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My Vintage chats to Missy Magpie

Hello dear readers,

My last post was all about the marvellous My Vintage clothes and accessories website, owned and run by Ms Emma Brown (follow Emma on Twitter here, and on Facebook here), and the treasures I have found on there.

In true magpie style, we have two for joy…posts about My Vintage, that is! Emma very kindly answered some questions for me about her wonderful website, her style, and vintage in general. It’s a great interview, and I’m sure you will love it too! So here we go…

The gorgeous Emma (nice to put a face to a name, isn’t it?)

What sparked your love for vintage?
Well first and foremost I am a total glamourpuss and I have always loved fashion, especially accessories. I also grew up around very strong and powerful women, namely two very eccentric aunts. Whenever I was with them I was allowed to rifle through their hundreds of drawers, cupboard and boxes brimming with costume jewellery, make up, shoes, feather boas, dresses and more! During my teenage years I used to spend hours in our local vintage shop, playing dress up with everything from flapper frocks to power suits!

Was it difficult to start and establish My Vintage?
Well I honestly believe that it was fate. I have a brilliant partner, Simon, who used to be a graphic and web designer and has fantastic entrepreneurial skills. So when our two loves combined professionally, My Vintage was born! That was almost 2 years ago and we work really hard 24/7 to maintain and develop the business. Even though it’s really hard at times, we both love it so much – it is always worth it!

You always have top quality pieces  – is it hard work to find them?
Yes, without a doubt. We buy from lots of different sources, but we are very fussy and that can make it hard to find just the right stock. We particularly love sourcing vintage designerwear, and our collection is just amazing, it makes me giddy with excitement! I am forever fascinated by the sheer quality and craftsmanship of luxury designer clothing, it is just stunning.

If you could have unlimited clothes from any era, which would it be and why?
Without any shadow of doubt, it would have to be the fifties. I simply adore everything about the era. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the classically elegant daywear. Nipped in waists, full puffy skirts, sleek hair, dramatic make up – it’s all just completely stunning and I can’t get enough of it on the site!

Have you got a dream vintage item (clothes/accessories, era and/or designer)?
Easy peasy! It would have to be a Christian Dior New Look dress c1950 (see below)

Do you mix vintage and modern?
Definitely! I don’t think that we should be restricted by any rules or regulations! It’s a woman’s perogative to mix and match, styles, eras, trends and colours! What I would say though is that there is no quality like the quality if vintage clothing and it is very rare to find clothing these days that will stand the same test of time.

Which vintage styles should Missy Magpie readers be looking for this season?
Ooooh, I love keeping my eye on the trends! For this autumn/winter it’s all about the fur and shearling jackets and coats. There are loads of great faux furs out there if you’re not comfortable with the real thing, and a cute vintage faux fur gilet is a great way to introduce the look to your wardrobe for the first time. Another one of my favourites at the moment is the baroque style flocked prints. There are some beautiful pieces available, metallic guilded dresses, skirts or handbags are ones to look out for. And for evening wear, the maxi dress is a firm favourite. Gone are the cotton floral styles of the summer and in are the chiffon and slinky styles in blacks, greens, purples and blues. Look for one shoulder, crystal and corsage detailling.

If we see a vintage piece in a charity shop, what should we check for to make sure it’s quality?
A few top tips to rememeber…
  • It may sound obvious but check all the labels, so much of the Primark type clothing can look vintage at first glance so be sure it’s old for a start!
  • Check for tears, rips and stains but don’t be offput. These can be fixed by professionals or even customised to hide. For example a pretty pearl trim on a raggy hem or a large rose corsage to hide that sunk in stain.
  • Feel the material, does it feel good, will it wash well?
  • Look at seams, zips and buttons. Does it look like the previous owner(s) took care of the item?

What’s your favourite thing about running and owning My Vintage?
There are loads of reasons, but mainly all the great people I get to meet and speak to each day, the priviledge of being able to do something I love so much as a job and the excitement of being contacted by celebrities, films and TV shows about our pieces! I can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything else…

Here are some of Emma’s favourite pieces from My Vintage’s current stock…

“A great little green tweed jacket with chunky faux fur collar” buy it here

“Super cute green checked 1950s Prom Dress” – buy it here

“Beautiful 1960s psychedelic evening maxi dress” – buy it here

“Stunning Laura Ashley Floral Prom Dress” – buy it here

“Great for Christmas! Sparkly sequinned 80s prom dress” – buy it here

“Another Christmas winner this Frank Usher full sequin top” – buy it here

“Original 1950s St Michael skirt – sooo pretty!” – buy it here

“Original and bootiful 1950s necklace” – buy it here

(Missy really loves this!)

Huge thanks to Emma for giving such a great interview, and making my first time as an interviewer so enjoyable! Please ladies, check out My Vintage, as I can guarantee you will fall in love with at least one piece on there. But more likely two, three or ten! Being new to vintage shopping, I’m finding that sellers like Emma are invaluable for unbiased advice and fair pricing. It would be so easy to swindle someone new to the scene, but we are safe in the hands of My Vintage. So go and line your nests (or wardrobes) with a gorgeous vintage dress…or shirt…or skirt…or bag…or scarf…or……..!

With love and shiny things,

Missy Magpie xx




Filed under Interview, Vintage

My oh My Vintage!

Hello my charm of fellow Magpies*,

We’re on the vintage trail again this week! I’m very new to the world of vintage clothes, and I want to keep you up to date with my discoveries along the way. I’ve been astounded by how accessible vintage dressing actually is, and I hope my experience might prove helpful, or inspiring, for other people.

A few months ago, I started tweet-chatting with the lovely Emma Brown (follow her here @emmabphilosophy), just about life and all things related to it. Then I realised that Emma owned her own online vintage boutique, and, of course, I had to have a look. Just out of politeness, you know…!

My Vintage is a superb site, with a wealth of fantastic vintage pieces. One of the first things I noticed was the variety of sizes My Vintage offer, from size sixes to size sixteens, and in styles to suit all body shapes. The only downside? I’m yet to win the lottery, or master the skill of shapeshifting! However, there is plenty to lust after for all sizes and budgets, never fear! In addition to vintage clothes and accessories, My Vintage also sell new retro items, which look back to our heydays (mine being the nineties – though, thank Heavens, there is not a shellsuit in sight!).

Via Twitter and Facebook (find My Vintage’s page here), Emma provides amazing customer service: need an outfit, or just fancy something new? Tell Emma, and she will do her utmost to find it for you! If you’re not quite sure what you want, Emma listens to your likes and shape-needs, and searches her treasures to find the perfect piece for you. I love seeing a tweet from Ms Brown, showing me a newly discovered meant-for-Missy item. Now, how many other online shop owners can say they do the same?

I do have extra reasons to adore Emma, but one is a continuation of her impeccable customer service. Everyone has bits of their body they would rather keep covered, and others they would like to show off, but my body makes choosing clothes a bit more complicated than for most folk. Knowing that I have a few unusual things to consider, Emma assured me that if the dress I ordered wasn’t right, I could of course return it, and even understood when it took me a few days to try the beauty on. Sadly, the dress wasn’t right for me (sob), and back she went, tenderly wrapped in tissue paper. Luckily for one of you, the dress is still available here…and here she is!

(photo from myvintage.co.uk)

I wasn’t perturbed, knowing that perfect my dress was there waiting for me, I just needed to control my indecisive nature. Happily for me, Emma was equally keen to find me my perfect piece, and kept me updated via Twitter. Alas, my body kept throwing up obstacles, until Emma showed me this 1960s gem

(photo from myvintage.co.uk)

It was love before the photo had fully loaded – we finally had a winner! That in itself had me singing my Magpie heart out, but then Emma pointed out that, to equal the price of the astrological dress, I had enough credit to snap up another dreamy dress I had been eyeing. Slightly ironically, I can’t bloody stand The Sound of Music, but I’d fit right in amongst the singing kinder in this gorgeous gown (also from the 1960s – I am obsessed)!

(photo from myvintage.co.uk)

Both can be worn with tights (very important for me), and I even have the perfects pairs of shoes to go with them. Those dresses were destined to be mine!

I was going to show you my favourite items on My Vintage, but then I had a much better idea….Why not ask Emma to show us her top treasures? It’s the perfect excuse to get to know one of my favourite people better, too. So, stand by for part two of this blog post, where Emma will kindly answer a few questions for me, and give you the inside scoop on what vintage clothes you should be shopping for right now.

With a flutter of feathers, I’ll say TTFN.

Missy Magpie xx

*a “charm” is one of the collective nouns for Magpies. Nicer than a “tiding”, a “gulp”, or a “murder”, eh?


Filed under Vintage