Sunday, 1 March 2015

Vintage Life - and why do I dress like this, anyway?

So, first things first... I'm in a magazine!


As you can see, I'm so happy about it I actually smiled with my teeth (braces an' all)! Because it wasn't just any magazine, it was the amazing Vintage Life - a publication I'm sure a lot of you (who are into retro style at least) will have come across at some point. I couldn't believe it when they asked me to write for them - in fact, I still can't. This blog is certainly not the most influential out there, but this article feels like a reward after three years of hard work put in around a full-time job and commuting four hours a day. Three years as of this month, in fact - which makes it even more special that I was featured in the March issue. Happy bloggiversary to me!

When they contacted me, they gave me a few pointers on what they wanted me to cover for a piece titled 'My Vintage Life' - obviously, what me and this blog are about was one thing, but they also asked that I write about my love of vintage 'such as how it began'. I was stumped! I've been dressing this way for so long I couldn't immediately recall how it started... but then it all came back to me - and as I'm not sure how many of you will read the magazine piece, I thought I'd share my story in more detail here too, seeing as it's at the heart of this blog, after all!


Really, it all started when I'd left university and six months later had somewhat miraculously landed my first job in publishing. Now here's something you might not know about me: I am incredibly ambitious; I was determined to climb that career ladder as fast as I could. But here's something else you probably have twigged from the amount of make-up I'm usually buried under - I'm pretty insecure about my appearance. And by most people's standards I'm pretty shy, so somehow I had to overcome my terror of speaking in front of people - with them all looking at me - me! - to participate in meetings and generally get myself noticed. It didn't help that back in those days, boy, I looked young. I mean, I still get IDed if I so much as look at a bottle of wine near a shop assistant and I'm nearly eleven years over the legal drinking age now - so you can picture how fresh-faced I was back then! I didn't quite realise it at first, but the longer I worked the more I was conscious of looking like the graduate I was - I wanted to look more adult and professional and I wanted a style that was more grown-up and feminine than the slightly lost emo one I'd had going on at university. But I'd always dressed a bit 'alternatively', so I still didn't want to look like everyone else. Enter, the pencil skirt...


The pencil skirt was the beginning of an answer to these workplace conundrums as a) they made me look more grown-up and b) I felt good in them because they worked with my shape rather than against it. It hadn't take long to realise that at 5ft2 it was easy to be swamped by clothes - which only made me look younger! Pencil skirts went hand-in-hand with embracing waist definition and generally creating a more womanly, hourglass shape than I'd had in most clothes before. Unsurprisingly, my love of wiggles was in no small part encouraged by a budding obsession with Marilyn Monroe, along with finding the vintage scene and following bloggers like Ulrika and Candice who offered endless style inspiration, years before I thought of starting my own blog. I discovered some of the amazing repro brands out there through them and general relentless internet window shopping and gradually, elements of vintage fashion began spreading throughout my wardrobe. I'd found something a bit different that worked for me and I was sticking to it!

Now, nearly ten years later, I love creating outfits that are vintage inspired or have a retro twist - usually borrowing inspiration from the 50s which, to me, epitomises femininity and also works the best with my shape. I've tried putting this chest in a 60's shift - it's more tent than temptress! I more often find myself looking for modern or repro pieces that have stretch for my curves and that also might be less 'full-on' than authentic vintage. I don't feel comfortable in a head-to-toe vintage outfit - I like to pick and choose the bits of vintage fashions that work for me and usually end up with something that's modern in terms of its component parts, but by putting it all together makes a big cheeky wink at bygone eras. It's fun, flattering and different. So really, the answer to the question of why do I dress this way? now is: because I can't imagine any other style suiting me quite so well.


And that's the (condensed story) of my love affair with vintage style! As far as I remember it, at least.

But tell me, how is your story different to mine?


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32 comments:

  1. What an exciting feature - and on such a fabulous magazine! :) congratulations!

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  2. Huge congratulations! I love this story too, about trying to feel more grown up and finding clothes that work for your shape, I think that's something we can all relate to on some level. My story is long so I won't babble on about it here, but I promise to share it with you another time!

    Have a super Sunday. OMG you're in a magazine!!!

    xx

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    1. You better share your story too - I'm intrigued! I think we should all share them - it's why a lot of us are here in the first place, after all.

      I know, right?! :D xx

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  3. Beautiful story :) Congratulations on being featured in a magazine, thats such an amazing thing and you really deserve it :)

    Alecia xx

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    1. Ah, you're so kind :) thanks so much for the lovely comment xx

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  4. Congratulations on being featured in the magazine! I think that is a big goal for a lot of bloggers... And if not, it would still be super cool to be in one!! :P happy Sunday!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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    1. I hadn't ever thought of it as a goal as it seemed so ridiculously unlikely! Me? In a magazine?! And thank you!

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  5. Congratulations! How exciting for you : )

    Loved your story too.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Thanks so much :) I'm so touched by everyone's comments! x

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  6. Wow! How exciting to be featured in a mag! I'm a new reader of you blog - I found you via Pinterest. :) I just love your style. I think my favorite thing about how you wear vintage is the fact that it is NOT head to toe. Sometimes it can look a bit too like a costume. I think you strike the perfect happy medium! :D
    ~Miss Michelle ^_^

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    1. Thanks for saying hello - that does surprise me, as I've only just started my Pinterest account! And thank you for the lovely comment - you've hit the nail on the head with what I struggle with; I always feel like I'm in fancy dress if I'm 100% vintage. Just, for me, it doesn't feel right. I'm glad there's other people who feel the same who want to follow my style tales :) x

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  7. hello,ciao CiCi....great story, a standing ovation for your style and congrats for being in the mag...cheers!
    greetings,ciao

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  8. I am on my feet roaring with joy and applause for you, this article, and your accompanying blog post, my lovely friend. Happiest congratulations! You're an incredibly stylish, sweet, smart, beautiful woman and you so deserve to have the spotlight shone on you and your awesome passion for vintage like this.

    Huge hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Hehe, I like that mental image, Jessica :) thanks for your lovely words, you're always so kind it makes me want to weep a little! xx

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  9. How fantastic! I really loved to read about how your personal story evolved! It is amazing how things all get started! I have never heard of that magazine but I will check it out! So awesome that you were featured! You totally deserve it!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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    1. It's a great magazine, I hope you get hold of one! And thanks for the lovely comment :)

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  10. How incredible exciting! Congratulations!!!!

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  11. Congratulations again on the feature! I loved reading your story about how you came to find your personal style, I find it so interesting why people end up making the choices they do. But that's probably the writer in me who's obsessed with the stories from behind the scenes. :D ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Glad it was interesting rather than yawn-inducing - which is always how I feel it must be when I write these things about myself!! Thank you :) x

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  12. Again, HUGE congratulations on making it into the magazine. That is so wonderfully excting, and very well deserved. On the same note, congrats on three years of successful blogging! That's also a pretty great milestone, and I'm glad, for my own sake, that you've stuck with it so long, because I love reading your posts.
    I think your reasons for turning to a vintage look made a lot of sense. It's amazing just how much the clothes do make the woman - it's so much easier to project confidence and competance in a well fitted pencil skirt and a nice blouse than it is in a pair of jeans and sneakers, at least for me. I'm loving these photos of you too. You look so sweet with your big smile in the first one.

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    1. You're so sweet, thanks for your lovely words :) I still find it incredible that anyone reads this blog, let alone enjoys it - I feel like it's something I could never take for granted! Definitely agree that a good pencil skirt ensemble can help you take over the world! I never thought my toothy grin would end up on this blog to be honest, but the straighter my teeth get the more I think it's possible :) I almost didn't post the first photo though, regardless, so it's a big relief to hear you say you like it!!

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  13. Wow! Congratulations on your newest achievement! I am so jealous of you. Being featured in a magazine is definitely one of my very very very long term goals of blogging. This definitely shows the benefits of working hard on something for a long time. It might take awhile but you'll definitely get there. And looking back to where you started, you can see how far you've come! I hope you're proud of your accomplishment because I am :)
    Olivia | Her Name Was Celebration

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    1. Thanks, Olivia! I've definitely come a huge way with this blog - it's not recognisable from where it started out - I don't even sound like me! It took a while to relax into blogging, for sure. And that's so sweet of you - I'm of course proud!

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  14. How exciting to be featured in Vintage Life! Well done! Happy blogiversary too. I think it is fabulous that it all started with a pencil skirt!

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    1. Thank you :) and yes, I honestly think every woman should have some good pencil skirts in their wardrobe!

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  15. Congratulations on your magazine feature and happy third birthday to your blog! You truly deserve it. Plus you're one of the nicest people I've encountered in the blogosphere!

    I really enjoyed reading about your love affair with vintage looks, and how it all began. I like to know the reasons behind things, and you write with such flair that it's a pleasure to read what you have to say.

    p.s - I hope you have total confidence in your fabulousness now.

    Saba x

    www.trulymadlydeeplyfashion.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks so much, Saba - this is such a nice comment, it really made me smile :) x

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  16. Congratulations on your bloggiversary and on being featured and getting published in Vintage Life! So fun to hear how it all started!

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