Thursday, 4 October 2012

Odds and Sods and Outfit Shots

At the Bus Stop - it's definitely Autumn
{This is going to be text and picture heavy - if you just want to see the outfit pics, feel free to skip all the waffle!}

I've been trying to write this post for flippin' days! It's going to be a bit of an odds and sods post I'm afraid, with not a little whinging. I've been off work most of this week - I had leave to use up at work and seeing as A is actually in Liverpool and off work for a bit, we thought it'd be nice to spend some time together. We've spent most of the last few days running errands and trying to get all those silly little jobs done, except nothing has been as simple as it seems and it has all required a lot more effort than expected. It's been a case of 'for want of a nail the horse was lost' - for example, we want to get some of our pictures hung and we need to get picture hooks and d-rings, but we can't get hold of any d-rings, so some of that has had to be abandoned for the moment. It's been one of those weeks really - one step forward, two steps back (and 3 4 5 6 separate trips to various DIY shops) and we don't feel like we've achieved all that much.  We have managed to wire a vintage standard lamp (we've only had it for 3 years - the wiring was antique though) and A has made me a light tent so I can take super-professional photos of my stock. It was one of those things that required a lot more work (and supplies) than first thought, but we've done some test shots with the second version and they look really good. We might faff about with it a bit more though...

We've also started making our Christmas Pudding, made Tiffin, Chocolate Beetroot Mousse Cake and A made vegan cheesecakes. We finally put a few pictures up and started work on a new project, which I'll share details of soon.

Also, our computer has been turning itself off a lot which is a pain - it seems to have resolved itself for the moment though (touch wood). We pretty much rely on our computer - we don't have a TV as such (well, we have one in the bedroom that isn't connected to anything, we just use it to play DVDs on and we only set that up the other day), so it's our main source of entertainment (iPlayer and DVDs etc.) and obviously it gets used for blogging, photo editing and A uses it for all his important self-employed stuff. We'd be lost without it so we're hoping it's not going to die because we can't afford a new one. 
In other news, I've been job-hunting because my contract comes to an end in a few weeks (I loathe job-hunting, but then who doesn't?), I'm gutted because Raiders - one of my favourite vintage shops  is closing down (the day before I lose my job - I doubt it's a coincidence) and our downstairs neighbour had just told us that Luna has been going into her flat and eating her cat's food! Little git - it's not as if we don't feed her! I can't believe how naughty she is.  I'm glad you liked the photo of Luna by the way - she does sleep in some odd positions. She's never fallen off anything whilst asleep yet, but she has absolutely no sense of balance while awake. You should see her walk along the slopey walls in the back - it's hysterical.

So, on to the outfits. Just a few things I've bought and have been wearing recently. All my 1950s clothing is cotton, so it'll probably get put away until the weather warms up. I'd love some warmer 50s clothes - wool dresses and the like - but things like that are really hard to find and pretty expensive. This year on cold days, I've tended to stick to wool pencil skirts and jumpers. I need a more interesting and vintage Winter wardrobe. Last year I just ended up in jeans and jumpers, although to be honest last year I didn't own as much vintage and certainly wasn't wearing it nearly every day. I love what Vix says about dressing for Autumn, but I'm terribly nesh and like to be cosy (I feel cold just looking at her!). I agree about nylon/polyester being warm, but I've only got a few pieces in my wardrobe and some of them have metal zips and that's an awful shock to the system on a cold day. Brrr!

These photos were taken in our bay window (after we'd moved a ton of clutter).  The curtains aren't the kitschy vintage curtains of my dreams, but they're thermal-backed to keep heat in and they're my mum's old ones so they were free. I think this is going to be our new outfit photo place now. I actually had fun doing these photos, I must be getting used to having my photo taken.  Apparently I slouch - a lot. A kept telling me off. He also has some interesting ideas on direction. My hair looks extra thick because I (tried to) set it in rollers - I had the worst night's sleep ever and I'm not too sure of the result.

Anyway, enough waffling...

Per Una Jumper - charity shop
St Michael Skirt - £6.99, Oxfam
Mustard tights I think are from Accessorize

Curtains - free from Mum (who made them)
Phone - free, A's Mum and Dad
Stool - 99p, Charity Shop
Homemade Rug - £1, Car Boot
I got this fab St Michael skirt a couple of weeks ago and I've worn it tons since. I think it's probably from the 1990s, so it's not vintage yet! I think I've had the jumper since last Winter and picked it up in one of my local charity shops, I probably only paid a couple of quid. I like mustard but I don't own a lot and this is the first time I've worn these tights (despite having owned them for quite a while). I don't think my shoes go with the outfit but I don't own any shoes that do... yet.

I also bought this dress at the same time as the skirt:

Dress by Russell - £12.99, Oxfam
I'm not too sure when this dress dates from - but it looks quite 1950s. I can't find anything out about the make online. It's a pull-over-the-head job with no zip or fastenings which means it isn't as fitted as I'd like.

I'm just not too keen on the shape
It needs a little work - there are a couple of holes at seams and I also don't like the white trim on the sleeves. They look like cuffs in this picture, but they're just a bit of white fabric attached and finished really badly. The fabric matches that on the front of the dress, but I'm convinced they've been altered in some way - they're just so poorly done.

A told me to look sweet and innocent for this one - surprisingly hard work
It looks so much better pulled in with a belt and I'm definitely going to remove the trim - I've just tucked it under for this photo.

Gratuitous Label Shot
 Here's a photo of the label for those of you who are as geeky about them as I am.
Next up are the Maxi dresses I bought recently and haven't been able to wear due to the weather. I know you wanted to see them on, so I thought I'd take some shots now before they get put away so you don't have to wait until next year.
Berketex Maxi Dress - £15, Lili Bizarre
A told me to look shocked at some gossip here. I would definitely be shocked if I heard some over this phone as it isn't plugged in and we don't even have a landline. It just hangs about looking cool. Phones are cool. (Yeah we've been watching a lot of Doctor Who)
There should be a pun here but I can't think of one, no wait... "I like big bows and I cannot lie" - perfect.
I even love the lining on this dress - it's such a lovely shade of purple.
I've shown you the label before, but I thought I'd show it again here for reference. I took this photo, not A - he just moaned that it's too dark.
Maxi Dress - £21.60, Pop Boutique Whitechapel. This dress is so cute and not as see-through as I'd anticipated.
Carnegie Maxi Dress - Bullet, £15
I've had to wear heels with this as it's quite long on me. I love this dress and it's ruffles.
And from the back/side. I'm not grumpy or pouting - I'm just concentrating on not falling over.
And the label again - I like labels
More cold weather gear now:

Jumper - £17 I think, Miss Selfridge
Vintage Pencil Skirt - £10-ish, eBay
Juno - Priceless

I love this skirt and I wear it a lot - the same goes for the jumper, which I bought new and in the sale a couple of years ago maybe? (I know, new and from the high Street!) It contains angora so it's nice and soft. I love fluffy jumpers, I need more. I also want more brightly coloured wool skirts. The skirt is a wool, polyester and acrylic mix and I think it's from the eighties (also something you won't hear me say often - the eighties is my least favourite decade fashion-wise, sorry).
And now for something completely different...
Look Ma, no Vintage!
Allude Cashmere Sweater - £8, RYAN Vintage
Skinny Jeans - £7 on Sale, Dorothy Perkins
Boots - £9-ish in Sale, New Look
An all High Street outfit and trousers? Yep. I wear these jeans a lot when I'm having a day off from dresses/vintage. It's weird to think that these days not many people see me in trousers, when up until my mid twenties, hardly anyone ever saw me in a dress or skirt. I also didn't wear skinny jeans until my mid-twenties as I preferred flares - I still do love flares, but I can never find them. I'd also read somewhere that if you had big hips you had to wear wide-legged trousers to balance them out. I think I may have all those Trinny and Susannah-type makeover shows to thank for that gem. Load of rubbish anyway - clearly my big boobs balance out my big hips.

I love the boots - it took me years to find the perfect pair of boots. I'm really fussy - quite plain, round toe, not too high, non-leather and able to actually fit my calves (which most shops must think are massive judging by boots I've tried). I've got a black pair too - I hope they both last.
Now the sweater. It was an absolute bargain at £8 - not only is it 95% Cashmere but it's made by some super-swanky cashmere designer label called Allude (who I'd never heard of previously). I was browsing the rails and felt it rather than saw it - it was so soft and I knew it was good quality. I didn't really like the colour or the detail at the neck (it has decorative seaming which you can't really see in the photo) at first but it was the softest thing ever and I thought for £8, what does it matter? If I don't love it, I can always wear it around the house or to bed and be all snuggly. Plus, how often do I get the chance to own cashmere on my income? It wasn't until I got home and Googled the name that I realised how expensive it must have been - seriously, they have their own range of care products for washing the clothes in and I've seen some of their sweaters on eBay for over £150. Anyway, it's now one of my favourite items of clothing (because - and I can't stress this enough -  it's just so fucking soft) and value-per-wear must work out at one of the cheapest in my wardrobe because I live in it in cold weather. (Not that I actually bother to work out the value-per-wear of my clothes.)
So there you go - a High Street and Designer outfit for the grand total of £24. It just goes to show you never know what will turn up at a Vintage Shop.
And finally...
Right. Deep breath. I'm going to be brave here and join in with Rachele's amazing 'I am Proud of My Size' Linkup over at The Nearsighted Owl. I don't know why I'm so nervous about this, but I am. If you've never read Rachele's blog, please do - it's beautiful and so is she.

The rules for the link-up are to post a full-length photo of yourself along with your size details. Which is actually the difficult bit for me because I mostly buy vintage so I deal in measurements. My measurements are 38"-30"-40" and I think I'm a UK 14. I didn't even know how tall I was, nor how much I weighed until recently when I had to go to the Doctor. Apparently I'm 5'3" and weigh about 11 stone. I wear a 30GG bra as well if any bra companies are reading and want to send a few my way (because they ain't cheap and I need some more)! So there you go, everything you could wish and probably didn't want to know about me size wise.

I actually really like this photo and just look how Autumnal I am - I should go out and kick some leaves or something!
1970s Tweed Coat - £35-ish, eBay
The Bird Brooch on my lapel is from Cath Kidston
This is my main Winter coat, although what with the weather in England, I end up wearing it on a few Summer days too. I wore it a fair bit this Summer. I love this coat. It's great quality and was one of those increasingly rare vintage eBay purchases that was in excellent condition and fit perfectly (I'm speaking personally here - I've had a bit of a bad run with buying vintage online recently, so have given up on it for now). It weighs a bloody ton, which proves it's good quality in my opinion. Honestly, I could never buy a coat from the High Street after this. There's nothing of them and the material is so cheap. £90 for a coat that hardly weighs anything and is already bobbled and tatty after a couple of weeks in the shop? I don't think so. All my coats are vintage with the exception of my Summer one which was £7 from a charity shop. I do want some more colourful Winter coats though - I'm very envious of Helga who seems to have one in every colour.
I'm also linking up to Lakota's fantastic Ta-Dah! Tuesday because 1.) New Things! 2.) Outfit Photos where I don't look all shy and uncomfortable 3.) I was brave and 4.) I finally got this bloody post finished!

I don't know why you need to see this but I quite like it. There isn't a maker's label on the coat btw - just the fabric content label you can see here - and look, it even still has the spare buttons!
Well, I'm sure that's about 2 weeks' worth of content to make up for my absense. Hope you liked it.

For those of you who've read this far, here's a bonus outfit photo from a few weeks ago when we were trying out new places to shoot:

(A actually told me to put out my hands like I was 'going ta-dah!)
Aaargh those walls bore me - we must get around to putting some pictures up here.
I'm sure I had something else to tell you, but I forget. Nevermind.

Nikki x


  1. There must be something about fall that gets people doing DIY -- maybe it has to do with nesting in cooler weather. I'm intrigued by the Chocolate Beetroot Mousse cake. Is that vegan as well? If so, can I get the recipe?
    Thanks for the education about 'nesh.' I'd never heard that word before.
    I don't have a TV either and rely on my laptop watching TV shows online.I actually don't miss having a TV, do you?
    What a drag to have to be looking for a job. At least you'll look fabulous while looking. Those outfit shots are great. Especially the one with you looking like quite the vamp in the Carnegie maxi dress. You figure is a perfect hourglass and that dress really flatters. And I love the 70s winter coat. Great find.
    Your hair looks pretty with curls. I've been curling my hair lately, too. I have these soft roller things that have wire in them and you twist up the ends to keep them in (found at the charity shop and thought I'd give them a try). Mostly, I just coil up sections of hair and pin them down. That makes the tightest curls.
    Your epic post certainly does deserve a Ta-Dah!

    1. Thank you! The Beetroot cake was vegan and was from Peter Gordon's Vegetables cookbook. I will send you the recipe asap. I love the word nesh, it's so much better than saying "I feel the cold"!

      I don't miss having a telly at all - the only thing I watch live is Downton Abbey at A's parents' house as we're all big fans. We love being able to pick and choose what we watch and there are fewer adverts too.

      Nikki x

  2. Ooh, so much to enjoy, Nikki!
    Outfit pics, yay! You look so lovely, I don't know why you worry about them! I love love love all the maxi dresses, they fit you beautifully and make me more than a little envious... The Berkertex and the Carnegie dresses are just gorgeous. And you definitely suit the 50s sweater girl look with a pencil skirt. The skinny jeans look with the fab 70s coat is a winner too, just add a hat and scarf and you're Ali McGraw in Love Story!
    Good luck with your job hunting and picture hanging, ahhhh to Juno (she looks like my cat Minnie), boo to naughty Luna for filching food (my cats are forever on the scrounge too...) and hurrah for jumping on the bed! xxxx

    1. Thank you. I'm quite self-conscious really and have never liked having my photo taken (more to do with the attention than anything else) but I'm starting to enjoy it now.

      I've not seen Love Story, I shall track it down!

      Nikki x

  3. Oooh so many exquisite frocks - I love the divine purple maxi and the floral number with the ruffles, the coat pic is gorgeous... and I adore that last pic so much - you look so happy and beautiful!

    1. Thank you, I just couldn't leave those dresses in the shop! I had fun doing the last pic - it made me miss trampolining (which I used to love doing in school) :)


  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, I hope I'll get to actually wear them at some point!

  5. I love all your outfits, you hair looks spectacular after it's set and your figure is fabulous and man, do you rock skinnies and boots, what a fab look!
    Why don't you get yourself some long sleeved skinny fitting tops to wear under your maxis in the winter? Colourful ones would be best or you could go to the undies stall on your local market and do a dye job on some of those long sleeved thermal vests, they'd look funky and be practical at the same time!
    good luck with the job hunting. Juno is the spitting image of Stephen Squirrel, who also has a penchant for bombing every blog photo. xxx

    1. Thank you, that is a good idea. I've thought about the long sleeved thing before, but I always struggle to find suitable skinny ones - they're all too baggy. You've just reminded me of grungy days in school when we used to alter tights to make sleeves for under t-shirts (you cut a hole in the crotch of the tights for your head and cut off the feet for your hands and wear them as a top, if that makes sense!). That might work, but I am more blessed in the chest department than I was... :) I'll keep an eye out for thermals too.

      We do see Stephen Squirrel rather a lot don't we? Luna is a serial bomber too - she got into a couple we shot here. It's nice that they like to get involved!


  6. What lovely outfits, you look so pretty xxx

  7. oh my god!! these just kept getting better! I can't decide which I like best!! The carnegie dress is just sooooooo perfect and I'm hideously jealous - every outfit is super stylish - I love all the posing. You've got a great figure, it doesn't seem to match up to your photos though - in a nice way - you look very slim yet curvy xxx

  8. I'm here from the link up! I just have to say that you are absolutely GORGEOUS. You look like a painting. All of these outfits are adorable, I also got a kick out of the word "waffling," haha. I hope your job hunt goes well!

  9. Hooray, thanks for linking up! Some lovely outfits here, I especially love your maxi dress collection and the photo of you leaping on the bed. You have a lovely figure, particularly your teeny waist and you rock dresses AND jeans xx

  10. Oh my goodness, this was so fun to read! And you have lovely style! New blog follower over here, hi! :)

  11. Love the spotty maxi dress, looks great on you and the tweed coat, I'm on the hunt for a good vintage coat x

  12. Ok, that seals it, I officially need some mustard/saffron hued legwear, too. I've been seeing one stylish looking featuring tights in this colour after another as of late, but no one looked as lovely or autumn perfect as you here. Definitely adding to my "must buy list" right now.

    ♥ Jessica

  13. Loooooove all the dresses! And even a vintage girl needs to wear a pair of jeans every so often...I'm sure our style icons would've done the same! :)

    LOVE the last photo of you's amazingly cute!!!


  14. I missed this blog for some reason Nikki. I feel the same as you, I always hated getting my photo taken yet since I've been here I'm enjoying it more and more! It is strange, the first time I put photos on here I thought to myself I'd just do it once to let everyone see who they were talking to and then never do it again, but I quite look forward to posting photos now, if I could get peace to take them!
    You have sooo many beautiful outfits here and you are so lovely looking in them all, I couldn't pick a favourite. That coat was a great find, I've given up buying clothes on Ebay there's been so many disappointments, but it fits you perfectly and looks gorgeous on you. Your hair is lovely down with curls in it, you look like an old fashioned heroine from a Thomas Hardy novel or suchlike. Love the pic with Luna between your feet! xx

  15. What a great selection of vintage frocks, if I had to pick a fave it's got to be the Russell Model one cause it's got a kind of Oktoberfest feel to it.

  16. O,my freaking GAWD ther eis just so much fabulousness here I'm stumped for words!
    Of course, I adore all the frocks,ALL of them,dammit! I actually wonder if the green spotty one is 70's pretending to be 50's?? Much better with a belt and without the cuffy thingys.That last maxi and the spotty one make me want to weep.T
    he 80's are my least favourite decade too,but I am slowly finding some good aspects about it...!!!
    Job hunting SUX.As does vintage stores closong.We lost a lot of opshops and vintage shops in the earthquakes,but I am pleased to say that there are 2 opshops opening in the next couple of weeks I shall need to investigate!
    I'm so miffed i missed this post;I think my timing is off with you English lovelies,I''m often late...I think most of you post in my morningtime.


  17. O,I do have a coat in almost every colour.It's quite useful! But often never the right shade...I'm a fussy matchy matchy tart!XXX

  18. Wowsers that was a post and it was so worth with all of those frocks. I love them all, especially the green spotty on and the Berkertex. I recently picked up an amazing Berkertex Bride Maxi wedding/bridal wear dress. You re as sweet as a button and utterly fabulous in all those dresses....go you.