Tag Archives: vintage

Easter Tea Party

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Vintage Laura Ashley Dress & Clarks Kestral Soar Sandals

Vintage Laura Ashley & Clarks Kestral Soar

Vintage Laura Ashley & Clarks Kestral Soar

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Vintage Laura Ashley Dress

Vintage Laura Ashley Dress

Vintage Laura Ashley Dress

I’ve followed the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from afar for a few years now – it’s always so full of vibrancy and inspiration. The Show, taking place this week, is in its centenary year and I’ve particularly enjoyed the coverage of the extra special events going on to celebrate. Laura Ashley’s beautiful bloom-filled blogpost and British Vogue’s Chelsea Flower Show street style article inspired me to don my suitably floral, Chelsea-appropriate Laura Ashley frock.

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Judy’s at Spitalfields: February Love List

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

14 February is fast approaching, and whether you go googly-eyed for all things Valentine’s, or are cynical about the whole thing, there’s no avoiding it. Press releases have been winging their way into my inbox since December with the dreaded V-Day subject line (seriously – could we not get Christmas out of the way first?!) and filled with hearts, pink and fluffy things and more often than not a gift guide in at least some guise. While I love flowers, chocolate and lingerie as much as the next girl, sometimes just a little imagination can mean so much more.

As one of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair’s resident bloggers, today I took part in an extra-special Valentine’s themed blogger challenge at their monthly fair at Old Spitalfields Market. Becky Bedbug and I were tasked with compiling a ‘Love List’ of our favourite items at the fair. Armed with my ‘Love List’ sign and a red heart-shaped balloon, and with the romantic theme in mind, I set about perusing the stalls with the goal of finding and sharing with you some suitably retro gifts for guys and gals this Valentine’s.

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Madame Fifi Presents is new to the Judy’s stable – it was their first fair today and they looked like they were having a great time! I was first drawn to their sparkly collection of brooches and trinkets, including this adorable owl. However, it was this beautiful men’s vanity kit that particularly caught my eye – this full set was in great condition and would be the perfect present for a well-groomed gent.

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Old Pony had a fascinating collection of historical artefacts and quirky objets d’art. I was cooing over their retro crockery when I spotted vintage gold (to me anyway) – a Singer sewing machine. My Gran was a dressmaker, so sewing machines have always held a particular fascination to me and one day I would love to own a vintage Singer of my own. This one was in perfect condition and all wired up ready to go. I was SERIOUSLY tempted – if only we had the room. There was no question about it, this had to go on the Love List. I was drawn to this little owl as well – sounds strange, but it made me think of one of my friends, which reminded me that gal pals deserve some Valentine’s love too and that sometimes the best presents are those that really mean something, just between the two of you.

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

If you’re looking for a slightly different gift, then Vintage in Print has a beautiful selection of vintage photography, specialising in fashion photography and retro ads. In fact, for Christmas Al and I unwittingly purchased vintage prints for one another at Judy’s December fair. I blogged about the lovely Vintage in Print then too, as they really make the perfect gift for vintage photography aficionados and lovers of old advertisements alike. At the fair today this David Bailey shot of Grace Coddington (yes I’m obsessed, ok?) and stunning Helmut Newton shot of Twiggy really stood out for me.

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

I was spoilt for choice at the aptly named Magpie’s Attic – filled with the most beautiful jewels, trinkets and stylish retro artefacts. This lovingly-curated collection is the work of mother-daughter duo Sarah and Emilie. Each item seems to have a story and mystique about it – you really get the feeling that Magpie’s Attic want to share a piece of this magic with you. I felt their vintage jewels in particular would make a lovely gift; the high street’s mass-produced Valentine’s tat is a million miles away from this. You feel as though each piece has a history and that by owning it you would become the next part of its story. Magpie’s Attic genuinely believe that certain items are meant to belong with some people and you can’t fault Sarah’s eye! This beautiful sapphire and diamond ring and black onyx cufflinks and tie pin set made my Love List – both would make a meaningful and memorable gift.

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

I’ve saved the best ’til last: I couldn’t resist the gorgeous I Heart Vintage. Rebecca had truly embraced the theme with all things cute, kitsch and Valentine’s-appropriate. Along with her staple offerings of sweet knick-knacks and feminine retro homeware, there was a smattering of Valentine’s-themed objects; highlights for me included these adorable heart tins and vintage ‘Love is’ mirrors. Far from saccharine sweet, I Heart Vintage has a great sense of humour – check out those kitsch ’50s cat figurines and the cheeky Adam and Eve bottle openers that Judy’s previewed on their Facebook page. If your loved one has a penchant for florals and love hearts then you would be spoilt for choice, but I Heart Vintage has its tongue firmly in its cheek too and has some brilliant witty gifts. I bought Al some whisky glasses with sweet and funny ‘Scottish scenes’ on for Christmas and there was plenty from here on my Love List today.

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Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Spitalfields

I also covered the fair (and the progress of my Love List on the Judy’s Facebook page – thank you for having me Judy’s! Lastly, I couldn’t resist sharing these shots of two stylish shoppers. I liked this chic vintage-goer’s all black outfit with a pop of blue, and her two-tone hair got a lot of love on Facebook! This dapper chap caught my eye with his clever accessorising and bicycle-print shirt. What’s not to love?!

Did you go to Judy’s at Spitalfields today? What’s on your Love List?

Vintage Freak Clothing

Vintage Freak Clothing

A few months ago, my blogger challenge for Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was to find the top three affordable sellers at the Spitalfields September fair. Scouring the event for the biggest bargains and thriftiest sellers, I came across Vintage Freak Clothing.

The stall caught my eye initially with its witty knits (think ironic sheep patterns and Christmas jumpers) and extensive stock of vintage denim (cut-off shorts and eighties-tastic jackets). Then the prices – two jumpers for £15 and two pairs of shorts for £8! Bargains aside, I felt the stock was shrewdly edited (knitwear and denim being two of the most highly-sought vintage items) and lovingly curated; from my conversation with stall owner Michael, it was clear he was passionate about keeping prices affordable but still offering quality, one-off vintage items.

Vintage Freak is a Judy’s regular and frequents several other markets in London. However, not to fear if you live outside the capital – Vintage Freak has launched on ASOS Marketplace! In case you haven’t heard (where have you been?!), the Marketplace is a network of boutiques and small businesses selling own label, branded or vintage collections directly to customers. You can check out each boutique’s weekly listing, meaning you don’t miss out on that elusive vintage bargain – you can be first in the queue to nab the latest in Vintage Freak’s drop of vintage jumpers and avoid the scrum of a real market (seriously, the rail-raiding over those jumpers at Vintage Freak’s Judy’s stall was FIERCE).

There’s more to come from Vintage Freak with a competition in the pipeline, and keep up-to-date with their regular blog updates on ASOS Marketplace.

ASOS Marketplace also has a brilliant blog itself – you can read it here.

Vintage leather shoulder bag kindly provided by Vintage Freak Clothing

Black Watch Tartan

Recently, I’ve rekindled my love of tartan. Checks, plaids and tartans featured prominently on the catwalks for autumn/winter 2012, most memorably in the guise of Black Watch tartan adorning dresses, coats and trousers at McQ.

This inspired me to don my Black Watch vintage Laura Ashley shift dress last weekend. I think this has to be my favourite ever vintage dress. The iconic Black Watch tartan, in a muted blue, black and green check, is probably one of the most widely used and instantly recognisable tartans. There’s something classic about the Black Watch check and the iconic tartan has a historical resonance too, as it was originally a government issue tartan for the Highland Watch.

I spotted the Laura Ashley frock at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Edinburgh at around this time last year. As well as the unusual print (different from the ubiquitous vintage florals – not that I’m complaining!) the striking cut of the dress caught my eye too: the high neck shift top, nipped in waist, full skirt and ballerina length. The dress also buttons down the left hand side all the way to the knee, leaving room for an elegant side split.

I wore the dress as a pinafore, layered over my chiffon lace insert blouse to ramp up the girly, sixties vibe. My leather jacket keeps things modern and adds an element of toughness, and I wore my chunky heeled ankle boots to give a bit of a boost in the height department. There was a chill in the air so I also brought my faux fur muffler with me – a Christmas present from Al last year that makes me feel like some sort of retro starlet/ minor character in Anna Karenina.

Al says this one is my “blogger pose”:

I wore my vintage Laura Ashley dress for a spot of bargain hunting at Judy’s over in Spitalfields. Maybe it’s because we just moved into our new flat, but at this Fair I was particularly besotted with unusual retro furniture and beautiful vintage crockery. Here are a few pictures we took on the day…

I loved this stall with odds and ends including a mangle!

Cake stands and teacups – LOVE.

The coolest retro knitwear around by Vintage Freaks – more on them very soon!

I want it all!

I came away with this gorgeous antique teapot, just made for cosy Sunday afternoons in with endless cups of tea, freshly baked cake and a good book.

And lastly, some witty art in East London (couldn’t resist):

A Cameo Appearance


I spotted this beautiful cameo necklace in the window of an antique shop in Edinburgh’s Westport called Cabaret. This gem of a shop is absolutely packed to the rafters with vintage jewellery, books and various miscellaneous antique objects such as mirrors, penknives, lighters and other random bric-a-brac. A delightful antique collection and vintage lover’s dream, I expected prices to be high, but they were actually pretty reasonable, especially considering the generally stellar condition of this lovingly curated collection of objects.

I’d been looking for an antique cameo necklace for a while as my high street takes on the design just weren’t cutting it. Has anyone else had it with high street jewellery? You just have to look at a Topshop ring and it’s turned your finger green; I’ve still been donning my once-beloved high street cameo despite its now definite copper colour.

This gorgeous silver antique cameo necklace is exactly what I’ve been looking for. The friendly salesman informed me that it was Art Deco, one of the periods of design I find most inspiring. I expected it to be a lot more but it was only £28, which I think is pretty amazing considering its age and fantastic condition. If you’re in Edinburgh, definitely pop in to take a look as Cabaret is a real treasure trove.

p.s. a wee preview of an outfit – more on that tomorrow!

Only in St Andrews: Thrifting Finds










Here’s my latest vintage find from my favourite thrifting emporium, Cancer Research on South St, St Andrews. You’ve got to be so quick in there as the good stuff is snapped up almost immediately. Luckily I was quick off the mark with this one! I love the gorgeous mint green colour, appropriate for this season’s girlier and less in your face alternative to neon: pastels. The pleats are also incredibly on trend, but these are heavier duty retro box pleats instead of the light chiffon sunray ones that have been everywhere since the Chloé S/S 11 show. Don’t get me wrong, I own and love my high street pleated wonders but I’m loving this skirt for a change. The heavy fabric makes things a bit sharper and more tailored.

The skirt was a few sizes too big, but a bit of adjustment here and there and it was absolutely perfect! Just goes to show that you shouldn’t completely disregard items in charity shops if they’re a bit big. Better big than small, as you can adjust them so easily! I’m so glad I didn’t walk away from this one.

As you know I have a bit of a thing for buttons, and these ones are perfect. The burnished gold colour and embellished detail of these buttons is gorgeous, and add to the tailored, ladylike feel. The retro midi length is actually surprisingly wearable, and hot this season too. The skirt was just £4.25 – yes really! I couldn’t believe my eyes and I did think the sales assistant was about to fight me for it as she reluctantly put it in a bag and took my money. Smug, me?!

I look forward to styling it in different ways: with a plain T-shirt like my Jil Sander inspired post, or a denim shirt. For today I decided to emphasise the ladylike vibe with my chiffon lace panelled blouse. I can’t believe how versatile this blouse has been! The headscarf is Liberty for Comic Relief, from T.K. Maxx. I missed the boat with this at the time and was annoyed at myself for not snapping it up quicker. However, when my family came up to visit a few weeks ago, my Mum gave it to me as a present! She just knows me so well, and we share a great love of Liberty. It’s a perfect headscarf size and I love the colour and print.

I wore my Chanel-esque quilted pumps for a sophisticated touch, and added my leather jacket to break things up a little.

Like my new blog header? Thanks again Gillian!

Skirt- Vintage
Blouse- New Look
Jacket- H&M
Shoes- Office
Ring- Primark
Scarf- Liberty for Comic Relief (T. K. Maxx)

April is the Cruelest Month





I’m loving the Spring weather we’ve been having in St Andrews these past few days: I felt it was high time I cracked out a Summer dress. Sadly this one’s not vintage (though ditsy print summer dresses are high on my vintage hitlist) but I loved the pastel shade and vintage-esque florals rendered in a modern jersey fabric. I’m not sure what to call the shape, I think it’s meant to be a lower empire line (it sits lower than a normal one, but is definitely high above the waist). So the “empire line” is flattering here, normally I struggle with this shape as most brands don’t leave enough space for the more well-endowed, and the seam ends up somewhere around my clavicle. Maybe this one was meant to sit on the waist? Who knows, but it sits in a rather flattering position, drawing attention to my little waist and the A-line shape makes it float out in a cute fashion.

I decided to play up the vintage vibe with my accessories, my beloved burgundy vintage doctor bag (it’s received a lot of compliments recently!) and vintage green stone necklace. The modern denim jacket adds a freshness, but I am on the hunt for a slightly oversized/ mannish vintage denim shirt or jacket. If you have any tips on where to find one, please share! I’m sure it will be something I find at the end of September when I’m packing away my Summer clothes. For now my old New Look one will see me through, I like the pale wash and distressed detailing, giving my ditsy florals a tougher edge.





The hat and shoes are both new additions and I can see them becoming permanent fixtures in my everyday outfits. The desert boots are a recent buy from Topshop. My Faith studded boots finally bit the dust a few weeks ago, the sole split completely and sadly they don’t look fixable. I’ve been on the hunt since then for a summery style of ankle boot and these fit the bill. I love how the mannish style of the desert boot is offset by the dusky, feminine shade which Topshop calls “Rose” (clearly we were meant to be together). They give an edge to my girly style, with a sturdy, practical vibe. I was worried about them marking (they’re suede), but I got the most amazing suede protector that literally seems to repel water; I wore them in the rain and they were bone dry. I paired them with some polka dot ankle socks as I was feeling girly girly today.

I’ve been searching for a straw boater hat too. My fair hair and pale skin mean that a hat is an absolute essential for me in Summer, or I just fry. I’ve loved my trilbys in past seasons, but my style has evolved a little and I love the retro boater style. It carries nostalgia with it too, I had one when I was little (a bit small for me now) and my Aunt used to wear one for school, which my mum kept for years, but gave back to my Aunt last year. I wouldn’t want to wear it and spoil it though as it’s weathered many years, wears and ever-changing coloured bands. I’ve looked everywhere for a vintage one, but have had no luck, so I got this one in Topshop (I know, sorry! I wish it was the real thing, but it was so perfect, I couldn’t risk not finding one at all, could I?) If anyone does know where I can pick up a vintage one, please get in touch. This one seems quite sturdy though and I love the navy grosgrain band. I added pops of colour via my fuchsia lips and peachy/ orange nails (loving this shade), I find some brights difficult to pull off so tend to wear them in small doses, which I think suits my style more anyway.


It Looks Al! Here’s a snap of my boyfriend, and dutiful blog photographer, Al. He’s showing off his Margiela shirt he got for his 21st, isn’t it gorgeous? The panels add a military twist to the basic white shirt; it’s kind of like a casual dress shirt. Beautifully made and looks great with his dark denim skinny-ish trousers and shiny shiny black shoes. Anyway, thank you to my lovely boyfriend for a fantastic break and for being my ever-patient photographer – he certainly deserved to be in front of the camera in this outfit!


Lastly, a shot of the beautiful quad in the evening sun. Classic St Andrews with students revising on the grass! Then a wee taster of things to come in my next post for Visit St Andrews. St Andrews has been deserted as most people went away for Spring Break – it’s been so lovely and peaceful! Back to work on Monday though.

Hat- Topshop
Jacket- New Look
Sunglasses- Primark
Necklace- Vintage
Dress- New Look
Bag- Vintage
Ankle socks- Topshop
Boots- Topshop
Ring- H&M
Nails – Models Own Fuzzy Peach
Lips – Barry M

p.s. *title* – a reference to The Waste Land, I don’t actually hate April:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

I could bang on about the opening lines of T. S. Eliot’s masterpiece as they are some of my favourite lines of poetry, but I won’t bore you! (English nerd through and through!)

It Looks Rosie 5/4/11







First of all, sorry for my internet absence over the last few days. I was in the Lake District with my boyfriend Al, his family and our friends Ruth and Aisha for his 21st, such a lovely few days and a gorgeous place (more on that soon). Then I was back home and visiting family in Carlisle over the Mothers Day Weekend, so no internet there either.

I’ve also been working on new ideas for the blog, and there are going to be a few changes in the coming days. Watch this space! I’m always looking for feedback too – for things you like just now or would like to see then comment here or drop me an email! I’ve been desperate to give the blog a facelift for ages but I want to take the time to do it properly which meant waiting until Spring Break.

I’ve been loving the sunnier weather and felt in a girly mood today, so channelled this in my outfit choice. Sheer is the fabric that is defining this Spring/ Summer and perfectly suits the romantic trend. This blouse is from ASOS and was reduced to £20. My obsession with the peter pan collar, and with shades of dusty and pale pinks continues, it seems. It’s just so me, I may as well embrace it just now! I love the cape detail of the blouse, it adds to the romantic, drapey feel of the look in a less obvious way than ruffles or pleats.

I was also feeling the retro vibe and wanted to emphasise this aspect of the blouse by buttoning it up and wearing my vintage necklace. I also channelled this in my accessories, even if Al said at one point I was looking a bit “housewifey” today. I did bake scones earlier, but that’s another story! I’m hoping to get some real RayBan Clubmasters instead of these Primark £1 ones. They’re just so timeless and elegant, and I really need prescription glasses in my updated prescription – blind as a bat.

The contrast of the chiffon with jersey and leather gives the look an unexpected twist. The skirt was from UO last Spring. I love the unfussy A-line shape and the high waisted fit, as well as the muted colours and vintage-esque pattern. The jewellery is all vintage – the big purple ring is from the Affordable Vintage Fair and the other two were from my Mum and my Gran.

The pearl one from my Gran is a new donation – her friend gave it to her when she was not much older than me, and it was sent all the way from Hong Kong. I’m going to treasure it forever; it was so generous of her to pass it on to me, and I love its story. I love hearing the stories behind all her things, one day I’ll document them all as I always want to remember her stories, especially about her clothes as its an interest she’s passed on to me. I love hearing where her things were from and where she wore them to, and especially about the clothes she made for herself and other people.

Headscarf- UO
Blouse- ASOS
Jacket- H&M
Skirt- UO
Pumps- Topshop
Bag- Vintage
Sunglasses- Primark
Rings- Vintage
Necklace- Vintage