest in styling outfits and it always exerts some influence on my wardrobe  – even if the influence is very small.  That is the freedom of wearing vintage style – you are outside or above high fashion – but a “nod” to it adds piquancy to wardrobe choices.

 

Twice a year I do “The Big Seasonal Changeover” – S/S and A/W. Around that time I check out the fashion trends and have a long look at my wardrobe, accessories, and jewellery and shoes to see which trends will suit me and what I have in my wardrobe.  This enables me to ring the changes a little and enjoy a “nod” to what fashionistas are doing!

 

So where do I find the A/W 2016 trends?

Well dear Reader, I make sure I have bought the August copies of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and then certainly buy the copies of the key month of September. Fashion Magazines are always a month ahead.  The previews in the August issue acts as a taster for the full reveal in the big September issue.

I have been following this pattern for some years now and find it to work well and be fun at the same time.

If I am searching out a few new pieces for my wardrobe on Oxfam on line for example I may as well choose current colours or shapes that will fit in beautifully and allow me to be creative.  Also when I am in charity shops or at vintage fairs I have a clear idea of what I am looking for.  If none of the trends suit me – well dear Reader I just happily do my own thing and rejoice in my individuality!

 

I have two maxims about style:

Nothing is smart unless it suits

And

Always dress up because others will wish they had!

The first maxim is essential and came from my Grandmother who was a professional dressmaker. The second one came from a style book years ago.  It has stood me in good stead over my life and has helped to increase my confidence to dress how I want to and enjoy it immensely.

 

So dear Reader here is a quick round up of the A/W2016 Trends. I have specified which publication they are from as the two magazines have highlighted some different trends this season.  Sometimes there is a great overlap in what they present as you would expect.  However this year it is a little different because the trends have been interpreted differently.

TRENDS (Vogue)

Mini Trends

  1. Winter sandals
  2. Long gloves for evening
  3. Heavy metal handbags
  4. Shearing – worn curly side out
  5. Red boots, shoes and handbag- pop of scarlet
  6. White 1980’s style shoes
  7. Adorned sweaters
  8. Buttons down the back – reversing tops and jackets
  9. Statement belt
  10. Matchy matchy accessories

TRENDS (Vogue)

  1. Modern British – heritage tweed and clashing tartans
  2. Silk – Boudoir dressing continues from S/S 16
  3. Mood indigo – Denim
  4. Velvet
  5. Coat check – leather and Vinyl and THE CAPE
  6. Duvet coats and jackets
  7. Shearling
  8. Military
  9. Boots
  10. Glasses with embellished frames

THE 7 BIG TRENDS (Vogue)

  1. Extremely large totes
  2. Soft military
  3. Polished Punk – a strong 1980’s influence here
  4. Tweed Redux – mixing heirloom tweeds and prince of Wales checks with stylist separates or just add white accessories
  5. Tweed with Vinyl
  6. Badass Florals – clashing prints
  7. Chokers
  8. Embellished velvet and rich brocade.

TRENDS (HARPER’S BAZAAR)

10 LIKES NOW

  1. Shoulder barring top – this trend caries on from S/S 16
  2. The cape
  3. Heritage handbag – either top handle or chain handle
  4. the roll neck sweater
  5. Hiking boots – chunky boots
  6. Corset belt – worn over a winter coat to cinch the waist
  7. Re-worked trench – leather
  8. Oversize trousers
  9. Velvet puffa coat both luxe and street style
  10. Ski Pants

TRENDS (HARPER’S BAZAAR)

  1. Scotland the Brave – tartans and tweeds
  2. Victorian Luxe – black lace, ruffles and pearls
  3. Great outdoors – classic autumn colours
  4. Rich velvet
  5. Contrasting prints
  6. The nomad – free spirit with inspiration from around the world.
  7. Embellishment
  8. Brocade

TRENDS (HARPER’S BAZAAR)

10 LIKES NOW

  1. Shoulder barring top – this trend caries on from S/S 16
  2. The cape
  3. Heritage handbag – either top handle or chain handle
  4. the roll neck sweater
  5. Hiking boots – chunky boots
  6. Corset belt – worn over a winter coat to cinch the waist
  7. Re-worked trench – leather
  8. Oversize trousers
  9. Velvet puffa coat both luxe and street style
  10. Ski Pants

 

TRENDS (HARPER’S BAZAAR)

  1. Scotland the brave – tartans and tweeds
  2. Victorian Luxe – black lace, ruffles and pearls
  3. Great outdoors – classic autumn colours
  4. Rich velvet
  5. Contrasting prints
  6. The nomad – free spirit with inspiration from around the world.
  7. Embellishment
  8. Brocade

 

Style Guide A/W TRENDS (HARPER’S BAZAAR)

TAILORING

  1. Monochrome chick
  2. Long and loose trouser suits – double breasted with exaggerated slouch
  3. Evening Detail – shoes adorned with jewels
  4. New waist the paper bag waist.
  5. The Ageless icon – jacket with extended lapels over a pleated silk corset = Timeless glamour
  6. Cinched and Sleek – wide belts
  7. Modern and playful
  8. Cape – The investment piece this year
  9. Embellishment – The finishing touch
  10. Pearl adorned Trousers for evening

 

ACCESSORIES (HARPER’S BAZAAR)

  1. Heart’s Desire – Pinks, golds, rosebuds and diamonds
  2. Forbidden forest – dark jewel colours- teal, emerald , black velvet embellishes bags
  3. Folktale
  4. Moonlight magic – black velvet with night stars embellishment

 

Sumptuous jewel colours and all shades of pink into lavender are the strong colour influences this season.

 

 

Here are the trends. Can they “do” vintage?

If you take a very purist view that vintage is separate completely, then the answer to this question must be a resounding “NO!”

I think there are certain trends here that can do vintage. The companies producing reproduction vintage fashions do produce collections for each season and therefore must take their influences from somewhere.  If like me you are putting your look together from vintage, vintage appropriate and new pieces the trends are open to interpretation.

 

What will I be following this A/W2016?

I will be looking at shades of pink, from blush and nude to deeper tones, to work them into my wardrobe. Rich berry tones are always wonderful as the autumn unfolds.

The jewel colours offer a lot of scope with jewellery and accessories.  I will also be trying to work in some lavender as well.  Dear Reader I will be using my Style Book to see what worked last year and it will help me to tweak some outfits to give them the “on trend twist” that is both fun to do and a bit of a challenge!

SCOTLAND THE BRAVE/TWEED

I love British Heritage fabrics checks and tweed and Scottish influenced plaids so these will feature greatly in my choices. The pieces I own will come out really on trend.  Tweeds are so versatile depending on what they are paired with.

This trend can certainly “do” vintage and look good whatever eras you prefer. Mixing tweed and plain fabrics always works and I may add nude courts instead of darker coloured shoes too.

VELVET

I plan to work this trend into my wardrobe with evening bags and separates.

I have my eye on a number of items on the internet and have some velvet items I would like to rework with my dressmaker.

A black devore full skirt I have will come into its own this year for the Christmas season.

THE CAPE

I do not own a cape currently, but have some large wraps that ore flowing like a cape. They go over a suit or jacket and skirt adding warmth and a bit of drama to the finished look.  The silhouette is the important shape here.  Also dear reader wraps bridge the gap before really warm coats are needed as the season progresses.

SHEARLING

My heart is always glad when this is on trend as have two wonderful coats – both with the curly side out as luck would have it.

EMBELLISHMENT

Dear Reader, do check out this post from earlier this year to see how you can create your own embellishment with vintage brooches. I will be looking at ways to embellish outfits this way.  Grouping brooches is the way to add flair to many different outfits.  It is possible to emphasis eth waist, they can go on pockets and on sleeves – you can be really creative here.

 

BROCADE

A fabric that is more for the evening, but one that brings immediate glamour and luxury to your outfit.

 

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I will be wearing this jacket as my “nod” to this trend. I wore it at Christmas last year and also for my 60th Birthday Party in February.  Brocade is quite difficult because you do not want to look as though you are decked out in upholstery fabric or curtains!  (It was OK for Scarlet O’Hara, and the Von Trapp Children!)

Mini TRENDS can “do” Vintage too!

Handbags

Handbags with a top handle or chain handle are the bags to have this A/W2016. These can certainly be found in the vintage bags of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  They can be worked into vintage style outfits easily.  I have a Laura Ashley handbag with a chain strap that I am thinking of bringing out this season.

 

Matchy Matchy Accessories

Dear Reader, I am so delighted about this mini trend because I have loved matching accessories since I was a teenager. There is nothing quite like them to really pull together the look of matching shoes and handbag.

Yes, dear Reader, I do miss-matched very happily as it enables me to use bags that it would be impossible to match the shoes.

If the handbag and shoes do not actually match – I make sure the colours are very close. Browns can vary a lot and I often get round this by wearing black shoes with a tan or brown handbag to avoid a really glaring mismatch.

Red Shoes and Handbags

This is a favourite combination that I love t wear. My personal choice is to wear them with grey, but I do pair them with blue and black too.  Reds can be very tricky to match.  What do you think? I go to where the natural light is best in my home and have a good look at the tones!

They always give a lovely shot of colour and there is something about red shoes … The Dorothy effect, I think!

 

Jewellery

HB features jewellery each season which I find interesting and helpful. I will be bringing into my outfits rich jewel colours – emerald, sapphire blue, ruby red and rich berry tones with gold.  These are lovely autumn hues that bring luxurious colour in to an outfit.

Silk

I will be working this mini trend with silk scarves and silky camisoles worn under tailored jackets. The boudoir dressing wit chemises dresses from the S/S is continuing into the autumn.

Pearls

Of course, dear Reader, I could never ignore the trend for pearls – I will be choosing pearl brooches to embellish bags and jackets and wearing pearls as much as possible.

Pearl embellishment is very to the fore this season.   I will be sporting pearls at every opportunity and feeling very happy in them.  Will you wear pearls this A/W?

 

Well I hope dear Reader you have enjoyed this quick round up and can get on with planning marvellous outfits for the coming A/W2016 season

 

I will cover beauty trends on another post soon. Certainly this post has helped me to feel rather excited about A/W2016.  Yes dear reader it is sad to say goodbye to lovely summery outfits.  However, it will be fun to wear vintage and be able to “nod to high fashion too!

 

There is very little faux fur this year. I do wear Vintage fur and faux fur collars and also leopard print is not prevalent at all. I will still wear leopard print with red and black and taupe, because I like it.  I also think of Marilyn, Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” and Wendy Hiller in “I know where I’m going”- 2 of my all time favourite films.  How about you dear Reader? 

Do share your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

A big thank you to Glenn for taking the photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Styling – Jade Green and Taupe to Celebrate a Special Birthday

Summer Styling – Jade Green and Taupe to Celebrate a Special Birthday

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Hello!  Welcome to Gloriously Vintage, I hope you are, like me, making the most of the remaining weeks of the summer!  It a season that is all too brief and passes by so quickly in the UK.  One of the best things about it for me is not needing a jacket or a coat.  I adore jackets and coats and love to wear them, but it is a luxury to be in temperatures where they are not needed.

 

What do you think?  Do you feel like this about the summertime?

 

It feels great to just be ready to go out in a dress or separates.  Scarves really come into their own as they can add so much to the finished look.  Wearing lighter fabrics and brighter colours make Summer Styling completely different to the A/W styling.  As we move towards September and the evenings are getting a little shorter I am starting to feel that I must make as many opportunities as possible to enjoy my summer wardrobe.  It is in September, rather driven by the weather  – but usually mid September that I work on the Big Seasonal Changeover again, only this time it is white shoes that are sadly going to be put away, rather than as before, brought out with such anticipation.

 

I want to share with you the outfit I wore for my Mothers 92nd Birthday Family party which was held at our favourite hotel The Stratford, in Stratford upon Avon.

 

This was a very happy occasion and called for a bit of sparkle!  I particularly like to wear Aurora borealis jewellery when I am going out in the evening for a dinner party like this.

My mother has lived a long life and I personally feel that every birthday after 90 years old is a great achievement and should be treated as a special celebration.

 

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Mummy enjoyed opening her presents, here she is with her perfume,  Kenzo, Flower

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I was delighted when she said that she had enjoyed this year’s Birthday as much as her 90th, for which she had a bigger party for family and friends.

 

My two children joined us for this Birthday meal and getting together with them is always very special for her.

 

Styling the Outfit

Scarf

To begin with I was not sure what to wear for this occasion.  I checked in my Style Book to see what I wore last year and did not want to appear in the same outfit again.  When you keep your clothes for s long time this can happen sometimes – though the style book is a great help here!

I wanted to have my anniversary scarf somewhere in the outfit – last year it was a main feature – it is lovely to wear in August.  So I decided to tie it onto my everything bag.

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Dear Reader this worked very well with this scarf.  The scarf is a large square and is very fine silk.  I used a bias fold leaving the scarf quite wide for a floppy bow.  Pulling the loops of the bow out helped to stop the silk from slipping and falling off.

The bow came out into a good shape first go which was a great help!  Sometimes four or five attempts are required to get the finished bow that I am happy with.  The colours in the scarf are so summery.

 

Jewellery

My next thought was the jewellery that I wanted to wear.  I wore the turquoise “set” last year so settled on the Aurora borealis set for 2016.  I have a number of earings in the set

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The ones I chose were the little flower shaped ones because I love them with the brooch.  The shape of the stones complements each other even if they do not match.

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Some vintage clip earings are definitely “handed” and are better when worn in a particular way.  These are not strictly handed but I always wear them this way round.

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Having tried them on both ways I settled on the small stone at the top of the design pointing towards my face.  This looks best on me.  Do you have earings that have to be sorted out like this?  Simple round and oval designs do not matter which way round you style them.

Trying them on the two ways is the answer – the way that suits you best will be very clear.  You will know straight away!

 

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This 2 row necklace is a comfortable length.  It sits well in this V – neck and compliments the brooch on the shoulder.

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This is one of my favourite bracelets because it is part of the set I have chosen.

 

Separates and Shoes

Out of all my summer skirts the taupe one is my favourite.  I have had it for 17 years and it goes with everything.  So I opted for that one and then puzzled over the top to wear.  I have tops that will take a brooch pinned on and others that are unsuitable to have holes made in them.  That narrowed the choice a little.

The deciding factor was the shoes.

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I refer to the shoes in this outfit as my party shoes as they have been to some amazing events and made me feel wonderful every time.  I feel a close association with the lovely times that I feel so strongly when they are on my feet!

Not bad for a pair of shoes to give so much?  Do tell me about your favourite shoes!

 

This top is jade/emerald green depending n the other elements of the outfit.  Here it is more jade coloured.  In the A/W it can look more emerald worn with emerald green tones.

 

Handbag

I actually had two handbags.  You know I love my bags and often have a clutch and an everything bag.  My everything bag that I bought last year from Oxfam for the family wedding I went to last August has been a most useful bag.  It cost £6 and is actually a giveaway bag from Lancôme.  The cream sparkly bag with gold handles has been my go-to summer everything bag especially when I style a clutch bag with my outfit.

The bag I chose for this outfit is my “Malta clutch”.  It has this name because Glenn bought it for me in Malta about four years ago.

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Here is my “Malta Clutch” bag – worn in this photograph with the taupe skirt and a cream top

It came from Accessorize.  I had felt sad before that holiday as that bag had sold out on the UK website and I had missed the chance to buy it.  Visiting Valetta there is an Accessorize there.  I could not believe my eyes when I saw it.  Originally it has a large tassel attached that rather tied it to a specific colour.

My jeweller kindly removed it and fitted a lobster clasp to make it an optional extra.  They also put lobster clasps on either end of the chain handle – again making it easier to use.

This bag is a delight because it goes with so many colours –

Pink

Coral

Jade green

Cream

I always take this bag on holiday to use in the evenings.  It matches many items from my summer wardrobe.

 

Dear Reader, it does feel good when you find a bag that goes with a lot of outfits.  I am sure you have bags that do this.  They are such a good find.

My bag is forever my “Malta clutch” and is lovely reminder of that holiday and being on holiday.  A feeling that greatly adds to the pleasure of wearing it.

You may be thinking –

What does she put in the everything bag?

Well it is a mixture of useful things.  ~in the summer months I carry a cream lace fan to cool myself in hot moments.  The camera is usually in there too.  I carry tissues and hand wipes and napchains and damask napkins in a small zipped pouch, our sunglasses and a pair of ballet flats to change into if there is any walking to do and my heels are too high!  I also can put my wrap into it until I want to use it.  All this would never fit into a small clutch and I am not Mary Poppins with a bottomless bag that holds all manner of things!

 

Napchains

We have a family tradition that makes us all laugh – we use napchains to keep our napkins covering the front and the lap.

What is a napchain I hear you say, dear Reader!  It is a chain with a small clip on each end.  You can attach it to a napkin either along a straight side or on a corner.  The chain goes over your head and keeps the napkin in place.

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Here I am waiting for my dinner wearing my napchain and napkin!

I originally got these for the 5 of us to use for Christmas 2012 to protect my mother’s clothes from spills as she is partially sighted.

 

Rather than single her out with one I decided we would all have one.  However, I found it so helpful as I often wear scarves that now Glenn and I always use then when eating out and take our own damask napkins too.  Sometimes I am asked where I got them from! (I bought them on Amazon)

 

They are now always used when the family gets together for Birthdays and Christmas and have become a tradition.  A celebration meal is incomplete without napchains!

 

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Outfit Details

 

 Jade green and gold peep toe platform heels   Dorothy Perkins a few years ago

Viyella taupe pleated skirt    Bought at a Dress Agency in 1999 (no longer trading)

V neck top with bracelet length sleeves   Marks and Spencer

Fabric clutch from Accessorize in Malta!

Cream and gold bag    Oxfam on Line

Large square silk scarf from Accessorize tied onto bag

Cream wrap   Marks and Spencer some years ago

American 1950’s Aurora borealis brooch

2 Row necklace of Aurora borealis beads

1950’s Aurora borealis clip on Earings

Pearl and Aurora borealis spiral Bracelet

 

Lipstick Blend

 

Bobbi Brown Red Lip Pencil + Revlon Red + MAC Lady Danger + Revlon HD Lipstick in Poppy

 

 

 Thank you for joining me today on Gloriously Vintage.  I hope I will be as spry as my mother when I am 92 years old!  Do get in touch –  it is great to hear from you – say hello in the comments!

A big thank you to Glenn for taking all the photographs.

 

 

Trifari Treasures and a Gorgeous Red Hat

Trifari Treasures and a Gorgeous Red Hat

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Last Sunday dear Reader, we went to the Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair.  It was great fun and I found some vintage treasures to add to my collections.  I hope you have had a great week.  Here in the UK the rain kept off on Sunday and the day was warmer as the wind had dropped.  It was a relief as we have had so much rain last week.  When it rains I have to choose shoes that can take getting wet.

 

My choice of shoes often influences the whole outfit, do you find this too?

 

It is always a nostalgic experience going to this particular vintage fair because I am constantly seeing items that I remember from my childhood that were “new” then and are “vintage “now.

 

I think I could describe myself as gloriously vintage!

 

The treasures found were lovely, especially the Trifari Treasures.  As you know dear Reader, I love Trifari jewellery and collect it.  Finding new pieces is marvellous fun.  If I can find a piece to compliment a “set” that is good.  Occasionally I have found something that matches some pieces in the collection.

I do enjoy this Fair because I go regularly and am getting to know some of the vintage sellers and am always excited to meet new ones.  Parked outside Sutton Town Hall were these fabulous cars from Kiss Rides.

 

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Here is the ultimate in styling – a car to match my outfit!

 

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This mini is so sweet – I was a child when the first minis appeared.

 

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This made me think of a lovely picnic!  I would take a much bigger hamper!

 

 

The other main attraction last Saturday was the performance of one of my favourite girl groups

 

“The Glamophones”.

 

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They sing in the style of the Andrews Sisters and more recently The Puppini Sisters and I just love to watch them perform.

Live music is wonderful as it surrounds and involves you so much.  My feet were tapping and I so wanted to dance!  However British reserve and a lack of space stopped me!  It is my desire to have a party where the Glamophones entertain us.  A dream I want to make come true in this 60th decade.

There was a chance to buy a CD with some of The Glamophones songs and I bought a calendar of their photographs for the rest of the year.  They signed it for me! I have put it to good use recording my posts on Gloriously Vintage.  There was time between their sets to talk to the girls.

 

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They wore black dresses with white polka dots and black and white petticoats underneath.  The 1940’s-1950’s style was set off with victory rolls in their hair and lovely red lipstick.

It was marvellous.

 

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I went straight to Rob Caldwell to see if he had any Trifari jewellery.  I have bought from him before and have greatly enjoyed the pieces I have.  Sure enough I found two delightful bracelets a brooch and a demi parure I just fell in love with.

 

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The pearl and diamante brooch is an early Trifari possibly from the 1940’s.

When I see the jewellery in my mind’s eye I am working out how to wear each piece and thinking about the collection I have it will add to and what outfits it will go with.  Really this outfit planning is what I love to do.

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This 1930’s bracelet needs some TLC as the safety chain is broken but will match another “set” I have with the same pink stone.

 

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I bought this aqua clutch bag which is 1980’s does 1950’s.

 

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It has a detachable shoulder strap and is a great match with the skirt from Summer Styling.

 

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I will wear this bag with contrasting shoes and also where it can be matched to the colours in a scarf.  Accessories like this give a feature colour or a pop of brightness to a plainer outfit.

 

I could not resist this red handbag.

 

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I had this bag in taupe leather in the 1980’s and loved the simple shape.  Rounded bags are good because they add softer lines to a tailored suit or jacket.  This is a mix I love to experiment with.  Details like shape, curves, colour and size can make an enormous difference to the finished outfit.

Yes dear Reader, I found a scarf!

 

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It is silk and I will wear it in the A/W and enjoy the rich tones.

Let me show you the outfit I wore.

 

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Outfit Details

 

Red Court Shoes   Dorothy Perkins

Red Viyella Pleated Skirt   Charity shop

Cream V Neck jumper   Marks and Spencer

White 1950’s Handbag   Diane Ashman

Silk Square Scarf   Diane Ashman

Gloves   Charity shop

Pearl cuffs    Dorothy Perkins

3 Rows of Lotus Pearls

Red Demi Parure   Chronically Vintage Etsy Shop

 

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Lipstick Blend:

Red Bobbi Brown Pencil + Revlon Red+ Dior 999

 

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I love this demi parure from Jessica at the Chronically Vintage Etsy Shop.

It is the first time I have worn this jewellery and I am thrilled the earings were really comfortable and did not pinch!

 

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I love to match the shoes to the skirt in the summer particularly, but in the A/W too with grey, navy and black shoes.  Here I have red shoes that are a good match with the skirt.  I have tied the scarf onto the bag with a square knot.  The pearl cuffs extend the short gloves.  These heels are comfortable to walk around in.  Many of my beloved heels are “short walk” shoes!

 

Having seen Jessica on chronically vintage so often wearing amazing hats, I am bringing hats into my outfits more and love the way they pull an outfit together.  I am rather traditional in my style as I love sinamay or straw in the S/S and felt in the A/W.  This comes from many years of wearing a hat everyday as part of my school uniform.  We had large hats with a swept back, upturned brim in brown felt for the winter terms and the same shape in cream straw for the summer term.  These hats were worn on the back of the head and were referred to as “halos” as they produced a halo effect around the face.  They were very flattering and set a pattern of personal preference that has lasted all my life!

 

May I introduce you to the gorgeous red hat?

 

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Last Sunday I met Alice Mary Ball the designer and maker of this wonderful hat.  Do look at this link and see her work.  I was tempted to try on some of her hats.  They were mostly tilts and perchers to be worn on the front of the head.

 

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The felt ones were all lovely, but I chose this gorgeous red straw hat because I do not have that many S/S hats.  Yes dear Reader, it is an occasion hat, and I am going to enjoy it creating a number of glamorous outfits!

 

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I love the arrow turkey feather!

 

 

 

After a busy week, working hard, it is bliss to go to a Vintage Fair and revel in looking at the many varied items for sale and picking out some new treasures.

 

 

 Thank you for visiting Gloriously Vintage, do chat in the comments about your special finds, I would love to know about them!

 

Photographs taken by Glenn, thank you for all your help with this post.

 

The Big Seasonal Changeover – Is this something you do?

The Big Seasonal Changeover – Is this something you do?

I do hope you are enjoying the way the temperature is creeping up  – certainly in the UK and we are having some warmer days.  Spring is here and the summer officially starts on 20 June!   So, for the last month of May, I have been busy working through my Seasonal Changeover and will be completing it this weekend as I do the final part which is changing over my handbags and gloves from A/W to S/S.

Welcome to Gloriously Vintage, dear Reader, is this something you do, have different clothes and accessories for the changing seasons?  Do you put away your “out of season” clothes and bring out the ones you want in the wardrobe for S/S or A/W?  Do you have any tips that have worked really well?  I have some tops that I wear all year, but my “top clothes” change.  I also do this changeover for my husband and my mother who will be 92 this August.

 

“Clothes make a man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

Mark Twain

 

This is a well known quote from Mark Twain as is often quoted, and is based on a quotation from Hamlet by William Shakespeare.  Clothes are important to us and express so much about us.  Having the clothes for each season is very much a part of that expression for me.

I work on the Seasonal Changeover twice a year in May and in September.  In recent years this is something that has grown into a much bigger exercise because of taking it on for my mother too.

Now that I am wearing vintage style that changeover has taken on a greater significance because I find it is easier to categorise my clothes by season.  The reality of living in the UK is that we need “in between season “clothes as the seasons are changing too.  So once we come to May, I start organizing the clothes in the house and moving them around to be in the right place when needed.  The “out of season” clothes for us all are in my loft, waiting their turn to shine.  I have allocated parts of my wardrobe for my out of season shoes, scarves, gloves and handbags.  My makeup also changes twice a year with darker shades of lipstick and blusher that come out in September to see me through the autumn and Christmas time, giving way to the brighter, lighter and more vibrant shades I wear in the spring and the summertime.

 

This changeover is always tinged with a little sadness and also a frisson of excitement.

I keep my clothes for a long time because I am following my own 1950’s influenced style and am not trying to only wear current fashions.  I have been there and done that at earlier stages in my life – and I can honestly say that it felt like pressure and was not really all that much fun.  Dressing in vintage style is always fun. The wonderful memories attached to some of the outfits add layers of pleasure I feel in the swish of a skirt or the neatness of a jacket!  Oh yes, I also bring out the wonderful Fox’s Umbrella I had last year for the family Wedding .  I am using it now as a parasol.

 

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My Fox’s Ladies Deep Frill Umbrella – a most special Summer accessory

I will be sharing with you some of my favourite summer looks and best Oxfam finds, with added treasures from my collections in future posts and all this is starting as summer is near and everything is now in place!

 

Why bother?  Life is just too short for all this!

 

Well, yes, it is a busy time and sometimes hard to make the time to do it, but I would never stop planning and doing my Seasonal Changeover because of the delight and expectation of happy times coming as the months are passing.  I am keeping up with the seasons and my year has real structure.  This has been going on for at least 20 years in this house and has gathered momentum because I am taking care of the clothes for my husband and elderly mother now.

We all like to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  When thinking about this post I found this article about how the catwalk shows of London Fashion Week and others have changed the way we look at our fashions.

As a woman who likes tradition – I love to be in 100% wool in the A/W and am happy in cotton or polyester in the S/S.  Our climate is changing too in the UK.  The clearly defined frosts and snow from October to March do not happen regularly now.  The summer we always hope for does not always appear!  Temperatures even out and there are only a few degrees difference between spring and summer some years.

All this has given way to the “Resort” collections before S/S and the “pre season” collections before A/W which greatly influence what is available to buy in the shops.  This is one reason why I buy from Oxfam, aside from supporting their invaluable charitable work.  They offer winter clothes and summer clothes and by reading the fabric content, I have been very successfully attaining pieces for my wardrobe that I love and that are warm for A/W and just right for S/S.

 

I buy a few new pieces each year and rotate my separates depending on the fashion trends.

 

I love to keep abreast of the fashion forecasts and follow the trends that are show cased in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and also in the major newspapers which I read on line.  Harper’s Bazaar also features current trends in jewellery and embellishment which is of great interest to me with my brooches! You can see from this post why! Do you follow the trends?

Once I understand the trends, I pick what I like and go to my wardrobe for colour, shape and texture.  It is marvellous that at the moment ladies fashion is much more feminine and is influenced by drama like “Mad Men” for example.  The 1930’s – 1950’s exert a powerful influence on fashion and although designers bring out new collections every year these influences can always be appreciated.

So I have S/S and A/W and a small collection of “in between season “pieces that are made up of 45% -50% wool, that I move into around April-May and September-October depending on the weather!

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Outfit Details

Taupe Suedette shoes    Dorothy Perkins

Light green Viyella Pleated skirt   Oxfam on Line

S/S “Chateaux” Tweed Jacket   Oxfam on Line ( my dressmaker changed a boring button for this vintage mother of pearl one, making the jacket go with more separates)

1980’s Taupe Leather Clutch Handbag   bought at a Vintage Fair

Cream V neck top   Marks and Spencer

Trifari Bow Brooch on lapel

Trifari Knot Clip on earings

2 Rows of Lotus Pearls

Trifari Pearls and gold coloured bracelet

Napier twist Bracelet

This outfit is from my “in between Season” collection.

The changeover started to include Lipsticks, blusher and nail varnish about 10 years ago as I started to take changing my look more seriously, when I was 50 years old.  So when March -April have passed and May arrives that’s me- changing my make up a little at a time over the whole of May.  My look is getting lighter and I know the summer is on its way!  Around mid May, I do my scarves.

My scarves are in boxes by season. It always feels sad to put away my furry collars, thicker scarves and more autumn hued silk squares.  However it is like meeting dear friends again when the S/S ones are there in the box, in the wardrobe ready and waiting!  New scarves are there too like the beautiful silk find in Stratford upon Avon, to be worked into summer “looks”.

 

“You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.” —Christian Dior

 

Shoes are dealt with next, after the scarves.  I only wear white or cream shoes with other coloured ones from May to September so when they come out there is great excitement!  I love nude and blush shoes and do wear them all year round because they go with so many outfits.

Some of my summer shoe collection have amazing stories attached to them as they were bought to go with specific outfits for family weddings and special events.

Lastly, I do my gloves and handbags, putting away the dark rich colours of the A/W for white, ivory and pink gloves to wear in S/S.

 

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Very snazzy pink gloves!

 

The pink gloves were from the Chronically Vintage Etsy Shop who I recommend to you for marvellous vintage items and wonderful customer service from Jessica.

 

 

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This cream handbag is a real favourite of mine

 

For my husband, he has heavier fabrics for trousers and he wears a lot of lovely viyella shirts too that are 80% cotton and 20% wool.  They all go away into the loft with lots of cedar wood to stop them being nibbled by pesky moths.  I do a one in, one out exchange using my hangaways (I have2) and it does not take long to put on the clothing bags and whisk the out of season clothes into the loft!  He sits with me and chooses the pieces he particularly wants each season.  It works very well.

The changeover I do for my mother is more complex because she lives near me.  So clothes must be transported!  The hangaways are a wonderful help – her out of season clothes are hung on a rail in my loft in clothes covers and are also folded into a large box.  Everything goes into her bedroom, is then put onto hangers, onto the hangaways and then the swap begins.  It is a time for sorting out items to be discarded and lovely pieces to keep.  I look after her wardrobe and buy her new items as she is now too old to “do” fitting rooms now.  The S/S changeover is hardest because her wool items are dry cleaned and then stored on appropriate hangers.

 

I am very fussy about hangers and always put jackets and coats on ones that support the shoulders!

 

 

So dear reader, as this post is going out at the start of June, it is all done.  I am feeling thrilled at the welcome return of dear skirts, jackets and a few dresses for S/S.  Think of me positively revelling in wearing white shoes with my collection of lovely white handbags!  Yes, recording the ensembles in My Style Book and looking back over last year for original and memorable outfits and creating some new ones too!

 

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Do pop into the Gloriously Vintage page on Facebook, if it is easier to leave a comment and chat there!

 

Glenn has taken all my photographs, so a big thank you to him.

 

 

 

Tales from the Dressing Table

Tales from the Dressing Table

Launching my first series on Gloriously Vintage writing about Beauty. 

Welcome to Gloriously Vintage today, dear Reader.  It is exciting for me to begin this new series of posts which will enable me to write about Hair, Makeup and Beauty related subjects, close to my heart. 

Where do you put on your make up?  How do you get ready to face the day?  Dear Reader, I would love to know the answer to those questions.

The one thing I can never be without is my Dressing Table.

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Sitting in front of my Dressing Table, Christmas 2015, ready to go dancing!

It is so important to me that, I have one I can use for travelling and if I am staying in an hotel and there isn’t one I will create one as a matter of priority.

What is a dressing table or vanity as it can be called?

It is the place to sit and apply moisturiser, make up, to dress the hair, apply touch ups and to create the makeup “look” vital to the day’s activities.  It can be simply a table and a chair.  It does not have to be elaborate, but it allows you to have everything needed, easily to hand, laid out like an artist preparing to paint a picture.

This love of a dressing table started at the beginning of my life.  My mother had one.  A solid 1950’s design with drawers and a very large triple mirror.  Here was space to keep makeup, perfume, hair combs and drawers for handkerchiefs and lingerie.  She would sit at her dressing table to put on makeup.  So dear Reader, I learned at an early age what a dressing table was for!

 Today I am so blessed to have the most glamorous dressing table.

It is by far the most beautiful incarnation of my 60 years.

It is a Georgian dressing table with a large oval toilette mirror on top.  There are two turn of the century crystal lamps either side of the mirror.  Finding those lamps is another story.

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The Geogian toilette mirror

Just sitting up to it on my Victorian piano stool makes me feel wonderful.

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The small cut glass vases holding lip pencils and brushes on a glass tray.  I made the mat when I was a teenager

I go through my makeup routine so quickly because everything is laid out on the dressing table and in the wide drawer that houses my colour make up, moisturisers for daytime in fact, everything I could possible require is in there ready and waiting.

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Tools at the ready!

 My make up brushes are in cut glass vases and containers, separated by use.  The lip and eye pencils are also in small vases just waiting to be applied.  The order that I see on the dressing table is calming.  It enables me to create the look I want – be it a simplified version of my look for work, or a more carefully crafted makeup and hairstyle for going out.

There is also a Georgian chest of drawers with another toilette mirror on it to my right.  I share this with my husband.  Here is a photograph of my tray.

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Mag glass

You can see my powder box, beautiful sterling silver hand mirror engraved with an “E”, a favourite lipstick, “Parisian Red” by Bobbi Brown and my magnifying glass.  The tray is from the 1930’s and I have matching candlesticks to go with it.  I have found some of  the vases and trays in charity shops and vintage fairs.

 

 Sitting at my dressing table is where I think about “me”.  Nothing is allowed to spoil those precious minutes sitting there getting ready.  My day always starts well, after sitting at my dressing table.  No matter what else is happening or tasks clamouring for my attention, when I am at my dressing table I am making my preparation to create the appearance that will complete what I plan to wear.

 

Of course not every single day is planned so precisely.  I have make up free days and days when I just wear casual “house clothes” that are clean and comfortable.  For days when I am dressing up – well that is when the Dressing Table comes in to its own!  Even when I am not using it – I can see it there, ready, the very glamorous space where I can make myself look how I want.  Wearing makeup for the sheer love of it, not to hide from anything, but as an expression of who I am.

Fashions and ideas for interior design change.  In these modern times having a dressing table and giving space for one is not the main concern it used to be.  Without one there is a clear choice where to apply makeup.  This can be in the bathroom where the light is usually good.  I will always check colours in the bathroom because of good light there, but I would never forsake my dressing table, in front of the window with maximum natural light and the arrangement of the bedroom it dictates.

 

So this occasional series is called Tales from the Dressing Table. Stories of adventures into style and image that will enable me to write about hair and beauty.  This is another area of wearing vintage style that means a great deal to me.  I have loved wearing make up since I was 13 years old.  Actually I was 9 years old when my face was powdered for a formal portrait photograph.  I was amazed at the effect that powder had on my skin, it looked so creamy and so different to just being “scrubbed”.

 

I have always loved to read books on makeup and style.  The stories of the founders of the great makeup houses, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubenstein, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Este Lauder to name a few have fascinated me.  The changing make up styles through the 20th Century is also of great interest.  My dressing table embodies this activity, this influence and how I interpret it in my make up style today.

 

Make up application is an Art.  To do it well it is essential to have brushes, applicators, sponges, in fact many tools. I have collected a lot of brushes over my life, and now have the best kit ever, due to the passing of time and moving to a stage of life where I can set the pace.  This is rather than having it set for me by the school run!  When my family was young I would get up at 6.00am to have time at my dressing table so I would be ready and dressed first.  There to assemble the troopes!

 

It is important to keep developing, reading, looking – trying out testers in shops and constantly updating your makeup look.  I wear a Marilyn Monroe inspired make up look now, that is complimentary to my 1950’s style. Following experts like Bobbi Brown and Lisa Eldridge and I am very interested in the makeup look of Dita von Teese.

 

Your make up can change and develop with your lifestyle and age.

BB Books

Bobbi Brown is one of my favourite writers

SMV Book

This book is great fun

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I love this book – am still reading it!

One great bonus of being 60 years old and wearing vintage style is the pleasure of freedom.  I have nothing to prove now and am not competing with anyone or anything.  I can be me.  I can look how I want, develop statement looks at will.  What could be better?

The look I have now, I intend to tweak and play with forever.  Thus achieving a sense of timelessness.  This is what HM The Queen has done, and it is working very well for her at 90 years old!

 

How do you feel about hair and makeup? Do you keep changing your look?  I would love to know.  The next tale from the dressing table will be about blending lipsticks, especially red lipstick.  I hope you will join me on that post coming soon to Gloriously Vintage.

 

It’s been great to be with you today.

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