Friday, 29 May 2009

The Chap needs your help!

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I'm sad to have to say that that most splendid of publications, The Chap magazine is in danger of going under. If you have ever enjoyed reading it, or would like to in the future, please do take a moment to read this plea from Mr Gustav Temple, and do whatever you can to Save The Chap!

Here is the article, just in case your malady of the soul has become too much to bear, and your mouse finger grown too heavy at the sight of so much sportswear, that you cannot click any more.


latest issue

Like many venerable institutions, The Chap has run into financial difficulties, due principally to a disastrous result in the 2.30 at Wincanton. But also the spiralling costs of paper stock, printing ink and distribution services, and of course the increase in tax on tobacco products.

The harsh reality of the current situation is that if the June issue doesn't go to press, The Chap will cease publication for ever.

We hope our readers agree that this simply cannot be allowed to happen, since The Chap is much more than just a magazine. Consider the implications for the nation if we were to disappear:

  • Vulgarity - without The Chap, there will only remain racks and racks of glossy celebrity gossip magazines, half of which are full of adverts for mascara and motor cars
  • Obscenity - any Chap readers who wanted to continue reading a men's magazine would be forced to read Nuts, Zoo or, worse still, GQ
  • Sartorial integrity - without The Chap keeping proper gentlemen's clothing in circulation, society's poor standards of dress will drop off the scale, resulting in an entire population clad in romper suits; blue for the lads and pink for the ladettes
  • Eccentricity - Britain is in danger of becoming utterly bland and without character, thanks to most towns offering the same dull chain stores, and "lifestyle" becoming a marketing term rather than an actual personal choice. The Chap, by celebrating the eccentrics of the past and present, holds on to this noble British tradition and encourages every town, village and hamlet to cultivate its own identity and to look after its local eccentric
  • Afternoon Tea - by championing traditional English rituals such as afternoon tiffin, village green cricket, hat doffing, "Breakfast of Champions" (a cup of Oolong and a briar full of Dunhill's Early Morning Mixture), beer that isn't "extra-cold" and made on the continent, and the wearing of bowler hats to work, The Chap is preserving the things that make Britain an agreeable place to live, compared to our rather uncivilised neighbours across the Channel

What are we asking for? Simple. A donation from any of our readers who feel moved to offer a small gesture of support. One pound from every reader would allow us to print the June issue. Larger contributions would of course also be welcome and would speed up the process towards getting this issue published sooner rather than later, leading to subsequent issues arriving on time and the entirety of our mission continuing apace. The June issue, which we would be unable to print without some form of assistance, promises to be a particularly splendid issue, with contents including:

  • Land Girls on the cover and cavorting over seven pages
  • An extensive interview with Chap of Chaps Stephen Fry
  • An article about Sapeurs, the Congolese dandies who live in abject poverty
  • A Savile Row tailor's appraisal of David Niven's superlative wardrobe
  • The E-Type Jaguar Series One Roadster, that louchest of automobiles
  • A new advice column, in which readers are offered conflicting advice from the Lady and the Cad
  • Count Arthur Strong responds to the Chap Questionnaire
  • A new Chap of the Month section, opening with a picture of a man flying a Spitfire while reading a copy of The Chap

If our appeal is successful, every single reader who contributes something will be acknowledged in the next issue, and those who make the highest donations will receive a free VIP ticket to the 10th anniversary Chap party in October (all being well in the publishing department).

So there you have it. If you would like to help save The Chap, please press visit the page above and click on the Paypal button.

I just hope it wasn't my visage on the cover of the last issue that has doomed The Chap! Nooo!

Goodnight all!

Fleur xx

Thursday, 28 May 2009

V.I. Buys - the shoe edition

This episode of V.I Buys is going to focus on my true love... shoes!

These are all wedges, so if you are offended by wedges, like my chap is (silly man!), look away now!

First of all, some Keds, similar to the ones I was wearing in my last outfit post, except not blue and not lace-up...

From ASOS, or just click the pic!

This range of wedges was called 'Kedettes' last year, though they appear to have dropped that moniker now. It's a shame because they based these designs on the 50s range of Kedettes. Keds apparently first launched Kedettes in the 1930s, and they have been popular ever since. Here are two rather fab adverts, one from 1942:

Image found on liebemarlene's Flickr stream

And from 1941:

You can see the colour and styling influences in these new styles, but I have to say I would love a pair of the stripy ones at the top of the last ad!

Next up, also from Asos are these lovely basket weave wedges in a glorious sunny yellow.

They have that all-important (for an authentic vintage look) small peep-toe. 40s repro shoes should only ever allow you a maximum of two toes showing at the peep, and these do. I especially like the little raffia accent.

These next ones are by Miss L Fire, who have a rather spiffy vintage-looking website and usually do some really wonderful shoes. In fact, while getting up their website I just found some more absolute beauties! Look at these!

Sadly, I can't find them for sale anywhere, but I will keep looking as they are really lovely!

Ahem, anyway, the ones I was going to post are these:

They look to me like a cross between 40s Filipino souvenir shoes (more on these in another post) and the more extreme 40s platforms, such as those favoured by another of my style icons, Carmen Miranda.

They also come in yellow! Get these from ASOS as well.

In case the shoe fabulousness wasn't enough, Miss L Fire also do fantastic reproduction lucite handbags, too. I would love to meet the designer, so I can shake her hand!

That's it for now, I'm off to bed. I will be back soon with some actual vintage reproduction shoes for your delectation.

Nighty night!

Fleur xx

Monday, 25 May 2009


I've mentioned her on this blog before, but I really have to say a big thank you to my beautiful friend, the talented accessories designer known to the world as Dungaree Dolly.

Dolly and I became acquainted through the internet before I had ever bought a bag from her, albeit in a rather unusual way. A few years ago, when I was still at university and living with some other boys and girls, several tattoo magazines lived in the bathroom of our house. One of them featured a stunning rockabilly girl on the cover, sporting an absolutely adorable sleeve filled with ice-cream, sweets and cakes.

Every time I saw it, I thought how cool that girl was. Fast-forward a couple of years and I found a link to a quite new website called Dungaree Dolly, which only had a few designs back then, but I thought straight away how lovely they were. But what caught my eye was the designer's name at the bottom of the page... the same as the girl on the tattoo magazine! I had to email her and ask, and of course it was the very same girl. So we got chatting a bit, then I ordered a bag for my best friend from her, followed by several more for me... and the rest is history!

But when I got my iPhone not too long ago, I decided that I wanted something to keep it in, and something unique, and a bit more me than most of the stuff out there. Being a confirmed Dolly-a-holic by now, I thought I would get in touch with her to see if she'd be prepared to make me one, and she was. So I ordered that and a new eyeglasses case to keep my cat-eye specs in.

They arrived just a few days ago. What do you think?

Well I was totally chuffed with them, but even more so because she also sent me a super sweet carry-all in the same fabric as the phone holder, to model for her! Talk about wonderful. So, because I am a girl of my word, I trotted off to the shoot I had on Saturday with my new bag, and had a whale of a time cycling up and down a country road in one of my Swirl dresses to get the perfect shot. I ended up with a few good ones, and I hope Dolly is thrilled with them.

I actually have one more bag to model but will keep that under wraps until I have my next shoot. The main purpose of the shoot on Saturday was to do some pictures for What Katie Did, for a book that Katie and Tony Nylons are putting together about the history of lingerie. I posed on a real, fully restored 1940s army jeep, in various bits of lingerie, and some more outfits from Heyday, so keep your eyes peeled for the latter, though I'm afraid you will have to wait until the book is published to see the former... although there will be some others I can post when I have them.

All the best, and keep a weather eye on the horizon!

Fleur xx

PS. I am planning on moving my blog to its very own domain soon, part of my main website, but I will keep reminding you all before the big switch so you can update your readers, and this blog will stay here as well, just in case. But just to let you all know. :)

Friday, 22 May 2009

V.I Buys - jeans & more

About time I did a proper one of these, I thought!

The first reproduction vintage brand I want to showcase is the one I mentioned in my outfit blog last night, Queen of Heartz.

I bought my jeans from them in autumn 2006, and I think I wore them almost every single day for 6 months, because they were just so fab, and fitted so well. The cold be damned, I thought, and stayed chilly but stylish all through that winter. They've seen better days now, and I'm no longer hardy enough to wear them in the winter so they only come out when it's warm, like yesterday.

I have to say, mine don't fit like this at all - I think their model is less curvy in her waist to hip ratio and far more petite than me - but I like mine a bit more fitted anyway. And I like 'em capri length. So there! ;) A criticism I have heard about them though, is that the material isn't very vintage denim-y, it's thin and stretchy, but I like it because it makes them fit even better.

There are all manner of other fab things for sale at Queen of Heartz, check out this adorable 50s style romper/playsuit:

And this stunning chocolate satin dress (modelled by the owner, Letty Tennant):

I also have a pair of the Juliet short pants in black, but they are considerably shorter on me than on the lady there! Brits, please note that you can currently buy the black Suzy shorts from Pinup Parade.

If stretchy denim is not your thing but vintage styled jeans certainly are, then look no further than Freddies of Pinewood. These incredibly accurate reproduction jeans are made from lovely thick denim and their customer service is top notch. However, be aware that the waist sizes run big but the hips do not. I bought their 26" waist relaxed fit Classic Jeans and they are fine on my 27" waist, but it takes me several minutes of jumping up and down on the spot and shimmying to get them on and off. Not great if you get caught short! They do look fab when on though, I have to say.

I really want a pair of the grey Utility Jeans, I've seen them on others at events and they look fantastic. I might go for the next size up this time though, haha.

Finally, some High Street V.I. shopping... or should I say the supermarket? George at ASDA, would you believe, has some really lovely knitwear in at the moment, as I discovered when my colleague came in wearing a cropped cardigan that was the perfect length for a pair of high waisted trousers.

Pointelle Petite Cardigan - £14, Frill Tipped Cardigan - £14, Pleated Front Cardigan - £7

I love the grey with the contrast and the coral one (which is the one I saw in person).

Finally, I would like to once again plug the wonderful Notorious Kitsch, as I just received the fabulous atomic hook rail I was coveting in this post. It really is just the ticket! I will of course show pictures of my finished kitchen with the rack in place just as soon as it's done. Sadly she is currently out of stock of the red version, but do check out the site for some more gorgeous stuff, like Tiki Mugs, retro plates, hip flasks, and even kitschy beauty products! Lovely stuff.

That's all from me for this week, hope you all enjoy your (long) weekends!

Fleur xx

Thursday, 21 May 2009

What I wore - 21st May

Evening (or afternoon for my friends in the Former Colonies, and morning to the Antipodeans)!

I hope you've all read and enjoyed my interview over at Casey's blog? If not, what are you waiting for!

I thought I'd end the day on a quick outfit post, but I was usurped during the picture taking and it's too late to do another one. But I thought I'd post it anyway!

So without further ado, here's today's get-up, complete with a cameo appearance by my kitty Fezzik.

(You know you are getting too into this blogging lark when you move furniture to take outfit pictures!)

My cardigan was handknitted for me using the cardigan pattern on Vintage Purls, but plain,
my jeans are from Queen of Heartz (who will appear on here again soon!), the shoes are Keds... and the kitty is a cheeky little blighter!

And I only realised afterwards that my Bettie picture is a bit wonky! Never mind, eh?

That's all for now, it's bedtime.

Night all!

Fleur (and Fez) xx

Interview with yours truly

Image created by Casey

I was delighted to be interviewed a short while ago by the beautiful and effortlessly stylish Casey (who prompted my last post) for her Inspiring Interviews series on her blog Casey's Elegant Musings. She has published the interview today, accompanied by some marvellous collages.

So if you fancy learning a little bit more about me, head on over right now and have a read!

Thanks Casey!

Fleur xx

Monday, 18 May 2009

V.I. Buys - Peasant Style

Thanks to the fabulous Casey of Casey's Elegant Musings, I was just reminded to tell those British gals who read my blog about the wonderful array of 40s-inspired peasant tops that have appeared on the high street in the last week or so. (If you're a fan of the 40s peasant look, go and check out Casey's post for some wonderful eye-candy!)

I was idly browsing around New Look on Thursday night when I came across this cute example in the sale:
Only £10.00 at New Look now!

It's much more blousey in the flesh, and I wore it out on Friday night with my navy blue trousers with red buttons and it looked so 40s (I thought)! And it was perfect for dancing in. A quick browse around the site has thrown up a few more, similar tops, like this, which comes in several colours. And they have a plain one, also in several colourways, in organic cotton. I am going to have to go back for this one to wear with a 'skirt' I have... (more on this later!) I'm imagining it tucked in, of course:

I also got a black one with red and green embroidery from Primark... yes I know. I had an attack of guilt on the way home for even going in there. I might take it back, I'm not sure. Thoughts? They have supposedly improved their ethics... but I still feel guilty.

On a more positive note, I had a sort of epiphany while reading Casey's post, because I have this 'skirt', which I bought as a dress, could very well be made out of the Hollywood pattern in her peasant pattern collage. It looks like this:

Photo by John Evans
Now this 'dress' was fine to wear for a shoot, but I had to pin it to my bra as the bodice is very strangely constructed. The back extends into long sash pieces, which I crossed over and then tied around my waist. But it would not stay up, and it could not be tied in such a way as to make it stay up, at all. There would be no chance a woman could walk around in it without quickly becoming indecent!

However, I did wear it last summer as a skirt - with the 'bodice' folded down into the sash and tied in a big bow, and it was the absolute spitting image of the skirt in Casey's collage. But
I am still a bit confused by it, because if it isn't meant to be worn as a dress, why is it shaped like that? Anyway... as I was saying, a white gypsy/peasant style top will be perfect with this 'skirt' in the summer, I paired with with a yellow one last time, and although it has yellow in the swirls, the overall effect was rather... loud. ;)

That's all for now!

Fleur xx

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Well the weekend's nearly over and I've had a busy one! Friday night I went out dancing, to the brand new night I posted about in my last entry. It was great! I danced my little legs off, and got some great compliments on my style from some seriously accomplished dancers, which fairly chuffed me to bits! I always think I must look rather awkward when dancing, all flailing arms and gangling legs! Then on Saturday, the chap and I went to see the Henry VIII: Man and Monarch exhibit at the British Library. I've wanted to see it since it opened, and when I realised it was ending in just a couple of weeks, it was time to get a wiggle on and go! It was fascinating - my favourite artifact was the prayer book belonging to Anne Boleyn, which Henry had written in - he'd scribbled a few lines proclaiming his love for her below a glorious but telling (of Henry's feelings) illustration of the Sorrowful Man.

Picture © The British Library. Click to see bigger!

It says, in French, ‘If you remember my love in your prayers as strongly as I adore you, I shall hardly be forgotten, for I am yours. Henry R. forever.’


Today I went to see my parents with my brother and his girlfriend as it's my mum's birthday tomorrow. I made her some of my famous chocolate & peanut butter swirl, but that has reminded me that I never posted a picture of the cake I made for the chap's birthday! So here it is.

It's a victoria sponge, made with a vanilla buttercream, organic strawberry jam and fresh English strawberry filling. It was also my first ever 'proper' cake! It seems to have turned out well and it certainly tasted delicious, so I am sure there will be many such cakes appearing here in the future.

And finally, I thought it was time for another outfit photo!

green chiffon headscarf: eBay
jumper: from a vintage pattern
(bought from the stall now at Everything's Jumpin')
trousers: Heyday!
green 'Connie' wedges: Rocket Originals

I'm not 'allowed' to wear this outfit when I see the chap... I am of course mostly kidding, but semi serious. He dislikes the colour green generally, he also dislikes my 40s style wedges (he thinks they are 'clumpy', a criticism that many women apparently had at the time when rationing ruled out higher heels!), so he absolutely hates my green wedges! He calls them my Kermit shoes. I have so many other clothes and shoes that I do tend to save my green and my wedges for when I am not seeing him, such as today. But I love this jumper (or sweater for my American friends)! Not only is green probably my favourite colour, but I do think this shade of emerald suits me well. Trust me to be dating a greenist!

I hope you've all had super weekends, and will have lovely weeks ahead.

Fleur xx

Friday, 15 May 2009

Get your dancing shoes on...

... for the first of a new swing dancing night in Twickenham. Last month we said a fond farewell to the organisers of Twickenham Boogie, Paul and Lynn, with a smashing Hawaiian themed night. But tonight is the first of its new incarnation, Everything's Jumpin' at the Winning Posts!

It's being run by my dance teacher Nick Kirby, who has a fantastic music collection, and along with the other fab DJs is sure to keep your toes tapping all night. Paul and Lynn are still running the clothing stall, from which you could buy jumpers knitted from 40s patterns, felt 40s halo hats, and lots of other clothes and hair flowers.

So, if you're not too far away, please do come on down and cut a rug tonight.

I'll be seeing my chap tomorrow, and going to for a family meal to celebrate my mum's birthday on Sunday. What are you up to? Have a great time, whatever you do!

Fleur xx

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Grosgrain & Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress Giveaway!

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Thanks to the lovely Darla at Living and Loving Retro Ways, I discovered that Grosgrain are running a competition to win a dress from this wonderful Etsy designer Loose Teeth. I discovered her shop just last week and have been positively drooling over the cute and quirky playsuits and particularly this stunning sun dress, and planned to make a purchase over the summer. But how could I possibly resist entering a competition to win this stunning plaid sundress?

Grosgrain's blog describes it thus:

"The dress featured in this post will be custom fitted and given to the lucky winner. It is made from 100% cotton red, blue yellow and white plaid seersucker with 100% cotton eyelet lace underskirt.

The underskirt is attached at the waistline and really fills out the skirt nicely. It has lace detail around the bottom edge of the seek sucker, the back and top edges of the bodice and two bows where the spaghetti straps attach in the front.

The gathered bust line is lined and can be worn with or without a bra. Heather will make it to size for the winner. It's super comfortable and ultra sweet looking."

If any of my lovely readers would also like a chance to win this lovely dress, just head on over to Grosgrain for details. And check out Loose Teeth's store for more gorgeousness - I'll definitely be buying something even if I don't win! Good luck everyone!

Pip pip!

Fleur xx

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Vintage clothing nerdery

Now it may only be me that thinks this is awesome, being a huge clothes nerd, but I love it when I make a random discovery like this. I recently bought this cute 50s sundress from Etsy:

Well I just found this on eBay (just a few hours left if it fits you gals! It's too small on the bust for me, woes) - neither of them have a label but they must be the same make, right?

And the sellers are in New York and San Diego respectively! I just think it's a cool coincidence that both these dresses survived and have come up for sale at the same time! I just hope that when my dress arrives that it fits me like the lilac version does on its mannequin!

Night all!

Fleur xx

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Behind the wheel

Just a quickie from me to apologise for the lack of a V.I Buys last week. I've been so busy at work lately. But to make up for it, how about this delightful new dress from Big Beautiful Barbara Brown? It's only gone up today, I believe. (And the amply-proportioned mannequin is a new addition too!)

I absolutely have to get myself one, perfect for dancing and some gorgeous fabrics available.

And what about something vintage-inspired for the home? I just found this fabulous 50s style atomic hook rail at Notorious Kitsch and it's going to go perfectly in my kitchen.

I leave you with promises of better posts soon, and the two pictures from my most recent shoot!

Click to see bigger!

Fleur xx

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