Why I Fell in Love with Vintage and Secondhand Fashion

I remember clearly when I first noticed the charm of vintage and secondhand fashion.

It was the early 2000s and my younger sister was just out of university, totally rocking a cool secondhand wardrobe. She was often dressed in a Fifties-style printed blouse tucked into high-waisted swing skirt, cropped cardi and cute vintage heels. I loved how she pieced everything together, and I took note.

For the rest of that decade I developed my own hobby (read: obsession) for vintage and secondhand fashion, which then extended to furniture, fabrics and homeware. While high street and fast-fashion was taking off in a big way during the 2000s, I was scouring secondhand shops for granny-chic pleated skirts and 80s t-shirts.

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7 Ethical, Vegan and Feel-Good Gifts for Under £20

Where will you be doing your Christmas shopping this year? Whether you’ll be in lockdown or not, I imagine there’ll be more festive shopping done online than ever before. So what a great opportunity to seek out gifts and products that are ethical, and brands and retailers that you may not have come across before – the perfect time to spread seasonal love!

I spoke to mother and daughter duo, Sharon and Annie, who set up MettaLife, a one-stop online shop for vegan, ethical and cruelty-free products. Launched in 2019, they now stock over 100 brands and 2,000 products.

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9 Things to Know About Shoes Made from Recycled Plastic Waste

Making products out of recycled plastics is amazing and it still blows my mind how plastic can be turned into fabric.

So when Clearwaters footwear got in touch to show me how they are tackling ocean and landfill waste by turning plastics into shoes, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

I talked to Clearwaters co-founder Sean Evans to find out exactly how plastic is recycled into their gorgeous, cosy slippers and what more we can do to make recycling plastics a mainstream thing that we can all benefit from.

Continue reading “9 Things to Know About Shoes Made from Recycled Plastic Waste”

Recycle your old running shoes at Runners Need stores

Recycle Trainers Recycle My Run _ Runners Need
What do you do with your old running shoes? I’ve definitely done a Google search or two over the years for ways to recycle my old trainers, but usually end up taking them to the charity shop. Although I’ve also found community groups who take good quality sports kit and donate it to disadvantaged groups.


Now Runners Need, the specialist running shoe store, has re-launched ‘Recycle my Run’ initiative to give you £20 off your next pair of trainers if you bring in your old running shoes into store before 7th March 2019. In 2018, this same campaign led to 7575 trainers being recycled. How cool is that?

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My favourite eco, ethical and sustainable gifts

pukka bamboo keep cup

Last minute shopping for the plant based, eco warrior in your life? Or maybe you just need some inspiration for good eco and ethical gifts. Look no further than a few of my favourite products that I use and highly rate.

These tick eco friendly, sustainable, stylish (and if not stylish, then useful!). Would love to hear your what eco presents you have given, received or recommend. After all, ethical and sustainable should be all year round, not just for Christmas.

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Get your hair done at an eco hair salon

karine jackson eco salon
Karine_jackson salon covent garden london
Karine Jackson, Covent Garden IS LONDON’S first certified Sustainable Salon

Ever wondered how eco your hair salon is? Or maybe how eco your hair routine at home is? With the rise in environmental awareness, the University of Southampton discovered haircare and salons to be highly energy intensive (surprise, surprise) so they decided to launch the sustainable salon certification….(insert applause here)…

If you pop along to Karine Jackson salon in Covent Garden you’ll get a truly eco experience as it’s now officially the first hairdressers in London with this sustainability certificate. That means Karine and her team have not only made significant changes to reduce water and energy consumption and waste in the salon but advise customers how to do the same at home.

Karine, former London Hairdresser of the Year, has been a life-long advocate of green living and was one of the first salons in the capital to offer organic hair colouring (Organic Colour Systems), which uses fewer chemicals than conventional hair dye, and vegan hairdressing services, which I’ve reviewed several times and highly recommend (- not only for the dairy-free biscuit an almond latte, but for the team’s amazing cut and natural-colour skills).

…someone who washes their hair every day, rinses, repeats and blow dries uses 500kg of carbon dioxide a year. Washing hair every two days and rinsing only once, the carbon footprint goes down by 2000% to just 25kg of carbon dioxide.

Just check out the stats above – this is a single person’s carbon footprint so you can imagine how much energy a salon gets through each day, week and year. So giving a hairdressers a green makeover is not only an environmental win but the energy saving would save the business a ton of money too – a win for all. Karine is hoping this new eco initiative will encourage other salons to get on board too.

To find your nearest certified sustainable salon visit the salon locator: ecohairandbeauty.com


Alternative ways of being #5: Katharine Hamnett

‘The reports were appalling… The environmental issues surrounding the textiles and the pesticides poisoning, the deaths from industrial accidents and workers living in slave conditions… it had to change and it was hard. Even trying to get organic cotton was impossible, no one was doing it.


‘Today it’s totally different. We’ve got sustainable recycled polyester, and sustainable alpaca from Peru in natural colours. Swiss mills are making the most beautiful organic cotton. I don’t know why Burberry aren’t using it for all their clothes. They f**cking charge enough!’

– Fashion designer, Katherine Hamnett, 70, on closing her fashion empire in 1989, after she commissioned an impact study into her business and the environment.

The politically driven slogan t-shirt was her signature trademark – George Michael wore Choose Life and her picture wearing her anti-Pershing missile t-shirt meeting Margaret Thatcher is one of her most famous shots.

Katherine Hamnett is now making a comeback with ‘Cancel Brexit’ and ‘Choose Love’ t-shirts and a relaunch of some of her classic pieces (online at KatherineHamnett.com now and then Liberty and Matches).

I love her gutsiness to speak out on issues such as the environment, war or social injustice. She wasn’t happy with the status quo of the fashion industry so she shut down her business and found alternative ways of doing things. We can do the same too by trying to influence small, positive changes in the industries we work in and the attitudes of people we meet. If something isn’t right or should or could be done differently for a great good, why not say something and be bold like Katherine Hamnett.

Quote taken from interview with Mark C O’Flaherty in FT Weekend Life & Arts, 11/12 November 2017.

New eco-shopping app launches in London

urbit app shopping review blog post

urbit app shopping review blog post

I love hearing about new places to shop for eco and ethical products so I was recently introduced to a new shopping app called Urb-It. It’s a Stockholm-born app that’s now available in London and delivers purchases from any retailer on the app in an eco-friendly way to a London address of your choice.

The concept is simple, you browse and shop through a selection of curated products from one of the cool retailers such as Ethical Collection, 58 Lifestyle or The Idle Man and your products are delivered from their London stores or warehouses by one of the Urb-It team by bike, public transport or foot making it an environmentally low-impact way to get your home/office delivery. Depending on what time you order and where the store and where your delivery location is, you can get it the same day or even within a few hours.

I put an order through from two different retailers at around 1pm and by 5:15pm the lovely Urb-It delivery girl (pictured below) had arrived at the Healthista offices where I work on Edgware Road with my parcel of goodies. Just like an Uber app I was able to track where she was at and what her expected time of arrival was going to be. You can even organise a return free of charge. Move over Urban Outfitters!

urb-it delivery app review
My Urb-It delivery girl who picked up my orders from two London retailers and delivered my shopping by bike

There’s an A-Z range of retailers on the app, mainly independent boutiques, designers and makers covering jewellery, clothes, gifts, lifestyle, home and even delicatessen foods, flowers and artisan chocolates. There are lots of beautiful, high end products as well as some lower priced items under £20. Delivery is £9.99 which is obviously more expensive than a postal delivery but this is same day.

I realised going through the A-Z list of retailers is a great way to discover new labels and independent designers too.

With £100 to spend on the app I headed straight to The Ethical Collection and picked O My Bag Canvas Toiletry Bag, £34. Fair trade made, vegetable tanned and made with no harsh chemical dyes such as chromium PCP and minimal waste. Oh, and super super stylish. My kind of product!

urbit app ethical collection bag inside shopping review blog post.

I then checked out the homecare products and found some great looking organic and sports washing detergent (domesticated I know, but they looked so good!) by Totally Swedish from The Idle Man, £14.90 each. I also bought a silver bottle stopper as it’s just one of those things I don’t own and have never got round to buying or asking for it as a gift. So now I own a very lovely, elegant one (pictured above).

urbit app ethical shopping organic detergent review blog post.

There were just a handful of retailers on there when I did my shop in September but now there are many more and a huge product range so do check it out, especially if you’re in London and want to avoid the high street (who wouldn’t say no to that). You’ll also find some really cool unique products without having to search the internet for hours. Available on Apple Store now.

3 Great Gifts for International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! Last year I celebrated with a post about why we still need International Women’s Day. This year I’ll mark the day with a choice of awesome gifts you can give to celebrate female power.

Selfish Mother t-shirts

Selfish Mother is a brand making fabulous sweatshirts, tees and accessories stamped with power messages designed and created by Molly Gunn and various collaborations. Not only a cool addition to your wardrobe but products support a long list of amazing charities too.


we are wonderwomen bag

My lovely friend Laura, founder of Cocoon Child bought me a Selfish Mother Y sweatshirt and popped me on her Instagram page with her gorgeous daughter Zelia.

sisterhood sweatshirt yazadi women

£10 from every sale goes to Yazda, a charity that supports women from the Yazidi community in Iraq who have been through horrific abuse. I was going to add a link to Yazda charity but it seems Yazda has been shut down according to this Guardian news report, which is terrible news. As my family heritage is Iraqi I couldn’t have thought of a more fitting, thoughtful or powerful present. Whatever the charity’s situation really hope they can continue some of the work they do in Iraq in some way.

Buy Selfish Mother at thefmlystore.com

International Women’s Day t-shirts at Teespring

There are a heap of tees and bags celebrating women at Teespring, most carrying bold and beautiful messages. Some are available for a limited time only but this yellow Girl Power tshirt seems to be from a permanent range and 25% from every sale goes to Catalyst.org, a charity supporting diversity in the workplace. Healthista.com where I work is giving away a few awesome Teespring tees so enter here if you fancy your chance at winning one!

girl power t-shirt teespringBuy Teespring t-shirts here

Fifty Shades of Feminism book

Another great present from a friend (thank you Charlotte), Fifty Shades of Feminism by Lisa Appignanesi, Susie Orbach and Rachel Holmes is a book full of anecdotes, opinions, musings and stories from female writers and opinion formers about feminism and women. It’s a book I always pick up when I have spare reading time and always feel inspired or moved by an extract I read. Highly recommended to give or keep!

Fifty Shades of Feminism book

Buy Fifty Shades of Feminism at Amazon here

Finally if you’re still uncertain about what feminism means or if you are a feminist check out musician and activist Annie Lennox summing it up in this quick clip with Channel 4.

“To boil it down it is about human rights, it’s about protection of women, it’s about justice, and it’s about equality.” – Annie Lennox

Let me know if you have other great gift ideas for women or International Women’s Day xx

Old-school vintage glamour for Christmas…

Christmas jumpers not your thing? Nothing in ASOS taking your fancy? Then why not style it up with a touch of old-school vintage glamour instead. I popped into Beyond Retro on Great Marlborough Street in Soho, London and struck gold. Well, black actually…

beyondretro vintage sequin jacket christmas party 1 In amongst rails of garish party sequins (which I also love, but wasn’t in the mood for) I found this very elegant cropped cardi adorned with beautiful black beading. I’ll wear it proud this party season and will probably upgrade non-party outfits with it the rest of the year too.
beyondretro vintage sequin jacket christmas party 2

beyondretro vintage sequin jacket christmas party 3

A true classic that I expect will be worn for many more years and occasions. That’s why I love vintage shopping – because you never know when you’ll find a unique piece that will stand the test of time!

Happy vintage shopping x

In My Wardrobe: New Veja Trainers

New trainers! Veja trainers. After years of following the brand, I’ve finally got round to buying a pair. For me, Veja is a brand with the most amazing ethos and commitment to everything related to making a product: the environment, ecology, fair trade, workers and style.

Veja trainers Aida Shoreditch

The soles are made from Amazonian rubber trees (instead of usual petroleum-derived rubber) and help to provide an income for 60 Amazonian families as well as provide an incentive to keep trees up and not deforest.

I love the transparency in the who, where, what and why of Veja shoe-making – check out the video below to see more about how the shoes are made, and the brand’s inspiring commitment to workers and sustainable materials.

By doing things differently they can attempt to distance themselves from worker exploitatio and environmental degradation which is sadly the usual result of most things we produce and consume. Instead, I feel like there’s a lot of respect for people and the land, and that’s my kind of brand.  Read more about Veja materials and projects here

If you’re due a new pair of trainers, and want a decent alternative to the usual suspects, Nike et al, then check out the endless number of Veja stylesAnd if, like me, you try to minimise consumption of leather and animal materials, then many are almost vegan. Some are totally non-leather, others have some or very little. I believe mine (above) have a little bit in the V cut-out. Although I would have preferred a totally non-leather pair, from what I’ve read, Veja leather is said to be eco-tanned without chromium (a lingering pollutant) and with knowledge of the source and living conditions of cattle.

Check out the online Veja store (they ship to UK from France) as well as a few boutiques around London. I bought mine up from the gorgeous Aida in Shoreditch for £75.

Let me know if you have a pair, buy a pair or love them as much as I do. @YanarBeauty

PS – this is NOT a sponsored post. Just genuine love for a decent brand! x

Vintage Batiste Hair Ad

Vintage Batiste hair advert

How was a hair shampoo for greasy hair promoted in the seventies? With girls with chips, fried egg and an oil can on their head, of course! Check out this vintage hair ad by Batiste that one of the girls at work (Layered magazine) dug out for a piece on heritage hair products – possibly one of the strangest and funniest vintage beauty ads I’ve seen. Don’t miss the tag line “Whatever the problem, don’t let it go to your head” and the moody girls at the end. Chips aside, greasy hair is clearly serious stuff!



1960s Vintage Makeup Tutorial

We’ve just stumbled upon this fantastic video at work in the BeautyMART office which shows a girl doing her make-up in 1969. It’s seriously slow but we loved it. Just check out the Alsatian dog watching her!

I think these videos are quite rare but Glamour Daze has sourced them and built an AMAZING archive of vintage fashion history, make-up guides, videos and tutorials from 1920-1950s. Really quite amazing, check them out. I’m hooked.  glamourdaze.com and youtube.com/glamourdaze.

Vintage lovers, go to Whitstable

Vintage Curiosities antique shop in Sandwich, Kent

Vintage Curiosities antique shop in Sandwich, Kent

We didn’t mean to go to Whitstable but decided on the day, after purchasing a Stagecoach Explorer Kent Dayrider ticket, because we didn’t have a car. Sounds terribly geeky I know, but for a tenner, two of us could hop on and off all day, with lovely little old ladies. Plus everyone knows there are great vintage and charity shops to be discovered out of London, so I was more than happy to hit the road with a pair of magpie eyes and a pocket full of money.

Starting in St. Margaret’s Bay, with a bus full of OAPs, or ‘senior citizens’ as they like to call them around there, we popped to Deal for a coffee and some second-hand book shopping; I struck it lucky with Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species.

Onwards to Sandwich where we got off the bus and saw the little antiques shop, Vintage Curiosities (pictured above) sitting invitingly opposite the bus stop, and a big Age Concern charity shop on the other side – how convenient.

I took home a couple of pieces of old, engraved cutlery but had to tear myself away from an amazing, old turquoise typewriter which had an unbelievable price tag of £18. Frustratingly it was just too heavy to carry. Can you courier to London? No. Meep!

Back on the bus after a portion of chips in the sun, and onwards to Whitstable. Only 20 mins from Canterbury this little seaside town has an endless string of charity, second hand, vintage and antique shops. I couldn’t actually believe how many there were – in all my years of hunting down charity shops in the nooks and crannies of towns and villages, I’ve never seen such an overwhelming concentration of them all in one place. I quite simply was in second-hand heaven!

Surprisingly I was very constrained, and kept purchasing power to a minimum. We found a lovely little vintage store called Anchors Aweigh Vintage which had a well-sourced, almost curated collection of every vintage item you might want in your life – from clothes and purses to fabrics, tins and glass ware.

I found a cream, 1960s house coat in a feather-light quilted material, a bit like a dressing gown, in immaculate condition.

1960s cream coat from Anchors Aweigh Vintage

With the perfect A-line fit, so reminiscent of that era, it has little three quarter sleeves and beautiful embroidery on the collars and across the pockets – it really was too cute to leave behind.

1960s cream jacket from Anchors Aweigh Vintage with beautiful embroidered collar 1960s cream coat from Anchors Aweigh Vintage pocket detail

The only downside is its dangerously cream colour: I’m a messy pup at the best of times and I’d probably only have to look at it to get it dirty but I would love to wear it when it’s warmer – I just need somewhere where I only need to stand still, not eat, drink or travel on public transport. How likely an event is that? Exactly! For now, it can join the rest of my collection.

As well as a bulging charity, vintage and second hand scene, Whitstable also boasts lots of art galleries and artists. We stopped by a friend of my friend’s pop up gallery and bought a little piece of bee art on a mount, which will look lovely in a little glass clip frame or even against a window to let the light shine through it.

There are also gazillions of seafood restaurants and fish and chip shops – a bit useless for two veggie/vegans unfortunately.

I could have gone second hand shopping crazy in Kent especially for old ladies’ clothes and vintage crockery but it was a day of selective choices – quality not quantity.

I’m also currently in the process of setting up my own online vintage store on Etsy.com so I’m conscious of having limited space for more stuff – but once I launch and start selling, I’ll definitely be pencilling in another visit to Whitstable. Next time I’ll add Canterbury to the trip too as I spotted a row of second-hand and antique furniture shops which were desperately calling my name. Suddenly that family explorer bus ticket doesn’t sound so silly. xx

Vintage buy of the week: 1940s hat

Velour Regale vintage hat Scarlet Rage

My star vintage buy this week has been a beautiful 1940s hat in immaculate condition, picked up from my local vintage shop, Scarlet Rage Vintage in north London, which stocks the most exquisite dresses, occasion wear and accessories.

The hat is stamped with the label Velour Regale Merrimac and a sewn label from John Wanamaker Philadelphia, which I’ve just discovered is one of America’s oldest and original department stores, opened in 1876.

I strangely can’t find information about Velour Regale – apart from a few pieces on Etsy.com here – but John Wanamaker is said to have pioneered the department store concept in the US and according to his Wikipedia page is considered to be a leading figure in the birth of modern day marketing.

So not only did I find a beautiful vintage item but it came with a small thread of traceable history too. ….I wonder who has worn this hat over the years…

Velour Regale vintage hat Scarlet Rage

I’m always looking for great vintage hats – notoriously hard to find as sizes vary so much and they usually come up very small – so I was lucky to find a perfect fit.

The detailing is simple  – a little cluster of velvet leaves on each side with a three-way, navy sequin motif. The hat sits on the top or side of the crown and holds securely via little flexible bars on each side (discreetly tucked beneath the detailing) and feels strangely secure.

I’ll be wearing this as soon as I can – day or evening events – and will probably style hair long with a casual pin-curl twist at the front.

See more vintage style.

Lost in the 80s with model Nancy Donahue

Nancy Donahue Vogue

Nancy Donahue circa 1980s

The highlight of this week was interviewing Nancy Donahue, one of the most famous models of the 70s and 80s: a regular on the cover of Vogue, Harper’s, Self, Madmoiselle and the go-to model for Cover Girl and Almay cosmetics. She dominated the fashion and beauty scene back then with modelling buddies Kelly Emberg and Kim Alexis, who she is still close friends with today.

Today Nancy is an ex-triathlete and co-founder of BelleCore bodybuffer (available at BeautyMART) – a fitness and beauty gadget that helps to smooth skin, boosts circulation, improve lymphatic drainage and eliminate lactic acid after intense exercise. After her heyday in front of the camera, Nancy went on to become a fitness trainer, competing triathlete and mother and now her bodybuffer is the perfect accessory to her life of health, fitness and wellbeing.

So there we were in BeautyMART’s concession in Harvey Nichols chatting freely about vintage fashion, beauty trends from the 1980s, fitness and triathlons. Far from being a snooty ex-supermodel, Nancy was down to earth, natural and full of  youthful energy.

Having spent today writing up my interview with her for the BeautyMART blog (where I’m the Online Ed) and a guest post for the brilliant Lovely’s Vintage, I thought I’d share some of her most stand out works with some of the world’s best


US Vogue, shot by Eric Boman; make-up artist Alberto Fava… (left)..and photo by Patrick Demarchelier (bottom left)

Nancy Donahue circa 1980s Vogue Eric Boman  Nancy Donahue Vogue

Nancy Donahue in fab 80s clothesNancy Donahue in 80s clothes

Nancy Donahue mag beautymart


Model Nancy Donahue photo Patrick Demarchelier

So nasty they're nice…

Gold lame trousers vintage

They’re bold, brash and a little bit nasty. These gold lamé, 80s vintage trousers – a little bit MC Hammer style – with abstract floral print are my latest charity find.

Gold lame trousers vintage

They even came with a cropped matching bolero jacket – a daring combo even for my alternative taste – and definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Dress to impress

When it was pouring with rain last Friday, this was my morning inspiration. Now, after two days of unbelievable sun in London, it’s my inspiration once again. And why not. Take note girls, the message is simple: Dress to impress.

Thanks to Vintage Style Facebook page for the picture. There are plenty more like this posted every day from Vintage Style so check it out if you like. Me, I’m off to shop for a one-piece swimsuit.

Sneak Peek at new site – Opnuu

Opnuu screen-shot-

Opnuu screen-shot-

Just heard of this new site for recycling high-end fashion and vintage clothes called Opnuu – http://www.opnuu.com/ – the idea is that you can lend and borrow desirable items, clothes and accessories, to a community of like-minded people. If you have something to lend, it seems like you set your ‘rental’ price and period of time it’s available and members get to hire the piece out, allowing you to earn money off it. I’d quite like to borrow this hat..perfect for a winter wedding http://www.opnuu.com/sneak-peek/accessories/hat-with-feather.html

The idea is great – let others enjoy pieces they wouldn’t usually have access to and obviously a great way of supporting sustainable fashion. But what about if the person damages your one off vintage jimmy choos? The site is an invite-only community so I guess that cuts down on random riff-raffs but accidents still happen. I’m guessing there are codes of conduct to follow to help avoid this. I’ve signed up my interest anyway as I’m curious to know more and have more than enough vintage pieces ideal for rental.

So, another good option for your clutter ladies.. albeit temporarily. And if like me, you’re wondering where the name Opnuu came about, just found a blog post that explains it all – apparently it’s a play on the words ‘new’ and ‘opportunity’ which I really liked… http://emmasexton.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/whats-in-a-name-how-the-brand-name-opnuu-came-about/  x

Last minute Christmas shopping

lovelys vintage emporium

If you’re anything like me, leaving EVERYTHING until the last minute then here’s a round up of the stylish, ethical and fabulous places to shop in time for Christmas (and all year round!)…I did a quick check and all can deliver in time for Christmas – if you buy now!

Content beauty boutique1. CONTENT – beauty and wellbeing boutique in London and onlne

Founder Imelda Burke, says it specialises in ’emerging, results-driven niche brands’ but you’ll also find trusted favourites like Lavera, Nvey Eco and Jo Wood Organics. It’s like a treasure trove of adorable beauty finds and walls adorned with vintage mirrors and cute illustrations. There are treatment rooms for beauty and complimentary therapies too so you can treat yourself or others. You can also pick Imelda’s brains on everything to do with natural and organic beauty as she’s a trusted beauty insider. beingcontent.com

2. MELVITA – natural beauty brand in Covent Garden, London Melvita beauty store

It’s a newly opened store in a cute new shopping courtyard in Covent Garden and inside there’s enough to keep you engaged until they chuck you out. I had no idea French brand, Melvita, had so many products until I visited the store last week. And, they have the most AMAZING planted wall that had me swooning over it (yes, I’m a little sad!) and wishing to have one installed in my house. The ranges are affordable and gentle on skin, perfect for winter. melvita.com

3. Lovely’s Vintage Emporium

Oh I love a good vintage hideout and this one is totally fabulous! It’s bright, uplifting and fun to browse. Founder, Lynnette Peck-Bateman, has obviously put a lot of work into the visual experience (which makes a change to the typically dreary vintage shopping sites around) and sourcing of designer and non-designer, unique pieces. It’s my kind of vintage style – statement pieces. A lot of bold and eye-catching finds from 60s, 70s and 80s (as well as other eras) with strong shapes and vibrant colours. These are the kind of pieces that get people asking you where your clothes are from. Check it out!  lovelys-vintage-emporium.myshopify.com

lovelys vintage emporium

Now I want to know your favourite ethical, stylish and fabulous places to shop!!

Spotted. Beautiful old umbrella.

Last week I had an umbrella crush. Spotted in the window of the lovely Paper Dress vintage shop on Curtain Road in London. It’s a Sixties original, perfect condition with a hooked wooden handle. With the kind of weakness I have for beautiful umbrellas, especially old ones, of course I had to have it…what do you think?!

Ooh la la …

Marie Claire 1940

So much to say, so little time. Last week I was in Paris where I picked up this gorgeous 1940’s edition of Marie Claire from a vintage shop. It’s dated 19 April  1940 and priced at 1.75 Francs. I paid €6. Isn’t it gorgeous!

Marie Claire 1940

What I’d like to find out is whether these are reproductions or originals. I found a stall selling some at the flea market too, which made me doubt their originality. Does anyone know?

I found a few on eBay but no mention to their originality, and around the same price so I wasn’t ripped off. Amazing if they’ve survived that long but equally, I imagine it’s pretty easy to reprint onto yellowed, dusky paper.

Here’s a quick peek inside…In French of course, but the visuals are great and I wish there were more; the magazine in general is quite text heavy.

Inside Marie Claire, 1940Inside Marie Claire, 1940...

My favourite pic…

Inside Marie Claire, 1940 edition

A few ads – recognise the brands?

Colgate advert, Marie Claire 1940Tampax advert, Marie Claire 1940I hadn’t realised Tampax and Colgate were so old. In fact a quick Google revealed Tampax has been around since 1936 (some sources say as early as 1920s) and Colgate since 1806. The Colgate & Company (founded by William Colgate, a soap and candle maker in New York) made their first toothpaste in 1872, sold in jars. The first toothpaste sold in a tube was in 1896. I love a bit of geeky history!

New old shoes

New shoes

New shoes

I couldn’t resist but show you the four pairs of lovely new old shoes I got this week from the Antoinette Costume Hire shop in SE London as they did a big shoe sell-off on Ebay.

It’s amazing that all four fit perfectly, hoorah! Does anyone else get that nervous anticipation when Ebay items arrives, especially shoes: Will they be ugly? Will they fit? However well-versed you are in the art of Ebay and online vintage buying there’s always a small chance the purchase is a big bad no-no.

In fact, this week I bought another pair of shoes off Ebay which were simply horrid. Too big and too nasty. As soon as I opened the package they went straight back in the bag and off to the charity shop. Oops.

These lovely shoes on the other hand are worth showing off; from left to right: a special pair of 1970s Bertie’s platforms (I’ve been looking for a pair of platforms for a while); black fabric and yellow faux-snake skin flats which are very elegant with a cool mix of fabrics; a red patent, slightly battered androgynous-looking lace-ups; and a pair of pointy black quite masculine leathers with a wee buckle on the side which will look great with jeans or mid-length skirts.

Love them all! Please share your Ebay horror or love stories..

Are you ready to ski again?

Ski pants are back!

Ski pants are back! favourite bag

Ski pants are back?! Surely not. Oh yes they are. I saw this wonderful pair in the shop window of my local vintage shop – the brilliant Paper Dress on Curtain Road in Londres – and after walking past them for a few weeks, guess what? Yep, I had to have them. They’re mine now and they look fab!

Worn with a black top tucked in, platform boots, a short jacket and my current favourite handbag (a gorgeous old Italian number featured above) it’s a recipe for love. And luckily I don’t even feel eight years old.

Go on, I think you should try a pair :)

Continue reading “Are you ready to ski again?”