Sunday, February 28, 2010
Greenway was Agatha Christie's summer house, which she purchased in 1938. It's closed for off-season until next week, so we couldn't get inside, but we wandered into the grounds and got a glimpse of the exterior.
I absolutely adore seeing the snowdrops come out - the first signs of spring! I hate the winter and live for the warm weather, so for me spring is one of the most exciting times of year - seeing the first greenery return to the trees, crisp sunny mornings, hawthorn beginning to blossom in the hedgerows... All letting me know that the frigid days of winter are passing.
Bygones is a delightful museum housed in an old cinema. It's a wonderful place to fantasise about living in a past era. The ground floor contains a life-size replica Victorian street, with shops packed full of vintage and antique clothing, toys and homewares. The other floors have displays of 19thC home interiors, a WWI trench experience, a WW2 bomb shelter and home front memorabilia. And a huge model railway. We watched the flip-book animations and played mechanical grand national in the vintage amusement arcade, and I coveted practically everything (especially this dress and kitchen cabinet) in the 1940s/50s shopping arcade.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Don't ask what's going on with the hair! I just sort of twisted and pinned it (with an uber-kitsch candy clip, because that's the one I had to hand after twisting it!), I don't know what it's meant to be. I have such trouble with my hair because it's so long and thick. So today I finally bit the bullet, and plucked up the courage to phone and book a "Hair Masterclass" at Nina's Hair Parlour, which specialises in vintage and retro styles - the masterclass includes a cut and set, and they teach you three different hair styles. The lovely lady I spoke to (Leila I think), will even give me advice on how to style my hair to wear with hats! V excited.
In fact I've a lot to be excited about today - you won't hear from me over the weekend as I'm off to Torquay with Mr. Matin. Torquay is where Agatha Christie grew up, so I have great plans to visit Poirot and Miss Marple locations. But not, to my disappointment, Agatha Christie's own house, which is closed for off-season until next week :( I would also have liked to visit Burgh Island - the Art Deco hotel is a setting (and filming location) for at least two mysteries.
Not enough people wear red and pink together. I adore crazy colour combinations (see yesterday's outfit of bright cobalt blue with hot pink), and I think red with pink looks absolutely marvellous (hey, it matches my blog's colour scheme!).
From Woman's Own magazine, April 1953:
Pink for femininity, as the unrivalled foil to the English complexion, as the colour of parties. Pink is the colour for everyone, right for dull days and summer days, for simple cotton dresses or the most formal sweeping evening dress.
Red, vivid, rich and royal, is almost as basic a colour for spring-to-summer days as black or white, and is used for suits, silk dresses and evening wear. It's a very positive colour that takes white accessories or jet jewellery, and can be as versatile as you like to make it.
So take this season the pinks and reds for colour, mix and mingle them. Use two tones together or try unconventional mixtures such as raspberry and sugar pink, pearl pink and cyclamen, or orchid and deep red.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Time for some colour! This is the dress I bought in Lincoln, which I love - all £70 worth! I wear it a lot, but somehow I've never managed to photograph it for an outfit post. I love going wild and pairing it with my multicolour scarf and hot pink gloves - and a secret extra touch of hot pink in the petticoat!
The lovebirds necklace and brooch were both gifts from Matin - I dropped some not-very-subtle hints that I would like lovebirds jewellery for Valentines, and he got me these, plus an entwined hearts brooch.
Dress, Tasty Vintage; Feather fascinator, Accessorize; Scarf & gloves, Christmas gifts; Jewellery, Valentines gifts; Petticoat, ebay
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
These dresses and more are all 25% off in my shop, Tuppence Ha'Penny Vintage & Retro
What a fabulous idea for a giveaway! Miss Cherry is hosting a marvellous giveaway with a WW2 Home Front theme! Just tell her what you would have missed the most during a time of shortage and rationing, to be entered into a draw for the prize!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I really did! I was in 1940s London, and I had something important to do (I can't remember what it was, as is the nature of dreams), but I kept thinking that once I'd finished this vital task, how wonderful it would be to take some of the 40s dresses back with me to the future to wear and sell!
Pic from here
Monday, February 22, 2010
Drawn out of a hat by my sister, the winner of the vintage fully-fashioned nylons giveaway is...
Email me your address and i'll get your stockings in the post! Thanks to all who entered, and I have many more giveaways planned - look out for a vintage magazine giveaway coming soon!
image from here.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
After wearing all black to the Ministry of Burlesque show on Friday - although I looked terribly dashing, as I'm sure you'll agree, it made me evaluate my wardrobe a bit. I have two staple colour palettes - basically red, white & blue, and black & red. I feel that I really ought to have more colours in my life...
Photo from flickr
- The magic of cinema, seen through the eyes of one little boy
- Although the costuming isn't too fantastical, the movie being set in Catholic Sicily, the postwar styles are there, including snippets of newsreel promoting the "New Look"
- The lovely Cinema Paradiso building
- The montage of all the priest-censored kisses
Saturday, February 20, 2010
- In "Busman's Honeymoon," constance Cummings wears this green tweed suit, which has knitted sleeves with narrow borders of the tweed. Another good idea would be to wear a woollen blouse with the suit, edging the sleeves with strips of the tweed in exactly the same way.
- Lace is still a first favourite as a trimming, and here is a very charming way of using it, again featured by Constance Cummings. In addition to the collar and cuffs, lace bands are inset on the sleeves and bodice of a black frock.
- At the top of the page is the new star of "A Bill of Divorcement," Maureen O'Hara, in a hat of slate-blue felt, the "crown" of which consists of a strip of material swathed in "pin-wheel" pleats around a stiffened foundation.
- As a change from ordinary white collar and cuffs, Ruth Hussey has strips of embroidery cut out applique-wise round the neck and on the sleeves of a plain, dark dress. Notice how the cut-work "cuffs" are put on at a slight angle.
- The frock on the left, worn by Diana Lewis, would be quite attractive plain, with its wide swing skirt and "jelly-bag" pockets, but it is made twice as pretty by the addition of little sprays of flowers embroidered in brightly-coloured wools. Beads could also be used.
- Ann Rutherford goes to tea-dances in this navy felt hat with its huge felt bow and white Mantilla braid worked into a circle of flowers. The crown of the hat is a small skull-cap affair, worn well back on the crown of the head.
Friday, February 19, 2010
High Tease was marvellous fun! I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to wear my super new bonnet (it has a polka dot rose on it!), Forstmann jacket, and vertical stripe tights (inspired by Twila Jean).
Anyway, about the show! Dusty Limits was suitably dandy as host, unfortunately he was recovering from a sore throat, but he still managed a couple of songs. Kittie Klaw performed a beautiful "dream dance" (among others... check the videos section of her website). Persia Portia was lovely, and Pippa the Ripper made me want to take up hula hooping! Meanwhile, the dinner was tres tasty, and Matin coped admirably with the sight of scantily-clad ladies.
Hat, Head Hunter Boutique; Jacket, ebay; Skirt, Coast; Vertical stripe tights, ebay; Cherry satin shoes, Tuppence Ha'penny
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I push open the door, and survey the scene. I'm surrounded by treasure and junk: offcuts of polystyrene packaging and an old computer keyboard nestle against vintage china and silver teasets. On top of a toolbox sits a box containing my old collection of Wade whimsies. A pair of bakelite telephones and a lucite lampstand perch on an antique console table. Boxes are stacked to waist height in places. I plunge in. First a couple of the smaller stacks. Then a rummage through an ikea bag filled with vintage linens and lace - I emerge with a 1950s apron and a pair of Victorian bloomers. I clamber over it, to tackle a stack of boxes. The first is full of ephemera, the next reveals a stocking form, curtain rings, random kitchenalia, a 1950s alarm clock and a velvet-lidded box of broken jewellery. I balance these precariously on the bag of linens, and open the wooden chest. Many hours pass while I browse and categorise newspapers and magazines covering over 120 years.
I gingerly continue through the attic, unpiling boxes into the available floor space and then restacking them to clear my path. I pull a tupperware of vintage buttons from under a box of family photos, a John Bull printing set and an Abba CD. I move a box of gramophone springs to uncover the paper-making set we've been looking for for ages (we knew it was there somewhere).
The camera battery died as I was taking the photos above - will try and post a photo of my finds tomorrow!
Another get in shape article, this one from Everywoman magazine, March 1940.
"Here are the correct bust, waist, hip and ankle measurements for each height. Compare your proportions with them - if you're inches out you'll need to take steps to alter your curves."
I was interested to note there's none of the mythical ideal 36-24-36. Apparently I ought to have a 26 inch waist. Best get to work then!
I'm so excited - I booked Matin and me tickets to Ministry of Burlesque's High Tease for Friday. I've never been to a burlesque show (and I'm not sure what Matin will make of it!), so I'm really looking forward to it. Plus I can dress outrageously and know I'll fit in just fine! Exciting...
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Continuing the vintage fitness series comes this piece from "Everywoman" magazine July 1946. Sorry not to bring you any exciting outfit photo collages, but I'm visiting Mother, and I've spent the entire day holed up in the attic sifting through ephemera, magazines and newspapers. There's a veritable treasure trove up there - a large proportion of it comes from the estate of a 90-something-year-old lady who lived in the family home, and amongst the newspapers are special editions dating back to Queen Victoria's Jubilee! I can see a lot of scanning to come in the next few weeks...
Meanwhile, I'm watching Miss Marple! My lovely housemates, as wonderful as they are, are not fans of retro mystery dramas, so it's a treat to sit back and indulge in the vintage fashion. Aww I've just realised this episode has the back story about Miss Marple's lost love - she saw her sweetheart onto the train as he headed off to the Great War, and never came back. My own great aunt, Daddy's Aunt Nettie, suffered the same fate. She too never married, but the two brilliant cut diamonds from her engagement ring were recently remade into my sister's engagement ring, so at least there's a romantic end to their tragic story.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
So I am starting a series of posts of diet and exercise articles from vintage magazines, and I'll try to discipline myself to put into practice the advice contained therein. Wish me luck - and feel free to join in and let me know how you get on!
Monday, February 15, 2010
I'm trying to put my ever-increasing collection of vintage magazines to use! I'm planning a third retro dingbat font from some of those fabulous graphic, and I'm going to start posting more articles. This one comes from Woman's Own magazine, March 1953 - a nice one for anyone who wants to add a vintage touch to their boudoir. I love how it offers suggestions for all different types of living space, and some of the suggestions (the strip of wallpaper) are techniques modern designers often use.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Oops, it happened again - actually, seems like everything I wear these days was bought for stock (and meanwhile, my shop is full of stuff I bought for myself but didn't fit or didn't suit me!). I bought the skirt (it's actually navy, red and off-white stripe, but my post-processing makes it look black; the hat is also navy) on my latest charity shop trawl, and the sweater was a bargain I found on ebay and intended to re-sell, but decided to keep!
Hat, ebay; Tattoo print sweater, ebay; belt, hand-me-down; Rose hair clip (worn as corsage), H&M; Vintage stripe skirt, charity shop; Shoes, Yoma; Cherry earrings, bought in Thailand
To celebrate Valentine's Day, a saucy little giveaway! I love vintage stockings - they're not very practical to wear every day, but you can't beat the satiny softness on your legs. Anyway, I have this pair of 1950s Wolsey fine-gauge fully fashioned seamed nylons for a giveaway. Mint condition, tissue-wrapped in original presentation box - they even have a little illustrated information card with them! And they could soon be yours! To enter, the only requirement is that you are a follower of this blog, and you post a comment below. For a bonus entry, link to this post from your blog, or twitter or whatever, to double your chances of winning. Entries close on Friday 19th Feb at 12pm GMT. Good luck dahlings! xx
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Irene Adler's hat in Sherlock Holmes inspired me! I've mixed it up with a bit of Japanese Goth - when I went to Japan last year I thought the goths and Lolitas around Harajuku were so fabulous I bought this coat dress in a Harajuku boutique.
1940s-50s rose hat, ebay; Glass heart pendant, gift; Red top, hand-me-down; Goth dress, boutique in Harajuku, Tokyo.
I took this photograph after spending a lot of time hanging out in the metro station hoping to capture one of the Lolitas!
Clockwise from top left: Vintage crochet trim peach sweater; 1940s tweed hourglass suit; 1940s green wool skirt; 80s-does-40s satin peplum jacket with flocked polka dots & roses; Vintage 70s nautical shirt; 1950s velvet little black cocktail dress. All coming soon to my ebay store - plus a whole lot of vintage fully fashioned stockings, I'm in the process of adding.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
It happens far too often - I'm photographing something for my shop, and I'm so pleased with how it looks that I end up keeping it! And that's how this ended up my outfit for today.
As I was changing back into my clothes after Boxercise, one lady commented, "that dress looks lovely on you - are you going out somewhere?" No, I replied, I just like to wear pretty dresses. And maybe it was just my imagination, but I felt it was with a wistful look that she dressed back into her pyjamas (yes, really).
Saturday, February 6, 2010
We talked to the owner of one shop about vintage clothing, and she said there were specialist vintage clothing shops in Worthing, so Matin said we could go there. I had a bit more success in Worthing than at the boot fair - I got a couple of vintage card games at a curio shop, and a vintage wool skirt from a charity shop, which will go up for sale (I'm thinking of starting an etsy shop - I'm becoming a bit bored with ebay). Then we strolled along the promenade (rather more understated than Brighton's Palace Pier)
I'm totally uncoordinated and lacking in lipstick because I dressed for the boot fair, not the real world! Beret, Accessorize; Sweater, charity shop; 1940s skirt, Exquisite Bones; Boots, Clarks, many moons ago; Polka dot scarf, gift.
Graphic from Tuppence HaPenny RetroBats.
Friday, February 5, 2010
All my favourites in one - cherries, polka dot, bows and gingham! In my efforts to wear more of my jewellery, I based this entire outfit around a single piece, the swallows brooch - which isn't in the pictures because it's pinned to my (black) coat, but did form the basis of the colour scheme. I've been waiting for a chance to wear the petticoat - isn't it just the coolest ever? The red nylon top layer has a scalloped hem, which is edged in scalloped embroidered cherry trim - too cute!
Wool bow beret, Accessorize; Polka dot embroidered sweater, charity shop; Shirt, custom-made; Gingham skirt, charity shop; Cherry petticoat, Sooznsfinds; Shoes, M&S
I have no patience with clothes that attempt to hid your excess weight because their [sic] shouldn't be any excess weight to hide. However, I'll give you fat girls a few tips while you're reducing. But you've got to reduce if you want to look well in your clothes. During the process of taking off weight, here are some things to remember.
Wear plain clothes, rather tailored, not tight. It's a mistaken idea that tight clothes conceal weight. They don't. Wear dark colors. No big patterns or flowers. Subtle, narrow stripes are advisable if they run vertically, not horizontally. Don't wear long, pointed-toed shoes and high heels, for nothing is so ridiculous as a fat woman wabbling [sic] around on spike heels. A plain, fairly tailored suit, a sports hat and walking-heel shoes make the best costume.
Don't wear a lot of jewelry. One good looking ring, a simple wrist watch and one attractive brooch are enough. Don't call attention to a fat neck by wearing beads and necklaces.
As I've said so many times, bone structure can't be changed, so I give you some clothes tricks for disguising faulty bone structure.
Girls with narrow shoulders should wear padded shoulders for street and puffed sleeves for afternoon and evening. With tailored clothes those shoulder epaultets are fine. Taffeta is a good material for thin girls. Collars, scarfs, and big bows at the neck are a help, too.
Girls with short waist-lines should wear the princess type of dress. Avoid belts with sports clothes as belts accentuate the waist-line. Never wear one with a sweater.
Aside from one structure, the only other thing that can't be changed is your height. if you're very tall, don't complain. Look at the picture stars like Garbo and Katherine Hepburn and see what wonders they have accomplished either in spite of or because of their height. Notice how they dress and - always remembering that you must keep your own individuality - suit some of their styles to your own needs. Tall girls look wonderful in tailored clothes, tweeds and slouch hats. In evening clothes the lines should be broken by fulness in the louse and fulness in the skirt beginning around the knees. Belts help break a long line. Baby French heels for evening help to cut down height.
Short girls should observe Mary Pickford, Janet Gaynor and Marian Nixon in the matter of clothes to see how these stars have coped with shortness of stature. Usually short girls have short legs, so yours is a greater problem - for style - than the long-legged, tall girl. Wear long and simple lines. You can look outstanding and chic, no matter how short you are. But your figure must be slim and graceful. Narrow vertical stripes and small polka dots are good for you. Jackets with a long rose of buttons up the front lengthen your line. Your skirts should be longish and straight. You can -and should - wear high-heeled shoes and your day skirt should be eight inches from the floor.
If you'll make the flesh of your figure perfect, then these simple ideas will take care of your structural short-comings.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Top: Fused Art Glass Pendant $16.00; Brass lovebirds hair comb $6.00; Set of 5 antique bluebird bowls $19.99; 50s celluloid lovebirds pendant $2.50
Middle: Embroidered & applique pillow $15.00; Porcelain earrings $20.00; Copper pendant (personalised) $26.99; Art pendant $15.00
Bottom: Pair of stoneware bowls $39.00; Pair of vintage embroidered pillowcases $25.00; Vintage love stamp pendant $19.00; Oiseaux original art $22.00
Yet more listings worth checking out: Aqua pearlescent swallows cabochon $2.50; Hand embroidered pillowcase $8.40; Vintage valentine $3.00; Vintage 1920s 3D valentine $10.00; 1950s gift wrap $3.00
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
What are the generally accepted ethics of altering vintage clothing? Where do the boundaries lie between alterations to fit, and, say, customisation? I bought a 1940s maxi skirt, but I want it to be a knee-length skirt. Should vintage clothing be considered sacred, and if I don't want to wear it as it is should I allow someone else to do so? What if I want to alter the high, round neck on a 1950s dress to become a (still period-appropriate) sweetheart neckline?
Joanna thinks that we should allow ourselves some latitude to alter vintage to suit our needs, pointing out that the aforementioned skirt might as well be reinvented and enjoyed, rather than left as it is and remain unworn, in the same way as she happily chops up vintage fabrics to make quilts and other lovelies. After all, that's the whole spirit of "make do and mend" that was prevalent in the days when it was produced.
Next step: learn how to make alterations...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I love vintage jewellery, but I so often forget to add it to my outfits - I'm trying to incorporate it into more of my looks. My small everyday jewellery collection is stored in a vintage 1950s Las Vegas souvenir card box (the interior is divided in two). I got the box from a charity shop and was planning to list it in my ebay shop, but it makes such a cute jewellery box! Anyway, on to the contents (plus a few items which are stored in my other jewellery box, a hexagonal burr walnut box which my Godfather gave me for I think my 15th birthday).
So, in vaguely Z-shaped order from top left:
- Vintage hard plastic necklace, gift from mother
- 1930s kirby grips & 1940s hair slides on card, International Quality Kitsch
- 1950s gold plastic swallows brooch, Just Jake and Me
- faux pearl and rhinestone brooch, gift from my sister
- red plastic beads, charity shop
- Celluloid bow brooch, gift from mother
- 1950s Swiss bone necklace, boot fair
- Vintage cream plastic rosebud beads, boot fair
- Plastic cherry earrings, purchased in Thailand
- Red swallows brooch, Distracto Girl
- Vintage jet birds buckle, Squirrel Antiques, Chichester
A note on the two kissing swallows brooches - the gold one is an original 1950s piece, and the red a modern reproduction made in celluloid thermoplastic from an original vintage mould by Distracto Girl.
1. Knee-high socks and patterned tights. I love Marks & Spencer's new lace knee-highs, which should keep me going until my dear sister finishes the pair she's knitting me. And okay, so they're not really "vintage", but I can't get enough of polka dot, argyle, diamond, and lace patterned tights. I loved Twila's vertical stripe tights I went and ordered myself a pair!
2. Winter fabrics. Tweed is one of my favourite fabrics - so much fun to wear, and reserved for the cooler months. Every self-respecting vintage gal ought to have a touch of tweed in her wardrobe. Same goes for fur (faux or real), leopard print and corduroy (my winter coat is a soft black corduroy with corde buttons).
3. Hats! Cold weather is the perfect excuse (for those of us who aren't quite bold enough to leave the house in a flamingo hat) to dress up our heads. Though my new favourite hat did prompt my mother to query whether it was "necessary to look like a movie extra". Fact remains, I have never been complimented so often on my appearance as when I'm wearing a hat.
4. High heels. Because they usually require tights, high heels just don't work as well for summer. I would really love a pair of original 1940s heels, but I'm hoping to go to Vietnam sometime, and get some repro shoes made up for me there.