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I have nothing to wear…….

Oh no!!! I’ve gained a stone! Clearly it doesn’t take a genius to work out that I did this to myself but A WHOLE STONE!! Whilst I know I’ve been slowly gaining weight the full horror of my situation didn’t hit me until yesterday when I tried to get into one of my fave tea dresses from Vivien of Holloway.

I struggled with the zip and once it was up realised just how unforgiving the fitted waistline was – not to mention that I dare not breathe out too deeply as I could feel the seams straining!

As I looked at my wardrobe filled with so many vintage repro dresses and one or two truly vintage pieces, not to mention my vast collection of Freddie of Pinewood jeans the full extent of my problem hit me “I haven’t a thing to wear!” Or at least anything that makes me feel my best.

I’ve managed to gain this weight in just two months – and in truth I can’t complain as I’ve had a great time gaining it. You see for an initial eight months I’ve been concentrating on organising my wedding which of course included getting fit and fabulous for my wedding dress.

Strict diet, gym sessions and restraint were the order of the day till the big day in May. Once the wedding was over there was the week-long mini moon in London involving a lot of Prosecco, fine wines and even finer foods as my palate rediscovered forbidden foods.

That was followed by a promise to eat properly after the full honeymoon which followed in July (I know I know so I enjoyed June too!!). As that involved Slovenia and Italy including Venice I have to admitย  croissants, pasta, Prosecco and gelato became my firm friends….. tape-measure-around-croissant-13323058So now I’ve had that non-fitting dress shock I’m getting my bum in gear. Motivation comes on two fronts – one I don’t want to spend all of summer missing out on my fave dresses and two I’ve got a birthday in six weeks.

But no drastic measures for me – it’s sensible eating, a tad less alcohol and yes I’m going back to the gym. Unlike some people who swear by the gym I can’t say it does great things for but I persevere as it’s more about taking positive action.

I’m hanging a great dress – another VoH, but this is my circle dress which I intend to be wearing on my birthday – as a motivator on my wardrobe door.
Wish me luck!!

Viva!

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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Clothing

 

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Thinking about jeans? Only Freddies will do!

Anyone who knows me knows I love to dress up – it’s a joy to create and co-ordinate even the simplest outfit so that it looks effortless yet has my personal style. Make no mistake – being casual takes just as much effort as formal wear – and when it comes to jeans like many women finding the right pair can be a hunt on a par with looking for the end ofย  a rainbow. Until the day I discovered Freddies of Pinewood. Now that I own a total of four pairs AND the dungarees I thought I’d review them for those not sure whether they really are all they’re cracked up to be ๐Ÿ˜‰

First and foremost I can tell you that I am not affiliated to Freddies in any way – I’m simply a girl who really likes their jeans and this is my view of the trying and buying experience, how I wear them and even what they are like after a hot wash!

Classics, Utility, Jeanies, Texsuns and of course the Dungaree Dolls - there's a Freddies of Pinewood for everyone!

Classics, Utility, Jeanies, Texsuns and of course the Dungaree Dolls – there’s a Freddies for everyone!

I first encountered Freddies at Twinwood about four years ago when I practically stalked a women who was wearing a rolled up pair matched with red wedges and a red and white checked gypsy top. I was blown away by how well they fitted and once she pointed me in the direction of the clothes stalls I was like a hound on the trail of a fox!

On finding their stall I was like a kid in a Candy store. The sellers of Freddies know their stuff which is important as the styles are fitted in a completely different way to modern jeans as they are worn very high on the natural waist line. The leg measurements vary from quite slim across the bottom, stomach and legs such as the Jeanies to the wider (and darker denim) Texsuns and of course they do many of their jeans in black and some in grey as well.

With so much choice I was pretty bewildered but I was impressed that there was no hard sell – I was even told categorically that I should hold off to get the right size if I preferred the lighter stitching of the Classics as opposed to the orange of the Texsuns otherwise I’d regret it. When it comes to sizing the team has a good chart on its website and you really need to look at this and how you want your jeans to fit – or if you meet them in person they can help you choose.

I am roughly a size 12 but with a big bottom. The last two pairs of high street jeans I bought were about six years ago and one was a size 12 and the other 14. With Freddies you are measuring higher up the body and should also think about leg size (I also have chunky thighs!). Most of my jeans are 30 and the Classic and Texsuns are not as hugging as the Jeanies, which fitted better at 32. I love Freddies because that high waist line is flattering, it covers my bum but nips back in to a fitted waist and having the zip and buttons at the side means a flat front and no bulge to add to my tummy from excess material. The thighs are covered without that tight fit which some women can carry off but which can make my thighs look like two badly stuffed sausages, and most essentially wherever I go I feel great in them ๐Ÿ˜‰

Over the last four years I have to admit that I have actually owned another three pairs of Freddies but that’s because when I had a dramatic weight loss two years ago I was heartbroken that nothing fitted. I ended up trading them in and using the cash to finance some of the latest new pairs. That is the beauty of Freddies – everyone wants them even vintage shops!

So why do I need so many different pairs? Whilst I am sure I could probably get by with just one pair I am a fan of jeans and want ones which fit. Indeed at one point in my life I owned more than 16 pairs of high street and “designer” jeans in my bid to find the perfect pair. Freddies may not be the cheapest but I think they are no more expensive than a really good quality pair of jeans. And as I haven’t bought any other brands since my first pair I think an average of five pairs in four years is pretty restrained shopping for me!

My choice depends on what I am wearing. My Jeanies with the slimmer legs are perfect for rolling up and wearing with wedged sandals, my classics are wider and team brilliantly with brogues, saddle shoes or my old-fashioned converse type trainers. My Texsuns are the widest and best with boots. It also depends on the tops I am wearing. I have a lot of reproduction knits mainly from Rocket Originals and the Texsuns with their bright orange stitching and darker denim are better with the warmer colours whilst the Classics with the more traditional lighter yellow stitch compliment the navy’s and blacks.

RAF Hendon, Freddies of Pinewood Dungaree Dolls

A day out at RAF Hendon in my Dungaree Dolls

The Dungaree Dolls were my first purchase and I love them because aside from a vintage event so few women are wearing dungarees. They are also incredibly comfortable. I prefer belt hooks on my jeans which my Utility’s don’t have so I don’t wear them as often as the others but I understand that the latest ones do have them. My favourite touch are the double buttons on almost all the waistlines – which are perfect for those fat days ๐Ÿ™‚

The denim is very sturdy – but do heed their warning about the dye! I once spent an afternoon on my guy’s cream fabric sofa in a new pair. Fortunately he’s very understanding and a quick whizz over with upholstery cleaner sorted it. I wash my jeans inside out on a 30 or 40 degree wash depending on what else is in the load and every time they have come out well. I line dry them rather than tumble dry and when they are almost done I use a steamer on them (right side out) to get out any creases. After all these years they still look great and I get a lot of compliments when wearing them.

And where do I wear them? Friday’s are dress down at work so out they come, every weekend they get pulled on and they are perfect for holiday flights where you need to be comfortable and relaxed. I wear them to events and gigs and to my jive classes which are pretty energetic yet am happy jiving the night away in them. And of course a pair always go in the case for weekends away – I was in Prague recently and my Texsuns looked great and were comfy with thin leggings on underneath to beat the cold and when teamed with a smart top were great for dinner. As the weather improves and I start wearing them with sandals and wedges I shall add some pics here.

Freddies of Pinewood, Rocket Originals knits, Collectif top

Stepping out in my fave jeans

Freddies has an easy to use website and I have bought tops and cardigans online and know women who buy the jeans online too. Personally I prefer to buy my jeans in person and since there are plenty of venues they tend to go to, such as Twinwood or the Rhythm Riot, I have had no difficulty getting my hands on their stock.ย  Incidentally I got my latest Dungaree Dolls at Black Rose London in Camden Town – to replace the very first pair I got at Twinwood all those years ago and then regretted trading in!

Below is a quote that could have been made specifically for Freddies I think!:

“When women wear denim it (the derriere) must look elegant. It’s the second thing every woman looks at in the mirror, but it’s the first thing she cares about. She does that half twirl, her back arched and her head craned around. If the jeans are right, the experience is transforming, like putting on a magic cloak.” ~ Ritu Kumar

These jeans may not be for everyone but I have yet to meet the woman who doesn’t look – and more importantly, feel fab in them. So there you have it, if you want jeans there’s only one place to go in my opinion, Freddies of Pinewood rocks ๐Ÿ˜›

Viva!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Clothing, People to follow, Reviews

 

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The Big Vintage Weekender

Iย  would never describe myself as a groupie โ€“ that always strikes me as rather โ€œdesperate and tastelessโ€ yet I think I came perilously close when I saw Si Cranstoun kick off the Big Vintage Weekender.

Si came to my attention as his songs feature at my jive class – and after watching him through the wonder that is the iphone and YouTube I definitely added his CDs to my Christmas list. So when I heard he was performing at the Weekender I couldn’t resist.

What a brill night โ€“ Julie Jive and the Big Notes opened the evening with a really rocking number of tunes.IMG_0863 โ€“ I’m not one for the goth 50s look but she carries it off well and her voice, once it warms up, really is very strong and carries her songs well. The rest of the band are not as memorable with the exception of their bass player โ€“ now there’s a man who understands how to be a performer. Ever want to see a musician lying on his back with his bass in the air โ€“ how cool and so old school ๐Ÿ˜‰

Si followed and it was non stop rockin’ with the dancefloor properly stacked in appreciation. Big hits such as Coupe De Ville, Lonesome Heart Bandit and Dynamo were followed with new tunes (to me) but defo ones to get you moving such as Ella Hula Hula. One of my favourites is rather aptly named Tweet on Twitter lol!IMG_0866

Fantastic delivery made each song a real joy to listen to and I was incredibly grateful when my beloved went off to buy me his CDs; Dancehalls and Supperclubs, and Alternative Floor Fillers. Si was kind enough to sign them for me too.IMG_0876

My thanks must indeed go to my beloved โ€“ who has no interest whatsoever in the 1940s/50s but fortunately likes any kind of live music and more importantly seeing the massive grin on my face when I am enjoying myself.

He drove me not only to the first night gig but also back again the next day so I could browse the stalls in the hall โ€“ a 200 mile trip for a gig and a boot sale according to him!!

Well boot sale or not I was in seventh heaven โ€“ at the moment I am fascinated by vintage brooches for my jacket collars and found some incredibly pretty (read that as sparkly!) ones. IMG_0890

I was also tempted by a new pair of swing nautical trousers by Miss Fortune, despite the incredibly ugly cream ship buttons. Needless to say a quick trip to haberdashery and I’ve replaced them with some simple white ones โ€“ so much better ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_0874

Having listened to Si’s CDs several times now I must say I am seriously impressed by some of the quieter tracks like Bella Principessa, and Daddy’s Gotcha. Not a bad tune in the bunch so yep I am now officially a fan (but not a groupie!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Viva!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Clothing, Events, Music, Reviews

 

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Take a step back in time with Twinwood…

Well it’s taken a while and my apologies for not posting but it’s been madly hectic!! The good news is that what is undoubtedly the highlight of my year finally arrived โ€“ the Twinwood vintage music and dance festival took place as always over the August Bank holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have never been then you need to make this a date for your diary. We went on the Sunday and were blessed with sunshine. As usual we took a picnic table, folding chairs, blankets and a mouthwatering picnic. Settled in front of the main stage we watched John Miller (Glenn’s nephew) and his orchestra. I abserlootley love that big band sound – there’s nothing else like it on earth.

John Miller at Twinwood

A more modern take on that sound was given by The Jive Aces – these boys rock the house – and some of you may remember them from Britain’s Got Talent when they became the first big band of their kind to make it to the semi finals.

The Jive Aces at Twinwood

Apart from the main stage there are two marquees including one for lessons and another stage for smaller bands and singers – complete with obligatory dance floor and believe me there’s no need to urge anyone to get up and dance cos as soon as those tunes start the whole show is jumpin! I was really pleased to see some familiar faces from my dance class also out having a great time :-).

For those of us seeking a few additions to our wardrobes there are loads of stalls to choose from including familiar faces Freddies of Pinewood (I love those jeans and bought another two pairs!), Rocket Originals (yep – had to get another top!) and everything from shoes to petticoats to suits, hats, gloves – all new, nearly new or indeed vintage. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful new, white and red-spotted Betty Page circle dress at a wonderfully reduced price and as it was my birthday my beloved insisted on completing my outfit with a full red petticoat and some very pretty red checked wedge sandals, complete with hanging strawberries, from Miss Bamboo (I’m a lucky girl :-))

Another great new outfit!

If shopping’s not your thing then how about a bit of culture with the museum and the watchtower – both are filled with fascinating displays and images which are regularly updated to give a new focus to different aspects of a time forgotten. But it doesn’t matter how many times I see itย I always learn something new and feel blessed to have benefited from the actions of such dedicated people during the war.

Of course if wheels and engines hold any sort of fascination for you then watch out for the lines of vintage carsย  – pretty impressive and clearly lovingly restored.

The day wouldn’t be complete without chips and a hot cuppa (yes I know I had a picnic) from one of the many food and drink stalls around, or time in the bars.

……………Roll on August 2013 – Twinwood returns and I’m off to book my tickets ๐Ÿ˜‰

Viva!

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Clothing, Events, Music, Reviews

 

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