Tag Archives: UK

Miss Candyfloss

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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The dress that spoke to me – I already have a coat like this, so the dress just completes the set, right?

I know, I know, another UK repro/retro clothing website, but as long as the UK keeps delivering the goods, I’m going to keep blogging about them.  Miss Candyfloss has been on my list to write about since earlier this fall, since they launched their “Femme Fatale” collection that, in my opinion, elevated them to the next level, with 40’s and 50’s-inspired pieces that were rich in color and style.

Do not let their terrible user interface deter you – there is good stuff here.  Start by following them on Facebook to see higher resolution photos of all the garments, particularly the aforementioned “Femme Fatale” collection, which looks both dance-friendly and work-friendly.  And while I don’t usually like polyester (some looks great, most looks not so great), these garments look so good that I took the plunge on one of their dresses over the weekend.  Also, plaid – there’s never enough plaid.  UK, you keep doing you and keep the plaid and tweeds coming…

Their attention to detail extends to the manufacturing process – from the website:

“Miss Candyfloss is manufactured within Europe under fair trade conditions, as we consider this as an important issue. Though sometimes hard to live up to for larger brands, Miss Candyfloss differ. The clothes aren’t mass produced in large factory lines, so things like working conditions, salaries and good item quality can be kept a closer watch upon. This also gives you, as a customer, a more long lasting quality where the products are made out of honest concern and care.”

Here are some of my favorites:

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Jumpsuits are so hot right now.  Green jumpsuits…

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The perfect fall plaid dress.

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Car coat with REMOVABLE CAPE

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Leonie-Rose red pencil dress

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Love love love the bow detail on this skirt.

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Gotta end on a beautiful green note…

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Chester Cordite – Modern Vintage Menswear

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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We should just start giving all our clothing money to the UK because I’m convinced this is where the giant hub of vintage reproduction clothing is located.  Thanks to a Reddit thread about trying to find suits for swing dancing, I’m now hip to Chester Cordite,  which offers “a modern take on classic styles from the golden age of 1930s and 1940s, producing limited edition suits and shirts with period influenced fabrics at splendidly affordable prices and all suits made in England.”  Chester Cordite got its start with that same frustration of not being able to find the right suits in good condition, and since necessity is the mother of invention, we have this company producing wonderful suits and shirts.

The suits are definitely custom, in gorgeous fabrics, perfect vintage-inspired cuts, and are fairly reasonably priced for custom work.  On an even more accessible level are their spearpoint collar shirts, which will give you an immediate vintage look (compare to modern shirt collars) for only 60 pounds (roughly $75 as of the date of this post), about what you would spend for a shirt at a nice menswear store in the U.S.  The shirts also come in an array of solid colors and stripes, which I love for dancers because most menswear-wearing dancers I know don’t commit to a jacket the whole night and it’s nice to have something classic other than a white dress shirt to complete your look.  All of the suits and shirts are paired with vintage ties in photographs on the website to give you an idea of how your vintage look will work.

Here are some of my favorites from the website:

 

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Just gorgeous – 3 piece suit with belt back, Buchan Hopsack

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This blue is a herringbone, yessssssss

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Sage check front…

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…and back!

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Cement gray stripe spearpoint collar shirt.

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Blue and black stripes for the spearpoint shirt.

 

 

 

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

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Can this be me? Please?

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Here we have yet another example of the UK absolutely killing the reproduction clothing market: The Seamstress of BloomsburyThe Seamstress of Bloomsbury, a clothing line of revived reproductions from and inspired by a woman who bore this nickname, Lillian Wells, who was seamstress to aristocratic families around the world.  The focus here is on 1940’s frocks and they’ve pretty much nailed everything down to the prints (which I find can be the hardest thing to get right, perhaps leaning toward the kitschy rather than fun and artful).

I am presently salivating over everything in the Seaside print and, with these reasonable prices, an order is inevitable…here are some of my favorites from the shop:

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Clara dress and bolero (and matching belt!) in the Seaside print – basically dying over here from the adorableness…

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Barbara wrap dress with slight ruffle in a navy blue print with little dogs – subtle, fun, classy, and I love the placement of the ruffle just slightly off the neckline.

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Because who doesn’t need a pair of black and white polka dot crepe de chine rayon wide leg 40’s trousers?

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This needs no explanation, other than if you don’t dig pants, it also comes as a dress.  CLASSY CLASSY CLASSY

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The Pearl Jacket – quintessentially 1940’s

SJC Spectator Crusade: Women’s Sizes & Small Men’s Sizes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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As you may have read in a post earlier this week, I wept tears of infinite sorrow that there were no Simon James Cathcart spectators in my size that I could order through SJC’s wonderful summer shoe Kickstarter, BUT THROUGH THE MAGIC OF THE INTERNET I have spoken with SJC and he has offered to make this shoe available to us sizes 7-8 US women’s/sizes 5-6 US men’s/sizes 4-5 UK men’s (I wear a US women’s 7) on one condition: he needs 8 of us to back the shoe at each size in order for it to be cost-effective for the factory to produce this size as a part of this run.

I wasn’t sure if could rustle up enough support from people wearing these shoe sizes, but this is such a quality, unique shoe that I thought there might be enough lady dandies or gents with smaller feet that we MIGHT be able to pull this off.  It can be any of the three colors, we just need 8 people to back the SHOE at each SIZE.

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Can I find 16 people who love this shoe and need it in their lives?  I know you’re out there!

A few more details on this marvelous shoe:

  • They are made by hand in Northampton (the shoe capital of England) on 1930’s lasts, so the shape is there from the start.
  • They will last a lifetime. How? They are “Goodyear Welted” (the gold seal of quality) which means as the soles wear out they can be easily replaced while the shoe remains totally intact.
  • The shoes are lined in soft calfskin for comfort, with a super comfortable cork footbed so your feet breathe.
  • They come in three gorgeous shades; Navy, Oxblood and Acorn – order whatever color you like, we only need 8 people to order a particular SIZE.
  • The real bargain here is they are going to be 2.5 times this price out in the real world and if we don’t do this, the real tragedy will be they will never be in our size.  NEVER AVAILABLE TO YOU EVER AGAIN.

As per usual Kickstarter, you don’t pay until the end of the project and you only pay if the project is funded.  If you are ordering a size 7  US women/ 5 US men/ 4 UK men OR for size 8 US women/6 US men/5 UK men, SJC has added a special early bird spectator reward/pre-order option just for us – you can see it if you scroll down “Lindy Shopper Deal” – click HERE if you want this shoe as much as I do!

 

Simon James Cathcart Spectators

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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SJC spectators in acorn.

I keep seeing Simon James Cathcart pop up in my newsfeed and in Facebook groups and everything I am seeing is just fantastic, not only for classic menswear in general, but also for swing dancers.  In September I blogged about his 1930’s jeans, something that dancers could wear for everyday and for a more casual dance look with or without vintage styling.  All of his stuff presents as carefully crafted, quality goods and I am all about those things!  How fancy is SJC?  This fancy: “For the past 12 months SJC has been quietly delighting dedicated devotees and attracting new fans from far and wide with limited edition runs of hard to find, high-end, vintage inspired pieces. More than a brand, this is a movement made up of over 200 of the earth’s most discerning menswear’ collectors. Led by Simon James Cathcart we have moved forwards with the meticulous design and construction of otherwise unobtainable pieces.”

We’re here to talk about these glorious two tone spectators, which are presently being sold through a Kickstarter (only 23 days left!) along with some equally sweet reproduction boots.  I’m going to lead with the fact that SJC has made these spectators in a wide range of sizes to fit both men AND some women (but not quite small enough for my feet *weeps*). UPDATE:  My size, US women’s 7/men’s 5 and US women’s 8/men’s 6 will be available – read the post here and then select the Lindy Shopper reward to get these sizes!

But why Kickstarter?

“Your pledge is going to help fund the production, materials and tooling costs involved with bringing back to life these historical classics. In return, you receive footwear at easily half of the retail price and will walk away wearing hand-crafted pieces of British footwear history.”

The price for these spectators via Kickstarter is around $223 USD (depending on the exchange rate) and that’s only slightly more than Remix and less than those holy grail Allen Edmonds you’ve been eyeballing.  Retail price is quoted at $600.  JUST LOOK AT THEM, this is a beautiful shoe.  I’m wiping away the drool from the corners of my mouth right now.  And can we talk about how you can never find a good looking navy shoe?  It’s kind of like the shrimp and grits rule, if the stellar navy shoes are on the menu, you get them.

To be clear, this is a summer shoe – the cream portions of the shoe are canvas, with the most of the rest of the shoe (including the lining) being made from leather.  The canvas is treated with Scotchguard to prevent marks.  Though, now I’m thinking of how cool it would be, once a pair of these did get scuffed up, to get an artists to custom paint the canvas portion of this shoe…a life and an afterlife!

I’m going to post a bunch of gorgeous photos of these shoes now – enjoy, and don’t forget that the Kickstarter ends soon!

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1930’s Style Collegiate Trousers from Heyday!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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I was elated to receive an email in my inbox this morning notifying me that Heyday!, my favorite place to buy high waisted women’s trousers, had launched a new men’s trouser, based on a vintage pair of 1934 trousers made by a tailor and found in Paris.  More details from the website:

“The wide belt loops are a celebration of what was new in style…belts! These are a real fashion forward trouser, and, most likely a young man’s trouser. (Older men were slow to trust a belt, and for awhile some men would wear both the fashionable belt and the trusty braces)  We found a really similar pair in the Sears catalogue, it’s youthful design suggested in the name. Another point to note is that they are drawn very wide, like Oxford bags, but in fact the measure at the hem matches our pattern.  Our pattern has been tweaked to fit better, as the original had some quirks, and now we have them available in our sturdy, medium weight fabric that has proved so popular with our dancers.”

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All the little details add up:

Wide belt loops and waistband.
Side buckle adjusters
Back pockets
Button fly with bar and hook fastening
Cuffs

Available in practical black and (brace yourselves) ivory – I have heard your complaints about menswear and summer pants and here is your modern reproduction that you can sweat in and not worry about ripping the seat.  Pair with a colorful lightweight jacket and a boater for a lawn party or a striped tee for a more casual look.

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Heyday’s Christmas Countdown

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The Judy dress even comes in a holiday-ready tartan.

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

A quick note to note that you should be following Heyday! on their Facebook page because they will be posting a different sale offer every day, from December 1 until Christmas!  This advent calendar of sales is great if you’ve been eyeing something in their shop and I can’t resist stocking up on their impeccable wide leg trousers.  It’s brilliant, really – it keeps you checking in every day to see what will be on sale!  Today’s special: take 10 pounds (roughly $15.00) off their adorable Judy dresses.

Collectif Clothing – 40’s and 50’s Inspired Clothing from the UK

Keyhole cable knit with a bow?  YESPLS

Keyhole cable knit with a bow? YESPLS

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I have been on the hunt for knitwear to pair with my Chloe Hong trumpet skirts to transition them into winter and fall. My conclusion is that most of the great knitwear I am finding is coming from the UK, so let’s start with one of my new favorite knitwear sources, Collectif Clothing. What’s this all about? From the website: “Established in the year 2000, Collectif is an independent 1940s and 1950s inspired vintage reproduction brand based in London. We create garments and accessories that are inspired by genuine vintage patterns, knitting patterns, and fabrics from our extensive archive.”

Of course there’s much more than knitwear here, and I’ve seen a few pieces pop up on other vintage/retro retail websites, like ModCloth and Miss L Fire (US shipping!). From blouses to knitwear to gowns to overalls, I love the variety available here – there’s lots of really good everyday basics to work into your wardrobe, casual or dressy, and you could put together an entire ensemble here or just pick up a few special pieces. Also, plaid…keep it coming, I can never get enough!

Here are some of my favorites from Collectif Clothing:

Perhaps the perfect holiday dress?

Perhaps the perfect holiday dress?

GEEZ, THIS COAT

GEEZ, THIS COAT

A lovely full "swing" skirt in red

A lovely full “swing” skirt in red

Where was this ivory blouse when I needed it years ago?

Where was this ivory blouse when I needed it years ago?

Flirty + sailor

Flirty + sailor

My mostest favorite!  This wonderful green Fair Isle sweater. :)

My mostest favorite! This wonderful green Fair Isle sweater. 🙂

Anna Chocola – Summer Cloches

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

In my quest for 1920’s cloches on eBay, I stumbled upon a cloche that looked like it could have been vintage from the thumbnail, but up close it was clearly new, but…it had that thing about it that made it a really good hat on its own. I find a lot of straw cloches for summer (Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, etc.), but rarely, if ever, do I see a modern cloche made of fabric that doesn’t look like…a turban, or something odd.

Anna Chocola‘s cloches look comfortable and cheerful, with a great shapes and lots of wonderful details – this is what led me to believe, at a distance, that a particular cloche of her design was vintage. The model for the shape of her hats is her great-grandmother’s cloche.

I am also thinking that a cotton cloche may be more versatile and danceable than a straw one – you’d have the advantage of keeping a vintage look, with the functionality of a cotton hat. I’m thinking, in particular, of one gent I know who has a supply of cotton newsboy caps that he brings and trades out at exchanges after they get too sweaty, then throws them in the wash when he gets home. I suppose we’d have to check with Ms. Chocola about how the hats would fare being washed, but I do like thinking that there is that possibility…

Here’s what I’m loving from her eBay store:

Choche with blue and white polka dots

A wonderful rose print cloche

Floral cloche

I would wear this one with a Hello Kitty pin or brooch on the side 😉

Electric Gypsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

While searching for 1930’s reproduction clothing, I stumbled across Electric Gypsy, a UK-based retailer of handmade reproduction clothing from the 1930’s through the 1980’s. For each decade, there are a few choice garments made with a selection of fabric options, and I was excited to see that they went as far back as the 1930’s. Don’t let the psychedelic graphics on the website fool you, there is good swing era-inspired stuff here.

From the website: “At Electric Gypsy we also have our own label of handmade vintage and retro inspired clothing. We use a mixture of original vintage fabrics and kitsch cool new fabrics. Many pieces are one-off or short runs, so you are guaranteed to find something that is unique and original, whether it be a 1960’s inspired shift dress or a 1950’s Rockabilly skirt with a modern twist. Each item is individually handmade by us in the UK. We create our designs by modernising vintage patterns, designing our own patterns from scratch and customising old vintage clothing.”

Here’s what I’m loving:

OMG this kick-pleat 1940's skirt

1940's sweetheart dress

1932 Midnight in Paris dress

1930's cape collar dress

1940's tea dress

1950's diner dress

Tara Starlet

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Lace Collar Dress

It’s been a while since I posted reproductions, so here is your reproduction retail fix: Tara Starlet is a UK based company that makes reproduction 1940’s and 1950’s clothing with an interest in recycling and creating eco-conscious products.

From the website: “We are advocates of recycling and we have a collection of original buttons and trimmings from our favourite era that we try to incorporate into our designs wherever possible, giving our collection true authenticity. Also we reinvent quality wool jumpers, injecting a bit of fifties glamour to give them a new lease of life! We use end of roll fabrics too, putting to good use what would otherwise be waste. This means that our designs are often made in a selection of different fabrics with a limited amount of garments in each, so you won’t find hundreds of other women wearing the same thing! On top of this, all of our clothes are made locally in London, to keep our carbon footprint dainty.”

I love the idea of reusing original materials – there is waste where there is leftovers, even from the 1940’s, and if we can reuse these notions and fabrics, it creates a really interesting hybrid vintage/new garment and eliminates the need for modern manufacturers to re-create these items. The original stuff is better anyway, right?

Here are some of my favorites from the shop:

Autumn Starlet Dress - adorable, and with sleeves!

Schoolgirl style + halter = awesome

Satin Sweetheart Dress

Sailor Blouse

Bright Sailor Slacks

Cosy Cape - how cute is this?

Heyday! Revisited

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s been a while since I checked on Heyday!, my favorite UK retailer of heavenly high waisted trousers, but I see that they have been busy. They have expanded their line of women’s and men’s clothing and have some pretty impressive and hard-to-find pieces at not unreasonable prices. Men can pick up some more casual style jackets, like the gab jacket or the Hollywood jacket, or some elegant 1940’s trousers. Women who are looking for separates will find several styles of adorable reproduction blouses, 1940’s style suits, dresses that are great for dances and work, as well as those famous trousers that make everyone’s bum look like a million bucks.

Here are my favorites from the website:

How sharp are these! Get your Gene Kelly on in the Anzac trousers, available in 9 colors

You just can't go wrong with these swing trousers - available in 14 colors

Fleur wrap dress, available in 6 prints

Hollywood jacket, an alternative to the traditional blazer

Olivia blouse - stinkin' adorable, in 11 colors

Want this suit!

Johnson Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

"A Brogue" oxford in brown and snake

I’ll keep the shoe theme going for another post…I stumbled upon Johnson Shoes in one of those lists of vintage clothing and shoe resources where most of the links are no longer working. Fortunately, the Johnson Shoes link still worked and I discovered a wonderful resource for 1930’s through 1950’s shoes for men and women. Based in the UK, Johnson Shoes has been selling hand crafted shoes since 1983.

From the website: “We always carry black, brown and white dance shoes, but all our ranges come in all colours. Different soles are available according to your needs. Whilst some styles and colours are in stock due to the fact we offer high quality handmade footwear so it can take a number of weeks to produce your shoes. We offer quality not speed.

Whether you want to dance all night or be comfortable all day we make quality footwear that caters for your needs. Whether you choose from one of the many designs you see on our site or design what you want it’s all in with the price.

Johnson shoes are dance orientated. We have jazz, rock and roll, swing, balboa and lindy-hop shoes, ballroom, and latin shoes, 40s jive, ceroc, leroc, salsa and jive shoes.

You can choose from a wide range of materials including, leather, suede, nubuck, patent, pony, non-leather and a choice of soles, leather, eva, suede , crepe and non-leather. We do all the above footwear from size 3 including half sizes to a ladies size 9 in selected styles and up to mens size 13”

You had me at Balboa…

In addition to custom footwear, Johnson Shoes carries some styles in stock, which are sold through the Rock and Roll Products website. The styles available in stock are also the styles you can customize.

Here’s what I’m loving from the site (there are no individual links, for some reason – sorry!):

Penny Loafer in black and white (I remember someone bemoaning Aris Allen discontinuing their white loafers...)

"Telephone" heels in gold and silver - I can't even begin to tell you how much I am in love with this pair of shoes

White bucks to go with your seersucker suit

"Spanish" shoe in purple with teardrop cutouts

Saddle shoe in brown and beige

"Clio" heels in brown croc

Vivien of Holloway

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Vivien of Holloway is a UK based retailer of 1940’s and 1950’s reproduction clothing. From the looks of their press page, the British glitterati are already in love with Vivien of Holloway’s designs – thank goodness for the Interwebs to bring us these goodies from across the pond! Check out their amazing photo gallery for some inspiring ways to wear their designs.

I’d like to thank my friend, DJ, and fellow clotheshorse Bill Speidel for this find.

Most of these items come in 10+ colors, so if you don’t like the color I posted, chances are there’s a color you will like. Also, if you like halter tops and dresses, this is your store. Here are some of my faves:

I am such a sucker for gingham dresses...

GINGHAM OVERLOAD

Turquoise linen sarong dress

Red pencil skirt

Gypsy top - rickrack FTW!

Petticoat/crinoline - an item that can be really hard to find unless you go digging in square dance land. They also come in multiple colors and are already the correct length for the dresses sold on the site.

Anchor belt - yes, please! Also comes in blue.

Cherry shoe clips!