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Thursday 20 June 2013

Sluttishly Vintage: Let's Go On A Summer Holiday

Woo-hoo, we've been going summer holiday crazy recently, with all this talk of swimsuits, sandals and sunscreens. It's only fair that the vintage column gets to go on a holiday too. I'm focusing on 1950s and 60s summer style, and a mixture of glamorous jet set and the great British seaside. Ready to take off?

Summer is a great time for wearing vintage. You can experiment with those patterns which appear a bit full on in winter months but somehow look completely right when accessorised with sunshine. And, as gorgeously illustrated by the Tara Starlet collection, the appeal of a lovely cotton dress on a summer's dress remains pretty much unbeatable. So let's start with the dress. Specifically the gorgeous cotton day dress shown above. As you'll probably be able to guess from the shape it's from the 1950s, and it's decorated with embroidered circles of yellow, duck blue and black. It's available for £80 from Love Miss Daisy.

To keep your cool, you'll definitely need to accessorise with a hat. I love the floral embroidery on the straw hat, also pictured, available for £36 from Worn Out Shop on Etsy. Though this 1950s/60s Italian straw hat is Audrey Hepburn on her hols-tastic too.

And then, of course, sunglasses. To finish off a strictly 1950s look, how about these cute catseye numbers? They're £45 from Madame Coco. Sunglasses, unless the most hideous extremes of 80s style, seem to fare pretty well with the passing of time. That means there are plenty of styles to choose from, whether classic wayfarers or oversized 70s glamazon specs at a fraction of the cost of designer frames (however, they won't have the same level of protection as a good contemporary pair though, so wear with a warning).

One of my favourite vintage holiday items is the souvenir scarf, the very best way of showing off your glamorous excursions whether you've been to Venice, Tenerife or, the case of this scarf, stayed slightly closer to home in Morecambe. The scarf is an amazing 60s original and is available for only £14 from Starlight Vintage (fight you for it). Use it to cover your head, or frame in your home for year-round holiday inspiration.

Leaving the British seaside behind, another classic vintage holiday trend is the tropical look. These styles started becoming popular as military men who had been stationed abroad during the Second World War started coming back to America, got another boost when Hawaii became part of the States in 1959, and has been popular more or less ever since (it's massive again at the moment - think of that amazing Tara Starlet Honolulu dress).

Miss Bamboo does a great line in original and repro 1940s and 50s 'Pacific ware': their bamboo bangles would instantly add some vintage glamour to an otherwise plain outfit. As more of a budget option, I love the shape and colours of the 80s does 50s tropical swing dress pictured, £45 from Yesterdays Tomorrow on ASOS Marketplace.

And, if we're going tropical, I strongly encourage you to channel your inner Carmen Miranda and buy these 1950s banana and berry clip-on earrings for £20, again from Love Miss Daisy. This 60s patterned handbag will also enhance the totally tropical look. The turban is optional but wholeheartedly encouraged.

Which brings me to the very important matter of luggage. Every jet setter needs to be able to carry their clothes in style. You may have noticed the suitcases in our sponsored slot this week, available from Kiki's Boutique, or Stardust Vintage have this smart vanity case available for £42, complete with a heavenly deep red lining.

If you can't get away, original travel posters can add some of the colour back to a grey British summer. Prices can be ridiculously high but there are some bargains. Say Aloha to this Hawaii poster for example, £40 from Antikbar. It's also worth having a look through postcards stockists for great images for only a couple of quid a pop. Postcard Heaven has a great selection, covering everywhere from Mablethorpe to Miami. That's where I found the scenes used at the very top of this post, both available for £2.50 each.

And, finally, it wouldn't be summer without seeking out some kind of beachwear. There's plenty of fun styles available, whether you are after 50s femininity or 60s playfulness. I'm not sure I would put either anywhere near the water. A beach party though, and it would be a crime not to venture out in the swimsuit set pictured. It looks like a cute dress, but lift it up and you've got a matching pair of pants to preserve your modesty. The set is a bargain £35 from Darlings Vintage on Etsy. All that remains is to get your cocktail order in (something a bit classier than Sex on the Beach please), and then you should have everything you need to enjoy a vintage summer, wherever you might be headed.

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