I have a wardrobe absolutely packed with lovely dresses, if in doubt I always wear a dress. However hanging unworn and neglected I also have a lot of vintage separates, mostly skirts and trousers. This year I decided to buy fewer dresses and start thinking about things I need to fill the gaps in my wardrobe and one of the things on my list was to get a few blouses. When Pretty Retro offered me a top of my choice to review on the blog, I took the opportunity to invest in one of their lovely vintage style blouses.

Pretty retro 40s style blouse reviewPretty Retro are the sister brand of House of Foxy and have a great selection of reproduction vintage items, including lots of basics and wardrobe staples. The blouse, is a simple 40s style blouse with an elegant v-neck and large tortoiseshell plastic buttons. It has gathers at the shoulders to give it that perfect vintage detail and darts for a great fit. It is made with viscose, so it hangs beautifully.

Pretty retro White Blouse ReviewIt is designed to be worn tucked in to swing trousers and pencil skirts, but I wanted to go for my own look with this one, so I wore it over a pair of original vintage wool trousers by Pendleton. I like creating a classic look, with both modern and vintage influences, which is what I tried to achieve with this outfit. I really like that the blouse is long enough to be worn tucked in or out of trousers.

Pretty retro 40s Inspired OOTDI paired the blouse and trousers with a vintage handbag, lots of bakelite bangles and a vintage plastic necklace. I also wore my trusty Orla Kiely shoes (which I wear with everything!) I put a pair of warm mustard socks underneath to fight off the winter chill.

I went for my usual size 14 and I think the fit is just right. I was really happy with the fit across the bust as there is no gaping and the darting and gathers help it to fit around the body perfectly. The website mentions that the blouse will shrink by about 3% in the wash, mine shank a little but not enough to alter the overall fit. It should be hand washed or dry cleaned to keep it looking its best.

Pretty Retro 40s Style Blouse ReviewThis is a great addition to any vintage wardrobe as it can be worn with so many different things. I’m already planning to wear it with everything from jeans to my high-waisted shorts in the summer. It would also be perfect for under a vintage suit, something I really want to get my hands on this year.

Price wise the blouse costs £39, which I think is excellent value for something of such lovely quality that I’ll wear a lot. The blouse is also available in black, which I would really like as well.

I am really happy with my new blouse and would definitely recommend it as a fantastic flexible garment. I love the fit and feel of it and that it will work very well with my original vintage garments. I’d really like to show some other looks that could be created with this, so if I can get a willing friend to take some more pics for me, I’ll show you some more outfit ideas soon.

View the full range of tops on the Pretty Retro website.

This year I’ve shared more outfits on here than any other year. I’ve really enjoyed embracing my own style so much. In many ways I feel like I’ve come out my shell a bit more. Today I looked back on all my outfit pictures from the last year and I can see a big change in myself.

2016-in-vintage-outfitsFirstly I lost quite a bit of weight this year. I don’t really talk about things like body image and weight on the blog at all. Having been everything from a size 6 to a 16 in my adult life, it has never been something that has impacted on my happiness. But looking back on my pictures over the year I am proud that I worked hard to lose a stone and feel healthier and more comfortable and of course I’m happy to fit into some of my dresses that were too tight last year.

2016-in-vintage-outfits-2I also feel very happy and content and far more confident to go out wearing whatever the hell I like and not being afraid if people notice that my outfit wouldn’t look out-of-place 60 years ago. I used to like to fade into the background and didn’t like people commenting on my clothes. I think it has a lot to do with turning 30 last December, I just feel older wiser and more comfortable to always be me.

2016-in-vintage-outfits-3I also made a lot of friends with similar interests this year. I used to absolutely hate meeting new people and was far too shy to go to a meet up with people I didn’t know. Everytime I said yes to going to an event it got easier and by getting past that anxiety, I have met some wonderful people who love vintage clothes too. We definitely encourage each other not only to be ourselves, but also to spend way to much money on gorgeous dresses (you know who you are!)

2016-in-vintage-outfits-4I also started doing vintage styles on my hair a lot more this year. Before I’d always had the attitude that I was a modern person wearing vintage clothing. I wasn’t really trying to recreate a look from the past, I just really liked the clothes. This year I got a bit more geeky and started doing more vintage hair and make-up and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s also been easier now the kids are a bit older and I have a bit more me time to perfect my hair and make-up!

2016-in-vintage-outfits-5I’m definitely more of a summer person and I loved wearing lots of pretty dresses when the weather was warmer. I also really enjoying finding great locations to take outfit pictures. I always try to go somewhere interesting where I can have a look around and also stop for a slice of cake and a cup of tea.

2016-in-vintage-outfits-6I also discovered that the park 5 minutes from my house has some great spots for photos, who knew! I clearly really like this particular spot, as I used it in 3 outfits posts in a row!

2016-in-vintage-outfits-7In the Autumn and Winter, I usually move away from classic mid-century looks and embrace the 60s and 70s a lot more. I like going for comfy clothes and darker colours. I also really love Autumn walks and so flat shoes and warmer layers come out a bit more.

2016-in-vintage-outfits-8My favourite outfit of the year, would have to be the 20s inspired Lindy Bop dress I wore a couple of weeks ago. I’ve also read heaps of history books about the 20s this year and feel really inspired to visit the decade through my clothes a lot more. I have a suitcase of old family photos with a lot of pictures from the 20s and I’d love to use them as inspiration for creating more 20s day looks. Expect to see a lot more hopping between the eras next year.

Some of my favourite outfits of the year have never made it onto the blog. Mostly because I was busy doing something else and there was no time to get decent pictures. I’ve shared so many outfits on Instagram that aren’t here. So I thought I’d show you a few of those too in a post later this week.

Also I wanted to mention that I’m determined to complete Blogmas this year, however I have a lot going on at the moment with work and the kids and other things that have to come before blogging. You may notice that my posts are getting published all over the place and that’s because I am mostly writing in the middle of the night or finishing a day’s post the following day! As I’m doing this challenge for me to see if I can I’m just going to do my best!

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Today I thought I’f share an outfit that I wore a few weeks ago to a Tiki Vintage Christmas event in London a few weeks ago. This was organised by Amber from Atomic Amber. I had such a lovely day with some of my favourite people. We headed to Kanaloa, a fabulous Tiki inspired bar in the city. As usual when I go to events I was really rubbish at taking enough pictures to do a proper blog post. But in true blogger style I got some outfit pictures to share!

kanaloa-barThe bar itself is absolutely amazing, you are instantly transported from the harsh building of the city, into a little Tiki paradise. I’ve been twice now and not remembered to take any decent photos, good excuse to go back I suppose!

kanaloa-tiki-barI wore an original 1950s orange dress to the event. It was getting it’s second outing after being worn last at Twinwood Festival in the summer. I picked it up at a vintage shop earlier this year for about £40. I have a lot of orange jewellery and I love Autumnal colours, so it was a great addition to my collection.

orange-ootdIt was quite a cold day and for the sake of comfort I wore my super thick black tights and some comfy ballet pumps. I accessorised the dress with a huge stock of original vintage bakelite bangles and a vintage handbag which I purchased from a French antiques dealer at Wimbledon Car Boot Sale. Thank you to Carrie-Ann for taking my pics for me.

bakelite-bangles-2And how gorgeous did everyone else look too?

tiki-christmas

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A few weeks ago I posted about my collection of vintage embroidered brooches. I thought today I’d take a break from talking about Christmas and share some new additions to my ever growing collection.

novelty-embroidered-vintage-broochesIt’s got a little bit to the point where a collection becomes and obsession and now I’m constantly looking for new additions. I find them all over the place and usually they are really great prices.

embroidered-cottage-broochI got this little cottage scene at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Balham a few months ago. It was on a stall called goodbye Norma Jean and it cost £10. It’s probably the most expensive one in my collection as I usually have an £8 limit. I couldn’t resist the lovely colours and detailed stitching on this one.

embroidered-vintage-swan-broochThis lovely swan was an eBay bargain and only cost me £3. I don’t find that many good ones on eBay so I was really pleased to snap this one up. It’s also my only one with this style of frame, which I think is really lovely.

vintage-embroidered-crinoline-lady-broochThis crinoline lady was also an eBay find and £2.20, it is probably the cheapest one in my collection.

vintage-embroidered-flower-broochI bought this flower one on a Facebook selling page. I can’t remember the exact price but it was around £5. I’ve been buying a lot more of my jewellery and vintage on Facebook recently. It’s a great place to look.

purple-embroidered-flower-broochThis purple flower brooch was another Facebook Buy. As I said in my last post, I really like buying similar ones and this is my third purple flower one that looks like it might have been based on the same pattern.

petit-point-broochLastly I also got this petit point brooch on Facebook. I have a handbag with a very similar design, so I plan to wear them together.

vintage-novelty-embroidered-broochesAt the moment I’m really on the lookout for anything with a picture, these are my favourites at the moment and the ones that get the most wear.  vintage-embroidered-brooch-collectionAnd here’s the whole collection, apart from a few that I bought years ago and don’t have to hand. To end on a very sad note! A few weeks ago i spotted this job lot on eBay and asked Rob to get them for me as my birthday present. He is amazing at eBay and never usually loses auctions, but this time it was just not meant to be and we missed out by £1. This would have been the best haul ever. I hope the person who did win them really enjoys them though. 🙁

ebay-brooches

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Recently I’ve been a little obsessed with the 1920s. Historically it’s one of my favourite eras to read about and everything from the roles of women to the drastically changing fashions fascinates me. I’ve been longing for a 20s themed outfit for absolutely ages, so when Lindy Bop launched their beautiful new Silver Screen range I was so excited to try one of the gorgeous dresses.

lindy-bop-silver-screen-reproduction-1920s-dress-reviewI chose the stunning Everly gold embellished dress. I absolutely love the colour and the classic sequin and bead details. It’s just so gorgeous and elegant. To go with it I chose a faux fur stole and some lovely t-bar shoes which are also from Lindy Bop. I finished off the outfit with a turban that I picked up recently at a car boot sale.

lindy-bop-silver-screen-everly-1920s-dress-reviewThe dress arrived beautifully packed in a box, because of the fragile glass beads it was carefully packaged with plenty of tissue and bubble wrap to protect it. As soon as I opened the box I was amazed at the beautiful quality of the dress. It has a sheer layer over a gold lining and the sequins and glass beads are firmly stitched into the fabric. The dress is quite heavy which makes it hang perfectly.

lindy-bop-silver-screen-1920s-beaded-dress-reviewI opted for my usual size 14 and the fit was absolutely perfect, so I’d say these come up true to size. The dress fastens with a concealed side zip, which really helps with the lovely fit.

lindy-bop-everly-flapper-dress-and-faux-fur-stoleThe fur stole went really well with the dress, it fastens with a hook and eye at the front. It adds a nice extra layer when its cold and wearing the two together was perfect for the season. This would make a great outfit for a Christmas party or winter wedding. If I go to any 20s themed nights or events, I’ll definitely be wearing this dress. 

lindy-bop-gene-shoes-reviewI was also really impressed with the shoes. They were beautifully made with quite a cushioned lining, making them quite comfortable to wear all day.

Overall I am really impressed with all the items I tried and I can’t wait to try more dresses from the Silver screen range.

Outfit Details

‘Everly’ Soft Gold Embellished Dress – £107 (currently on offer at £75)

Faux Fur Stole – £16 (currently on offer at £8)

Gene Round Toe Tap Style Shoes – £22 (currently on offer at £12)

Nude Seamed Hold Ups – £9

*I was gifted this outfit for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own. 

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