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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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.

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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

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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