I keep saying that I should share more of my original vintage dresses on here as well as all my lovely repro pieces, and now I am finally getting round to it! I have been collecting vintage dresses for a few years now and I’m hoping to get pictures of all of them. I’m quite good at clearing out my wardrobe and will often sell or donate my dresses after a few wears, otherwise I would run out of room pretty quickly! So even when things leave my possession it’s nice to have photographs and visual records of them.

Today’s dress has actually been with me for some time. The main reason is because I managed to damage it the very first time I wore it, so its been at the bottom of my repair pile for ages. Last week I gave it some much needed tlc and now I can wear and enjoy it through the summer.

The dress is made from lovely light cotton, making it perfect for the summer. I bought this one on eBay for about £35 I think. If you’re building a vintage wardrobe yourself, cotton 50s dresses are a great place to start. Larger sizes can be harder to come by, but if you persevere they are out there.

I’ve worn my dress with a flower garland, which I picked up from New Look a couple of years ago. I’ve teamed it up with my yellow Miss L Fire shoes, which I adore. My bangles are all vintage bakelite, I’ve been slowly building up my bakelite collection over some time. I love mixing and matching them to go with different outfits.

It’s been lovely to have a bit of sunshine over the last few weeks and to be able to finally wear some of my prettiest dresses!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been adding lots of new stock to my Etsy store, including loads of lovely summer dresses. Everything dates from the 50s to 70s and there’s a selection of sizes. I’ll be adding new stuff every week so watch this space for updates.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of the vintage treasures from my wardrobe over the next few weeks, as well as tips on building your own vintage wardrobe. If you have any vintage related questions please let me know.

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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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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.

I love fairy tales, in our modern world they are a little piece of nostalgia that links us to childhoods gone by. Whether it be a princess falling in love or just defeating the big bad wolf they are something that we seem to never forget. For me a fairy tale can also be finding that perfect dress, something you feel amazing in. Sometimes an outfit is like a match made in heaven or a dream come true. Todays outfit just reminded me of little red riding hood, especially since as soon as I put it on my kids kept pointing out the resemblance.

Dolly and Dotty Annie Floral Retro Swing Dress ReviewThe dress and cape both came from Dolly and Dotty, who make cute feminine vintage style clothes. They contacted me recently about some of their new prints and styles and offered me something to review. I absolutely love capes and I knew I absolutely had to own this pretty red one. Choosing a dress to match was easy. The Annie floral swing dress, is a lovely classic Hepburn-esque style and the black background with striking red, pink and blue blooms looks lovely set against the deep red cape.

In true Red Riding Hood style I found myself in the woods, but rather than meeting the Big Bad Wolf I just decided to take some outfit snaps to share this lovely ensemble with you. I wore my hair in a poodle style which I have finally mastered, accessorised with a few small hair flowers from H&M.

Dolly and Dotty Sabrina Cape ReviewThe dress is a full circle and I wore it with a net petticoat to show off the lovely volume. I really like the cut of the skirt which features box pleats and the simple cut of the bodice is really flattering. The dress came with a matching belt, although I would also wear it with a plain black or red belt on other occasions to switch it up a bit.

I went for a size 14 as usual and found the dress to come up true to size. I’ve tried a few dresses from Dolly and Dotty and have found they all fit similarly. The dress is available in sizes 6 to 24 and the simple style makes it a perfect option for all sizes. Although the cape isn’t fitted, it also comes in a range of sizes from a 6 to a 24.

Dolly and Dotty Cape and Dress ReviewThe dress is 95% cotton and 5% spandex, giving a slight stretch. It is a nice heavy fabric, which gives it a really good drape. I always try to avoid flimsier reproduction items as I don’t find they hang very well, so I was really pleased with the finish of this one. The cape is the same blend, but with a completely different finish. It has a much thicker weave and feels very soft, almost like a fine wool. The cape is also fully lined which makes it a nice warmer layer for Spring and Summer evenings.

Dolly and Dotty Red CapeThe over-all quality is very good in both garments and at £24.99 for the cape and £29.99 for the dress, they are great if you are shopping on a budget.

I think the whole outfit would work really well for an event or party, or just for a very glamorous day time look. I know I will be getting lots of wear out of both garments and I’m looking forward to trying the cape with some of the true vintage dresses from my wardrobe too.

Outfit Details:

Dress – Annie Floral Retro Swing Dress in Black – £29.99 – Dolly and Dotty

Cape – Sabrina 1950s Style Cape in Red – £24.99 – Dolly and Dotty

Hair Flowers – Old – H&M

Shoes – Sandy in Mauve Shadow / Pink – £85 (currently £55) – Hotter

Find more of my vintage inspired outfits in the Outfit section of the blog.

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I got this pretty new dress on Ebay the other day. I have plans to completely alter it as I love the full skirt and the pretty print, but the top of the dress is horrible. In the pics I’m hiding it under a wool cardigan. I am wearing the dress with my red petticoat which I love but hardly get the chance to wear. I wearing a 1950’s brooch and pearls which were a gift from my Grandma and my shoes were a bargain from the New Look Sale. My hair is far too long for this look but I keep putting off getting it cut!

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Vintage Dress – Ebay – £9.99

Petticoat – Ebay – £10.50

Cardigan – Banana Republic – £45

Jewellery – Grandma’s

Shoes – New Look – £5

Please excuse my garden in the pics, we only moved to this house last year and haven’t touched outside yet!