Tag Archives: Vintage Vapours

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 admitΒ  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!!


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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Clothing


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Forget the Oscars…have you got a Liebster Award?

awards - royalty free

‘Tis the season to be jolly – well let’s face it Spring has finally sprung and if that doesn’t make you feel like you’re a winner then you must be six feet under!

I am indeed an award winner as earlier this year received I a Liebster award from Adele of My Last Dollar Dress. You can check out her blog here. As I understand it, a Liebster award encourages people to share information about themselves and promote other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. You answer 11 things about yourself, then set up another 11 questions and choose up to 11 candidates.Go to their pages/Twitter to let them know and hey presto, it’s their turn.

Well so far so good – I think I can manage that and it certainly made me think for a minute or two πŸ™‚

Here are my responses to Adele’s questions.

1) What is your favourite flower?

IΒ  must be the only girl in the world who doesn’t like getting flowers! I’m so lazy I really can’t be bothered with that cutting of stalks, feeding food and refreshing the water. Can I say I like flowers in my jewellery? I have loads of earrings and brooches in different flower shapes – and they don’t fade or die off!

2) Who is your favourite designer?

Haven’t got one – I always think dressing well is about knowing your personal style and body shape rather than a slave to any one designer. Well cut skirts and dresses including evening wear, fitted tops, high waisted trousers and fitted jackets from just about anywhere are my thing. I will say that for vintage repro I do tend to get my tops and shoes from Rocket Originals and all my jeans are from Freddies of Pinewood as no one does anything half so well as them!

3) Who was your favourite teacher at school?

I actually have three who made a major impact on me. The first was the new headteacher in my last year of primary school, Lionel Riches (yes that really was his name!). He was the first authority figure in my life who ever actually asked me on any of the occasions WHY I did something that had got me into trouble rather than just punishing me. The others were my English teacher Lorraine Kelleher and head of House Fran Long, at my secondary school. Lorraine fed my love of English with so many extra books and worked my socks off to get me thinking and end my boredom and Fran taught me how to get a handle on my temper. Can honestly say that those three, rather than my parents set my feet on the path to being a reasonable and useful member of society πŸ˜‰

4) Do you have any inspirational quotes that you love?

I’m always seeing quotes all over the place that inspire me and tend to copy them onto the covers of my notepads. Just recently there was one for Jack Daniels Whiskey that said “No one ever built a monument to a committee” – that really made me stop, think and chuckle.Β  But two of my favourites are Jenny Lauren who said “Love your body – it’s the home you live in” and my own personal mantra is “If you go through life without making choices and allow life to make them for you, then you deserve everything that happens to you. Life is for living so choose to live.”

5) If you could be granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

Great health 100% of the time – Generally I’m in pretty good shape but I could definitely do without the migraines i sometimes get. And Time – I never seem to have enough so that would be wonderful. I’m not greedy so those two wishes would be good enough for me πŸ™‚ although world peace wouldn’t be a bad choice for number three!

6) If you had to choose only one pair of shoes to wear for the rest of your life, and throw away the rest, which pair would you save?

Only one pair! For a woman who owns more than 70 pairs I think that’s an impossible choice. Different shoes are needed for different occasions! I just don’t think I could get it down to one choice. But if I was walking around the countryside for the rest of my life I’d want my rugged boots whereas if I was dancing and sharing an evening with family and friends I’d take my metallic red kitten heeled ribbon bow tied ones!

7) Do you have a favourite store on etsy – vintage or otherwise?

Nope! But my favourite vintage store is Ollie Vees in Leighton Buzzard – everything from records to buttons and zips and recently they added a coffee bar. Every time I even peek through the window on my way home after they’re shut I see something I must have and find myself phoning up to reserve it!!

8) Describe your perfect day.

Waking up without an alarm, then spending time walking outdoors with my guy before dressing up for cinema and dinner at the Rex and the Gatsby in Berkhamsted – a 1930s refurbished cinema and restaurant.

9) How long do you think you’ll continue to blog?

For as long as I can find the time! and interesting things to share. I started the blog to reach out to others with the same interests since no family or friends are remotely interested in the 1940s and 1950s.

10) Recommend a musician/band that I should listen to.

Si Cranstoun – anything he sings just makes you want to start jiving.

11) What is your favourite thing about yourself?

My capacity to adapt. I’m quite a girly girl and love dressing up but I can just as easily deal with a blocked washing machine or get covered in grease tackling the broken side stand of my motorbike rather than wait for my bloke to rescue me. Although if I truly am at risk of breaking a nail I’m pleased that my guy is happy to step up and be my hero πŸ™‚


Award picNow I will admit that I got nominated in February and meant to respond straightaway but as you can see time did indeed march on without me and we’re almost at the end of April. So I won’t take it personally if any of my nominees do the same or fail to respond πŸ˜›

And I nominate:

I’ve added links where I can so you can also go straight to their blogs.

question markAnd here are my questions:

  1. How or where did your love of vintage begin?
  2. If there was one person, dead or alive, whom you could style, who would it be and why?
  3. Why did you start your blog?
  4. Recommend a good book to me whether it’s instructional, factual or fictional?
  5. Who do you credit with having the biggest impact on you?
  6. What do you like best about yourself?
  7. Recommend a great cafe and say why?
  8. Chocolate or alcohol?
  9. Flats or high heels?
  10. What three things can’t you live without (apart from immediate family, partner or pet)?
  11. If I gave you Β£100 what would you spend it on?

I look forward to reading your answers, and my thanks to Adele for nominating me for my first Liebster award!



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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 ofΒ  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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

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.Β  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 πŸ˜›



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


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