Tag Archives: Vintage

How-to Lifestyle Vintage

Quick and easy vintage DIY: add a 60s vibe to your kitchen

I live in a rented flat so my dream of a full-on Sixties (or even better, bright orange Seventies) kitchen remains, well, a dream. While other rooms like the living room or bedroom can be easily given a vintage feel with furniture, rugs, curtains and general deco, the kitchen is usually a tricky room. Ours is undeniably modern and there’s only so much you can do trying to add a vintage feel with Sixties jars and kitchen towels.

This is until I stumbled across a pack of original Sixties decal tiles at a local vintage fair. These transferable stickers – you just paste them over your tiles –  add an instant retro feel to our otherwise rather bland kitchen tiles. Best of all, you can simply peel them off and save them when you move. Genius!

Look out for vintage decals at fairs or car boots or have a look around Etsy. I love these wood-effect apple decals (£7.97) or these amazing mid-century tea set ones (also £7.97).

Culture Vintage what I got up to

Weekend round-up: listing more London vintage shops

The Doc and I ventured up to Crouch End on Saturday to check out new vintage shop Painted Black for the Vintage Guide. It’s a really lovely store, not much early vintage but if 60s and 70s are your thing  – and they are definitely mine – then there’s some excellent bargains. I spotted a great condition Jean Varon dress for £100 and an art deco Wedgewood oven dish for £25 – lovely!

competitions Lifestyle

And the winners are…

It’s time to announce the winners from the Bubble Betty rain bonnet give-away. Thank you everyone for entering, I’m really glad you found the rain hoods as useful as I did. But without further ado, here are the three winners (picked by the random number generator):

Tara Leigh for The Eccentric Leopard
Pernille Fredriksen
and Elizabeth from Bette on Toast

Congrats to you all! Please email your address to lena@jointhestylehighclub.com and I’ll have the rain hoods send out to you.


The vintage girl – a new feminist?

Desparate Scousewives

Amidst all the spray tans, vajazzling and hair extensions, vintage-loving women tend to stand out with an aesthetic that evokes glamour, individuality and femininity. Could the vintage girl then be a new form of feminism, an antithesis to the blingtastic, porn-star style that influences female identity at the moment? 

I don’t quite know how it happened or when but far too many women around me seem to want to look like a porn actress these days. Or why else would they wax off their pubes, slather themselves in Fakebake and state Page Three Girl in their career goals? There is something about the passivity of this particular idea of femininity – there to be stared at, cum onto – that I find deeply infuriating. It’s just sad that we’re all meant to look like little plastic sex dolls – fake eyelashes, fake hair, fake tan, fake boobs.

To my relief (no really, it is!) there is a great big social group of women out there who don’t buy into this image – the vintage girls. Although the vintage scene is splintered into smaller subfractions of particular decades, musical styles, dances and activities, the one thing all these vintage-loving women have in common is their embrace of an altogether different femininity, one that’s individual, one that harks back to a time when glamour was exotic and empowering.

Although these girls look back at past style icons they don’t become carbon copies of their idols, they mix and match their style, they construct their own image, they don’t simply buy into a ready-made identity. And often they take inspiration from those pioneers of feminism, the smoking, partying 1920s garconnes, the sports-playing, car-driving women of the 1930s, the home front workers of the war years, the 1950s office workers slowly edging their way into the work place and the sexually liberated dollybirds of the 1960s.

some of my vintage-loving friends

image: www.aspreyphotography.co.uk

It’s no co-incidence either I think, that there is such a wide variety of body shapes – from really slim to really curvaceous – in the vintage scene as well as a much broader range of age from teenagers to women in their Fifties than any other social scene I have come across. It’s like the vintage girl has somehow managed to embrace her body rather than radically reshape it into the accepted norm, and I am convinced that wearing vintage is playing a part in this, because you don’t shop for it by size but by fit. I myself have gradually weaned myself of the idea that I am a certain size (I never really was anyways, given the vanity sizing issue) – instead I go by my measurements. If a vintage dress happens to not fit me I simply put it back, I don’t see it as a comment on me being too big, it doesn’t give me that feeling of horror when I couldn’t fit into my size on the highstreet, where it felt like every too-small dress was the entire clothing industry laughing at my failure to be a size ten with perfect breasts.

There is no doubt to me that ‘opting out’ of the whole female fakery is in essence a feminist stance, perhaps not knowingly so, but feminist none the less. What do you think – is vintage a new form of feminism?

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How-to Vintage

Love vintage? Try German eBay!

Ok so I’m going to have to swear you to secrecy cause this is my most precious vintage shopping tip: check out German eBay. Or Austrian eBay. Or both. Don’t let the unfamiliar lingo put you off – that’s what the Google Toolbar translator was made for.

Check out this nifty ‘Design & Stil’ category for example. It gives you the option to search by decade so you can narrow down things very easily.

1 Euro Art Deco plate? Ok then!

Four Cortendorf wall deco masks for 115 Euros? Don’t mind if I do.

If you’re after vintage fashion try out the Mode nach Jahrzehnten section, which again allows you to narrow down by decade. It’s worth sifting through the many God-awful repro listings to unearth the real gems.

I love this collection of 50s fashion magazines – they all come with patterns!

Or this little 60s mod dress, currently at 22 Euros.

So happy bidding and shh don’t tell anyone.


homeware Vintage

Weekend vintage find: leather footstool

I’m in love with my new leather footstool in art deco grey and pistachio green, a bargain at a yard sale for £2.

shoes Vintage

Velvet Cave vintage eBay sale: 60s shoes

One of my favourite eBay vintage shops, Velvet Cave Vintage, has listed a whole range of fantastic 60s shoes. Needless to say that the ones I really love are not in my size. The hunt for patent black Mary Janes continues.

How-to Vintage

How to recreate a 1920s look – part two: evening wear

Following on from my guide to Twenties day wear, here’s part two – how to dress for the evening.

I’ve written about my slight obsession with Otto Dix’s paintings before, but I have to return to his magnificent ‘Grossstadt’. The main scene, set in a Berlin club, shows a couple dancing along to a jazz band with several onlookers smoking and drinking. The woman about to step onto the dance floor, with her orange-yellow dress, slick Easton crop hair cut, pink feather fan in hand, to me perfectly embodies Twenties decadence and what Twenties evening dress is about: glamour, exoticism, magic, enchantment, excitement.

Against contemporary stereotypes, Twenties evening dresses weren’t short, certainly not above knee-length, and full-length gowns remained popular throughout the decade. Monochrome dresses in black and white, creme or  pastel tones were often worn with exquisite art deco shawls in geometrical or oriental prints.

Just as with daywear, the silhouette was boyish and dresses – always sleeveless – were straight up and down or cut to a drop-waist. Cape or cut out back details were very en vogue as were luxurious fabrics such as silk and fur.

Scalloped seams and heavy embellishments using embroidery and pearl details became popular on dresses as the decade progressed – leading up to the fringe detailing that we now associate with a typical flapper dress.

Similar to the daytime look, hair would be cropped in a short bob or Eaton cut and worn straight or set in Marcel or finger waves. Alternatively small curls would be piled up tight on the head. Tiara-esque silver headbands or elaborate crown-like head pieces were popular, often decorated with pearls and feathers.

For accessories women wore pearls or silver jewellery, plume fans were popular too.

To recreate the look:
If you’re based in London, do head to the Vintage Emporium just off Brick Lane for the most incredible Twenties vintage dresses and accessories. Online shop Dorothea’s Closet Vintage also stocks incredible Twenties vintage, even if you can’t afford it, get inspired by her stock. Again, check out Etsy, which harbours incredible treasures such as this emerald green Twenties gem (it’s nearly £600…).

Don’t be put up off if you can’t afford to buy any Twenties vintage – just be creative, improvise, make your own: a simple white, sleeveless, ankle-length dress dressed up with a stole and a homamade feather fan will work wonders.

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Vintage what I wore

London Fashion week outfit: vintage 20s

I borrowed some 20s vintage off my friend Irma for LFW. I really love the cloche hat so much I’m going to get one myself.

Me and Akeela from Head in the Clouds – she looked amazing with her 20s finger waves.


Etsy wish list: 60s nautical

1960s sailor dress, size M, £91.

1960s David Crystal wool coat, size M, £190

1960s striped gloves, size S, £13

Vintage wish list

2011? Hello 70s!

It’s 2011 which can only mean the Seventies are back in fashion. Excellent! Here’s just a tiny fraction of all the amazing Seventies stuff I currently love on Etsy.


Things I treasure

My grandmother passed away earlier this year, and I’ve finally had the chance to pick up some of the things she’d set aside for me. It’s mostly random bits, nothing of value, but it means a great deal to me that I’ll be able to continue treasuring some of her belongings.

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