Culottes: the only way forward

I am a sucker for vintage clothing, and I am even bigger sucker for reasonably priced vintage clothing. It seems like a lot of the time you slap the word “vintage” on something and suddenly there’s an extra digit added to the price tag. So, I watch where I go: markets that are not advertised as ‘fairs’, markets that don’t specialise in clothing or are attempting to be edgy, charity shops that are run by old dears, and shops that advertise themselves as vintage stores but have large sections dedicated to discounted items/sales/special offers. Examples? Broadway market (a food and craft market, with one seller of vintage material), East End Vintage Clothing in E3 (massive market under the railway arches, constantly doing specials like £1 knits or all-you-can-fit-in-this-bag for £10), Camden (but look for deals, and get off the highstreet: head for the stables).

On with this post! Why do I love culottes?

Like a skirt, but different
Can sit with spread legs! And climb about!
Oddly flattering – high trimmed waist, is like a skirt over the thighs
Easy to style: sliders or heels? basic tee or plunging crop?

Mostly it’s the sitting with spread legs that gets me. I’m constantly splayed about, or have my chin resting on my knee, so these are pretty good for me. It’s funny how culottes have come back in, especially as I still clearly remember having them as part of my old school uniform and just “what are these?! a skirt? shorts? make up your mind!” – but now I’m definitely a little more appreciative. I love that at first glance you might think I’m wearing a maxi skirt, I love how they flow and how light they are. So, here are my two pairs. Vintage from Broadway Market, and got them for two for £20 – thanks to the very lovely man who wanted to close up and go home for the day.

Above, pale blue and white floral culottes. Zip down the front, fake pockets.

And my second pair, a khaki floral with side zip.

Read on for styling and daily, actual outfits ~

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Still the 70s, Still Loving Stripes

Yes, hello, it’s me banging on about stripes again.

We know Woodstock vibes are in, that flares and burnt orange have returned to the hangers, that suede and suedette (complete with ratty tassels) are back. Stripes, however, are always in. They’re a basic staple. So, how can I argue that they’re suddenly oh-so-extra in? Well, on the most basic level: look at what shops are stocking. Lines are everywhere: in knitted fabrics, in tight pleats, in contrast binding, in square necklines, and in the zig zags of chevron.

from Cooperative

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Review + 70s Stripes

Daisy Street Tee on Asos, £12.99

Striped tees are your standard basic, but what’s pretty big at the moment are striped tees with contrast binding! (On tshirts, binding is the bit around the neckline and the end of sleeve. Rather than just hemming it, the designers opt for a binding to keep the hemline in and hidden.) To be honest, contrast binding in itself is pretty in — Asos has some fab high neck basics in white with binding in navy, mustard and black, and they’ve got shorts of the same ilk. Topshop and, particularly, New Look and Urban Outfitters are paying heavy testament to this trend, with designs reminiscent of That 70’s Show and Napoleon Dynamite.

Topshop trim tee, BDG striped tee, Cooperative contrast jumper

So fun to style, too! Flares are making a comeback (though I’m thinking they won’t really be staying), and suede[ette] are popular go-to’s for outfits. Even if you don’t want to opt for these more retro bottoms, the shirts are still super wearable, going easily and comfortably with all shades and cuts of denim.

New Look doing stripes right!

Personally, I love it, and (if I may say so myself) it suits me. Unfortunately, the Daisy Street tee I opted for turned out to be less than impressive — continue reading to find out why!

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Summer Means Palms

Palm prints for summer seems to fall under that “florals for spring? Groundbreaking” niche: the way black on black is effortless, and knee high boots will always have a place in our AW wardrobes.

Palms don’t ‘scream’ summer, they breathe it. Poolside, drink in hand, huge white sun hat and oversized vintage sunglasses. That’s what palm says. It also happens to go wonderfully well with all blues of denim, leather, gold, and (thank the gods) black.

These are my two palm pieces for this summer:

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from New Look, £8.99 — here

(This print is haawt. They have a skirt to match if you like your coords, a cropped tee if you’re not into halter necks, and a kimono. They seem to refer this to a “white palm” print or “white jungle”. Tend to wear this with black or white on the bottom, and my pale denim shirt or denim jacket over the top.)
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from H&M, £12.99 — in store only, Conscious Exclusive

(Please go in store and try this line on! They’ve got a gorgeous strapless playsuit and culottes in a very similar print in, last I checked. It’s fab. I wear this with my black denim A-line and black high waisted jeans, tied over my white summer dress, layered under a pale denim shirt.)

As you can tell: these are what I’d describe as ‘classic’ and ‘white-based’ palm prints. Not that stereotypical Hawaiian shirt style, and avoiding other tropical prints (RE: hibiscus, flowering plants, non-greens). I’ve also gone for both tops. There are kimonos, hair pieces, skirts, scarves etc. out there – name it, and it’s stocked. I went for tops because a) I love a good halterneck and b) that loose slouch fit is fab and I couldn’t refuse them — also because I have enough basic and plain bottoms to style them happily until the cows come home; I don’t really do print accessories; and life is full of hard choices. And personal preferences.

To make those hard choices, I’ve sifted through some of my favorite sites to find some very cool palm and tropical prints! Enjoy my loves! Faves are starred —

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