Friday, 27 July 2012

Fab Frock Friday: Here's to the Pears!

I thought I'd revisit some old posts this FFF and look again at the best fits for your shape. So, Pears are the order of the day so if you are bigger behind than you are up top, check out what Redressing has in store for you this fabulous Friday the 13th! Don't forget to check out the Gals Body Shape Guide page for style hints & tips!
Maxi dress sz12 £10

Firetrap sundress sz16 £15
River Island champagne tunic sz 12 £15
The website is being updated regularly so keep your eye out for 'that dress'!!!
Happy Friday folks

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Re-Script workshop: E is for...

E is for Effort....
Inner strength and outer beauty requires a certain amount of effort. These things don't always come naturally and effort is required to change the way we think, act, talk and dress in order to find and maintain a position of inner strength.

Having inner strength means not being easily shaken, emotionally led or afraid. Instead, it means choosing to stay strong on the inside no matter what the external circumstances look like. Don't get me wrong, it's not lying to yourself, burying your head in the sand or pretending, but it is a deliberate choice to change the way you filter things when they come into your head. 
Just like choosing to wear a fab frock and slap on some make-up, we can choose to make the same effort with our thinking systems and refuse to be intimidated or anxious by people or circumstances that threaten our inner strength. You are beautiful on the inside- so make the effort! The next time you feel anxious, intimidated or threatened remember that we can have inner strength and outer beauty!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Summer Swimwear: retro styles for the fuller bust!

I've been out and about looking for some fun and well fitting vintage inspired swimwear this holiday season and these are my favs to date...

Bravissimo have a couple of lovelies at the moment if you need a really good fitting swimsuit. My two favourites are the Evie 'Wish you were here' 50s inspired swimsuit at only £35 and Bravissimo's Polka Dot style at £49.
Evie £35

Bravissimo £49
I've also been admiring the retro inspired range in none other than good old Tesco!!! £8 for this beautiful polka dot bikini top and you can buy matching bottoms. (Not many of these left and they do tend to assume a DD+ cup means a larger back size too which isn't always the case!)
Tesco £8
Panache have some great retro inspired bikini tops this season too. The Lucille reminds me of the French Riviera circa 1955. At £31 they are probably mid range for  retro styles but could easily be paired with block colour bottoms.
Panache Lucille £31

Panache Page £31
Although I love some of the retro and vintage inspired ranges by other brands like WKD, Toast and Floozie by Frost French, they just don't cater for more unusual size/cup combinations; more's the pity!
Hope you find something fabulously fifties for your summer hols! Going anywhere nice this year?!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Fab Friday Finds: Keep Calm...

Just look at these pretties I found in no other than Morrisons this week!!!
Morrisons £1.50 each 

Aren't they gorgeous?! At £3 for both what could I do but purchase?!
What goodies have you found this week?
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

End of term!.... Juggling working from home & holidays well

I can't believe it's the end of the school year already! My, how quickly has that flown by. Now it's summer holidays time, well, for my children anyway.
Juggling work and school holidays is never very easy so here's my advice on managing both well.

1. Plan your time well. If you are self employed like me, you can't always give much time to work during long school holidays so you have to plan your time well. I find, organising the 6 week stretch into distinctive weeks really helpful and making sure my 3 children know what's going on even more so.
2. Balance work & play. I know each job is very different and has different requirements but I find splitting up each week so that I have given the right amounts of time to the needs of my business and of my children is imperative. There are some jobs I can get done before the end of this week, so I'm busily trying to accomplish as much as possible before the holidays actually start, but there are also plenty of things which need to happen week in week out. Use everything at your disposal to get as much done as possible before you have your children at home- scheduling your tweets, website updates and blogs helps and try to switch off completely on some days if you can!
3. Plan play dates in advance. Set up play dates so your children are out at the same time as one another on certain days then return the favour on a day where you have less to do. Get those dates in the diary NOW! Last minute never works well if you have more than one child you need to plan for. Involve your kids in who they would like to see; their ownership of the process will stop them feeling 'pushed out' so that you can 'get on'.
4. Decide as a family what 'events' or 'activities' you'd all like to do (if you having a staycation) and plan those in first, then plan work around them so everyone knows you have prioritised family times and then make sure they actually happen- that may mean ordering tickets now; sorting travel arrangements or paying for stuff upfront so whatever you all decide, just make sure it happens. We use a big roll of lining paper and literally write out every day so everyone knows just what's going on when.
5. Enjoy it! Children grow up fast. In the immortal words of Ferris Beuller "If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it".

Have a great summer whatever you are up to!.....

Monday, 16 July 2012

Three Confessions of a Happy Housewife!

We all need a bit of encouragement, inspiration and motivation so here are my top three happy housewife confessions!....
1. I confess, I don't iron! Scandalous but true. Try washing on the lowest spin cycle then removing anything you would usually iron immediately after the spin cycle has finished and hang it on a padded hanger. You can then set the rest of the load to spin again on a higher rpm. That's why I don't iron. (that, and consciously purchasing clothing with elastane or synthetic fibres, less than 100% cotton content and lots of fabric conditioner!!!)

2. I confess, I don't cook every night. Welcome to the Ready Meal Revolution! Yes, I know, it's hard to believe but at least twice I week Mr. Redressing heats up a ready meal for the 2 of us and it's delicious! Look out for offers on readies (M&S Meals are some of the best) and budget accordingly on your weekly shopping funds. Removes hassle, is speedy and fortunately the options have moved on from Shepherds Pie or Lasagna! If cooking is a housewifely bug-bear let yourself off with a pre-prepared meal once in a while (if you don't already!)

3. I confess, I don't drink instant coffee. Yes, I am a coffee snob! I have found, 3 children later, that I am in need of a rather large and rather good quality cup of coffee to start my day. I take some time with this particular cup of coffee as it's the first real chance I get to look at my 'to do list'; assess the days requirements and determine realistically just how much of the said list will in fact get done! If this is the time in my day to plan strategically, be decisive, effective and efficient then I am sure as heck not going to do that over a cup of instant coffee! I also adore the smell of fresh coffee; have a clever little machine which keeps the pot hot for a couple of hours and also have low blood pressure so can take the caffeine induced palpitations hit!!!! In line with a well known hair care brand, I do feel that I am 'worth it' and therefore my coffee reflects my values. Nectar.
The best housewifely tip I can pass on is to value yourself and by doing so, validate what you do. Remeber dolls, you are gorgeous, inside and out!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Re-Script workshop: D is for....

Today's re-script workshop challenge is a really exciting and easy one! Honestly, as D is for Dresses!
As women who want inner strength and outer gorgeousness, we can often end up falling victim to fast-fashion, fashion fads and frankly, just bad buys. Items which appear to be a bargain, but which in fact are ill fitting, don't go with anything and will inevitable end up in the back of your wardrobe until they hit the eBay pile.
Your challenge for today is to ensure that your inner strength is indeed reflected in your outer gorgeousness by culling that wardrobe and making sure that said wardrobe contains at least one dress!
Dresses are fabulous- no matter what your shape, style or lifestyle there is a dress to suit you and you really do need to be wearing it! Apart from being thoroughly stylish, adaptable and easy to dress up or style down, a dress is your best friend simply because it is a single garment. Gone are the daily dilemmas surrounding what to wear. You have the fab jeans but no suitable top, or you have a great shirt but your skirt isn't quite right. Enter, the dress. One item which you can quickly pull on, layer up with a cardi, warm up with tights, chill out with sandals or notch up with high heels. If you don't have a dress in your newly culled wardrobe then I urge you to get one. Try on some of a friends, find out about your bodyshape and see if you can find one to suit you, but nothing will give you that feeling of ultra-outer gorgeousness than a dress.
Don't forget, you can send your unwanted clothing off to the local Chazza, recycle things by giving them to your friends and even keep pieces with cool fabrics for future make do and mend projects. Inner strength is our goal and it includes outer beauty so get culling and make sure you own that 'I look amazing' dress!
Do let me know how you get on girls!

*If you need a great source for that fab frock pop in to Redressing!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Budget Buys: Vintage nails on a budget, nail stickers review

You know how house magazines often have a double page spread where they find some cheaper versions of otherwise expensive stuff? Well, I thought I'd try a few 'Budget Buys' of my own to help you in your wise stewarding of financial resource! So when I stumbled upon these cutesy nail stickers in Primark the other day, I knew they would have to be post number one!
Nail Stickers- Primark £1
 At a mere £1 for 20 stickers; 10 fingers, 10 toes, I just had to give them a try. They came on a long strip and were really very easy to pull off. If anything, the stickers are a bit too long at quite a bit of the kitsch floral pattern got missed off my nails! I found that if I was very careful I could use my other thumb to score down the edge between the sticker and my cuticle which gave them a better shape. The remainder could then be bent over my nail and the excess sticker easily pulled off.
 I don't usually paint or decorate my finger nails and so thought these might make an interesting budget buy instead of forking out for a proper nail artist. But, you get what you pay for and although they look good from a distance I didn't rate them all that highly as they did tear quite easily but they stayed stuck down very well though and were a bit of a pain to remove in the end!

 You can't argue with a £1 for a bit of fun though. Overall, I would rate them 7/10. What do you think?!
Have a happy Monday folks, what did you get up to this weekend?

Friday, 6 July 2012

Outfit Post: Circle Skirts and a bit of 1950s history

I must confess, I've been building up a bit of courage to wear this ensemble as 1950s petticoats are not that common on my school run!
I picked up this circle skirt from Marina Retro and already had a Collectif petticoat so I thought the time had come to strut some funky 1950s stuff!
I already had this cute retro style cardigan from Matalan and my fantabulous Miss L Fire shoes, so I added a high ponytail, some little pearly studs and my cherry brooch (on sale in Outfit!). What do you think? Have I managed to channel a little Sandra Dee?
The circle skirt first made its way into mainstream fashion in the 1950s once fabric rations were lifted. As they are literally cut out of a single piece of fabric, they give a very dramatic shape. Petticoats were then used to accentuate the narrow waist and make a distinction between the waist and the full skirt.
Circle skirts were then made popular by the diva's of the day Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Mansfield which brought them into the sight of the masses. Easy to make at home, the skirts took on all kinds of themes, prints and appliques and the styles were utilised by dress designers to create the halter neck dress with full circle skirt. I have to say, I feel incredibly feminine and glamorous in mine! Here's to Audrey! xXx
Audrey Hepburn in 'Roman Holiday' (Source)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Vintage Tea Shop Review: 'Vinteas', Leamington Spa

I knew that there was a new vintage style tea shop opening in Leamington, a nearby town so I thought I'd pop over and check it out.
Vinteas- Park Street, Leamington Spa
I wasn't disappointed. Vinteas is a lovely example of the crossover between shabby chic, vintage style and class. It has the traditional and somewhat expected array of mismatched vintage china, the shabby chic element of painted furniture, old fashioned tapestry and floral seat coverings and gorgeous Nina Campbell wallpaper but also manages to exude a bit of class in it's beautiful window displays, high quality teas and cakes and the professionalism of the shops owners.
pretty pastels on the chairs

Same wallpaper but in striking black

Cute little people chair covered in glorious chintz
What is particularly clever inside vinteas is that they have managed to take what is essentially a boxy ex-retail space with a large glass window and create a cosy and welcoming ambiance.
Stunning Nina Campbell wallpaper
As a cafe it is very spacious, easily able to cope with 20+ covers on 10 or so tables, yet the stylish arrangement of chairs and tables, mirrors and shabby chic painted furniture creates an intimate feel.
The background music is appropriately easy listening with a vintage twist and there are even cake recipe books to browse while you sit, sip and indulge.
Cakes and giant meringues!

Recipe books to view
The menu boats a large loose leaf tea selection and all is served in gloriously old china and each pot has it's own strainer. Even the old style sugar cubes are displayed with taste!
All in all, a welcome break and recharge from the hustle and bustle of shopping; almost opposite the fabulously retro Berylune gift shop and a stones throw from the main shopping street, The Parade.
All that's required now is some bunting across the Washroom mirror and a few hanging tin and ceramic hearts (like the ones available in nearby Lilac Rose!) from the existing hooks and perhaps a coat of Farrow & Ball duck egg on the wall behind the loo!!!!
Delicate Colclough china ware

View back towards the street

Pretty Polka dot outdoor seating

Let's just say, I will be returning!......

Monday, 2 July 2012

Accessorizing old style: Bra Stays

After posting on dress clips, a very good friend of mine suggested I post on Bra Stays. Dutifully I obliged but must confess, I had no idea what bra stays were! Well, now I know and boy are they a clever piece of dress accessorizing which need to be re-established in modern society!
 These ingenius 'stays' or 'retainers'  pin into the shoulder seam of your dress or top and then you put your bra strap inbetween the two pices of ribbon and popper the ribbon together. Straps never peek out and the dress never drops from shoulder. The friend who put me on to them is infact a wedding dress designer and she says she 'would even use these if wearing a cotton vest. They are one of the best but mainly forgotten inventions we have for lady like dressing'.
Intrigued by all of this I nipped in to my local Hobbycraft and purchased my very own pair of bra stays for around £2. Out of the packet, they look like this
Popped closed

I then tried them on a halterneck top. It was a bit fiddly to saftey pin them into place, but once I had I was delighted with the results!
Safely attached around the strap

and pinned to my top

like so!
Here's before I attempted them...
Chavvy slapper straps
And after!....
Chavvy slapper straps BE GONE!

Yes, you can just see the saftey pin!
 I think I need to practise attaching them so you can't see the saftey pin quite so much, but otherwise a real old style accessory which could do with a modern following- no more chavvy slapper straps for us glamorous gels!

*My friend Sam's stunning designs can be seen at Unique Bridalwear and she also designs and creates bespoke vintage style dresses, prom dresses and pretty much anything else you could wish for under her couture label The House of Webb!