Category Archives: Vintage

Dainty Vintage Paisley Dress

Vintage blue paisley dressThis post comes at a rather late hour, as I’m in that pre-Glastonbury phase of panicking about how many floral crowns (five) and pairs of shorts (two) I need to bring with me.

One of my festival mantras is ‘don’t take anything you’d be lost without’. I know all too well how gutting it is to lose your favourite dress to mud/theft/noodles, which is why this vintage paisley dress is staying firmly put at home, while I gallivant around a field for the weekend. I found it at a vintage fair at the Passenger Shed a few months ago, in a suitcase marked ‘Everything £5′, of all places.

I must admit that the smock-eqsue shape of this dress took a little getting used to at first, but how could something so pretty be such a bargain price? It was the cheapest item I purchased from the fair (other finds included this 1950s day dress and this rather in-your-face blouse) but it might just be my favourite.

I wore it on our trip to Bournemouth last weekend, the aim of which was to surprise Mama Ship-Shape on her birthday. The weekend was a great success and included a walk along the beach, a delicious birthday dinner, lots of ice cream and even a round of crazy golf. It was such a lovely weekend, it even had me jumping for joy…

Blue paisley smock dress – vintage / Vintage black shoulder bag – clothes swap / Frilly socks and white brogues – both Matalan

Vintage dress and bag Matalan shoesMatalan white brogues and ankle socksPeter pan collar blue vintage smock dressVintage paisley collarJumpin jumpin

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Susie Bubble’s Yard Sale Dress

Pearl earrings and cheesecloth dress.jpgIs there an item of clothing you’ve had for (quite literally) years and never dared to leave the house in? If so then we have something in common.

I found this vintage pale blue cheesecloth dress three and a half years ago at a certain fashion blogger’s yard sale. I happened to be in London the same weekend that Susie, aka Style Bubble, was hosting one of her infamous jumble sales and despite the rails of designer names on offer, I made a beeline for a vintage doctors bag and this label-less dress.

Since then it’s languished at the back of my wardrobe, mostly because I just didn’t feel confident wearing it. Every six months I’d pluck it out, try it on in front of the bedroom mirror and convince myself that today wasn’t the right occasion to wear it. Was it the colour, the pleats, the fact I looked like I needed an acoustic guitar and a pair of cowboy boots to make it work? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m through with leaving clothes unloved at the back of my bursting-at-the-seams wardrobe.

Since the weather was so nice at the weekend I threw caution to the (non-existent) wind and wore the dress while staring wistfully at some colourful garage doors. Is it just me who still finds it hard to stare straight at the lens?

Blue cheesecloth dress – vintage / Brown studded boots – Zara / Green and brown woven belt – Peacocks (old)

Vintage pleated cheesecloth dressBlue off shoulder dressPlae blue pleated cheesecloth dress.jpgCheesecloth pleats

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Local Love: Bohemia, Picton Street

Bohemia Picton Street.jpgWarning. Prepare to see lots of photos of very pretty things that you will want to buy.

Montpelier is one of my favourite areas of Bristol and at its heart is Picton Street, a narrow road full of colourful terraced houses, cafés, delis and the annual Picton Street Christmas Fair. It’s also home to Bohemia, a tiny tardis of a shop packed full with vintage and retro clothes, jewellery and homewares.

Bohemia vintage clothesWith its bright pink doors and a turquoise front, Bohemia is hard to miss. Run by Jan and Siobhan, the shop is a magpie’s dream, with rails of glitter, silk and sequinned clothes slotted between cabinets overflowing with beaded necklaces, gemstone costume jewellery and the occasional flamenco dancer doll. This is the second reincarnation of Bohemia, as Jan used to run a shop of the same name on the same street six years ago.

The back of the shop is home to local artists and designers who sell secondhand books, painted portraits and quirky jewellery. Renting out part of the shop this way means that each seller takes turns running the shop, leaving Siobhan and Jan free to source new china tea sets and items of clothing.
Vintage and retro trinketsThe thing I love most about Bohemia is how colourful and kitsch it is. The window dressing and styling is cheerful, busy and, perhaps most importantly, fun. There’s no stuffiness or standing on ceremony here – displays are well thought out but never dull. The overall aesthetic is pleasing to a magpie like me, and if I didn’t own so much vintage crockery already, I’d snap up one of their vintage tea or coffee sets in an instant.

In celebration of its first birthday on Picton Street, Bohemia will be hosting a party next Saturday, 5th April. From 11am the boutique will be offering free up cycled jewellery demonstrations, cupcakes, portraits by resident artist Grace Engel, plus a 10% discount on all purchases. See you there?

Bohemia, 52 Picton Street, Bristol BS6 5QA. Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm.

Colourful vintage jewelleryBohemia cutlery trolly.jpgVintage pale pink shoesVintage and retro jewellery.jpgVintage blue and silver pointed toe shoes.jpg

 To see more Local Love destinations, click here.

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Local Love: Time After Time

Handmade watch-piece jewellery.jpg

I’ve recently been spending some time in Stroud, which is just over half an hour away from Bristol by car. Aside from the myriad of charity shops there are to explore – recent finds include this pretty swallow print top – there is one place that I can’t help but visit every time I’m there.

A Stroud vintage emporium divided over two floors, every inch of space in Time After Time is used to display jewellery, clothes, homewares and accessories dating from the early 1900s to the 1980s. Vintage shops can often suffer from too much clutter, but at Time After Time every single item has its place, from fur stoles to china teapots. Bowler hats are hung from cupboard doors and delicate beaded evening bags and printed mirrors line the stairwell.

stroud vintage1.jpg

Husband and wife owners David and Sandra have run Time After Time for six years, perviously organising vintage fairs in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and have both been involved in the fashion industry since the 1960s – there is an adorable photo of the couple from the 1970s can be seen on their about page.

Each piece that makes its way into the shop is handpicked – with David sourcing the clothes and Sandra picking out (and designing) jewellery. Trips to source new pieces take place regularly and David assures me that it’s the best form of retail therapy.

It’s unusual to find a vintage boutique that covers menswear, womenswear, accessories, homewares and jewellery and that does it with such aplomb – you could spend hours looking at trinkets or chatting enthusiastically about 1950s bridesmaid dresses and barely even scratch the surface of this treasure trove.

While Time After Time has been a recent discovery for me, it’s no secret to designers and creatives including Cath Kidston, Philp Treacy and Lily Allen, all of whom are regular visitors to this quaint duck egg blue shop. The last time I visited the shop a selection of 1920s dresses had just arrived, but they were strictly off limits until after Lily had seen them and called dibs on them for her new music video.

If you’re ever in Stroud you have to visit this shop as you’ll find a million and one things you want to take home with you! Have you made any new vintage shop discoveries recently?

Time After Time, 30 High Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 1AJ. Open 10am –5pm Monday–Friday, 9am–5.30pm on Saturdays.

Time After Time vintage StroudQuant on Make Up book and vintage jewellery.jpgRed vintage floor length gown.jpgVintage heart teapot.jpgTime After Time vintage accessories.jpgTime After Time vintage homewares.jpgVintage jumper and needlepoint bag.jpgsilk scarves from Time After Time.jpg

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Vintage Dresses and Christmas Markets

Vintage dress and HM machGlastonbury Festival is the last place I’d expect to find decent, work-friendly vintage, but this summer I did just that when my friend Ceri and I stumbled across a stall selling all their vintage dresses for a fiver. Needless to say it didn’t take much convincing for me to have a rummage and unearth this beauty.

This geometric print, three quarter length sleeve dress – complete with pockets – was made by Hardob, a now defunct German clothing brand, from what I gather, and is most probably from the 1970s. It was in great condition and after attempting to try it on over my clothes while not covering it in an obligatory layer of mud, I decided it had to be mine.

Vintage dress and HM macThe trade-off for buying garments from this decade is that they’re often made from polyester, which isn’t the most pleasing fabric out there, but it does mean that dresses like this won’t object to being thrown into the washing machine instead of hand washed.

I wore this dress, along with an H&M trench coat and Zara studded boots, to Saturday’s Picton Street Christmas Fair. The road was heaving and while we were there we saw some fantastic circus acts, including a trapeze artist and fire poi.

I don’t know if it’s the mild weather or the looming responsibility of cooking Christmas dinner, but I’m still not feeling especially ‘Christmassy’ yet – I suspect the numerous Christmas jumper themed parties coming up this week will change all that though!

Are you buying any gifts from Christmas markets this year?

Vintage Hardob dress – a Glastonbury festival stall / Trench coat – H&M / Cable knit socks – M&S / Green quilted shoulder bag – River Island / Studded tan brown cowboy boots – Zara

Trapeze artist at Picton Street Christmas MarketVintage dress mac and red hairPicton Street Christmas marketRiver Island quilted shoulder bagMistletoe for saleCircus skills at Picton Street Christmas market

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