Category Archives: granny fashion

These are a few of my favourite things…

I’ve just returned from a week away – bouncing around between London, Bournemouth and Southampton – and I wanted to share with you some of the best parts of my trip…

Falling in love with a monochrome leather and canvas Pierre Cardin overnight bag in TK Maxx.

Making my first ever batch of Stickyfied Goo Goo, see above.

Witnessing first-hand the use of Supernanny Jo Frost’s Naughty Step technique (it totally works by the way)!

Raiding my Nan’s wardrobe, again!

Gossiping about the benefits of marrying a girl rather than a boy (endless SATC reruns, no smelly socks and a baking session every day, in case you were wondering).

Dressing up in a Fame-inspired outfit for a roller disco Christmas party… and channeling the stars of Whip It at the Renaissance Rooms.

Returning to a flat with fully working internet and a duvet day with Mr Ship-Shape, followed by a cracking Sunday roast at The White Bear. Bliss!

Ellen Page in Drew Barrymore's Whip It

Oh yeah, this is totally what I looked like on the rink...

Something for The Weekend: Vintage Fashion Fair at Circomedia

Bristol Vintage Fair Oct 11

After a rubbish start to the week that included a nasty stomach bug and possible food poisoning, I’m now on the mend and looking forward to the weekend, thanks to the return of The Vintage Fair at Bristol’s Circomedia.

The Vintage Fair first graced Bristol with its presence back in January and now returns this weekend, bringing over 40 stalls, a vintage tea party and a vintage inspired pop-up hair salon to Portland Square.

Vintage stalls under stained glass windows at Circomedia

Vintage stalls under stained glass windows at Circomedia

If January’s event is anything to go by, Circomedia will be buzzing with Bristol fashionistas this Saturday so if you want the pick of the stalls my advice is to arrive early. Polka dot playsuits and cream pleated dresses were the order of the day last time but this time I’ll be on the hunt for chunky knit jumpers, leather satchels and perhaps a wool coat to stave off the increasingly chilly weather.

The event is made up of several different stalls and businesses so prices vary, but vintage accessories can be picked up for as little as £5, divine cupcakes are around £2 (look out for the red velvet ones, nom!) and retro make-up and hairstyles can be yours for as little as £8 but slots are booking up fast. For more info on the pop-up salon check out The Vintage Fair Facebook page.

If you can’t make it this weekend fear not – The Vintage Fair visits cities across the country throughout the year, including Birmingham, Cardiff and Leeds.

The Vintage Fair at Circomedia, Portland Square, Saturday 22nd October, 12-5pm. £2 entry or £1 for students and OAPs. For more info see The Bristol Vintage Fair Facebook page.

Style History

1940s pics Chris

My (soon to be) in-laws have been having a belated spring clean of their house and garage recently, which resulted in several boxes of the boyfriend’s belongings turning up at our flat, competing for floor space against books, furniture, bags and whatever else gets thrown on the floor when I walk through the door.

To cut a long story short, the boyfriend inherited the task of dealing with his grandparents house after they passed away a few years ago and so it was that we found ourselves on the living room floor, sorting through boxes of stuff he had decided to keep at the time. While he tackled military memorabilia, I was trusted with the task of trawling through 50 odd years of photographs.

As something of a photography fanatic, I was delighted to see everything from Polaroid snaps in the 70s to tiny, passport photo-size snaps from his grandparents in the 1940s. M’s grandmother Christina used to be a model and the snaps that you can see here are ones her husband took of her throughout the years.

Above: M's grandmother Chris, third from the left

This was long before the age of digital photography and yet there were literally hundreds of images like this of Chris posing on holiday, outside their home and with her friends. There were shots of her taking part in modelling competitions and on holiday in a kaftan Ossie Clark would be proud of.

One of the things I love about fashion, blogging in particular, is how important street style and different sub-cultures have become. Outfit posts are so common these days and while there are some blogs out there that excel at this (The Satorialist and What Katie Wore, for example) there are also many bloggers out there that deliver half-hearted attempts. I include myself in this majority, which is why you won’t often see me posing in my new threads.

However, when I look at all the images of what were effectively outfit posts for a different generation, I am inspired by the relationship between subject and shooter. Some shots are candid, some staged but in each Chris has that glamorous appeal that I associate with this era.

Fresh faced but with immaculate hair, fitted outfits and simple accessories, these images could appear on any vintage fashion blog today. Although fashions and models of camera changed over the course of 50 years, her knack of style and her husband’s love of photographing her remained the same.

I wish I could have been around to experience such important decades of fashion and photographic developments but for now I’ll settle for seeing them through the lens of M’s grandfather.

Thrifty Thursday

After my weekend adventures at the mall and Target, I’ve been hankering for a slightly more diverse and quirky way to fashionably spend my dollars and today I hit gold, in the form of thrift stores.

For the uninitiated, the common thrift store is an American version of a charity shop or vintage boutique. Thrift stores have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson championing vintage on and off the red carpet.
I’d been to a few of these quirky stores the last time I was in New York and the look focused very much on leather, denim and retro inspired t-shirts – much akin to the young, hip vintage boutiques in Bristol and London.
Naples is a frustrating place for fashion: the majority of locals are either rich, old, or both, which means that fashion comes in the form of boutiques and exclusive department stores. Great for designer finds, not so great for my wallet. This is why the thrift stores are perfect as all the old people donate all their designer labels and there are plenty of Granny Chic finds to be had!

Gucci pumps, Escada blazers and a stunning pair of nearly new Docle & Gabbana brogues, above, for $75… there are some amazing finds to be had if you’re prepared to rummage, which I always am! Along with high end designers there were the more obscure American and Italian brands along with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Levi denims.
I visited three shops this afternoon, all just five minutes from the house that I had never noticed before. The lovely ladies at The Rose Garden and some gorgeous vintage jewelry and gave me a map with all the thrift stores of Naples on it (the Holy Grail of my fashion hunt so far). Their shop was divided into open plan rooms with menswear, accessories and womenswear, along with furniture and bridal gowns. All the staff were really helpful and super nice, even pointing me in the direction of other store I might like using said map.
Options and Audrey’s Attic were next and both were full of treasures. Options was where I found the D&G shoes, photographic evidence of which will be posted soon. A lot bigger than the other stores, Options supports a local domestic abuse charity which one of the employees told me draws a lot of contributions from the community. There was a real mix of clothes here and although one would need to rummage to find good clothes, accessories were displayed on tables and clear perspex units making them easy to locate and identify.

Audrey’s Attic is a ‘for profit’ thrift store and as a result it looked like more money had gone into the decor and the quirky vintage layout. The collection of vintage upstairs was simply stunning and the shop is run by a British couple who were very helpful when I paid them a visit! The vintage on sale spans from the 40s through to the 80’s with some amazing lace wedding gowns and 50s prom dresses, see photo above. There were treasures aplenty and I will definitely be going back next week and taking E with me – she is a label lover and I’m sure I can lure her in to my way of thinking with some vintage Gucci and Chanel!

Granny Chic: A Vintage Goldmine (continued)

I’m aware that my last post didn’t go into too much detail about the sheer volume of accessories that can be acquired from granny so a bit more on that now…

As with any trend you might be a little unsure of, accessories provide the perfect fashion pool to dip your toe in, without getting soaking wet. If you’re unsure of how vintage/granny chic will look (or how to convince granny to give up the goods) then a pair of shoes or printed scarf are a great place to start.

Chances are that your old lady friend will have accumulated a fair few scarves, bags and pairs of shoes in her time, whether she has an interest in fashion or not. Once again it is a likely bet that the accessories in question will have been kept neatly in their original boxes/packaging, keeping them in good condition.

Shoes – can be a great find if you and granny are a similar size though be warned: shoe that are more than 30 years old are likely to be slimmer across the ball/toe than what you might be used to. If you have wide feet or ankles then this might be an accessory you have to miss out on. This tan leather shoes, far left, are a key example and require Party Feet and a large quantity of alcohol to wear comfortably!

Scarves – printed, woven, wool or silk; a decent square scarf is the multi-tasker of the accessory world. Tie it round your neck for a 50’s air hostess look or tie through the handle of a tired looking bag for instant fashion refreshment. You could of course always drape one around your neck and shoulders when cold! My personal favourites are brightly coloured paisley prints on silk, above.

Jewellery – Depending on her taste, your gran may have anything from pearls to pewter in her collection. If you like decorative, costume jewellery then you may be in luck. An example of what my elderly fashionista has given to me can be seen above, right, and includes some plastic fuchsia beads (great for daytime), a beautiful stone brooch inset into tarnished gold (perfect for smartening up hats and lapels) and some trashy gold bracelets (great for adding a bit of bling on a night out).

– leather clutches and small, evening bags are all the rage right now and granny may well have a couple she wants to get rid of. Be sure to look out for detailed clasps and a decent lining. Be sure to give back anything your granny may have left inside her bag as although you admire her style, you probably don’t have much need for lace handkerchiefs and plastic combs!