Sunday, 18 March 2012

Most worn - Winter 2011/12

Apologies for the lack of posts lately.  I've been thoroughly distracted by my (successful) hunt for a new job, after 10 years of self-employment, and by supporting Mr G & our friends in their training for Greensand Way 2012.  Combined with an overactive social life, I've had very little time left for blogging!  Fear not though - many posting ideas are swirling around in my mind.

I was inspired to write this post by an interesting Facebook discussion in a vintage group i'm a member of.  Some vintage newbies were asking the 'experienced' vintagers, where they should start with their vintage/retro wardrobe.  Several people shared the 5 'most worn' items in their wardrobes.  Interestingly, very few people listed any 'real' vintage items in these lists.  The majority were newish items that had a vintage feel, or repro items.

So here are my 'most worn' items in the Winter 2011/12 season:

  • Winter Coat - by Jigsaw, about £120 around 10 years old
I love this coat.  It has a lovely removal faux fur collar which can be turned up & fastened for extra warmth thus:

The coat fastens with a zip, but has buttons too which can be fastened over the top of the zip (which I never use).  It also has zipped surgeons cuffs.
If I'm honest, I would love a 'fit & flare' style coat, but I havn't found one I love in my size yet.  Maybe next year.  Nevertheless, this coat has been worn every winter since I bought it.  By my reckoning it's cost me about 10p per time worn, and I will continue to wear it in years to come.  Not a bad investment.

  • Shoes - black & white patent leather, about £20 2nd hand on ebay

Love these.  Love, love, love them. Wear them all the time.  My new boss complimented them on me at my job interview.  Clearly he is a man with taste. 
Pencil skirts are marvellous wardrobe staples for the vintage gal.  Pair them with a great cropped jumper or cardigan and you look every inch the pin-up.  These two are both repro from well-known repro brand Vivien of Holloway
They are actually a fairly light-weight cotton skirt, and are unlined.  Because they are worn tight this can cause some problems.  For example, there is a lot of 'wiggling' required when going to the loo!  I often find that my tights (sorry, I'm afraid I don't wear stockings every day!), roll down as I pull the skirt back down again.  I would love it if Vivien of Holloway would add a lining to them, as this would ease wear & make them a bit warmer in winter.  Also, although I love the red tartan one, I've found that the black one has faded a fair bit with washing and is now a bit grey.

  • A-line Wool Skirt - £40 in the sale, Biba at House of Fraser

This is a button-though military-style wool skirt that I wear on less 'bombshell' days (or colder days!).  It was a great buy in the winter sale, and is from the recently re-launched Biba label, so famous in the 1960s and 70s. 

Gosh, I love this jumper.  I really, really love it.  It's cropped waistline sits perfectly on my own waist.  The little puffed sleeves balance out my hips, and it's cheerful Christmassy design has been a real talking point over the winter.  Its an acrylic knit, so is very easy to look after.  I shall definately be buying more jumpers from Rocket Originals.

  • Cropped Cashmere Cardigan - £179 by Brora

Now this is, admittedly, a very expensive cardigan.  It was a Christmas present, but if I had the money, I would have bought it for myself in every colour they had.  I own several pieces of cashmere knitwear from Brora.  Every piece is a big investment, so if you are going to buy one, do make sure that you are going wear it regularly.  You will also need treat your cashmere very carefully!  This means handwashing each piece, and drying them away from direct heat.  Do not, as I did once, scoop your favourite jumper mistakenly up in a pile destined for a 40 degree wash.  Do not, as I also did once, leave your very favouritest cashmere beret on a train at Waterloo.  I mourned the loss of that Beret for about 4 months.  I hope whoever found it loves it as much as I did.

Brora is an excellent cashmere brand - each piece is made in Britain, from Scottish cashmere.  Many of their pieces have a vintage feel, so if your budget stretches to it, I recommend them.

  • Jersey faux-wrap dress, £can't remember, Phase Eight about 5 years ago

This is a real go-to dress for me.  It looks a bit rubbish in the photo to be honest, but is lovely on.  When I can't be bothered to pick out a matching outfit I just pluck it out of the wardrobe & know it'll look great on me.  For work-wear I pop a little complementary vest top underneath.  I can remove this for a bit of cleavage in the evening.

So there you have it - my most-worn items throughout Winter 2011/12.  Not a single item of vintage in there, but everything has some vintage element to it that enables me to put the look I love together.

I'm delighted that the weather is becoming more spring-like.  Rest assured I'll be taking note of my most-worn spring items & reporting them!

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