Vintage crochet shawls

I had a fantastic find a little while ago. A stash of vintage shawls and ponchos. Most of them are hand crocheted too.

They are a real mix of hippy chick style, evening shawls and some 40s 50s style ‘bed jacket’ style. Quite an eclectic mix!

Some of the 70s ponchos sold as soon as I put them online, but I’ve just popped up a more varied selection which would be perfect for the current cooler weather.

They are on the eBay Shop and the Etsy Shop.

Incidentally I have also sourced some cool 70s crocheted shoulder bags. These are in fab bright colours and are just on the Etsy Shop at the moment.

I’ve got a few more shawls to work through at the moment but so far they are looking fab! What do you think?

What’s in a name? Playsuits, culottes and jumpsuits!

70s jumpsuit from Quirky PurpleIn 1977 the Queen came to visit my local town of Mansfield. It was the Silver Jubilee and if I remember correctly, she had come to open the new library.

When we were kids we only used to get new clothes at certain times of the year, like Whitsun or summer holidays. Well I was getting old enough that I could choose what I wanted, obviously within a pretty strict budget, and this particular time I chose a jumpsuit and a blue nylon bomber jacket.

The jumpsuit was fabulous! I was in a khaki brown colour, full arms and legs and had patches on it like an American car mechanic overalls. I was rocking it. I was so enamoured with it I wore it to see the Queen. People like Charlie’s Angles were the sort of girls that wore jumpsuits…

See how I called it a jumpsuit?

Jumpsuits were quite new, modern things as in the 60s the word ‘catsuit’ was used to describe an all in one. Think Cat Woman in the old Batman series, which incidentally was my favorite thing on the telly when I was 18 months old (and I have pictures from the local paper to prove t).

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleRoll on a bit to the 80s and something similar crops up. In the 80s there were a lot of culottes. These could be skirts or dresses, the dress was usually being the button front style and not really being noticeable as being culottes rather than a dress. Calling them jumpsuits would have seemed old-fashioned.

In the 90s I remember dungarees being the closest to jumpsuits or culottes, but I’ve got to say, I wouldn’t have been seen dead in them…

So moving forward again we seem to have had a little resurgence of these similar styles. This time around they are called playsuits. They look a little like the 80s culottes but more suited to the beach or a night out

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleIt’s actually been very interesting from a vintage point of view as 80s culottes have been very popular again and I’ve been sending them all around the world. I guess they are very wearable and can look smart enough for work, or dressy enough for a night out. Some are really lovely takes on 40s style tea dresses.

There’s one thing I’ve omitted to mention so far. Rompers. Hmm, to me these are something that a child would wear, or maybe one of those adults that like to dress as babies. Clearly I haven’t got the full picture as I discovered last year that this is what some other countries call our culottes.

So, it just brings me round to, what’s in a name?

Foreign fleas!

Athens' Flea MarketI’ve just come back from a little trip to Athens. I’ve been to quite a few Greek islands but never actually been to the capital.

One of the things that surprised me a little was that they have a Flea Market. Lots of lovely little shops selling all sorts of handmade items (and some tat from China too, but I could ignore that). It was really nice walking through all of these on our way to the Acropolis. There were lots of cool things made from olive tree wood which I really liked. Quite a few artists and various clothes.

Athens' Flea Market StreetAs we got nearer to the Acropolis the shops gave way to a sort of car boot sale without the cars. Lots of locals selling all sorts of things.Some really nice bits and pieces there. Lots of books stalls too which I usually like to browse, but these ones were all Greek to me 🙂

There were lots of nick-nacks that I wanted to get but we’d only traveled with hand luggage – otherwise I’d have grabbed lots of stuff!

I wished I’d taken a few more photos now, but we were short of time and supposed to be concentrating on making our way to the Acropolis so this was really a bit of a whistle stop trip through the streets…

101 things to do with a vintage computer

clockOK maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. There’s not 101 things to do with a vintage computer in this blog, but there are a few really cool things that I found.

My old laptop is really on its last legs now. It gets really warm, which to be honest at the moment is a bit like having  a heated lap blankie, so not terrible. A couple of weeks ago my second power cable started playing up which isn’t useful when the battery only last about 20 minutes. And yes, I have done the usual trick of sticking my battery in the freezer…

To cut a long story short, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and ordered a new laptop. As much as I love nice shiny techie things due to my geeky nature, I do grow very attached to my laptops.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I started working in IT when it was called Computing and desktop computers didn’t exist. OK, I know that really dates me, but wheat the hell. I like technology. I ended up working in IT because I read a lot of science fiction and the guy at the Job Centre made it sound like I’d be working on the Star Ship Enterprise. I ended up delivering print outs to Finance….

I digress, it got me thinking about what happens to all those old computers. In the 1990s one of the hardware guys at work made me a desk clock out of an old floppy disk and I thought it was pretty cool. I like remaking vintage things, so I though I’d so a spot of research. Here are some of  my findings.

Jewellery is pretty popular, and interesting other things to wear. I can’t imagine that any of these are comfortable or practical to wear…

Now, these two together would make just about any party go… a BBQ and a beer dispenser!

In this next gallery, I like the mix of technology and nature. These old bits of technology are now being used to grow things. I’m wondering if I could manage a ‘vintage computer installation’ down at my allotment…

Finally, I couldn’t miss putting these last ones up. It’s a really mixture – a cat bed, a mail box, a sun catcher, a dragonfly and a loo roll holder!

I’m not sure if any of this has given me any inspiration for what I could do with my old laptop. I think I might just keep it as a lap warmer until the summer arrives…

Hurrah – we’ve started doing men’s vintage!

Well quite exciting news, or what?

We’ve started to stock some items of men’s vintage. I’ve just been photographing the first batch and getting them ready to go on the online shop.

This first batch are mainly men’s vintage tops, including Lacoste, Polo and some cool collared mod tops.

Here’s a sneaky peek at what will be going online this afternoon –

Men's vintage tops

I’ve got a few more items to sort through yet, but I’ve been a little way laid with sorting out some lovely vintage wedding frocks that I picked up a couple of weeks ago…

You can find our Men’s Vintage section here. I’ll be adding more as I sort through!

Vintage buttons – it’s all about attention to detail!

I was photographing a few items to put onto the Online Shop yesterday and was admiring some of the buttons on a vintage 1960s dress. It reminded me of how much attention to detail you find in vintage clothes.

I specialise in 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s clothes and even the day to day wear dresses all have those little touches. It might be a matching belt in the same fabric or a completely contrasting belt with matching buttons. But it is buttons that really tend to make the difference in the look and the feeling of it being ‘complete’. They very often give the simple garment that luxury touch!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ignoring the quality of vintage clothes. They were made to last, which is why they are still around and still good enough to wear. I’ve even got some handmade dresses from the 1970s and these are massively superior to anything mass-produced for the High Street.

Here are some of the buttons I found that are used for contrast or highlight on the garments:

This gallery shows the buttons that are made to blend in with the garment or just match the material or colour. Sometimes it’s even difficult to pick out the buttons from the material itself:

They really make the outfit, don’t they?

You can also pick up original vintage buttons in some charity shops, if you don;t mind searching through pots of them. Usually you can pick up enough to make a set, and they are perfect for using on handmade or remade items.

And hopefully you’ve only paid ‘button’s for them..

Monochrome, mods and sods

Quadrophenia_albumThere was a fab documentary on the BBC a few days ago about the writing of the Quadrophenia album. Here’s a link to the information on the BBC site – Quadrophenia – Can you see the real me?

Watching this really transported me back in time a few years. As a teenager I was a die hard mod and Quadrophenia was seen as a soundtrack to a mod’s life.

And as a mod, monochrome was the perfect colour scheme, along with plenty of olive green. In case you’re not hip enough to understand that, well olive green is the colour of old army parkas. You had to have an original one that looked a bit battered and certainly not a snorkel parka from a high street store – that would be a ‘plastic parka’ and you’d be in danger of being a ‘plastic mod’.

Mods in the 80sWhen I first started to dress like a mod I had a couple of black and white dresses which I had saved up for and bought from high street shops. This was just before I discovered the joys of charity shops, and all the 60s clothes that they sold for pretty much pennies! Yeah, I know, charity shops aren’t like this anymore. All the good stuff is sold off before it reaches the shops and then what’s left in the shops, is actually quite expensive. Of course there are exceptions, but it’s rare to find them these days.

Anyway, once a mod, always a mod. So, monochrome still tends to feature high on my list of faves.

Monochrome at Quirky PurpleAt Quirky Purple we have some cool vintage monochrome for sale in our online shop and have been having a Mid-Week Monochrome Auction, which ends this week. There are lots of sizes and styles.

Check them here – Monochrome Auction items

Do you have any fave mod outfits from past or present?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

Goodbye to disco divas and childhood greats

70s disco greatsLast week I did a post on the 70s – the diverse decade and this week it seems like a couple of my childhood 70s legends have sadly left us – Donna Summer and Robin Gibb.

As a child of the 70s, I remember Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” record in the charts and relished in the fact that it was considered naughty. What I probably didn’t appreciate at that time was what a great (and different) track it was.

Similarly I was at just the right age to love Grease and therefore John Travolta. Which, consequently meant that, as a teenage fan, I had to investigate and therefore love anything else he was involved in. That’s really how I found Saturday Night Fever – yeah I know it was a huge film, but that was the adult world and not the teenage world. I remember going to see a PG version (I think – anyway I could get in at the age of 12/13) of Saturday Night Fever. Boy did that soundtrack sound fab in the cinema!

Even now whenever I hear “Stayin’ Alive” I immediately see John Travola walking down that street, carrying his paint can.

That soundtrack was predominantly the Bee Gees. They were so ‘standoutish’ in the crowd – the voices, harmonies, the catchy tracks and, of course, their look. Due to the film, there were all sorts of set dances that you did to the tracks too – what could be better for a teenager in the days before dance mat games!

I loved that disco fashion too and remember strappy dresses and a lot of metallics – gold and silver. I had one of those tiered ‘gypsy’ skirts and an off the shoulder sort of gathered top to go with it. Plus chunky cords and ‘granny’ shoes. I had one of those long tweed type skirts too. I didn’t have any sort of clothing budget in those days so my wardrobe was pretty small.

I also hasten to add that all this was quickly shoved to the back of my wardrobe as we moved towards of the end of the 70s as I was starting to properly suffer from decade displacement as my obsession with all things 60s and mod had started.

70s disco became a little (secret) guilt pleasure…

If, after reading this, you feel like some 70s inspiration, check out our 70s inspiration board on Pinterest:
http://pinterest.com/quirkypurple/70s-inspiration/

Quirky Purple logoWe have a few 70s influenced and vintage clothes, and dressmaking and knitting patterns, for sale on our eBay site – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple

70s – the diverse decade

70s inspirationsOver the last few weeks there has been a 70s documentary on the BBC. I love it. But then again I grew up in the 70s, so there’s also an element of nostalgia.

The 70s is an odd decade for me. When I was a teenager, it was a laughing joke – flares, flower in your hair – no thanks! The 80s seemed really edgy and the 70s just seemed lame. If you liked anything 70s it had to be your guilty little pleasure.

That changed in the 90s. The usual rule of ‘if you wait 20 years it will be fashionable again’ came into play and 70s influences were everywhere.

It was actually a really diverse decade. It had the runoff from the 60s hippy movement, into glam rock, progressive rock, then switch to disco, then a massive shift to punk and new wave. All these genres could be seen in the charts and on Top of the Pops each week. The same with the clothes. Walk around town on a Saturday afternoon and you would see fashion reflecting these music styles.

The 70s has spawned threads of styles in music and in clothes that are still around today. The influences can even be seen on the hight street today. Vintage really is the key to getting the look right though. Mix and match it with some high street looks and you’ll have your own individual style.

To celebrate 70s styling Quirky Purple have just launched their 70s Inspiration board on Pinterest – you can jump over to it here:
http://pinterest.com/quirkypurple/70s-inspiration/

Quirky Purple logoWe have a few 70s influenced and vintage clothes for sale on our eBay site. Check us out!
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple

 

We love the 60s!

Quirky Purple loves the 60s

Yep, that’s right I have a real passion for the 60s. I think I suffer from ‘Decade Displacement’ and should have been a teenager then. I could have experienced the beginnings of the Beatles and all the UK scene and its spread across the world.

Mod would have been happening around me (instead of in the 80s when I discovered it). The Who, The Small Faces, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, soul from the USA – too much to mention.

I could have joined the psychedelic revolution and watched the evolution of bands like the Beatles and the Small Faces. Not to mention all the UK and US garage bands.

To celebrate 60s styling Quirky Purple have just launched their 60s Inspiration board on Pinterest – you can jump over to it here:
http://pinterest.com/quirkypurple/60s-inspiration/

Quirky Purple logoWe have a few 60s influenced and vintage clothes for sale on our eBay site. Check us out!
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple