An Expensive Hobby

I’ve been getting a bit fed up recently, of how expensive it is to keep up with and progress a vintage wardrobe. It’s all well and good saying that the idea of vintage is ‘make-do-and-mend’, and to find beautiful bargains in charity shops – and I am truly in awe of those amazing people who live by the vintage lifestyle so religiously. But I am in favour of mixing the old with the new, and as such frequent reproduction vintage sites such as 20th Century Foxy and Tara Starlet. The problem is, repro is getting to be as expensive, if not more so than some genuine, well preserved articles from the fifties or forties – sometimes more than the spectacular flapper dresses from the thirties.

I adore the flattering shapes and use of new material and techniques in the repro dresses, as well as the fantastic prints that you would never see on an original piece. I get that there is a premium for this style, but I do feel it is going slightly too far the wrong way. The glamorous party dresses are fair enough, largely deserving every potential penny spent, but to spend nearly £100 on a tea dress or shirtwaister? I want to be able to wear these things every day, not tuck them away in a dark corner of my wardrobe because I’m too afraid to let them see the light of day.

So, as an advocate of mixing the old with the new, I decided to traipse through the more conventional high street websites, in a bid to see if a vintage style wardrobe can be created from a more modest budget, and the repro beauties can be saved for those more special occasions and indulgent treats.

dps skirt

I love this Dorothy Perkins skirt – the deep mulberry colour of the pattern certainly harks back to a heritage era, though it is probably a bit fancy for the forties. But, I’m not up for staying true history, I’m not a re-enactor! The length and swish is perfect, and this skirt would look amazing with a sheer black pussybow blouse, and dark seamed stockings or tights. Match the shoes and lippy and you’re good to go! http://www.dorothyperkins.com/en/dpuk/product/whats-new-203534/view-all-new-in-203544/mulberry-flower-jersey-skirt-2487494?bi=1&ps=200

tpshp jumper

Skipping forward a few years, how amazingly eighties is this Topshop jumper!!! I am utterly in love with it, the pastel colours, the patchwork pattern, and the black trim finishes it off perfectly. Go for the look completely by wearing with thick leggings, or just nab this beauty and make it your own with simple skinny jeans. Leg warmers anyone? http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?searchTerm=floral+jumper&storeId=12556&productId=12364184&urlRequestType=Base&categoryId=&langId=-1&productIdentifier=product&catalogId=33057

nl black top

For a glamorous casual style, look no further than the elegant twenties and thirties with this black embroidered mesh top from New Look. Wear with wide legged trousers and pearls for a more authentic look, or go for a more modern twist and swap to skinny jeans. Keep make up dark and mysterious to really finish the look off – perfect for the upcoming winter! http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/black-embroidered-mesh-top_297328201

Whilst I am not going to stop lusting and dreaming after my favourite repro brands, and searching for the perfect vintage pieces to add to my growing collection, it is another element of fun to search the high street and put your own twist on modern finds. Everyone wears everything different, and it’s exciting to create wearable outfits from easy to find items on the highs street!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Easy Homely Dinner

There’s nothing quite like a filling, homely meal when you’re feeling under the weather. Be it a cold, killer busy week or just feeling a bit naff, there are certain types at meals which are just so warming and satisfying, they go a long way to making everything feel better. The problem is, a lot of these meals take an age of hard work to make. Roast dinners, good bolognaise, any kind of stew.

roast dinner

 

Luckily, one of my favourite go-to recipes comes straight out of Reader’s Digest 30 Minute Cookbook, and is so easy to make when your head feels like its stuffed with cotton wool. Arabian Beef – it really is as good as it sounds, and easier. Beef mince cooked with tomatoes and spices, served with fresh cucumber and pitta breads, it is a wonderful homely meal and can be eaten for lunch as leftovers the next day.

arabian beef

 

Unfortunately the book is no longer in current print, but if you ever come across one on eBay etc. you MUST buy it! This book was perfect for my expanding repertoire as I moved on from learning to cook what Mum taught me, to picking my own meals to try and make for the family. And it still contains most of my favourite basic meals – beef stroganoff, breadcrumb tagliatelle, salmon pasta – the variety and simplicity of these recipes is brilliant, and I don’t know what I would do without it. So sorry, you won’t be seeing mine for sale any time soon!

cookbookYours,

The Vintage Housewife x

 

Vintage for the Weekend!

I try to dress in vintage styling as often as I can, which normally means dressing in smart vintage style for work. I have some lovely wide legged trousers, which look great with various tops tucked in, and get so many compliments on the circle dresses I wear every now and then!
But, that does mean that come the weekend, you sometimes just want to not worry about what you’re wearing, relax and just throw something nice and simple on. That’s all well and good, but then you don’t wear vintage at the time when you can really enjoy it for yourself, and when other people can see you looking glamorous too! So, this weekend, as I was meeting up with a friend, I made the effort.
I have this lovely, simple black circle skirt that I got for my birthday a few years ago, and the volume of it means it looks great with or without a petticoat. I thought I would keep it toned down, so left the petticoat at home.
Next do a wonderful range of simple sweaters, with perfect slash necklines and three quarter length sleeves, and each season there is another selection of gorgeous colours and patterns to choose from. I have a butterfly print one which goes very nicely with this skirt, so once I’d added my scarlet seamed black tights, I was all set outfit wise!
I love the natural vintage look, its so simple and versatile, but really finishes off a classic vintage outfit beautifully. Soft bush on clean, fresh foundation, with nude lips and delicate eyeliner flicks on top of natural eye shadows – its so simple but so effective.
Finally, I curled my hair into a vague approximation of a Marilyn Monroe look – not quite right but I was happy with the final result! It did all blow away in the wind as soon as I walked out the door, but it was so great to be nicely made up for the weekend! It just goes to show its always worth making the effort!
Yours,
The Vintage Housewife x

Essie – Bachelorette Bash

This weekend I had my regular pampering session of getting my false nails done. I’m quite lucky, now that I’m used to looking after them I can generally make them last and last, without the need for a full new set very regularly. With a maximum outlay of £18 once every three weeks, I absolutely adore my new nails! Having picked and bitten for years, I’d tried several times to break the habit, but my nails were too weak by then. My mum gets her nails done as her nails are weak from health issues, and she was able to recommend the lovely Natalie at La Belle in Worthing for me to get mine done too.
And that now means I can wear gorgeous varnishes like this brilliant Essue colour! I love Essie, the colours are so bright and the varnish itself is excellent quality, really long lasting and gives a wonderfully smooth finish. The names are fantastic too, so unique and interesting! I saw this colour in the salon and instantly knew it would be my choice for the week! I loved it so much when it was put on I had to go out and buy it!
Essie varnishes aren’t the cheapest by a long shot, but luckily Superdrug had a 3for2 offer on, which makes it so worth it! I bought Bachelorette Bash as you can see, Bahama Mama which is a luscious deep plum, and Angora Cardi, a delicate dusky pink. I cant wait to try out my new colours!
Yours,
The Vintage Housewife x