Sunday, 5 June 2011

Thrifting for fashion

Have you ever looked at a full wardrobe of clothes, and thought 'I have nothing to wear?' This has been a regular occurrence in my life on and off over the years, as I find myself in what I call a style rut from time to time. I get into a routine of wearing the same things over and over again, until I get so fed up with it, that I claim I have nothing to wear! As we've slowly shed the layers of a very frosty winter and are making a steady transition into our British summer, I've taken a long hard look at my wardrobe and it's contents as shared with you a couple of weeks ago. Inspired by the very lovely Casey over at Casey's Elegant Musings , I've thought about all those closet orphans that have been unused, ignored and neglected for a very long time. Casey did a 30 day challenge by Kendi wearing just 30 items in 30 different ways. It inspired me to look at all my clothes in a fresh way to perhaps try and wear them in new combinations that work, and to resurrect those items that had been banished to Narnia at the back of the wardrobe! (I still have to learn how to limit myself to just 30 items! Casey did it so well!) It served it's purpose, as I'm wearing the things I really love, I've got rid of all the things that I love but that don't love me back (don't fit!), and I'm finally embracing the vintage styles I adore so much!

The very beautiful Maureen O'Hara
As I'm getting older, and hopefully getting to know myself a bit better, I know that I'm definitely a vintage girl at heart. If I could travel back in time, I'd get on the fast train to the 1940's/1950's! It was a time when femininity and glamour were embraced by women everywhere. Nobody did it better than these ladies:

Rita Hayworth

The very glamorous Elizabeth Taylor
I love the way women dressed in shapes that accentuated their femininity, using fabrics and styles that painted beautiful silhouettes. Hair and make-up also had a definite flair and glamour about it. So, drawing inspiration from all these beautiful, graceful women, I am having loads of fun expressing myself by incorporating a bit of vintage influence where I can. Of course this new found passion has led to a bit of a thrifting spree, and I have found a few beauties to update my spring/summer wardrobe. The best part is that I have achieved this without breaking the bank! I would love to share some of my finds with you. In my ideal world I would love to replace my whole wardrobe with sumptuous vintage dresses, but let's face it, reality rules! As a mother of three young children I have to be practical, as most days are spent chasing my two year old down a steep grass bank or up a ladder! Not easily achieved in pouffe petticoats and Mary Jane heels! But, I will try to sneak in a bit more glamour where I can, and where the budget allows!

Now, I'm by no means a purist (yet!) when it comes to sporting true vintage style, and I can only stand amazed at ladies like Fleur de Guerre, who pull it off so beautifully. I'm trying new things though, or should I say old? Below is a dress I purchased in the sale at, wait for it....our local supermarket! I paid pennies for it, purely because I waited for the sales to start, and it paid off! I've teamed it up with my favourite puffy crinoline petticoat, Cath Kidston plimsolls, and a favourite cardi. The lovely yellow vintage brooch was a thrifting find. This outfit is so comfy, I managed to do some chores in it, and even took the kiddies to a local farm for a day out without feeling overdressed! The hairstyle is one I've been playing with a bit after watching a tutorial by Casey (Edwardian inspired braided side bun), and I'm getting there slowly. This look is definitely a fusion of different era's, with a 1950's silhouette at the core and  a romantic Edwardian inspired hairstyle! But, I think that's why I'm having so much fun with it, taking from the buffet of vintage fashion those things that wet my appetite, and hopefully marrying them in a look that works for me!

Shirt: Closet orphan!
Skirt: Thrifted, charity shop
Belt: New addition, firm favourite!
Shoes: Thrifted, charity shop
Bracelet: Thrifted

This, I hope, will inspire you to be braver to try new things when you perhaps stare at a full wardrobe and feel like you have nothing to wear. Try something different, team old favourites up with new ones, and don't be scared to mix it up a bit! I know I'm having fun, and hope that you will too! I would love to hear from you, so do drop me a comment below.              


  1. You always look so put together! I absolutely adore the green skirt!

    Love, love, love vintage brooches/pins/jewelry. I would LOVE to go thrifting with you sometime and learn all the good places for finding sparkly bits and baubles!

  2. Aaaw...thank you Heather! It's a date! The thrift shops are beckoning! x


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