Sunday, 26 February 2017

Wishlist: Voodoo Vixen spring/summer 2017

I was gutted to not be able to get to Edge this month because I really wanted to see what Voodoo Vixen were bringing to the party this time around. They're a brand that just seem to be on the up and up - and what they put out now looks so very different to what they were releasing at the beginning. As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. They've moved away from the more typical repro staples and are developing a style of their very own that, to me, has much more in common with true vintage than the modern-day pin-up interpretation of it. Don't get me wrong, the latter isn't a bad thing at all and I will always have a love for it, but this girl appreciates the choice of lots of different options and I love their playful and very wearable take on vintage style.

Anyway, while I couldn't go and snap the clothes in person, I did get my hands on their new lookbook so that I could share my favourite styles to watch out for so far! It's hard to even know where to start, there's so much to love this season...

Let's start with some pretty dresses - everyone's favourite. Although, usually, not mine because you all know I'm a separates kinda gal, so for a dress to turn my head it has to be really something. These four lovelies all very much are that kind of something.

Highlights from Voodoo Vixen's Spring Summer 2017 range

What I'm always looking for in a dress is a special detail. That's what will elevate it for me from something I look at and like, but might pass by, to something that must get onto my body immediately. So I can't really love the neckline details of this peachy pink number anymore than I do. I don't really wear this colour a lot, especially not as the main colour of my outfit, but this might be the time to change that. The dress on the right - well, how can you say no to a lovely frill neck detail like that? It also looks like it has split sleeves. The colour and the print is unusual and divine - this dress looks like something you'd see the likes of Trashy Diva coming out with.

Highlights from Voodoo Vixen's Spring Summer 2017 range

Let's talk about this red dress. Or maybe we shouldn't speak because words don't do those beautiful details justice... I am already trying to find a reason to own this dress, despite the fact I will probably literally never have an occasion to wear it. When I'm faced with this conundrum currently, I tend to end up at the 'wear it on the honeymoon' conclusion and thus can justify just about any mad purchase of clothing I wish to make. Handy, huh? This is a honeymoon dress if ever I saw one! The dress on the right is again not my usual style (there's a theme here), but there's several things I really appreciate about this dress. One, the neckline - more sweetheart necklines please. Two, the buttons. I don't know what it is, but I really love buttons (B does not agree - in fact, he has a weird sort of phobia of touching buttons and hates all items of my clothing with them on - true story). And three, the waist belt. I'm a sucker for an included belt. It's another one that I think is going to be a big hit with many ladies.

Highlights from Voodoo Vixen's Spring Summer 2017 range

I've been saving my favourites for last! First of all, shall we acknowledge how awesome VV are for including a pug in their photoshoot? More dogs in lookbooks, please. Let's start with the items that I probably can get away with wearing, these two green glories! I'm petite, so wearing large prints is a bit of a no-no and I always like a block colour dress for the illusion of height - add some adorable edging to it and you've totally got me. Not to mention there's not enough of this green in the world right now. I genuinely can't decide if I like the dress or the playsuit more. I've hand-on-heart spent actual minutes of my life worrying that I'll never be able to choose between them because #priorities. I still haven't made a decision - a dress is more versatile and easier to wear in this climate, but that playsuit is just so darn cute. It looks so flattering and like something you'd expect to see from a much pricier brand.  Yeah, the playsuit is in the honeymoon pile too. Better make sure it's a tropical one.

Highlights from Voodoo Vixen's Spring Summer 2017 range

And then finally, rounding up with two stripey pieces I love, but one I could never get away with wearing and the other I'd have more of a shot at, but if I'm getting the green playsuit I really am pushing it to think I'd find a way to wear two of the things in a country that has approximately 5 days of summer (although, I now know there might just be a dress coming in this fabric too, so, hurrah!). This jumpsuit though. All the heart eyes. This is exactly what I would make a beeline for if I wasn't skimming 5 foot. Not only would I have to take up the trouser legs in a big way, this kind of wide-legged style just looks ridiculous on my stumpy pegs. I want to see everyone else getting this though and wearing it like mad because I think it's probably the best piece of the range that I've seen so far. The print and the tie just kill it. Ugh, why must I be so short? So, yeah, I like stripes and that's why I also really like this playsuit too, but like I say if I get two playsuits I've basically jinxed the whole country for getting any kind of summer...

And these are just picks from the items I've seen the pictures for - VV tell me that beyond all the items they've shown me already, there's more still to come!


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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Outfit: gothic Bettie

Time for something a little different today - I present to you my new alter-ego, gothic Bettie. She's like me, but she has an edgy 'do and appreciates the darker side of life. 

In all seriousness, this isn't a costume or an attempt at one (it actually started life as a Valentine's outfit, but I'm too disorganised to pull themed content off right now!), I really did enjoy dressing like this. I loved this coat on its own, but the dramatic black - not a colour I usually wear in coats because I'm quite fair and it washes me out - just felt a bit more fun with an equally dramatic wig to balance it. Oh yeah, it's a wig, most of you will have just seen it as I wrote a review but to clarify for anyone who thinks I've done something extreme 4 months before my wedding... And yes, I felt totally fine walking around like this - I felt rather glamorous, in fact. You can see from these pictures a more accurate representation of what this wig looks like, without artificial light beaming onto it. I do think it passes for real hair to the untrained eye.

Anyway, you've heard a lot about the wig already so let's tell you about the coat. This is from Sourpuss, not a company I even realised made coats until I was offered this one for review. A truth: I find it hard to turn down new outerwear. When you wear a coat or jacket 90% of the year, it feels like you can't really have too much. Also, I find it quite hard to get outerwear that fits, being as petite as I am, so I'm quite obsessed with trying it all to find the bits that do. I'm happy to report that the length of this coat is ideal for the shorter lady (I'm 5'1") and I didn't find the shoulders excessively broad. They've actually got slight shoulderpads in for shape, so they're more structured than usual. The sleeves are far too long for me, but, as usual, I've tucked them in on themselves here pre tailor trip. This coat is more of a spring/autumn one, so the fabric wasn't too heavy to do that with. The only thing I'd say is I could have taken a more fitted waist (I'm wearing the smallest size), but equally I couldn't get a jumper under it if it was, so it's not exactly as practical. That's why I've added a waist belt though - for the pure reason that it looked better in the photos :D

All in all, quite pleased to add a lighter coat to my wardrobe and enjoying my new gothic turn. So much so, that we had the perfect building in mind for these photos. We pass it on a weekly basis on the way out of our village and it's always looked so darn intriguing - it's huge and it's all on it's own by the side of a busy road and I just wonder who actually lives in it. How did it come to be? Stay tuned and I've given you a better look at how cool it is because it ended up not really being in the outfit photos, d'oh! It's the thought that counts, right?

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'

Becca by Annabelle's Wigs worn with beret

Sourpuss Clothing Fancy Pants solid black coat review with the Annabelle's Wigs 'Becca'
Beret: eBay
Top: old (can't remember!)
Belt: from another dress
Skirt: ASOS (old)
Shoes: Red or Dead via Schuh (old)
Bag: Collectif


Here's the very cool house I'm standing in front of (I was in front of the white gate, bottom left)!

Very cool gothic house



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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Easy 50s hair: part 1 - Bettie Page inspired

This is the first of two posts about getting 50s hair the quick and easy way... which goes against everything you know about those pain-staking curl sets, right? Right. With hair my length (sort of bust length), forget about it. Seriously, put the curling tong down before you burn yourself.

So what do you do? Most of the time, I don't have very 'vintage' hair and to be quite honest with you, I'm not sure I'd suit it. I certainly don't want to get a midi cut in and then find out it looks dreadful on me. Sometimes, though, it would be nice to have the flexibility. I don't want to cut my long hair off just yet, but I also want to try more era-appropriate hairstyles. So that's where my crafty and mega fast solution comes in...

Wig it up! Ever since I featured my 20s outfit on this blog back the New Years Eve before last, I've been pondering exploring wigs on this blog a little more. I feel like there's a stigma around people with perfectly lovely and healthy hair wearing them for the everyday, but it's a shame because they are perfect for times like this. The trick is finding the good ones, that actually look like you hoped they would. Because here's, generally speaking, what most cheap-mid range - and therefore artificial - wigs can't do:
  1. Be put up into an updo (trust me on that, I've tried)
  2. Be restyled from how they've been set (if they are on the cheaper end of the scale like mine are - some artificial wigs can take a certain low amount of heat styling, but they are usually pricier)
But find one that you like and that doesn't look obviously 'wiggy' and you're laughing - a quick and easy 'do that can totally transform your look and is almost as easy as putting a hat on. For days you can't be bothered to style your hair, they're amazing. I personally don't feel silly wearing mine out and about because I generally don't care what people look at me and think - which might surprise people as I'm quite shy and introverted, but I just don't. I also don't think it's that noticeable and feels like a much bigger deal to the wig wearer.

So, onto the wig I'm showing you today, which is this Bettie Page inspired style by Annabelle's Wigs that comes in blonde, dark brown - seen here, and black. From all the historic pictures I've seen, this kind of short fringe and looser, longer curl style that Bettie favoured was more the domain of the pin-ups and sweater girls of the day, but it's therefore quite a nice way to go a bit 50s but also keep it fun and fresh. You see a lot of modern day pin-ups favouring her trademark bangs and dark locks, so it's got that vixen vibe too.

What I'm going to try to do with this wig and the next one I have to show you soon, is also show you ways I've managed to further style it very simply to give it an extra 'vintage' edge. So no, you can't put this wig into a ponytail, but that doesn't mean you have to wear it exactly as it comes. Stay tuned for simple tips to adjust to the wig life too. 

Au Naturelle


Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review

Very much the vintage vixen, right? Pout is totally optional. For this photo, all I've done to the wig is shove it onto my head (with a wig cap to keep my long hair out of the way - although sometimes for comfort - they're kinda itchy - I will just pin my hair to my head instead) and with my Wet Brush (a gentle brush designed to detangle wet hair) I've brushed it through. It's imperative that you don't just put an artificial hair wig onto your head and walk out the door. They require a bit of love to fall back into the style they've been set and be tidy, especially when bought online. I find brushing it and shaping it with my hands is all it takes, though. The good news is you can't really ruin the original set by brushing it. And that's absolutely all I've done here. The fringe falls into that lovely rounded shape all by itself (with a little persuasion, at least).

With a beret

Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review

Oh come on, you knew the first thing I'd do is put a beret on it. But doesn't it work rather well? This is a super cheap eBay beret that is quite thin wool, and it stays in place rather well on the smooth wig. I could add kirby grips for further security if I want to, though. I've not tried a more structured hat than this with this wig, and perhaps that would cause problems with grip, but the humble beret works rather well.

With a headscarf

Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review

Ah, that staple of the modern pin-up - the chiffon headscarf. This is as easy as it looks, you just tie it on like you would your own hair. It also felt quite secure without clips because the weight of the wig held it into place. To make doubly sure my own hair didn't poke out at the sights I pulled a little of the wig hair in the scarf towards my face, with the rest staying secure behind the scarf. Tying the scarf partly over my ear also helped to keep the wig hair at the sides where I wanted it to be.

With a hair flower

Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review

It actually doesn't get any easier than this. I just clipped the flower onto the wig like I would my own hair. Again, there's a few of my own hair stragglers here but honestly if I take the time to put this on properly this doesn't happen. Job done.

At this point I need to apologise for the poor lighting in these photos - you can thank the dark days of winter for needing to resort to my halo light. This wig doesn't look as shiny as this in natural light and I'll prove that in my next post when I feature it as part of my next outfit :)

In addition to the above looks, I thought I'd give some other general tips on buying artificial wigs:
  • Don't go too cheap - Annabelle's Wigs is a really good budget option for artificial wigs, but in my experience, paying less than about £25-30 on a full wig like this one is going to show in the product. A human hair full wig, by the way, might set you back £300-600 for a good one, I hear.
  • Opt for similar colours to your hair - particularly if you've not worn wigs before, staying close to what you're used to will make it easier for you to adjust to the sight of yourself with a wig on. It took me a long time to accept I looked ok in the one in this post because it's almost black and my hair hasn't been that colour since my emo years...
  • Accept that curly artificial wigs won't look like the picture - I feel like every curly hair wig is going to be different, but neither one I have looks anything like it did in the model photo on me. I more chose them based on the general look and size of curl, not the exact way it was sitting on their face etc. If you go in with that mindset, you won't be disappointed...
I've also heard about people doing things like powdering a shiny cheaper wig to make it look less obviously fake, but actually I don't think my wigs have needed that (as I say above, shine in these photos due to poor lighting). Maybe if you got really close up you would tell, but I've gone round the supermarket in this one and no one's said a word... or even really looked at me any longer than they usually would (and who knows when you dress vintage, you're always getting stared at anyway!).

So what do you think, would you brave a wig for the every day? As I say, stay tuned to see it in action soon (sneak preview over on Instagram right now)!



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Monday, 13 February 2017

Wishlist: Collectif spring/summer 2017

Collectif spring summer 2017 preview

Ok, so I'm a little bit excited about Collectif's new range. Way back at London Edge last year, they had quite a few pieces on the stand and I couldn't say anything about them, but oh I wanted to. Warm weather clothes are always my favourites and there was so much to love. Their lovely marketing lady was clearly as excited to show us the new pieces as we were to gaze at their beauty and I came away wanting pretty much all of it!

A few pieces really caught my eye though, so here's a sneak peek while the spring/summer London Edge is happening... I couldn't get there this time, but that wasn't going to stop me from showing you the pretties if I could! First up, top photo - notice the buttons on the waist here? That's right, it's a two piece. Not only that, it's mix and match and I just love the idea of that because you all know how much I love my separates. But separates that can make a playsuit or a dress? Take my money!!

Collectif spring summer 2017 preview

And here we have the other piece I'm really excited about, a shirtwaister style dress with an adorable border print. I've wanted a proper shirt dress for a long time but I've never found one in the repro world that works for me. They don't really seem all that common, which surprises me as they were such a staple of mid-century style. Either way, Collectif is here to save the day this coming season. Not only have they made a shirtwaister that might actually stay buttoned up over my bust, they've stuck a Jasmine skirt on the bottom of it! This means I can actually wear a border print - something I usually avoid because you can't take them up. As far as I'm concerned, the Jasmine is a universally-flattering swing skirt that both the short and the tall seem to be able to wear. Don't believe me? Here is said style on me and Miss Amy May, who is about twice the height of me. And if you don't love this print, you may just find there's an alternative on offer... I'm hoping this shirtwaister style is here to stay in the Collectif range :)

Collectif spring summer 2017 preview

Here's a closer look at the Janet dress and oh hello, a different skirt for the mix and match set! There's shorts and pants too, it's amazing.

Collectif spring summer 2017 preview

If you're anything like me, you love a nice full-skirted coat. You're in luck, because the Collectif trench coat is back and this time it's had an upgrade. The marketing lady explained that it's now thicker, so much more able to take on the British spring. Judging by the sheen, it looks like it could be water-resistant too, in a way the older style isn't. Annoyingly, I just picked up a second-hand version of the older style, but as I can't afford to invest in a coat at the moment anyway I will just have to admire this picture. On the left here you'll see one of my favourite prints of the new season - and there's a lot of pieces in this fabric if you like it too. Who doesn't like a dreamy palm? It's my absolute favourite when repro brands go beyond the norm and have unique prints.

And finally, while I don't usually get too excited about the Bright & Beautiful range, it's taken rather a different direction this time around.

Collectif spring summer 2017 preview

This range is usually quite 60s-heavy and full of mini-skirts and peter pan collars, but not this time. It's got a much more 70s vibe now and the range is huge. These two dresses are two of my favourite pieces because I feel like they're somewhat era neutral - that dress on the left could even pass for an older style than 70s, I feel. Love the light blues too, one of my favourite colours.

So what do you think, anything here you love as much as I do? Collectif have just uploaded some of their lookbooks onto their website too, so do go have a browse if I've piqued your interest.



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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Outfit: from winter with love

Winter and I may not be friends, but I am very much friends with a bit of faux fur. It's probably one of the few good things about the colder seasons that you get to wear it - for me at least anyway. It was also about time my furry hat (well, headband technically) appeared in another outfit post!

When you're styling a monochrome dress, there's always the temptation to bring in colour. If you're me, that basically means adding red accessories everywhere. Knowing that I always do this, however, here I am making a very conscious effort not to - go me. But actually, I think keeping the colours simple lets this dress really shine.

The Jackson dress is another of Hell Bunny's autumn/winter triumphs, so it didn't take me long to use my discount code on their website (it's cicim20!% by the way) to snap this beauty up. Especially not after I'd spoken to Miss Amy May who'd already bought it and realised the skirt wasn't going to be too long for me! (Considering I had a dream this week I bought a Collectif dress and it was ankle length when it turned up and that's not actually that far from the truth... And yes, my dreams really are that boring. I had another one that Hell Bunny released a dress in their new lighthouse print and I was disappointed by the neckline. I'm a riot.) I mean, it's on the longer side, sure, but I think I'm getting away with it. I love wearing it - it's comfortable and the neckline is adorable, I just need to find more places to take it for a spin now before spring is here... Oh and if you want to see how it looks on someone who isn't 5' nothing, check it out on Amy. The fit is very true to Hell Bunny's usual sizing (follow the size guide).

Will this be the last of my very wintry outfit posts? Er, no. Let's not be silly. There's a lot more winter to 'love' yet...

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny

Furry gloves and hat

The Jackson dress in houndstooth by Hell Bunny
Headband: Next (last year's)
Gloves: Ugg (now out of stock)
Boots: Tamaris (last year's)



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Thursday, 2 February 2017

A wintry Cambridge and a 60s CiCi

Ever wondered what my little corner of the earth looks like in the winter? You've come to the right place. Cambridge is one of those cities that looks darn pretty at any time of the year and has a rather lovely quality to it under a cold, grey sky. Which is good, really, cos we've sure got a lot of those.

The river Cam

If you're wondering why the above photo looks so out of focus, it's because it's not a photo! It's been a while since I've had a video for you. We can blame B and his strange cycle of hobbies - he'll be really into something for a while then move onto something else. Then, weeks, months, sometimes over a year later he'll get into it again. Right now, it's watching endless anime. Anyway, while in a video phase he might either be shooting on a digital camera or his Super 8 using real film. The problem with the latter being that it takes a while for it to get developed, by which point he might be out of his video phase again... Aaaaand that's what happened here. And that's also why the film is a bit out of focus and the colours aren't true - that's the fun of Super 8. We love it, but if you want to see my outfit in crisp colour, this ain't for you!

Walking near King's College

Long-time readers will recognise this outfit (sans the coat), because it did feature before, about a year ago. And yep, we shot this film on authentic Super 8... a year ago. But, if you don't want to look at this outfit again, hopefully you'll like the scenery, which is from the very centre of Cambridge. In the above shot, I am walking down an alleyway right next to the famous King's College, in fact. Oh, and there's my coat. I've worn this coat in a video before, so it's not news, but it looks great with this outfit ;)

PS You don't need sound for this!



As ever, apologies that I'm not more lively in this video. I genuinely find it excruciating being filmed on my own - for some reason it's so much worse than being photographed, but I couldn't tell you why... Believe it or not, I do have a playful side - just not when a camera is pointed at my face.



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