‘Twas the Sunday before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Came the sound of complaining,
Because this bride-to-be is suffering her first hangover of 2015.
It was our annual pre-Christmas party last night, where The Boy and I open our doors to as many of our lovely friends as possible, mull some wine and be merry.
And I didn’t just mull the wine. I drank it. A lot of it. Which has led to me lying on the sofa, whining and whimpering in self-pity, for a good portion of the day. Except for when I was watching Home Alone.
But, looking on the bright side, I didn’t serenade anyone this year, so…
Moving on. Those of you who follow me on my social channels (if you don’t, and you’d like to hear more of my stream of consciousness musings, the links are on the right) will know that I’ve been having a devil of a time finding bridesmaid dresses (the ones I initially wanted – the Ophelia from Lindy Bop – are sold out everywhere. And between me, The Boy, my mum, my sister, my bridesmaids and various wonderful well-wishers, we checked everywhere).
Everyone I spoke to had lots of alternatives to suggest, but like a petulant teenager (it was essentially a re-run of the conversations The Boy and I had when our first venue cancelled our wedding), I kept sighing and saying no, all while frantically searching for something that looked exactly the same as the Ophelia.
I emailed Lindy Bop to see if they might be getting it back in stock, but unfortunately there’s no guarantee they will before the wedding. My mum ‘fessed up that she, too, had emailed Lindy Bop. While recounting this to The Boy, he sheepishly admitted that he, too, had emailed the nice people at Lindy Bop. So, you know, I can probably never order from them again, as my email address will be flagged as “Obsessed fan” (which may have been The Boy’s plan all along, as at this stage, it would cut down on time and effort if my salary was just paid directly to them).
I am thrilled to report that I have found a truly beautiful alternative, from Little Wings Factory. The girls tried them on last night, and seeing them all together, I had a bit of a moment.
All the searching reminded me that I haven’t done a post about what to wear to a vintage wedding (or, you know, every day) in a while. So, whether you’re coming to our wedding and want to wear something that looks vintage (absolutely not compulsory – we love you whatever you wear), you reguarly wear vintage reproduction and want to have a nose at a new brand, or usually wear high street and fancy branching out, here are a few places I’d recommend looking. I’ve focused on reproduction and vintage inspired brands, as that’s my particular area of expertise (just ask The Boy), and they’re handily broken down into two lists, ladies and chaps. I like lists.
Ladies – vintage reproduction
Bernie Dexter – the fabrics Bernie uses are so beautiful, I could weep. Here’s me in one of her dresses (apologies for the awful photo quality):
Campbell/Crafts Vintage – these guys stock a range of brands that I’ve included here, and their customer service is just wonderful. My first purchase was this Heart of Haute dress, and I love it so much!
Collectif – I recently went to Collectif’s 100 Dresses event in Camden, and had an absolute blast (shameless plug; you can read about it here if you haven’t already). Their clothes are so well made, and are well worth the prices. My Pearl coat, which I am borderline obsessed with, is from Collectif.
The House of Foxy – my love for this brand knows no bounds (no, really – I bumped into the wonderful Claire at Twinwood Festival this year, and talked her ear off for about half an hour about how gorgeous her creations are. The website is mega-easy to navigate, as you can search by era, collection or clothing type, and just. Look. How. Pretty. (The dress, not me, obvs.) They’re a little more expensive than some of the other brands on this list, but it will be totally worth selling stuff on eBay, I promise.
Lady V London – I love Lady V London dresses, and this brand will always have a place in my heart, as the first brand I ever bought a vintage-style dress from (and I was wearing a Lady V London dress when The Boy proposed). I recently introduced one of my friends to their site, and once her dress arrived, she sent me a photo captioned, “It’s love”. One of my proudest moments this year. I’ve bought dresses in sizes ranging from 12-18 (because I lost weight, not because I’m weird), and have felt amazing in each and every one. And, if you’re interested, they have a sale on right now…
Lindy Bop – one of my go-to brands for vintage-style dresses, they’re well-made, and most are £35 or under, so they won’t break the bank. The designs are flattering, and most come in a variety of colours and gorgeous prints.
Little Wings Factory – as I mentioned before, we’ve just ordered our bridesmaids’ dresses from here. As well as some beautiful house designs, they stock a tonne of other brands too, such as Hell Bunny and Chi Chi London.
Miss Candyfloss – I could buy everything on this site, it’s all so pretty, and in gorgeous, rich colours too.
Pinup Girl Clothing – words cannot express how these dresses make me feel. Again, they’re a little more expensive (especially if, like me, you’re based in the UK and have those pesky customs charges to pay), but again – sell some stuff you no longer wear on eBay, and you’ll never look back!
Retro Daisy – you can visit in person if you happen to be in Sussex, but for the rest of us, this lovely little site has a huge range of fantastic reproduction brands, including Hell Bunny, Collectif and Whispering Ivy. I didn’t buy this dress from them (only because they didn’t have it in stock), but any excuse to show it off! Lovely customer service too.
Vivien of Holloway – every retro girl’s go-to shop, these dresses are absolutely stunning, and I love them all. I’ve even branched out and bought a – *gasp!* – pair of swing trousers, which I can’t wait to wear.
Voodoo Vixen – more of a vintage inspired brand than repro, there are lots of fun prints and lovely designs to see here. I have three dresses from Voodoo Vixen, and always get lots of compliments.
Chaps – vintage reproduction
Now, this I have less experience in, so I’ve done a bit of a trawl of the internet, and have come up with these fantastic brands:
Freddie’s of Pinewood – no, I haven’t just chosen this site because of the name. A range of casualwear inspired by the 40s and 50s, check out their amazing selection of caps!
Heyday! – I’ve seen these guys at Twinwood Festival before, and they have a great selection of menswear (and ladieswear too).
Puttin’ on the Ritz – their suits (jacket, waistcoat, trousers) look very dapper indeed.
ReVamp Vintage – based in California, this site has a tonne of jackets, shirts, trousers, and the like. All handily broken down into eras, so if you’re looking for something specific, it should be pretty simple!
Some Like it Holy – lots to choose from, with a range of eras. I wish more men wore cravats.
Vivien of Holloway – as well as ladies garments, there’s a selection of rather foxy looking men’s shirts.
In other news, two of our friends arrived at our party yesterday wearing 50s style dresses; one from Lady V London and one from Lindy Bop. They looked absolutely amazing, and I felt very proud (even if it has nothing to do with me, let me have it just for today, ok girls?)