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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Whimsy Thrift

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It has been a long time that I have thought about trying… trying out a blog, maybe trying out styling and maybe even selling sweet little clothes and accessories, but for every small dream that came to mind, my mind found ten reasons to march those hopes right out of ever being a reality.

I spent years putting all my energy into other peoples dreams and aspirations and happily so, I loved helping visions come to reality. But the dreams wouldn’t disappear and I would fall alseep every night planning outfits and have so many ideas going around I felt that my brain I could explode!

By and by the time presented it’s self to me to finally give a little space to let my hopes and dreams breathe, terrified, full of doubt I have begun to take small steps toward all the little hopes i’d dreamt of.

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And so The Whimsy Thrift was born, she has a little Instagram page, her very own Depop shop and even a treasured space at a local vintage trading co – operative, my own little teeny shop space that I can curate exactly as I please, without compromise, that in it’s self is a dream come true.

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I have no great expectations other than the sincere relief it feels to tentatively step forward to try and do something just for me.

Got to be worth facing a little fear right?

x x

 

 

Silver, Snowy, Frosty…

 

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I wasn’t sure where to begin with this post, It feeks like such a huge topic and I knew I could write for days which would be really dull!

So I thought I could start with me at the age of 17 (not the image above I assure you- that was a time before selfies!) This was the time when I first saw a considerable amount of not grey but pearly white hair.

By 22, there was more than a scattering…and honestly I felt more than embarrassed I was completely mortified!

Where and how I was living in my early twenties didn’t provide me with even the remotest possibility of embracing my early dealings with my ever increasing silvery locks. I mean it didn’t even cross my mind as an option.

So I dyed it, and then some more and more and more.

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As time went on and I reached my late twenties, the condition of my hair was just grim! I could snap the ends of my hair off, the dye and constant use of straighteners (I also fought my natural curls!) had made it so brittle, the layers of dye so absolute there was no healthy virgin hair left underneath.

Through my early thirties I really started to begin to get to know myself a little more, my style started to develop and eventually aged 36 – with more grey than colour showing through every two to three weeks, I decided to grow out the grey.

Years of research, constant thinking about it, what it may look like, what would people think…what would the people I KNOW think! Would I look old, ugly, unattractive? I got to the point that none of these was great enough to stop me, I wanted to give it a try.

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I have to say I also found the support of an amazing hairdresser. With her support and a lot of patience, it took me just under a year to grow out my colour. I had dared myself to have conversations a dozen times before with my hairdressers, tentatively broached the subject only for it to be shut down. The attitude amazes me still, not so much shock on their faces, but the same resolute “not an option” mentality I had myself had ten years before. The right person to really hear you really boosts your confidence, or having the ability to be assertive when sat in the chair – a skill I have never aquired

When I googled ‘grey hair’ these were the terms that came up..

‘frosty, silvery, snowy”

Not too bad right, wait for it…

“ancient, broken down, exhausted, getting-on, impaired, senior,wasted”

What?!

All these terms associated with “going grey” – that’s nuts! Not even a “wise or dignified” type synonym, that I could cope with!

This whole journey has been bigger than I realised, not only through my own personal journey of self image and how I see myself as a (fairly!) young women  (add into this pre – conceived ideas about a women in her late thirties without children) but the bigger view of negative image of women with grey hair and the seemingly enevitable link with being on the decline.

I’ll write more about this seperately as it’s a whole topic on it’s own, but in a nutshell, how we percieve men as “silver foxes” to be even more handsome and mysterious, intelligent and desirable than there previous selves. Yet I, at 37 with shiny grey hair, in great condition, happy and without coming across as a total ego, not a total troll, has been recieved with shock, being told I am brave, incredibly over familiar questioning by complete strangers and “comforting” words of reassurance that I am indeed, lucky it suits me. *

*Also an interesting side note to say that all of the above comments and stigma came from other women, also perhaps conditioned in the same way?

My natural hair colour, silvery white with my previous super dark brown peeking through, has been viewed as a condition I am bravely facing rather than, well just my hair!

I am still adjusting to my new colouring, being naturally very fair skinned I am now re-learning the colours that suit me and make up that brightens me.

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Mentally however I am very proud of my myself for taking the decision forward and pleased with my hair and day to day, I don’t think about it being different anymore. My only feeling now, is that I wish I had been less concerned with what people may think and had found the courage to do it years before.

 

X

 

That’s a fine nightdress you’ve got yourself into…

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This post is an ode to a sweet little summer dress I had been dreaming of for a year before I could get my hands on it.

A fresh white light dotted swiss cotten, slightly sheer with a high round neck, long sleeves, the cuffs with tiny little buttons to close them. Knee length and completely simple, it is hands down the most versatile dress I have ever owned.

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I have styled it with vintage collars (of which i have numerous!), roll neck jumpers underneath, little shirts peeking through, belts, trousers, you name it, it makes me feel cute as a button!

This occasion I felt inspired to finish it off with little patent mary janes and school girl ankle socks and leopard! More than a dash of leopard!

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Leopard coat thrifted, Gold pendant necklace Cabinet Jewellery, Cotton dress Samsoe Samsoe, Mary Janes old Next, Socks topshop.

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Add a sprinkling of moody expressions in your back yard and voila! A triumphant little white dress.

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(Definitely thinking about having a tea….)

x.x