Love at Lou Lou’s…

 

I got a few little cute pieces when I visited Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair when it came to Bristol recently. I couldn’t wait! I enjoyed leafing through the racks of the fine gowns and cases of jewels, but being the little thrift troll that I am, the real joy came from searching though the baskets of weird bags, rails of sale items and poorly little dresses needing zips or darns and the broken jewellery that made my heart squeal at the thought of what it could look like freshly mended.

 

 

Some of the treasures went sraight to my little shop The Whimsy Thrift which I lovingly tend to each week on my days off from work. But some stayed home with me! I mean that’s only fair right?

 

I thought i’d style them up a little and show off to you guys…..

Inspiration all the days.

Here are some amazing ladies that inspire me all the time for their amazing styling and lovely lovely warm personalities…

http://www.ashleyording.com/

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Although not active on her AMAZING blog so much these days, her instagram is gorgeous and honestly I have been besotted with her style since finding her blog maybe 8 years ago! She can sing, ballroom dance, wears the most incredible vintage dresses, go follow her she’s amazing!

http://www.pinkvintageheart.com/

Next up we have the beautiful Leigh…

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Second up, is a new treasure! I only just found her and I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without her inspiring style. She wears almost all vintage and Oh. My. Gosh. The way she puts her outfits together are amazing. Simple and chic but totally unique her adorable sense of style makes me so excited! Total girl crush right here!

Last but not least the incredible Rebecca Ramsdale her style is so cool, seriously cool.

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She puts together feminine cuteness with androgenous tomboy styling. It’s perfect. In additon to this super cool little loves blog and instagram she has a brilliant Youtube channel. She is so so sweet and just the most adorable personality, she’s the kind of sweetheart that you just think “be my buddy!”

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There are a million more that I swoon over but these three should just keep you going for inspiration and make your styling dreams come true!!

WT x

My shop baby.

Whimsy Thrift oh how I love thee!

I would like to introduce my very own little shop. She’s a tiny space in a vintage co-operative which houses many traders selling their antiques and uniquecollections.

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I sell clothing and accessories, pretty little bits all vintage or thrifted and I love it.

I go down there as often as I can and make it look as pretty as possible. It’s a dream come true to curate my own little shop, even if it doesn’t have any walls!

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These little shoes are made in Italy and behind are little painted jugs made in England (sigh).

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I’ve just added more stock in for spring/summer. Silk florals and polkadots, lace ruffles in sugar pink and peach. Even though the weather on this day was pouring with rain my little shop sung sweetly of an Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday.

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Tiny hand painted vases and glasses, trinket dishes and cut glass tea plates…

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The teeny mint green sugar bowl is filled with vintage apricot rose buttons!

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And there you have it! My little shop updated and ready for another busy week (I hope!).

WT xx

Un Chapeau…

If you had asked me a few years ago if I was a fan of accessories I would’ve probably responded “nah not so much”.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere along my styling journey, I slid into being a full blown accessories addict. It totally snuck up on me and one of my true loves, that I just can’t get enough of is hats.

 

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As you can see, the styles i’ve gathered are all so different, but that’s their joy. A little hat can be a game changer for an outfit, the simplest most uninspiring styling can be (excuse the pun..) turned on it’s head by the use of a cool chapeau.

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This vintage fedora above was gifted to me by a dear friend who indulges my love of a good hat, she’s right there with me (but much cooler) endulging in a great wide brim to make her outfits incredibly chic.

Honestly, truly, at first I thought that everyone would be staring and judging me.

“Who does she think she is???!” I thought the outraged citizens of Exeter would scold under their breathe as I scurried past in my arrogant head wear. But as the universe constantly reminds me, in the scheme of world events, my styling experiments and a jaunty little beret does not register in the minds of, well, anyone!

So my confidence grew and my love of experimenting which easily runs wild has meant that a cute little pill box, beret, straw hat or cloche has become a source of complete styling joy…

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….And with this crazy mop of hair who can blame me!

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WT xx

Time travelling..

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An unexpected part of my new job has been to model some of the stunning new arrivals.

I can’t really express in words how amazing every part of that is.

I’m in no way confident in front of the camera, and having recently put on a tonne of weight I do a lot of breathing in! But my lovely boss has a way of directing me so that we not only have such a giggle we get such lovely pictures.

The clothes I get to wear make my heart leap, above the beautiful sage green Ossie Clark dream dress, with incredible collar and covered buttons and balloon sleeves.

Below an original 1940’s Princess coat in the palest mustard. The shoes real snakeskin platform heels from the 1940’s which were bespoke made for their original owner.

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Below are the most adorable 1920’s silk embroidered pyjamas, the work that went into these was truly incredible. They were in amazing condition and paired with these little flapper shoes (that i’m saving up to buy!) I felt amazing.

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Ok.

So this dress.

Original 1940’s Christian Dior, which had it’s skirt completely reconstructed from duchess satin, as the oringal silk was almost compleley rotten. The way it was constructed is just beautiful. Tiny hook and eye fastenings, little cap sleeves, it was so heavy and I felt a gazillion dollars.

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Add in an amazing sequin perch hat and those killer heels again (i’m pretty short!) and that beautiful dress was just glowing in the afternoon light.

Dreamy.

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My true self – no elegance to be found!

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All dresses, accessories and much more besides are available now at, www.willowhilson.com

WT xx

Snow bunny…

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I find for me, most days can be brightened by the donning of a pretty dress.

So when the onset of a sunday snowday stopped plans in their tracks for me I obviously thought that it was the perfect back drop for me to pop on one of my prettiest vintage lace numbers. I hadn’t had a chance to wear this so obviously below zero temperatures was the perfect moment.

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Thanks goes out to the -1 temperatures and my sweet friend for making me laugh (she thought I was crazy! ha!)

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If the dress says party time then well….

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Dress, shoes and bobble hat all thrifted vintage.

 

x x

A little shop update..

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After the longest time of procrastinating my little shop is starting to take shape.

It is far from perfect and I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced anything similar when starting an online shop – even one as small as mine – but whenever I have taken pictures of my stock, I have felt that it hasn’t represented me or the way I had hoped it would look. Which is so frustrating and feels so inconsistent.

In a sense my personal style is the same. I am split into two ways. For example on the one side I hate owning more than I need, anything I buy always needs to be fit for purpose and I feel I must have bordered on seeming callous at times as I rarely keep anything unless I completely adore it or it is truly sentimental.

Then there is the other side of me and this side LOVES EVERYTHING.

I see the potential in every shoe, belt and dress, I dream about putting outfits together all day every day, with stripes and florals and lace and beading all of which must make me look like a total loon when i’m thrifting, trolling around charity shops with armfuls of mismatched goodies.

 

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Silk shirt, Mohair tank and Woven bag all available @thewhimsythrift

I’m telling you this I think so that you understand a little more about me, my evolving style and the process I go through when choosing treasures for my shop.

Or maybe also a little selfishly, I think to perhaps excuse my little shop and I somewhat, while she and I find our feet and of course some perfect little shoes too.

xx

Today i’m a size 16

 

 

Working in retail for a long time now I have handled many different styles of clothes and I have helped to nurture the confidence of many different women. The one thing – and I include myself in this – that most of these women had in common was there “number”…

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Whether we blame it on THE media…your media, your mum, dad, mean girl at school that left her mark, we are all aware of our body type and size, the things we don’t like and the hangups we carry around with us, including that magic number that we often hold onto no matter what. On top of the emotions linked to our size, the labyrynth of womenswear sizes on the high street leading us down our own yellow brick road of trials and mistakes doesn’t help us in the slightest.

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I have adivsed so many women that fit is a far better guide when choosing an item than a printed label can ever be, but it’s hard you know?! It’s so hard to let go of the size you think you ‘should’ or worse ‘could’ be. Even though we all know that every store and every brand sizes differently, it can be really tough to accept that we may be two or more sizes bigger than we usually are.

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When I go thrifting, I am exposed to such a random range of items with all manner of sizes. Vintage sizing is in general cut much smaller than our current ready to wear styles of fast fashion, which has made me reasses sizing completely and has definitely made me far less precious about what size I think I am. The benefit of being exposed to all these exciting and varied treasures has been that when I see something I love, I grab it, no matter what the label tells me.

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I have very limited dressmaking skills (see NONE) but I know that I can try and take a treasured find in or up, I can see the potential in items and how they could work differently if belted or layered and it opens up a world of new styling possibilites. The dress I am wearing in these pictures is a size 16. I am usually a 10-12, but it is an amazing silk mix, heavy weighted with amazing monochrome print, I loved the potential it had.

Knowing that with a few tweaks and some key accessories you can turn something into an amazing individual outfit makes me so excited! It also gives some respite from seeking trends in high street stores, with it’s traditonal sizing which can make you feel flat and uninspired. Wherever you shop, take a risk, try sizing up, try shopping in the mens or childrens departments, don’t focus on being a “perfect 8,10,12…” focus on being so excited and comfortable in what you choose to wear each day that it lifts you up, so there is no number to hold you back.

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Stares off dreamily into the distance trying to remember the last time she was a size 8……

(also avoiding the mountain of paperwork behind her..bleurgh)

 

x x