Ted Baker Challenge

A little while ago I took part in an online style challenge. It was using ASOS clothes to create your own style. It was quite good fun looking through stacks of ‘modern’ clothes to try and get the 60s look I wanted. Here’s the blog I did for it – £100 ASOS blogger challenge.

Well, I’ve just been contacted by Ted Baker to do a similar challenge. This time there isn’t a price limit, it’s a limit of 3 items.

I’ve been searching their new collection with a 60s eye. Again, being slightly obsessed with the 60s, I wanted to create something from new that still rocked a 60s vibe. I also wanted it to be eye-catching, so that heads would turn when you walked into the room wearing this outfit!

Righto, here goes!

Ted Baker Challenge - dressI chose this as it is a classic style that is also very flattering. Geometric prints always look good in my book and add to the 60s vibe. I love the asymmetric style and the fact that the pink edging just really brings it to life.

Click here to view the dress on the Ted Baker website

Ted Baker Challenge - shoesThe shoes are a classic heel with a modern twist. The studs give it that really up to date look. The colour is fab and vibrant. It brings out the pink edging in the dress perfectly. The height of the heels adds a bit of glamour…

Click here to view the shoes on the Ted Baker website

Ted Baker Challenge - bagWho could resist this bag? It’s one of my favourite casual shapes – the bowling bag. But, like the shoes, it brings out the pink edging on the dress and really lifts the whole outfit. Oh, and it’s shiny!

Click here to view the bag on the Ted Baker website

What do you think? Where would you wear this outfit? I think it would be great at any big event where you want to make an entrance – weddings, summer parties etc. It’s a fresh summer look.

If you want to take part in the challenge, here’s the link – Ted Baker Challenge

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The sun’s out and so is the denim and check!

Well the sun appears to have finally started to show its face in the UK.

It’s encouraging me to get out all the denim and checked items I’ve been slowly collecting over the recent months. I’ve got a stash of them!

Denim shortsI’m working on levi shorts and other vintage cutoffs. These are being studded and having little extras added to them.

Some will have bleach effects too. I quite like to use bleach to create patterns in the material rather than just to lighten the denim.

Denim waistcoatI’ve also got some denim jackets which are being turned into sleeveless waistcoats.

I studded up a couple of maternity skirts last autumn and they were sold as soon as I put them online, so I have another couple of those to work on. They looked really cool and you won’t find anything like them in the High Street.

Checked shirtOn the shirts side of things I have some more of my popular re-worked checked and denim shirts. Some are going to be sleeveless and some will have roll up sleeves. They’ll also be studded.

These are a cool cowgirl or rockabilly style that can be dressed up or down and are perfect for holiday or festivals.

I couldn’t really get inspired to do these while we had the grey skies, even more so when everywhere kept getting covered in snow. The sun’s out and now these are getting a make over.

They’ll be up on the Etsy and eBay shops soon. Contact me if you want something special.

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?

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..

Yesterday was market day!

Barton's Sunday MarketYesterday we did our first stall at NOT the Camden Market in Beeston near Nottingham. They run on the first Sunday of every month and last month we went to have a look around, liked it, so decided to do our first ever stall there.

I knew that it would be different to our eBay and Etsy shops, so I wasn’t sure what stock to take, so had to take quite a mixture of goodies. This meant quite a lot of trips to and from the car, but it was worth it to see what things people liked at this market, rather than on the online shops. I also took along some new things that I hadn’t even tried online yet.

Well, we sold a few things and took a few orders, spoke to some lovely people, and made some new stallholder friends. It was also encouraging to have a few people say that their daughters would love the clothes we have and would bring them next time or point them in the direction of our online stores.

Also, we were asked a number of times if we would be at the next event as folks were already starting to think about Christmas pressies – we’d better get cracking on more Christmas stock!

Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market

Reworking, customising, fading and studding

I do like to mooch around the garden centre looking for plants that are a bit sad and neglected, and usually in the bargain bucket. I like to buy them, build them up and pop them in the garden or allotment. Most of my garden is stocked with bargain rack plants – and my garden is blooming nicely thank you!

I tend to also like mooch around charity shops and look through the rails to look for odd little items that look a bit sad and neglected. I like to try and think what I can do with them to revive them and make someone want them again.

Well I’ve been working my was through my pile and seeing what I can do with them. I posted an article a little while ago about reworking an old shirt and I’ve been doing some similar things to some other shirts.

Below is what I’ve done with a few shirts – mainly cutting and studding:Reworked and customised shirts at Quirky Purple

Here’s some of the cut of jeans/shorts that I’ve been working on – these have been cut, bleached, and studded:Reworked and customised denim shorts at Quirky Purple

Here’s a few skirts that I’ve recently customised – these have been studded mainly:Reworked and customised skirts at Quirky Purple

It’s quite nice seeing what they actually become as I don’t always know exactly what I’m going to do, and it kind of evolves as I work with the garment.

I’m always on the look out to try new things to try so I’d be interested to hear of any new projects I could try!

These reworked, customised items are available in our Quirky Purple Online Shop – happy shopping!

Big, bright and bold 80s

A little while ago I did a post about 80s colours – Sorbet, sherbet, candy cane – fashion that’s good enough to eat. That was more about the softer side of 80s colours. This week I’ve been posting up some vintage 80s clothes onto the Quirky Purple One Shop and they all seemed to be the bolder brighter 80s colours and it got me thinking.

As anyone who knows me or has read previous posts, you’ll know that I am a big fan of all things 60s. I properly discovered and became fanatical about the 60s in the late 70s. The 60s look was just starting to hit mainstream with films like Quadrophenia and then all the mod revival and Two Tone and ska bands suddenly hitting the charts.

This started a whole raft of 60s inspired clothes, colours and patterns in the High Street. Well, if you ignored the ra-ra skirts, leg warmers and hammer-pants…. The 60s and the 80s were both about big, bold and bright colours. Stripes and geometric patterns and of course big colour blocking was in – this didn’t have to just be the bright colours, but monochrome worked just as boldly with black and white contrast. That’s one of the keys here – contrast.

Anyway, as I was cropping the photos I’d taken of the dresses and playsuits it really struck me on how vivid some of this outfits are and the fantastic contrasts. Have a look at these:

Bright 80s coloursMore bright 80s coloursThey look fab don’t they? The other weird thing is that these are all original 80s vintage, but if you walk through the High Street you’ll see similar colors, patterns and styles. The great thing about wearing the originals though is that you are unlikely to walk into a room and see someone else wearing the same outfit!

Anyway, all the items pictured are either up for sale on our Quirky Purple Online Store or about to go up online.