Plato's Dress

If you asked me to describe my perfect dress in a series of keywords, or if you added up my top 10 favourite dresses and divided the result by 10, you'd get this dress. It's got every feature I require in exactly the right ratios - 1950s, decent cotton, blue, rose-print, a decent cut, a good length, sleeves and a work-appropriate neckline. Plus I didn't even have to engage in a bidding war to make it mine. Scooore.

My life at the moment is pretty much entirely consumed by planning for me and Jack's big Christmas-y camping break, but my temporary flatmate Zoe has a tripod so I nicked it to take some outfit photos. At first I tried to get Jack to do them for me but he isn't really photographically inclined (sorry, Jack) so I just got him to push the button once I'd lined up the shot, haha. The experience made me realise that it's dumb that I own like 100 dresses but am unable to spend $40 on a tripod of my own to take bloggy photos without needing someone's help, so I am definitely gonna get my own - but not until after she's moved out and taken her tripod with her.

It is pretty obvious that I was messing around with different backdrop-y things, though. The white curtain is the cover for my wardrobe. Also let's just pretend my carpet isn't in desperate need of a vacuum and there isn't an empty plastic bag on the floor behind me. God. If I had photoshop I would've edited that out, trust me. 

1950s blue rose-print dress - Trade Me
Black and gold leather belt - opshopped
J pin - vintage sale
Shoes - won from Mimco via Lost In The Haze 
Lipstick - Mac Rebel
Satchel - Cambridge Satchel Company
Plus my usual rings and the only hairstyle I can be bothered with when it's this hot. 

Bonus photo: Jack was pushing the buttons on the camera and thought it would be hilarious for me to do this.  For every one photo I post on here there are at least 50 outtakes featuring double chins and mid-blink eyes and poses even dumber than the ones that make it to the public viewing stage.



Ugh I am so bad at blogging. Summer is grand and things are pretty busy. So here's the ultimate cop-out: an Instagram roundup!! Fun.

 Kelly came to Wellington and I wrote us an opshop schedule, we looked cute in Petone, I got an iPhone and the quality of my photos dramatically picked up. 

 Wore novelty prints, got smooshed by Puss, wore my uncomfy 60s flats.


Louise looked cute, we spent a day drinking beers and lounging at Mission Bay, it was lovely. 

Spent too much time and money at Hard to Find Books Onehunga, got airport donuts, got the best milk bottle lolly brooch. 

Won some Mimco stuff and bought cheap Doc Martens, wore more novelty prints, opshopped this amazing pale blue late 1950s dress for $10 in Auckland! 

Louise found me a brand new navy Cambridge Satchel suuuuper cheap at Recycle Boutique, got my favourite Karen Walker Patio dress in a second colour, boyfriend's mum bought us tonnes of cheese from the Naki.

Puss being adorable in the herbs, a Croatia Vintage dress, a Friday arvo cheeseboard.

Got some really excellent stuff from a vintage sale, and me modelling the best 1950s rose printed velvet dress.

Coworkers at a Filipino feast and the best selfie of me ever.


Taking care of vintage + a giveaway

I am by no means an expert on taking care of vintage, but I have made some terrible mistakes in my time which make me want to stop others from doing the same thing. Here is a non-exhaustive non-authoritative list of tips on how to look after vintage garments and make sure you can get the best out of them:

1. Handwash pretty much everything
 I know it is a horrible chore and the washing powder makes your hands super sore, but it is really the best way to ensure your garments last for a long time and stay in good condition. The rough washing machine can cause tears, pills and fading and generally bash your clothes around in an unpleasant way.

I hand-wash almost everything. I know a lot of other vintage wearers put their cotton garments in the washing machine on delicate, but I don't trust my crappy old machine enough to do that. I wash in cold water with a tiny bit of gentle detergent dissolved into it, in the laundry tub, and gently swirl the garments through the water to ensure the detergent gets distributed through the fabric. I leave them for a wee soak as I wander off and do something else. If you haven't washed a garment before and are unsure how it will cope, do a spot test to ensure wetting the garment and exposing it to detergent won't damage the fabric. Dip an un-exposed part of the fabric into the solution and wait to see how it reacts before going ahead with a wash. 

With my hardy cotton dresses, after hand washing I run them through a spin cycle to get rid of any excess moisture. I hang things out to dry in the sun to make them all crisp and lovely, but not for too long as direct sunlight will cause fading. If there is no sun - which there pretty much never is in Wellington - I hang them carefully across a clothes airer in our room with the dehumidifier on until they're well and truly dry.

If you do need to put things in the wash, because hand-washing is time consuming, ensure they are colourfast first. Use a gentle detergent or powder and allllllways cold wash.

2. You don't need to wash everything all the time.
 Idk, I'm sure some people will think this is gross but I definitely don't wash my vintage dresses every time I wear them. Most of them get a lot of wears out of them until they actually need a wash. I am just not that dirty/sweaty a person and I don't think they need it a lot of the time. I do, however, take other measures to ensure my dresses stay nice and fresh even if they've been worn four times. Hanging them out to air can breathe a bit of new life into them. I hang them by some open windows or peg them out on the line to let the breeze do its thing. The sun is also great at killing bacteria and keeping clothes smelling fresh and lovely.

Also, it upsets me to waste good vodka on clothing but it really does the trick on freshening up clothes that have been worn once or have been in storage and smell a bit musty. A fine spritz from a spray bottle on any potentially malodorous areas will go a long way.

Some vintage nightwear and lingerie I opshopped that I am yet to soak.

3. Store carefully
Very few clothes will take kindly to being hung on a plastic hanger on a rail. Most of my clothes are on granny-ish crocheted padded hangers I've picked up from opshops, but I don't have quite enough of them so some are still on wooden hangers and a few non-delicate non-vintage things on old wire or plastic ones. Knits and delicate or heavy fabrics can become stretched and damaged through the shoulders through being hung for a long time, so feel free to keep them carefully folded instead. Also, direct sunlight will fade fabrics quickly, so keep your wardrobe door closed.

Heat and moisture will also damage garments. I had a horrible moment when I first moved into my damp Aro Valley flat where after a week I realised there was black mold all over a favourite novelty-print cotton dress that I'd left hanging against a wall. I tried everything to get it off but there are still a few faint black specks. Don't make the same mistake I did! Dehumidify as needed, or use moisture absorbing sachets and a lot of them. I also have little lavender sachets through my drawers and wardrobe, which not only make things smell lovely but keep insects pests away.

4. Repair as needed
I need to take a little more of my own advice, as my sewing pile is a great untameable beast.  However, it's definitely the best idea to get onto repairs while you are motivated and before you lose one of the big buttons to your favourite little 60s jacket and can't find another similar one anywhere and now you just can't do it up ever again wahhhh. SO YEAH, don't be like me! I find that if I buy something with the intent to alter it, I'd best do it within 24-48 hours or it will never. Get. Done. If a metal zipper is catching the surrounding fabric, replace or it get it done at a tailor before you get stuck in a dress or it rips while you're trying to pull it on or off (also something I've done. I hate myself).

A good way to keep your clothes non-smelly is for you also to be non-smelly. The really lovely Jenna at Oh Natural sent me some of the Soapwalla deodorant cream to try, and it's pretty lovely. There is something about rubbing on this mix of essential oils and natural clays that seems a lot nicer than slapping on a bit of old Dove from a plastic tube. Also the smell is amazing, although very lavender-y and I know some people are sensitive to that odour.

Jenna has also given me one to give to you guys, so leave a comment including some way to get in contact with you if you'd like to try one for yourself. This giveaway is for NZ and Aussie pals only, but I have a US-based one coming soon!


Stuff I've Been Doing

Here is some stuff I've been doing lately, all taken from my Instagram.

Got a lilac Kanken and a cute Ruby Boutique dress, went to Christchurch and opshopped a huge pile of 40s and 50s lingerie with Christie. Also visited my baby Jolly Roger who went to live with an elderly couple when my parents moved to Vietnam. 

Won the Hungry and Frozen cookbook from Laura's blog and spent my sick day reading it in bed, Christie came to Wellington and we went to the Warhol exhibition, and some drunk pals painted my nails.

 Had a sandwich party at the top of Mount Victoria, finally got a Feminist Killjoy banner from Unicorn Parade, bought some stuff on Trade Me including an awesome 1950s Egyptian-print dress. 

Went to Maddie and Rachael's house a lot (x2), bought the same vintage Swatch that my mum has from her youth so we can match. 

Wore lots of novelty prints, bought cute dresses on Trade Me, got this amazing portrait of me and my fella done for his birthday by good old Stevie.

Got an impulse nose piercing with Tash, went record shopping with Tash, looked cute but had fringe gap at brunch with Tash. Lots of Tash.

 Got these pewter Docs as a present from my mum and wore them in dancing at Mighty, bought myself this great 1950s cheerleading uniform to add to my collection, went to Arthur's for amaaazing brunch and got a great haul from another Emporium Vintage sale.
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