The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance Review

I’ve read so many great books recently and have lots of reviews to catch up on. It seems that more and more books with a vintage theme are coming out at the moment and I absolutely love it. I’m a total chick lit addict, so when you mix fantastic girly books with vintage fashion I can’t wait to start turning the pages.

I was recently sent The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood to review. Kirsty is no stranger to the world of blogging, as the founding member of super successful book blog Novelicious she knows everything there is know about what makes a good novel. I’ve been going into London a lot recently for blog events and this book got me through all the boring journeys on the tube.

What it says on the back of the book:

Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she’s been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren’t going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.

 When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

 The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It’s going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .

Review The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance

What I thought of the book:

At first I found it really hard to like Jessica, she’s rude, she makes bad choices and can be a little selfish. However I very quickly warmed to her as a character and even started to relate to her a little. As we find out more about her past it’s easier to understand her and you start to really want the best for her. By the end of the book she was one of my favourite characters from a book and I want a sequel to find out what she does next.

Summer begins the book at Jessica’s best friend, although she soon becomes the baddy of the book and she makes a great evil character. The fact that she and Jessica work together on a blog was really interesting and Summer definitely reminded me of a few people!

Matilda is such a sweet lady and I loved that she was a little eccentric and emotional. She is the perfect grandma character and I loved how kind she was to Jessica throughout the book. The fact that she still had all her vintage clothing and accessories from the 50s made me wish she was real so I could talk about the past with her.

The male characters in the book are all really well written, I like that they are complex characters who are not as they first appear. At first you really want Jamie to be the main love interest in the book, but that definitely changed for me as we got to know Leo a little better.

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance

The books main strength is that the plot is really clever and things definitely didn’t always go the way I thought they would. There were points where I felt it was going to be very predictable and then it really surprised me. I really enjoyed reading all of Matilda Beams tips from the past and how they weren’t always relevant but could be applied to today. I also liked the way Jessica’s feminist views at times conflicted with Matilda’s old fashioned attitude, and how she managed to find the balance.

The story was very believable and I had so many laugh out load moments, that I definitely got a few funny looks on the tube! Jessica’s swearing and expletives were absolutely hilarious I may have used the term “knob prince” a couple of times since reading the book! The book has both happy and sad bits and the sections that talk about Jessica’s mother are definitely sadder parts. I did really enjoy how her story unfolded alongside the main plot.

The book was a really easy read and I really didn’t want to stop reading it, as I was desperate to know what happened at the end. The ending was perfect, as someone who is often dissatisfied by rushed and predictable endings in chick lit books, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a good girly book, or anyone who has ever dreamed of having a full vintage make-over. It will definitely appeal to vintage loving girls as well.

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is published by Pan and written by Kirsty Greenwood.

Buy a copy of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance on Amazon. 

Every press day I’ve been to this season has got me more and more excited about all the wonderful 70s influences which will be everywhere later this year. Being a vintage collector I’ve managed to pick up quite a few amazing 70s pieces over the years and although I don’t love every look from the decade there are certainly aspects of it I adore. One shop that seams to have really picked up the best of the Seventies is ASOS. Everything has a very authentic retro feel,  infact at first glance their press day could be mistaken for an actual vintage shop.

ASOS AW15 Press Day Womenswear

The colour palette contains all the rich earthy tones you’d expect from retro clothing and it’s all absolutely perfect for Autumn. The fabric choices are also inspired from the past with lots of flowy chiffon and muslins as well as crimplene-esque stretchy fabrics. There are lots of strong prints, as well as stripes and chevrons with embroidered and beaded details.

ASOS AW15 Press Day Beaded Top

ASOS AW15 Press Day Favourite Dresses 1970sIf disco is more your thing then you won’t be disappointed, there were lots of sequins and sparkles. Forget being subtle, winter will be all about bright, light catching all over sequins, just in time for the party season.

ASOS AW15 Press Day Sequin Cape

ASOS AW15 Sequin Details

ASOS AW15 Sequin Jacket

The accessories are also daring with heavily embellished clutch bags, metallic boots and lots of fur.

ASOS AW15 Press Day Bead and Sequin Embellished Clutch Bag

ASOS AW15 Press Day Metallic Snakeskin Ankle Boots

There are also lot’s of brown tones and platforms as you’d expect. I can just image all of these walking over thick shag-pile rugs!

ASOS AW15 Press Day Brown 70s Style Platform Shoes

I really really liked all the coats, which are perfect for cold winter nights. I love seventies style coats and have an original suede one with a big furry colour, which looks just like these. I love all the fur details these all look so warm!

ASOS AW15 Press Day 1970s Coats

What do you think of the seventies trend and the collection from ASOS? I think it’s really cool and I’ll definitely be embracing aspects of it in my wardrobe.

Shop the currant collection from ASOS here

Another day another pretty dress! My wardrobe has been filling up very quickly lately with lovely budget friendly vintage style dresses. A few weeks ago I talked about the amazing vintage style dresses that Sainsburys are offering at the moment and now George at Asda have a few really pretty ones, that 50s loving girls will appreciate. I have a bit of a thing for seaside prints and when I spotted this lovely dress in Asda I couldn’t resist. The dress really reminds me of my Boden Nancy dress which I bought last year and it’s just perfect for warm summer days.

Rob and I popped into central London for the afternoon yesterday, for a little afternoon date. As the sun was shining I wore my lovely new dress. The dress has a beautiful full skirt, which has a net petticoat and a layer of lining which makes it flare beautifully. It’s made with a thick cotton blend which makes it slightly stiff which I really like.

George Vintage Style Seaside Dress Review

The colours and print are just so pretty and remind me of lovely vintage novelty prints. The fit is pretty good for a budget dress, size wise I ordered my usual 14 and it fit really well. The dress fastens with a zip at the back, I usually prefer side zips as they fit better, however I didn’t find it a problem with this one.

George Seaside Print Dress Review

George Vintage Style Seaside Dress

George Seaside Dress and Coast Necklace

I wore the dress with a simple pair of pumps from Primark and a necklace I recently picked up in Coast.

George Seaside Dress and Coast necklace OOTD

I’m so happy with the quality of the dress for the amazing price. I’ll definitely be keeping a closer eye of Asda and other supermarkets to see what they have in store.

Outfit Details:

Seaside Dress – £20 – George by Asda

Necklace – £12 – Coast

Shoes – £6 – Primark

Peacocks Vintage Style Dresses

Whenever I see a pretty dress I find it hard to resist. Dresses are definitely my weakness! When I saw a few people of Facebook showing off their lovely new dresses from Peacocks, I had to give them a try for myself. My only problem was not being able to choose which design to go for. At £16 a piece I decided to get a few and try them all to see which I liked best. They are slightly vintage in style, although I would have preferred them to be a little longer, they will be really handy to wear in the summer for everyday. I loved all the bright prints and the lovely colours make me feel really cheerful.

My long suffering husband kindly took some photos for me in the garden, so I could show you what they look like on. With regards to the fit I found they came up a little big around the waist, although they all have ties to tighten them so I didn’t find this to be too much of a problem. I went for my usual size 14 and this was perfect on the bust but a 12 might have been better on the waist.

First up is a lovely leopard print. I’ve always loved animal prints and I paired up with a pair of original 1970s shoes from a charity shop and a gold belt from Beyond Retro. The outfit is perfect for a casual summer evening. Buy the leopard print dress here

Peacocks Leopard Print Prom Dress Review

Next is a pretty girlie bird and leaf print dress. The colour is a little pale for me, but I’ve seen other people wear it with a pretty pink cardigan and it looks lovely. I wore it with a vintage belt and a pair of shoes I bought in Topshop about 10 years ago. Buy the dress here.

Peacocks Bird Print Formal Prom Dress Review

I love the bright royal blue shade of the next dress and the contrasting pink flowers make me feel all summery. The bright colour and lovely light flowing fabric make this one perfect to take on holiday. I wore it with some blue heels from New Look, again these are a few years old. Buy the blue dress here

Peacocks Blue Floral Formal Prom Dress Review

I mentioned this pink dress in my Pretty in Pink Wishlist, I haven’t got many pink dresses so this will be a welcome addition to my wardrobe. Buy the pretty pink dress here

Peacocks Pink Floral Formal Prom Dress

The last dress is a different style and has a lovely 1940s style print. If it was a little longer it would be perfect for a more authentic vintage look. I’m about 5’6″ so if you’re a little shorter than me it might sit nearer the knee. I really love this dress anyway and can see myself wearing this one the most. My bright orange bra straps are showing in the little cut-out details above the bust so it might be best worn with a nude or strapless bra, but I couldn’t be bothered to change for the photos! Buy the tea dress here

Peacocks 1940s Style Dress Review

Which is your favourite of the 5 dresses?

Coast is one of my favourite high street stores. All the pretty formal dresses and pretty details really appeal to me. It really is the go-to shop for weddings and parties and I always really enjoy going to their press days to see what they have in store for us next season. Last week I popped to their AW15 press day in London. Everything was absolutely beautiful and I saw lot’s of things that would work well in both a vintage and modern wardrobe.

This collection takes inspiration from the 60s and 70s with clean silhouettes and pretty details. As usual there is plenty of lace and sequin detailing which is joined by plenty of sumptuous faux fur.

Coast AW15 Press Day Sequins and Fur

Coast AW15 Press Day Sequin Dress DetailThe Lydie all over sequin dress was one of my favourite pieces. Despite the heavily embellishment the simple design makes it timelessly classy and elegant.

Coast AW15 Press Day Pink Coat

Coast AW15 Press Day Pink Fur Trimmed Coat DetailThe black, white and pale pink monochrome colour palette is absolutely beautiful worn together. The Constanta coat looks remarkably like a fine vintage piece, I adore the colour and the fur trim.

Coast AW15 Press Day Feather Trim Dress DetailSimilarly to the SS15 collection feathers also feature prominently. The Leona dress is a simple pink designs with a strong feather embellishment on the hem.

Coast AW15 Press Day Lace and Sequin Tops

Coast AW15 Press Day Fur Stole DetailThere were plenty of darker tones too with blacks and red tones. The fabrics are all beautifully textured and can be layered with fur accessories.

Coast AW15 Press Day Evening Maxi Dresses

Coast AW15 Press Day Fringed Dress DetailThe luxurious long black dresses remind me of the glamour of the 30s while fringing brings us back to the flapper look of the 1920s.

Coast AW15 Press Day Dresses Coast AW15 Press day Blue Tapeworm Dress DetailProbably my favourite piece is this beautiful indigo blue tapeworm dress accompanied by the blue fur jacket. It is so elegant and ladylike. I have a similar dress in my collection from the early 1960s.

Coast AW15 Press Day Blue Feather Skirt DetailIn a brighter shade of blue the Romina skirt is absolutely amazing with its feather and diamante details. This is one of those items that everyone will notice.

Coast AW15 Press Day Brown Fur StoleIf I buy anything next season it would be the gorgeous Luella faux fur scarf, it would go with everything and add a little old school glamour to the simplest of outfits. 

There were so many beautiful pieces there that I simply couldn’t share everything with you, so you’ll have to wait and see what else is coming in later in the year! What are your favourite pieces?

Shop the current collection on the Coast website