Once on very dark, frosty evening on the night of October 11th a miraculous thing happened. Out in the garden of number 12 Old Avenue a genius inventor was out in his back shed, unbeknown to the world working on a secret. He had spent hours pioneering at his invention and now he was finished. He shouted “GREAT SCOTT! I’VE FINALLY DONE IT! I’VE INVENTED A TIME MACHINE!”
…And the Alarm Clock Goes off
Unfortunately I cannot promise a genius scientist to invent a time machine that will transport you the Chalston world of the 1920s or the ultra glamorous world of the 50s. But what I can do is show you how to find a fabulous pair of vintage shoes and take a walk down a vintage lane.
You want the vintage look? Well stick with me fashion grasshoppers and let me work my magic.
Vintage fashion is nothing to be sniffed at I can assure you. Vintage pieces last far more longer than any garment you’ll ever buy from the high street. Vintage clothing, when bought well can be worn again and again and simply will not date.
That’s why people like me are still scouring the likes of Portabello Road, Vintage to Vogue and Vintage Markets to find original buys.
The two looks that I mainly focus on for my Vintage outfits are the 1940s and the 1950s. Simply because these looks are easy and very fun to replicate and to find original pieces for.
The 40s Look
Now the first look that proves to be mega popular in the vintage world is the 40s era. The 40s look was all about being fashion frugal as well as feminine. A hard challenge for the previous generation of women in Great Britain. Nevertheless they pulled out all the stops to make sure they faced those rationing cues in style!
The 40s look really embraced making the best out of what you had.
Women of this era were often seen sporting cute little tea dresses, as well as tight fitting pencil skirts worn with a tailored shirt (made from one of their “old mans’ cast offs.)
The 1940s really did celebrate the womanly figure, the dresses always nipped in at the waste to highlight (or create the illusion) of a small waist.
Vintage dresses are very easy to alternate along with the changing weather, they can be paired with some tights and a faux fur to give that full class style.
Today I visited my beloved Greenwich and had a wonderful day shopping at the Clock Tower Market.
For any vintage lovers it was like an Aladdins Cave of wonders…..
I found some amazing pieces of jewellery and a stunning Kelly bag.
I also visted the crafts market in Greenwich as well as the lovely 360 degrees vintage shop. Where I also picked up some great little garments.
One of the most popular styles during the 40s was the victory role. Once mastered this style is very simple to achieve and looks amazing!
Don’t worry you don’t need to dash out and buy the latest gizmo to get this look. After all they didn’t use any electrical hair appliances in the war.
All you need is a comb, hairspray (lots of it,) clips and two toilet role holders!
I kid you not!
Step by step guide for the Victory Rolls
Start by having slight side parting
Simply back comb the roots of the front part of your hair (the hair closest to your forehead.)
Apply a generous amount of hairspray.
Take your cardboard toilet roll holders and wrap your hair around it (the same as you would with a hair roller.)
Repeat this on the other side
Place the metal clips to keep the holder in place.
Leave for 10 minutes whist curling the rest of your hair
Gently take out the metal clips and slide out the cardboard toilet role holders. Whilst keeping the hair roll in place.
Gently brush the hair to smooth at the roots.
Secure the rolls in place with hair grips.
Pin up the hair either side of each role.
Re apply another generous amount of hairspray.
Make up was all about smoky eyes, a powdered nose and bright red lips.
Use greys and charcoal colours to achieve this look. Blend the colours well to achieve a smoother finish.
Use a foundation that creates an even skin tone. Make sure the foundation can achieve a slightly matt look.
Apply a rouge coloured blusher over the top.
Ask advice on what lipstick colour would suit your skin tone best. There are many different shades or red.
Also apply a small amount of a light coloured lip gloss, to tone down the redness of the lipstick.
Lipstick was called the “Red Badge of Courage” so be brave and go red!
A time where women could afford a little more luxury than the occasional piece of parachute silk they were so accustomed to.
The skirts got fuller and the waists got smaller, what with Hollywood actresses stepping into the limelight. It was truly a time to pull out all the stops.
So you have a big night coming up? a wedding? or just seeking to be a sparking romantic, individual?
Well then ladies, the 50s is where you need to be.
The Early 50s
The beginning of the 50s is characterised by it’s use of feminine floral prints, chintz, luxurious fabrics, twin set and pearls and of course the Kelly Bag.
The Late 50s
The late 50s was the beginning of the Rockabilly trend. When fashion designers experiment with bolder patterns and brighter colours. Prints such as scottie dogs, polka dots and cats.
So if your not in favour of bolder dresses, stick with the earlier fifties style dress.
50s style black Rockabilly day dress with white polka dots-Hearts and Roses
White Vintage Gloves-Vintage to Vogue
Black T Bar Shoes- Vivienne Westwood
Vintage Purple 50s dress with rose pattern- 360 degrees vintage.
Black t bar shoes-Vivienne Westwood
Black Choker beads-Charity Shop
Small black stud earrings-Next
Top Ten Tips for Buyers
Find an established Vintage Shop.
Get to know the staff that work there.
Understand your body shape and what style looks best for you.
Try on different clothes and seek an honest opinion.
Take a trusted sidekick with you who can act as an extra pair of eyes. Vintage shops can be a maze, so it’s always advisable to go with someone else.
Either invest or use a talking colour detector, you’ll be able to know a lot from what colour it is.
Use your senses, feel and smell the material in order to get an understanding of its quality. If it feels heavy and doesn’t smell of mothballs, you’re in business.
Try eBay and online sites if you don’t have a vintage shop in close proximity to you. eBay sellers will usually post more information if you request it.
Why not visit your local boot fair? You never know what you may find.
Try finding out where the nearest vintage fair is to you, you are more likely to find something you like (be warned you wont go home empty handed like they did in the war.)