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The History of the Boucle Jacket October 14 2013

The Boucle Jacket is a timeless design that every lady deserves to have in her wardrobe. But have you ever wondered about the history of this chic piece of fashion?

Boucle Jacket -Topshop
Black Patent Chain Bag - Local Boutique
Giant Pearl Necklace - Topshop
1950s Gold and Green Rhinestones Knot Brooch - For Sale on Betsy Blue £23.00

Created by Coco Chanel in 1954, the Boucle Jacket was inspired by menswear, straight and fluid with four real pockets, a trim in matching or contrasting tones, buttons stamped with famous Chanel logo or no buttons at all. 

The French designer had used originally used tweed for her designs in the 1930s because it was cheap and two decades on she was using a buckled tweed for her Boucle Jacket.  It was lined with Silk and a Brass chain that ran along the seam so it would fit and fall perfectly.

The jacket was made up of a multiple of panels so it could be adjusted 2 or 3 sizes up or down to fit every woman according to size.

Coco Chanel paired her genius jacket with knee-length wrap skirts to create an absolute freedom of movement and the jacket has graced our catwalks ever since.

Although the Boucle Jacket was more seen to be worn by the older and wealthier lady, today, young or old, who cares, they are all sporting the look.  You don't have to spend a small fortune for an inspired Chanel jacket.  Topshop, Asos, H&M and even Primark have versions that won't break your piggy bank.  

You can dress it up with a smart pair of trousers or you can dress it down with a pair of skinny fit jeans.  Wear it with a dress or a pencil or full skirt.  You can wear it to a wedding or you can simply wear it for a lunch date with the girls.  However you choose to wear it, the Boucle Jacket is pure class and one day I'm gonna own a real Chanel Boucle Jacket!  I best get looking on eBay then...!

Want to wear a brooch with your Boucle Jacket? Or any jacket for that matter!  There are several vintage brooches from the on Betsy Blue that will brighten up your outfit...

 


Lace & Tweed Vintage Fair June 01 2013

 

After a hearty breakfast in the greasy spoon near where I live, my friends and I went to Lace & Tweed Vintage Fair in Guildford.  "So does anyone know where we're going?" I asked.  "No..." everyone said in unison...  It was lucky that Rachel and I had looked this up on the map the day before because no one had a clue where it was although I had a rough idea.  Up the hill in Guildford town we trundled, up through Jeffries Passage (phnaar phnaar said the Actress to the Bishop) and there on the other side was the Holy Trinity Church with a big sign outside saying "Lace & Tweed Vintage Fair".

Set in a beautiful Anglican Red-brick church in the centre of Guildford, the Holy Trinity was built on the site of a Medieval Church that collapsed in the 18th Century.  It is thought the foundations of the church are Norman.  There were so many beautiful things on first sight, it was difficult to know where to start looking.  The first stall I stumbled across was a stall selling the  most beautiful 1920s and 30s dresses, some with their tags still on, having never been worn!

Musicians and a live DJ played on the stage and a backdrop of Black and White movies were being played.  We sifted through rails of clothes and mounds of jewellery.  Rhiannon had found a vintage scarf and I had spied a vintage brooch.  Lorna was umming and ahht's really hard going to a ring about a dress and Rachel was meant to be looking for a birthday present for her friend but ended up buying for herself!

With so many pretty things to buy and reasonably priced too, it can be all too easy to get carried away and spend a small fortune on stuff that you don't even want!  I was very good and managed to contain myself but then that's because I have trip to New York coming up and I was saving all my pennies for a trip to Brooklyn's flea markets and thrift shops.  Oh my God, I can hardly wait!!!

There was a hair and beauty pop-up parlour and Lorna said she wanted to have her hair and make-up done so we eagerly watched while she was made up 1940s style with me snapping away with the before and after shots.  For £10, Lorna had eyeliner flicked on her eyelids and Victory Rolls put in her hair and Lorna became Lana, a beautiful starlet from the 1940s!

Aww look how beautiful Lorna looks!

It was a unusually warm day today (yes I know it's the first day of June and June is in the Summer but it had been cold and raining that week) and Rachel and I were gasping for a drink, a cold drink.  Handy there was a large vintage tea room then!  I'd say this was the biggest bargain of the day because for £2.70 we got a cup of tea and plus a top up and a large slab of homemade cake!  Lemon Sponge, Carrot Cake, Victoria Sponge, Scones with Jam and Clotted Cream, Chocolate Brownies, the list went on...  There was even homemade lemonade!  After a hard morning of mooching, supping tea and scoffing cake was well deserved.

And best dressed goes this lovely lady...


Get the Gatsby Look May 26 2013

Seeing "The Great Gatsby" the other night has inspired me to write about how to replicate the glamorous fashion of the Roaring Twenties from from drop-waist tea dresses and head scarves to crisp bow ties and spectator shoes.  You don't have to dress head-to-toe in it, you could just pick out a few items that replicate the style of Jay Gatsby or Daisy Buchanan.  Just mix and match, using items from a variety of lower-priced stores like H&M, Accessorize, Primark and eBay.  I picked up a lovely strand of knotted faux pearls from TK Maxx for £7 by the Danish jewellery makers "Pilgrim".

Lace Jacket - River Island Sale £10
Vintage Faux Pearl Necklace - Ebay £5
Vintage Box Bag - Present from my Mummy when I had Chicken Pox!
Turquoise T-Bar Shoes - Carvela Sale £15

 

You could also sift through secondhand shops and vintage fairs that evoke the era although, actual clothes from the 1920s will be expensive so try to replicate the look cheaply rather than spending a small fortune (unless you want to of course.)

You can easily pull together plenty of fashions and accessories that reflect 1920s glamour by just searching the racks of less-expensive clothing stores like H&M and Primark.  Half the fun can be in the treasure hunt.

Plenty of fashion stores offer such looks as drop-waist dresses in lace or embellished with sequins or beads and head scarves.  Accessorize are doing pretty turbans and embellished clutch bags that are very 1920s.

Looking for a strand of Faux Pearl and T-bar shoes with a small heel?  Shop at low-priced shops like Primark, you could easily pick up both a Faux Pearl necklace and a pair of shoes for about £15 or less!  Pin a Feather or Diamanté brooch to your turban and wrap a string of Faux Pearls around your neck and voila! you have my dahhling, the Flapper Girl look!

Beaded Bag - Accessorize

And boys, if you don't want to wear a Pale Pink suit like Jay Gatsby, you could wear a Pale Pink vest and matching jacket with a Beige pair drop-crotch skinny fit jeans with Slip-on Boat Shoes without socks.  Just don't roll the sleeves up on your jacket or you'll end up looking like Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice!  We're talking 1920s here not 1980s!

Betsy Blue has some beautiful decadent brooches for sale from the Art Deco period.   Art Deco is possibly my favourite era, I just love the smooth clean lines of the furniture and architecture and the glitz and glamour of the fashion from that time.  I am an old romantic at heart.  Here are just a few Art Deco brooches on the website..


Oh I do love to be beside the seaside! April 24 2013

After my ordeal from the weekend before doing the 5k obstacle run in Devon, I had marked in my diary the Bournemouth Vintage Fair for the following weekend.  I was still feeling pretty poorly and yes, you may laugh about how feeble I was being but I really was not well, I can only describe the pain as if flu were in my bones.  I think I may have even had slight hyperthermia from that day in Devon and still hadn't fully recovered because I just felt rough all week.

My friend Sarah and I set off in the morning down the M3 to be by the seaside for the day.  The fair itself was in the Pavillion which was built in the 1920s and had the splendour of Art Deco architecture and décor.  It is set just a little off the beachfront and was already very busy by the time we got there.

The Ballroom was where it was all happening and it was heaving with stalls selling their vintage wears.  Despite feeling poorly, I could hardly contain my excitement, there was just so much to see and I wanted to see it all there and then!  Sarah had to reel me in a bit and said, "We need to do this in an orderly fashion or we may miss out on seeing certain stalls and you don't want that."  "Er, yes..."  I replied, "You're right..." And she was.  Sarah's sensible, I’m not so sensible and we started to do the rounds!

As music from yesteryear blared out through the speakers, we mooched around at the vintage bags from the 1950s, we tried on sunglasses from the 1960s, we “oohed” and “ahhed” at the pretty vintage glass perfume bottles, we stared at the fur stoles from the 1940s and of course we made a beeline for the vintage brooches!

I had saved my pennies especially for the day and I managed to pick up three lovely brooches.

After a lovely afternoon, we had seen all that had to be seen and so we headed for the beachfront to blow the cobwebs away and by golly, did it blow!  The wind was so strong it could have swept you off the pier into the sea never to be seen again!  At that point, we decided to head off the Harry Ramsdens for a well deserved dinner of Fish and Chips.  Well, Scampi for me as I don’t do battered Cod!