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Monday 16 June 2014

Sluttishly Vintage: Totally Tropical

You can't really escape the tropical mood of the moment: we're pushing pineapples all over the place. Tropical looks are such a perpetually popular theme, you can be spoilt for choice if you look to recreate the trend through vintage (although the really desirable pieces move quickly and for big bucks). It's ridiculous easy to pick up a Hawaiian-pattern shirt from the likes of Beyond Retro: would you want to though? Here are a few suggestions for more interesting dressing and, of course, drinking, the totally tropical way.

Alfred Shaheen is one of the people responsible for the popularity of the Hawaiian shirt. After the Second World War, he began producing textiles - inspired by the flora and fauna of Hawaii - and used them for shirts for men and dresses for women. This sophisticated number is one of his, dating from the cusp of the 1960s/70s. It's £60 from Darlings Vintage on Etsy.

The gorgeous bright colours on this 1950s tropical print dress are typical of the decade where cheaper air flights meant more people got to explore further flung destinations, and dress to match the occasion (just think of Megan and Don Draper on their Hawaiian break). This is £85 from My Vintage.

Miss Bamboo are one of our favourite online stores for their tropically-inspired repro clothing. But they stock occasional beautiful originals too, such as this Hawaiian dress, £90

Motifs were painted by hand onto the very first Hawaiian shirts. The tradition has been continued onto this stunning 1950s handpainted silk skirt, £145 from Palette London.

For the look at a less intimidating price, try this tropical skirt from Rokit.

Beyond Retro, meanwhile, have recently introduced Beyond Retro Made: vintage clothing that's been given a mini-makeover to make it more acceptable to modern eyes. The collection includes masses of tropical outfits, including this yellow dress. They've basically shortened what was probably a maxi and it looks pretty great for £36.

While there's nothing terribly 'authentic' about Tiki style - it's the kitsch North American reimagination of Polynesian culture - the pieces are brilliantly fun. Faux bamboo wedges? Yes, please! These works of beauty (?) are £75 from Stella Rose Vintage.

Perhaps an easier way to wear the trend is this wicker bag, from A Slice of Cherry Pie, complete with bamboo handle.

Now we're all dressed up, let's move onto the important matter of the bar. If you don't have the room for a bamboo bar (the height of my interior design aspirations), this bamboo bar car does the boozy business brilliantly. This is from Quintessential Living. They're based in Switzerland, so the cart comes to around £180 including shipping. I'm tempted to believe it's worth every penny.

To dress the bar, of course you'll need a pineapple ice bucket or two. How about also adding a matching snack bowl and coasters? And to finish (perhaps  you, as well as the bar), these tiki shot glasses are £18.15 for the set.

And I couldn't leave you without an ukulele for your best Elvis in Blue Hawaii special. This vintage uke is from Shady Lane Vintage.

What's left to do now, other than slip into this dressing gown and make yourself a Mai Tai or one of these Tiki special cocktails? Ah, paradise.

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