Monday, 26 March 2012

1940's Spring Wardrobe

The sun is defiantly out so here is the next chapter in my guide to getting your spring wardrobe together so here is the 1940's (my fav era).

Shortages of everything during the war had a great influence on the fashion of the 40's - silk was used for parachutes so many of the wartime dresses were made from rayon, synthetic jersey and other man made fabrics.  When rationing came into place in 1941 and the government Utility scheme forbade all trimmings and certain fabrics. So detailing in the form of pin tucks, turn back cuffs and other intricate details became the norm.

America had it's own designers with functional and easy ready-to-wear - play suits in denim, gingham and cotton.

  • Fly fronts on jackets
  • Flap pockets on dresses and jackets
  • Bolero jackets
  • Narrow revers collars on jackets and flyaway revers on blouses and dresses
  • Dolmen sleeves
  • Crossover bodices on dresses
  • Pussy cat bows on blouses
  • Seamed stockings
  • Sculptural hats - these weren't rationed so you can go town with them
  • Shoulder pads - think Joan Crawford
  • Peplems on dresses and jackets
  • Peep toe shoes with a platform or flat sandals a wedge.

Trousers became popular as women got used to wearing pants in the workplace, Heyday do the very best repro versions in every colour - team them with a fitted jacket or pussy bow blouse for a formal look or try a slim sweater and a vintage brooch pinned at your shoulder or a scarf tied at the neck for a more casual feel..

For daytime put a collection of original or repro dresses that you can change up with different accessories - add a jacket or a little cardigan, mix between flat sandals for daytime and high heels for evening. Patriotic prints were all the rage so for a authentic look see if you can find a scarf or flag brooch.

Add brooches to you lapels or hat to dress it up, or if you can find a pair of dress clips put it on your dress or shoes.

Clutch bags were very popular and over sized, felt hats that perch on the side of the head, trilby's and gloves.

After the war skirts were longer and in 1947 with Dior's New Look fuller which was carried on into the next decade - the 50's which will be the next blog post.

J by Jasper Conran Debenhams.

Ditsy Print dress M & Co £35

Peplem dress M & Co £39

Peter Pan collar blouse Matlan £12

Navy pants Gok for Tu collection at Sainsburys £30

H by Henry Holland for Debenhams £40 
 F & F Tesco peep toe shoe £22

Primark Jacket £22

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Road Trip

After a packed weekend of events (one of which is very exciting and if it all goes to plan I will tell you about it soon???) I could have done with a lie in but I was invited to breakfast with Benefit in Debenhams for the launch of their new - Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation.

I was met by Lisa the head make-up artist and brow expert and Yasmin, Digital Manager.

Following a badly needed coffee we headed to their Masterclass Room where Lisa talked us through the foundation.

The lowdown says - it leaves the skin looking radiant, with a flawless finish that you can build from a sheer to medium overage.  The skin looks plumped up and allows the sin to absorb more oxygen due to the peptides in the formular.  It firms, and gives a glow to the complexion, provides triple protection with an SPF 25 and contains vitamins and minerals to nourish the skin.

We were colour matched by Lisa and given a foundation to take away and try for ourselves.

Pop into the Benefit Boutique in Debenhams and get your perfect shade of Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow.

Lisa applying the new foundation to Jasmine Zhang Digital Manager

Lisa and Me!!!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Spring Wardrobe - 1930's

With a glimpse of Spring in the air it is time to start planning what you are going to wear for the warmer months ahead.
The lovely thing about vintage is that you can take a single decade as your inspiration or mix it up to change with your mood and who your feel like channelling when you wake up in the morning.

I thought that I would give your some ideas on how to create a look for each era - with pieces from the high street and style tips too.
Starting with the 1930's
Key elements -
  • Bold patterns and Art Deco Style
  • Bias cut gowns and dresses
  • Skirts with wedge-cut pleats - fitted at the hips, giving fullness at mid calf.
  • Decorative frills from the collar down at the front of a dress or blouse
  • Slim fitting suits for day wear teamed with gloves and cloche style hats or berets.
Sportswear and jersey fabric, as well as rayon  became popular along with women starting to wear wide leg trousers with decorative blouses and sweaters.  Shorts were also worn as exercise became part of a women's daily routine.

Modern day pieces can be given a 30's feel by adding vintage accessories - gloves worn with dresses and suits.  Berets worn at a jaunty angle in bright colours, straw boaters or cloches pop up on the high street every summer, add a thin striped scarf around the crown to make it individual.

The same scarf can be tied in a bow at the neck to create a jabot style blouse.  Look for pretty summer dresses with floaty sleeves - wear it with gloves and T-bar shoes with a little heel.  Skirts were mid-calf so look for styles that fit to the hip and flare out at the bottom.

Clutches were the bag of choice so pick up a few vintage ones or look on the high street, make sure that they have metal frame to stay in keeping with the era, fabric and straw ones were also popular.
Pick up vintage brooches to pin on blouses - look for animals such as panther's, birds and spiders that were made popular by Wallis Simpson and her famous Cartier jewellery collection.

Jonathan Saunders for Debenhams £60.

Jonathan Saunders for Debenhams £60
T- bar shoes - Florence and Fred for Tesco £14

Navy contrast blouse Primark £8.00

Linen skirt Viyella £119 ( expensive I know but this is the shape and will be cheaper ones out )

Tea at The Pavilion 1930's style dress Puttin' on the Ritz.

 Straw clouche hat from Accesorize

Clutch from Accessorize.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

Now that Spring has finally made an appearance it's time to sort out your wardrobe for the warmer months ahead - but then knowing how changeable the British weather is you may have to bring your winter woollies out again???

We can all be guilty of shoving things in the bottom of the cupboards, and neglecting our clothes. When you have an organised wardrobe it makes getting dressed much easier in the morning and you don't have stare at the mess thinking that you have nothing to wear.

Firstly take everything out of your wardrobe, go through everything and take a critical eye over it - does it still suit you and fit you (you will never slim back into it - be honest), is it still current with what you want to wear ( I am having a cull of my old style, I was wearing a lot of designer pieces but my true love has always been vintage and so although they were expensive at the time I am moving on some of my clothes to make room for a few more vintage dresses!!)

Once you have sorted out what you are going to keep and get rid of give your wardrobe a really good clean, brush it out, clean the floor and give it a spritz with a linen spray.

Pack away all your winter woollies and coats - if you are lucky enough to have a spare wardrobe put them away until next winter, make sure that you put in plenty of moth repellents such as lavender bags or cedar. Or try some vintage suitcases or boxes, or if space is really tight then use the plastic bags that you suck all the air out of and store under your bed.

The next step is to put back all those things you are going to keep - one thing I would say is buy decent hangers, the horrible wire ones that you get from the dry cleaners don't give your clothes any support and especially if you have some precious vintage pieces invest in some padded ones - you can buy in bulk from places like Morplan (they come in boxes of 50 so why not team up with a friend and share the cost).

Put all your dresses together, blouses and so on - try to colour code them so it makes it easier to see what you have. Have your jewellery and accessories on display that way you will be able to co-ordinate with your outfits.  One lovely idea I read that Dita Von Teese had a antique frame with red velvet to display all her vintage brooches.

Another idea I like to do is put together a mood or inspiration board for what I want to wear for the coming season - have a look through some vintage magazines or patterns, or have look on line for some looks that you like, then see what you have in your wardrobe that is similar then when you go out shopping for new pieces it helps you focus on what you need to complete the look - you may find that simply a pair of vintage gloves can transform a number of dresses or a lightweight jacket that will work with skirts and trousers.

Give your wardrobe an overhaul and but a spring in your step and look fabulous for the coming season.