90s: a fashion decade?

I commented recently that the 90s look is back. At the Clothes Show Live I noticed an abundance  of youngsters wearing the key looks from the decade. I commented on Facebook and Twitter and most of you shouted…..NO!!!! But some were actually questioning whether there were any major fashion moments at all.

Of course there were! So here goes…here is a round up of the 90s look (with a few photos of me thrown in for good measure).

So lets start with this one. It’s about 1992 and I’m sporting a bakerboy patchwork hat. Hats were big in the early 90s…I had loads. I’m also wearing a long chiffon blouse…another key look. What you can’t see is probably a pair of cut off shorts over footless tights and my trusty doc martin boots. The boy next to me sums up the early 90s look…bright colours, logo T’s and a woolly hat. This is Craigy B. Not known simply as Craig, but as Craigy B. This again is how people referred to each other in the 90s!

(I sold sooooo many cut off shorts this month.)

So the decade started with the biggest look of the whole 10 years: Grunge. Jodi Kidd meandered slowly down the catwalk looking gaunt and the term Heroin Chic evolved. Grunge was cool from then on in. However the catwalk was only responding to the music scene straight out of Seattle. The king was of course Kurt Cobain although he was simply following the likes of REM and Sonic Youth. Loose light denim, logo T’s, plaid shirts and sneakers……not trainers but sneakers.

The look became mainstream. Doc martins or dirty converse were worn by all.

His love, Courtney, brought us the bleached, tousled hair. It was normal to blow dry your hair upside down then. She also introduced underwear as outerwear: sheer, lacy pretty negligee dresses, always teamed with leather.

This look continued throughout the decade with Baby Spice making it mainstream in 96.

The indie music scene in the UK also impacted what we wore. We had the baggies from Madchester in 91….actually just think what my friend Craigy B is wearing and you will get the picture.

Then there was the Britpop look of the mid to late 90s. The foppish hair of Brett Anderson, the mod look of Daman Alburn, the 70s suit of Jarvis Cocker.

The union jack was owned by the Brit Pop boys, but it was Gerri who took it one step further.

The 70s hippy vibe was back with the rise of Ibiza clubbing. Long sheer maxi skirts over hotpants was a key look.

Jewellery was handmade, perfect for this 70s feel. We all wore crystals…I had a long crystal necklace tied on string which I wore for years. Check me out here in 1992…ear buns, liquid eyeliner, my Grandmas vintage dress….have you noticed the handmade wooden piece around my neck (as well as the nose ring). I would have been wearing Red or Dead shoes…….now this is what we all wanted. We trudged up to Neal Street to pay, a then, fortune on the wackiest shoes we could find. I remember platforms from them  in purple and black patent…very early 70s. I think they cost £80 and for a student this was alot of money but I didn’t care…

We also wore chunky knits from Nepal….a look we have all been selling well this winter. I had a bright blue one bought from Camden Market.

You had to have a flat stomach in the 90s because the crop top was HUGE. Britney wore heres with low slung trackies. All Saints wore theres with low slung combats and Timberland boots.

Natalie Imbruglia wasnt always so glam..here she is in her Torn video with combats and a hoody. I don’t believe we wore hoodies before the 90s.

We all had a Rachel hair cut. Flicking out with blonde highlights.

If we chose not to befriend her look then it was probably Louise from Sleepers hair we had.

My main memories of the 90s are of very, very short dresses usually worn with hotpants to protect my modesty (remember that Gerri picture) and of the skate look. High top trainers, Vision Street Wear hoodies and baggy pants. Oh and leggings, DMs, and undone shirts over T shirts.

Here I am in 1990…I look so young and happy (well it was 20 years ago).

And for some more memories…..some of the great tunes of this decade: Baby D, Grace, Courtney Love in Hole and Natalie Imbruglia


Home at last!

Well we have now been back from the Clothes Show for two days and still I havent blogged! To be honest I have spent the last 2 days pretty much sleeping! We met some great new people, customers and other stall holders and sold tonnes of vintage clothing!

So whats it like I hear you ask? Well, here are my observations of the whole event:

The crowd is young….very young! and also tiny! I sold all my size 8 vintage on the first day…never before have I heard people complaining that my stock is too large. But with this youth comes the mother, standing 2 steps behind with her wallet open. I didn’t factor in the mother so rushed home after day 1 to pull together my MUM rail.

My neighbours I think were expecting this rail to be full of boring clothes but as a mummy myself, I filled the rail with pretty dresses, coats and sparkly party outfits. The mums loved it and shopped for themselves as well as their daughters!

It’s so so busy! Thousands literally shopping the vintage area meant we didn’t stop the whole 6 days. Thank the lord for the free Haagen Dazs and mini diet cokes which kept us going throughout. Shattered is an under statement! We turned over loads of stock especially my Levi cut offs of which we have the stock level of ZERO now!

The music made my ears bleed! Now don’t get me wrong I love music particularly loud music, but we were beside a catwalk which had the same show every 2 hours. This meant we heard the same music over and over again…if I hear Maroon 5’s Moves like Jagger again I may head for the hills and join a silent monastery. However, being next to the show meant for loads more excited girls for us to meet so all was good!

Our neighbours were fab particularly Ease the Squeeze and Vintage Life Magazine. I urge you to check out the shirts from the former…..if you are a man or even know a man, they will make the perfect Christmas presents. In the quiet times they cheered me up, in the busy times they kept me sane, and in the tired times (of which there were loads) they kept me smiling!

Thanks guys!

  • Young girls LOVE Hollyoaks and TOWIE men..they literally ran after them all around the NEC. One other trader thought these fans were doing the conga, when in fact they were hysterically charging after some celeb. I did feel a tad old when I didn’t recognise any of these boys……
  • Apart from the kids and their mums there were loads of highly glamorous ladies. We all sold so many beaded and sequined pieces…the whole of Birmingham will be sparkling this New Year’s eve.

All in all it was a great event. It was a challenge fitting all the stock into a tiny space but thankfully we went home every night so could replenish every day.

I’m so glad to be home now though as I can start to think about Christmas. A few Mummy Christmas dresses to add on Monday to the eBay shop and then I’m hanging up my hat until the New Year. Time to make cards, crackers, truffles and buy some presents!

Spotlight on Blouses

Todays spotlight is on the blouse. A wardrobe classic, it is the perfect garment to wear with this winters 1940s look. Elegant and simple it looks perfect with a pencil skirt, wide leg trousers and even with your jeans.

And you don’t have to actually find a 1940s version..there are loads of great vintage blouses out there from all eras to help you create the look.

One of the 1940s looks was utility: crisp white blouses were worn with trousers or skirts creating a functional look. They were quite masculine in style often with breast pockets and uncovered buttons.

For a more feminine look, women wore light weight blouses with rounded Peter Pan collars. Buttons were often concealed with fine belts added to highlight their curves. Some styles were collarless with a small bow at the neckline.

They were worn at work, in the fields, baking, going out….the blouse was an everyday item long before the introduction of the basic T.

Pretty patterns were seen but nothing too bright. Polka dots and small flowers were on blouses as well as dresses.

These images come from 1940s Woman’s Own magazines.

We have some lovely ones in stock in our eBay shop at the moment and a lot more coming this week. Whether it has a pussy bow neckline, gentle padding at the shoulders, is belted, has ballooned sleeves or patterned…one thing is for sure this autumn. We all should be wearing a blouse.

Welcome to my wardrobe

Some vintage ladies have embraced an era, often the 1950s or 40s. They have fallen in love with its style and taken it to their hearts (and their wardrobe, their hair and makeup, even their home). While I totally applaude this (and am a tad envious of their committment) I am not one of these ladies.

I havent embraced one era over another. The truth be told, I just wear what I like. One day it can be a 1950s day dress, the next a 70s maxi. My hair doesn’t match the era…it generally is the same with a matching  hair clip in.

The only rules I follow (as I don’t really follow rules) are:

1. I must LOVE it. If I don’t LOVE it then I don’t wear it. This applies to my home too…..not one era wins, only rule is we must LOVE it.

2. It must all match. Shoes, bag, hair clip, jacket…even my brolly, must co-ordinate.

I love the simplicity of a 1940s day dress. I love the full skirt, nipped in waist of the 1950s. I love the A line shift of the 1960s. I love the boho, carefree style of the 1970s. I also (don’t shoot me) love the secretary look of the 1980s.

Basically I love dresses, good dresses….. that no one else has!

I also love the social history of all eras and how this impacted what we wore. The rationing of the 1940s with less material and make do and mend ethos. The housewife look of the 1950s when women returned to the kitchen, donned a pinny to look after her man. The baby boomers in the 1960s with their huge optimism and tiny skirts. The hippy vibe of the 1970s with CND and floaty dresses. The empowerment of women in the 1980s with their business dress and shoulder pads.

So here are some of my favourite dresses…welcome to my wardrobe!

My absolute favourite dress: 1950s orange prom dress with clear lucite rhinestone clutch

Early 80s Monsoon dress with humming bird clip from Now, Voyager

1970s blue and gold dress with chain mail rose belt

1970s pink frill dress and Top Shop matchy shoes

1960s beaded mini with my fave Enid Collins box bag

Another 60s mini with patent box bag

Floaty 70s tropical maxi with classic leather cartridge bag

Bright pink 60s mini with handbag that was my mums in the 60s!

Early 50s silk dress with peplum and my gorgeous 40s corde bag

1980s Grecian drape dress with Abilu Creations head band

Late 40s leaf dress with structured brass top bag

Chiffon and lace 50s/60s dress with brooch Mr YVL bought for me when we first met


This Weeks Giveaway: A crochet throw worth £25.

Simply: 1. Sign up to the blog 2. Leave us a comment about the blog 3. Tell your friends through Facebook, Twitter etc so they can join in the vintage fun!

Winner will be drawn on Thursday 6th October x


Re-work it baby!

Now before we start, I realise the true vintage ladies amongst us won’t like this post. Don’t baulk just yet…as our new Customised Collection isnt really aimed at yourselves. I am aiming at..lets just call them the Primark generation. Spending regularly on clothes that all their friends have also got………now is the time to introduce them to vintage!

Mainly 1980s items that in their existing form probably don’t look too great. So, why not re-work them baby!

Launching this week we have:

Levis jeans cut to mini lengths…..wear bare legs if you dare or over black opaques.

Army parkas cropped with elastic added so they sit nicely

Rock mens T shirts, customised into oversized vestsMore rock Ts with elastic added into the hemline and sleeves capped

Knee length skirts cropped to mini length…floaty and girly

or sexy and glam

Unflattering length dresses cropped to better, more wearable lengths

Army parkas with fur collars added…..add some glamour to your military!

Now is the time to look different from your mates and recycle on the way…….

Lovely Leanne

Later this week Your Vintage Life will go live with our new look eBay shop. Selling great vintage as always, we will also be introducing 2 new categories: Boutique and Customised Vintage.

To support this we brought in the lovely Leanne to model our womenswear. Here are a few shots to wet your appetite….with examples of the type of things you will see in each category.

Vintage womenswear including tonnes of dresses, knits and coats

Vintage Boutique full of evening dresses and vintage glamour

Great customised vintage with re-worked military, cropped skirts and Levi hotpants

So watch this space…..we will be listing madly all week!

All dressed up & ready to go

We are busy getting ready for next weeks Twinwood Festival here in Bedfordshire. It is a 1940s/50s festival so we have been busy getting our frocks ready.

Here are just a few we will be taking to sell. We have prom dresses, swing dresses, day dresses and wiggle dresses. Some are hand made and some have great labels such as Selfridges and Horrockses. We have sexy, we have pretty, we have brights. We are all dressed up and ready to go!

Sheer hand made day dress with beautiful pleating.

Bright, hand made, silk floral swing dress with ruffle pleat detail on skirt, size 16

Autumnal coloured wiggle dress with rouched pleating on one side.

Lilac floral barkcloth day dress

Horrockses 60s dress (yes slightly wrong era but it’s gorgeous!)

Floral rayon wiggle dress with rouched tummy…so flattering!

Rose cotton swing day dress….so cute!

Bright cotton day dress with tie waist#

Stunning lilac prom dress with devore flowers

Pastel box pleated, tie neck dress

Rouched chiffon bright blue maxi prom dress

Bright day dress with white toggle buttons

Pleated edge, belted dress

Blue floral bow neck Selfridges dress

Grey and brown pleated dress with belt

Aqua rayon rose fronted wiggle dress

Silk purple wiggle tulip dress

Purple rose cotton day swing dress

Blue floral silky swing dress with tie neckline

Red & white long sleeved day dress

If you’re coming to Twinwood, make sure you drop by and say Hi!