Saturday, 24 July 2010

Try before you buy

Working in retail for a number of years I have came across many instances especially in Vintage shops where women have come up to the counter asking the measurements of a garment and then have quickly refused to try it on if it is not their 'normal' clothes size.
I myself have been in that situation where I have been in a changing- room refusing to go up a size in a pair of jeans because then that would be labelling myself a size bigger. Though that is the thing it would be me labelling myself and no-one else. It is not as if your body shape has changed just because you are a UK 10 in one shop and a UK 12 or 14 in another.
I however have tried on many a garment at a vintage fair or shop that was a few sizes too big or small and have found they fit like a glove and the clothes I picked that were my 'size' have left me feeling frumpy or squished in like a sausage.
Therefore I think it should be a policy in all shops to try before you buy and to stop asking shop assistants what size a garment is but to start asking if they think it would fit your body shape.
And the after feeling guilt of buying something that is two sizes 'too big' ? Do what I did with two new jackets I got recently, cut off the labels and next year you won't even remember the original sizing. Though with the ones that are smaller? Keep them because it never fails to have a little lift!
Photo: First of the Vintage Sunday Fairs at The Empire in Belfast as part of Frock Around the Clock

Finding Your Inner Star

I think it is essential to remember it is never wise to be someone you are not but I think it essential to have role models in life to guide you into finding your inner shining star. After you hit puberty the task of finding yourself becomes all the more difficult, as Ernest Hemingway once comment 'As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary'.
It's the way that we look at our role models that sometimes needs to change rather than who we look up to. For instance I admire many women - both famous and non-famous and I am not personally I feel like any one of them, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Finding your inner star is all about taking admirable qualities from people and places around you and transferring them to the person who you are and want to become.
For example I'd love to take a mixing pot and put in the model Kate Moss, the Danish-born French actress Anna Karina, the journalist Carrie Bradshaw ( yes, I know she is a fictional character), Beyonce (we do have a shapely bum), Paloma Faith ( I can sing just like her in my head), and every woman I have met in person with inspirational qualities and come up with my inner star.
However life isn't like this - we all are not perfect and it is human nature to make mistakes but we can take inspiration from Beyonce and her alter-ego Sasha Fierce - better to try and give things a go then hinder the person you could become due to the fear of being judged.
Therefore I'd like everyone (including myself) to take the rest of 2010 to explore who you really are and want to become without fear and worry from others. The only person you need to be accepted by is yourself.
Photo: An old Postcard dated 1952 of the Effiel Tower , which I purchased in a Vintage and craft fair a few months ago. Hopefully one day I'll let my 'inner star' shine here in Paris.

Friday, 23 July 2010

I need you!

Are you a fan of vintage clothing? A person who holds strong views on body imaging? or simply a lover of fashion? If so, I need your help. I want this blog to be a place for everyone to express their views so if you wish to add a comment or submit a post or even just a picture of yourself having fun with fashion do not hesitate to get in touch. You can do this by email at or by commenting here. I'll look forward to hearing from you soon.
Photo: Recent jumpsuit purchase that makes my pear-shaped body look even more exaggerated but clothes sometimes are not all about the flattery...

About Educating Vintage...

From ever since I can remember I have struggled with my body image and looks despite being reassured by the people around me that I have nothing to worry about.
It doesn't matter if a man whistles at me in the street or friends tell me I have the ideal figure, deep down I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin unless I am wearing that special dress or heels that make me feel a million dollars because that is when I feel most myself.
I have started this blog as I feel a lack of self-confidence and worth is at an all time high and if nothing is done it could be fatal for the next generation coming along.
My answer to this epidemic? Well it is simple to educate and show women (and men) that fashion has no size or style limit and that to reuse your wardrobe staples with vintage and second-hand purchases fashion can in fact be a fun experience.
I want people to throw away their fashion do and donts books, to cut all size labels of their clothes (only use the number as a guide and remember it's just a number), stop buying the celebrity magazines that focus on telling you someone's weight and dress size, and above all else go on your impulses when buying. If you see a bright pink ruffled dress and it makes you feel alive when you put it on don't shove it to the back of your wardrobe to avoid distasteful comments, wear it with pride because in fashion there are no such thing as mistakes only fashionable mishaps.

Photo: 'My dress' - a vintage fair bargain that has everyone threatening to steal it. Makes me feel like a 'ruffled' princess.