Have you been looking for some fabulous (yet affordable!) vintage pieces to jazz up your wardrobe, without a moth ball in sight? Well, look no further dear, stylish reader! Let us introduce you to the wonderful Thirty 8 Birds over at ASOS Marketplace. You are most welcome.
Considering I (Victoria) am completely obsessed with ASOS, I’m quite embarrassed that it has taken me this long to seriously explore ASOS Marketplace. Now that I have, I’m completely hooked. With 800 boutiques selling new and vintage items from around the world, I will never have to leave the house to go shopping again. Hopefully Jo will agree my proposal to rename the blog She and Hermit.
Jo wore white vintage 90’s dungarees with black polka-dots, black tights from UK Tights and a mustard top from Marks and Spencer. She accessorised with flat black boots from Topshop, heart sunglasses from Moschino via TK Maxx and one of the best novelty bags I’ve ever seen (and I’m not just saying that because I bought it for her…) from Next, which is also available here. In true She and Hem style, we decided to go a little matchy matchy, so I wore monochrome gingham dungarees, which are still available here, with black tights from UK Tights. My white chunky heels were an awesome ASOS bargain and my coordinating polka-dot sunglasses are from Primark.
On the short walk home from the shoot we found the perfect place to sit, have a quick catch up, throw blossom at each other and think of the perfect quote for the Tombola’s True Friendship feature, and here is what we came up with!
If you pay Thirty8Birds a visit and like what you see, you can get 10% off your first order when you follow them on Instagram @Thirty8birds
On Saturday, I popped over to Chepstow in Wales to attend a vintage street fayre organised by Vintage Vision and lots of fab volunteers who all love all things vintage! Due to the rather inclement weather, the fayre was moved from the street and into a local village hall. Fortunately, what could have been a damp squib turned out to be the perfect location for the variety of charming stalls made up of vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. There was also a design workshop for children, so their parents could focus on oodles of shopping. I spotted some gorgeous vintage clothes for children, and my niece and I fell for this floral dress below.
The ladies at Vintage Vision have a good understanding of what constitutes ‘vintage’ and will sell items from 1880 to 1980 that are classically beautiful, fashionable or just plain lovely. They are also up for a good party and have a unique selection of ‘cheesy’ vintage for fancy dress. I popped into the shop after visiting the fayre and they currently have some really beautiful 1950’s dresses in stock, so if you are local, do pay a visit!
Here at She and Hem, we are positively gaga about Lady V London, a web based company who specialise in 1950’s style reproduction dresses. As you will learn, this obsession all started with a wedding but thanks to their timeless style, originality and affordability Lady V has now become our go to place for dresses for all occasions.
The quality of the dresses is superb and, unlike a lot of their competition, Lady V support British business and workers! They have chosen to make 90% of their dresses in London after visiting China and seeing the awful conditions the workers face there. We really admire this and it makes us love them even more!
We gathered together our own merry band of fellow Lady V lovers, in the form of the beautiful Ellie, Kelly, Deesha & Leah (seen L-R above) to find out what exactly it is that makes Lady V stand out from the crowd.
Leah: I love this dress. It actually belongs to Jo and I thought about sneaking off after the shoot and fleeing to Mexico with said dress. The colour is really beautiful and the print is bold, but with muted colours so it doesn’t feel too ‘in your face’. This dress was a perfect fit already, but the tie at the back makes it feel tailor made. I love the neckline, the back and the length. This dress felt really well made and expensive, but I’ve since discovered that the collection is a bit of a bargain so I’ve already ordered a dress from the Lady V website so that I’ll be all set for the next summer wedding.
Kelly: My dress started out as a Bridesmaid dress, and I couldn’t have been happier with Jo’s choice! I love anything floral and with yellowy tones, so I knew that it would be great for the wedding’s vintage theme and that I would also love wearing it again after the event. I love the fit of the swing dress as it really flatters my figure and I have had so many compliments that I am looking to expand my collection soon!
Victoria: When I saw this dress on the Lady V site, I fell in love and knew it had to be mine. The design is original and classic and is perfect for my figure. I like to wear a dress with a clinched in waist and a full circle skirt as I find them not only the most flattering, but also the most fun! As you can see I love nothing more than to spin around, be silly and use the full skirt to create great shapes for photographs. This dress looks absolutely stunning with a 1950’s style petticoat and can be styled in so many ways for different occasions, which is why I can see myself wearing this beauty forever. The print and shape are both beautiful and timeless. We wore our dresses on a beautiful hot summer day, but I can definitely see myself wearing this over the Christmas period with some bright tights and a cardigan. I now have my eye on the gorgeous turquoise floral swing dress.
Jo: I first discovered Lady V when frantically searching for the perfect Bridesmaid dresses. I remember very early in the process sitting down with Ellie and discussing my dream criteria – 50’s shape, not a high neckline, be fun to twirl around in, floral print, mustard tones and not expensive. I didn’t expect to find the perfect dress and after several months of scouring the highstreet, bridal boutiques (being quoted eye watering amounts of money) and the internet I had pretty much given up all hope! But THEN after one of my many ’50’s wedding’ Google sessions, I discovered Lady V and have never looked back! It is an absolute gem of a website and was exactly what I wanted. The girls all looked stunning in their dresses and they received so many compliments! People assumed I had spent a fortune on them! I am absolutely thrilled that they inspired so many people to check out Lady V and obviously it wasn’t long before I had to buy one for myself! I really love the shape and high neckline of their tea dresses and think they really flatter my figure. I love that I can dress it up with a petticoat but equally I can wear it with flats and a cardigan. The Red Poppy number you can see above is my absolute new favourite dress! I love the big bold print and think it has a lovely retro feel about it.
Ellie: I’ve always suspected that I should have been a woman in the 50’s. Despite the horrific discrimination women experienced, they seemed to get fashion spot on. My figure is somewhat curvy and the cinched waists and full skirts really flatter an hourglass figure. However, there has never been anything of this style available on the high street – amazingly it’s a fashion that hasn’t come around again. Trawling the Internet proved unsuccessful for the empty of purse such as myself. Then, Jo discovered Lady V! Beautiful fabrics and brilliant fitting dresses that never fail to attract attention and compliments whenever I’ve worn them. And best of all, fantastic value. People always ask where I got my Lady V black and white dress and when I tell them the price they are positively astounded. My one request would be for pockets (I’m obsessed with pockets!) but other than that, these dresses are perfect in every way.
Deesha: I was introduced to Lady V by Jo a few months ago – she recommended me purchasing one of these fabulous beauties when I was lusting after the gorgeous dresses she had her bridesmaids wear. I flicked through the dazzling selection and the Lemon Fruit Print Tea Dress caught my eye – from that instant I knew I had to have that level of zest in my life! I wore it to my 21st fundraiser-birthday bash and it looked a treat, if I do say so myself. I love teaming it with bright colours but also subtle shades so the jolly lemon pattern stands out.
Prices range between £30 and £50 and the dresses are available in sizes 8 to 24. They often add new stock to the website to suit every shape, size and personality.
A big thank you to the girls for letting us take millions of photos of them! It was excellent fun, although we do feel a slight responsibility to point out that the railway you see above is a disused one! Don’t play on the tracks, kids! And just in case you were all feeling curious about those bridesmaid dresses…..
Last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of attending my beautiful friend Anna’s hen do! I had been excited about this day for months as Anna is a very creative lady and I knew her hen would be something special – and I was not wrong!
It was a bright and early start as we met at Premier Apartments in Bristol city centre. Anna’s ‘angels’ had been busy working their magic as when I arrived at 9am the place was fully decked out with bunting, vintage china, lovely throws and lots of yummy food! It was wonderful to walk in to! After the Bucks Fizz had been duly handed out, it was down to business for the real reason we had all got up so bright and early! Hair!
Anna had booked three girls from the Pop Up Parlour to give our hair a vintage makeover! There was a lot of excitement (and a few nervous giggles) as we worked our way through the look-book the girls had provided. I was finding it very difficult to decide as I have a lot of hair but I am in no way adventurous with it. I don’t tend to wear my hair up, as I don’t think it suits me, but it seemed such a waste to not to go for it! Plus, it was so outrageously warm I was quite keen on the idea of having the barnet up and out of the way!
My vintage look was created by Faye, who as luck would have it, I actually already knew! She went to school with my BFF Ellie and I’ve been lucky enough to have her do my makeup on more than one occasion. This was the first time she had done my hair but she’s incredibly talented and did an absolutely smashing job! I love that she decided to leave a ponytail at the back so that I still had some of the length! I felt like a real vintage princess.
After the hair was completed, it was time for a mosey into town for a glass of bubbly at the Riverstation. My seat gave me the perfect vantage point to take some hair photos! Aren’t they brilliant? The Pop Up Parlour did such an amazing job choosing different styles that would suit everyone.
We had been asked in our invitations to wear vintage inspired dresses and, as you can see, we certainly all looked the part! I wore a lovely yellow Lady V London dress which I had bought especially. I had been eyeing it up for some time and this was just the occasion it warranted! I wore it with my, now obligatory, white heart sunglasses, my red Zatchel and my new horse and carriage necklace from Tatty Devine. The lovely orange flower you can see in my hair was provided by the Pop Up Parlour.
After a few token photos with Gromit, it was time to board a boat to Beese’s Tea Gardens! The cruise was absolutely excellent, especially due to the soundtrack of Backstreet Boys and ‘N sync! It may not have fitted the vintage theme but you really haven’t lived until you’ve dressed up in your vintage finery and sung along to Dirty Pop on a river cruise.
Whilst on the boat we were each given a lovely pearl necklace to wear to the tea party that awaited us. Anna’s very talented sister had made them all using necklaces she had picked up from car boot sales and charity shops and then attached pretty ribbons to them. I love mine and will definitely be wearing it again!
Once at Beese’s we were absolutely spoiled with a humongous spread of sandwiches and cream tea. The size of the bowl of cream drew gasps of astonishment when it was brought out! I think we made a lot of the other customers rather jealous with our lovely little bunting filled corner, our veritable feast and, of course, our outrageously glamorous appearance.
It was then time for the traditional party games to begin! Anna had the joy of being presented with a ‘vintage tea party’ lucky dip, which each hen had contributed to. Over the course of the day she unearthed treats such as a teapot, milk jugs, a cake stand and beautiful embroidered napkins! There was also an excellent game of Mr & Mrs, in which Anna proved herself to be infuriatingly knowledgeable about her husband to be, and a game of Kiss the Frog! (think Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only with less donkey and more kissing).
As it was such a beautiful day, we ended up staying at Beese’s well into the evening. It’s an absolutely beautiful place, located right next to the river Avon and surrounded by a wooded bank. Founded in 1846, it’s lauded as Bristol’s best kept secret and despite only being about a 15 minute drive away, it certainly feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
It was a truly phenomenal hen do and I feel absolutely honoured to have been a part of it! It can sometimes be a little daunting spending a day with people you don’t know but Anna’s friends were all so friendly and welcoming. We all had a great time and I can’t wait to see them all again at the wedding in a few weeks time! I will no doubt be blogging about that too, as trust me when I say it’s going to be stunning!
A big thank you to ‘angel’ Joey Beard who, you may have noticed, has kindly let me use a lot of her photos for the blog post. She’s a very creative lady too! You can check out her website here and I also highly recommend you watch the winning film from The Encounters Festival 2012 0117 Hour Film Challenge, “Wind”, with which both Anna and Joey were involved. It’s brilliant!
A couple of months ago, the lovely Deesha (of MS Fundraising fame) rather marvelously won a Tea Party for herself and her friends at Bristol based Cox & Baloney. If you’ve never been there before, it’s a wonderful hybrid of vintage shop and tea room that’s beautifully decorated throughout with gorgeous wallpaper, mirrors, signs and furniture. It’s also filled to the brim with the most beautiful vintage crockery! It’s an absolute dream come true!
The date was set for July 14th so last Sunday we prepared ourselves for a good old spoiling!
First up was a little browse around the shop, which stocks a great selection of vintage and handpicked items. You can tell a lot of care and thought has gone into what they stock with brands such as Emily and Fin and Trollied Dolly rubbing shoulders with vintage items on the rail.
After we took our seats, we were asked to choose a pot of tea each from their extensive menu! On seeing our overwhelmed faces we were encouraged by the lovely staff to come and smell the teas, which were all in pretty jars around the counter. This was actually a rather wonderful experience and certainly helped with the decision making! I plumped for Greensleeves, a lovely and refreshing green tea whilst Victoria went for Sir Bountiful, a rather coconuty affair. Sufficed to say, we were all very happy with our choices.
Much excitement duly ensued when we were presented with a variety of tiered cake stands, jam packed with sandwiches, cakes and scones! We then proceeded to have a very civilised (and delicious) high tea. We were never wanting for anything as the staff ensured that anything we liked was replenished until we were all truly full! Victoria was rather taken with their brownie whilst I might actually have dreams about the lavender cake. It was scrumptious!
Once we had all finished we were then asked to choose our teapot cocktails! There was a lot of excitement around the table as menus were dished out and we pursued the variety of alcoholic delights on offer.
As you may well have noticed, we have been experiencing some rather hot weather of late, which left us all feeling a little flustered. As part of the prize a photographer was due to take photographs of us so we had been asked to wear our finest vintage frocks! We were all so excited about the opportunity to get all dressed up but sadly, due to the heat, a lot of the dresses simply weren’t going to be appropriate. We certainly still tried our best to look glamorous but it’s very hard to achieve when your knees are burnt, your hair is stuck to your face and you’re fanning yourself with whatever comes to hand, which in my case was Kelly’s lovely straw boater! I was definitely feeling the heat but as you can see I was in very glamorous company. I opted to wear my Cath Kidston sail boat dress as it’s lovely and cool and ticked the vintage look I was going for. The blue on the dress matched my glasses from Glasses Direct perfectly. Victoria decided to choose the lightest dress she owned for the balmy occasion, which was a floral Therapy dress from House of Fraser.
It was an absolutely wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. If you are in the area make sure you add Cox and Baloney to your list of places to visit. It’s a truly special place and we must all support it!
A big thank you to all the staff for looking after us and to Deesha for winning the prize!
I love a good frock, kittens and swooning over Ryan Gosling, but I’m no girly girl! Oh no, I steer clear of butterflies, manicures and high heels, and according to my medical records, I’m (literally!) allergic to pink. Pink food colouring that is, but you get the idea. So imagine my surprise when I fell for a sugar-sweet candy pink satchel this week. This satchel was made for me – it’s even called Victoria. It’s part of the glorious ‘London Calling’ collection by Tom Brown’s Satchels, and if you ask nicely, it’s also available as a backpack.
While browsing the satchels on offer, I came across the metallic silver Buchanan, which is part of the trendy ‘Gatsby’ collection. I certainly recommend investing in a good quality satchel. They are so handy and look great with most outfits, smart or casual. I think I’ll embrace my inner Daisy and take them both please Tom!
Next up, two vintage style lovelies from cloth-ears, a family business from my favourite part of Kent, Whitstable. Here’s one for you crafty types out there. This quirky needle and thread bracelet features a teeny sewing machine, thimble and scissor charms, and it’s a real snip for £16.99.
Continuing the vintage style, this Paper Plane Necklace is sure to make a dull day zooming by with its colourful stripey ribbon and cute bird charms. Flying in at a very reasonable £9.99, this would make a really special present. Alternatively, I would buy it to wear on holiday, and then keep as a reminder of my time away.
I’ve taken a real liking for brooches and badges recently, as they are such an easy and affordable way to make your outfit more fun and unique. As I mentioned above I’m not one for butterflies, but I can totally get on board with owls. They’re such a hoot! Especially little blue wooden owls. It would be very wise (like an owl…!!) to purchase one of these beauties from The Bristol Shop as soon as possible. You can find a discount code for 7% off of anything you buy here. I couldn’t tell you owl much the total will be, I just can’t do the owl-gebra…
Owls about that then! I like to try and cover a bit of everything on Accessories to Murder, so last up it’s only fair I point you in the direction of this cheeky ring. You probably won’t be surprised to discover this but…it’s a cat! I couldn’t resist this kitty’s confused little face. It’s pawsitively puurfect and makes me smile just by looking at it. I love Lazy Oaf, their items are SO lovable and fun. Catch up with their blog here.
As part of a week of celebrations in honour of their 5th birthday, the boutique shop Instant Vintage kindly invited us to join them for an evening of canapés, drinks and discounts at their shop in beautiful Bath. Never ones to turn down a free glass of Pimms, we gladly accepted and hot footed it over there on the train last Thursday evening. And what a treat it was too! They had obviously been working very hard to ensure their guests had a dapper old time, even decking out a usually unused terrace area with fake grass, bunting and giant poms poms. It was a lovely space to sit and have a drink and eat delicious cupcakes! We would gladly have stayed sat there all evening!
When we finally wrenched ourselves away from the seating area (and the Pimms), we duly took advantage of the 20% discount on offer!
Victoria:I am shamed to say that I’ve only visited Bath a handful of times, and I have never had the chance to visit Instant Vintage before. Boy, have I been missing out! The shop is light and airy, with plenty of space to browse. Considering how long Jo and I were browsing on Thursday, I felt no pressure from the friendly staff to buy or to hurry. In fact we were invited to stay longer for more Pimms! Instant Vintage’s ever changing line of pretty dresses, blouses and accessories will now be irresistible each time I am in Bath. Heck, I’d even make the journey to purchase something extra special from this brilliant boutique.
I kept my vintage inspired look quite simple and wore one of my favourite M&S dresses, which I cheekily picked up from a car boot sale several years ago for the outrageously low sum of £1. It’s certainly my best bargain to date. I find the peach polka dot dress to be rather flattering, as the matching belt clinches in at the waist, creating shape to an otherwise simple dress. My tan shoes are from New Look and my amazing costume popcorn ring is from a boutique in Croatia.
Jo: As a frequent visitor, and former resident, of Bath, I am a seasoned Instant Vintage shopper and was absolutely delighted at the prospect of spending an entire evening pursuing their wares. I already own quite a few of their items and find that they always draw compliments. I remember when it first opened, receiving a text from a friend to say that a new shop had appeared and that it “looked my sort of thing”. Oh how right they were! From the moment I set eyes on their window display of perfectly pretty vintage inspired offerings I knew that this was a shop I could get on board with! I was also quietly impressed with the prices as Bath boutiques, as wonderful as they are, aren’t exactly known for their affordability! This, however, was most definitely a shop which allowed me to buy something a little bit different but without having to feel guilty!
For the occasion I dug out a beautiful white Instant Vintage dress which I bought about three years ago. For me it completely embodies what I love about them. It is extremely pretty, made from great quality material and has those lovely vintage influences throughout. I wore it with polka-dot tights from M&S, Florence and Fred shoes and an Olivia Burton watch. My sunglasses (which have since been firmly packed away!) are from Red or Dead.
Thanks for a great evening Instant Vintage and here’s to the next five years!
It’s that time of year again! The sun is shining and there are suddenly lots of lovely vintage fairs to attend. Luckily, Jo and I both love attending events like these, especially The Bristol Vintage Fair, which is held every year in Bristol, and several other places dotted across the UK. If one pops up where you live, I would certainly recommend grabbing a group of friends and going along. It is such a lovely way to spend an afternoon and you can often find some bonza bargains!
This year the event was held at The Passenger Shed. As you can see above, the venue is enormous, but the fair managed to fill the room with beautiful vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. What I love about the fair is the super sociable and friendly atmosphere which really hits you as soon as you enter. I think this is because this event is not all about the shopping. We spent a lot of our time chatting to stall holders such as Boxed Vintage, SooSoo Vintage and Minimummouse, about their work, outfits and their genuine love of vintage fashion. When we were not schmoozing, we were dancing down the isles to the Harlem Rhythm Cats who were on hand all day, helping to create a real cheery vibe. I apologise now if you overhead me singing along!
Sometimes I find vintage fairs can be quite expensive, and the variety can often be underwhelming, but yesterday I spotted that many stalls had boxes of bargains, suitcases of super steals and racks of reduced pieces. I was able to purchase several treats and have change left over for an afternoon tea and cake at Mabel’s Vintage Tea Party.
My friend decided to try out a vintage hair style by the fantastic Vintage Hair Lounge, who let you choose an era, and discuss the styles that they can create to reflect this. My only piece of advice was ‘the bigger the better!’, because I do love a good quiff!
The dress I wore was actually purchased at last years vintage fair, and I can see myself wearing it for many years to come. I teamed it with a brown vintage leather shoulder bag, a beautiful vintage brooch that once belonged to my grandmother, a belt from Dorothy Perkins and floral hair clip from H&M. This look was suitable both for the fair, and then for dinner and drinks in the sunshine at the Arnolfini on Bristol harbourside later that evening.
My lovely friend Jess, who often helps with my photographs for the blog, wore a pretty New Look dress, and like me, cannot wait to head to the next vintage fair. Next time I think I’ll try out a vintage do too!