I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Cath Kidston’s latest print, firstly because I love anything beachy, but also because it features lobsters. This isn’t the first time novelty lobster prints have been used and the latest offering from CK has has some rather fabulous lobster predecessors. I thought I’d share a bit of fashion history, before showing you my favourite pieces from the Cath Kidston collection.

Image from The Philadelphia Museum of Art (source)

This amazing dress by Elsa Schiaparelli dates from 1937 and was designed in collaboration with Salvador Dali. It’s one of my all time favourite dresses.

Image found via Pinterest

Above is a picture of Walace Simpson wearing the dress, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937 shortly before her marriage.

Image found via Pinterest from The Fashion and Textiles Museum

Horrockses also produced a lobster print, which can be seen in the above skirt. I really love this print and I hope one day it’s reproduced.

Another variation of the Horrockses Lobster print designed by Pat Albeck is included in the Horrockses book by Christine Boydell.

Lobster and Shells DressLobster Beach ToteLobster Kids SunglassesLobster Foldaway ShopperLobster Grace MugLobster Espadrilles 

I absolutely love the cute beachy theme of the Cath Kidston dress and the colours are really pretty. I also really like the simple lobster and blue background print on the shopping bag and really wish there was a dress in this print too, as it would love a bit more vintage. As well as the dress I really like the beach tote bag a lot and these are the two pieces from the collection that I’ll definitely be saving up for.

What do you think of the Cath Kidston prints, is there something from the collection that you like?

See the full Lobster range on the Cath Kidston website.

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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 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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