Tag: Uptown Curls

It’s only Vivien of Holloway but I like it…

My brother married his lovely fiancée at the beginning of June. They tied the knot in Portmeirion in North Wales, which if you don’t know it, is a stunning location. It was built by eccentric architect Clough Williams Ellis, whose vision for an Italianate village led him to build in this charming valley in North Wales.

It was the setting for 1960s TV series The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan, which has become something of a cult classic.

The wedding was the first big event we’d been to as a family of three and my first chance to dress up post-baby! It was a lot of driving but we were very excited to stay in the beautiful Portmeirion Hotel (just behind Patrick in the photo above!) and explore the village together.


The village is beautiful, quirky, charming and really has to be visited, because every nook and cranny holds a delight.

But enough about that. On to the real reason for my post: the dress. And no, I don’t mean the bride’s dress. Hers was very nice but it wasn’t vintage inspired. I decided to go for a Tiki theme as I’d been asked to play my ukulele in the wedding ceremony. I looked through all my favourite websites but this beauty from Vivien of Holloway (http://www.vivienofholloway.com )caught my eye.

I’m a big fan of Vivien of Holloway (my wedding dress was VofH!) and this dress didn’t disappoint. The only thing I find difficult is the sizing. They don’t marry up to high street sizes and you have to try and order from your measurements – but mine never seem to match a size that works on me so I have a lot of ordering and returning by mail order until I find what fits.

The fabric was great – nice weight cotton mix that hung beautifully. I paired it with a green petticoat (also VofH) and some wedges from White Stuff few years back. I find having a baby on your arm/shoulder/hip makes most jewellery impractical these days, so I decided against the bamboo bangles and silver pendant I’d like to have worn! I did of course, put a flower from Claire at Uptown Curls in my hair!

The fit was great, it nipped me in at the waist and was snug across the bust. The halterneck, although not adjustable, worked perfectly. Best of all, there was yards and yards of lovely full circle skirt to skim out over my petticoat.

Later on in the evening I got to sing a number with the band – that’s a pint of water, I promise!

Lovely sister and me, posing in front of the stunning views.

I think I carried out my hula girl duties satisfactorily and a good time was had by all.

It is with hazy summer memories I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Wedding hair and Make up but I like it!

Hair Claire

I met Claire Byrne through a Facebook group for vintage lovers in my area. I asked a question about where to buy hair accessories for my hair and was immediately pointed in Claire’s direction. She’s been cutting my hair ever since and also gave me some hair flowers to review. My sister and I modelled for her at a vintage fair recently too. I knew exactly who i wanted to do my hair on my big day – its not just anyone who can achieve the things that Claire can achieve. She knows exactly what she’s doing and is experienced in creating vintage up dos, classy styles and super curls.

Hair Claire 2

Flo Westbrook was very enthusiastic when she took photos of me getting ready! There are lots and they’re all fabulous! When I said I wanted my hair down and curly Claire knew exactly what to do! She started with a wet set and left me drying while she got started on the bridesmaid’s hair.

iso hair

Iso had a little wave at the front and then a gorgeous big purple orchid – handmade by Claire of course!

Mol hair

Molly has lovely, long thick hair and so we gave her a big thick ponytail, a matching ribbon and a little wave at the back with a pink orchid.

Mol hair 2

Jess had some lovely curls and a little white orchid.

Jess hair

We all had fun choosing from Claire’s box of delights!

hair claire flowers

Sharon Dawson is a friend of Claire’s and was our Make Up artist for the day. Just like Claire she was very easy going and really put us all at ease.

Sharon MUA

I don’t wear a lot of make up so was happy to be advised by Sharon on what to choose.

polly MU

I love the smoky eyes she gave me and it’s inspired me to try recreating the look myself!

Polly MU4

I don’t normally wear foundation but the one Sharon used was very light and breathable.

Polly MU2

As you can see the overall look was stunning.

Polly MU3

The only input I had into my make up was asking if we could use my Besame Cherry Red lipstick. I just love the shade on me – it’s very bold but I do think it works!

Hair Claire 3

Then I headed back to Claire for the finishing touches to my barnet!

Polly Hair

Some anxious looks here – looking a bit Martha Reeves?

Polly Hair 2

polly hair final

She teased all my curls into the right places and we added a white orchid and a teal orchid.


I’m so pleased with my finished look – so very vintage and perfect for me! Claire and Sharon were just amazing and so very easy to be around on a potentially stressful morning! The last 20 minutes before we left the house were mad – I had three people trying to get me into my shape wear, then my dress and not lose all my make up in the process! I can’t believe how great I look in the photos and wish I could call on Claire and Sharon every morning!

It is with a desire for live-in Hair and Make up artists I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Wet Set but I like it…

In honour of my Hen Do I decided to have another go at a Wet Set. For the uninitiated, a wet set is a method of curling your hair using rollers. You know in old films you see housewives with their hair in curlers, wrapped in a headscarf? That’s a wet set in progress. Wives would have their hair in curlers all day and whip them out and style their hair quickly just before their husbands came home from work. I’m not sure why they bothered as, if 1940s husbands were anything like the Dr (my fella), they probably wouldn’t have noticed if their wives had a scooped out pineapple on their head!


I did have a go at a wet set when my hair was a bit shorter here but not for any event, just for fun.

I had some help from bloggers By Gum By Golly and Retro Chick and I grabbed all the equipment I needed from Superdrug and Boots. I’m still learning but I love the effects and I think I might try and do a few more over the next couple of months and see if I can perfect a technique that works for my hair.

I decided to add some curls as part of my Hen Do prep. I had the house to myself so I had a nice long bath, opened a bottle of Babycham, washed and conditioned my hair and then put my hair up in curlers with a spritz of Setting lotion.


I used sponge rollers and then put my hair up in a cotton scarf. I don’t mind sleeping in curlers actually – some people find it very disruptive. I found them less annoying than the Dr’s snoring!!


The next morning they were all still there – I have been known to tear unruly rollers out in my sleep!


This is the point at which I got very excited, cos: CURLS!

I combed the curls through gently with my fingers and teased through a smudge of Boots Curl Creme. I added a beautiful spray of orchids from Uptown Curls and I was good to go!

image image image image

I was very happy. And I definitely prefer it to a scooped out pineapple. The Dr has yet to comment on it…

It is with a curly top I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Uptown Curls but I like it…

Uptown Curls is the brainchild of Claire Byrne who is a mobile hairdresser based in Southampton. I got to know Claire through a Southampton Vintage Facebook group.


Claire has been a hairstylist for many years and has a lot of experience in, amongst other things, vintage styles. She has styled my hair for several events and is actually going to be the stylist for my wedding day.


Not it only is Claire experienced and skilled but she is very down to earth and great at putting you at your ease. I think we’ve all experienced those 7 foot tall, perfectly turned out, rather sniffy stylists who like to tell you how your hair should look, well that’s not what you get with Claire! She’s easy to talk to and eager to give you the style you desire.


Claire not only styles hair but also makes her own fabulous hair decorations. She kindly sent me some to review and I’ve been using them for the last few weeks. I have to say the quality is fantastic. They are lovely quality flowers and well constructed. I remember buying some from a leading accessory store as a teenager and they lasted only a few wears before fraying and falling apart!


Claire is available for styling for events, weddings, and can often be found at vintage fairs in the south. She also does ‘hair parties’ where she brings along a pop up salon and will do haircuts for as many people as you can fit in your house! I had one at half term and my friends and their tinies had lots of fun drinking tea, eating cake and getting bargain cuts from Claire.

My sister and I did some modelling for Claire recently at a Yellow Vintage Fair. We had a lovely day, got a lovely hair do and hopefully got Claire some new customers to boot! Please check out Claire’s Facebook page: Uptown Curls .


It is with a desire for a ‘Claire do’ everyday I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I was given some of these items to review, but the views, as always, are my own.*

It’s only Nomads but I like it…

You may remember I reviewed a beautiful Nomads (www.nomadsclothing.com ) dress back in the Spring (http://itsonlyvintagebutilikeit.com/fashion/its-only-nomads-clothing-but-i-like-it/)  . Well, I was lucky enough be offered another fab dress from their summer range to review.


This stunning teal patterned halter neck dress was a joy to wear. I’m a big fan of the colour teal and I think the pink and maroon notes also in the pattern really set each other off. The maroon was a great match for my hair tone incidentally! A halter neck dress always has a vintage feel for me – redolent of those stunning 1950s halter necks teamed with up-dos and killer heels!


 As you can see it’s a lovely fit on me. I only started wearing halter neck dresses a few years ago when I discovered that, with the right bra, they can work pretty well with a fuller bust. One of my bug bears with them is that sometimes they don’t fit well around the torso, slipping down either at the front or the back and leaving the back of your bra on show. Not so with this one. I wore it all day on a shopping trip into town and kept checking myself – no bra in sight! It was a size 14 and perfect on me.


The skirt is quite full without being too heavy and the soft cotton is nice and breathable for hot summer days. The fabric had a slight ‘crinkle’ to it, making it perfect for packing in a suitcase. I think it could stand being packed, and then still look fab with nothing more than a quick shake – my kind of holiday wear!


Nomads kindly included a lovely soft white cotton shrug to complement this dress – this would be perfect to take along to a day at the beach or an evening event. This was made from organic cotton (as is a percentage of Nomads clothing) and it feels divine. It has some gentle shaping at the cuffs and would definitely keep the chill of a summer evening at bay.


Again, it was a 14 and true to size on me, sitting snugly at the front and back.


I accessorised the dress with a pair of wedges from White Stuff (www.whitestuff.com) and a flower in my hair made by local hair stylist Claire Byrne (https://www.facebook.com/Uptowncurlsuk ). Claire will get her own post soon! Her flowers are gorgeous and worked so well in this outfit.

I adore the feel and quality of Nomad’s clothing. I have worn the other dress I reviewed lots and had so many comments on it. You definitely need to go and check out there website where they currently have many items on sale. Seriously, what are you still doing here?!


It’s the first time in a while I’ve used my camera and I seemed to have forgotten everything I learnt, resulting in about 20 minutes of dark, out of focus photographs and me almost in tears with frustration. Eventually it all came flooding back and I enjoyed taking these using my beautiful spare room as a backdrop!


Temper, Temper!

It is with dreams of teal summer days I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

*I was given these items to review, but the views expressed, as always, are my own.*