Friday, 23 September 2016

Top 5: Edinburgh Vintage Shops


In every interview and chat we've done, we have been asked what our favourite vintage stops are. Although we don't think we're particularly vintage-led, we seem to be a couple of know-it-alls in the area. So much so we can't believe we've not covered it here! When we gave a talk on vintage clothing at Edinburgh Fashion Week back in March, we discussed local favourite spots, so this is an easy topic to go back over.

Here are our top 5 Edinburgh vintage shops (in no particular order):

1.) Miss Bizio Couture
We adore this little vintage boutique, owned by the fab vintage collector Joanna Bizio. You are really shopping her wardrobe here, and it shows. She knows the pieces inside out (literally) and has genuine memories attached to each- and she'll happily share the stories with you! These clothes have been thoughtfully selected to be timeless, wearable items and it is a great stop for investment pieces. The quirky little shop is where all today's post photos are taken from, because it's jam packed with gems.


2.) Those Were The Days Vintage
Another really quality boutique in Stockbridge, Those Were The Days Vintage has a really cool vibe- and so are the fabulous stylists on hand to dress you. Like, serious style crushes! The long rails are arranged by colour like a rainbow of retro dreams and they are carefully curated and simple to search through. No rail scrabbling nightmares here! There is also a wonderful bridal section.



3.) Armstrongs Vintage 
You can't discuss vintage shops in Edinburgh without a mention of the behemoth that is Armstrongs. Claiming to be Britain's largest vintage emporium, it is old and established, with three locations in the city. The main one is the Grassmarket shop, which is an Aladdin's cave of really random things of varying quality and price. Our tip is to check out its little sister shop in Teviot Place (formerly called Rusty Zip) which has a slightly cooler (and cheaper) vibe and is a favourite of students.


4.) Godiva Boutique
This little Grassmarket-based boutique is hiding a secret behind all those wonderful Rowanjoy and Mollie Brown dresses- there's a sizeable vintage selection in the second room of the shop that belies its second-hand origins. Purse-friendly and fun pieces, the shop is best for denims, shirts and amazing (ugly) jumpers. AND they've just introduced a collection from Beyond Retro, known for their reworked second hand clothing.


5.) Herman Brown
A place we often forget about, Herman Brown is another vintage fave stop for Edinburgh locals.With a similar feel as Armstrongs, you know you're in a vintage shop here with lots of variety. A great place to grab up some nice accessories.


*Bonus* And of course, we enjoy any vintage fair that comes to town. We like to keep everyone else informed of them via our Facebook page, so head over there to keep in the know.


Have we missed any from our list? Let us know!

Special thanks to Miss Bizio Couture for letting us play in her beautiful boutique. You can catch her wardrobe (and homages) over on instagram.
 photo Signature2_zpsc571518e.jpg

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Styled by Kimberley: The Vintage Weigh and Pay Outfit Challange

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I love a vintage fair but it is a place of nightmares if you are not in the right mood for it. And while Helen dove into the Vintage Weigh and Pay, I just wasn't feeling it. Let me set the scene...

It had been a stressful week for me *violins play*. We were squeezing in a number of bloggy things in Dundee the weekend that the Vintage Weigh and Pay came to town. I arrived by train early doors (but not as early as Helen!), dragging a suitcase and tote bags for the weekend. I wasn't quite sure what items I'd be styling for our other upcoming shoots- or what I'd pick up at the fair- so I'd brought my Styling Capsule Case. I'll write more on that soon but trust me when I say styling in the dark makes for a heavy load. It was a hot day. I got lost in Dundee, as always, even though I practically lived there as a teenager and visit every month. Helen thinks I'm being a princess when I ask her to meet me in advance but really I'm an imbecile. I had PMT. I was grumpy.

The Weigh and Pay was SO busy, even though we arrived early, and there was nowhere to store my luggage. Gutted- it's a place where you need sharp elbows and determination to bag that bargain! I was kind of poking around; slowly, half-arsed, and not feeling my usual shopping gusto, and I ran out of enthusiasm pretty early on so I left with barely anything. I ignored our easy kilo sale tips!


I'm making it sound like such a faff but if you have the right mindset it's really a cinch. Here is how you should do it:

1.) Flick through everything on the rail.
I mean everything. Give each piece a quick wee eye up, as every one is unique. There are so many colours and patterns to burn catch the eye, but these could be gems. Look, look, look. Everything is well organised and since I know I'm not into sports Ts, denim jackets or shoes (ugh, vintage shoes), I avoided these rails entirely. Hello, dress racks and ugly jumpers!

2.) Grab anything that grabs you.
Really, because if you put it down for a second it'll be gone forever. Normally (i.e. when I have a free hand or two) I just pile it all up to try on and properly decide later. Sometimes I feel like these sales are akin to shopping in Primarni- the fit is nothing like you imagine and grabbing up handfuls of potential is the only way to find those few gold nuggets.

3.) Try on everything.
One of the annoying parts of this Weigh & Pay was no area to change in. Even a cordoned off corner would've been useful with so many people trying to squeeze into the toilets. I would also consider what you're wearing, and how easily you can try things on top. Layering with black tights/ leggings and a vest top means you can whip off your clothes anywhere. Bonus!

4.) Scrutinize everything.
Not being rude, but these things are in the bargain-lovers fair because they're often imperfect. Stains, tears, missing buttons- it can all be going on! BUT it doesn't mean you should dump it. The second dress I tried on (not pictured) had a huge rectangle cut out the back where someone's repurposed the fabric, but luckily I wanted to take it up anyway. I was also advised by Pat from Nicely Eclectic Vintage that you can mistakenly pick up a "pair" of items that don't actually match! Check the colour in daylight before you pay.

5.) Bring a friend.
As well as making it more fun, they can act as your mirror or take a photo to save you trying to glimpse a look in a head- height mirror in the loos (see point 3). They can also advise you about any rips or stains you haven't noticed (like that embarrassing mark on the arse- thanks Helen!). And they may even offer to look after your luggage while you have a grumpy second look around.

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Technically, I failed miserably at this challenge but I was in budget and picked up two beautiful items at the Vintage Weigh and Pay, so I don't mind!

My entire candy pink outfit- shoes included- cost a mere £14.50 but I didn't pick them all up at the Weigh and Pay. I did purchase the amazing pink dress (and another yellow gingham one) for the princely sum of £7.50 TOTAL. That's right, this was under £4. However, a cute dress does not an outfit make. As well as being able to pick up belts, hats, scarves, bags, shoes and jackets in the weigh in, there were also stalls selling items of jewellery and sunglasses individually. For £1 or £2. It was job lot stuff but cute cheap extras. I did see a couple of things I could pair with this, including sunglasses that made Helen say "don't you have those in 2 colours already?" (Yes, yes I do) but as I was doing my second round I decided I didn't need any more random stuff just for the sake of buying it. So I stuck to my guns and.. well, I guess I failed. But I won a small victory against my shopping problem so yay me!

All the other bits I'm wearing were bought dirt cheap in various high street shop sales. I got the earrings during my Pat Butcher phase in the summer (for £2) but haven't worn them yet. The donut bag was one I lusted after and then snapped up for £2 in the sale (I resisted also getting the burger and milkshake.. so much regret). I get a surprising amount of wear out of it, so it's a good purchase. I borrowed the rings from Helen's growing collection of silver smithing.

Dress | Vintage Weigh & Pay
Shoes | BHS
Bag | New Look
Earrings | Topshop
Glasses | c/o IOLLA
Rings | Made by Helen

I kept a sixties vibe for this vintage look but I can see this dress getting a lot of wear with its simple shape. And really that's what it's all about.
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If you are thinking about shopping at a vintage weigh and pay fair, I recommend you do! Just follow my tips and arrive prepared. And no grumping or you'll never find anything good. I should know.
 photo kimberleySignature_zpsf529626b.jpg

Monday, 19 September 2016

Styled by Helen: The Vintage Weigh and Pay Outfit Challenge

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I do love a bit of vintage shopping. You never know quite what you're going to find and there's always plenty to choose from. Different era's, styles and items, so many nice bargains to be discovered.  And none more than at a vintage weight event. A whole room filled with vintage where you pay according to kilo rather than item. So when I heard that The Vintage Weigh and Pay was coming to Dundee I started to make some preparations. The first stop was to read over the lesson's I'd learned form the Vintage Kilo Sale to refresh my memory. I did my research and checked out the Weigh and Pay Facebook page to get a peek at what was on offer. This gave me an idea of what I could get for my money. Then, on the day, I turned up nice and early. I paid a little bit extra to get in as an early bird but it was just as well. When I left the event the queue was around the block! While I was there I collected up an arm full and tried it all on before making any decisions. Always important to make sure you actually get items that you like and that fit.

To make things a bit more interesting, Kimberley and I decided to set ourselves a little challenge. The idea was to create an outfit from our weigh and pay finds, all for £15 or under.  There was a small exception - we could use our own shoes. Footwear is a tad weightier and more likely to put us over budget. Plus Kim has a distinct dislike for vintage shoes. After a good old rummage and a changing room montage, this is what I came up with.

Dress | Vintage Weigh and Pay
Bag | Vintage Weigh and Pay
Scarf | Vintage Weigh and Pay
Earrings | Vintage Weigh and Pay
Boots | Zara

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I'm going to be honest, I failed the challenge. I went over budget. Not by much, but I definitely went over the £15. The problem was that I entered the fair with £20.50 in my purse and so that's what I ended up spending. New lesson - only take the funds you want to pay. I wasn't too upset though, as I picked up an additional dress that I really like. Minus my extra dress, in reality this outfit probably cost around £16. Not too much of a budget buster but still challenge failed. Still I'm happy with my new outfit and I think it was worth the £1 extra.

I can't seem to leave a vintage fair without picking up a new scarf. This one has a nice postcard and flower motif. I love the colour palette of it, so very Autumn / Winter.  The dress I picked up because of the pattern. I am such a sucker for an over good print. The colour combination of orange, green and pink is a bit unusual but that's probably why like it so much. I also like the fact that it's handmade. You can tell by the stitching and the fact there are no labels. Plus the it seems to have been sewn with the print upside down. I don't mind at all. It just adds to the story to the dress and makes it even more unique. The white satchel is a super easy item to style up with any outfit. It's in pretty good condition considering the light shade. I just hope I can keep it that way. I always have The Fear when it comes to white clothing and accessories. I finished off the outfit with these gold tassel earrings because why not? Ok, if I hadn't bought the earrings I would have been in budget but I think they're pretty cute.

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And there you have it, my outfit for our Weigh and Pay challenge. What do you think? I'm thinking challenges make shopping more fun but I'm not sure if Kimberley will agree. Check out her post on Wednesday to find out.

Thanks to the lovely Kirsty for the challenge inspiration.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Styled by Helen: Summer Tan

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It seems to be a Wardrobe Conversations tradition to do full on summer themed posts just as summer is coming to an end. Last year it was a Tropical Girl Gang shoot with Mint & Chillies and this time around we're talking about tanning. The problem is that in Scotland you're never quite sure if summer was even here. A couple of days of sunshine here and there but it can never be relied upon. And now the nights have started getting longer and I'm sitting typing this post wrapped in a blanket. Farewell summer! So testing out Bellamianta Rapid Tan Mousse was the perfect excuse to bust out some summery clothing for (probably) the last time this year. You know, unless we get that surprise heat wave we're always promised.

Playsuit | Nicely Eclectic
Shoes | Dorothy Perkins
Glasses | c/o Spex Pistols
Sunglasses | Vintage
Belt | Charity Shop
Necklace | Made by Me
Earrings | DIY
Umbrella | Paperchase

For me summery clothing equals a jumpsuit from Nicely Eclectic. Last time I borrowed a colourful 90s number but this year I actually bought this fruity piece. I purchased this playsuit way back in February at Lou Lou's Vintage Fair and haven't had many opportunities to wear it since. In fact I think I've only worn it three times. And two of those were with thick black tights. It was nice to actually wear it with bare legs. Even if it was a tad chilly, rainy and generally unsummery. I felt much better getting my legs out with a bit of colour on them. Even if it may not look that noticeable to people who don't look at my legs everyday (ie people who aren't me), there is a definite difference. I usually wear nude tights so you may not be quite familiar with just how painfully pale my pins are. To show you the difference I spent my Sunday tanning half my body. It may be subtle (and hard to capture with my camera) but the mousse certainly gives a healthier glow. 
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I'm very much a fake tan novice. I haven't really tried the stuff since I was at uni, and that wasn't yesterday. I'm usually pretty content with the pale and interesting look. Mostly because even when the sun does appear, I still can't achieve a natural tan. I can be found in one of  two shades - white or red, and I tend to do everything I can to avoid the dreaded sunburn. So it definitely felt nice to have a bit more colour about me. I felt happier wearing less makeup, ditching the tights and getting my arms out. Not that I feel overly bothered about these things normally, but having a bit of a tan did boost my confidence a tad. While I probably won't be adding fake tanning into my weekly routine (pah! Like I have routine), it's nice to experience now and again. Plus it helped to trick me into feeling like I had actually experienced summer. Despite my novice status, I wanted to share a few things that I learned along the way that might help you with any future tanning endeavours.

1.) Preparation is Key (but not always)
Prepping your skin with proper exfoliation and moisturising is important for the best results. Also leaving the right amount of time between said preparations and application is usually a good idea. Kimberley is good at doing this kind of thing and you can see the results of that in her post. But, don't worry to much if you're like me and are a tad lazy when it comes to proper beauty etiquette. I didn't complete all the proper prep and I still got a result I was happy with. I'm sure putting in the time and following all of the instructions could have improved the result further but this is real life.

2.) Helping Hands
Tanning alone can result in some weird lines. While it may not always be possible to have an extra pair of hands on site, it can really help with covering the hard to reach places. Kimberley and I had a bit of a pamper evening while we were applying. The addition of wine, ridiculous 90s tunes and a friend to laugh with certainly made the application more fun, as well as more even. 

3.) Legs First
In my limited tan experience, I've found the legs to be one of the trickiest spots. Products never take
 to this area as much as others. Perhaps this is down to my lack of preparation (see point 1) but I found starting from the legs upwards helped. I then went back and applied a little more to my legs which also add some more colour and meant they tied in with the rest of my body.

4.) Old Undies
The Bellamianta Mousse dried quickly so I wasn't worried about it transferring to my clothes or bed sheets but I did manage to get some on my underwear while applying. Luckily I was  wearing my Bridget Jones pants so wasn't fussed about this. It did wash off but just to be on the safe side it's best not to wear your favourite knickers for this job.

5.) Small Steps
Both Kimberley and I were very conscious of not wanting to look like we'd been tangoed. We watched the clock very closely to make sure we didn't let it develop too long. I think this was a good idea as it gave us a feel for the product and it's effects. Different brands and methods of application can make for different results and Bellamianta was new to both of us. On my second application I felt a lot more confident that I wouldn't end up looking like David Dickinson, so was happy to leave it on for a bit longer. But I was glad that I'd been cautious the first time. It's easier to add more rather than have to scrub away at your skin to get it off.    

Do you have any other tips and tricks to help this novice out?

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Thanks again to Bellamianta for letting us try this out and for providing us pale girls with an end of summer tan.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Styled by Kimberley: Summer Tan

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Get ready- I'm going to rave about fake tan!
Yes, me. Last wearing a milk outfit. What do I know about fake tan?! I've always shied away from orange. I had a quick detour at that Johnsons gradual tan moisturiser in 2005 but quickly called time on the biscuity whiff and stuck to a real suntan instead. Yes, I do tan. I have tan lines, which reveal my true blue exterior. In the past I've used various mousses on those rare occasions when I wanted a top up but I didn't really like them. They were normally bought on a whim (read: cheap) but I wasn't sure that others were any better and they all just seemed so dark for my skin.

When Bellamianta got in touch to introduce their latest self tan product, Bellamianta Rapid Mousse, I laughed. Had they not seen me?! But as I read about it, I couldn't help myself- I wanted to give it a go. After all, self tan has come along a bit since I last furiously buffed orange streaks out with a mitt, right? Yup, I can confirm it has. Let me count the ways:

1.) No biscuit smell. This was my main concern, because I can't stand it. There was no real odour when applying, and the Rapid Mouuse was touch dry in 60 seconds as described. I did notice a very faint odour the next morning but Helen claims it's my imagination/ superhuman nose (I'm quite sensitive to smells but normally use this super sense for food snuffling purposes).

2.) There were no streaks, except where I stupidly left a large blob on my hand. (Did I mention I'm not used to doing this? Amateur hour.) The formula didn't dry out my skin and the golden glow was pretty damn similar to my actual holiday skin. Bellamianta kindly sent us a luxury tanning mitt to help us get the most out of our tans and it was so velvety soft! I did however have an extra pair of hands to rub me down. Because I'm a princess. A lazy but streak-free princess.

3.) It works on body and face so I could skip foundation. I mean, I often skip foundation anyway but it didn't look like I'd skipped it. Bonus. I only left the formula on for the minimum time of 2 hours (because of a fear of being Tangoed) so it's very natural. Admittedly we had to google how to remove it, because it wasn't quite clear if you were to wash or just rinse. Rinse...? Seemed to do the trick.

4.) I was really impressed with how it lasted and wore off. I had a strap line on my feet from the shoes I wore rubbing it (which weirdly made it look more realistic) but apart from that it faded in a nondescript way, like a normal suntan.

5.) Last but not least, these products are cruelty free. Ideal when we are all trying to be a bit more thoughtful about the products we buy.

I was a bit concerned that the golden hue wouldn't be that visible on camera, because most people probably don't view this as particularly tanned but for me a tan isn't ever about the shade- it's that sun kissed glow and even skin tone that I enjoy. And, of course, we picked the most miserable day in August to photograph a summer tan look. Swapping sunnies for an umbrella 20 times in one day is a sure sign you're in Scotland. It worked out quite well though, because I could wear my Sugar & Vice rain cloud necklace.

Dress | H&M
Jacket | H&M
Shoes | New Look
Bag | Topshop
Necklace | c/o Sugar & Vice
Blether brooch | Bonnie Bling
Polar Bear Brooch | Clos Line x Savage Pins

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Thanks again to Bellamianta for sending us these products to review. You've won this pasty gal round!

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