Thursday, 12 April 2012

The journey to vintage...

Where to begin?

You all know that I'm a vintage gal at heart, and that I'm a lot more at home in frocks! It has taken me a long time to embrace this passion for vintage fashion, to the point where I can wear it on an every day basis, and not just when events require it! I'm a long way off being a 24/7 vintage fashionista! But, like a lot of you out there, living in a modern world, it can sometimes seem daunting to let go and let the Rita, Vivien or Audrey inside you loose! I know that certain elements of bygone era's appeal to different people, and I'm definitely more a 40's/50's follower. I always thought that the 1950's was my favourite time in history for feminine fashion, but I find that as I explore my inner vixen, that I'm equally drawn to the silhouettes from the 1940's.

Now, if you like the idea of vintage or retro clothing, and don't quite know how to wear it, stick with me, and I'd like to share with you a little of my journey and how it kicked off for me. Let's talk basics first. What exactly is classed as retro, and what is vintage? These words are casually thrown around, and sometimes used to describe fashion items, without paying attention to the real age of the item. Let me just clarify one thing: I am by no means hung up on the use or so-called misuse of the buzz word, 'vintage'. I merely adhere to a rough guide, that would class a fashion item which is older than 25 years (these days even 20), as being vintage. Anything a hundred years or older is antique, or period. So, for all you die-hard 80's fans, that would mean one cannot really refer to any 1980's clothing as vintage! As for the word 'retro', it is used to refer to something that is new, but made in an older style, so perhaps 'vintage looking'.

I, for one, am really fascinated by the history of clothes, single items, and where they've come from. My knowledge is quite limited, but I long to learn more, as history is something that defines certain styles and lends meaning to garments. Although I truly love authentic vintage, it won't stop me from wearing reproductions, or vintage inspired items. I like to take different elements from different era's, and to incorporate them into my existing wardrobe. I do find that I am becoming more confident to wear things that clearly aren't from the High Street, and perhaps considered 'quirky' by some!

My advice to anyone who would like to try out vintage, but don't know where to start, is to experiment with accessories as a starting point. I did just that by starting off wearing brooches, scarfs or shoes...

A few vintage inspired items...scarf (1980's), new but reminiscent of vintage styles...

A great place to incorporate vintage style, is hair. I have tried a few things...

A romantic, period updo...(Still practising this one!)

A pin curl setting overnight, then brushed out for soft curls...

I then proceeded to wear some lovely (in my opinion, and that's what matters!) dresses I had found on my thrifting journeys.

A very colourful E-bay find...

This quirky number from Rehab Vintage ...

My latest find...I love the vibrant colours in this little number...(Worn with full petticoat for a 5o's silhouette.)

With sensible shoes for the school run...

...or maybe not...(and minus the petticoat)

The best piece of advice that I can give you? Don't take yourself to seriously! Have fun with it! Remember what it was like when you were little and played dress-up? No one judged you for getting it wrong, and the sky was the limit. Adopt a little of that attitude, and above all else, ALWAYS WEAR A SMILE! Without this, you may as well be naked! And on that note...

...just for laughs!

Happiness to you!


  1. Hello sweet Tania! You are truly beautiful dear friend, inwardly and outwardly!!! Like you, I love the 1940's and 1950's best! I enjoyed reading your thoughts and learning from you about vintage! I want to dress that way badly, but I have not been able to find any vintage dresses! I have seen a few on Etsy, but they can be quite expensive. We don't have very good thrift shops in our area, but I when I go out shopping I also look for clothing with a vintage look. Your tips have really helped! You don't look quirky, you look very fashionable!!! I think it is more creative to put together your own look! I love every single gorgeous outfit, your shoes and accessories too! Your hair is so lovely as well! I enjoyed this post and your photos very much! Your home is beautiful too! Thank you for sharing this!
    Much love, Paula xo

    PS~ I love that sweet last photo! :)

  2. Hi Tania,
    Thanks for your lovely comment. I probably sound quite critical of the Czech Rep at the moment, so thanks for being understanding. Sometimes you just need to someone to say, yup, it is understandable that you feel like that and it is ok to feel like that, which is kinda what you said.
    This might sound weird, but I think you also have a face that suits vintage styles and make up. You have that freshness and prettiness and you suit red lippy very well!
    I love all your clothes, they really suit you. Your dresses are gorgeous. I especially love the one ith the sticky outy net. Love the shoes too.
    The updo is absolutely beautiful. I need to be more inventive with my hair.
    I love your bedroom! It looks so cosy and homely, a place I would love to curl up in.
    Lots of love to you sweetie. xxx

  3. Tania...I think you look BEAUTIFUL in your clothes!!! It suits you perfectly! I wish I had the waist for it~ I'm a 50's baby and always loved the 50's~! You go girl!!! ♥♥♥

  4. Love your vintage style! I found your blog through Sew Many Ways. Your blog is so very cute!

  5. Love the dresses! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  6. Dearest Tania,
    Your blog is full of romance, fun, practicality and great ideas! I spent a while exploring your "Sewn With Love" and fell in love with your sewing room...Oh, the red..My very favorite color!
    thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I treasure your comments!
    Carolynn x x x
    Tonight it's snowing..."Oh, Spring..Wherefore art thou?"

  7. What a fun post! My personal style has always leaned toward cowgirl. It surprised my DIL when she met me to discover I owned 20 pairs of cowboy boots.

    I love your shoes in all the pictures.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this. I can relate to you in so many ways!
    I adore the last dress with those magnificent heels! :)


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