Missy Vintage Fashion : BrandAlley

It’s no secret that I love a pretty dress and I like a bargain too, so when BrandAlley recently got in touch to ask if I’d to be a guest blogger for them, and cast an eye over some dresses, which would be in their four day flash sale that starts today, how could I refuse?....

The Louche label wasn't one I was familiar with, but from browsing through the styles, it's obvious that many of the shapes and prints are really well suited to ladies that like a touch of vintage style, be that on a daily basis or just for a special occasion. 

So this is hot off the press……….. These are my top three picks from the Louche sale that I think could be a great addition to your vintage inspired style and are very purse friendly too. 

This would look fabulous with a pair of loafers, but in the cooler months would also look wonderfully geek chic (think Velma from Scooby-Doo) with tights/long socks, brogues and a polo neck, for a real nod to seventies style

This is calling out for some fifties styling. A classic shape, it would look sophisticated when styled with stilettos, but cute with ballet pumps too. Hair wise I'd be getting out my heated rollers to create some curl and bounce (think Marilyn Monroe/Elizabeth Taylor)

 If like me you're slightly besotted with the Mad Men character Joan Harris, I think you will know the outfit this cocktail dress reminds me of. It has a lovely nod to the stylish fifties/sixties, teamed with a pair of stilettos and an updo with some kind of beehive inspiration to it; this is going to be a killer outfit. I just adore this dress!

All of these dresses are available in sizes 8-14.  Visit the sale here
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70s Love

We recently had an event in Norfolk dedicated to the 1970s. It was mainly focused on the vehicles of the time, and we popped along for a few hours for a browse and a picnic. But what to wear? Well I have to say that I actually have quite few seventies dresses, even though it's not really an era I tend to dress to, but many of the styles lend themselves nicely to other decades, or just look quite cool.

The other bonus is that seventies dresses are actually still pretty cheap to pick up. If polyester makes you shudder they might not be your thing, but the wonderful thing about polyester is (apart from the price) that it's also pretty hard wearing and it doesn't crease easily. It's really easy to care for and if like me, your bust size is quite often two dress sizes different from your hips then the good thing is, that it is normally pretty stretchy too. 

The downside is that it can be really hot and not very breathable so whilst  polyester dresses might not always be suitable for really hot days, they can be a good, purse friendly addition to your wardrobe.

I can't remember if I picked this up in a charity shop or at a carboot but  it cost less than £5, and has been sitting in my wardrobe for quite a while, it's nice in the autumn with coloured tights and brogues/boots, but I was quite pleased how it worked with this floppy hat and wedges combo.

The hat was an amazing £1 bargain from Peacocks quite a while ago and the belt and shoes I've had for years (both from New Look) The glasses and bangle are charity shop finds. The balloon sleeves on this dress are just fab aren't they?  For my hair I used my GHD's to create some soft waves with a centre parting. 

 I'm not really a car girl but it was interesting to see all the various designs, and the fact that there were over 100 cars there from all over the country it seems there is a lot of fondness for this decade.

I LOVED getting my seventies thang on. Much more than I was expecting to, so I will definitely be sporting this look again.


Recently on Missy Vintage......

Have you entered my July giveaway? If you fancy winning a £25 voucher to spend with jewellery designer Melinda Mulcahy click here 
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Lazy Sunday Love

It's not very often I post on a Sunday, but I've just been sitting here with a truckers sized mug of tea (first cup of the morning and a teacup just won't cut it) and I've been browsing through the LIFE website,  and it's just so interesting I thought I'd share. Perhaps you have a day ahead that affords you some time to just read and relax. I hope so anyway!

photo by J.R Eyerman. Source 
This website has so many wonderful pictures and interesting articles through the decades that I think you'll really enjoy, so if you get the chance pop over for a look
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Giveaway! Win a £25 voucher to spend at melindamulcahy.com

The rain and storms haven't hit this part of the country yet, so I'm still enjoying this summer of sunny love. Well actually I feel like I'm mainly looking at the blue skies through the window as it's been a bit of a work, work, work kind of summer so far, but if I'm ever to get that job as a stylist in Barbados, I have to keep that work ethic up right? A girl can dream!

It's been so hot though, that I've dug a few of my maxi dresses out from the back of the wardrobe and my looks have been a little more boho 70s than 50s pinup, as I've swapped a quiff for braids. To help you embrace the summer (even if it rains) I've teamed up with designer Melinda Mulcahy, who'd love to give one Missy Vintage reader a £25 voucher to spend on her beautiful hand crafted jewellery. 

My personal favourite items from Melinda's designs are perfect for a boho look, and I can easily picture these  with a messy fishtail braid and a maxi dress or for those of you blessed with better legs than me, cut off denim shorts and cowboy boots and a vest top. 

Belize turquoise gold feather earrings £42

Zanzibar gold feather earrings £29.50
 I couldn't resist sharing these lip earrings with you though, which I'd wear with a more of a 50s inspired look. Think pencil skirt, blouse, red lipstick and winged eyeliner............

Luscious lips girls silver stud earrings £25
Melinda's designs have been  featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Grazia and You and Your Wedding, and the designs do have that 'hand crafted' look to them. Mixing in the fashion and style sectors that I do, I think more and more people are looking for more individual  items to dress their outfits with and to give as gifts too. 

If you'd like to treat yourself, or someone else to a £25 voucher to spend on Melinda's designs, then here's your chance.

The rules are very simple. I'm using Rapplecopter to hold this competition and here's how you can enter.

There is one mandatory thing you must do to enter and that's to visit Melinda's website and leave a comment on this blog telling me what item you're loving!

Then you can earn up to three bonus entries by:
Following Melinda Mulcahy on Pinterest
Liking Missy Vintage on Facebook
Following Missy Vintage on Twitter

So that's four chances to win the voucher!

This one is open only to the UK I'm afraid, and ends midnight 08/08/2013 (UK time)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Catching up on July

It's been a busy busy month so far, which hasn't always left me with enough hours to fit everything in, but whilst exhausting it certainly hasn't been boring! I've been working a lot on my photography portfolios and workbooks, as Iast week I completed another year long photography course, so those are now all in to be marked, let's hope they like them and think I'm some kind of good! 

Also keeping me very busy is the styling work I do, I've had weddings and photoshoots happening and new ones being planned, which is all really exciting. Most of the brides I've worked with this year have been on a tight budget, but their weddings have been amazing and some of the flower arrangements I've seen that have been made by the brides, bridesmaids etc have been nothing short of fabulous. One bride Debbie made her veil for £3.50 and then decorated it with fresh roses, it looked amazing. Astonishing how chic thrifty can be! 

My latest bride was Rhian got married in a wonderful venue just outside of Norwich called The Old Rectory (this link is well worth clicking if you're looking for Norfolk wedding venues) The room the girls had to get ready in was just gorgeous. I've styled in all kinds of venues from museums to pub toilets, walking in to find I'd be working from this room was really exciting. 
There was an amazing four poster bed, and I tell you that had I not have been there in a working capacity, I'd have excitedly jumped on it an pretended to be a film star or a queen for the day!

It was such a hot day I packed a fan in my makeup kit!

 Rhian and her wedding party ladies all looked amazing. Such a lot of creativity had gone in to the wedding and I can't wait to see what photographer Joanna Millington captured. As always, timings were a huge consideration with a large wedding party, so the brides styling was divided and I did the makeup and The Hairdresser  (a Norwich Salon) did Rhian's hair, and doesn't she look fab?! I styled hair and makeup for two of the lovely bridesmaids and the brides mum too, who was rocking an outfit in my most favourite shade of blue ever, but I didn't get a picture! So we'll have to wait for Joanna's.

I've also just styled hair and makeup for another edition of The Norwich Resident, which is a new free glossy magazine we have in Norwich - but the good news is you can now sign up for a digital version (also free) and have a look at what's happening creatively in Norwich from which ever city you live in. Many of the business featured have websites, so it's a good way to discover new people you may never have otherwise known about. I styled hair and makeup for July's fashion feature too.

July's Norwich Resident
The August shoot was completely different!!

Here's a hint....

Thanks to The Norwich Resident Editor, Emma Harrowing for capturing me at work
I've got some more exciting shoots in the pipeline, I'm always interested in ideas for shoots so if you're a photographer in need of a hairstylist or indeed an mua feel free to get in touch

If it's a special occasion you have planned or you have an event you'd like to be styled for, please feel free to get in touch. You can visit my stylist website here

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Music To My Ears

If you follow me on Twitter you might have noticed that I have a habit of sharing what I'm listening to on You Tube. I love music. I play no instruments, used to do a bit of karaoke, when it was the trend and every pub had a karaoke night, but my performing days are over, and yes they are ....  I do love a tune.

I'm one of these people that needs noise, if I'm working from home, I Iike to have the tv on or some music, if I'm out and about I love to listen to music. If I can, I walk everywhere to get to meetings and appointments, even if that means I look like a bag lady with a suitcase full of stylist goodies. I absolutely love walking, it good for the heart and the soul and to assist me on my travels I love to listen to music, it's good for the spirit and whilst one tune can provide energy, another can calm. It's like magic.

 I  remember fondly owning a walkman, yes tapes -  discman players never really worked did they? Always jumping in my experience. Whereas with tape you only had two possible dangers, running out of batteries or having the tape chewed. Music on the go these days has never been  so easy, so whilst I may love vintage, make no mistake that I'm a modern girl and my tunage comes in the form of an iphone. 

If you've ever met me in real life or follow me on instagram you may have noticed that I have a mild obsession passion for animal print, so when I was asked if I'd like to combine my iphone with some animal print Diane Von Furstenburg earphones I thought they would be a great way pimp up my ears, so move over boring white earphones!

But what's on my playlist? Well I love all sorts, and I mean all sorts! So here's just a selection of what I'm loving, perhaps not as vintage as you might think. I was once asked if I was listening to The Andrews Sisters by a lady on the train. I wasn't I was listening to Fall Out Boy. Which leads me on to song number one.....

Tricky to chose just one song from FOB's album Infinity on High, because it's one of those rare albums where they are all a tune! This album would be in my all time top ten. I just love it. But for the clever and cheeky title I'll link to this.  Here's an acoustic version, seriously recommend you listen to the album version too though.  I'm Like A Lawyer with The Way I'm Always Trying To Get you Off  

 Another song I just can't stop listening to is Jessie J, Domino. Not a new track but certainly my track of the summer so far I think. It's got that feel good factor to it and makes me feel energised. Big shout out to Jessie J too. I haven't always been a fan, but the way her personality and her talent came through on The Voice, I now have a total girl crush. 

No play list of mine would be complete without the wonderful and adorable Paloma Faith. Love all her music, but Just Be is just one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. She sings poetry not lyrics. I should probably warn you that the video has some nudity in it. (I wonder if you'll even read the next two songs now....) 

Who remembers the Undertones? Well I don't from their day, but I love love love Teenage Kicks, which has only recently made it onto my playlist, but is just amazing music to listen to whilst walking in the sun. If you've only heard One Directions version, I would encourage you to listen to this.... 

I knew this last one would be difficult but I wanted to limit myself to five or this post would last forever! So..... no play list of mine is ever going to be complete without Mr Brightside by The Killers. This is THE song that I have to go and jump around on the dance floor too whilst singing at the top of my voice very badly. I bet that makes you wish you went out on nights with me now hey?.....

What's on your playlist?

*sponsored post
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Mid Week Link Love

I haven't done a mid week link love for quite some time. This is because life seems to have been non stop lately. I keep expecting the next month to be a little quieter/calmer but we're now in July and I'm still waiting! But of course, I'm not complaining!

Here's a wee round up of what's caught my eye online recently.

Karen of Fabulous Miss K is off to Paris soon, and has put together some tips for a Parisian chic look. Read it here

I was sorry that I couldn't make an event to spend some time with  Barbara Hulanicki, founder of Biba, but  fortunately Penny Dreadful vintage went along to the Q&A and has written a great little write up of the questions and Barbara's responses. Read it here.

blog I've discovered recently is Esme and The Laneway. I won't link to a specific post, but I do recommend you make a cup of tea and sit down for a read of this lovely blog. Lots of lovely pictures, and she is cute as a button with wonderful vintage style.

Vintage Vixen has blogged about her antics at Glastonbury.

Read it here

Over on Vintage Frills, you can find out how to easily jazz up glass jars and bottles with a  cheap but chic makeover. Read it here
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Fashion Talk - Seamed Tights

It's no secret that I love a seamed calf and if there's one person in the whole world who you want to have something in common with, it's the ever beautifully delicious who said -

"I have been obsessed with seamed stockings my whole life, and I would collect vintage ones that were made in the '40s and '50s with the authentic styling of the keyhole, the welt, the reinforced toe and heels, French or Cuban heels, and hand-stitched seams."
Dita Von Teese

But stockings or tights? Which do you prefer? The only tights I tend to wear are opaque ones, occasionally fishnets and sometimes ones with seams. However, when it comes to seamed tights, the variety that are a fine denier and need to be handled with care are something I've never had much luck with.

 Getting them to last more than one night feels like a lottery win, sometimes they're laddered within just a few hours. Stockings on the other hand last me for ages, the plus side of stockings of course is that you ladder one, you just throw it away and keep the other to match up with the rest of your stockings.

So when Tights Tights Tights asked me if I'd like to try some of their hosiery, my first instinct was to browse the hosiery I tend to love - stockings, BUT when I looked at the tights range, I was so taken by their prettiness that I thought I'd try my luck and see how the Trasparenze brand
compared with the other brands of seamed tights I've tried before, and I've been more than impressed to say the least.

Now, I have to say,the models used on the Tights Tights Tights website and on the packaging, is probably not what most of us look like. In fact I'm fairly sure that was I standing next to some of these models, the top of their legs would probably be up to my chest! So lets hope that as lovely as I'm sure they are, that we never meet, as conversation is going to be just impossible! 

The first pair I tried were the Angie Backseam tights, the picture on the website shows them in black, but I was sent a natural shade and my first reaction to these tights was how nice the actual colour was , they describe the colour as 'Cosmetic A' which is essentially a nude shade.

 Now nude doesn't always mean nude when it comes to hosiery, and sometimes it's more American tan or creamy ivory, but these really are a nice natural shade that don't impose too much of a colour on your legs, perfect if you want a natural look, or just want to smooth out an uneven skin tone.

The pictures on the website are also a little ermmm, cheeky, but if we look at this models bottom for research purposes, (but if you're reading this at work, I can't guarantee this excuse will get you out of trouble if you get caught by the boss.....) you'll notice that these tights don't have those horrid lines around the tops of the legs, which makes them look much more attractive on, this also makes them great for you ladies that like to wear tights for burlesque and dancing.

£11.95 from Tights Tights Tights
I think the nude shade would be perfect bridal tights, I know not everyone enjoys wearing stockings and sometimes dresses like silky wedding ones, need much smother lines underneath than you might achieve with some suspender belts. You'll be relived to know that I decided to wear a dress with my tights rather than dance through the woods in just my hosiery (although the pictures on the website did give me a good idea for a future photoshoot!) 

I decided to wear these with my new favourite party dress, which is this amazing 1970s cerise pink number I picked up in a charity shop for £4 recently. 

I thought the tights would add some disco glam to the outfit, and what I really love is that they have a sheer toe, so perfect for wearing with peep toes and sandals.

The second pair I tried are were the Trasparenze Leaves Backseam Fashion Tights and are
what I would typically go for style wise with stockings. A lovely black back seam, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous detail near the ankle, but these are also detailed all the way up, and if you really do want the look of stockings but the easiness of tights, then these are a very glam option. The detail over the bottom that looks like a pair of pretty knickers? Those are actually the tights! Could they be any prettier?!

£12.95 Tights Tights Tights
Loves these, they are so very very very me. Again they are a fabulous nude shade, keeping your look very simple from the front and giving a real wow factor from behind (who doesn't want that?) 

I am so taken with these ones, and so far I've managed to get nine, yes NINE wears out of them and still no ladders, amazing that they are still going strong! I love that they are so barley there from the from the front. I'm not a fan of my legs and unless I've tanned them up, I would never wear a dress this short with bare legs, but it's too short to wear with stockings (no really it is!) and I don't want to wear it with boring nude tights, so up until now, I've been wearing it with opaques or leggings, so it's great to have a new addition to dress it up with. 

So whilst they might not be the cheapest of tights, the details add such a great finishing touch to an outfit that they are well worth the money, and the Tights Tights Tights website has what must be a style for everyone (they also offer free 1st class UK delivery when you spend over £20) and if it something with a cheeky wow factor you're after then head on over to the Trasparenze range.

You can keep up with Tights Tights Tights latest offers and ranges by following them on Facebook and Twitter
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