Lindy Bop Ophelia Dress – The Holy Grail of Dresses

This post is a little late in the making too – but I’ve been AWOL so long I figured I’ve got a little catching up to do ;p

A few months ago I was in Brighton with a friend, shopping through The Lanes. I was trying to help her find a (possibly) vintage outfit for a wedding she had coming up, and wasn’t particularly planning on buying anything myself. Unfortunately for her, we were finding that day that anything wedding worthy was a little out of her price in the vintage shops, but we did find her a gorgeous Grecian style mint dress from a little indie store that suited her perfectly. But that’s no reason to go home especially as we were only one street in to The Lanes!

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We made our way to one of my favourite shops in The Lanes, Snooper’s Paradise. Its a huge building, full of more antique/vintage/bric-a-brac than you can imagine – I’ve seen everything from a stunning piece of Japanese style cork art (snapped up for my dad’s birthday present!) to a full suit of armour?! They also have a wonderful upstairs section called Snooper’s Attic, with unique handmade jewellery and vintage clothing. But today, it was the funky repro stalls that caught my eye – my friend was rummaging through some of the bright floral Hearts & Roses dresses on display, and that’s when I found IT – the Lindy Bop Turquoise Floral Ophelia dress, THE Holy Grail of Dresses.

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Not only is this dress stunning to behold anyway, but because it is so gorgeous it is very rarely in stock – as soon as Lindy Bop got more in, the sold out straight away. Now as gutting as this was, I completely understood, this dress was THAT special. I kept a healthy eye out for it, but I never really expected to own one, instead settling for staring unhealthily when I saw a woman wearing one at a foodie festival I’d been to earlier in the year… sorry :s

So you can imagine my unadulterated excitement when I found the dress tucked in-between all sorts of black & purple forested goth dresses, AND IT WAS IN MY SIZE?!?!?! I did retain an amount of sensibility and tried it on – never letting it out of my death grip for a second, and when it fitted more beautifully than I could ever have imagined, I whacked it straight on the credit card. I’m not the kind of person that amounts a pile of debt buying things that I can’t afford, and this is the one and only time I have ever done the ‘buy now, worry later’ thing. But at £35 for the Holy Grail, you can’t really say no can you?

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I’ve worn it a few times now, and the amount of compliments I get is quite overwhelming. I wore it to work once (it’s a bit bright for regular office wear, but I was so excited I didn’t care!) and everyone loved it – one friend even stopping me every time he saw me to say how amazing he thought the dress was! I also wore it to the BBC Good Food show this winter, and so many complete strangers stopped me to ask where I got the dress from, and how wonderful I looked, it was incredible! I’m so happy to finally own this stunning outfit (and also very pleased with how nicely it goes with my copper locks) and it’s so so lovely to hear all these amazing compliments!

I am always trying to find excuses and places to wear the dress as much as possible, and I think now that summer is slowly on its way it will be getting a fair few more outings 😉

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

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Vintage Heartbreak

I have to say, whilst I adore my ever increasing passion and enthusiasm for vintage and the whole new side of me it has opened up, there is definitely a fairly large downside to the whole thing. It’s not to do with the slightly trickier way of shopping, or the higher costs involved. Both of those can be outweighed by the positives – shopping becomes an experience, it’s fascinating learning about the history and digging through so many wonderful prints, and of course we all know the point of vintage is paying a little bit more for classic, better quality items that if well cared for, will last and last.

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No, what I’m struggling with is the regular heartbreak that comes discovering a stunning piece, and having to drag yourself through an almost breakup period every time someone else buys it before you 😥

Those who are still getting into the vintage scene may not quite understand what I’m going on about, but I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s not so bad when you’re out and about shopping, because generally on those occasions you are passing up items in view of something else – you are out to buy something and are favouring to buy one thing over another, so you will normally be satisfied with your decision. The problem comes when you browse through your favourite websites of an evening, just to see what’s new and keep up to date.

I dread to think how many items I’ve got saved to my Etsy favourites list after scrolling through – some items are ones I like, hoping that they’ll still be around when I decide I need to add a 70s silk shirt to my collection. Others are spectacular pieces that I can only dream about, and save them just to sigh wistfully and look at because they’re pretty. Then there are the items that fall in between, and these are the real heartbreakers. The pieces that you fall head over heels in love with, because they are beautiful yet realistic – in price and wearability – but you can’t quite do anything about them at that moment.

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I recently decided that I would like to add a yellow dress to my collection at some point, and found the perfect fit pretty quickly on Etsy. It was just the right mix of cute prom dress mixed with simple day dress, and exactly the right colour. I kept an eye on it for a few months (unfortunately finances haven’t been great, so I’ve had to go a bit longer than normal before accumulating any petty cash for pretty dresses) and just in the past couple of weeks, it looks like it’s been sold 😥 I’m gutted – it fitted the image I had in my head perfectly, and any other dress I’ve found since just isn’t the same.

And this is why it’s a little like a breakup – in a very melodramatic way, I feel like I’m never going to find a dress that perfect again. It consumes me, and I’m trawling through Etsy and Loves Miss Daisy and Candy Says desperately trying to find not another dress, but that dress. I know vintage is one of a kind these days, but I can’t help but trying. Sound familiar, anyone? Luckily, I know pragmatism will eventually kick in (maybe even writing this blog post is a step towards catharsis?) and I will be able to say “It wasn’t meant to be.” Because the one will come along somewhere, somehow, that will be even more perfect than that dress. Maybe it wouldn’t have fit properly, maybe the shade of yellow would have washed me out, maybe it would have smelt of the cigarette the model seemed to be smoking…

In the meantime, I’m still falling in love with dresses and shirts whenever I look on the internet – I clearly haven’t learnt my lesson 😉 But hey, if one will have a passion!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x