If you have not gotten a chance to have a look see, the blog got a long overdue face lift recently; I hope that everyone likes the new less cluttered layout as much as I do. More changes will be coming soon, I am working with a local artist to create a fresh new logo seeing as the blog has evolved so much over the past 5.5 years. Please stay tuned…
With summer quickly coming to an end, I am taking advantage of the unseasonably warm days in September to squeeze in as many more summery outfits as possible. Screw the old faux pas of not wearing white after labour day…enjoy each day to its fullest! My Vintage John Wolf Torri Gate Scenic Print Skirt has been by far ones of my all times favorites to wear when the sun is shinning and the flowers are in bloom.
Skirt: Vintage John Wolf Torri Gate Scenic Print
Top: Fables by Barrie Mauve Bustier
Shoes: Remix Pleated Toe White Wedges
Belt: PUG White
Jewelry & Handbag: Vintage
The Torri Gate Scenic Print Skirt is the one that started my adoration for John Wolf Scenic Prints, they are hands down some of the most stunning scenery you will ever see on wearable canvas. Although they are becoming increasingly harder to come by, there are still many available in a variety of colourways and landscape sceneries. Most are handmade by the 1950’s housewives as the John Wolf Textiles were sold by the bolt during that era. I acquired mine from the Novelty And Border Print B/S/T (Pre-1965) Facebook Group.
This vintage treasure has been a part of my collection for a few years now and it is definitely not one I intend to let go of any time soon. The Torri Gate Scenic Print Skirt was one of the first scenic prints skirts I acquired and it was the beginning of another obsession wanting to collect them all. The gorgeous Torri Gates are set upon a striking blue/turquoise sky surrounded by the lake with blooming cherry blossom trees and mountains in the distance. Luckily the Torri Gate Print can also be found in 2 or 3 other colourways, but I have to confess that I love this particular colourway the most.
With so many gorgeous colours in the print, it allows me to create a variety of outfit combinations for just about any occasion. Of course I had to show you my all time favorite look…the Torri Gate Scenic Print Skirt paired with the Mauve Bustier from Fables by Barrie, white Pleated Toe Remix wedges and vintage white barrel handbag. Needless to say, these unique sceneries are great conversation pieces and often garner lots of attention wherever you go.
It is hard to believe that summer is nearly over and we are only weeks away from cooler autumn days. Although I adore the beautiful colours that fall brings, I always wish summer stuck around a while longer in order to have more days to wear all my floral dresses. There is definitely no shortage of delightful bright floral prints in my wardrobe and I am always finding an excuse to add another. During the Viva car show this past spring, I stumbled upon a booth that had a rack of 50% off dresses and I immediately spotted some gorgeous floral prints from Retrospec’d. Before the hubby could walk past, I disappeared in an instant to check it out. Instinctively I am able to spot the gorgeous vintage inspired prints reproduced by Retrospec’d and it was about time I finally purchased my very first dress from them at half price! Sadly the blue poppies print dress I had seen from afar was not my size but what I did find was just as fabulous…the Elizabeth Dress in Empress White.
Available in sizes 6-18 (Australian) ~ MSRP $195AUD
The sole reason I have never purchased Retrospec’d in the past was due to their unique sizing standards. My measurements (bust 36″, waist 27″) were considerably out of line with their size charts and I wasn’t prepared to gamble on sizing down one or two sizes not knowing what to expect. Based on the charts, my bust would be an 12AU but my waist is an 8AU. Now that finally I had the the opportunity to see the dress in person, I took out my handy tape measure (I was in no mood to try anything outside at the car show) and flat measured the size 8AU Elizabeth Dress. To my surprise, the bust and waist appeared to be the right in line with my measurements afterall. At $65USD, I couldn’t pass this beauty up even if by chance it did not fit. When the moment of truth came, I was elated to see that it fit like a glove! The Elizabeth Dress features a feminine crossover sweetheart neckline with 1″ wide straps, fitted bodice, a very full pleated skirt and back zipper closure. Of course what makes this dress truly exquisite is the bold red roses with green accent, inspired by an authentic vintage border print from the 1950’s. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls a few inches below the knees.
For those of you unfamiliar with Retrospec’d, they are an Australian based company that reproduces vintage prints available on a variety of their in house staple designs. Started by two sisters with a love of authentic vintage, they sought to reproduce high quality designs that would make women feel fabulous and fit amazingly as well. As I mentioned earlier, I have been lusting after their pieces for ages and can say without a hesitation that I wish I had bought from them a LONG TIME AGO! The Elizabeth dress is truly mesmerizing and feels like you are wearing authentic vintage. The fit and craftsmanship is phenomenal and the fabric is top notch quality as well. To my surprise, the sweetheart crossover bust design was quite conservative and not revealing in any regard even though my bust measurement far exceeded the suggested 33.5″. The Elizabeth Dress is super figure flattering and makes me feel truly fabulous. Needless to say, I receive ample compliments wherever I go wearing the Elizabeth Dress in Empress White.
The rich reds and greens in the bold Empress rose print is super fun and easy to accessorize. My go to staple is a mix of vintage Bakelite bangles in red, green and brown with my brown Malaga wedges by Remix. To finish off the ensemble, I could not resist pairing the Elizabeth Dress in Empress White with my vintage navy wicker rose handbag that matched perfectly. With the fullness of the pleated skirt, you can easily add a petticoat for additional volume.
Retrospec’d is rapidly gaining a large customer following worldwide which is no surprise with their unique mix of reproducing long lost vintage prints on fabulous designs for the modern day vintage fashionista. The Elizabeth Dress is one of their beautiful design staples that I have only heard positive feedback from ladies of various shapes and sizes. If you are not keen to shop online from Retrospec’d in Australia, select styles are now available at a handful of North American shops like Unique Vintage, ShopVDM, Pinup Girl Clothing, and more!
One of the things that I cherish most about the vintage community is how it is an open door to meet such wonderful people from around the world. Many of my friends and valued professional relationships are with fabulous women that are located in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, USA and of course Canada. Since vintage businesses in our neck of the woods are almost non existent, it is rare that I have an opportunity to shop local or meet similar like minded vintage fashionistas. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the owner of Gigi’s House of Frills asking if I’d be keen to visit her lovely lingerie shop in Toronto…and of course I said yes! I was totally unaware we had such a local gem located within driving distance and could not be more excited to check it out.
In preparation for my visit, I did a little research about Gigi’s House of Frills to see what brands they stocked. I instantly became super excited when I saw they carried the new Bettie Page Lingerie from Playful Promises. I have been dying to try their overwire bras and having the opportunity to try them on in person was now before me. Everyone knows, bras and intimates are one of the most difficult things to shop for online due to the importance of a great fit. In addition, Gigi’s carries lingerie staples from What Katie Did, local designer With Love Lingerie, authentic Vintage Lingerie, Swimwear, Besame Cosmetics, and more!!!
Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Gigi who was the vision of a vintage fashionista; rockin’ a fabulous poodle do and wearing a classic vintage day dress. My first impression walking into her shop was awe and in total amazement. Who knew this little vintage lingerie mecca was right here this whole time; Gigi’s has been around for over 1.5 years now and in this location for 6 month. Immediately I had to ask the burning question…how did she get into vintage lingerie? Gigi admitted that she fell in love with lingerie at the very early age of 5, when she got lost in a circle rack of silky slips at a local department store. Of course her family thought that she was just playing around and didn’t realize the impact that moment would have on her decades later. She immediately spotted my Remix shoes and we found ourselves immersed in conversation for the next few hours about lingerie, the vintage community and everything in between.
Gigi has a darling location in a quiet area off Bloor St. in Toronto, you instantly feel like you are taking a step back in time into a glamorous vintage haven…I was totally smitten! Browsing the various designer collections and vintage offerings, I have never felt so comfortable and at ease shopping for lingerie. The average customer spends up to 2 hours in Gigi’s House of Frills and I was there for well over 3! Gigi had pulled a few of the Bettie Page pieces in advance for me to ensure she had my sizes. In addition, I decided to try some What Katie Did bullet bras that I had been dying to try for years (yes years!) along with Gigi exclusive designs from With Love Lingerie. The dressing room area is simply exquisite, a vintage inspired boudoir that will have you oohing and aahing.
As I tried on each style, Gigi assisted in checking for a good fit and fetching additional sizes or styles that might be better for my shape. Quickly we realized some styles were just not suited for me but others fit like a dream. Surprisingly the one style of bra (Maitresse Nouveau) I thought I’d love from What Katie Did was simply okay but Gigi suggested another (Cone bra) that turned out to be amazing! We confirmed I needed the next size up in the band which was currently out of stock but luckily the shop is able to order in individual customer requests from WKD. Although Gigi’s House of Frills doesn’t have an online webshop, they will happily ship to customers everywhere and regularly do so for their loyal customer’s in the US and elsewhere in Canada. Simply contact them through Facebookor Instagram, Gigi is a one woman operation that does it all! She also prides herself on carrying only ethically produced lingerie (sweatshop free) along with local designers.
After a wonderful evening at Gigi’s House of Frills, I left with gorgeous pieces from Bettie Page Lingerie, With Love Lingerie, What Katie Did, and some Besame Cosmetics along with a heartwarming experience with the delightful Gigi. You will have to stay tuned to the blog to see what all came home with me that fateful visit…
While we are vacationing up north in cottage country and miraculously have Wi-fi, I thought it would be a great time to share a quick post about my experience with Eyebrow Microblading. For those of you wondering what that is, in a nut shell it is a very natural option of semi-permanent eyebrow enhancement. Gone are the days of horrible tattooed eyebrows, Microblading creates very lightweight natural strokes that simulate real eyebrow hairs. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself getting such a procedure done but I was convinced after seeing the amazing work of Sandy Serpa. Sandy and I have known each other for many years and I was super excited when she started her own business offering Eyebrow Microblading. This was no light decision on my part, I researched extensively and followed Sandy’s work for quite some time before mustering the courage to book my appointment.
Still a bit nervous, I booked my appointment a couple months in advance for this past May. Sandy’s work spoke for itself; creating very natural and gorgeous eyebrows with many of her clients who had very little to work from. Luckily my eyebrows are not all gone but years of over plucking left the underside too thin and they always needed to be filled in. When I arrived, Sandy explained how Eyebrow Microblading works, the treatment process and gave a very cute cartoon that depicted the healing process. We spoke about my expectations and what kind of brow I had envisioned; nice full brows. She would have to create hairs on the undersides which were non-existent and create the look of fullness in the rest. The most time consuming part of the process is creating the outlines; cultivating the map of your new eyebrows. Since I had a solid arch and shape already, we had a good base to work from.
When I asked how painful the process was, she warned me that some people find it worse than others but the numbing cream should help. Famous last words “I’ll be ok, I tolerate tattoos no problem”. Yeah, I was SO wrong!!! Sandy was very patient but I turned into a blubbering mess. My allergies were in high gear, sneezing uncontrollably and eyes watering getting eyeliner everywhere. We quickly found out, the numbing cream didn’t work on me…just my luck! We got through the process painstakingly one stroke at a time. Beauty is pain right!?! When we finished, I couldn’t wait to see how they looked. Sandy warned me they look unusually thick due to the swelling but would would shrink down to the normal shape once healed. Instantly I was super pleased with the reflection in the mirror and was so glad I got them done. We booked my follow up touch-up appointment 6 weeks later.
The healing process was a bit nerve racking after seeing some real scary photos online (seriously avoid looking them up if you can). I applied the ointment Sandy provided and let my eyebrows heal without picking at the scabs. They flaked off naturally, I just kept checking in the mirror to make sure none were hanging off to scare people away. Lol I was super pleased with how they healed and was really looking forward to the touch-up session, minus knowing how painful round two would be.
At my follow up appointment, Sandy asked me to remove my makeup and I told her I already had. Her response was “so you don’t have any filler makeup on your eyebrows” and I replied “nope!” Apparently my pigment retention was the best she had seen, especially with her younger clients. Not everyone’s body retains the pigment well after the first session and often some require a complete second session. In my case, she just needed to add minimal fullness to finish them off. Bracing myself for a repeat of last time, Sandy mentioned she had started using a new numbing cream recently so we’d give it a go. Well hallelujah…this time it worked like a charm! I barely felt her working and it was over before I knew it. The healing process the second time around was much quicker and my new eyebrows looked like they had always been there. YAY!!!
I definitely recommend Eyebrow Microblading if you were thinking of taking the plunge but make sure to do your research before choosing who to go to. Not all technicians are created equal and just because they charge more does not mean they are better. If you live in South Western Ontario (Canada), I highly recommend going to Sandy but for those of you in the rest of the world please read reviews, follow the person’s work on social media and take the time to choose the most qualified in your area. So many people are offering Eyebrow Microblading with no real training, at a spa along with dozens of other services…don’t be fooled as this can be a costly mistake that is even harder to fix in the long run.
*Here are a variety of inspiring Before & After examples of Eyebrow Microblading by Sandy. As you can see, many of these lovely ladies started with little to no eyebrows before their treatments and now have beautiful natural results.
A massive thank you to everyone who entered the Miss Fortune Sweet Pea Dress Giveaway! Of course I wanted to reveal the winners before leaving on our summer holidays. So without further adieu, the winners are…
First Prize ~ Miss Fortune Sweet Pea Dress
Runner Up ~ Miss Fortune £25 Voucher
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prizes.
Winners have 7 days to claim, on the 8th day any unclaimed prizes will be redrawn from the current list of entries.
One thing that I know for certain, my adoration for all things floral came at a very early age. My mom dubbed me a natural green thumb as she always knew where to find me when I was a kid…out in her gardens planting and watering the flowers. Every year I would find new species that I would fall in love with, they are all so beautiful in their own special way. The memory that I will never forget is the anticipation her only rose bush to be in full bloom; it had the most beautiful rich deep pink roses I have ever seen. It should come as no surprise that my love of floral prints has only grown over the last few decades and can easily be seen in my vintage wardrobe collection.
Dress – Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman
Shoes – B.A.I.T Tessa Wedges in Cornflower Blue
Jewelry – Vintage rhinestone bangles
The greatest thing about collecting vintage floral prints, is that there are endless possibilities out there to discover. It is no surprise that the classic rose was very common in the 1950’s. Fashion designers captured their beauty by making them center stage in their designs. Often we will see the same prints being used by different designers, each one utilizing their creativity to make theirs unique.
In recent years, I have come across the Vintage Long Stem Roses print in red and yellow in a variety of styles but they always eluded me as they were much too small in size or WAY over my budget. This past May, I stumbled upon an IG sneak preview photo from Swanee Grace of the most elegant Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress but this time in purple, blue and yellow roses! I was even more excited when I saw the size was my exact measurements but expected a very hefty price tag. Luckily the shop owner posted the exact time it would be listed on Etsy so I was refreshing every 10 seconds in anticipation. Needles to say, I didn’t hesitate when I saw it was withing my budget and sped through the checkout process like a madwoman.
Never before had I seen this stunning colourway and I truly adore it more than the red/yellow version. The Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I didn’t even realize the background colour is a soft powder blue, usually you only see it in white. This definitely made the dress even more unique and extra special. The bodice features gorgeous diamond rhinestones scattered throughout. Miraculously, the dress is in pristine condition…barely worn over the past 6 decades.
When it comes to collecting vintage, the best piece of advice that I can pass along is to be patient. Vintage can be an incredibly frustrating passion at the best of times but those who are patient, often find the most amazing treasures when they least expect it. Do not lose hope…those special treasures will find you when the time is right.
Over the years, my love of vintage has not only taken over my closets but it has become such a huge part of my everyday life. The wonderful people that I have met through the online communities…sellers and fellow collectors have truly enriched my inner circle of friends. It is incredible how fellow collectors and sellers will genuinely go out of their way to help you find those special treasures, spreading good vintage karma among one another. I have been very fortunate to build my collection full of breathtaking vintage pieces through endless hours of scouring of the interwebs, hands me downs from collectors and developing wonderful relationships with some of the greatest vintage sellers. These rare treasures deserve to be showcased for all to appreciate, so I will start featuring my vintage collection one piece at a time! Be warned…this may take a while 😉
Skirt – Vintage Seaside Border Print
Top – PUG Peasant in mint
Shoes – B.A.I.T Demi mint wedges
Belt – PUG white
Jewelry – Vintage Weiss
With the 1950’s being the epicenter of one of a kind circle/swing skirt designs, it is no surprise that they quickly became an obsession to collect them all. Personally I gravitate towards novelty prints, scenic prints, border prints and of course floral prints…plain is boring! One of the places I find many of my most treasured pieces is on Instagram; either from Vintage sellers or fellow collectors. The most important thing is to be quick, these pieces often get snatched up the moment they are posted. Luckily I was able to acquire many pieces before IG sales became mainstream, now it has really become ultra competitive and often disappointing.
Ages ago, I came across this magnificent Vintage Seaside Scenic Border Print Skirt on IG where the seller mentioned it was a wounded bird but still had lots of life left. Remember, most of these skirts are over 60 years old; often homemade from the 1950’s and passed down over the decades with several different owners. Immediately I got in contact with the seller (sorry, I don’t remember which one this was from) to get all the particulars on the condition and of course, price. There she mentioned the skirt had some rust stains and a few holes in the fabric but they were easily lost in the fullness of the skirt sweep. Because of the condition, she was only asking a mere $60…UM WHAT!?! Luckily there was only one gal ahead of me in line and she decided to pass on it…her loss was definitely my gain!
When the Seaside Scenic Border Print Skirt arrived, I immediately assessed the condition and reinforced the small holes with iron on mending patches. The seller mentioned she had already washed and treated the staining the best she could so I did not attempt to do so myself. Most of the rust marks were on one side of the skirt, so the trick was simply to rotate that to the backside when worn and it indeed gets lost in the fullness of the skirt.
Although there is no known designer information available on this print, it is referred to as “Seaside” by vintage collectors. In this series, there is also Switzerland and Dutch Windmills, all available in various colourways. It is always fun to see the different variations of prints in the various colours since I find they really make each one truly unique. I am the first to admit, I sometimes own the same print in two different colours because I simply cannot resist.
*A special thank you to the lovely ladies Kelly and Mary of the Novelty & Border Print Group for helping me with the history on the Vintage Seaside Scenic Border Print Skirt.*