Friday, 24 August 2012

Vintage style: down by the water

I've been away for a long time from my vintage style post series, but now I'm back and bringing you a guide to retro swimwear.  I don't know if I'm going to manage to get within a splash of a pool this year, but some people, I believe, actually take holidays.  And if you don't, the beauty of retro swimwear is that it's often a lot more modest (and attractive) than modern styles, so perhaps if you're brave you can take it to the local pool.  Just think: what would Marilyn do?

Marilyn favoured a bikini - which is the style that's much easier to get hold of today too.  Here's some history of the bikini I found interesting:

The bikini remained a taboo novelty throughout the 1950s. Made even of such unusual fabrics as mink, grass, and porcupine quills, bikinis were worn mostly by screen sirens and pin-up girls like Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield, and Diana Dors, along with sophisticates on the beaches of resorts along the Riviera. They were also showcased in bathing suit beauty contests in vacation spots like Florida and California. One-piece and more modest two-piece suits, resembling the highly structured undergarments of the period, held favor with the majority of women until the end of the decade, when bikini sales started to rise.

Source: A-Z Fashion, Berg Fashion Library

A porcupine quill bikini? Ouch?  No wonder they were taboo if that's what they were making them out of.

Anyway, onto today's buys!

This is an area where vintage really can't help you that much.  The fabrics weren't great and unless it's deadstock I feel a bit gross about vintage swimwear somehow.  Much better to put your faith in modern styles and materials and these come in various price ranges, hence my 'steal' or 'spend' guide to what's out there right now (I know, original)...


ASOS come out on top for variety and prices of retro style swimwear and even better, they often do most bikini top styles in a standard and 'fuller' bust size.  I really appreciate this because it's real life affordable swimwear for curvy girls - bravo, ASOS!

I've just bought this one for the total price of just £15!*  No, I'm still not going anywhere, but y'know, just in case...

ASOS leaf print fuller/standard bust bikini, £15 total
A classic 50's spot print and halterneck style, with a choice of either skirt briefs like these or high-waisted like the above.  The frills are kinda 40s too, so cute!

ASOS Mix and Match Spot 50s halter padded bikini, £28 total, +£4 for high-waisted briefs
Everyone loves a bit of gingham!

ASOS Gingham High Waisted Bikini fuller/standard bust, £30 total
And more spots, but this time in a swimsuit format.

Polka Dot Pin-Up One Piece, £32.97


Forluna has to be top choice for retro swimwear.  They do several variations of classic 50's shaped swimsuits and bikinis.  And have an annoyingly stunning model.

Red retro swimsuit, £59.95
Yellow Flower Retro Bikini, $59.95 total
This from Rock Steady is charming 50s.

Hello Sailor Navy Blue One Piece Swimsuit, £49.97

Sea Folley Polka Dot D Cup Skirted Swim Suit, £67.50
Now it's up to you how much you spend!

* I like to demonstrate my vintage looks on myself so everyone can see how easy they are to achieve, but this one took some nerve.  And I bottled it by throwing on a sarong and taking a blurry mirror shot.  (So sue me.)  However, I was really impressed with the quality of this bikini for the £15 I paid for it and it's seriously flattering.  Which maybe you can see a little bit here.  I'm not as stick thin as the above model and I actually think it looks better on, eh-hem, curves.  Y'see what I'm mostly hiding in this photo is my hideous sunburned leg (yep, that's why it's an odd shade of beetroot - and yes, it's just the one) ;)

ASOS high waisted bikini review

Now to book a holiday by the beach just so I can lay around pretending I'm Marilyn...

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Bake: Blueberry Drizzle Puff

Cici and I have been a little slow on the blog lately - mainly because C has been busy at the Olympic village getting her sports volunteer on and I've been busy applying for jobs... and getting jobs! yay!

So sorry that this is just a quick little post, but I thought Id share with you an oh so simple pudding recipe, which is also oh so yum!

Blueberry Drizzle Puff

What you'll need:
1 (8 oz.) package philadelphia, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries


1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
1 tsp Almond Extract
3 shakes of salt
chopped almonds (optional)
The Method:
  1. Lay one whole pastry sheet onto a greased cookie sheet.Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract together until well blended.  Spread on top of pastry sheet.
  2. Top with frozen blueberries.
  3. Cut second puff pastry sheet into 10 long strips.  Weave strips on top of blueberries
  4. Bake at 190.c for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown
  5. You can pipe the frosting on for a fancy effect (I just poured it on and rubbed it in) and sprinkle with chopped almonds if desired (I didn't do this because I don't like almonds - euk).
Et voila!

Enjoy ♥

Friday, 17 August 2012

Outfit: flippy 50's blue

I find having my hair cut an ordeal - this is news to none of my friends who I've all bored with the 101 reasons I hate everything about trusting my locks to a complete and utter STRANGER.  Starting with the inane small talk about where you're going on holiday (I never go anywhere, cue awkward pity), to how an inch can be anything between 0.5cm - 10cm, depending on how moronic your hairdresser is.  To cheer myself up when I returned from 1.5 hours of torture - and knowing this weekend is set to be one of actual summer - I had a dig through my clothes for something pretty to wear.

And as I still haven't gotten back on my usual vintage style posts, this'll have to do for now. Here I am, sans 4 inches of hair (I asked for 1).

Cropped shirt, ASOS, brown strapless top, Dorothy Perkins, navy flippy skirt, Marks & Spencer, sandals Sky High Braided Swedish Hasbeens, lipstick my trusty Nars Heat Wave

There's nothing that says summer quite like a pretty, flippy skirt.  Although it's rather windy outside today so I'm a little concerned about leaving the house.  Curse you, English summer!

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Bake: Flourless peanut butter & choc chunk cookies

This is one for the celiacs. I'm not one, and I think I'd have a nervous breakdown if I was one because I am obsessed with cakes, cookies, brownies, bread - anything stodgy and floury basically.

These yummy cookies are so, so simple to make and really delish! Be warned though - they are super moreish.

Flourless peanut butter and choc chunk cookies


1 cup organic unsalted peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated cane sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180 c.
2. Line the bottoms of two 12-by-18-inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, stir the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and salt until combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate and peanuts.
5. Using a small, greased ice cream scoop, measure out the dough in teaspoon sized balls.
6. Place the dough on the prepared pans, spacing them 2 inches apart.
7. Bake on the middle shelves of the oven, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until lightly golden and spread to a puffy mound (should be about 12-14 minutes.)
8. Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks.

Tuck in!

Marie ♥