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 ūüėČ

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

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Spring into Springtime!

As the celebrations and excitement of the New Year draw to a close, it’s time to start forgetting about the winter, and dreaming of the spring and summer to come (yes, I appreciate some of you out there may be snowed under reading this, but just go with it!) There’s not much more to get you in the mood for a change of season than a fresh new wardrobe! But for those of us not lucky enough to quite have that clothing turnover, we can look at the new trends surrounding us and get excited anyway. Why not!?

My favourite trend to get me in the mood for springtime has got to be florals, every time. The fresh pattern, with colours ranging from soft and pastel to bright and bold, speaks of gardens growing and flowers blooming everywhere. Next’s Spring/Summer ’13 range has a gorgeous collection of both pretty and dainty floral prints, as well as fresh earthy tones that can’t help but get you in the happy-go-lucky springtime feeling.

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I love this beautiful, floaty and dreamy chiffon dress. The colours are beautiful, soft purples and pinks both match and contrast with the navy background perfectly, making it a gorgeous stand-out dress. The wrap around style is the best figure flatterer you can get, and also gives the dress a gorgeous forties vintage feel. I would love to wear this dress with hair softly twisted in victory rolls and subtle vintage make-up to keep in with the elegant style of the waterfall hem skirt, for a lovely glamorous houeswife look. Alternatively, for the edgy girly look, try throwing up your hair into a careless topknot, teaming the skirt with knitted tights and chunky boots, and stay warm and looking cool with a tough leather biker jacket.

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I’m normally not a green wearing girl – whether it doesn’t suit me, or I’m just not normally a fan of the colour, I’m not sure, but I love Next’s Spring Khaki collection. Earthy tones of greens, browns, and subtle floral woody prints make this an elegant, yet hard wearing range. Woodland animals are also a big part of this, and what says spring time more than a flock of butterflies on a pretty mini-skirt! It’s so easy to pair up this range with chunky knits and camo jackets, making it ideal for the transition from winter to spring. This range is perfect for casual weekend looks, from dashing in and out of shops looking for the rest of your summer wardrobe, and going full girly camo for some adventurous walks in the woods.

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If the weather isn’t going to make the effort, than maybe we should!

Next are doing a competition at the moment to be their Guest Blogger for 3 months! Here’s my offering, what can you do? Here’s the link to the competition, good luck!¬†http://blog.next.co.uk/nextguestblogger-its-back/

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

My First Vintage Find(s)!

The day has come! I’ve been desperate to finally make my first purchase of vintage clothing, and I’m pleased to say I am the proud owner of two new/old vintage dresses!

I’ve been working my way into the vintage scene for about a year now, starting with retro style high street pieces to create a vintage feel to my outfits. Then I was able to start looking at reproduction companies for that amazing vintage look and style that I’ve fallen in love with, from bright and beautiful fifties swing dresses, to flattering, waist high forties trousers. But, it has always been the dream to go from newly made, to newly found, and I’ve been lusting after various pieces on sites like Love Miss Daisy and Candy Says for ages.

Whilst great vintage pieces can have a bit of a premium, it is very much a matter of research, waiting and watching for the right piece to come up. That’s not to say that expensive pieces aren’t always bad value for money – I think ¬£175 for a unique, stunning, forties ball gown in great condition is perfectly reasonable! But that doesn’t mean the pennies are always there. Rokit is a great place to look for a truly mind boggling range of vintage clothes and accessories, for him and her. There are countless¬†categories¬†of clothing, with thousands of pieces to browse through – there has got to be something for everyone in their Aladdin’s Cave of a warehouse.

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I was browsing through the dresses section, and came across a stunning damask print bias cut dress. I’ve never thought I would be the right shape for bias cut, tending to suit the more boyish figure popular in the twenties and thirties, but the beautiful and delicate peach colour was calling out to me. This dress was mine. The label said size twelve, but Rokit are fantastic at puttnig the measurements on for each item of clothing, so you can work it out for yourself. Fortunately, this dress should fit my size, despite being 160 in length – about 5ft 2″ – whereas I am 5ft head included. That’s what sewing is for, right? The shape of the dress means this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. And at an amazing ¬£26, whilst that pretty much¬†guarantees¬†this isn’t a genuine thirties piece, it’s still a bargain for a stunning dress regardless. Click!

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Then when I’d placed my order and kept browsing, I found another beautiful dress! A ¬†cute little floral piece with a skater style skirt, gorgeous pearl style buttons and a lovely crotchet design around the neckline – a sweetheart style with button up neck creating an interesting keyhole design. Again, at ¬£26 this clearly isn’t from the golden era, but it’s a beautiful sweet little dress which can be worked into your everyday wardrobe. Give yourself some soft, forties waves and gentle make-up for an elegant housewife look, or go back a bit further with an up-do for a slightly more Victoriana look! It’s all about bringing a piece together with all the tricks up your sleeve to create the look you want.

I was thrilled to bits with my purchases, and whilst my first forays into vintage clothes don’t necessarily have as much history as others, I’m still so excited to keep expanding my collection – from high street, to repro and the occasional newly found gem.

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x