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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American Rockabilly Sunshine

Rockabilly Pinup Clothing is without a doubt one of my favourite websites for this style of clothing. There is such a wide range of styles, from kitsch circle skirts, to elegant oriental prints, with a healthy mix of psychobilly thrown in between. I love looking through the website, dreaming after the high end dresses from the major labels like Limb, Glamour Bunny and Stop Staring, but it is still a fantastic place to see what I can find when I’ve got a little extra cash!

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Whilst I love the classic vintage look, with the more utility wartime dresses, making for easy and simple day to day wear, I really love the brightness of the rockabilly styling and the modern take on pinup wear, and I have completely fallen in love with this gorgeous yellow dress! The figure hugging shape gives a stunning pin up silhouette, especially with the contrasting white belt buckle to draw attention to a teeny waist. The white lapels give a perfect feel of the typical fifties American diner style, and the mix of sexy bust and classy knee length compliment each other beautifully. I would love to wear this dress with some shiny red patent heels, some bold fifties make up and a head full of gorgeous curls! And even better, it’s on sale! In my size! Someone hide my purse…

http://www.rockabillypinup.co.uk/lapel-yellow-pinup-dress-glamour-bunny-p-523.html

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Twi-Hard? If The Dress fits…

Ok – so I’m  fan of Twilight. I’m not by any means a Twi-hard; I read the books first and was initially completely disappointed with the films  and really quite disillusioned with the whole thing. I became really quite cynical, and didn’t read or watch any of them for a few years, until the advert for Breaking Dawn pt 2 came out. It actually looked pretty good, so I thought I’d have a catch up. I started reading the books again, and remembered how amazing they were, as long as you separated them from the films. An I also did the same for the films, and remembered how good they are as well. It was a nice revelation. Whilst Robert Pattinson is probably about as perfect an Edward Cullen as you’re going to get, he was always too tortured in the films for my liking. In the books he’s witty, funny and smiles a lot more often, but I imagine we can probably put that largely down to directing. The same with Kristen Stewart; Bella in the books is much stronger, and again funnier. I always felt the movie Bella was a bit limp and devoid of emotion… but let’s not get into that argument, that’s not what I’m here for.

I said I wasn’t a Twi-hard – but I’ve only gone and searched high and low for the stunning cobalt blue dress Bella wears as she wakes up a vampire. I don’t think anyone who’s seen the film can really blame me, it is a knockout of a dress. I searched my usual haunts with no luck, widening my search to anywhere I thought might have that kind of dress – sexy bodycon but still demure enough to be smart and formal. The colour was essential, there was no point finding the perfect shaped dress if it wasn’t in that breathtaking cobalt blue. I was having no luck – I thought I’d searched everywhere. But once again, as has caught me out before, sometimes the key really lies in the words you use in your online search. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t find what I was after on Asos, so I gave it another go. I can’t remember what I searched first time round, or second time round, but I found IT. At work I sit next to one of my closest friends, who really is a Twi-hard, and after getting her seal of approval, I clicked buy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a dress to arrive!

And when it did, I was not let down in the slightest. the fabric is slightly ribbed and very stretchy, making it very forgiving and flattering, particularly with the ruche detailing at the side. The length is ideal, even for me, and the deep v-neck is a bit deeper than the dress in the film, but just right. The shoulder straps are the right width, the wrap style of the bust is amazing, and the colour… the colour is breathtaking. The cobalt blue is so rich, and warm, but still keeps a bit of freshness – ok, I’m rambling about how much I’m in love with a colour, but when you see it you’ll know what I mean. It looks amazing with softly wavy hair, a la Mrs Cullen, but will look mega sleek with straight hair too. This dress is a total showstopper, and I’ve already planned to wear it to dinner with my husband for our 6 month anniversary later this week 😉

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http://www.asos.com/Vesper/Vesper-Pencil-Dress-with-Wrap-Front/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2786243&SearchQuery=vesper%20pencil%20blue%20dress&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Blue

Yours,

The Vampire Housewife x

Happy Vintage Birthday to Me!

I have had such an amazing birthday this year with so many incredible presents, I just couldn’t resist sharing with you all! Not only was I spoilt with presents, but also got treated to some very yummy goodies and some lovely celebratory nights out! I really am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband, fantastic family, and amazing friends 🙂

My present from my parents simply blew me away – I have wanted a real, old typewriter for years and years, and have never been able to find anything that wasn’t a 70s electric typewriter (and not the point)  or outrageously expensive. I’ve kept my eye out, particularly as I get more into the vintage scene, but with still no luck. Luckily, my mum’s boss was having a clear out of his home and came across a beautiful Imperial vintage typewriter! Apparently it was in manky condition, so they got it restored, and I now have a beautiful working typewriter! I was thrilled to bits! I can’t wait to get our desk area finally sorted and have it looking amazing, and to be able to use it for letters, recipes, and whenever I fancy that satisfying ‘clickclickclickping!’ that makes writing seem so much more tangible. Yay! I was also lucky enough to receive a voucher for my favourite Retro Daisy, but more of that in another post 🙂

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My present from Dave was at his parents house, the idea being we were going to stop off to see them on our way to the New Forest and do presents there. The sneaky Rhodes family that I have married into had actually all clubbed together and bought me a bike! I was so excited! I’d suggested a month or two earlier to my parents that if they were stuck for ideas of what to get me, I’d love a bicycle to start riding in the summer, but they of course had already sorted my present. So Dave sprung into action, discreetly getting me to show him the bike I wanted and orchestrating with my sister to make use of her Halford’s discount. It’s a step through bike, so no ungainly hopping over the frame, and it gives it a gorgeous vintage look! I’ve already got people telling me I HAVE to have a wicker basket on the front! I can’t wait for sunnier and warmer weather, to ride this up and down the beach, the river, and maybe up the Downs if I’m feeling brave!

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Laena, my sister, got me this beautiful trinket box; it looks like its straight out of the 18th century! I love the gorgeous scroll detail and the rose embellishment, it’s just the perfect size for my favourite bits of jewellery. And she also made me my birthday cupcakes, and as the baker behind cakeywakeybakey, she has really outdone herself this time. The design was my suggestion, inspired by Isabel Wolffe’s description of vintage prom dresses as being ‘cupcake dresses’ because the petticoats made them so beautiful and full and gorgeous! She did even better than I had imagined, and they tasted incredible! With simple base and buttercream icing, she put strawberry jam into the middle of the cake itself, which made a lovely, sharp contrast to the sweetness of the icing and the fondant. Yummy cakeywakeybakey goodness always goes down very nicely!

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After our night away, we went out for dinner with my family to a local Mexican restaurant that Laena recommended called TexMex in Worthing. I love Mexican food, its definitely one of my favourite cuisines, but there are so few restaurants out there. I do now have a new favourite restaurant! There was a really lovely atmosphere, the waitresses really looked after us and made us feel at home. The menu was incredible, there was so much to choose from! In the end I opted for chorizo mussels, and the Mexican Feast for 1, which had a small amount of different meals on the menu. It was to die for! There was not a single thing in the meal I didn’t enjoy, the heat was just right for all of us, and the variety across the board was perfect. The only problem was I shouldn’t have had a starter, there was so much food in the main! Without a doubt my new favourite restaurant, and I can’t wait to go back and finish the feast by not having a starter!

http://www.montaguestexmex.co.uk/

Th Saturday I arranged to go out with friends into Brighton, to a place recommended by a friend called The Mesmerist. I got a text from her saying it was an amazing forties/fifties vintage style bar with a great atmosphere and even better music, and we had to go all dressed up dancing! It sounded like a place that was definitely worth trying, and she wasn’t wrong. I loved the decor of the place, full of quirky eccentric vintage pieces, with everything from a prosthetic leg to a feather boa wearing chicken, and a barber’s chair that actually provided men with a haircut upon request! It was absolutely amazing, the feel of the place was so happy and vibrant, the music was awesome, and I shall definitely be returning!

http://www.drinkinbrighton.co.uk/mesmerist

All in all, a pretty amazing birthday!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

American Vintage Styling

I have been waiting a few weeks now for something very exciting to arrive in the post. I have been dreaming about some beautiful dresses from an American online store I have found called Ruche, who specialise in vintage styling with the most charming and gorgeous dresses, tops and skirts. I have fallen completely in love with everything Ruche has for sale, and the prices for their clothes are amazing, once converted into pounds. Of course the delivery and customs charges has to be taken into account, but even once that has all been calculated, they are still amazing value for money. So, I was brave, and finally took the plunge and bought my first purchase from http://shopruche.com/

After spending a few weeks browsing basically the whole website in my spare time, I had found a stunning wrap dress in a beautiful green tiled print. It was one of Ruche’s more expensive items, but fortunately it was in the sale, and still in my size! (Luckily they have a very helpful size conversion chart) I took it as a sign, and worked out that with delivery, the dress was £45, which is pretty amazing considering it’s from America. I was stung by customs charges, but fortunately it was only £15, making the dress a total of £60 including delivery and customs, which is even better – especially when you think you can pay twice as much as that for a dress from the UK.

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When the dress arrived, it was one of those wonderful moments when it was even better than I was expecting. Not only was the print more stunning in real life, but I actually saw that it was a proper wrap around dress – where you thread the belt through a whole and wrap it round to tie up at the waist. How vintage is that! It means the dress fits like a glove, tightened the exact amount for my body. It looks incredible both with and without petticoat – even bearing in mind I only have a black petticoat at the moment, it would look even better with a white one. I have had so many compliments on this dress, and I’ve only had it two days! I’m thrilled to bits with my purchase, and whilst I think when buying things from America there are many things to consider – time and potential customs charges chief among them – it is something I will do more often and with less apprehension in the future. Make sure you take a look at Ruche’s website, as well as http://www.modcloth.com/, a similar American site with gorgeous vintage styles!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Brighton Tattoo Convention

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, as some of you may be aware I am currently taking a creative writing course which is taking up a fair bit of my time! But more on that later – I thought I would make use of the half term week to get back on the blogging wagon.

This weekend my sister and I went along to the Brighton Tattoo convention, based at the Hilton Metropole for the first time. We really made a day of it, getting all dressed up in our retro outfits; I wore my gorgeous heart dress as seen on this blog, and Laena wore a cute dotty crop top which showed off her stunning backpiece to perfection. It wasn’t the warmest  of days, but fortunately it wasn’t totally miserable, thought we could have done with some better signage letting us know that people with advance tickets could go straight into the warmth without having to queue for 30mins-1hr! D’oh! Either way, we eventually made it in, and at first (though I’ve never been before) we were a bit disappointed with the size. Laena said it was always much bigger at its previous venue of the Brighton Racecourse, but fortunately the further around the convention we went, more rooms and corridors opened up in the warren that was the Hilton’s conference centres.

First we walked around the traders’ hall, with stalls ranging from cute cupcakes and candyfloss, to all manner of piercing’s and jewellery, and there was even a stall for Powder Beauty Boutique who were offering nail painting and gel extensions. As I couldn’t afford to get myself a tattoo that day, and nail extensions were something I had been looking at anyway, I thought I’d get some done. The ladies were lovely, and were able to give me some really natural looking extensions that were nice and petite to match my tiny hands. It was a lot of fun people watching and just relaxing for a while, watching people come into the show and looking at all their stunning tattoos and body modifications. Once the gel for my extensions had set, I had to somehow choose what colour to go for on the nails! As I was wearing my red heart dress, and a true red goes with pretty much anything, I decided that was the colour for me to really finish off the look. I have proper nails for the first time in years and I’m so excited! Thankyou Powder Beauty Boutique, I will be back soon!

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Back to the tattoos, there was so much to see I couldn’t even begin to describe it all here. The majority of stalls were artists specializing in the various forms of old school tattoos, but each still had their own unique style. Leah Mole of Spear Studios in Birmingham had a stall, showcasing her bright and beautiful ‘new school’ work, from cutsy doe-eyed animals, to vibrant flowers and anything that’s funky in-between. There was a really interesting artist with a style I had never seen before – it was totally abstract, almost like Picasso put onto skin, and made for some incredibly impressive tattoos. The variety of styles at the convention never ceased to amaze me, with modern twists on classic designs, artwork that would impress any critic and people from all across the globe that had come to this fantastic show.

My sister fell in love with a design at the first stall we came across, with a lovely guy from America (originally Dutch) going through the designs with her. She’s wanted a dreamcatcher tattoo for a while now, and his style was somewhere between the almost cartoony old school and more traditional Native American tribal, with the colours and design being exactly what Laena was after. She thought about the design for a while, but to be honest the real question wasn’t should she, but WHERE should she! Eventually she decided on the inside of her lower leg, as she had plans for another tattoo on the outside. Once the design was drawn up, and I’d gone for a wander whilst waiting, I was amazed at the progress of this artist, as he’d nearly finished the outlining after a lap of the downstairs and a trip to get some more cash out! The work is lovely, really high quality with gorgeous colours and beautiful, bold linework. I was so jealous, I want another one!

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It was a fantastic experience, and I’m so glad I went, but I think next year, I will cross my fingers that the convention goes back to the racecourse, and will make sure I have some more money saved up so I can get myself a tattoo done at the show instead of nails! And flat shoes next time – whilst it was fantastic to go to an event like this all dressed up, and I got lots of lovely compliments, I now have a painful blister on my heel, and I dread to think how I would have handled my volumous petticoat if I had got a tattoo! Denim shorts and a cute crop top next time I think, with some cute canvas pumps! For now though, I’ll just keep saving for more tattoos to come!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Vintage Vintage, Everywhere – Not a Penny to Spare!

Recently I have been lusting after so many bits of gorgeous retro style clothing – it’s a bit of a hazard working at a computer where you can browse the web in your spare time, and come across amazing sites like Rockabilly Pinup, Deadly is the Female, as well as all my other high street favourites. But, now that the month of January is nearly over, the time of tightening the belt and drawing in the pursestrings is nearly over, and I can daydream a bit more realistically about all the gorgeous clothes that can be found out there!

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This dress from Rockabilly Pinup is so beautiful it makes me want to cry – the wraparound style of the dress is always a sure thing to garuntee a flattering shape, but even if you’re not a fan of the shape there are a few more designs that make use of the main feature of the dress; the stunning peacock print. The colours are breathtaking, with bright azures, emeralds and hints of gold making this a truly regal dress, fit for any Queen of glamour. I’ve long wanted a peacock feather tattoo on my leg, and I’ve begun aquiring a bit of a collection of the beautiful feather print in various accessories. The peacock has always been a symbol of vanity and pride, but I say what’s wrong in wanting to look and feel amazing? Whether you opt for the sexy strappy dress, the fifties circle dress or the forties wiggle dress, you’re bound to feel a million dollars in this stunning print. http://www.rockabillypinup.co.uk/peacock-betty-fitted-dress-preorder-p-1224.html

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I’ve also found this beautiful lace trench coat from the more main stream Topshop, but as vintage becomes more and more popular, everywhere has something to offer these days, which is great for looking after people with a bit more of a budget. This coat is so like Burberry’s cream lace trench, I’m sure there will be the occasional double take as you walk down the street wearing the significantly more affordable option! Coco’s Fortune is one of Topshop’s brands, so is only available on the website, but their service is so great it’s not the end of the world. I love how luxurious this coat feels, with the tiny details making all the difference, particularly the eyelet detail on the collar and the gorgeous vintage style double breasted buttons. It’s just so beautiful, so French and chic, this just needs a pretty ditsy print dress with some seamed stockings or tights – and don’t forget the beret! http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33057&storeId=12556&productId=8848123&langId=-1&categoryId=&parent_category_rn=&searchTerm=lace%20trench%20coat&resultCount=1

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Finally, my latest disovery of Deadly is the Female, has led me to discover some more gorgeous dresses, fun and flirty swimming costumes, but most amazing of all are these incredible Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon winged shoes. They are spectacular – I adore the gorgeous red angel wings curving around your toes, and the red and silver contrast is amazing. The height is just perfect, not too high, and despite them being pretty quirky they are still not outside the realms of possibilty for regular wear. Pair them up with some red contrast seam stockings or tights, and keep it simple with a classic black vintage outfit to let the shoes do the talking, or go all out with starlet red. And Vivienne Westwood at this price, how can you say no!? http://www.deadlyisthefemale.com/shoes/heels/vivienne-westwood-lady-dragon-viii-wing-shoes

The only choice left now, is which do you go for? Eek!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x