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!


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.


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?


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 😉


The Vintage Housewife x

The Mid Century Market by Bettina Scarlett Presents!

So after all the waiting and getting excited over the announcements of stalls and businesses to be at this one of a kind event, it’s already been and gone! And what a wonderful day it was – hardly a surprise, with stalls such as Scarlet’s Vintage Attire, Clumsy and Bamboo Bettie in the line up! Bettina worked so hard to make sure the atmosphere for the Mid Century Market was absolutely perfect, from the music, to the stalls and even the gorgeous pin up girls wandering around just to add extra glamour!


The Hammersmith Club really was the perfect venue, a gorgeous old building on the outside with a hint of the slightly industrial in the blackened bricks, as it was tucked away out of sight. But, this was only hiding the true beauty of the interior, with a truly gorgeous ceiling and a stage that made me wish I could have been there in it’s heyday, watching all sorts of shows and performances! The fair was spread across three areas; the main hall which also held the bar/tearoom area, an upper balcony with a gorgeous view of the vintage bustle, and a stall on the stage itself. 



After entering the venue, and taking a moment to absorb the beauty of the building, we started wandering around the stalls, listening to the funky rockabilly music played by the DJ, and being tempted by the gorgeous smells coming out of The Vintage Sisters’ Travelling Tea Rooms. There was something for everyone, from spectacular sparkling jewellery at the Hostess Hotties, to bright and colourful headscarves and tote bags at Clumsy! I walked away with a couple of headscarves myself, I’m looking forward to perfecting the cute little bow the owner had tied hers into! There was even something for the men to occupy themselves with, at Cock A Doodle Vintage selling men’s attire and Chaplin’s of London, a pop up barber shop!


As everyone rummaged and delved through the gorgeous wares on offer, there was also a womanly camaraderie in the toilets as they doubled as changing rooms! With so many beautiful pieces, no one wanted to risk the piece they fell in love with not fitting when they made it back home! Hopefully in Market’s to come there will be a little changing room space set up, but then there would be less room for stalls! A tough choice for Bettina I’m sure!

I was one of the women squeezing in and out of the toilet cubicles, as I was drawn back twice to Bamboo Bettie – visiting the stall once I had been spellbound by the beautiful printed skirts they had on offer, and the second time round the Market I couldn’t resist any longer – I had to have one of Bettie’s gorgeous circle skirts. The lovely ladies were so helpful, understanding my indecision as to which colour way to choose – black and blue or white and red?! Luckily, they recommended I try them on, and I would know which colour I had to have straight away. I didn’t even make it to try on the blue and black! The red top with the pink flowers was perfect, and the gorgeous outfit made it’s way home with me.


As always with fairs like these, I also came across a beautiful dress that I completely fell in love with, but alas was not to be. At Vera Mode Vintage (where I did happen to snap up a £5 bargain fifties style sweater) there was the most -I’ve tried typing a word here several times and just completely failed to describe it’s beauty- dress, it almost made me want to cry just looking at it. I loved the cute bow ties at the shoulder, which matched so perfectly the elegant draping of the cowl neckline, and the full length of the dress was just stunning. The cream organza with slightly metallic red stripes was simply Goodwood Revival perfect – it was that kind of a dress. And to be honest, if I’d been organised enough to KNOW I was going to Goodwood this year, I would have just bought it there and then. This dress sang and called out to me, I had to reach and touch it every time I walked past, but on the day, I had to leave her for someone else who hopefully feels the same way I do and has a suitable glorious outing to show her off. (Oh dear, I’m attached. And I’ve also found the link to the Etsy shop… someone hide my purse.)


The Mid Century Market was a wonderful day out, and really perfect for all the family. I have to say I can’t wait to have my own kids and start introducing them to this wonderful, colourful and friendly world of vintage, retro and rockabilly! Bettina is confirmed for a further Mid Century Market in August – I’ve got it in my diary, do you?!


The Vintage Housewife x


Bettina Scarlett Presents the Mid-Century Market

This Christmas just gone saw the introductions of Bettina Scarlett’s first Mid-Century Market at the Hammersmith Club, in London. Bettina has a wealth of experience in the vintage industry, having previously worked as a model and branched out into events planning, with huge success at the Rockabilly Rave with her Vintage Fashion Revue, showcasing the best in reproduction vintage inspired clothing. With the massive popularity of the Christmas Mid-Century Market, London’s only 1950s fair, Bettina simply had to organise another chance for people to enjoy another opportunity to browse to wonderful stalls, full of beauties from genuine vintage clothing, to retro inspired designs and gorgeous homewares fit for any vintage queen.


The beautifully perfect Hammersmith club will once again open its doors to vintage enthusiasts and newcomers alike, for the bargain entry fee of £3 on Saturday 12th April from 10.30am, allowing shoppers and vintage lovers to browse through beautiful stalls displaying items from The Hostess Hotties, selling sparkly vintage jewellery and accessories, to the Rocking Cow, a wonderfully kooky vintage homeware brand! There’s even something to keep the boys happy at Cock A Doodle Vintage! All this and more can be viewed in the bright, friendly and exciting atmosphere, with gorgeous pin ups wandering around, vibrant rockabilly and blues music from all the best local DJs providing the perfect soundtrack to your day. And to top it all off, in true vintage fashion, there’s even a spot to have a well deserved cuppa after all your sifting and searching for your perfect vintage piece.


Make sure you check out the Facebook page for Bettina Scarlett Presents… and check out all the details for the Mid-Century Market, with more companies being announced all the time! I can’t wait to have a wander round London’s only 1950s fair, and I hope to see you there!


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!
The Vintage Housewife x