Just a quickie (oo-er missus!)

Hi everyone,

Firstly, apologies for being such a rubbish blogger. I wish I could say I’ve been doing all kinds of fascinating things, but I haven’t. Just boring, day-to-day, “must be done” things.

But…tomorrow is my birthday! I’m off to the Superette burlesque sale, and then to the Sunday Up Market in the Old Truman Brewery, followed by a possible mooch around Spitalfields (if we don’t weigh ourselves down with cake!). So expect a blog post on Monday, telling you all about what I saw, wanted, said I couldn’t afford, and then bought anyway!!

On Wednesday, I’m going to the opening of an art exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London. Why? Because portraits of me art being exhibited!! I’m incredibly excited, and very proud to be part of the exhibition. I’ll be writing about that, and what I end up wearing (and what kinds of wonders I see on other people!).

Please check out these links in the meantime…

About the upcoming exhibition (look for Gemma Anderson working on a piece about EB)

Gemma Anderson (the amazing artist)

So please stay tuned, because I’ll be getting stuck into blogging over the coming weeks.


Missy x


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A deliciously decadent day – Tart @ 40 Winks

I’ve been determined to visit 40 Winks boutique hotel ever since it came to my attention last year. Their ‘Bedtime Stories’ sessions (have a Google for some reviews!) sound divine, but either I kept missing out on tickets, or the date wasn’t right. But, luckily, I had signed up to 40 Winks mailing list, and a few months ago, a wonderful email landed in my inbox. That email was all about Tart.

Even their logo is luscious!

In simple terms, Tart is the ultimate girls’ day out. But to say just that would do this amazing event an unforgivable injustice. So this blog post is about my, my friends’, and my marvellous mum’s first Tart experience. And what an experience it was!

When we arrived on Saturday 15th May, we were all wide-eyed with wonder at the beauty and uniqueness of the interior of 40 Winks (all throughout the day, we each would notice something new to gasp and gawp at!), while the friendly, glamourous assistants took our coats and told us where to go first. We made our way down to the cellar kitchen (at which point we were welcomed by the great Mr David Carter, owner of 40 Winks and founder of Tart), where we nibbled on delicious finger sandwiches and yummy cupcakes, accompanied by divine gin cocktails, served in china teacups. I’d never tasted gin before, but after those drinks, I’m a total convert to “mother’s ruin”! After having a chat to Liz Brewer (best known for her etiquette lessons on ‘Ladette to Lady’), we wandered back upstairs to start investigating the wonders on offer. These are two things I learned within minutes…

The first rule of Tart – you must look your glamourous best! No denim or leggings are allowed, and the best way to enjoy the day is to embrace your inner vintage vixen. Don’t worry too much about shoes, though, as they must be left in the hallway, and replaced with slippers. You could always match your slippers to your outfit! Unfortunately, real vintage clothes rarely fit my physique properly, so I had to pay homage to my fashion forebears. My outfit consisted of a cream, puff-sleeved, pussy bow blouse and navy blue sequinned knickers over 110 denier tights (all hail Tabio!), with black patent demi-wedge t-bar shoes, and my black All Saints tailored tail jacket. For jewellery, I wore delicate silver chain earrings, and two one-of-a-kind pieces: my Hoolala ‘fall of Satan’ luxe necklace, and an Eclectic Shock watch bracelet. Both were bought from the ever-tempting Hannah Zakari. Oh, and I mustn’t forget my much lusted after Helen Rochfort ‘Willy Wonka’ metal framed handbag (one smitten kitten asked to buy it from me!).

The second rule of Tart (from my perspective) – get involved! I’ll be honest, me and my group were all a bit worried that it would be full of posh fashionistas, and that we ordinary girls would feel excluded, but that wasn’t the case at all. Everyone, organisers and guests, were so friendly and chatty. Compliments and cocktails were free-flowing, there was a sense of camaraderie, and the sense of girly excitement was crackling in the air. My friends were amazed when I took off my blouse in a crowded room (don’t worry, I wasn’t flashing!) to try on a dress, without giving a thought to the fact that my scars were showing. No one took the slightest bit of notice, and the only comments I received were about how great the dress looked!

On that note, I’d like to say thank you to Fi and Dawn from Fifi Wilson for helping me get into the dress, giving my mum and I their card case to put our sparkly cupcakes in, and generally being absolutely lovely. If you’re on Twitter, give them a tweet here. The dress in question was a beautiful, sky blue Manoush ‘Officier’ dress, and I cannot wait to wear it!

There is such a lot to do at Tart, too, and everything is geared towards becoming a vintage goddess. I adored getting my hair done by the brilliant Lipstick and Curls (check them out!). They lived up to their name, and gave me cute curls to add bounce and shape to my usually very flat hair. Here’s a snap of me and my lovely stylist…

And a gratuitous photo of me posing by the window, showing off my sparkly drawers!

Beautiful belles from Benefit were also there, making guests over and giving advice on how to style make up; they transformed my friend into a fantastic fifties starlet, and had plenty of their products available to buy.

I watched my friends and mum try on corsets with the lovely Katie of What Katie Did fame, and get advice from her about how to adjust to wearing a corset, and which corsets suit which body shapes. Sadly, I didn’t indulge, but I loved watching their wide-eyed looks as the laces were pulled tighter, and all of the ensuing pin-up posing!

There was also a room dedicated to vintage couture, which was available to all guests for the purposes of dressing up, and swanning about like retro royalty! We had a great time with the hats, and a particular pair of vintage glasses, though next time we will make sure to try some pieces on.

Apart from all of the things to do and buy (I also purchased a gorgeous ribbon headband from Katherine Elizabeth), we were privileged to have access to a series of short talks, all of which were on suitably Tart-esque subjects. From making scrummy cocktails (I can’t wait to knock up some ‘English Gardens’, when the summer arrives!), to how to perfect your 1940s hair and make-up, via social etiquette and corseting, we came away much wiser (and better coiffed) women than when we had arrived.

Everyone left with a goody bag, and it was filled with treats, from a vintage china cup and saucer to a Benefit lipstick, held in a great eco-friendly shopper.

From the moment we left, we all said that we couldn’t wait to go back. Our first time was great, but the next would be even better, as we’ve worked out the best way to get the most from the day. I’ll share our plan with you – grab a cocktail, get your hair and make-up done, slip into some vintage treasures to complete the look, and then relax into the talks, general chat, and buying beautiful things. Unfortunately, the once-a-month event is now booked up until at least October, but we will be there, dressed to the nines, and ready to step back in time. We all needed an escape from the cheap, fast everything of modern life, and found that Tart is the perfect place to run away for the day.

And next time, we’ll be ready to hit the town after, and make the most of our rediscovered retro allure!

Tickets cost £60 – this includes all drinks and yummy food, massages, hair and make-up sessions, talks etc. You only pay extra for any bits you buy from the sellers of lovely things there.

Where to find 40 Winks

109 Mile End Road,Stepney Green, London, E1 4UJ

Get in touch with them

Telephone: +44(0)20 7790 0259
Fax: +44(0)20 7790 0259

Email: reservations@40winks.org

Go on, indulge…I promise, you will not regret it! xx


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“I can make you feel good” – the song of my wardrobe!

Hey everyone,

I haven’t got anything to show you today, I’m afraid. This is a writing only post!

I’ve been thinking about why some clothes, or shoes, or accessories just make us feel happier than others, and why that is. Why can some piece of material or metal bring instant smiles to our faces?

Today, I looked down at my battered, beaten-up old Converse high tops, peaking out from under my jeans (I am a jeans wearing girl from time to time, I’ll happily admit!), and they just made me happy. So I thought about which other pieces of apparel have that effect on me, and why…

Purple ruffled French Connection dress

I saw it in a magazine, and it was love at first sight! Although I then had to wait six whole weeks before it hit the shops, and I could snap one up. It cost something like £110, but it was a life-long commitment! It makes me feel like a sixties film star, with its basic shift shape, but beautiful shade and materials. When I first wore it to a fancy, black-tie dinner, so many people commented on it – even two very straight-laced research scientists! I loved it so much, that the next season, I bought the same dress in silver. But it didn’t feel as good. The dark purple version just has that special something, something that makes me dance around the room every time I put it on.

Dark denim short shorts

I have a lot of issues with my body (usual and unusual), so wearing shorts was a big leap for me. I wear them with black tights all year round, invoking Edie “the girl in the black tights” Sedgwick, as I don’t like to show certain things. But still, they make me feel great, and make me love my legs. I’m only short, at 5’3″, but they make the most of what I’ve got – people tell me my legs are a perfect shape, and even I think they’re okay. I can dress them up and down, with an embellished top for the evening, or my checked shirt for the day. They suit all kinds of shoes, too, including my beloved Converse, my tan strappy boots, or my cute t-bars.

Black cropped cardigan

Now this I can’t really explain, past the fact that I guess it has become a sort of security blanket. It goes with everything, is very soft, and has extra long sleeves – perfect for the warming of hands! I practically lived with it throughout uni, stuffing it in my bag, lest a lecture room or the library be too cold. It was just enough to warm me up, without making me so snuggly I nodded off (come on, who hasn’t snoozed in a lecture?!). I was devastated when it disappeared, only to catch my sister with it about a year later! I have reclaimed it, bobbly though it may now be, and still go running to it in this changeable weather (boo and hiss!).

Silver bracelet with coloured glass stones

My mum bought me this when I was in hospital, a good fifteen years ago. I’d been upset, and then told off, so the bracelet was a peace offering of sorts. She got it in a little boutique jeweller’s in Lamb’s Conduit Street, just round the corner from the hospital. It’s only small, and dainty, but I still had to grow in to it! People always comment on it, and it serves to remind me that love and support conquer all. Sugary and sentimental, but true. When I put it on, I remember how lucky I am to always have my parents with me for horrible treatments, even now I’m all grown up. And that’s a huge reason to smile!

I would really love to hear about any item of clothing, jewellery, shoes, accessories that make you feel happy, or amazing, or beautiful, whatever the reason is. Please tell me your stories below!



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Grand Vintage Ball inspiration part three – 1960s

This is the last in my little vintage series, though certainly not the last time I will write about vintage clothes and styles! Sorry it’s been such a long time coming.

1960s – swingin’styles

I’m sure I inherited my love of Sixties style clothes and accessories from my dad, who was a little mini Mod back in the day. I love the cuts and tailoring of 1960s shirts, suits and dresses in the Mod mode, and the fabric patterns that were circulating back then. Not to mention the amazing accessories, make-up, and hair cuts!

Ben Sherman is a brand that is definitely in my blood! And I’m so glad it is, because their clothing is often simultaneously Sixties and timeless.

Their Eaton’ jacket mixes Mod tailoring aesthetics with a ‘Sgt Pepper’s’ edge. It only costs £50, and trust me, Ben Sherman pieces are built to last!

Of course, I can’t write about Ben Sherman without featuring one of their shirts! My current love is this Reigate’ style, perfect with slim, straight leg jeans or trousers, and the above jacket. And it’s a mere £20. It might be Mod, but it definitely rocks, too!

I’d wear both of the above with a pair of slim/skinny leg black trousers like these, £22 from asos.com

And finish off with a pair of pointed toe flats. These Fred Perry ‘Gabby’ shoes are a great contemporary take on a Mod style (and Fred Perry know all about Mods!). They are £45, available exclusively from Office

If you want something a bit more feminine, I adore this mini dress by Silk & Sawdust. It might not be cheap at £105, but something this gorgeous is worth splashing out on. Get it at notonthehighstreet.com now!

Team it with a pair of black kitten heels, like Office’s ‘Ginger Rogers’ design (£55), to enhance your Sixties styling.

Chunky, plastic or perspex bracelets were all the rage back then. I tend to prefer things with a little detail, so I think this carved bangle from New Look bridges the gap nicely. It’s an incredible £6, and they currently have a ‘buy on get one free’ offer on all women’s jewellery. So why not snap up these triple hoop earrings (£4)? Sixties gals loved big ear adornments. Groovy!

And ladies, don’t forget the all-important black eyeliner, to complete any 1960s style outfit! In my opinion and experience, Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencils are the cream of the crop! A dream to apply, with tons of staying power. They might be £11 a pop, but my word are they worth it! Grab one inZero’ (creamy black) from Debenhams.com

I hope you’ve all liked my Sixties style post. Please let me know what you think (all comments, good or bad are welcome!) below.

Until next time…. xx

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Grand Vintage Ball inspiration part two – 1950s

So, to recap: next month I’m hoping to go to the Grand Vintage Ball, and I need to plan an outfit. In my experience, most people are more suited to some decades or styles of dress than others, so I’m looking at the best options for me. And, the best part, showing you some of the best clothes, accessories and jewellery sellers around! Last time I put together a 1920s style outfit, this post will be a little different. But I hope you like it all the same.

1950s fever!

I loved watching Grease with my sister when we were young (I still love it now!), but it wasn’t just the soundtrack that permanently set up residence in my brain, the clothes did, too. There were several different styles in the fifties, but each is still easily recognised as being from that era. Rather than putting together a complete outfit, I’m going to show some of my favourite fifties inspired pieces out there at the moment. They’re straight from the fridge, girls!

First stop is the wonderful Vivien of Holloway, whose vintage style clothes and accessories are rockin’ and rollin’. Dresses such as this beautiful blue polka dot number (£59) are the epitome of 1950s fashion, and you can even get matching boleros (£25)!

Or how about a Friday on my Mind halter neck top (£34) , exclusive to dollydagger.co.uk?

Team it with a pair of fifties style black capri pants from the amazing Tara Starlet (£56), and you’ll be ready to jive!

Then there’s the ever sexy fifties pin-up playsuit! Though you might want to wait for the weather to warm up first. I love this little number from Topshop (£28)

No fifties outfit would be complete without some gorgeous shoes. I’d go for these Vivienne Westwood and Melissa ‘Lady Dragon’ peep toes (£78). Retro style with a very modern conscience!

It’s difficult finding a great fifties style bag (if anyone knows a place to find them, please let me know in the comments box!!). However, I do think this shopper (£25)  from Accessorize has a real 1950s kitsch feel to it, with the embroidered flamingos!

So there we have it! I hope you see something you like amongst these pieces, whether you want a full fifties ensemble, or just a touch of retro.

Let me know below!


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Grand Vintage Ball inspiration – 1920s

Last week I happened across an advert for something called The Grand Vintage BallThis was a very exciting find for three reasons:

1) I love vintage and vintage style clothes and accessories

2) It’s at The Rivoli Ballroom, one of my favourite places in the world

3) It falls on one of my best friends’ birthday, and she is a vintage vixen!

Obviously, my outfit is all important! Authentic vintage clothes rarely fit me well, so I’m going to look at vintage style pieces. Having had a good think, three eras are open to me and my shape, and I’ll show them in this and the next two posts.

First up…..
1920’s – flapper fashion!

Fashion-era.com describes flapper fashion thus:
“The costume history image in our minds of a woman of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ is actually likely to be the image of a flapper. Flappers did not truly emerge until 1926.  Flapper fashion embraced all things and styles modern.  A fashionable flapper had short sleek hair, a shorter than average shapeless shift dress, a chest as flat as a board, wore make up and applied it in public, smoked with a long cigarette holder, exposed her limbs and epitomised the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the nights away in the Jazz Age.”

That’s definitely a bit of me! Except for the cigarette…maybe I could have a chocolate one?

This dress from Goddiva is perfect, at only £35!

I’d wear it with headpiece like this headband/fascinator from PegasusMaiden‘s Etsy shop ($32 approx. £21.31)

And maybe some long beads, like these ones – £4 from New Look

Completing the look with some black mary-jane or t-bar shoes. I love these by Miss KG –  £50 from asos.com

So what do you think to this outfit? Let me know below!


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Hello one and all!

Welcome to Missy Magpie!

I really hope you enjoy reading my blog, and want to get involved by leaving comments. Nice or constructively critical, please!

See you soon xx

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