Corset Giveaway!

Do you need an excuse to get your corset action on? A event to dress up for? Well I guess that's what's great about Halloween and the Christmas party season that we'll soon be planning for. Who doesn't love a corset? Turn on any of the popular music channels, or flick through a celebrity magazine, and you probably won’t have to wait too long until you see a star in some kind of corset. Perhaps known for her quirkiness as much as her acting, Helena Bonham Carter has recently spoken of her love for corsetry and its chest enhancing effects.  I think Helena’s unique style, really shows just how diverse you can be with a corset. Helena often styles herself in quite a gothic /victorian way. Of course it’s no secret how much I love Dita Von Teese’s look. She is the queen of burlesque and when she's not nude in a Martini glass she is often performing in a beautiful corset.

Whilst a giant Martini glass is something most of us will never own (sad face at that thought!)  we can at  least get some corset action into our wardrobes. To help you with your Halloween or party season outfit. Corsets UK are giving away this corset to one lucky Missy Vintage reader, don’t worry the tutu is detachable so if you want to be a zombie tutu wearing burlesque girl for Halloween but a full on glamour puss for Christmas you can just pop this corset with a lovely pencil skirt or some nice trousers. I told you corsets were versatile didn't I? 

To win this corset this is all you have to do:

Click here to visit Corsets UK, and then come back and leave me a comment on this blog post telling me: Which corset style on the site is your favourite.


How you follow Missy Vintage. Which could be by

Google Connect 
Email  (subscription box on the right hand side of the blog)

Of  course also leave me a way to let you know you have won, so either your full name, twitter name or email.

Other things you need to know:

The giveaway is open worldwide. The giveaway will run until from Friday 28th September and will end Midnight 12th October 2012. (UK time)

The winner will be randomly selected using Random.Org
One entry per person.

The editor's decision is final

Good luck!

P.S If you fancy joining the other 391,000 Corsets UK fans on Facebook click here!
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Design: Atomic Legs

Source:  whirligigtv.yuku.com
I was recently invited to take part in a blogger challenge to write about my favourite style of 20th century design. My first thought was where to even start?! So I've spent some time pondering it, and have concluded, that I have more than a fondness for an atomic leg. I'm more than a little keen on mid century home furnishings, and the atomic leg is in my opinion a bit of a classic style icon. With the 50s and 60s seeing furniture mass produced, there's still an abundance of mid century furniture out there. The classic black atomic leg supports all sorts of furniture and home accessories from dressing tables and drawers to coffee tables and planters. 

The fact that it's still easy to pick up second hand means that it's easy to add a touch of mid century style to your home and it doesn't have to be whole room of mid century style it could just be one piece, it's an easy style to mix and match with modern furniture. These sturdy vintage gems can be very functional too, as I write I'm sitting on the floor with the laptop on a footstool and my cup of tea on a side table. That's a total of seven atomic legs right next to me as I type! It's a rainy Monday and it's dull outside but I'm warmed by the fact that I'm kept company by two pieces of furniture that have had a lengthy life before they came to me and that they can still be used every day.

The availability of such items also means that you can pick pieces up that aren't too expensive either, the total cost of my footstool and my table comes to £27! So it's a design classic that can be afforded by everyone - does it get any better than that?

My coffee table. Looking at my legs? Cheeky! 

The style of the atomic leg continues to influence large and small designers and manufacturers to this day, so even if you don't go down the second hand route or you have a big budget to spend, you can still get that vintage/retro look with a brand new item. The mid-century atomic leg is not only a design classic for the home, it's a design classic for the people. There endeth my declaration of love for the atomic leg! 

Modern sofa with a mid century influence from made.com

This is my entry into Little Greene's 20th Century Design competition. Find out more at: http://www.littlegreene.com/retro
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Shopping and Blogging

Back in July, I received an email from DotComGiftShop letting me know they'd included Missy Vintage in a 'Shopping Blogs We Love' post. I was away at the time, put popped over to find that not only had they written a lovely description about this blog, but that the other bloggers included were fab, meaning I discovered some new blogs to read and a super little shoppping site too. Here's what they wrote about me......

The summer hasn’t been great this year but fear not - Missy Vintage has it fashionably covered! Her blog features retro looks perfect for the uncertain British weather, like a classic, neutral mac or boat shoes that go hand in hand with rolled up jeans and a polka dot dress. Whether you’re fully committed to vintage fashion or you just fancy a retro hairstyle every now and then, pop over to Missy’s blog for handy outfit advice. Don’t worry, she’s not the policing type, so if you like the modern trends just as much as the old fashioned, you’ll feel at home on her blog. She might give you a history lesson, too!

Aww thanks to the person that wrote that, it made my day! So if you'd like to go and discover a whole new world of blogs (and the DotComGiftShop blog too) then pop over and visit the sites blog page.

But what is the shopping like I hear you ask? Well quirky and affordable, this will be a good resource for Christmas (yes I dropped the C bomb.... again) with a massive selection of vintage and retro inspired gifts along with ideas for people who aren't so in to that way of life too. Also if the most important person you need to buy a gift for is you, then there's lot's of items you'll want to treat yourself and your home too as well! I've ploughed through the squillion items for sale and I've picked out a few gorgeous gems to give you an idea of what you could expect to buy with your hard earned pennies.

Under £5 

Left to right: Hand warmer £4.95   Silk fan £1.95 (each)    Rabbit night light £4.95

Left to right: Retro drinking cup £2.95   Travel sewing tin £3.95   Mug £3.95

Under £10

Left to right: Hip flask £8.95   Bottle top magnets £5.95 (set of 6)   Hot water bottle £9.95

For the Home

I love shopping for gifts, especially when it means a few things for me might get slipped in to the trolley too.... 

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Bye Bye Summer, Hello Brogues

Feels like autumn non? I did see a weather report in August that promised a scorching September, yes we've had a few nice days but really, it pretty much feels like autumn has arrived. It certainly looked like it the other morning as I was on one of my 'got to get from A to B and haven't left enough time' missions. Still, I did decide I had time to sit in the middle of the pavement to take a picture of the fallen leaves.........

So it's finally time to hang up my peep toes I think, and soon it will become too chilly to wear ballet pumps and deck shoes, unless they're paired with stockings or tights then you might get away with it on a dry day but let's take and educated guess and predict a wet autumn shall we?! So what's a girl to do? I'm always rushing around, I love my Converse but sometimes they just won't do. I quite like mixing something like  converse with a smart pair of trousers, but  normally I want/need something a bit smarter, and I wasn't blessed with ankles so shapely that I can actually get away with converse and a skirt. So I find a good autumn/winter shoe is a brogue. Always a good classic choice for the well dressed chap about town, but also a pretty good wardrobe basic for us ladies too. They're so versatile and once again they are all over the highstreet so whatever your budget there's bound to be something for you out there. What would you wear yours with?

Marlene Deitrich looking amazing, will you wear yours with a trouser suit?

Whilst a good classic brown or black is always a useful colour to have in your shoe collection, the popularity of this shoe style means that all kinds of colours and designs are available, so this classic style shoe can be used to add a pop of colour to your outfit. Useful if your dark days wardrobe consists of lots of black or you're just not that in to coloured clothing. Also good is that brogue style boots are available in an abundance  of colours and if you really, really can't give up the heels then you can still do the brogue too!


Left to right : Debenhams £30  John Lewis £119   Marks and Spencer £69

Left to right: Debenhams £85  Van Dal £85  Amazon £18.95 (was £22.95)

WOW Factor

If your budget is a bit higher and you're looking for something extra extra special then do take a look at this site www.englishshoemaker.co.uk. The shoes are hand made by shoemaker and designer Peter Bullock and come in amazing colours! I haven't purchased from this website before but at £145 for these ones, it seems like a pretty good price for a pair of leather hand made shoes that will be a real talking piece to your wardrobe. Other colours available are pinks, purple and a rather gorgeous high gloss red! (Which I'm a little in lust with)  Well worth a look, even if it means you'll need to do a bit of saving or add these to your Christmas list! There's also a lovely biog on the shoemaker himself too, so if you love shoes, I think you'll enjoy browsing this site.

Peter Bullock ladies brogues £145

Happy shopping!

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Satchel Power

How many bags do you have? Big ones, little ones, plain one and patterned ones, bags are one of those things we can get away with saying that we really need! One of my favourite shape is satchel style bags. I like that school geeky look. Whilst I long for an original fifties one, I also know that every single one I've found so far is too delicate to be used on a regular basis and are too old to carry the enormous amount of 'stuff' I need to have with me....... When I say need, you know what I mean....

If you too want to incorporate some satchel style in to your look without risking the life of a bag that could be sixty years old, then fortunately there's plenty of choice out there and with a range of colours, styles and prices hopefully there's something for all budgets and tastes. First up is a a bag that is high up on my Christmas list - because they'll even emboss the bag for you, meaning it can have an added personal touch not to mention the fact that The Cambridge Satchel Company also produce various sizes and colours - perfect for both sexes, I do love a boy with a satchel. It's a good look.

The Cambridge Satchel Company, prices start at £74
Dickens and Jones at House of Fraser £160 (was £185)
Radley at House of Fraser £199
River Island £28
New Look £19.99
Dorothy Perkins £42
Satchels could possibly be the perfect bag for the busy girl (or boy) about town. Sizable enough to carry an array of essentials, smart to look at, and using the shoulder strap means you're hands free. The other thing I like about a satchel is the security aspect, knowing that your purse etc is all safely secured away in a bag that you can do up is one less thing to worry about!

Happy shopping!
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Back to School

Are any of us adults going back to school this year? Perhaps further education? To learn a new skill or just to do something fun? I'm a massive fan of adult education, people have quipped that I should get commission because I'm always banging on about it. In fact if you've followed my blog for a while you'll probably have seen me touch on this subject before, but here's my full story! Are you sitting comfortably? I didn't go to university, I started a family quite young, not planned. I wasn't the stereotypical teenage mum and by that I mean the kind described by some of the UK press etc. Everyone was shocked, just months before getting pregnant, I'd been asked to stay behind in class, thinking I'd done something wrong, but in fact the teacher had pulled me aside to talk to me about my career aspirations and I mentioned amongst several things, teaching something like English or history, but combining it with something creative like photography or drama.

This was a teacher who was quite fearsome, very strict and disliked by many. You sat in her class and you worked not socialised, but whilst she always scared me a bit, which wasn't difficult as I wasn't one of those kids who would back chat teachers, even though there were a few that I wish I had, because as an adult I can see they had no care for us kids or their subject, I always really liked her. Behind that strict manner, I always felt that she did care about her subject and was in fact quite passionate about it. Her kindness was proved during that chat after class I suppose. Her manner changed once we were alone and she smiled! She was warm, friendly and was pleased at my plans, she encouraged  me on and gave me confidence that I could make that happen if I wanted it to. Even though I didn't go on to be a teacher, as we spoke about, that conversation has stayed with me all these years. She may have been strict but I still think she rocked.

If all this makes you think I may have loved school. I didn't. I loved the reading, learning, exploring new ideas, well some of them. Whilst I consider myself to be creative in many ways, I never really got design technology, I remember a teacher became quite exasperated at my inability to use a ruler and a paper full of squares to draw an accurate 3D shape! Science and maths were also not my thing, however give me English, history, drama and art and I was in my comfort zone. These were my favourite subjects for most of my time in high school. Of course that was teacher dependant. It's a shame some teachers don't seem to have an awareness of how much they can make or break the love for a subject....and a love for school.

The other thing that hung over me like a cloud in those school years was some of the students. The feeling that the next corner you walked round might be someone who'll taunt you or worse, preoccupies your head and your heart. That awful moment where you've clocked someone who you know will take pleasure in making you feel like shit. I got quite good a spotting them from a distance because I developed the ability to scan the area for the people I'd rather just avoid if possible. I was recently told by someone I went to school with but didn't really know, that I was seen by some as quite grown up at school, not just because I looked mature but I was quite 'sophisticated'. Isn't perception a funny thing?! Not always funny as in haha though. I once saw my name written on the back of a seat on a bus, written in nail varnish was my name followed by the words 'is a bitch'. I'd had a great day out up until this point, this dramatically spoilt my mood as you can imagine. I'd love to now write a message to the person who did that  (who ever they are) .... but it would be too obscene to write on here and also my energy is probably best used on more positive things! It mattered back then though. A lot.

So my late teens panned out differently from the way everyone thought they would. There was just never the time to go and do the university thing, ironic really considering I had one twenty minutes up the road. So when I say there wasn't the time, I really mean I didn't prioritise the time I guess. I was busy being a working mum and dealing with all the crazy juggling of life that combination brings! I still haven't gone back to do the Uni thing by the way, but I haven't ruled it out though. Would I have been happier if I had done it all at eighteen? The honest answer is I really don't know. I know several people that had a terrible time at Uni, it was as life changing for them as having a baby at that age. Not always in a good way. Planning your future at any age can be tricky can't it?!

I did a very short Open University course just as a taster and whilst I enjoyed it, I like a classroom, I like the structure that a classroom brings so decided that the OU wouldn't be for me. But I'm glad I tested the water because if you don't dip your toes in, you just don't know do you? Just over ten years ago there were lots of adult education courses available in a huge range of subjects that could lead to qualifications or just be for done just for recreational purposes. I looked through those brochures for a few years, each time using a pen to make a mark next to the ones that were possibilities. I finally got round to signing up for something in 2003 (it doesn't feel that long ago!) My first encounter with adult education was a photography course. Why photography? Firstly it had always interested me, secondly I felt like I was ready to do something creative and thirdly at school I'd mentioned I'd like to do photography for my work experience and got talked out of it. Subsequently I ended up doing my work experience in a primary school!

I was very nervous at going back to learning as an adult. Even though it was an evening class and not a full time course, it was still a big deal for me. Weirder was the fact it was in my old high school! So there were a lot of mixed emotions walking through those doors as you can imagine. But it was without doubt one of the best things I ever took a leap of faith to do. I loved the classes, money was tight, my camera was paid for in instalments,  my equipment slowly built up thanks to Ebay. My entire darkroom was built up piece by piece from people that had either given up photography or had passed way! A darkroom you may say? Yes, this was back in the day when digital was all quite new. Developing film was (and still is) always a hairy moment, do it wrong and you say goodbye to some, if not all of those pictures. Do it right and the moment when you watch that piece of paper come to life in it's chemical bath is an amazing feeling! Of course it can also be disappointing too - digital photography allows for less moments where you want to kick yourself because you haven't quite captured what you hoped! That course was a lot of work, but I got so much out of it. The three distinctions was also a good feeling too!

Since then I've gone on to qualify as a hairdresser and a make-up artist. I recently did a short course on digital photography just for fun really. I hadn't done a course for a while and I thought it would be a good way to do something interesting. So now I'm following that up with another photography course, so fingers crossed I'll have another qualification under my belt this time next year. It's similar to the one I did almost ten years ago but this one focuses on digital and photoshop. Exciting! Some people seem to think that you should only learn something that they would consider 'useful'. Something that will lead to a higher paying job for example. However the great thing about learning as an adult is that it's your choice what class you go to and what subject you want to learn, so yes you can do something just for the hell of it if you really want to. Even if it's a degree that will never be useful for your career, if you can afford to learn about subjects that interest you, why not? When is learning, reading and personally developing yourself ever going to be a waste of time?

 As children we're not always fortunate enough to learn something that interests us or we'll find fun. As adults we can take more control of that. Due to budget cuts in adult education the choice of courses is not as vast as it was ten years ago, but thankfully there's still many available to explore. The cost of doing a degree is also now huge, but maybe The Open University would work for you? If you want to learn to sew, draw, cook something new, go back to further/higher education or even retake your maths GCSE why not? Isn't just learning something new or achieving something you never thought you could, one of the most 'useful' things you can do for yourself?

So good luck to all of you starting or continuing courses this year. If you haven't signed up for something it may not be too late, short courses often start at various points in the year. Contact your local college and google adult education for your area. You can usually spread the cost of courses too. This has turned out to be quite a long, wordy blog post which wasn't the plan at all! So now I shall leave you with some words taken from my 'About Me' page...

''I absolutely believe you're never too old to try or learn something new, but if you wait for 'the right' time, you could have a long wait.............''

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Lights, Camera, Corsets and Action!

Corsets have been gracing our television screens with a variety of period dramas and fantasy worlds for years. With the popularity of these programmes bringing to life historical novels, tales of eras long gone and worlds we’ll never know, the interest in corsets continues to increase. From demure mice like women to strong feisty warriors, corsetry is seen on characters from all social backgrounds. Whilst some dramas give us visual feasts of colour and decadence others show a more earthy way of life.One of the most colourful and visually divine displays of corsets I’ve seen in a television series is in Casanova. With David Tennant (yes Dr Who) playing a young Casanova we’re treated to a fast paced adventure of romance, heartbreak and corsets. When this was shown on TV back in 2005, I didn't manage to watch the whole series, thank the lord for DVDS! Having now caught up with what I missed, I'm in love. No, not with David Tennant (well a bit) but with all those beautiful corsets. 

With the glamour of the drama being based mainly in Venice, the visual impact is breath taking and beautiful, as colours of scarlet, emerald and sapphire dance across the screen in numerous Venetian balls. Being a fan of corsets myself, I'm partial to a splash of blue with some steel boning but now I'm lusting afters as many colours as I can possibly get my paws on and perhaps a good classic little black number too. Corsets are a beautiful piece of fashion and with Halloween and the Christmas party season coming up what better time to think about incorporating one in to your outfit? Never seeming to go out of fashion, corsets remain a classic piece of clothing candy and with the new remake of Anna Karenina hitting the cinema, corsets continue to play their part both on the big screen and the small one in our homes too.
What Katie Did £169.50
Corsets UK £60
Corsets UK £45 (Love, love, love the colour of this one)

    More corsets on the small screen

Xena: Warrior Princess – A futuristic action packed adventure series. With obvious inspiration from Roman times in the costumes, we’re treated to not very demure leather corsetry adorned with metal. Good inspiration if you don’t want to go for a classic burlesque look with your corset!

Moll Flanders – Based on the famous book which caused quite a stir when published in the eighteenth century, this TV series starring Alex Kingston as the leading lady, is a tale of survival and seduction. Corsets play a big part in both of those.

The Tudors – Corsets a plenty in an array of styles, colours and fabrics in this series that stars Jonathon Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII. With six wives and all their varied staff there’s an abundance of corsetry to observe. There are some stunningly decadent corseted dresses at the many feasts and dances that feature in the series. 

So go forth and lace up!

Also on Missy Vintage this week:   

Fashion Classics: Dogtooth Checks

The Return of Lipstick

Things you might like to watch/read

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The Return of Lipstick

Lipstick is currently having a huge revival, and not just for those of us who like a vintage look on a daily basis. Of course, women have been painting their lips for thousands of years, the colouring of lips has had an interesting place in society through the decades. The mouth, often seen as a sign of sensuality and womanhood has been decorated with all sorts of substances through the years such as beeswax mixed with plant juices, in fact Cleopatra used a mixture that included crushed ants and beetles. Not quite as deliciously teasing as trying to eat a doughnut with out licking your lips I think....

 During the second world war make up was hard to come by in the UK and once again, some women found themselves having to be resourceful in how they created coloured lips. Staining them with beetroot juice wasn't unusual. Make up wasn't rationed, it was just very hard to come by due to the ingredients used in cosmetics being used elsewhere in the war effort. What was available was expensive, the availability in America was much better. I can see many reasons why those chaps coming over here caused such a stir. 

Not only would they have seemed almost from another world to us gals over here, but with them they also brought items like stockings, perfume and make up. With a different way of life and a variance in their social activities like the way they danced etc - wowsers, I can see how they swept so many women off their feet - and broke many a heart. I imagine it was quite intoxicating being so exposed to the fun and unfamiliar these American servicemen brought over with them.

During the war years, British women were exposed to Hollywood at its patriotic best. Films were especially made portraying women signing up for the war movement. Elegant starlets such as Lana Turner took on roles that displayed women as strong AND beautiful, taking on the enemy, whilst looking painted and together. 

 In Britain women were being put to work in a man’s world or volunteering to serve overseas, but whilst many felt able to do the work of a man (girl power is not a thing of the nineties), they didn’t want to look like men. Painted lips – whether with lipstick or something more inventive, came to symbolise strength for many, the refusal to give up glamour and a sense of normality when times were dark. If you’re keen to explore the forties look then popular shades in this decade were orangey corals and orangey reds. I always felt I only needed two colours in my make up bag, a red and a pink but then I tried a colour called Carmine by Besame, (the brand The Historical Sauces stock) and I'm now hooked on it's orangey tone. It's been lovely in the summer when my skin is slightly sun kissed. 

The fifties saw film once again playing a part in make-up fashions, with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor sweeping on to the screens and across the press with full on red lips. The sixties saw the trend for lipstick become less bold in colour, with pastel pinks, peach and shades of nude being the rage. White lipstick was also popular, the paler the better. 

The seventies is often an era that gets over looked for make-up inspiration, but a lot happened in this decade, with women being influenced by feminism, some gave up decorating their faces all together, choosing to adopt a make-up free look. This decade also saw the punk era and the rise of disco – both movements saw women and men explore make up with black, purple and shades with glitter being popular with the disco lovers. 

The eighties saw a return of the red lipstick, it also saw eyeshadow go wild rainbow coloured with pop stars such as Cindy Lauper creating some serious eye art! 

In the nineties I personally mainly wore Rimmel, the shade heather shimmer was a firm favourite of mine and just about every other girl I knew! Fast forward to 2012 and lipstick is back with a bang.  More and more women swapping their lip glosses for a much bolder application of lipstick. I meet a lot of women when I'm working with The Historical Sauces who have recently fallen in love with lipstick or actually would quite like to wear it, but feel it doesn't suit them or is high maintenance. Whilst you might not be able to slick some lipstick on as you're walking along the street as you could with a pale lip gloss - lipstick doesn't have to be an effort.

My Lipstick Tips

  • Keep lips smooth by using a lip balm such as Vaseline on days you're not wearing lipstick. Applying some at night before bed is ideal. It also makes a perfect and budget friendly alternative to lip gloss.
  • Exfoliate, another way to keep lips flake free is to gently brush them with a flannel, an exfoliating glove or a lip scrub. Lush make some lovely ones or you can make your own. Blogger and all round thrift queen A Thrifty Mrs has a great one that's worth a try. What ever you use be gentle!
  • If wearing foundation, apply some over your lips too, this gives a good base for your lipstick. If you're not wearing foundation then use a little concealer instead.
  • Use a lip liner that matches or is close to your lipstick, this helps to prevent the lipstick bleeding, and gives a nice crisp line.
  • If you're trying a bold colour like red for the first time and it scares you, then use your finger to dab on the colour and build the colour up to where you feel comfortable.
  • Use a lip brush, this will help it last longer but if you want to apply straight from the tube that okay. The lipstick police will not come and find you I promise!
  • After application blot the lips with a tissue and reapply, do this once or as many times as you like. This process is layering the colour and helping your pout stay painted for longer.
  • Finally - when buying a lipstick think about the finish you want. A glossy lipstick won't last as long as a matt finish. Lipsticks that have a high pigment be longer wearing. This can mean that you might have to spend a bit more but if you're going for a bold colour like red, it's important that you feel confident in it and you're not feeling that you need to keep running to the toilet to see if you need to reapply it because it's gone patchy.
Books you might like reading:

*I'm now an Amazon affiliate which means that should you click through and buy using the links above, I will make a few pennies, I won't make a fortune but may earn a few pence to put towards new reading material for my bookshelves, that fact won't effect what I recommend for you but I just wanted you to know. Enjoy!
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Fashion Classics: Dogtooth Check

Dogtooth checks (also known as houndstooth) are one of those things that seems to have waves of popularity, but never really goes out of fashion. Monochrome is always a classic look and it seems the high street is currently showing some love to the dogtooth check once again. I'm not really ready to talk about autumn but if you like to follow trends for the autumn season, then this one is a classic, so items bought this year can become a good wardrobe basic, and having a few key pieces that you can call on year after year is super.

My thrifty heart urges you to plan ahead and if you're in browsing the vintage or charity shops, start looking around for the dogtooth items now. Pencil skirts, dresses, cardigans - all good staples to have so if you're keen to nab an on trend bargain, start looking on those rails now. If you opt to hit the high street then there are still options that won't break the bank.

Left to right: River Island £35, New Look £24.99, BHS £30




Left: Debenhams £39, Right: River Island £28

Will you go for black and white or will you opt for coloured dogtooth checks, which could be mustard, azure or cerise and everything in between? 
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