Tag Archives: shopping

Glitter Glitter Glitter

For so long, I’ve felt like something is missing in my life. I’ve frolicked in 50s frocks and gone to pilates classes, but all this to no avail. It wasn’t until I clicked “Add To Cart” on the Wittner website last week that I realised all this time I’ve been waiting for a pair of insane glitter heels to sashay into my life. Si simple!

I present to you, dear retro friends, the most fabulous pair of glitter heels you ever did see:

Vintage? Non. But fabulous? Absoluement! I have not a single place to wear them, but I’ll be having far more fantastical dreams now that these bad boys are propped up in my cupboard.

Stay tuned for The First Outing Of The Glitter Shoes. Much vintage love as always.

 

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Sydney Antique-ing

My lovely friend Laurel recently took me antique-ing to Alexandria Antiques Centre, a place I can only describe as “The Best Thing Ever”. This quickly became apparent as we were met with a WALL of vintage suitcases upon entry. I mean, seriously:

The Antique Centre was a veritable trove of treasures, with delightful bric-à-brac, and all the usual vintage suspects (bar-ware, canisters, picnic sets, costume jewellery and the like).

There were some quirky things too, like this old 1950s table and chairs set pilfered from McDonald’s:

My antique-ing companions looked ravishing in their ensembles. Check out Sarah in her Heyday trousers and cat-eyes:

And our antique-ing host Laurel, who’s too cute and retro for words:

I wore a blue floral frock, and managed to bring this burgundy velvet beret home with me:

1950s frock Love Vintage Fair, 2011 | Cardigan thrifted | Vintage beret Alexandria Antiques Centre | 1950s necklace Love Vintage Fair, 2011 | Heels Macys

We managed to pick up some other things along the way. I lusted after these cat eye glasses, albeit blindly:

And Sarah donned this ridiculous/amazing Mexican hat:

Antiques Centres often overwhelm me – I tend to get a little short of breath at the first sight of mod furniture, and run around a little haphazardly making frequent exclamatory statements like “oh my!” and “this is from the thirties!”. This experience was no exception.

If you’re ever in the mood for minor sensory overload, the Alexandria Antiques Centre is your place.

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Las Vegas: Elvis, Justin Bieber and other Wax Statues

I have just a couple more Vegas snaps for you before I settle back into chronicling my sartorial life in Sydney again. Despite having been back now for nearly two weeks, my blogging has been so scarce that I’m yet to run out of material. Consequently, this is sort of two outfit posts in one, with an eye on some lovely gentlemen I met in Sin City.

The first set of photos I have for you are artfully posed beside one of my favourite retro gentlemen: dear Elvis. Vegas seems to have a thing for Elvis, actually, which made the souvenir stores quite a bit more tempting than anticipated, and a walk down the strip endlessly exciting. This wax replica of young Elvis stood outside Madame Toussard’s which was, oddly, in my hotel. We had quite a moment:

Cardigan: Louche, London
1950s Puerto Rican skirt: The Attic, Vegas
Necklace: Mother’s
Hair flower: Sportsgirl

I’ve always been skeptical about Madame Toussard’s, but after years of cynicism, I finally made it in. How shamefully touristique! Anyway, enough about the museum, and more about Justin Bieber. Check this out:

I’m afraid I don’t have the outfit credentials for Justin, but I can tell you mine. I’m wearing a delightful Anthropologie frock I picked up when I visited Boston in January, paired with some very plane-appropriate plaits, inspired by Andi B Goode.

Dress: Anthropologie
Cape: SoWa Markets, Boston
Shoes: Bass Shoes
Belt: Review

And so ends the Vegas posts! I do have a guest post on Las Vegas for Aussie on the Road in the works, plus a sneaky trip to Melbourne with the famous lovers of Like Johnny and June to see Dita Von Teese next weekend, but apart from that all is quiet on the Sydney front. I’ll be back soon with updates on all of these things, plus news from the Old Hat picnic extravaganza. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend!

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The Attic, Las Vegas

I wasn’t going to visit Vegas without a little jaunt to the local vintage stores, it being rockabilly country and all. Eager as always for a rummage, I did a google search and came across a store called “The Attic” in the Las Vegas Arts District (yes, there is such a thing), billed as the world’s largest vintage store. Most appropriate!

So I set out to visit “The Attic”, and was greeted by the most charming vintage caricatures.

And inside, a treasure trove – all carefully labelled and looked after, but arranged in pleasantly higgledy-piggledy fashion. Mid-century frocks, 30s boudoir slippers, extravagant coats, a profusion of hats, vintage showgirl costumes and the like all shared racks – all magnificent and over-the-top.

One of the highlights of the visit – apart from the veritable stash of vintage goodies I managed to procure – was the menagerie of animals inhabiting the place. I was surprised to find an exotic bird chilling out in the corner of the store, and positively thrilled to find an adorable cat called “Miss Kitty” swanning about.

Vintage folk seem to have a particular propensity for loving cats (see Vintage, Vixen), so it seemed an excellent choice of animal for a vintage store. I loved how Miss Kitty cosied up to the lacy loungewear:

And settled down in a pile of vintage gloves:

Seriously, I love cats.

But “The Attic” wasn’t great solely for its menagerie of animals (although that helps) – the store offers on-the-spot alterations, and has its own line of reproduction dresses, plus makes them to-order. The staff are lovely, passionate, and have an incredible inventory of knowledge about their vintage pieces, what they are and where they came from.

Unfortunately disaster befell “The Attic” quite recently. A nearby gas leak meant that their large warehouse that earned them the tag line of “biggest vintage store in the world” had to close, and they moved across the road into smaller quarters – the ones that I visited – which are wonderful, but simply not the same. It being too expensive to keep up the business in the wake of the disaster, “The Attic” is regrettably closing soon, after 23 years in business. Alex, the friendly gentleman who helped me and owns “The Attic”, is understandably quite devastated.

Nevertheless, I believe there are plans for an online store and a grand reopening at some point in the future, so if you’re visiting Las Vegas, don’t despair. I also understand there will be an extravagant half price sale before “The Attic” closes in a couple of months or so.

In any case, if you visit Vegas and need a vintage fix, the Arts District is your place. You may have to avoid a mugging to get to the antique malls (the area is a little seedy to say the least – try and count the bail bond offices), but they’re packed with the most marvellous of vintage treasures, and are a welcome reprieve from the bustle and flashing lights of The Strip.

Photos of my treasures to come!

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Fantasy Christmas Wish List

This post is my subtle hint to any friends, family members or rich strangers seeking to buy me gifts this Christmas. If that fails, consider this my little fantasy Christmas present haul (disclaimer: true meaning of Christmas etc etc). This year I’m lusting after:

1. The Fleur Dress by HeyDay

This has been on my wish list for so long, but thankfully it doesn’t seem likely that it’ll go out of stock anytime soon, what with its thousand or so reincarnations in a myriad of different fabrics. My favourite is the black Fleur dress with the daisies – I can see it slipping seamlessly into my life for day and evening-wear. And it’s so preeetty! It’s on sale for sixty pounds right now, which is still extravagant, but less so than before.

2. Snoods from Arthelia’s Attic

I’m so in love with the navy blue snood I ordered from Arthelia’s Attic on Etsy, that I now have an overwhelming urge to order it in all possible colours. My navy snood has converted me  – it’s so convenient and instantly glamorous. Thanks to my snood, I haven’t really had to think about the back of my hair in awhile. The gorgeous store Arthelia’s Attic sells them for about $20 each.

3. A new petticoat

Poor Michelle, with not enough petticoats to fill her wardrobe. It’s frivolous but true that I am in dire need of some new flouncy petticoats in my life. My original crinoline has deflated a little with time and is sadly a little short, so I require a suitably poofy knee-length petticoat, preferably nylon chiffon. Unfortunately they retail online for ridiculous amounts. Perhaps in time!

4. What Katie Did Seam Stockings

Seam stockings are the staple of my life. Buying a new batch is always inevitable, so a pile of fresh What Katie Did stockings would make me very, very content. Basic black and tan are the way to go, plus throw in a few pairs of contrast black seamed for good measure. If you browse the website, you’ll find there’s a fab deal wherein you can buy three pairs for ten pounds which is pretty great.

5. A Jumper or Pinafore

I’ve been lusting after pinafores for awhile now. I think it’s the versatility that thrills me so – I can imagine wearing jumpers or pinafores with every blouse I own in quick succession, with nobody suspecting a thing. There are a couple I’ve set my sights on, but seeing as they cost actual money (I know, I know) they are evading me right now.

$89 from Bettie Page Clothing 

$129 from Jitterbuggin on Etsy

6. A collar from Molly Made

My friend Molly makes these delightful peter pan collars and sells them on Etsy, and I’m utterly entranced. Seriously, they’re so adorable, and I can imagine them jazzing up outfits to no end.

Well even if you’re not feverishly rushing off to order these things for me (which I don’t exactly expect you are), consider this my “gift guide” of sorts for your vintage-loving friends and acquaintances. I hope your Christmas shopping is going tremendously well, and that you are putting the finishing touches on your extravagant travel plans for the summer.

If you’ve posted your Christmas wish list, link me! I love reading them.

Disclaimer: I am an “affiliate” of What Katie Did, but their hosiery is so smashing that they would almost certainly still feature on my wish list even if this was not the case at all.

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Antique-ing in Brisbane

I loved the heritage feel to Brisbane while I was there over the weekend. Far from being devoid of pretty buildings, Brisbane has a myriad of old edifices to enjoy. “Old” in the Australian sense of the term (aka late 1800s, early 1900s), not in the European sense of the term (Shakespearean times). Accordingly, I frolicked about in a couple of these places.

I theorise that all Australian cities have a token old arcade. In Sydney it’s the Strand Arcade, but in Brisbane there is the aptly-named Brisbane Arcade. These arcades are typically the homes of eccentric little stores: boutique jewellers and such. I passed by a few times, but when I actually went to pay my respects to the arcade it was early Sunday morning. The upstairs was closed, but a kind old store-owner used her card to help me get up there. The floor was completely empty, so I had a little wander ’round, enjoying the old-fashioned stained glass windows and light fittings with it all to myself. Unfortunately I then found myself trapped on this floor. As delightful as it was, I was a little distraught and had to be rescued by the same lady who thankfully came up to visit her shop. Alas!


I took the opportunity to pose for a moment:

Dress: vintage 50s, Love Vintage Fair
Bag: Fringe Bar Markets, Sydney
Hat: 40s, Camden Passage Markets in London

If you look behind me here you’ll see a store displaying a Napoleonic War jacket in the window. Amazing!

After exploring the arcade quite sufficiently, I made my way to Paddington where there is a lovely array of vintage stores. The streets there feature a lot of that style of architecture typical of Australian country towns (I’m afraid some of you might not know what I mean) which I love.

The best place I visited there was the Brisbane Antique Centre. Oh my, what a place. Antique centres are always overwhelming. I’m not going to tell you any more about it, because these photos will describe more aptly the sensory overload of the place.





Mmm, so amazing. I had to stop myself from spending $80 on the most perfect 50s sunglasses I’ve ever seen. I did, however, emerge with a bevy of other delights which I’ll show you very soon.

Enjoy your week!

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Vintage Shopping: Shag

Yesterday I had elaborate plans to be terribly studious and do hour upon hour of study before class in the afternoon… And yet somehow I ended up in Paddington, walking absent-mindedly into a vintage store. It was a good hour before I came out again.

The store I visited was “Shag” on Oxford St. I have never really frequented Shag because it always looks a little too 80s from the outside; the window display is very kitsch, with garish accessories, crazy patterned tunics and flared pants. Now I’m cursing myself for my aversion, for even though mod dresses and corduroy pants dominate the space, there is a wonderful rack of clothes from 30s-early 60s. Fifties frocks! Old evening gowns! Vintage negligees!

I tried on 80% of the rack, and fell in love with a blue velvet fifties evening dress. The lovely sales girl went wild when I waltzed out of the fitting room, and put on the song “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton for my benefit. Naturally, I took a turn about the store. Here is the evidence:

The scalloped collar still has all its original diamontes – divine!

I also bought a divine novelty skirt. I think it’s later than 50s (the zipper gives it away), probably 70s or 80s, but it has a very 50s-style novelty print with its olive oil and wine theme. The waist band is beautifully embellished with olive branches and grapes, and then on the skirt itself there are bottles of olive oil and wine glasses – fabulous! I think it’s so cute! I’m going to hem it though, as right now it sits at my ankles, and I’d rather it a little shorter. Check it out:


While in Shag I had a conversation with the sales girl about dating vintage clothing, and she was very wise. I’ve been thinking a lot about the small details that allow you to pick the era of a piece of clothing, having just read this post. So as a little tangent for this post, here is my collected wisdom on dating vintage with zippers:

  • Metal zippers were used pre-60s, so anything with a vinyl zipper is usually later – though this isn’t 100% accurate as of course some garments will have had zippers replaced
  • Back zippers weren’t instituted until the 60s, so frocks with side zippers are usually earlier (learnt this tidbit from the girl in Shag)
  • Lack of a zipper, perhaps with a hook and eye used on the side, indicates that the item of clothing could be pre-40s
I might collect more tips like these into a blog post as a sort of guide after a bit more research. If you have any words of wisdom, leave them below.

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