Love Ur Look 1950s Style Shirt Dress Review

27 Jul

As I have mentioned many times on here, Love ur Look are one of my very favourite reproduction vintage brands. One of the things I love most about them, is that they’re not making clothes like any other brand on the vintage scene. Their dresses are made ethically in India using salvaged and up-cycled fabrics and everything is absolutely lovely quality. One of the things that sets them apart from some other brands is all the lovely design details, everything bit of finishing is gorgeous and I’m a big fan of their detailed collars, oversized pockets and beautiful buttons.

Love ur Look 50s Style DressMy latest dress from Love ur Look, is a classic 50s style shirt dress. I am completely in love with the pretty grey and coral print, which really does look like an authentic 1950s fabric. I already have a similar dress in a black floral from Love ur Look which I wear all the time, so I couldn’t wait to wear this lighter coloured one in the summer.

Love Ur Look 1950s Shirt Dress ReviewThe dress is made from a lovely soft cotton and fastens with black plastic buttons. It comes with a matching tie belt, which I have worn tied at the back for these photos, but it could also be used to make a bow at the front. The dress also has handy pockets at the side – an absolute must for me. The dress is also fully lined in white cotton has a really full gathered skirt, which is perfect for a mid-century look.

Love ur Look Dress and Vintage Bakelite BanglesI wore the dress with a simple stack of vintage bakelite and bamboo bangles and an Enid Collins bag with a pretty butterfly design. I also wore my trusty pink Donna shoes from Hotter, which I wear with almost all my vintage outfits, as they’re just so comfortable.

Love ur Look 1950s Check Shirt DressFit-wise I went for a size large, which works out about the same as my usual size 14. It is ever so slightly tight across the bust on me, which I find with most shirt dresses, but as it’s a nice strong fabric I think I can get away with it.

At £48, I think the dress is excellent value for money and would be perfect for someone looking for a dress for vintage events, that isn’t from one of the bigger repro brands.

This dress is available here. See the full range on the Love ur Look website.

This dress was kindly gifted to me by Love ur Look, although I am also a paying customer. All opinions are my own. 

July 2016 Birchbox Review

26 Jul

Another month has passed, and its time for another Birchbox review. Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box, packed with high-end surprise beauty products which arrive at your door once a month. I’ve been subscribed for a few years now and always love getting my surprise package through the post.

July 2016 Birchbox ReviewThis months lovely box was themed ‘Never Ending Summer’. The box itself was a really pretty one, I love using them to store bits and bobs in and if I can keep this one away from the kids long enough, I’m sure I will stash some pretty vintage treasures away in it!

May 2016 Birchbox ContentsMy first reaction to the box was a good one, I love it when the box has a good mix of products and this one really does have a bit of everything. There is a skincare product, a hair product, two make-up items and a nail polish. I was disappointed to see no Birchbox Bonus in this box. I like the little extra bits that you usually get in each box and I always use them, so this was the only downside of the box for me.

July BirchboxThe box also contains 3 full-sized products, so it was great value for money, especially since they are all really usable products that most people can use.

July Birchbox LOC x Millie Lip PencilThe first product in the box was the Loc x Millie Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in the Shade Bohemian Rose. This lovely lip pencil is a collaboration with Millie Macintosh. The pencil has a high shine finish and the shade is a lovely feminine pink. This has a smooth lipstick consistency while looking like a gloss. I found this really easy to apply and was really pleased with the shade. I love the colour and will definitely be using this all the time as an everyday shade. This full-sized product would normally cost £9.

July Birchbox John Frieda Anti-Frizz PrimerNext up was the John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer. Since getting my hair cut back into a bob, I’ve been using lots of different products to keep my hair sleek and healthy looking. Having quite thick naturally wavy hair, products that keep the frizz at bay are always a welcome addition to my routine. This lovely primer has a light cream-like consistency. You apply it to wet hair and the smoothing effect is really good. I found it kept my hair frizz free without adding heaviness. I’m really happy with this product and will keep using it. This full-sized product usually costs £9.99.

July Birchbox Nails Inc Nail VarnishKeeping with the pink theme the next product in my box was a mini Nails inc. Nail Varnish in a lovely bright pink shade. I was really happy with the coverage of this product, which looks great after just two thin coats. The colour is perfect for me, as I love pink. The best bit is how quickly this one dries. I often find high-end nail varnishes take a while to dry, but this one was good to go in about a minute – great when you’re a busy mum. The little sample will last a while, so I’ll definitely get lots of use out of it. The full-sized version costs £15.

July Birchbox GA-DE Eyeshadow ReviewThe next product was the GA-DE Idyllic Soft Satin Mono Eyeshadow in the shade Natural. This is another product from the box which I absolutely love. This is the softest and easiest to apply eyeshadow I’ve tried in ages. It has a lovely fine silky consistency and can be applied with either fingers or an eyeshadow brush. It also contains vitamins C and E, which are really good for the skin. The neutral shade is also really handy for a natural everyday make-up look. This full-sized product would usually cost £10.50.

July Birchbox Thermaliv Lotion MicellaireThe last product was a very small sample of the Thermaliv Lotion Micellaire. I use Micellar water all the time to clean my skin and to remove my make-up if I’m in a rush. This particular one contains papyrus extract. Although this is a very good product and it smells lovely, I don’t like it as much as Bioderma or even the cheaper Garnier alternative, both of which I use a lot. I also found it left a slight residue, so despite being a non rinse product, I felt like washing the last traces off after use. The full-sized version of this costs £12.90.

All in all this was a very good box for me. Like I said above, I would have liked a bonus product but I still have loads of lovely new things, that I will be using a lot.

If you’d like to receive a monthly Birchbox too, I have a refer a friend link which adds £5 worth of points to your account when you sign up. These can be used to buy full-sized products in the Birchbox shop.

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Pretty Retro 40s Style Tea  Dress Review

20 Jul

Earlier this year I went to one of my first 1940s themed events. I usually dress in 1950s style clothes, with the occasional dabble into the 60s and 70s. When it came to finding an outfit suitable for the era I found it a little tricky. In the end I wore my peony print dress from House of Foxy that I reviewed last year. But it got me thinking how nice it would be to have a few 1940s style outfits to wear to events and that I really needed to fill that decades gap in my wardrobe.

Pretty Retro Red Ditsy Tea Dress

Last year at London Edge I visited the House of Foxy stand, where they were not only displaying the amazing clothing from their range but also a selection of clothing from a new brand that they have launched in the last few months. Pretty Retro is an affordable reproduction vintage brand, which sells key pieces to create a vintage look. As a huge fan of House of Foxy I am so excited by this range. The designs are simpler and are more suitable for everyday wear, so where House of Foxy is perfect for those show stopping extra special outfits, Pretty Retro provide the kind of clothes you could wear to work or for a lunch date.

To me this brand really fills a gap in the reproduction vintage market and I’m really excited to see what else they have coming up in the future. They kindly offered me the chance to review one of their dresses. I jumped at the chance, especially because a 40s style tea dress had been exactly what I was looking for. I opted for the Pretty Tea Dress in Red Ditsy. This is a simple viscose tea dress, perfect for an everyday 40s look.

Pretty Retro Tea Dress Review

What I love about the dress is that it is simple and easy to wear while still having some really gorgeous details. It has a typical 1940s neckline and slightly puffed shoulders and has a super flattering gathered detail at the front and a little bow. The fabric is a lovely flow viscose which makes it hang beautifully. I have worn it 3 times this week already because it is the perfect dress to wear in a heatwave. The dress isn’t fitted so the light fabric skims over the body, which is so comfortable.

Red Ditsy 1940s Tea Dress Pretty Retro

Fit wise I went for a 14, as the dress has no zip or fastenings and is quite loose fitting, I think this was the right size to go for and I think it comes up pretty true to size. The bias cut of the fabric, gives it a beautifully flattering drape and I found it really easy to wear.

As usual I added a vintage Enid Collins bag to the outfit, although not era appropriate, I think they go with everything and I’m not a stickler for keeping everything authentic, I like to dress like me! I also wore my Orla Kiely for Clarks Abigail shoes, which are probably my all time favourite shoes. Although they are 70s inspired I think they work well with 40s style dresses too. I finished the look with a stack of simple vintage bakelite and plastic bangles and a vintage bead necklace. I will definitely be wearing this dress to my next 40s event, with slightly more authentic hair and accessories.

Pretty Retro Red Ditsy Tea Dress Review

The quality of the dress was really nice. The fabric is absolutely lovely and the details make it that little bit more special. The dress costs £49 which I think is just right and I think it is something I will keep for many years to come and wear a lot. The dress also comes in a blue tiki print and a black polka dot, both of which I would really like to add to my wardrobe.

The whole range is really exciting and includes a wiggle dress and a really beautiful swing dress as well as basic wardrobe staples such as capris, swing trousers and pencil skirts. If you are new to vintage or just want to expand your vintage wardrobe, this is a really great place to start. I’m really hoping this dress comes out in more prints, because I would love to have more.

See the full range on the Pretty Retro website. 

*Thank you so much to Pretty Retro for sending me the dress for review. All opinions as usual are entirely my own. 

 

Book Review – The Viceroys Daughters by Anne De Courcy

16 Jul

Last week I wrote my first book review in a very long time. I reviewed Young Elizabeth by Kate Williams and mentioned that I’ve been reading a lot of history books recently. I love reading about women from the past, how they lived their lives and how society treated them differently to how we do today.

The Viceroy's Daughters Book ReviewOne of the books I read recently was The Viceroy’s Daughters by Anne De Courcy. The book tells the life stories of the three daughters of Lord Curzon, who is best known as being the Viceroy of India. The book mainly focusses on the events of the 20s, 30s and 40s. The sisters were key players in the London social scene and are absolutely fascinating to read about.

The viceroys dughters Back of BookHaving read quite a few books on the Mitfords it was nice to visit a new family and learn all about a new set of sisters. I am really interested in reading about the upper classes in the early 20th century. It was a time of great political turmoil and like the Mitford sisters, politics plays a large part in the lives of the Curzon sisters, especially Cimmie who was even an MP at one point.

The Viceroys Daughters Book ReviewCimmie, Irene and Baba are all really interesting women. Cynthia Curzon (Cimmie) was married to Oswald Mosely the leader of The British Union of Facsists, before her death and his later marriage to Diana Mitford. It is so interesting to see how the politics of many British aristocrats became so extreme and how many admired and related to Germany, Hitler and the Third Reich. Also reading about Diana Mosely (Mitford) from a different point of view was a huge highlight of the book.

Book Review The Viceroy's DaughtersThe book starts by going into detail about the life of their father and you do have to wait a while before you read much about the sisters. Their fathers personal and political life is also a very interesting read. He held many positions of power and was also nearly became Prime Minister. His relationships after his wife’s death are complex with both his mistress, second wife and his daughters.

The Viceroys Daughters by Anne De CourcyThe book follows the daughters and the key people in their lives through many personal and social changes and for anyone with an interest in the early 20th century, it really is a fascinating read. The book also goes into huge detail on the lives of Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson, who were good friends with Baba’s husband. The events surrounding the abdication and their marriage were such a huge part of British history and seeing them in this intimate light is completely engrossing.

The Viceroy's Daughters The Curzon SistersThe book is beautifully written and extremely well researched. The author delves into personal letters and diaries, many of which are quoted heavily throughout the book. Having not known anything about the sisters before picking up the book, I felt like I knew them personally by the time I had finished.

The Viceroys Daughters SpineIf you love social history and enjoy reading about the lives of women in the past, then you will almost definitely enjoy this book. I feel like I learned a lot from it and it painted such a clear picture of the era, that it was like stepping back in time. I am currently reading another book by Anne De Courcy, which I will be reviewing as soon as I’ve finished it.

The Viceroys Daughter The Lives of the Curzon SistersBuy the book on Amazon.

As usual, keep your book recommendations coming. I’ve had so many since my last review, that my wish-list is getting very long on Amazon.

Hochanda TV Craft Day

15 Jul

I love going to blogger and press events, where I get to try new things. I’ve been to a few recently which have involved crafting and I’ve enjoyed them all so much. A couple of moths ago I went to one hosted by Hochanda, a new art and craft channel. At the event we got to try four different activities. I only managed to get a few quick snaps of my creations on my phone. I thought I’d share them with you, to show what can be made in a quick session.

Hochanda Press dayThe event was held at the Ham Yard Hotel in London, which has the most fabulous decor and is one of my favourite venues for events in London. How awesome are the huge vintage movie posters!

Hochanda Press day WatercolourThe first thing I tried was water colour painting, something I’ve not tried in a really long time. My finished piece was far from perfect, but I really enjoyed giving it a try anyway. We were talked through each step of creating our picture and with a little work, I definitely think it’s something I could improve at. This mini workshop was hosted by The Society for all Artists, who encourage everyone to try to art no matter what their ability and sell a great range of art and painting supplies.

Hochanda Press Day Clarity StampNext I tried some paper craft with Clarity Stamp. You use a special tool to create beautiful embossed designs that you can use to create pictures and cards. This was so much fun and we got to take a little kit home, so I can make a few more things. I really like how my piece came out.

Hochanda Press day Die Cutting MachineI’ve never tried die cutting before, so it was great to have a quick lesson with Sizzix but I was amazed how quickly I was able to make this cute felt brooch. This has to be one of the most satisfying crafts I’ve ever tried and one day I love to invest in my own die cutting machine so I could make jewellery and appliqués to accessorise my clothes.

Hochanda Press Day Glitter ArtLastly I made a beautiful glitter picture with Imagination Crafts. To make these you use a stencil and a special glittery paint. This is so easy, quick and fun that anyone could do it. I’d love to make christmas cards using this technique one day.

It was great sampling some some of the craft supplies which are available through Hochanda. The channel is really fun to watch for lots of crafty inspiration and demonstrations. You can watch live on their website or on the following channels… SKY 663 Freeview 39 FreeSat 817 You can also buy your craft supplies online via the Hochanda website.

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