Vintage Shopping Guide

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Here's a few things to bare in mind if you're in the market for vintage clothing.

Reliable Seller
Most of the time, people selling their clothes second hand are perfectly fine, but there's always the off chance that you'll end up not getting what you wanted or thought you'd paid for. When buying vintage I recommend legitimate online marketplaces like The Pokey Hat, ASOS Marketplace, or individual sellers on Etsy, for example. As long as you can see if they have positive feedback, recommendations, delivery and returns policies. Vintage boutiques are great because they will hand pick collections of vintage clothes so you get the best choice, which saves you time and energy from looking for hours through piles of clothes that aren't wearable. Once you buy from somewhere once, you'll know how good their service is, so it's always worth going back and checking for more. Charity/thrift shops might have hidden gems too, but you have to have plenty of time and patience to keep checking through rails.

Good Quality
Vintage clothes can be very old, some general vintage boutiques will stock clothing that dates as far back at the 30's, bearing in mind that it's now 2014, those clothes will be over 80 years old. Think about how people look after all that time, you can't expect clothes to hold up much better. However, it's important if you're spending quite a bit of money on vintage clothes to make sure you're getting good quality clothing. There's no point buying it if you can't wear it because it's falling apart or covered in stains. It comes back to the point of making sure that it's a trustworthy seller, with clear photos, and notes about the condition. Classic fabrics like silk will need a bit of extra care but will always look polished and elegant. Cheaper synthetic fabrics might be more robust but they wont hold their shape well over time.  If you're interested in a vintage style but don't have the cash to splash on real vintage clothing then it's worth checking out some vintage reproduction stores, as the clothes are made with modern fabric and manufacturing, they should wear a lot better over time.

Decent Price
One of the good things about buying vintage is that you can often get clothes at really cheap prices. Specialist shops do older and designer pieces, but they'll tend to come with a much bigger pricetag. It really depends on how much you wear vintage clothes to determine how much you should spend. If it's just now and then or you happen to see something you like, then you can afford to splurge. If you're just getting into vintage clothing, I'd recommend not spending a fortune but just getting a few cheaper pieces to see how you like it. If you want an entire wardrobe full of vintage clothes then keep an eye out for a bargain, get simple things like shirts and dresses, you can get some on the lower end of the financial scale that still give off a great vintage vibe. If you want to achieve an authentic retro look then I'd recommend investing in some good-fitting high-quality investment pieces, then you can dress it up or down with your accessories and you'll know you'll get good wear out of them.

The whole point of buying clothes is to be able to wear them, so if you think "that looks nice, but it's 3 sizes too big/small" then it's probably best to not get it. I'm very guilty of this. I'll buy stuff in the wrong size and tell myself 'I'll make it fit' but it just ends up at the back of my wardrobe and then given away to charity. One of the best and worst things about vintage clothes is that there's usually only one. So if you like something and you don't get it, you know you wont have another chance, but if you order something that you like but know you'll never wear then it's just a waste of money. Don't worry, there's bound to be something more suitable out there. The exception to this of course is if you are planning to customise or alter the clothes. Customising is one of the great things about vintage, because you can really make something your own and you don't feel so bad about maybe chopping it up, because it's not brand new anyway. Try to get 'staple' pieces that can help make a simple look more 'vintagey', so you can wear it everyday.

Know your measurements
Sizes nowadays are not the same as they were 10-50 years ago. If you're a modern size 12, you could be an 10-14 in vintage sizes. Site will be able to offer approximate sizing but will often also share measurement information, so to be sure that something will fit, measure yourself and keep note. This way, you'll also know how much a garment will need to be adjusted if you decide to alter or customise it.

As long as you remember to be savvy, you'll be fine.

Hope this was helpful.
I know this was a wordy post, they won't all be like this, I promise. Next up, I (should) be doing a "How to style" post which will have a lot less words, and be a lot more fun.

 Remember to leave any questions or suggestions you might have, and I hope you have a great day.

The Pokey Hat Arcade

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I couldn't do a vintage series without mentioning the grand re-launch of The Pokey Hat, who are making a comeback in August and promise to be better than ever, delivering an even greater customer experience, and introducing some exciting new features.
 With the relaunch comes the addition of the 'Arcade', an online marketplace stocking the biggest and best vintage boutiques in the UK. This will allow vintage lovers everywhere to be united with their perfect vintage pieces, without having the hassle of rummaging through rails of old clothes hoping to find hidden gems, or travelling from shop to shop trying to get the best deal. 
TPH Arcade has collections from all the most stylish and sought-after vintage stockists in the country, including: 
"Embrace the past, update it for the present and focus on the future."
Vintage Inclined offer a collection of beautifully styled and hand picked vintage clothing.With a huge selection dating as far back as the 50s, there's something for everyone whether you're a true vintage lover or a fashion-forward savvy shopper. Styled with up to date accessories, Vintage Inclined show you how to wear vintage clothing in a really stylish, modern way. 

"Release your inner rebel
Specialising in 80's and 90's fashion, Boisterous Glamour has an eclectic and 'offbeat' collection of vintage clothes for those who want to inject some retro style into their everyday life. From colourful tribal prints to grungy camo urban wear, they have the best picks of some truly unique garments, so there's bound to be something for us nostalgic 90's kids to fall in love with.

"For the wardrobe you have always wished for.."
Run by two stylish fashionistas, Eleven : Eleven's collection of vintage garments is specifically chosen to suit even the most modern and minimalist of wardrobes. They pair together traditional with contemporary to make extremely wearable and on-trend looks. These girls know their fashion, so you know that you're getting the best vintage picks around. 

I was so excited to hear about the new launch, and it couldn't have come at a better time, because it ties in so perfectly with the styling vintage series here on the blog.
The beauty of vintage boutiques is that you know you're getting a one-of-a-kind piece, so you're guaranteed to get envious looks and showered by compliments. There's something so beautiful and unique about vintage clothing, that just cannot be matched by modern chains. Whether it be the fabrics, detailing, craftsmanship, or the history of the garment, when you find that perfect piece of vintage clothing, you know it's one you'll cherish forever.  Whether you want some 40s glamour, 60s swing, or 90s rebellion, you're sure to find something to suit your style at The Pokey Hat Arcade
Remember to check it out when the site goes live on the 14th of August.
I hope you have an awesome week. 
This post was sponsored by The Pokey Hat

Who'd take my hand

Extended Tee by Abandon Ship
Necklace - Thrifted
Shoes from Marks & Spencers 
What I Wore Today: Abandon Ship Apparel
What I Wore Today: Abandon Ship Apparel
What I Wore Today: Abandon Ship Apparel
This is the other thing that I bought in the Abandon Ship sale, an extended tartan tee. I just loved the subtle lilac in the tartan and they had one left in my size so I couldn't resist.
Have an awesome day.

Song of the day

Amphora Aromatics - Aromatherapy in Practice

Aromatherapy in Practice book

Aromatherapy played a big part in helping me overcome my anxiety disorder without the use of conventional medication/ pharmaceuticals. Even a year or so later I still use aromatherapy as an aid to sleeping, to help me relax, and help me concentrate. However, I've only used pre-mixed essential oils and I've always wanted to try mixing my own. I just didn't know where to start or which oils did what, and researching it seemed daunting.

So when the lovely people at Amphora Aromatics told me about their new book, and offered to send me a copy, I was so excited. 'Aromatherapy in Practice' is a practical resource written by Ben Orr and Zoe Green, which guides you trough everything you'd need to know about Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy in Practice book

Aromatherapy, for those who don't know, is "the use of natural ingredients, such as essential oils and herbal extracts, to create treatments which promote mental and physical well-being." (Ben Orr and Zoe Green; Aromatherapy in Practice) Certain scents/oils can have specific effects on a persons physical and mental state, and by consciously introducing these oils into your life, you can help to alter your mental or physical health.

Aromatherapy in Practice book

There are many scents (often synthetic) that you'll find in candles and perfumes that are mixed for a specific purpose, whether it be to increase libido, invigorate energy, or aid relaxation, it is all done with the intention of harnessing the power of aromatherapy. The best and most natural way to get the benefit of aromatherapy is with essential oils. Which is what Amphora Aromatics specialise in.

Aromatherapy in Practice book

Lavender, for instance, is one of my favorite scents as it is very relaxing, and helps to ease my anxiety. However, the book has taught me that mixing Lavender with Neroli and Frankincense, will heighten the calming effects of the oils and help to achieve an instantaneous sense of relaxation. Other blends I thought were interesting were those which help with self-doubt, mourning, jealousy, and fatigue. It's amazing to think that simply introducing aromatherapy can help to improve so many areas of life. 

It's more than just 'the smell of things'. I learned that essential oils can also have great healing properties for the physical body. The book offers natural aromatherapy treatments for things like cold sores, infected piercings, period cramps, acne, and back pain.

Aromatherapy in Practice book

The book is packed full of information. Such as; the history of aromatherapy, massage and beauty treatments, dilution rates, essential oils, carrier oils, precious oils, and floral waters, as well as lots of amazing usage suggestions. All the legwork and research has been done for you, and is beautifully presented in an easy-to-read book.

Aromatherapy in Practice book

You can tell that a lot of love and care has gone into the creation of this book, you can feel the authors passion as you read. I highly recommend picking up a copy if you're a beginner who's interested in learning more about the uses and benefits of aromatherapy, or if you're already into aromatherapy then there are awesome blends for treatment of a variety of physical and psychological issues. No really, it covers almost everything you could think of.

Amphora Aromatics also offer aromatherapy kits for beginners as well as enthusiasts, which are also well worth checking out. Next time payday comes around I'm definitely going to treat myself to some new essential oils and try out some of the amazing blends.

Aromatherapy in Practice book

I also recommend this book if your a natural/green beauty user/blogger and your interested in creating your own natural beauty treatments. One of the authors, Zoe Green, specialises in helping clients use these natural methods for their beauty problems so the book offers great information on which ingredients will be good for your skin/hair type. They also consulted with a licensed Aromatherapist throughout, so you know you're getting the best possible information.

Check it out and let me know what you think.
Hope you have an awesome week.

You had better run from me

Top by Abandon Ship
Skirt from H&M
Shoes from Primark

What I Wore Today: Abandon Ship Apparel
What I Wore Today: Abandon Ship Apparel
What I Wore Today: Abandon Ship Apparel

I treated myself to a few t-shirts in the Abandon Ship sale, so when they finally arrived today I couldn't wait to try them on and see what I could style them with. This tartan script raglan was one I’d had my eye on for a while but they only had size small left so I knew I’d be wearing it baggy. Luckily I found this cute red H&M skirt in my wardrobe that I thought would go perfectly with the red accent in the tartan. I think tucking in a baggy t-shirt to a wee skirt is a nice way to make the look more feminine, now I’m just looking for an excuse to go out so I can show off my new clothes.

I hope you have an awesome day.
Song of the day