Vintage Caravan Style – Review and Giveaway!

Hi all,

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago asking if I’d review a book and organise a giveaway through my blog  I don’t think that someone could have picked a more perfect book title for me to read if they’d tried (particularly not at the moment!)

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As my boyfriend’s camper is almost at the stage of being ‘decorated’ (to a certain extent anyway), it was great to be able to look through this book and get some good ideas of what we wanted to do.  With everything from simple ‘original’ looking interiors to some very extravagantly themed caravans it was so interesting to see what can be done with such  small space!

Seeing so many classic cars with matching caravans must surely be enough to make anyone want to go out and buy themselves one? No? Just me?  There was everything from flamingo outdoor decor (a bit kitsch for my tastes) to super cool 60s tupperware and crocheted blanket combos.

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The book goes through everything from how to buy your dream caravan, how to restore it, decorate it and keep it looking at its best.  I always think the best bit of this type of book is the pictures!  There’s definitely a lot of inspiration to be found in there, even if it’s a home or a summer house you’re looking to decorate!

This is potentially my dream kitchen, AND IT'S IN A CARAVAN.

This is potentially my dream kitchen, AND IT’S IN A CARAVAN.

I have a copy of the book to giveaway too so all you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post! Simple!  You can find more out about the author here and about the book launch here.  Winner will be picked at random on April 20th!

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That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo

Hey I Put Some New Shoes on and Suddenly Everything’s Right.

Hi all,

Well I seem to buy shoes more often that I drink coffee. It gets frustrating as I fall in love with a pair of shoes, get them reaaaaaally comfy and worn in, and then I have to buy new ones.  And I never seem to find ones that are as good as the last pair.  Or…I buy exactly the same ones.  After giving in when I wore the last pair through I grabbed a cheap patent pair of flats from Primark.  Even with thick sheepskin inner soles in it felt like I was walking on tarmac with bare soles.

Yesterday after a sly comment about how I should really buy some new shoes rather than looking at pretty dresses, I dragged myself into town and round the usual shops.  I ended up buying a pair of brogues from Clarks and a pair of low heels from Debenhams.

The brogues aren’t my usual colour of black so I’m a tad worried about whether the ox blood high shine flats I plumped for will go with everything in my wardrobe but they looked soooooo amazing on that I wasn’t leaving without them.  Do Clarks have magic mirrors in their shops that mean your legs instantly look longer and leaner and you’re just forced to buy shoes?  I’m going to say yes to make me feel better about the amount I spend everytime I go into a Clarks shop.  They only seem to have them on the website in a patent black but there’s a link here anyway.

The colour doesn't show very well but they're just a bit nice!

The colour doesn’t show very well but they’re just a bit nice!

 

The second are again not my usual patent black flats and when I saw them on the shelf I wasn’t exactly bowled over but put them on and they looked ace.  Add to that the fact that they’re super duper comfy and you’ll realise how I toddled off to the cashier and put my card into the machine.  You can find a link to them here.

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I think there’s something missing from them.  They do look gorgeous but I’m used to having shoes with something on them.  I’m rather tempted to buy some bows from the lovely Miss B Millinery like these.  I’ll probably wear them for a few days or a week or so to see what I think but I am soooooooooo tempted.

That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo

Pomades Galore

Hi all,

Regular readers of my little blog will know that one of my top tips for super sleek hair doos for both men and women is the delightful stuff that can be found under the name of ‘pomade’.  Now what is pomade I hear you ask? Or, I hear my friend Ellie from Darlings Vintage ask as she shouts at me for constantly wittering on about it and yet never properly explaining what it is and what it should be used for.

Pomade is a greasy, jelly substance that’s used instead of a gel or a wax on hair.  It’s usually a lot more hardwearing than other hair styling substances and usually takes a fair amount of effort to wash it out.  If you’re like me and you wear your hair up in similar styles every day then it’s perfect, however if you’re a bloke that has to wear a suit to work and doesn’t want to have a rockabilly quiff every day of the week then it may not be so perfect for you.

There are two main types of pomade, water based, and non-water based.  The water based ones tend to be a lot easier to wash out.  You can buy super duper shampoos that claim to rid your hair of all pomadey-goodness but I’ve never found I’ve had to use one.  I suppose it depends on your hair type!

The reason for this post is that a few weeks ago I got TWOOOO new tins of pomade within a couple of days.  It was a brilliant way of comparing them really as they are very very different considering they’re supposed to do the same thing.

 

Here are the two I plumped for...'Murray's Hair-Glo' and 'Layrite Deluxe Super Shine Pomade'

Here are the two I plumped for…’Murray’s Hair-Glo’ and ‘Layrite Deluxe Super Shine Pomade’

 

I’ve wanted Layrite pomade for a very long time (I recommended it to Mr Norton whose blog post you can read here) – it was a gift so I was more than a bit excited when I got my hands on it.  It’s a water based pomade and so it should go in and wash out very easily.  I must say I was rather surprised by the texture of it, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever used.  

 

It's like a very thick cream...rather than the soft mouldable jelly that I'm used to.

It’s like a very thick cream…rather than the soft mouldable jelly that I’m used to.

 

I’ve used it a few times and am determined to persevere as it must be amazing to have as good a reputation as it has.  The main part that I struggled with was keeping it away from hair that I don’t want ‘pomaded’.  I generally only use it on the front of my hair but I found if I brushed past the back of my hair it would get stuck and I’d have to try and brush it out without leaving a blobby mess.  I think I’m going to try heating it up a little bit first to make it easier to work with.

 

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This is the Murray’s pomade that I’ve fallen in love with.

 

I bought this Murray’s pomade from Paul’s Hair World in Manchester purely for the packaging and it ended up being amazing.  It’s really soft and has a similar consistency to petroleum jelly.  Also…it smells INCREDIBLE.  I think this would be a lot better for ladies with long hair wanting to tame their post-set hair as well as helping with victory rolls and other up doos.

 

This was quite hard to photograph but I think you get the point...

This was quite hard to photograph but I think you get the point…

 

I introduced a friend to pomade recently and asked her how she was getting on with it, she says that it’s helping her to tame the ‘Brian May look’ that often comes after a tight pin curl/foam roller set.  I laughed quite a lot at the thought of her dressed as Brian May but anyway I hope this has given many of you an insight into what on earth pomade is and may well tempt you to invest in some!  If you struggle with the first one you buy then do try again, I’ve found some that work amazingly on my hair and terrible on other people’s so do keep going!

That’s all for now folks,

Miss B xoxo

Vintage in Berlin

Hi all,

You can consider me well and truly rested (well sort of!)  after a full week away from work.  I had a fab time in my German town, followed by a trip to Berlin and managed to find a few vintage shops along the way.

I discovered an amazing vintage specs shop in the Altstadt of Münster - the Germans really do have better taste when it comes to specs than we do (aside from Madam's Vintage of course)

I discovered an amazing vintage specs shop in the Altstadt of Münster – the Germans really do have better taste when it comes to specs than we do (aside from Madam’s Vintage of course)

 

Even though this was my fourth time in Berlin, I still got to do all the touristy things that I love! Everyone, meet the Ampelmann!

Even though this was my fourth time in Berlin, I still got to do all the touristy things that I love! Everyone, meet the Ampelmann!

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This was just asking for a selfie, or ‘usie’ as it technically should be…

I had a huge list of vintage shops that I wanted to go to while away, but with only 2 days in Berlin time was fairly limited.  There are a series of charity shops in Berlin called Humana.  There are 13 over the city and we chose to go to the biggest (presuming that it would be the best!) in Friedrichshain.  There’s even one store on Alexanderplatz so you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason NOT to go to one.  I’m struggling to put into words just how big this place was…4 floors (plus an extra mezzanine level) PACKED with clothes.  Imagine your local chazza shop (all organised in rainbow order, naturally) but about 30 times bigger.  There was a lot of 80s/polyester to trawl through but I’m sure that if you had some time on your hands you’d be able to find some real bargains.  There was about 4 carousels of women’s leather jackets, it really was massive!

The real joys of Humana could be found on the top floor…the vintage floor!  Yes folks, a whole floor dedicated to vintage.  Now, you’re right in presuming that there was some awful items to be found up there (think 70s sequined ball gown with hooped skirt) but among some of the rather odd finds were some absolute gems.  There was a rail of vintage tweed skirts of which I could have happily bought about 60 (all priced between 5 and 15 euros), an amazing selection of vintage shoes (none big enough for my fat feet unfortunately) and men’s suits galore.

It’s definitely worth a visit but leave enough time to do the top floor justice (also if you’re anything like me then you may need to leave yourself 15 minutes to climb all the stairs up to the vintage section).  We carried on from Humana to Gaudeli’s Vintage (about a 10 minute walk) and were really impressed by what we found inside.  It was a fab little vintage store with men’s, women’s and a few bits of homeware too. I mentally spent about 200 euros in the 10 minutes I was in the shop.  I’d definitely say it was worth a visit if you’re in the city and I’m sure you’d find something that you’d want to take home with you!

If you’re visiting Berlin then I’d recommend reading this Guardian article that lays out 10 of the best vintage shops in the city.

That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo

Exam Stress & A Lack of Inspiration

Hi all,

Well it may have seemed like I dropped off the face of the universe but for the past 4 weeks I’ve been working hard towards my exams out in Germany.  They finally ended yesterday so I can relax for a few weeks until it all starts again.  It hasn’t really sunk in yet that they’ve finished but closing all the revision tabs that have been open on my laptop for far too long now didn’t half feel good!

After a few days of gathering my brain back together I’m now ready to face the world again! I’ve been reading tonnes and loved every second of it.  I think after a period of mind numbingly boring revision it’s important to get your mojo back and get some new inspiration.  February is always a time of running out of winter outfits that aren’t exactly the same as what you wore yesterday and seeing the new S/S14 collections role out on the catwalks and blogs doesn’t help with the feeling that you’d rather be somewhere just a little warmer.

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I’ll let you all think that this is what I’ve looked like whilst taking a break…the reality is quite the opposite!

I’ll be on a plane back to England this time next week, after a short trip to Berlin.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share all of the amazing vintage finds I’ve uncovered there, I’ve been doing plenty of research on vintage shops so fingers crossed it pays off!  I should be back in ol’ Blighty for about 4 weeks so if you’ve got any good events on your calendar then do share – I’m hoping to get lots done before I head back over here at the start of April.

 

Well I shall leave you all with a few articles and blogs that have cheered me up recently, enjoy!

1) I shared the following article on Facebook a week or so ago, written by Solanah of Vintage Vixen this is now one of a 3 part blog about an evolving vintage wardrobe that is becoming, well, less vintage!

Confessions of a Former Vintage Addict: Part

2) And now two articles written by the lovely Ruby Armoire about perceptions of vintage clothing and just how ruddy good they can make you feel…

Intimidate at Will and Respect and Protect

3) I read this post by A Brighton Belle whilst curled up in a ball of self pity and it didn’t half cheer me up.  It’s easy to forget how wonderful ‘home’ is and there’s nothing more beautiful than hearing old stories from loved ones.

Nora’s Novelty Print

 

I’ve got lots of things in the pipeline, and the best bit is, I now have time to crack on with them all!

That’s all for now folks,

Miss B xoxo

My Top 5 Etsy Vintage Sellers

Hi all,

In keeping with my last post I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak into my rather extensive Etsy favourites list and share my favourite 5 vintage sellers on there.  For those of you that have never used Etsy, it’s the home of thousands of individual shops, selling either vintage or handmade wares.  The quality of shops on there is usually very very good and you’re protected as both a buyer/seller by Etsy and also by Paypal – I’m happy to say I’ve bought quite a lot off Etsy and have never had any problems *touch wood*.

1) Stutterin’ Mama

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2) Advantage in Vintage

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3) Darlings Vintage

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4) Fab Gabs

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5) Vera Mode

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All of the above sellers have a brilliant reputation and really know their stuff.  They all have their own individual style and specialities too so make sure you have a snoop around to see what’s on offer!  I usually find that sellers are happy to help with any questions you’ve got, especially regarding size etc.  Let me know if you buy anything from any of the above shops, I’d love to see what spoils you get!

That’s all for now folks,

Miss B xoxo

Pure Vintage

Hi all,

Now as you all know, I like shopping.  I like buying new clothes.  I like vintage clothes.  I like vintage reproduction clothes.  Yet of late I’ve been completely and utterly fed up with reproduction clothing companies.  I’ve had clothing sent to me with faults, I’ve had clothes break after two weeks and some arrive looking completely different to how they did on the website.

A reminder to myself that I DO love repro!

A reminder to myself that I DO love repro!

When I first started buying repro it felt like I was joining a little club, like I was part of an elite group of customers but now I seem to feel like I’m a faceless person at the end of a long list and that quite frankly I’m a pain in the bum.  I haven’t made an order with a repro clothing company since September that I haven’t had to complain about.  I thought maybe it was just me, letting my bad experiences build up but after speaking to a few friends I’ve realised it’s not just me!

Anyway, enough of the whinging, I thought I’d be better off actually doing something about it! And so, I’ve decided to buy vintage.  Although this shouldn’t be surprising, with me being a vintage blogger and all, I’ve realised that I’ve been buying less and less vintage recently.  I invested in repro knowing that it would be easier to look after and care for, but I’ve come to the conclusion that handwashing a few things would be a lot less effort than all the e-mails I’ve been putting my time into recently.

So when I got some money as a gift I knew that it was going to be VINTAGE I bought with it. True, mid-century goodness.

Bought from 1919Vintage on Etsy - lemony goodness, no?

Bought from 1919Vintage on Etsy – lemony lemony goodness, no?

 

So from now on, I’m going to attempt to ONLY buy vintage.  I may fall at times so if you see me buying lots of new repro then feel free to remind me of my promise!  There are soooo many incredible vintage shops out there so I ought to do better by them and buy from them!  So, my new campaign for 2014…buy vintage!

See, look at how happy I am in vintage!

See, look at how happy I am in vintage!

That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo

House Wife Magazine 1958 – Quiz on Nylons

Hi all,

Amongst my many loves in life are vintage magazines and especially the adverts inside them.  Included in my haul of Christmas presents this year was a couple of old magazines!  I started flicking through ‘House Wife’ magazine from May 1958 and found a ‘Quiz on Nylons’, I tested myself and I must say that I only got about 3 right! – for someone so obsessed with undercrackers, I was a bit ashamed of myself!

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I wanted to share it with you all as I thought it was absolutely brilliant.  These days our magazines have quizzes on how much on a scale of one to ten does our other half really truly love us.  Personally, I’d much rather learn about stocking gauges *nerd face*

So, if you take the quiz, compare with the answers below, and then leave your score in the comments box, I’d love to see how you all got on! – I’ve put a few of my favourite adverts from the magazine in between the questions so enjoy!

1) How many different stocking manufacturers are there?

2) Denier means the thickness of the nylon thread.  How many deniers are there? 

3)  What are the advantages of the ‘twin-thread’ stocking over a normal one of the same denier and gauge?

4) Why is a 15 denier, 60 gauge stocking more expensive than a 15 denier, 51 gauge stocking?

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5) Under what names are circular-knit stockings sold in the shops?

6) What is the difference between fully-fashioned and circular-knit?

7) How can you spot the difference between the two types of stockings when you are buying?

8) Why is it silly to wear stockings that are too long?

9) Does a stocking ladder more easily if it is too loose or too tight?

10) If you have a small foot and a long leg, should you buy a stocking half a size larger than you actually take?

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11) What is the warmest type of nylon?

12) Is there any type of nylon which absorbs more perspiration than any other?

13) Which nylon stocking is most suitable for heavy country wear?

14) Why do nylon stockings ladder from the toe?

15) How can you find out your correct stocking size at home?

16) Should your nylons, ideally, be paler, darker, or the same shade as your skin?

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17) How long can nylons be stored?

18) What is the best way to store them?

19) Which type of stocking is best for you if you have a small foot and a heavy thigh?

And now are you ready for the answers?

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How did you score?  Have you ever found any amazing articles in vintage magazines?

That’s all for now folks,

Miss B xoxo

2013 Best Buys

Hi all,

Well I’ve had a cracking Christmas and have managed to eat out practically every day so am heading back to Germany some what heavier than I arrived here in ol’ Blighty a few weeks ago.  I saw in the New Year last night in comfort (ie. sat in front of The Hootenanny with copious amounts of gin) and after reading a few reflective blogs on the past year, decided to give my own first post of 2013 a slightly different approach.

Here we have a mini awards ceremony of my favourite purchases (vintage and otherwise) of 2013!

Best beauty purchase:

Without a doubt this goes to the ‘stippling brush‘ that I bought from Boots a wee while back.  It gives a great finish to liquid foundation and buffs it into the skin rather than leaving it sat on top of the skin like many standard brushes.  There are a number of such brushes available from various different manufacturers so do shop around!

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Best reproduction clothing purchase:

I think this one has to go to the Vivien of Holloway circle skirt.  Over the past year I’ve gained 6 of these and they’ve become a staple in my wardrobe.  Perfect in winter with a simple jumper or in summer with a plain t-shirt – I’ll no doubt be getting more and more!

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Craziest thing I bought:

Well I think buying a business falls fairly well into this category!  Madam’s Vintage has grown rather rapidly since my takeover in June and I’m ruddy proud (even if I may say so myself!).  Whilst I’m here I should also probably point out that you can see us (even if it is going to be teeny tiny) in February’s edition of Vogue UK (it still hasn’t begun to sunk in yet and I’ll no doubt be doing deep breathing exercises when I get my hands on a copy!)

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Favourite outfit:

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Consisting of a fan tail Tara Starlet skirt, vintage red short sleeved jumper and Collectif knitted cape – this was the perfect summers day outfit!

Best lingerie purchase:

Well this one, as I’m sure you can imagine, was a tricky one!  In the end I chose the What Katie Did waspie.  Well, both of them really.  I have had the cabaret waspie for some time, and got bought the glamour waspie for a Christmas prezzie.  Both are absolutely brilliant and give a waspish waist in comfort with no lacing or corsetry in sight.  The advantage of the glamour waspie is the 4 detachable suspender clips, making it a 2 in 1 suspender belt AND waspie.  However, the cabaret waspie does have an incredible sheer panel at the front making it a little nicer to look at (in my humble opinion).  It has been suggested that both could be used as a belt too although I’m yet to try that one!

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Best hosiery purchase:

These stockings win for their style as they’re truly ace.  A dark stocking with dots and a back seam…what more could a lady want?  Made by Secrets in Lace as part of their Bettie Page collection, they’re also available for UK customers through Sue’s Nylons!

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Best vintage purchase:

Well this was a tough one!  I decided it had to be a clothing purchase in the end (rather than something for my house) and plumped for a hat that I bought from Scarlet Rage Vintage in the summer.  They’ve just opened an online shop too so it’s well worth checking out even if there’s no chance of you visiting the shop in London!

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Well I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the New Year!

That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo

Presents Presents Presents

Hi all,

This year I made a concerted effort to try and buy as many of my Christmas presents from small independent businesses and I’m rather proud of myself! I only ended up buying 3 things from any sort of large firm. Whoop! Just in case you’re a little late with your shopping, here are a few ideas (just be careful, if you’re expecting something under your tree from me this year then you might get a sneak peak (or a completely spoiled surprise!)

For the fashion conscious man in your life, why not try ‘The Revivalists’ book? – full of incredible photos and articles on the best in men’s vintage fashion – brought to you by the people behind Men’s File Magazine. Available from Lewis Leathers.

As part of Heyday’s 12 days of Christmas this gorgeous playsuit was on a super duper special offer and got knocked down to around £15, one of my best friends had bought it and then felt incredibly guilty as she was on a saving spree.  So…I sent her the money for the suit via PayPal with a note saying that she no longer had to feel naughty as it was on me!  The best bit was that I knew it was something she wanted, would use (although perhaps not until the summer months – brrrrrr!) and I didn’t have to worry about buying the right size either.

Why not also try something like Etsy vouchers? Meaning you know that you’re giving someone something vintage/handmade, BUT it means that you can leave them to decide what they buy, and wherefrom.

Don’t forget that Angel Adoree has also recently brought out a new Vintage Sweets Book…

Although you can buy it through Amazon, there are other online shops that you can buy it through too so have a little shop around!  This prezzie was given to my secret santa, not only comes in on budget at under £10 but who couldn’t like it??

Don’t forget that you can still enter my 1st birthday giveaway to win a little something extra to go under your tree this year.  You can head to my Facebook page for more details > HERE.

That’s all for now folks!

Miss B xoxo