Friday, 22 November 2019

Catch Up

Apologies for my lack of posts lately. I don't really feel I've done much to merit a post.  Just the usual stuff, family life, work, gym, dance classes, vintage clothes shopping.

Work has been getting busier of late in the run up to Christmas.  I'm feeling quite tired already and there's still 4 weeks to go. I hope I last the course. Today, I'm on a day off and I am going to sort out my Christmas present list, go over what I've bought already and what I still need to buy, as all my spare cash in December will be concentrated on this. I'm definitely not going over the top this year, and although I've said this in previous years, I really do mean it this year.

We have booked a cottage up in Yorkshire for 4 days over Christmas, which we are looking forward to. I haven't told work, as no-one has made any effort to arrange the Christmas rota, despite my asking them to do so, so I will have to present them with a fait accompli, as we couldn't leave it any longer to book due to there being very little accommodation left available. I'm hoping it works out ok, fingers crossed.

This morning I've been sorting through my wardrobe, to include all the new vintage items I have bought in recent months.  I've pulled out the odd item from storage too, that I might actually wear again now. Dressing in vintage clothing does make deciding what to wear a little more difficult in the morning, and a longer process, as previously I had a kind of uniform of T-shirt, jeans and sweater that I threw on, but I do quite enjoy trying different combinations and the results.  I think I've now got quite enough vintage clothes to be going on with and need to get used to wearing everything and work out which combinations work well.  Here's a couple of my favourite recent purchases:

This fair isle knitted tank is one of my most recent purchases and is great. I'm looking forward to wearing it in the lead up to Christmas, as being red it is also quite festive.

I also love this floral print blouse that I bought on eBay, which is so pretty and will look great tucked into a pencil skirt. (Please excuse the creases) The flowers are not embroidered, just printed on, back and front, but it is really pretty just the same.

I did splash out this month and bought a new plain black pencil skirt from M&S. I probably spent over an hour trying on all the different ones they had in stock, so that I could get just the right fit and fabric. This is important when you are quite large, as you need more structure in a garment.

I settled for this one, which I really like and which will be perfect for work or more formal occasions. I haven't worn it yet, but am looking forward to doing so, probably for our Christmas meal at work. I think it will become a wardrobe staple in the coming months.

I also bought this lovely forest green beret from work. I haven't dared to wear it outside of the house yet, but am hoping to get up the courage.

Another favourite purchase was also from eBay, namely this embroidered white blouse.  It is so pretty. I have worn this one.

I've definitely become a bit more discerning over purchases on eBay in the last few weeks and have been having better results as a consequence and feeling much happier with the things I've bought. This is definite progress for me.

Besides clothing, I have also bought a couple of patterns recently to make a couple of skirts.  Here are the two I purchased:

I'm hoping to make the pencil skirt in this dark grey checked fabric that I had in my stash.

In other news, my dance classes have been going well and I'm still really enjoying them.  We started a new block of 5 lessons last week, which was fully booked. Several of the class members from the previous group couldn't actually get a place on it, which was a pity, and had to go on the waiting list, so it is a very popular class at the moment.  It was nice to meet more new people though. I'd like to continue for a couple more months before I move on to other classes or a higher level.

I'm still attending one Zumba class at the gym that I really enjoy, on a Monday. Our teacher, however, is currently pregnant, which is fantastic and exciting news, but it does mean that she will no longer be teaching when it gets near to her delivery date, so I'm considering cancelling my membership for a while when the time comes, dependent on who takes over the class and possibly focussing on other dance classes instead. I think I need to change things up a bit, as I've been going to the same classes now for over 10 years.  It is nice to meet up with friends who go too though, so I might still continue, but go on a Pay As You Go basis instead of having a membership.

Everything is quiet on the allotment front now, which is one less thing to worry about.  OH has practically dug the whole plot over and we just need to add some organic matter to enrich the soil for next year. The garden is very wet and doesn't really inspire me to get out there and finish the pruning or tidy up.  I need some dry cold weather for that.

Family wise we are good, LB has been very busy, as she has started a new part-time job waitressing and works most weekends.  She almost earns as much as I do for her two days, once tips have been taken into account. She's busy saving up to travel once she has finished her A levels in 18 months time. I'm very impressed at her efforts so far.

I'm working this weekend, so next week, I should be getting four or five consecutive days off. As a consequence, I'm intending to blitz the house and get the Christmas decorations up.  The whole house needs a good clean and I've been leaving it, knowing that I'll do a spruce up before getting the tree up, so it's the perfect time. We've been lighting the fire this week, as the weather has been colder and it should be even more cosy once the tree and other decorations go up.

I hope everything is going well for you all.  I'll try to post a bit more in the lead up to Christmas.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

A Return to Vintage

Apologies for being absent from this blog for a few weeks.  There have been a couple of reasons, but it was mainly because the Shop Manager was on leave and I was required to work extra hours. The other reason was that since starting to attend Jazz/Charleston dance classes, I've felt a resurgence of my love of all things vintage.  Probably 10 years or so ago, I regularly shopped and dressed in vintage fashion and I really enjoyed wearing some of the clothes, unlike how I feel when I've dressed in modern fashions in recent years.

It's a rare day when I go to work feeling happy with my appearance and feeling that I look good. Chatting to some new friends I've made through the dance class, we are considering attending a social dance event at some point, when we're feeling more confident in our dancing ability, and with that in mind, I've been seeking out some new vintage clothing, as the items I used to wear have long ago been donated.

The era that most fascinates me is the 1940's.  There's just something so glamourous about this era.  Women looked so feminine and also at times quite masculine.  I find it all so interesting and I now actually have an excuse to wear vintage fashion, when I'm dancing to the music of that era.

A few weekends ago, we went up to Yorkshire to visit family and whilst there LB and I went for a browse around some charity and vintage shops in the local town where we were staying.  We had a lot of fun and I came away with a whole host of new clothing items and accessories. 

To be honest, some of them I might not ever wear and were impulse purchases in my newly rekindled vintage enthusiasm, but a couple of items I have already worn and am enjoying wearing. Nothing was particularly expensive.  In fact one shop was an end of line clearance shop and everything was £1.  I ended up spending £10 in here, so if I don't wear some of the items, it's not a great loss, I'll just donate them.

I've also bought a few items online on eBay. To be honest, this method has been very hit and miss with regard to sizing and I'm starting to get much more discerning, as it's very difficult to know if things will fit, especially if they are vintage, and made when sizes were smaller.

Of the items I have bought so far, I've particularly enjoyed wearing these very cute granny style sheepskin boots, which are just so comfortable and warm.  They aren't exactly perfect for the wet weather we've been having lately, but on dry, cold days, they are just so snuggly.  I've already worn them multiple times since buying them. They are not 1940's, of course, probably more 50's or 60's or even later, but I'm not a purist and half the fun is using your own interpretation to get the look you want. I've created a whole new Pinterest board dedicated to Vintage Styling, found a few really good YouTube channels that focus on wearing vintage and I think that watching some old movies might be in order to get further inspiration. What torture!

I have also been trying out vintage hair styles using bobby pins, which has been fun and I've gone back to wearing red lipstick, which has very rarely seen the light of day for the past few years.

As a consequence of the above, I've also dug out my old collection of vintage jewellery.  I have heaps of vintage brooches, earrings, scarves and other items, which I'm starting to wear again, instead of leaving them to gather dust in the bottom of the wardrobe.

I'm just having fun, and that's what matters.  I'm trying to do it in a subtle grown up way, but who says that we should grow old gracefully. That's the last thing I intend to do.