As an avid collector of original vintage, there are certain brands that get my heart all aflutter. One of these would have to be Horrockses. The brand made beautiful cotton dresses in the 40s and 50s and even dressed the Queen in their stunning ready to wear collection, I wrote a post on her Horrockses outfits a couple of years ago. Even back then the dresses were very desirable and were a very special addition to women’s wardrobes.

The brand have been much discussed and written about a lot in recent years and have been part of some major exhibitions. A few dresses from Horrockses have passed through my hands over the years as a dealer. I’ve even found a couple for under £5 at car boot sales in the past. Online they sell for big money these days and as most are safely stored in museums and collectors wardrobes they are now reasonably scarce.

The main problem for me, is that they don’t really come in my size. The main collection was only ever made up to a vintage 16, which is a modern size 12. So as a size 14 I just can’t fit into them. When this dress popped up on a Facebook selling page in my size, I just had to snap it up. I was especially happy to get my hands on this one, as I was quite familiar with the print, having seen it in books before. Apparently certain shops did stock Horrockses dresses in slightly larger sizes, so they are out there. One day I might find another!

I found this particular print in Christine Boydell’s book Horrockses Fashions – Off the Peg Style in the 40s and 50s. It was designed by Alastair Morton in 1947 and as far as I can tell the dress was produced in 1948. Christine recently wrote a post featuring this design on her blog, which is a really interesting read and goes into more detail than I could on here. In fact her whole blog is a fascinating read if you’re interested in vintage textile design in general.

The dress cost me £75, this is pretty cheap for a Horrockses dress and this was mainly because it has seen better days. The label is missing, the zip is broken and it has a fair few marks on it. Luckily it is still totally wearable and I just adore it. It just goes to show you shouldn’t give up on a vintage item just because it isn’t perfect. I bought the dress from Liz who’s blog Advantage in Vintage is an incredible resource, she also has a ridiculously large collection of Horrockses dresses. Her Etsy store is also a bit dreamy!

I’ve worn the dress with a cropped cardigan from Tu Clothing, which I picked up last year. I’m wearing the Mimosa shoes from Hotter which I got recently, they are a cute comfy wedge that will look great with some of my vintage summer dresses. My basket was a recent £5 bargain from Ikea and my necklace is an original vintage one. I wore the outfit for a stroll around Richmond and a pub lunch with my dad last week.

I wear a lot of modern and reproduction clothing for everyday, as a mum I find it more practical, but it is lovely to wear some of my really special original vintage pieces and now that the weather is warmer, these will be appearing a lot more on the blog. I’ve also been sharing a lot of my everyday outfits on my Instagram over the last few weeks.

As for Horrockses, after its heyday in the 40s and 50s they continued to make dresses into the 60s and 70s, but those classic cotton and full skirts were a thing of the past. The brand name was recently licenced to another company who have made a selection of dresses based on the original prints. The dresses are available on Asos, but are made with duchesse satins and have a lot less fabric than the originals. As dresses I really love them, but I’m not sure they pay a true homage to the stunning original designs. I did think they were worth a mention though, as they would look fabulous for events. Click on the images below to see them in full. (above pic via Pinterest)

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Later this month, the fabulous Festival of Vintage returns to York for another fabulous celebration of all things vintage and retro. The event comes highly recommended by so many of my friends in the vintage community, who say it is by far one of the biggest highlights on the vintage calendar. The event takes place at York Racecourse on 22nd and 23rd April.

This is the events seventh year and promises to be another fantastic weekend packed with nostalgia entertainment. There is a packed programme with three large halls of vintage shopping including fashion, homewares, and furniture, two dance halls and music stages plus an impressive classic car display outside all focusing on the 1930s-1960s. So whether you’re a clothing fanatic, swing dancer or car fan there is something for everyone.

 There are so many extra things to see and do over the weekend such as craft “Make, Do and Mend” workshops where you can learn a new skill, dance lessons covering many styles such as Lindy bop and Jive and a variety of fashion shows. The Marks & Spencer Archive team return to share their fashion history with everyone in Q&A’s and talks as well as show casing their favourite designs on the catwalk. There is even a Best Dressed contest where you can wow the judges and win cash prizes.

If like me, you can’t get enough of the vintage shopping at events there are over 200 stalls selling original vintage items as well as over 50 reproduction brands

I have two tickets to give away for the weekend. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below. A winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 11th of April and I will contact you with more details. I’ve given you lots of entry options, you can use one or all of them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Ts and Cs for the giveaway are: 

Tickets are non transferable to a 3rd party.
Tickets are for festival entry only and not to the evening entertainment.
Travel and accommodation costs are not covered.

Advance tickets are on-sale now via the website or can be bought on the door priced at £12 per adult per day & accompanied children under 16 years are FREE.

Doors open from 10am-5pm Both Days. York Racecourse, York, YO23 1EX

for more information visit www.festivalofvintage.co.uk or call 0113 3458699

The wonderful pictures in this post were taken by Amy Rose Deffley



I get very excited at this time of year. Saying goodbye to my boring winter wardrobe and hello to sandals and summer dresses, is just the best thing. Its also a time where I endanger the safety of my bank balance, by coveting just about everything on my favourite websites. I made the fatal error of having a good look through all the new dresses on the Collectif website today and I have to confess that I fell in love several times! Seriously though the new collection is definitely their best so far. Choosing my favourite pieces was hard, but here goes…

  1. Scenic Mountain Swing Dress – One of my favourite things about true vintage, is all the gorgeous novelty prints. The real things are so mind boggling expensive right now, that I’m more than happy to see the rise of repro novelty prints recently. The latest addition from Collectif is so pretty!
  2. Chloe Candy Gingham Swing Dress – This adorable dress, has the prettiest colours. I can’t resist gingham and the pretty combination of pink green and lilac is perfect for hot sunny days.
  3. Jade Plain Swing Dress – I absolutely love the shape of this pretty dress and the colour would look lovely in the summer. This is a great one for dressing up or down and I like the idea of wearing it with a contrasting vintage belt to create a slightly different look.
  4. Simona Flamingo Swing Dress – I know there are a LOT of flamingo prints out there at the moment. Everything gone a bit flamingo crazy, however I really do love this pretty swing dress and the print is quite subtle compared to some of the other ones out there, and therefor I love it!
  5. Jade Watermelon Swing Dress – I absolutely adore this fun and fruity dress. This is definitely one of those dresses which will invite a lot of compliments. Its so fun and absolutely adorable!
  6. Fairy Bird of Paradise Doll Dress – Every vintage girls wardrobes needs a bit of tiki in it. This pretty tropical print dress, is an absolutely lovely colour. I have a few dresses in this shape from previous collections, you can see my wearing one of them here.7. Marina Tropical Bamboo Sarong Dress  and  8. Fairy Tropical Bamboo Doll Dress

I absolutely adore fruit prints and so this gorgeous new fabric really caught my eye. It reminds me a little of my original vintage fruit print Swirl dress which you can see in this post. The design has a very authentic mid century feel to it and it’s nice to see slightly less girly colours on a repro dress.

This is by far my favourite collection from Collectif so far and there are lots of other things on the website that I want to share, but I’ll save them for another day. What’s your favourite dress from the ones I’ve included above?

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