Friday, 27 November 2015

Great Influences

I was thinking the other day, about the influences I've had that have led me to lead a vintage life. Is it something that you can just decide to do because it looks great or you fancy a change, or does it run deeper than that, and is something that is at your core? Well I imagine it's different for everyone but, for me, it's something that I believe has always been in me. I certainly have been influenced in many ways when it comes to my love of the past. My greatest influence to go full time into the vintage world was the delightful Miss Lola Lamour. She is one of the greatest entertainers on the vintage circuit and was featured in the channel 4 documentory Time Warp Wives. I don't want to breach copyright by putting her image on here, but, check her out. She is brilliant and beautiful and well worth searching for on YouTube.
 My influences run much deeper than that though, and I have to say that my parents are the ones that nurtured my rather eccentric ways. So this post is about how they helped create Miss Pond. 
 I have always had a rather crazy sense of style. Every decade always brings its own style of clothing and I haven't been on trend once. This has not been a source of worry to me, although it was probably a source of deep embarrassment to my brothers and sisters. Money was tight with five kids in the house and so we generally got our clothes in flea markets and jumble sales, I say this very proudly, I might add, because there is absolutely no shame in it. My mum and dad were happy for me to pick my own clothes from a young age ( if they viewed this as a mistake once I got going, they were gracious enough not to say it out loud ). So there I was perusing racks of clothing, scrabbling about on tables piled with clothes like a miniature trooper. Every now and then I would pull out some item like a huge brown wool duffle coat and announce that I wanted that. This would be fine, my parents undoubtedly thought, but little did they know of my plans to team it with my full length frilly ra ra skirt, a rainbow coloured sweater and trainers. They soon got the message though, when, they would look out of the kitchen window and see me scampering about doing cartwheels in a velvet pantaloon suit complete with double breasted jacket, long sport socks and bright pink sateen shoes laced with black ribbon. Quite often in the holidays, we would all take a trip in town to help with the weekly shop, and I imagine we made quite an impression. A long line of us traipsing down the streets with millions of carrier bags between us, my little brother in a rickety pushchair ( of which he would be turfed out of and replaced by mounds of tins ), and me, the weirdo on the end wearing bright yellow knee length culottes, long socks with blue elstic garters to hold them up as the elastic had gone, cowboy boots and a starwars t shirt passed down from my brother. I guess I hadn't quite got to know how to do vintage style and was very happy wearing whatever caught my fancy no matter what decade it came from. The point is, I was never discouraged. If I had been then my vintage roots would probably have remained buried, to be replaced with a need to dress more conventionally, to slot in with everyone else. Instead, I'm not afraid to be dressed differently and as a result, I can embrace the wonderful world of vintage to the full. So thank you, dear mum and dad, for giving me such a positive influence where my fashion sense is concerned.

As you can see, I have always been a chunk. What you can't see, is that under my rather natty bonnet, I have shoulder length hair. I was born with very long dark hair, I also had hair on my shoulders and to be perfectly honest, I'm at a loss as to why my mother didn't immediately pass me over to the natural history museum as proof of the missing link! 

This is proof that I've always loved a good cardi, this one was knitted by my mum. Meanwhile, my dad and little bro are fully engaged in their own competition as to who can wear the loudest sweater. Personally, I think little bro is the winner, hence the smug look.

Don't ask, just don't ask! 

Also proof that I am a total poser and always have been. Both brothers are clearly used to this.

My two rather beautiful sisters, and me, showing my affinity with long sport socks and proving to the world they do go with dresses and brown anoraks. My hair was done by my mother, who would be under strict instructions to either put my pigtails far back on my head, so I could look like a rabbit, or to place them on top AKA Red from Fraggle Rock. On this particular day, she must have favoured a rabbit for a daughter instead of some demented Fraggle bounding about all day, can't say I blame her really! 
                        Till next time dears xx

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Fabulous Forties

Out of all the decades to choose from for vintage fashion inspiration, I have to say I love the 40s the most. I think the styles are so feminine. I love how those that lived in those times of true hardship and uncertainty, still made the effort. They didn't just bung any old thing on and to hell with it, they knew that by making an effort, they would be able to face the day feeling a tiny bit better. They took care of their garments, lovingly mending even the most threadbare of clothing, knowing that they had to be thankful for all they had. It's a world away from the throwaway society that we seem to live in today. 
 With this in mind it means that vintage lovers, such as myself, are able to own clothing from that period. In a small fabulous shop in Newark, I found a delightful 40s dress that, wait for it, FITS!!!
 Oh yes my dears, I have a frock that once belonged to some equally well endowed lady, and was without a doubt a very treasured piece of clothing. It's now my turn to treasure it and take care of it, so that one day, it may find itself in the wardrobe of a future lady desperate for a dress that accommodates her boobs. 

Isn't it pretty? I love the red flowers on it, the length is just spot on, and the gathers on the skirt so flattering and swishy when I walk. I wanted full on 40s accesories, so I added my lovely red Mary Jane's a red cardi and original 40s earrings and brooch. I also wore some thick nude stockings I found in Boots, they were 30 denier and were much better than the thinner variety. 

Slap on some red lippy, and put my hair into a 40s style and I was well away. I got lots of compliments in this dress. I can't tell you how happy I am to find something like this, I'm so very lucky and I hope to enjoy it for many years to come. Oh, and it was only £9!! Woohoo! 

Miss Pond in 1946 (ish)! 
                                  Till next time dears xx

Friday, 20 November 2015

Autumn and Winter

It's totally typical that here in Britain we get several seasons in one week. This week we have had mild temperatures followed by terrific winds and now the cold and rain. So, just a normal autumn then! 
 I decided that I'd show you a couple of outfits that I have worn this week, that reflect the last two seasons of the year pretty well. We will start with autumn. 

This is a perfect outfit for autumn. It reflects the colours of nature perfectly. I am loving anything mustard coloured at the mo, hence the abundance of it here. My brooch is a new find and totally lovely.  My tweed skirt is just right for this time of year, it's warm enough without being too bulky. It's a timeless outfit rather than a vintage one but I love it. 
 Now for winter.

I'm rocking a bit of a Mrs Clause look here, or so Alex tells me anyway. It was much colder when I wore this, I am layered up as you can see. My sweater is so soft and warm and I love how striking my pretty 50s brooch looks on it. My boots are proving their worth and I'm extremely happy with them. This outfit, although very classic, is unmistakably 50s inspired. The length of the circle skirt, the booties and the polo neck and pearls are right out of a winter musical. I was very snug and warm.
 I have a few more finds to show you in the near future. More bargain hunting has been done and I'm ready to show off my tat. Enjoy the changing weather, you never know, we might be in short sleeves next week! ( either that or shovelling snow ).
                         Till next time dears xx

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Time to get Shirty

I love a good shirt or blouse. I don't own many, however, as it's extremely difficult to find ones that will fasten across my rather large chest. I am always envious of the lovely ladies in the blogs I follow, when they post pictures of them looking positively darling in their vintage shirts and blouses. You can imagine my happiness then, when I found a lovely silky shirt that not only buttoned up over the two mountains that I have to srap inside a bra each day, but that was also perfectly vintage. I should point out that the actual shirt isn't vintage in age, that would be nigh on impossible, ladies from long ago did not seem to have boobs like mine. I am just happy to have a shirt that is wearable, and to celebrate, I thought I would do a post to show a couple of different looks with it. So here we go;

I've gone for a bit of a land girl look here. I really like how the shirt looks with a shorter sleeved top over it. The shirt has a grey and orange pattern on it, that contrasts beautifully with the green. I love trying colours together that you wouldn't normally see side by side.

Here, you can see the pattern more clearly. I added an autumn themed brooch that looked great and carried the colours through.

I often wear a headscarf over my hair and this outfit definitely called for such a look. I'm not too hot at selfie taking, as you can tell. I need longer arms!
 On to the next look;

This is a more formal look. I picked this skirt up in a charity shop for 50p! It's a great winter skirt and was crying out to be put together with my burgundy tights and jumper. 

Again, the colours on the shirt wouldn't necessarily be thought of when looking at my jumper, but, I think it really works. I couldn't resist adding this cute cameo.

Another great selfie! And will I never remember my glasses so you don't have to gawp at my lopsided eyes! I don't often have my hair fully up either, but, I think it's quite a nice look with that added flower.

I don't know, you wait ages for a decent pair of winter footwear and then 3 throw themselves at you at once. Aren't these little booties just so perfect? Look at that fur top, it just screams the 50s. My feet are certainly going to be well cared for this winter.
 So there we have it, a blog post with me in a shirt, who would have thought it? Not me that's for sure.
                                Till next time dears xx

Friday, 6 November 2015

Tally ho!

I thought I would match my outfit to the colours of the trees today, I mean, why the hell not! 
 Alex has been working on a tweed skirt for me for a little while. We bought the tweed material a good while ago, a whole load of it for just £5. We knew we had enough to make a skirt and a waistcoat from it. So far only the skirt is finished, but, I'm so pleased with it. 
 First off however, il show you what I wore today. It's all a bit 'jolly hockey sticks' I think, hence the title.

Yes, I look very nowty on the photo. What can I say, it's my natural expression, I'm really a very nice person! I love mustard colours, they are lovely and earthy and go with so many other colours. I have been after some polo necks for a while. I wanted them to go under shirts and cardigans, I think they look quite classy. I love these thick brown slacks, I wear them a lot, they are very practical and comfy. 
 Now onto the skirt, which also looked great combined with these tops.

I wanted a more 30s look to the skirt, I really like the length, and finding skirts that are mid calf length is hard for me as my legs are 1 inch long. The tweed is a gorgeous traditional close pattern. It made it very easy to work with as there was no pattern matching required. Alex did a phenomenal job, she made the skirt from scratch. She did everything, she made her own pattern and worked out where to put darts in and how to do the back split. I wanted a small feature on the skirt, and chose to have two rows of buttons following the seams of the front panel. We found the buttons as part of a job lot in an antique store. It's just the look I was after and goes well with thick tights and sensible shoes. The waistcoat will be just as great, and I'll do a post on them both, where I'll also remember to get a picture of the gorgeous iridescent green lining we have used. A perfect winter skirt. 

This is my new handbag, It's a great autumn colour too and goes perfectly with my skirt, as you can see.

I've had this brooch for a while, it was originally a pendent, but I thought it worked better as a brooch. It is a little like a sweetheart brooch, although the man looks way too clever for me! 
 I hope you are all enjoying the autumn and the glorious colours. 
                        Till next time dears xx

Saturday, 31 October 2015

I Little Bit of Lou Lou

I have often read about other bloggers experiences at Lou Lou's Vintage Fairs. They have great reviews and I've wanted to go to one for a while. They travel the country and are often in Sheffield but, I have never been able to get to them. Today however, there was one right on my doorstep and I was determined to go. 

Even the flyer is a lovely thing to look at. We got there at opening time and everything was perfectly set up. Lots of great stalls to browse round, lovely old tunes playing and great lighting, none of the bright white eye hurting lights that seem to be everywhere nowadays. 
 Alex and I had a lovely time wandering around and gazing at all the great stuff on offer. The prices were very reasonable and there was so much choice. I could have come away with several handbags, but, while they weren't expensive, they still weren't the price I was prepared to pay. Several thigs were the price I was prepared to pay though, so I will get on with the job of showing you my lovely new tat. 

This is a beautiful handkerchief bowl. We often see these and Alex likes them a lot, but they are often orange or really quite expensive. We both loved this one, it's such a lovely colour and we had to bring it home with us. 

Excuse the enormity of the photos, I forgot to crop them all before I posted. So, if you can see the teeny specs resting on my giant footstool then you are looking at two pairs of gorgeous earrings, a devine enamel brooch and yet more vintage buttons. These are all in immaculate condition and I can't wait to show them off better by wearing them ( and cropping my photos! ).

This is the prettiest bread bin I've ever seen. It's perfect for my kitchen as I have a lot of green and cream items. I love the Art Deco lettering on the front. I'm using my old bin as a storage for my cloths and natural cleaning solutions that I've mixed up recently. It's looks good in the cupboard under my sink and certainly keeps things tidy. 

These are a fab pair of unworn rubber boots ( I'm certainly geared up for wet weather ), they are from the early 60s and I normally wouldn't go for things from that decade but I think these have great 50s styling to them. They are fleecy all the way to the toe, so they will be as warm as toast for me in the winter.

And finally, this is what I wore. I got complemented on my hair while I was there, woohoo! I wanted to wear my handmade 40s skirt and my newly made flower brooches. I think it's a sweet ensemble and quite appropriate for a lovely morning hunting tat. 
                        Till next time dears xx

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Happy Finds

Just a quick post to show you the great things that have been added to my treasure cave this week. 
 The weather has been totally miserable but I have a big smile on my face due to some utterly gorgeous tat. It has to be said that I am one cheap date, as the things that make me happiest are always the smallest things. I love details, whether that be the small knick knacks that change the room completely and make it more homely, to the accessories that make an outfit just that bit extra special. 
 This week I have managed to find details such as those. 

This lovely thing is a small detail to add to a room, something that a housewife would have picked up to make a piece of furniture a little bit more user friendly. It's a bakelite tray that sits on the arm of a chair or couch and stays put by gripping on with springy grabber things ( technical speak there ).

It's actually very stable to use, maybe a husband would have put his pipe or drink on there, or maybe a wife would have used it to keep sewing things at hand as she worked of an evening. Who knows, but what I do know is that it's pretty darn useful, even after all these years. 

Now, these are something totally brilliant! Alex actually found them so I can't claim the credit ( not as she reads this blog anyway ), but I'm so glad she did. Yes, the packet says rain overshoes, and that is precisely what they are.

They fold out into stylish shoe covers that have a sole and an elasticated heel opening. They also have a zip front and fold over top details. They can be popped into a handbag ready for a rain emergency. 

I think these are so great, it's actually a brilliant idea as when you are wearing court shoes that leave the top part of your foot exposed, or suede shoes that will be ruined by rain, you can just slip these on quickly and not have to worry about splash marks on your tights or ruined shoes. Yes, you can wear appropriate  shoes in the first place, but sometimes you don't want to be in boots all the time, and there will be occasions where you are out and about and suddenly the heavens open in an unexpected shower ( this is Britain after all ). These are quite rare, especially complete with packaging, Ebay hasn't even got any at the moment and Ebay usually has everything. 

And finally, these beautiful earrings. These are so gorgeous, I could weep! When I look at photos of women from the 40s and 50s, I'm always taken by the loveliness of their accesories. Their hair slides and earrings and brooches are always so delicate and totally beautiful, no one seems to make them quite as wonderful as they used to anymore. So it's understandable that I had to have these, they are in perfect condition and will be a lovely addition to some of my outfits. 
 All wonderful small things that add so much to my vintage life, making it feel even more authentic and far away from modern living. I told you that I was a cheap date when little things like these give me a warm fuzzy glow inside, but having said that, if someone would like to buy me a vintage fridge, well then I wouldn't say no! 
                    Till next time dears xx