Sweet Charity!

I am such a huge fan of Charity Shop’s in a time where ‘Vintage’ prices are so extortionate and I rarely have the phone signal or patience for eBay. Here are my latest charity shop gems –

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Cotton dress with tie belt and detailed lapels – £8

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Silk high waist trousers with side zip – £1

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Leather brogues, unworn – £15

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M&S V Neck Jumper – £3

So you really can have the vintage without the hefty price tag and for those of you who can’t bare rummaging through rails should know that many charity shops now have ‘vintage’ rails with all the best pieces selected for you already…Could you ask for anything more!?

Happy Hunting,

RR x

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DIY Moonicure

dita

The ‘Moonicure’ has taken the nail art world by storm the past few months and it gives such an instant vintage feel to your talons, which is why I love it! I’m all about minimum effort with maximum results when it comes to my hair, my wardrobe and most definitely my nails, so this super simple DIY Tutorial should help even the most messiest nail painters perfect a Moonicure that put’s Dita to shame…(I live in hope)

What You Will Need;

  • Paper Reinforcement Stickers (or sometimes known as hole punch stickers – got mine for about £1 from Ebay
  • Base Coat & Top Coat
  • 2 colour nail paint’s of your choice – 1 for your half moon shape and 1 for the rest of your nail
  • Rapid Dry Spray – Available from most Superdrug’s or Boot’s
  • Nail file to shape your nail’s into nice elegant oval shapes

1) Apply a clear base coat to your nail’s and spray with a rapid dry nail spray. (Repeat after every coat of varnish) Rapid dry spray is a MUST HAVE for manicure’s, it means you really do have time to paint your nails and be ready to fly out the door in under 5 minutes flat!!

2) Apply the ‘half moon’ colour of your choice – This will be the semi circle shape underneath your top coat. I prefer a nude colour and use Barry M Nail Paint in ‘Nude’. Spray!

3) Once nail’s are completely dry and not tacky, apply the Reinforcement stickers to the base of your nail’s to form the semi circle shape. I gently push the sticker down either side of my nail with my thumb nail to ensure no varnish leaks underneath.

4) Paint the rest of your nail’s in the top coat colour of your choice – for the ultimate Vintage Vixen look this has to be Red! I use Barry M Gelly Nail Paint’s for top coats.

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5) Spray and apply a 2nd coat and spray again!

6) Gently peel stickers off when nail’s are dry and look in awe at your awesome work! I always seal with a clear top coat to give them a nice shine and ensure they stay chip free for as long as possible.

So there you have it, simple yet so effective and perfect for when your on a budget.

Good Luck Girls!

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RR x

Polka Dot Peplum

So the Louis Feraud finally made it’s debut after a long and lonely year in the dark confines of the wardrobe!

The day I brought this suit home was a memorable one and I can honestly say it;s the only vintage clothing I have ever justified a dry cleaning bill on….

Walking down Leigh on Sea high street (Essex Coast) one sunny afternoon my partner spotted a sign outside a restaurant that said ‘Vintage Sale Upstairs’, curious we went inside and the entire top floor was packed out with the owners wardrobe spanning 3 decades. Then I spotted it, hanging up right out of the way….as I slipped into it both the previous owner and I gasped at the same time (true story) and she said I just had to have it!

I said to her it even felt well made, being 100% silk with hand finished hems and it must have cost her a fortune, she replied with ‘Oh it was it cost me a £1000 back then’….I nearly fell over! Fast forward 30 minutes and I strolled out into the sunshine with my beautiful polka dot, pencil and peplum suit, all for a mere 25 quid! I cut out the shoulder pads and wore it with my Soft in Step Marta Jonssons’s, which are the comfiest heel’s I have ever worn, transforming this 80’s power suit into a 50’s dream. Accompany with hot sticked hair, one messy night at Madame JoJo’s and lot’s of Rock n Roll…one happy girl!

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RR x

Blowing My Own Trumpet

In all seriousness now is it me or do you fellow Vintage Queenies get more, how shall I put it…’attention’ from the opposite sex when you are dressed in all your bygone era get up’s?

Well I was always the one in the group that never got chatted up and if I did he was either A) Old enough to be my Dad or B) have the personality of a potato sack, that I suppose and the fact that I never actually wanted to be spoken to by strangers as I quite stereo typically assumed they were just drunk idiots chancing their luck on every girl in the bar. Since I began my descent into the wonderful world of Rockabilly I have noticed odd goings on…a look here and there on the train, a few up and downs of the outfit, a lot more attention then I’ve ever received before put it that way!

A few guys (mainly older) have actually come up to me and said how lovely I look without the slightest bit of sleeze or inclination to persue the communication any further than a compliment. One kind Gentleman actually said I had the most authentic vintage look he had ever seen. Dressing this way does seem to appeal to the older older man and as my partner say, ‘The old boys love you’, which makes me smile because I’d like to think they’re remembering what their sweetheart used to look like.

I don’t feel gawped at I feel admired and it’s a very lovely feeling to be dressed in such a way that makes you feel different without the shock factor. I still love the feeling that dressing this way has brought me, it’s empowering and ultimately a hell of a lot of fun!

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RR x

Freddies of Pinewood Review

Recently I have blogged a lot about how things have changed my life so I thought it would be quite nice to tie in a review of Freddie’s of Pinewood Jeans to suit the theme.

FREDDIES HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE!!

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After a long time ‘pining’ (sorry) after a pair but being slightly nervous that I wouldn’t get on with a wide leg, I eventually got my first pair any my gosh I don’t know why I waited so long! I have a serious phobia of a high street high waist, I’m long in the body and to be quite honest these cuts barely cover my hips let alone my midriff. After putting on a little bit of weight  I just like to feel covered up, compact, not spilling out…

Freddies have given me the perfect pair of jeans, not only do they suit my frame and look cute with ANYTHING, they come right up past my belly button and due to maximum surface area make me feel so much more confident. You can pair these jeans with almost any top or tee for an instant vintage look, team with bandanna and leopard for a true Rockabilly look or head scarf and shirt for land girl lushness.

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These jeans are comfy, sturdy and make me feel a million dollars…a small price to pay for such a marvelous feeling! Well done Freddie’s of Pinewood.

RR x

Tattoo’s In The Work Place

Since the launch of Things&Ink Magazine, a new publication by Alice Snape that embraces female tattoo culture, my ideals and opinions on tattoo’s in the work place have re surfaced. I am by no means a fully fledged tattooed lady (yet) but since I had what I consider to be quite a large piece of ink drawn on the inside of my arm, I find myself covering it up at work and this is because of the stigma still attached to women with tattoos. I am not merely ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ by saying this as I have experienced first hand the odd looks and perhaps inappropriate comments such as ‘your very pretty but then you’ve got that on your arm’….Classic.

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I currently work in Buying/Retail (much to my disappointment but it’s all I know) and operate in a fairly corporate environment. When I first started I suppose I made a conscious effort to try and dress like everyone else, this was because I was temping and I really needed the job, plus I know far too well how fickle the industry is and no one wants ‘that weird girl’ working in their team if they don’t fit in. I know, I even gasp at writing that because I don’t consider myself weird in the slightest but for those who don’t understand why I choose to look this way it’s the only word they know. This word is flaunted about to describe the old fashioned things I buy or the jeans I wear, mainly in jest but all the same I’m thinking ‘you’re the weird one’!. It infuriates me how many people STILL question my lifestyle and dress sense without sounding the slightest bit interested,  its even more of a shock to me that out of such a huge company I appear to be the only one who isn’t ‘commercialised’.

Anyway, I waited till I was offered the job permanently before I wore short sleeves and even now I’m not sure the more senior members of the team know I have tattoos. It’s not that I’m embarrassed because I certainly am not, I love my tattoos and when outside of work I always show them off. Perhaps it’s that I don’t feel confident in myself to think ‘this is me, this doesn’t change my performance and I don’t care what you think’ but after so many people looking at me in confusion as if to say why in God’s name did you get that, it has quite frankly  become boring.

Perhaps I’m trying to protect them?

Of course now I have been there a while, we can all have a playful laugh about my old fashioned ways and my dress sense. I still want lots of tattoos but until i know where my career is heading or I become self employed the uncertainty in such a competitive climate is still holding me back which I think is a shame. A lot of tattooed women I’ve either met or read about have all said similar things – either cover up or work for yourself because it will only hinder your chances of finding work. I feel incredibly torn between the life I aspire to lead and the harsh reality of societies standards but hopefully some day soon I’ll find the perfect job that allows me to be me…truly.

Roxanne

Well a girl can dream!

RR x

Why I Ditched Fashion For Fifties

This post may come across quite lengthy and candid but I thought I would share with you how I came to find Vintage and how the Rockabilly scene has changed my life. I love hearing about other people’s stories and after meeting the lovely Nicola who featured on a channel 4 documentary about how Rockabilly has changed her life, it made me reflect on my own journey.

Since I began the trek back in time I have learnt a few things, one of most importance is that I feel I have found myself. Having felt lost for quite a while drifting somewhere between 80’s vampire and commercial wannabe, I continuously compared myself to other women on the commute to work or wanted that ridiculously over priced jumper in Topshop that I could never afford. I was drowning in my own style crisis.

After a stint at a rather high profile PR and Events agency I quickly (within 4 weeks) resented everything about it, being an intern needless to say I was treated poorly here and alongside the long hours and no pay, Tea Making and Dry Cleaner trips were also on my To Do list. A month later, after working at many fashion events and parties, I realised it’s just the same crappy so called celebrities these agencies keep churning out on guest lists, the same crappy catering, the same ‘DJ’s’ or in other words which ever fashion model had decided to add music to her bio that week…because that’s cool didn’t you know? The same PR people high as a kite on cocaine, oh but it’s OK, it’s only the Fashion Week diet!

So after having verbal abuse thrown at me, as well as a post it note (that was especially comedic), been asked to remove the Julien Macdonald dress I wore to work at a London Fashion Week event because ‘Julien would be very upset’ if he saw my then size 8 frame in one of his (diffusion line) designs and not to mention how belittled I felt on many occasions, I decided I would rather put pins in my eyes then kiss so called VIP arse for a living. I like to think I can generally hold my own and have good rapport with my colleagues however the fashion industry has been able to reduce me to a stuttering wreck of a person instead of a knowledgeable and hard working woman with a degree (let alone feelings).

So this is where my story ends…or sort of begins? I went from being a fashion student with an active interest in Designer Collections, Trends, Who wore what and spotted high street styles filtered straight from the catwalk in an instant…to who I am now. Slowly I began building on my existing vintage wardrobe and stopped stopped shopping in high street chains, instead I turned to eBay and Charity Shops. I moved to South End after I finished University and some how the laid back, time warped little area I lived in (mixed in with the sea air and the smell of fish n chips) seemed to give me a real sense of nostalgia and being away from the hustle of London gave me time to realise who I was and what person I wanted to be.

Starting off with some YouTube tutorials on Victory Rolling, then scouring the amazing charity shops for 50’s style clothing and tuning into the brilliant Rockabilly radio stations that are available, I took on a whole new lifestyle. I drank less when I went out to these Rock n Roll nights, the music made me so much happier and of course, I started to blog. It’s infectious.

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Until I started Social Networking I hadn’t realised that the Rockabilly scene had it’s own little community as I like to call it, and I have been so welcomed into this by many wonderful followers on Twitter, people who read my blog and more recently some lovely ladies I have actually met up with through Twitter. This is a lifestyle not just a trend and in so many ways the Rockabilly scene has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life and made me a much happier person. I think it’s the innocence of the scene and how everyone in it is just here to have a good time.

Rockabilly Ladies

Rockabilly Ladies

Lovely gift from my friend The War Bride

Lovely gift from my friend The War Bride

So there you have it, my story (in a nutshell) and why Rockabilly for me is so much more than a word, it’s a lifesaver.

RRx