Frankie and Gerry’s Retro Studio Part 4 – The 1950s Pink Powder Room!

This is my fourth and final post in this series. Over the last few months I have taken you through the various sets at Frankie and Gerry’s Retro Studio (Covering the 1960s lounge, 1950s kitchen, and 1950’s bedroom). Now it’s time for the 1950s bathroom. The colour scheme on this set was very similar to that of the 1950s bedroom, pastel pinks galore. So for my final outfit I chose another Glamour Bunny retro nightie in pastel blue. So here you are, the very last few shots by the ever brilliant @darktachsupport on this beautiful set. I hope you all enjoy them!

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Papow and I are always looking for new and exciting places to shoot so welcome any ideas or feedback on different studios from yourselves!

Frankie and Gerry’s Retro Studio Part 3 – The 1950s Boudoir in Photos.

Welcome to the third instalment in my series of posts on Frankie and Gerry’s photo studio. So far I have taken you through the 1960s-themed lounge and the 1950s-inspired kitchen. Next up is the dreamy pink 1950s bedroom so it was time to don a floaty pink bedtime number.

Here are some of the shots taken by the brilliant @darktechsupport. I hope you all enjoy them!

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Being licked to pieces by Billy the Border Terrier.

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Surely every girl’s dream in life is to own a dressing table like this?!?

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Resting bitch face!

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Honouring the great Audrey!

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More Fun with Billy. Love him!

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@darktechsupport always so good at catching my finer moments!

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…and last, but by no means least, one of my pinup wifey and I. Where would we be without the odd hair touch up from one another every five minutes?

The Glamour Bunny Cindy-Gingham Rockabilly Dress…In an Enchanted Woodland

Back in June Papow and I were lucky enough to shoot in an enchanted woodland set. As you are probably thinking this is a little different to the normal pin-up sets that we have visited in the past. However, it was time to embrace something a little different.

Now, obviously being Florence Flounce I had to bring in some kind of vintage/pin-up charm to the shoot so I opted for the Glamour Bunny Cindy-Gingham Rockabilly Dress.

What Glamour Bunny say:

  •  “In a soft stretch cotton, this lovely little wiggle dress in a 50’s dress style”.
  • “A great pin-up dress for that retro look”.
  •  “Style: Pencil Dress, Wiggle Dress, Retro Dress, Pin-up Dress, Rockabilly Dress, Vintage Style, Retro Style, Pinup Clothing, Retro Clothing, Rockabilly Clothing”.

I have always been a fan of red gingham and so was instantly drawn to this dress. The flower detail around the bust only adds to the charm of this beautiful dress.Here I am wearing the dress in a small (Bust 34″ Waist 26-27″ Hips 37-38″ length approx 40″) however it is available in an X-Small to an XXX-Large. This dress retails at £86, but as always with Glamour Bunny clothing, this dress is beautifully tailored and of an extremely high standard, so it really is an investment piece. One could style it up as I have here, but it would also work well with flat Converse, a denim jacket and every day hair and makeup for a more dressed down look.

All in all this dress puts me in mind of fairy tale characters such as Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood and (although perhaps a little more busty than our childhood story book friends) it is simply perfect for this set.

To complete the look I accessorized with my red hair scarf from eBay, red plastic bangles and hoops from George at Asda, the red 2 inch elasticated waist belt from Vivien of Holloway and my red suede court shoes from New Look.

I followed my normal pin-up makeup routine for this shoot (see my recent post “Face-to-Face: Pin-up Makeup for Different Skin Types and Tones – Florence Flounce“). I did, however add a set of Eylure Volume No 107 fake eye lashes  for extra impact on the day.

As for my hair, I did a heat pin-curl set the night before the shoot. Then in the morning I brushed this out and styled my hair into a single victory roll at the front of my head. I then pulled the rest of my hair up to the top of my head and pinned the curls into place. Finally I tied my hair scarf around my head.

As always a huge thank you goes out to Darktechsupport for his photography and editing. I had such a great day and the images are simply stunning, I hope you al like them. Please stay tuned for Papow’s installment on this shoot, where she will take you through her own outfit, hair, makeup and shots from the day.

Darlings in Dungarees: Part Two – Freddies of Pinewood

Following on from Papow’s post last week, it is now Flo’s turn to share her love of dungarees with you all…
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Now as you all know I own very little in the way of trousers. Skirts, dresses, playsuits, even shorts…I have tonnes. But I would actually go as far saying trousers themselves make up less than 1% of my entire wardrobe (it’s a running joke when this pharmacist rocks up at work in a pair trousers that it must mean I am weeks, if not months, behind on my ironing. I live in dresses and skirts and I own so many of these that I could quite literally go months without having to do my laundry or ironing at all). So, it was time to try something new!

The truth of the matter is I have never had a booty and struggle to find trousers that fit at the waist without sagging at the butt. In recent years I have discovered that high-waisted, swing style trousers avoid this issue completely. In addition, when I saw Papow in her stunning repro dungarees, I adored the style and decided it was time to think about investing in a pair myself (despite my fear of shopping for such an item). With this in mind Papow helped me to come up with a plan of action. We decided to pick the brains of the team from Freddies of Pinewood at Twinwood Festival back in August 2015. These guys were great. They not only suggested several styles that would work well on my figure, they were spot on with the sizing first time and every time…just by taking a look at me!!! They even helped me out with advice on washing and caring for their garments when I got them home. So which ones did I settle on I hear you ask? The Indigo Home Companion Dungarees.

Freddies of Pinewood’s descrition:

“The same great fit as our other dungarees, but these have a special feature, a removable bib and voila! A pair of jeans!!! That’s two outfits for the price of one!! In a rich indigo denim with white stitching and four shiny buttons on the front patch pockets. These have a plastic button on the waistband which can therefore be moved for a better fit! These are proper jeans! Made from authentic 100% cotton denim, so machine washable. Just turn inside out to retain colour and wash at 30 or 40 degrees”.

These jeans retail at a price of £80, but boy are they an investment. You can see from the description above that they can in fact be worn as dungarees or as jeans alone simply by removing the bib. The high-waisted and swing trouser design avoids all of my baggy bum issues as they simply skim over my bottom, yet still nip me in at the waist. I absolutely love them.

I went for these in a size 26 (waist 66cm, hip 108cm, thigh 32cm, front rise 37cm, leg width 26cm, inside leg 82/92cm). The website has a more in-depth size chart, which I have to admit is a little confusing to a Freddies of Pinewood virgin. but if you are tempted by these, or any of the other beautiful pieces on the Freddies of Pinewood website and are lucky enough to be heading over the Twinwood Festival in a few weeks time, definitely follow my lead and head over to Freddies for a chat, they will be more than happy to help!

I’ve put together a few outfits here to show how they really are a very versatile piece for any pinup’s wardrobe. In the first set of images I went for a red theme, styling the dungarees with a red gingham shirt from George at Asda, a red polka dot hair bandana (made by yours truly), my red 3 inch waist belt from Vivien of Holloway, my nautical red cardigan from Hell Bunny, red earrings from Primark and my mini-me brooch from Lillian Madison Designs.

In the next set of images I swapped the look for a blue theme, changing into my classic white navy spot gypsy top from Vivien of Holloway, a blue polka dot bandana (again made by myself). You can see from the images that the jeans can be styled just as well with with red flats from New Look as my navy patent court shoes (also from New look). The jeans alone are just as flattering as the dungarees with the bib attached. I think you will agree it looks like an entirely different outfit completely, so well worth the £80 investment in my opinion. And if this isn’t enough to tempt you, they are also available in grey!

A useful piece of advice I picked up from the Freddies of Pinewood team is to always wash the bib with the jeans (even when you have only worn the jeans by themselves). These jeans are a dark denim and it is inevitable that the colour will fade gradually over time and with repeated washing. Washing both pieces of the garment together ensures that the jeans do not fade faster than the bib and both can continue to be worn together. Meaning you can get years and years worth of enjoyment out of this beautiful piece.

It is safe to say I am totally in love with the Home Companion Dungarees and following this purchase I hope to expand my dungaree collection further. Based on Papow’s review I am determined to invest in some Collectif denim. However I also have my heart set on the Freddies of Pinewood Grease Monkey…so if any of you have any advice on either of these please do share them with us, we would love you hear your views!

Finally, a Massive thanks again to @darktechsupport for shooting Papow and I for our dungarees blog posts…I will leave you with a few behind the scenes shots from this great day!

 

Vivien of Holloway Jezebel White Blue Rose Dress

I am sure you all know by now that Papow and I are massive fans of Vivien of Holloway. Both of our wardrobes have contained Vivien’s pieces right from the very start of our journey into the land of vintage/pinup. There have been some exciting new styles and fabrics appearing recently, and I am sure I am not the only one keeping a close eye on the website…lusting over the new Emma and Nazare dresses. Exciting as this is, let us not forget the long-standing and much-loved Vivien of Holloway styles. The 1950s Jezebel has always been a firm favourite of mine from the word go and there will always be room in my wardrobe more! And so this week I wanted to share my love for this dress with you all!

Vivien of Holloway say:

“This dress has a wrap top which flatters any size bust and a slinky pencil skirt to put a wiggle in your walk. Vivien has added authentic touches such as the half peplum on the side and the elegant V-shaped back, to give that extra touch of old Hollywood glamour!”

I have just a “few” Jezebels in my wardrobe but here I am wearing the white blue rose version. I have teamed my white blue rose Jezebel with a variety of accessories. You can see it works well with either my nude or navy patent court shoes from New Look, light blue hair scarf from eBay, white cat-eye sun glasses from a vintage market, my pearls and Papow’s white parasol from San Francisco.

Despite my measurements being B34, W27, and H36, the cotton sateen fabric definitely has a slight give and I always go for the Vivien of Holloway size 10 in this style (B32, W24, H36). This is absolutely the perfect fit for me. I usually flit between a Vivien of Holloway size 10 or 12, however all of my jezebels are a firm size 10.

Don’t be concerned that the lack of bones in this style of dress. I always find Vivien of Holloway pieces to be extremely well constructed and this dress still nips you in at the waist for that hourglass shape we all love.

I’ve always been a fan of peplum styles because they add much needed curves to my slender frame and this dress is no exception, the peplum feature on the side of this dress does exactly that. Add this to the 27.5 inch pencil skirt and voila killer (yet elegant) curves!

The wrap top of the Jezebel has a higher neckline than other Vivien of Holloway dress styles and is the perfect alternative to the more busty halterneck designs.

I think this beautiful summery floral fabric here would be perfect for a day at the races, a summer wedding or Christening. The Jezebel is not currently available in this fabric, but rest assured there are a whole range of Jezebels to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice!

What are your favoutite Vivien of Holloway styles/designs/fabrics? Papow and I would love to hear your views…please do drop us a line!

Face-to-Face: Pin-up Makeup for Different Skin Types and Tones – Florence Flounce

Following on from Papow’s recent post, it is now time to take a look at Flo’s classic 1950s make-up routine, giving you an idea of some of the products you fairer ladies may wish to try!

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Skin Type: Dry, sensitive, porcelain tone that is prone to the appearance of multiple freckles during the summer months…But “freckles are a sign of beauty” remember ladies? Wear them with pride!

Step 1: On a clean face, I start with some Simple sensitive skin experts kind to skin replenishing rich moisturiser. This helps prevent my face feeling tight and dry. It is also free from any perfume and I find it is one of the only things I can use on my sensitive face without breaking out in spots or redness.

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Step 2: 10 minutes after moisturising I apply Lancome Teint Miracle Bare Skin Foundation Natural light creator (with SPF 15) in 005 using a foundation brush.

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Step 3: Next, I use a concealer brush to apply Mac Studio Finish concealer SPF 35 in NW20 underneath my eyes and on any blemishes. I apply this in a triangular shape below my eyes, but not right up to the lower lash line. I then use my ring finger to then gently blend.

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Step 4: After this I apply Mac Studio fix pressed powder in NW18 using a large powder brush. Although I have a cooler skin tone, I wear this warmer shade as I find the NC20 (cooler shade) makes me look very yellow in comparison. It is also worth pointing out that for my everyday makeup I generally skip step 2, and move straight on to steps 3 and 4 as I prefer not to wear heavy foundation every single day.

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Step 5: Using an angled brush I use MAC bronzing powder in matte bronze to contour. I apply this under my cheek bones, across my hair line and under my jaw bone to either side of my chin.

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Step 6: I use a rounded blusher brush to apply blusher to my cheeks – I usually blend a combination the two pink shades from the NYX Butt “Naked” eyes compact.

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Step 7: I like my eyebrows dark and so use the darker shade from the Urban Decay Brown Sugar Brow Box to define these. This is a really handy little compact as it includes an applicator to apply the colour, a pair of tweezers to tame any stray hairs as well as a wax to apply should you wish the make sure your brows stay put all day long. Once I have applied the colour I use a brow brush to comb through and blend the colour.
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Step 8: I use a blend of the Virgin and Sin shades from Urban Decay’s original Naked Palette as an eye shadow base, applying this to just below my brows with a standard eye shadow brush. I then use a pointed eye shadow brush to apply the Toasted shade from this same compact to line the sockets and outer corners of my eyes. I then blend the different shade with a clean eye shadow brush.

Step 9: I line the outer lower lash line with MAC eye pencil in Coffee. This is a “muted brown” and is a subtle way of defining eyes. I do my winged eyeliner using the MAC fluidline eyeliner gel and the Le Keux Cosmetics eye liner brush. For me building the colour up slowly and with patience here is of great importance. I personally fine this type of liner is the easiest for drawing fine lines with more control in comparison to a liquid liner.

20160501-IMG_1997.jpgStep 10: I apply several coats of They’re Real Mascara in Jet Black by Benefit and if it’s a special occasion I may also add a pair of fake eyelashes (not shown here).

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Step 11: I line my lips with NYX retractable lip liner lip pencil in waterproof red. I then apply one coat of Avon Ultra Colour Bold lipstick in Red Extreme, blot with a tissue and repeat. A useful tip I picked up at a photo shoot is to put your finger in you mouth, seal your lips around your finger and slide your finger out…instant avoidance of lipstick on teeth!!!

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Step 12: The final step in my makeup routine is to dab a little High Beam by Benefit under my brows, around the outer corner and slightly below each eye in a “C” shape to illuminate this area of my face.

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Helpful Tips
If in doubt, always ask for help when matching foundation and concealer products to your skin. My skin tone is definitely a cooler rather than warmer tone, however, on experimentation there is sometimes little difference between the cool and warm shades for the shades at the lighter end of the spectrum so even if you think you are a cool tone, like me you may prefer the finish of a warmer tone. The girls on the MAC counter have been an absolute god send in the past when matching concealors and powder.

Although I am fair and my natural hair colour is dark brown, my eyelashes are actually a light brown and I find applying winged eyeliner much easier when I am lucky enough to have eyelash extensions. The contrast between the colour of the dark eyelashes and my eyelid is more pronounced and this really aids the whole process.

Hopefully I have shown you guys a slightly different pinup makeup routine for a completely different skin type and tone to that of Papow. Please do let us know what you all think. Have any of you got any tips that Papow and I have missed, or do some of you mix aspects from each of our routines? We would love to hear your views, so do drop us a line!

 

 

 

 

Sewing with Mother-Flounce 1: Bunting

Like most of you, I took sewing lessons at secondary school. I must admit, at the time it never really excited me. History, Art and Science were always the subjects that fascinated me the most. At the time sewing definitely didn’t come naturally to me and so my focus was in other areas. Skip forward 14 years and all of a sudden this past time has taken on a whole new light in my eyes.

Why was this, I hear you ask? Since getting into the world of vintage and pinup, I have developed a bit of an interest in alternative clothing which is not always so readily available on the high street…surely sewing could be the answer to some of my problems? In addition visiting the Fashion on the Ration exhibition at the Imperial War Museum last summer also gave me more of an appreciation for making do and mending what you already have at home. Finally, visiting various vintage festivals and fairs, I am always coming across such fabulous fabrics and often find myself wishing I could sew my own circle skirt or swing dress. The possibilities would literally be endless. All of these factors added up and back in October last year, I set myself the goal of learning to sew. Luckily for me, Mother-Flounce is an absolute whizz on her sewing machine (well on all three of them). Over the years she has taken all kinds of things up, down, in and out for me. Obviously she was delighted at my new found interest and jumped at the chance to teach me all I needed to know!

While picking up my machine at Hobby Craft I noticed that they offer sewing lessons in store (for those of you without a handy Mother-Flounce two minutes around the corner). For these lessons they encourage you to take your own machine along and the experts are on hand to help, giving you the confidence to then go away and have go yourself.

For my very first sewing machine I decided to go for a well known brand…Singer. Now, there are many different models to choose from and I am by no means an expert but after a little research I settled on the Singer Promise 1408. This was for two main reasons. Firstly, I was just starting out, and to begin with I felt more of a basic machine would be suitable. It had all of the main functions that I was going to need, but it was nice and simple and there was certainly less that I could get confused about. When I became a master seamstress, yes I will definitely upgrade! Secondly, my machine belonged to the same Promise range as one of my Mum’s more top of the range machines so she would be able to help me out a little easier than if I had gone for a different brand/range entirely.

When I got my new toy home, Mother-Flounce took me through the basics first:

• Threading the needle
• Inserting the bobbin
• Selecting the correct needle for the thickness of the material
• Removing and inserting a new needle
• Using the foot peddle to control the speed
• Pinning your material in such a way that you can easily remove the pins as you sew
• Holding your material in the correct manner as you pass it through the sewing machine
• Using the reverse setting to help prevent all of your hard work from unpicking

Not only was I now beginning to feel a lot more confidant in my abilities. I am not going to lie I was also growing strangely attached to (and a little bit in love with) my sewing machine. Now I was definitely ready for the fun stuff! Lesson 1: Bunting.

I had already purchased several duvets from the pinup bedding range from Asda, and since seeing some very clever ladies on Instagram convert this into beautiful clothing I decided to use this as my material to begin with. I already had this kicking around at home and I figured if it all went horribly wrong, at least I hadn’t spent out lots of money on expensive new fabric. With the help of Mother-Flounce I followed the steps below to make my marvellous pinup-inspired bunting:

1. I drew out a triangular template on card. I adapted mine from a template I had found in a feature in an old Vintage Life Magazine. You can make them however large or small you desire. Triagular or square, whichever you fancy!

2. The material was pinned and cut on a fold; so when you cut the material you are only cutting out two sides of the triangle, then when you unfold the material you have a diamond shape that is equal on both sides.

3. While one of us was drawing around the cardboard template, the other was pinning and cutting the material.

4. When all of the matieral was cut, they were folded back over in to triangles and pinned more securely into place. The pins were placed 1 inch from the top of the triangle and 1 cm from either side (the larger gap at the top would allow us to thread through the roll of hessian later on).

5. I then sewed these triangles together, sewing along the lines I had made with the pins, and removing each pin as I went.

6. The triangles were arranged along a 2 metre roll of hessian that I purchased from Dunelm Mill. You could always use string or ribbon here instead. I managed to fit 13 triangles along the length of the hessian, however you may wish to add more or less depending on preference. I personally like a little gap between each triangle.

7. Once I was happy with the arrangement I pinned the triangles into place and then sewed along the hessian roll in a horizontal direction, again removing the pins as I went to ensure everything stayed in the correct place until I had finished sewing.

8. The strips of bunting were then pressed with an iron. I gently frayed the edges slightly to give them more of a vintage feel.

9. The bunting was hung up around my flat and was just perfect for when I threw myself an afternoon birthday tea party. I even threw in some matching table cloths and serviettes that I made with the material left over!

I was pretty proud of this first sewing project, simple as it was. Any ideas, hints or tips that any of you may have to assist me with my adventure into the word of sewing would be greatly appreciated (especially on clothing patterns that you think will be a good place to start). I will be letting you guys all know how I am doing as I go, so wish me luck!

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How to solve a problem like my wardrobe…

It’s a new year and 2016 is a fresh start for some; a time to make changes. I, on the other hand, have never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. I never stick to them, and why should I? 2015 was fabulous so let’s carry on as we are! That said; at the start of each January, I have a yearly ritual: a massive wardrobe clear out. This usually stems from the fact that I need to make way for the dozens of vintage/pinup goodies I have received over the festive period. So at the start of this year… spring cleaning began in the residence of Flo!

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Firstly, let me tell you a little about my home…it is my absolute pride and joy. I bought my two bed place three years ago and I am incredibly proud of how I have put my own stamp on it. The theme running throughout is old school Hollywood! Pictures of the great legends line the walls. The colour theme is very much black, white and red. Damask and polka dot prints also feature heavily. I am a self-confessed tidy-freak, preferring a minimalist look and everything has to be in its place. Over the past three years of developing my pad into the home I love, it is also safe to say that my vintage wardrobe has probably quadrupled in size (quite an achievement). So how, I hear you ask, do I store all of this, yet maintain calm Zen? While completing my annual de-clutter, I thought it would be a great idea to share with you how I solve this problem of my wardrobe!

Fitted wardrobe

I am not going to lie, one of the things that drew me to my property when I first saw it was the floor to ceiling sliding mirrored wardrobes in the master bedroom. Now here was something I could work with. The previous owners shared this space between the two of them. For me, however…this baby is all mine!

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I have three hanging rails, the largest of which houses ALL of my vintage style dresses, circle skirts, pencil skirts and blouses. And when I say this rail is big…I mean it is BIG! Papa Flounce has had to re-enforce it on several occasions for me! I know some people like to store summer dresses away in winter and vice versa. Others may store away more dressier clothing and only get them out for special occasions (Cacao is a big fan of vacuum storage bags for this reason). In my wardrobe, however, everything is together on this rail, regardless of season or style. This is exactly how I like it because I can easily accessorize outfits differently, dressing them up or down for seperate occasions, or taking a summer dress and wrapping up in extra layers for the winter.

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During my recent New Year mission, I decided to reorganise the clothing on this large rail slightly. Up until January this rail was spilt into two sections; work clothes on one side and everything else on the other. I have now put everything together and in colour order. This is for one reason and one reason only: To make the most of my wardrobe! I wanted to stop myself from repeatedly going to the same section day in day out. I am now forced to peruse the rail on a daily basis. I rediscover things I had forgotten were even there! I have even been able to work some of my everyday wardrobe into what I wear as a pharmacist, hence getting even more wear out of some of the things I had barely touched up until this point.

I have a further two smaller hanging rails at the opposite end of my wardrobe; one for large winter coats, the other for smaller blazers and capes. This way I am able to keep outerwear separate from my other clothes.

My wardrobe is also made up of a series of shelving units to separate the rails. These were purchased from B&Q and are a great way to store other items inside your wardrobe. I use mine to store clothing that can be folded such as jumpers, cardigans, vest tops and pyjamas, but also hats, gloves, scarves, underwear, pumps, sandals, hair styling equipment, hair products, and my vintage books and magazines.

Ottoman bed

One of my first investments when I moved in to my pad was a double ottoman bed. This additional storage space has proved highly useful for little extras such as hair scarves, belts, swim suits, handbags, petticoats and costume jewellery. Not only is this completely out of sight but it is also dust free. I opted for one that has an easy open hydraulic mechanism, so all you have to do is simply lightly pull the chord in the open direction and then the bed kicks in and does most of the work for you. Should you have to nip in and out a few times to make a final decision on which hair scarf perfectly matches your outfit…no bother at all! It is just as easy as opening a wardrobe door!

Storage Boxes

Despite all of this organisation, I must be honest, it is a daily struggle to prevent myself from turning my second bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe. Do I continue to play good host and allow my guests their own bedroom when they stay? Or do I give my wardrobe the chance to grow even further? At present I have opted for a slight compromise; my guests shall continue to have their own bedroom as opposed to the couch…however they must share this room with some more sneaky storage solutions. This time not in the form of an ottoman, but narrow plastic storage boxes that slide perfectly under the bed and out of sight. Once again they are dust free and currently house my boots, heels and yet more handbags.

And THAT is how you solve a problem like Flo when it comes to her wardrobe! Everything is out of sight, but still easy to find. And I do promise you, after Christmas I really did get rid of bin liners and bin liners of unwanted clothes on friends and charity shops.

If anybody has any other great storage solutions for vintage hoarders like Cacao and myself, please drop us a line. We would love to hear your ideas!

On another note, I would like to take this opportinity to thank Cacao’s other half for his ninja skills in lifting and removing massive mirrored wardrobe doors to make this post possible! So, thank you Nick!

 

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

Before Christmas I celebrated my birthday. Okay Okay, I admit I wasn’t 16. It wasn’t even what you would call a “big” birthday. However, this is me we are talking about here, and when does Flo ever do things by halves? In my opinion any birthday is an excuse to go completely OTT and celebrate in style. And what better an excuse to tick off a few vintage destinations I had been eyeing up for a while now? I had such a splendid day that it would be a sin if I didn’t tell you all about it!

Vintage Tea Party

I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful Singer Sewing machine for my birthday this year and Mother-Flounce has been teaching me a trick or two. After a few creative days of making some beautiful things for my home (look out for posts on this in the very near future) I decided to start my birthday celebrations off at mine with a vintage tea party. Joining me for the day were the beautiful Cacao Papow and two other friends; Miss Catherine and Miss Sara (who some of you may recognise from my previous posts).

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I decorated my beautiful home with my lovingly hand made pin-up girl print bunting. My dining table was dressed with a matching tablecloth and napkins along with multiple cake stands, tea pots, cups and saucers. “Style me vintage tea parties” by Betty Blythe gave me a great deal of inspiration for the day and I highly recommend this book to anybody who would like to throw a vintage style party. It offers advice on recipe ideas and how to dress your home for a range of vintage occasions, including tea parties, 1920s speakeasy parties, 1930s cocktail parties, 1940s picnics, 1950s street parties and many more. I created a marvellous spread of ham and mustard, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, egg and cress, and chicken finger sandwiches. I spent a great deal of time baking strawberry and vanilla dolly mixture cupcakes and cherry scones to be enjoyed with clotted cream and a range of jams. There was a selection of English breakfast, earl grey, green tea…and even a cheeky bottle of bubbly!

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The girls and I enjoyed lining our stomachs as we pampered and preened ourselves ready for our big day out. We threw on some beautiful Vivien of Holloway, Collectif, and Lindy Bop clothing and jumped on the train to London!

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The Painted Lady

Once we were in London we headed towards our first stop of the day: The Painted Lady. This is an independent Salon in Shoreditch, specialising in vintage colours, cuts and styling for both men and women. You can even pop in for a manicure, pedicure or Shellac nail colour. The salon opens 7 days a week, so vintage lovers; there is really no excuse not to visit! I had emailed in advance to arrange our booking and the staff were so friendly and welcoming. We all decided to go for the 1 hour vintage hair style by a senior stylist (£45 each).

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As two of us were getting our hair styled, the staff made sure the others were thoroughly looked after. We had our glasses regularly topped up with wine, chilled to the sound of The Smiths and even befriended a few of the girls we recognised as having modelled for Vivien of Holloway. Cacao Papow went for one of her signature fierce up-dos, Catherine had some beautiful victory rolls, wheras Sara and I opted for some sultry 1940s waves. We left the salon looking and feeling amazing…ready to continue our day in style!

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All Star Lanes

Our next stop was All Star Lanes in Holborn (via a quick detour to the Collectif store en route because it would have been rude not to). All Star Lanes is an American style diner with a bowling alley along one side. You can pop in for a game, watch others as you eat…or even combine the two!

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Being ladies of leisure for the day, we had worked up quite an appetite by this point and opted for the lazy option. We were there purely for the food! The restaurant serves exactly what you would expect from an American style diner; including ribs, steak and a massive range of burgers and hot dogs. You can even build your own burger exactly how you wish. I defy anybody to not be able to find something they love on the menu. I went for (and strongly recommend) the Popcorn Squid, Chilli Cheese dog with sweet potato fries, and waffles. Throughout our visit we sipped on some delicious Tiki style cocktails. I highly enjoyed this diner, and with a further 4 restaurants in London and Manchester, why not pay one a visit yourselves for a well deserved pit stop during your vintage adventures in the city?

Evans and Peel Detective Agency

Our final stop of the day was the Evans and Peel Detectives Agency in Earls Court. This was my favourite part of my entire birthday! To give you a little idea of what you are in for, take a look at what Evans and Peel say about themselves on their website:

“We are detectives Evans and Peel. We work privately with individuals throughout London and beyond, supporting them with their individual needs. Our specialist areas are blackmail, missing persons and armed personal protection. There is no case too big or too small, from missing pets to alien abductions, we’ve solved them all. Our discreet detectives use their bespoke skills to work out how to give our clients that special unique service, drop us a line and make an appointment. Be safe out there…”

To book your table at this underground hideaway one must visit their website and state your case for the detectives to solve. You will then receive an email informing you whether they are able to help you and the time and date you can come to see them. As we made our way toward the detective agency the apprehension and excitement rose in our tummies, we had read so many reviews about this place but were still unsure of what to expect. Would we be able to locate the discreet entrance? Would we even be allowed in? This, of course, is all part of the experience. Once we found the suspicious looking door, we were buzzed through and descended under ground. We were greeted by a very dapper gentleman, to whom we had to present our case. I have to say, the four of us had put together quite an impressive story which involved the murder of an ex-lover, a love triangle, and a spat between friends. After this little drama, we were allowed through the concealed entrance behind a bookcase and into the dimly lit speakeasy.

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The bar staff are unbelievable friendly, making sure our drinks were brought to our tables and topped up regularly. As if the cocktail list wasn’t large enough already, they made it clear that if there was anything we couldn’t find, all we needed to do was ask and they were happy to oblige. We spent the evening sipping on delicious cocktails, nibbling chilli popcorn and bopping to the music (which was a selection of modern music and recognisable lyrics with a 1920s vibe).

Despite its concealed entrance, the agency is certainly very popular, so I advise planning well in advance if you want to pay them a visit. Also bear in mind, for parties of 5 and over they request a deposit of £5 per person when you book. I, for one, will definitely be returning!

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What a birthday and one very spoilt Flo indeed?! Now…I only have 2 years until my next big birthday milestone. I better get planning now if I am going to outdo this one!

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