Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A Thrifty Fifties Fix, Cambridge in the Summer, and a Variety of Vintage

       Dear Readers,

This week has been a whirlwind of punting down the river in Cambridge, singing Jerusalem at evensong whilst smugly putting our hymn books away (oh yes, we know all the words), reading stacks of books on trains (masters thesis? What masters thesis?) and putting our new vintage finds to the test. The weather in Cambridge was beautiful and sunny, perfect for showing off our fifties frocks. There's something about the sun coming out that always makes us bring out fifties numbers, and we've been pondering as to why this is. But there's something so wonderfully Roman Holiday about a fifties outfit; when you watch Audrey strolling around the Roman sunshine (or what we assume is the Roman sunshine, the black and white makes it hard to tell), it's hard not to want to replicate that crisp elegance. Also, because of the width of the skirts, they are really cool to wear, flattering on the figure, and not restrictive.
     Now, we have a little secret to share. Recently, Catherine and I picked up two beautiful fifties style dresses. Let's talk about mine first. A wide skirt, a nipped in waist and a sweetheart neckline, in a stunning pale blue gingham print; slightly Dorothy of Oz, but in the best way possible. Flattering, and surprisingly sultry, I paired my dress with some classic court shoes, a string of pearls, and my hair in my famous french rolls. With a white cardigan thrown over my shoulders, I felt vintage-vivacious! Catherine's dress was definitely, 100% Audrey Hepburn in 'A Roman Holiday'. A crisp white cotton shirt dress, it was full skirted and features some stunning lace detail and the hem and waist. The dress oozes sophistication, but there's a hint of English countryside to it also; its the sort of dress you'd want to be wearing when paddling through streams and running through meadows. Catherine also wore pearl earrings and teamed the dress with some divine navy blue sandals.
   So, I hear you cry (maybe not cry, but I bet you're wondering what the secret is and I hope by now you are on the edge of your seat. Sort of.), what is the secret behind these beautiful fifties frocks? What could possibly be wrong with them? Well, nothing exactly wrong. It's just these dresses have been unearthed in a place that we never in a trillion years, as self-proclaimed vintage experts, have thought it possible. These, dresses, my friends, were from PRIMARK, at a steal for £17 each. Harking back to our Twenties With A Twist post, we get so excited whenever the High Street embraces vintage clothing, because its not a cheap lifestyle; to be able to pick up dresses like this is a real perk.


 We also fell in love with Cambridge. We stayed in Magdalene College with our cousin Jane, who will soon graduate with a degree in History (huzzah!) but we spent a lot of our time exploring more of the colleges. Magdalene is stunning and sits right on the river; we loved watching the punts go by and had to have a go ourselves. We must have looked the part in our dresses because a lot of tourists stopped for photos! The history behind the city is astonishing; every corner you turn, you catch your breath. From Samuel Pepys diaries to the splendor that is Kings' College chapel, there's a treat for every time travelling history lover.

   Top tips: take prosecco with you when punting but do not feed the swans. They will come after you with a vengeance. Watch out for the cyclists; they are silent, but they are fast, and they will get you. Go to evensong; all the college chapels are gorgeous and there's no better place to belt out a good hymn. If there is any place in the world you can get away with looking so quintessentially British, it is in Cambridge. So embrace it! We did, and oh what a time we had.

Thank you to Grace for the photo of my gingham dress, to Jane and David for putting up with our excitable ways and being amazing hosts, and to Jemma, for agreeing to be in our photo. Vintage love to you all!

H & C 

  P.S An thrilling announcement! Next week we will be commencing with out 'Vintage Wishlist'. Here we review some of our favourite vintage brands and venue, places to visit, things to do, things to make, and a whole host of golden age treats! Get excited and we'll see you here next week x

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