Tag Archives: vintage

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

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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