It’s only Tala but I like it…

I have been short changing you, readers. I promised to give you the details of my vintage home and wardrobe and so far I’ve only provided 50% of that.

This is partly due to the fact that my current home is in the middle of the desert in Abu Dhabi and it’s a modern one bedroom flat. It doesn’t cry vintage. Also, given that I was pretty sure I’d only be here a short while, and the main reason for being here was to save money, I have not invested a huge amount in home furnishings. Just enough to make it feel homely – and most of that is from Ikea because home stores are not many and varied in the Middle East.

Still, I did once have a British home and I did grow up in the UK, so I am going to share with you one of my favourite kitchenware brands.

My Mum tells a story about being with my paternal grandmother one afternoon when I was baby. Mum was thinking out loud that she couldn’t decide what to give me for my tea and my Nan suggested jelly and disappeared off to the kitchen returning with these jelly moulds.

tala jelly moulds

I own these now. Mum has passed them on to me, still in their original packaging and there is something so special about them. I like that story. I like the fact they’ve been handed down through the generations. I like the fact that Tala has been producing kitchen staples since 1899. I have picked up various bits of vintage Tala from Car boot sales and the like, but I also love the retro items they have bought out in the last few years. A few lovely things have made their way into my Christmas stocking courtesy of my Mum. I love the idea that one day I might pass them on to my daughter or granddaughter.

I’m moving in with DrP when I move back to the UK in July and in an attempt to improve his woefully resourced kitchen I treated myself to a few online purchases recently. I’d always wanted one of these and now I have one!

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It is with a nostalgic look I say:

 

It’s only vintage but I like it…

 

Oh, and: That cute Collectif dress? Here’s a video of me singing whilst wearing it. It looks stunning. I won’t tell you the sad of story how I ruined it in the washing machine after just 2 wears 🙁

 

It’s only Collectif but I like it…

I know I’m long overdue a post but I’ve been on holiday back in the UK. This is wonderful for several reasons. First and foremost I get to see DrP and secondly I get to shop for vintage things in place that actually has some idea what that means – Abu Dhabi has yet to become acquainted with the gloriousness that is vintage! I made several purchases whilst at home and have quite a few new vintage themed items in my work wardrobe. This has been genuinely pleasing, meaning I have thrown out lots of saggy, baggy trousers and cardigans that were 2 sizes too big (remember that weight loss I told you about?) and exchanged them for sexy dresses that nip me in at the waist and make me feel like I’m in an episode of Mad Men (without the smoking, alcohol and sex with my boss)! I’m going to do a big shout out to my new found love: Collectif – I had been perusing their website and watching out for items on eBay, but imagine my delight on a day trip to Brighton when I spied one of their shops in the North Laines. Finally a chance to see if their sizing was accurate and their clothes nicely made. The actual store is lovely – nice layout, lots of space and a pretty mezzanine level. I had a good look around and noticed some sale items up in the Gods. There I found me this beauty – perfect for work wear right?

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I’ve worn it once and had so many comments. My TA asked why I didn’t wear this kind of stuff all the time. Good question. From now on I will. I also bagged another bargain in the Sale section. This one has yet to be worn, but I’m off to a brunch this weekend as well as a boat trip, so I think it  might get its first outing!

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I will try to sort out some photos of me in them… I loved the store, I loved the staff and I will definitely be making more purchases.

It is with a satisfied smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a brand but I like it…

So everyone commits to vintage to their own degree right?

Some people have homes entirely decorated in the style of a certain period. Some wear the clothes day in and day out, but have a modern furnished home. Some just choose aspects of the fashion to enjoy.

For me, I’m enjoying the styles of the 40s and 50s but I like to mix them with my own, slightly quirky fashion sense. I love the dresses the most. I’m working up to some shorts and trousers but a little more weight loss may be needed first. Sometimes this mix works, sometimes it doesn’t, but in the case of the latter: my family don’t comment, my friends embrace anything I wear and DrP (my boyfriend) is far too well brought up to point out he’d prefer it if I didn’t go out with a banana on my head.

This all brings me on to favourite brands. I’m still learning (this is a journey, remember?) but so far these are the bad boys that set my heart on fire and have me dreaming of their products until I succumb late at night, clutching my credit card in my sweaty hand, looking guiltily from left to right.

For shoes, it has to be Irregular Choice:

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I love their low heels – I’m not a high heels kinda girl, plus I can spend all night dancing on these delicious articles with nary a twinge the next day! I must admit to owning these Trinkletina Low Heels in blue, green and purple!

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I have the matching bag to go with these and love teaming it with my red retro dress…

When it comes to jewellery I love Tatty Devine. I love their quirky designs. I love the name necklaces, the fact that they will personalise things for you and they have a great Care Team for when things tragically get broken.

Several of their necklaces lend themselves to vintage stylings:

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This is some of my Tatty collection and I think the little librarian specs, fox and the anchor are fab. I love teaming them up with retro dresses. The best thing about Tatty for me is that your rarely see anyone else wearing it and you get dozens of comments! I have become known as ‘The-girl-who-wears-the-banana-necklace’ in the ex-pat community of Abu Dhabi.

All because of this huge, suggestive, flirty momma:

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Tatty Devine = FUN!

As you may remember I’m growing my hair and so I’ve just purchased a few exciting hair accessories from Hatastic on Folksy.

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I especially love this, can’t think why! I’ll be teaming them up with something pretty and showing the full effect soon!

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In terms of clothing, I use Ebay lots and sometimes they’re vintage, sometimes just a cheap brand. it doesn’t really matter to me if I like the styling of the dress.

At Christmas time I did fall in love with this Rockin Robin dress from Amy Laws on Folksy:

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Hell Bunny, Collectif and a few others are new discoveries but I have yet to make a purchase so I shall save that for another update…

For now, I shall say with sweaty palms:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

Its only Hair but I like it (revisited!)…

So it came out a little darker than I expected but I think it’s ok…

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Sorry for the blurry selfie! I live on my own (for now) so no-one available to take my pic for me!

So the next step is experimenting with things to do with it while I wait for it to be the length I want. I tried some clips and an Alice band but I’m not happy with either result. Any ideas?!ImageImage

It is with a slightly confused face I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

 

It’s only hair but I like it…

So to the thorny issue of hair.

I chopped all my hair off aged 21. It was part of something bigger. It was a statement, but it suited me and I was happy with not having to fuss with it too much. I’ve been very happy until recently. For a while I’d started to feel like it just wasn’t quite ‘working’ for me anymore. I’d loved it but I wanted to do other things. I wanted hair again. Big Hair. Victory rolls, curls, swingy bits.

So I’ve gone, ever so slowly, from this:

Short hair

To this (make up and hairstyle for a show I was in – don’t usually wear that much blusher!:

pink mohawk

To this (apologies):

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And today, for the first time in ages, I’m actually dying it. I’m proud of my hair. I like the way it feels. It’s gone through many annoying, kinky, wavy stages, but it’s finally getting to the point where I can do things with it. Only, as I was gathering it and twisting it in the mirror the other day, I noticed how grey it was around my temples. Hmmm. Darn.

So here’s a before shot:

before

And I’ll be back with an after…Unless it’s a disaster!

In the meantime, can you start giving me some suitably vintage hairstyle to practise with my length of hair?

It is with soggy shoulders I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a dress but I like it…

So it all started for me with a dress.

I didn’t wear dresses for many a year. I was quite fat. Then I was sad and I got really fat. Then I was single and started eating less and moving more and I was less fat. And I learned to be proud of my curves and I learned that attraction is a strange thing and that I wasn’t as unattractive as I’d thought. In fact, this dating lark proved to be quite good fun and quite a boost to my ego.

So back to dresses.

My first dress was from Fat Face and it was a skater dress. One day I happened upon some snow unexpectedly and this happened:

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It’s not vintage I know but it’s a stepping stone. I loved it. I still love it. I still have it.

Now I am one of those cautious types (in some situations at least) and when I have a new phase or obsession I wait to see if it takes root before investing lots of money in it. That said, my first fit-and-flare style dress was this yellow bad boy and it was about 15 pounds from Matalan.

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I accessorised it with a coral scarf with a banana print. Love that scarf.

Since then my favourites have been these:

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Red spots from M&Co. Took a lot of guts to put this one on. It’s very snug around my waist and bust…

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This one was a cheapy one from eBay, it’s not vintage but the styling is –  obviously.

The dresses are thing that really caught my imagination. I love the way they feel. I love the way they look. I love the comments I get. I love that fact no one else will be wearing them. Recently, I have taken my first dip into genuine vintage. It’s turquoise, it has roses on it and I think I’m in love. I bought it on ebay and it’s waiting for me back in the UK and I think about our first meeting everyday.

It is with a wistful heart I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only Vintage but I like it…

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Dress from Phase 8. Apologies for the selfie!

So here I am.

A curvy Welsh girl who has developed a penchant for all things old. Well, I think I always liked old stuff actually. I grew up in a house full of old things that seemed to be knocking about for no other reason than they were valued for their eccentricity.

It’s only recently I’ve become what I would term a ‘girly girl’. I started wearing dresses about 2 years ago. I started wearing lipstick 6 months ago. I wear low heels only. This blog is very much documenting my journey.

I’m Polly. I’m in my 30s. I’m currently a teacher in the Middle East but I come back to the UK in July. It is with a fluttering heart I say:

Its only vintage but I like it…