Back to Vintage

I'm feeling fresh and bright today as I didn't actually go out last night! Everyone was quite hungover so we stayed in and watched X Factor (where I was tweeting from the Motel Twitter!). In the day I helped my new shopping buddy housemate choose some jeans to go with his new suuuper expensive jacket (the one that brings all the Dirty Sanchez lot to the house!) and spent £30 in Superdrug to get £10 back in points! Such a good deal! 

As I live so close, I popped in the Motel shop in Bristol, which is still a great novelty to me as I get to check out Motel things in the flesh! And try stuff on! They have loads of vintage stuff too and I spied this bag and couldn't leave without it. I had also gone for posh cocktails with my housemate at about 2pm earlier with no breakfast so swear I was shopping tipsy! 

This bag seemed to be the most perfect bag ever with a tassel and chain and being just the right size to fit a purse, phone, keys and some makeup. I find my going-out bags always end up really dirty after a while so I needed a new one and can wipe this one down. I mentioned in my back-in-time outfit post in the 30 day challenge that I don't really buy vintage anymore but I used to buy tonnes. It's mostly because I'm much better with my money now and used to buy loads of vintage that ended up rubbish. Also I was fed up of smells that you could never get out! But a vintage bag is pretty harmless and easy to use loads, and there's nothing better than a chain strap.

30 Day Clothing and Accessories Challenge Day 10

    10. An outfit you wore on a special day

I don't really have many 'special' outfits because I don't go to many special places! I can't recall going to any dinner/ball/event in years that has required some sort of dress code. However if an event did pop up round the corner, I'd probably wear this minty/seafoam green vintage Jessica McClintock dress I got from Rumi of Fashion Toast's old eBay vintage store, Treasure Chest Vintage. I wore it to a Specsavers Awards event in 2008 when I interviewed Gok Wan; that was sooo long ago! I had my first MAC makeover for the event and just told the makeup artist to 'go crazy' so my eyeshadow was all iridescent pink and purple, blended rights across my eyes and round onto my cheekbones into the blush; it was amazing! I had my hair done too, when I discovered how to use round brushes to dry my hair. I made some YouTube tutorial videos on how I dry it by the way! The event was at the Hilton and it was when bloggers weren't as known as they are now and a lot of people didn't know quite what a blog was. I was photographed by OK! for the events pages at the back of the magazine, but they never printed it sadly! There was loads of free champagne and people from magazines and TV, and I was chatting to people all over the after party and then disappeared into the night! Nowadays I have to turn down all blog events because it's inconvenient/super expensive to get to London.

I have my dissertation presentation tomorrow and then I have finished uni forever! I just have three exams and then I'm a BSc graduate! I could possibly wear this dress to graduation actually, I never thought of it; what a useful challenge. I hope that event goes as quickly as possible as I am dreading walking across that stage!

hello yellow

Hi lovelies! It's been very interesting to read all the comments from yesterday's post, thanks for contributing! I've been officially out of studying and work for three weeks but somehow have a million things to talk and post about! So I'm rolling them out and will time some for the weekend as there's been a stroke of luck and I'm going to Paris tomorrow. With all the flight mess and the cloud of doom, I've spent the week just waiting to see if it would go ahead (and nearly rebooked!) so have absolutely no plans! I'm visiting a fabulous friend doing study abroad too but she has a job in Paris, so cool! I am bringing fake lash supplies. I'll write some posts in the morning though and time them to go out in the next few days; I just got back from the Arcadia press day in London and might explode with gossip and lustings. I was there at the right time too because I overheard whispers of 'Philip is here' among the collection designers and press officers and sure enough Philip Green was swanning around having his first look at his retailers, wow!

But first I want to talk about yesterday when I went on a shopping trip with Winnie of Diamond Canopy! We're both from Birmingham (calling yourself a 'Brummy' is a bit cringey!) and have met twice before so it was looovely to browse around together and have a gossip over Starbucks. Winnie is marvelous.

It was Winnie's idea to go to Cow, the major vintage shop in Birmingham that's five minutes from the Bullring in a huge warehouse. Everyone knew it as the yellow vintage shop for years and I mentioned it a few posts down, where I got my red dress that I made into the comic strip dress. We both didn't know what to expect as over the years they went from having straight rails up and down the store to introducing customised vintage and different sections. Sometimes it's a bit hit and miss as really who wants an 80's puffy sequin dress? 

But we were so impressed! Before if I recommended Birmingham, I wouldn't have been so confident to overly promote the shop as most towns have vintage stores, but it's really amazing now! They must have got very strict about the things they do put out onto the shop floor as almost everything was clean, wearable, and special. There were no filler polyester dresses or tatty t-shirts or naff smelling floor length frocks.


I liked this school girl dress but it was over £20; one of the higher prices. Most things were so reasonable as almost everything was under the £20 mark and you could really justify the mark ups. I also hovered over the strapless velvet dress as it was so something I would have bought maybe three years ago when I wore little prom dresses to clubs. It was in great condition too. A lot of the items had the label 'Salad' in them which seems really random but we thought maybe it was a company that spruced up dead stock?


I was pondering tie-dye too for no apparent reason, and really liked this slouchy, chunky playsuit. It reminded me of the really 80's inspired Topshop Unique collection a few seasons ago.

I loved this 70's maxi dress with angel sleeves but on further inspection the under arms were purposely missing! For ventilation maybe?


Hahaha we spotted a rail of 80's hammer pants, but even these were amazing patterns that would be hard to come across! Winnie checked out the pair covered in different kinds of peppers and I fondled the Saved By The Bell-esque neon pair!


Haha, safe to say we didn't purchase them!


I'm not sure these skirts were vintage but I would love a patchwork or rainbow dress for summer! I've looked for the perfect vintage rainbow dress for years.


They also have a large men's section that's at least 3/4 the size of the women's section.


Winnie and I were very pleased to find a huuuge sale rail, all things £3 or 4 for £10! And these things must have just been in stock for a while as they weren't just the broken or stained items. I liked a pair of yellow high waisted shorts.


I don't think it's very common to have such a huge rail of playsuits! And they were all so wearable and cute.


I tried on this lace dress but underestimated how large the sleeves were! In the end I got a maxi skirt that has a polka dot tulle overlay- my kind of maxi! Later we browsed around Topshop and H&M and when Winnie went for a hair cut I did some damage to my card in Selfridges, and then did some more when we met up again after! I'll do a haul video tomorrow. So if you're ever passing through Birmingham, the shop is right by the new coach station and is certainly worth a visit; you wouldn't be disappointed!

alert the press

Phew, my computer is back up and running! Or for now at least. It was touch and go after a few days of hitting the library for as many hours as possible and then finding any way to pass the time in the evening. But I hope it lasts all week as I come home on Saturday! That's insanely scary and I don't know where to begin to organise and tie everything up, but it's OK, there's time! Also time for one last Gothenburg trip, even though the £20 per kg excess baggage charge is inevitable and also very, very scary.

Luckily there's been some parties and some nights out recently so I feel I've done everything this term that I might have missed. On Friday there was a Spanish party in the sauna, well specifically the common room next to the sauna. As I only have classes around once a week, most of the time I don't even need to get dressed! So when there's an actual party that everyone will be at, it's a chance to get dressed up. My kind of dressed up is to choose a youtube makeup look, pick some false lashes, pump up the hair, and wear something I couldn't wear in the day but don't necessarily want to wear to a club.

This dress has such a history! There's a huge vintage warehouse in Birmingham now owned by Cow Vintage but before it was just the 'yellow vintage shop' due to the ambiguous yellow sign. I don't remember how I heard about it but I was there on the opening day in my college lunch break. Among the naff 80's tea dresses and musky polyester (the stock has improved immensely by now), I found a red strapless boned prom-style dress with a bow at the waist and a shirred back, so it was the perfect fit. It had a very light tutu underneath so it wasn't overly huge but it went in at the waist and out over the hips, so it was perfect! I remember it was priced only £12 and I had £10 cash on me and a £2 prize on a scratch card haha, but the owner sold it me for £10. I folded the hem under a few inches in random places and secured it with some simple tack stitches so it was a bubble dress, and I wore it to absolutely every club I could get into with my fake/borrowed ID. I was 17!

This was in 2006, and I was just getting into fashion and was a big ebayer, and back then there wasn't the trend communication that there is now. No,w if I have the urge to try or buy something, guaranteed I'll find some kind of inspiration on a blog somewhere or be able to find references or examples of it. But back then if I wanted a certain style or trend, there were no fashion networking sites like Lookbook and no blogs that I knew of or any street style sites. So I had the idea that a dress of a crazy fabric would be really cool and started trying to make my own clothes. When you're on a pre-student budget, i.e. in UK college/school, you have to be extra thrifty and every buy must be significant, so I got some comic strip fabric on eBay from America and haphazardly made the top part of the bustier. I traced out the shape including the sides and tacked it onto the red dress by just wrapping it round and sewing it at the back, either side of the zip. Then I took a red buttoned sash belt from another dress and sewed the skirt onto it just by bunching up and overlapping the fabric as I went around. So the skirt part of this dress actually comes off! It was a thrifty way to keep wearing my favourite red dress that fit so perfectly and get a new outfit on a student budget; I think the fabric and postage was about £7 in total.

I remember one night my cousin, who had just started studying in Birmingham and was a total rocker/goth, invited me to a rock club, and I wanted to wear this dress but the hem kept falling down. The last time I'd worn it to a club it had basically fallen apart on the dance floor, and I even blogged about it! Oh my God, that was January 2007! That post is sooo old, just look at the mirror shot! In a drastic move, I just took some scissors to the bottom of the dress, and as you always do, I cut it shorter than I would have liked. Later I was really cut up about it because I felt I'd ruined a perfect vintage find by altering the length permanently and clumsily.  But that was so long ago, and I wore the modified dress to lots few places! I still go to the rock club so it's especially suited to there and always gets loads of comments. I remember wearing it with a chunky fake gold chain when nu rave came into fashion. I also wore it in my fresher's week in 2007 and then on one night out in 2008 on a whim. I remember after a few months of being at uni I felt my super long, ringletted hair was really brash and childish and the dress was just too bright and attention grabbing. I was a bit insecure and felt that I didn't look good enough to attract that attention, or that it just clashed with my equally attention grabbing and different hair. But that was a long time ago and in 2008 I wore it again when I started to style my hair like I do now, but it was much longer. I really want to grow my hair again this summer though! I've left those previous insecurities behind and actually my sister started wearing this dress for the past year. I also made one of bright purple fabric covered in rainbow numbers, it was so crazy! She started wearing that one too but ripped it at a club!

But when I came home for Christmas I nicked the dress back off my sister as I knew it would be perfect for the flat parties that happen here. I probably wouldn't wear it to a club now as I usually wear body-con dresses out and I feel a bit old for it now. But it's the kind of thing I'd wear on a whim, and Friday for the Spanish party was an opportune moment. I even accompanied it with rainbow eyes! I went down to the party with some people from my floor, and you know when someone will say 'oh... you're wearing ----...', but it's not actually a compliment, it's just a comment hiding their surprised or other reaction? Well the people were like 'oh... you're a comic...!' haha. But the red sash in the centre is quite tight now so I felt really pulled in at the waist and puffed out in the skirt, so I felt really cool! In the end the party was pitch black because the lights were off the entire time but it didn't matter. As usual everyone else was in normal day clothes anyway but I myself took great pleasure in wearing a piece that is quite historical to me, or at least my style. It's the only thing that I can say I made myself! I like even more that it's held together with safety pins and the hem is incredibly wavy and wonky because it signifies a time when I was just getting into fashion and really dressed truly to my own tastes and impulses, and I was so young and carefree, it was the best time!