vintage fashion

The vintage crew goes to Kew

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Today, I am suffering quite badly with hayfever (love the warm weather, hate the sneeziness that comes with it), and my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders. I asked The Boy what I should write about, and he told me I should write about the amazingness that is the new Legend of Zelda game.

He’s a helpful sort.

Instead, I think I shall write about another sunny day just a couple of weekends ago, when I met up with some of my lovely vintage-loving friends at Kew Gardens.

Quite often, when I meet up with my friends who don’t have an interest in vintage, I’ll tone down what I’m wearing, so whenever I get together with my vintage chums, I have a tendency to go all out (or over the top, if you prefer).

Case in point – my fabulous, Gone with the Wind, 1940s hat:

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I also wore a coat dress by Trashy Diva, which would usually have been far, far, far out of budget for me. However, back in January there was a 50% off sale for one weekend, so I put a tonne of my clothes up for sale, and managed to order one about 30 minutes before the sale finished. It was an exhilarating Sunday!

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I’ve wanted some Rocket Originals for ages and ages and ages too, so with the proceeds of the aforementioned wardrobe sell-off, I treated myself to a pair, then kept them under my bed up until the Kew Gardens visit, because I’ve never quite gotten out of the habit of keeping something new for ‘best’.

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After what can only be described as a frustrating journey (I decided to drive because I couldn’t be bothered with changing trains/tubes/and so on, but traffic on the North Circular almost defeated me), I parked up and managed to meet my lovely friends just in time for lunch. I made creme egg brownies and gluten-free savoury muffins, which worked surprisingly well as ‘please forgive my lateness’ bribery.

Then, a couple of us got side-tracked by a few people who wanted to talk to us about what we were wearing, whether there was a special occasion, and so on. It shouldn’t, but this always takes me by surprise; I think I’ve dressed this way for so long now that I forget it’s a bit out of the ordinary! Two of us ended up simultaneously reminiscing about Kew Gardens of old (despite my never having been there before) with a 70-year old lady, and trying to convince a 20-something new mum that she should give vintage style a go and see what she thinks (just in case you think I was being incredibly nosey during our chats, or that I’m making a lot of assumptions; another interesting note – when people talk to you about dressing in vintage, they tell you a lot of things about their life).

Where was I? Ah yes. After running to catch everyone up (thank heavens my shoes were comfy), we decided to do an impromptu photoshoot. One of my lovely chums (you can find him on Instagram under Dark Tech Support) took some lovely photos of the group. Well. Some lovely photos and some great silly ones, including these three.

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Resident botanist Rhina (aka: Fabulous Rhina) works at Kew, so she was the best kind of tour guide, telling us all about what we were looking at and remaining cheerful and enthusiastic, even in the face of my alarming ignorance about plants.

(This photo shows Sarah, Rhina and Chereeka, who were mega-excited about our trip on the land train. It was awesome – we got to see most of Kew with extra commentary and without wearing out our feet!)

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Sarah took this photo of me, pretending to know about trees by nodding sagely and saying “Ah, blossom, yes, I see.”

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Rhina then took us into the palm house, which was fascinating and very, very hot. We all took a LOT of photos. Some of them were even of the plants.

In the first of what I think may be an occasional series, titled ‘Careers my friends should have had’, I would like to suggest that Amelia should have been an explorer. She’s pretty much nailed the ‘Oh, would you look at that!’ face, which surely means she’s halfway there.

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It was a lot of fun; I laughed, talked and took in spectacular views, and generally had a marvellous time.

This is one of my favourite photos of the day, and one of my favourite photos ever of me and Chereeka; we’d discovered that we were both wearing corsets from What Katie Did and were pretty excited about it.

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I think Kew might be one of my new happy places. Even though it’s so busy just outside the gates, you’d never know. It was peaceful and tranquil (a large part of this was down to it being sunny and glorious, I’m sure), the flowers were pretty and I saw not one, but two peacocks. Who I have christened Stanley and Timothy.

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My photos don’t even begin to do it justice, but look how lovely it all is.

 

As someone who’s wanted to visit Kew for well over 15 years now (ever since I read a Pat Barker book in sixth form where a key part of the action takes place in the Palm House), I’m annoyed with myself for not taking the trip sooner, and vow to make up for lost time from now on. Hands up who’s in for the next trip?

 

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