How To Throw A Vintage Party!

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It’s been a busy month for birthdays at Vintage HQ – three out of four of our core team have celebrated their big day in the space of a fortnight! Whether there was something a little retro-magic about the month of May we don’t know, but we’re sure been having a fun time throwing some vintage birthday soirees to celebrate (armed with plenty of gin, of course!)

With that in mind, we wanted to share our top tips for throwing a great vintage-inspired party. Whether it be a birthday, a graduation surprise or simply just a ‘summer is finally on it’s way’ knees up, here are some things to consider to get your bash off to the perfect start.

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The setting
Many of you out there will be blessed with perfectly styled vintage homes – well done you! Having a party at home can save you quite a lot of money and create a relaxed, familiar environment for your guests – plus there’s no curfew! Although there is of course the nervousness that comes with a coaster-less drink set down on your teak table…

If you’re thinking of having a party at home, perhaps consider putting away some of your more valuables, or else closing off a bedroom/spare room for guests to leave their coats but not linger. If the idea is stressing you out or you have a large number of guests, perhaps consider local hire of a town hall or community centre – with a good theme, any hall can be transformed into vintage heaven – just ask us!

Decor
Despite our love of vintage, we’re a fairly modern bunch at Judy’s HQ – frills and frou frou just aren’t us (unless they fall into the delightfully kitsch category). We like to let vintage inform our design choices rather than dictate it, which is what you should do too. Prevent your decor from looking overbearing by sticking to a few key statement pieces – a hired in Tiki Bar, an amazing curtain photo backdrop, vintage-crockery or bold prints. All of these things at once might make guests feel like they’re in a museum – not a good look!

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Food and drinks
You’re going to need sustenance if you want to make it past 12pm! Catering rules suggest preparing an average of 3 canapés for each guest, although if your pals are like you might want to make a few extra! Jazz up your table with fancy plates and mix and match your crockery styles and sizes for an effortless vintage look. Top it all off with a cocktail trolley equipped with shakers, pretty glasses and umbrellas – ask guests to bring a bottle if you’re not quite sure what spirits to stock up with. 

Entertainment
With a good set of friends, entertainment at your party needn’t be flashy – it’s amazing what ambience you can set just with an iPad and a killer Spotify playlist. If you fancy going big guns, hire a singer or vintage vinyl DJ – and get your requests in early!

 

12244752_10207910672469057_7598799833425843544_oThe Outfits
And lastly, the piece-de-resistance! An outfit can make or break your experience as a host/hostess, so make sure it’s something fabulous, fun and comfortable – there’s no point looking amazing if you can’t move an inch. Whether you’re asking your guests to stick to a theme or simply go wild, our events should be your first stop shop – you simply never know what one-off treasure you’re going to find!

Introducing Judy’s Affordable Vintage Digest Issue #8 – SS16

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.20.17It’s that wonderful time again! We proudly introduce issue #8 of our digital vintage magazine, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Digest – your one-stop-shop for all things Judy’s fair, vintage furniture flea and kilo sale.

With Spring finally sprung, this issue is dedicated to all things warm and sunny – think pretty pastels, summer wardrobes and fresh starts for your home. Whether you’re in need of a revision break or just treating yourself to a quiet moment in the new found sunshine, this issue of Judy’s Digest is a vintage magazine jam-packed full of inspiration. Get motivated to spring-clean that wardrobe by checking out our gallery of fabulously dressed customers, or break out the sewing machine like our new upcycling expert James Aldred. Not feeling quite so energetic? That’s fine by us too – we have the ultimate guide to in-season homeware that you can shop online, or kick back in front of one of our retro-approved movies.

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So what are you waiting for? Pull up a poufee, fix yourself a gin (or pot of tea) and get reading! Don’t forget to tell us what you think either – tweet us @judysvintagefair or pop us an email to magazine@judysvintagefair.co.uk.

In the mood for some shopping? Why not pop along to one of our upcoming events?

 

Archive By Alexa – Vintage On The High Street

Here’s a statement that probably won’t surprise you: we love Alexa Chung. Who doesn’t? A timeless fashionista with a cracking sense of humour, she’s been one of our go-to girls for style inspiration for a very long time.

Whilst we’re normally all about the real deal when it comes to vintage, we embrace any opportunity to bring retro styles to the masses. Which is why we did a little squeal when we heard all about Alexa’s ‘Archive By Alexa’ collaboration with high-street giants Marks & Spencer – a capsule collection based around some of the brand’s most classic styles and prints from the last eight decades.

Founded in our very hometown of Leeds in 1884, M&S has been a stalwart of British wardrobes for decades, but only recently has it become fashionable again with a younger audience through trend-led collections – think 70s knitwear, jumpsuits and strong paisley prints. With Alexa’s new line, they once again solidify themselves as a go-to brand for quality and comfort – and who knows, maybe we’ll be selling these designs at our fairs in 30 years time!

Check out our picks from the Archive by Alexa collection –

The Elsie Dress, £39.50

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The Eliza Dress (£45)

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The Mrytle Jumper (£29.50) and Lydia Trousers (£35)

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The Olive Slip Dress (£39.50) and Bertha Cardigan (£39.50)

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After some of the real vintage deal? Why not pop along to one of our upcoming events…

 

Fashion Revolution Week

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All in all, vintage is a pretty ethical business. The very essence of what we do at Judy’s is providing an alternative to the high street both in style and substance, allowing our customers to celebrate the past and give life to new clothes rather than feeding into the ‘fast fashion’ (and ultimately faster landfill) mentality that plagues so many modern retailers.

That said, we do love a bit of modern too – when it’s done right. On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The poor conditions that these people were working in in order to produce cut-price clothing for the western world ultimately cost them their lives, something we rarely think about when we pop into our local chainstore and pick up a disposable outfit for a tenner.

While there’s nothing wrong with a bargain (our kilo sale as a great example!), it is important that we consider who is paying the price for our budget items, and that we do what we can to encourage businesses to be more transparent about the conditions in which their workers are producing this clothing. With that in mind, we are huge fans of Fashion Revolution Week – an initiative launched in response to that terrible incident in Bangladesh. On 24th April each year, Fashion Revolution brings everyone in the fashion value chain together and help to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future.

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So now you’re all clued up, how can you get involved? Luckily for you, you’re already doing a great deal – shopping vintage and second-hand with brands like ourselves helps lessen the pressure even just a little on the manufacture of new items, And why keep pumping out new items when there is so many old ones to love?

Next, take to Twitter (like you need an excuse) and ask your favourite brand – #whomademyclothes? If you’ve snapped something up from one of our fairs, check out the label and contact that company – let them know that you’ve done your part by buying second-hand but want to know that they’re doing theirs too.

Lastly, let’s all hail the #haulternative – step away from the consumerist values of the traditional youtube ‘haul’ and celebrate items you already own. Whether it’s a guide to some of your favourite event charity buys or maybe even some handmade items, a haulternative is a great way to break the cycle of purchasing things we don’t really love or need and actually stopping to appreciate our already bursting wardrobes.

By thinking that little bit harder about what we buy and holding those at the top accountable for their actions, we can all contribute to making sure that the fashion industry is a safer place for those who work in it. Tag us in your posts too – we’d love to see the great finds you’ve bought from us over the years!

Learn more about Fashion Revolution Week here

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The Vintage Spring Clean – Simple ways to refresh your home

Fling those windows open and grab your mop – it’s time for a spring clean! Giving your home the once over may seem like a massive chore, but it’s also a great opportunity to evaluate your possessions, rid yourself of rubbish and maybe even treat yourself to a new item or two.

That’s right – we’re not about to go all ‘minimal living’ on you. Quite the opposite – a vintage home is all about fun, well-curated pieces that complement each other, rather than trying to achieve perfection through throwing out everything you own. Clutter can be okay – it just needs to be stylish!

Here are our top tips for refreshing your home in time for spring  – no Kirsty Allsopp necessary!

c1e9dcb6554018e2181cc413c36fa4f1Replace Your Cushions
Sofa looking a bit saggy and tired? A new cushion (or twelve) is a great way to add a pop of vintage without having to commit to expensive new furniture – not that we don’t love a great Eames chair! Opt for complimentary colours or choose sympathetic patterns and shapes; we absolutely love atomic and geometric styles.

 

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Go green-fingered
Nothing says spring like some fresh new plants and flowers – the perfect little pick-me-up to make a home feel more like ‘your own’. We’ll leave your choice of bloom up to you, but we’re a sucker for a succulent or even a bold sunflower. Pop yours in a statement tray or vintage vase for maximum appeal.

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Office Inspiration
If you’re anything like us, working from a home office is seeming more and more appealing as the weather improves – no more need to huddle under a blanket! in this room of the house, inspiration is key – surround yourself by knick knacks that really bring you joy. Whether it’s a retro poster print or a toy from your childhood, these personal effects are what will really make your home sing.

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Combat boring breakfasts
As spring comes, we often get more creative with our mealtimes. Prevent yours from becoming a chore by investing in some vintage kitchenware – a statement tray, cute dinner set or maybe even some amazing new pots and pans. Let’s face it – your instagram flat lay will thank you.

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Prepare to entertain
The evenings are getting longer – that means more time to party! Spring means getting social; make your guests feel at home with some quirky glassware or go the whole hog with a home bar – we’ve been coveting this tiki beauty for a long time!

In the mood for a refresh? Head to one of our vintage furniture fleas to pick up all of the styles mentioned above and much much more…

April 16th & 17th – South London Vintage Furniture Flea Weekender
April 24th – Bristol Vintage Furniture Flea
May 21st – Leeds Vintage Furniture Flea

1 Girl, 7 Dresses – Hayley’s Guide to Kilo Shopping

7 Days of Vintage Kilo Sale OutfitsWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we get no bigger thrill at Vintage and Kilo HQ than seeing what our lovely shoppers have picked up at our events. Whether it’s an impulse bargain, a memory of their childhood or simply a piece that fits like a glove, we just love shopping vicariously through you. Not to mention the fact that it stops our own wardrobes from overflowing!

This week in Kilo-land, we got a lovely little treat on instagram when a tag popped up from Glasgow-based blogger and freelance writer Hayley Angell. Describing herself as a “Banter-loving Aussie with a big voice and even bigger bum – freelance writer, vintage-nut, maker & wearer of fancy brooches”, we knew she was one of us instantly. Tagging us in a weeklong blog series, Hayley shared the 7 dresses she picked up from our last kilo sale, clocking in at just £37 for the lot (plus two more vintage pieces). Impressed by her thrifty abilities, we were desperate to hear more…

Hi Hayley! How did you first hear about the Vintage Kilo Sale?
I saw the Glasgow sale on Facebook which beautifully coincided with a light-bulb moment that my ample backside rather lends itself to vintage-style, full-circle skirts! I had only recently moved to the city, so when a pal suggested we go along together, I snapped her hand off. I’d follow you around the country if I could!

How would you describe your personal style in a sentence?
“Vintage reproductions of classic vintage styles.” I adore the glamour and femininity of the 40s and 50s but generally via reproductions from the 80s/90s/00s given my ample curves.

 What’s been your biggest buyers regret from the kilo?
A) Not buying more.  B) The infamous dress number 8. Who knew the 80s sailor-inspired polyester number with oversized white satin Chelsea collar and heavy seam right across the thighs wouldn’t work? I looked like Sailor Moon reimagined as a roast pork. But alas, it went back in the charity shop bag and I’ve probably since walked past someone wearing it with total dress envy!

And your favourite of the 7 dresses?
While Day 1 is pure me – casual, fun and wildly inappropriate for the Glasgow weather, I have to say Day 7. I put it on and feel like a movie star! Secretly, it’s 3 sizes too big, so I don’t button it down, I wear it as a wrap dress… it works!

Could you talk us through how you went about styling your dresses?
I’ve kept my styling pretty simple with vintage stud earrings, waist belt (my wardrobe staple) and head scarves. I’m not a great heel-wearer, so I tend to collect vintage-style midi heels and wedges from charity shops and markets as stores seem to stock only sky-high (I wish!) or flats.  I used to be quite picky in selecting accessories until I realised that a naff scarf/shoe/bracelet which coordinates/contrasts with your outfit will often trump a fab one that doesn’t! So, I pick an accent colour in my frock/top/skirt and accessorise to this colour. As a tip – I’d recommend getting yourself a basket and wearing it as a handbag. I must get stopped at least once a day with a lovely compliment!

What would be your best piece of advice for vintage virgins?
Just go along and have fun with it. Grab anything from the racks that catches your eye and don’t (ever!) look at the size. When I learned that sizes are completely irrelevant in vintage shopping (because there are so many variables like the style, country of origin, the trendiness of snug v loose fit at the time etc etc) it opened a whole new world of choice. I have dresses size 10-20, S-XXL in my wardrobe – so, if it looks like it’ll fit… throw it over your arm and keep going. When you’ve conquered the room, review all your grabs for the final shortlist and pay your respects to the Vintage Gods by hanging your unwanted’s back on the rack (besides, how else will I find my next vintage win?!). Was that 5 tips un-subtly disguised as 1!?

A huge thanks to Hayley for sharing her kilo wins – don’t forget to show us yours by tagging #kilobargains on Instagram and Twitter! If you’re in the mood for some shopping, check out our upcoming dates below…

SS16 – The top 5 trends you’ll want to wear

Is it just us, or does the first hint of British springtime make you feel like throwing off your winter coat, clearing out that wardrobe and filling it with a rainbow of new retro treasures? Well you’re in luck – Spring 2016 is finally go and it’s time to think about what we’re wearing.

Unsurprisingly, we’re not really ones for following fashion (vintage is forever darling), but we do like to tip our toe into the trends every once in a while. After scouring blogs, magazines and trend reports, here are the five key looks you can expect to be coveting over the coming months.

Global Technicolour

If an exotic holiday is looking like something of a pipe dream, the global trend should bring a little sunshine into your life. This is all about warm colours and print – opt for bold flowers, palm leaves, pom poms and heavy embellishment to avoid dipping into the distasteful realm of cultural appropriation. If in doubt, check out the style of Solange Knowles, Vogue stylist Julia Sarr-Jamois or our very own bookings and flea manager Donna (pictured below!)!Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.55.01

Souvenir Jackets

Satin jackets, bomber jackets, varsity jackets…no matter what you call them, this is the one style of outerwear that will reign supreme in SS16. Ranging from embroidered sports teams to graphic patterns and everything in between, their versatility makes them a great investment piece. Wear yours over a 50s frock for a girly prom look, or keep it casual with trainers and cuffed jeans. Kilo Manager Jenessa found this great red number at a London Kilo Sale – due to the super light fabric, it clocked in at a crazy-cheap £6!Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.28.22

 

 

 

Ruffles

Seen on the high fashion catwalks of Chanel and marc Jacobs to name but a few, romantic frills are everywhere – bonus points if they’re in a pretty pastel. To go all out, opt for a off-shoulder fit with ruffles all around – channel your inner Carmen Miranda! If you’re fearful of looking a little too downtown abbey, a rouched high collar or a peplum skirt should fit the bill. Fancy getting crafty? We love Hannah from Paloma In Disguise’s frilly DIY – http://www.palomaindisguise.com/2016/02/an-oxfam-spring-upcycle.htmlScreen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.32.57

Graphic Prints

Forget your usual pinstripe or a nautical number – this season stripes take centre stage. The more lurid the better – combine yours with checked or spotted separates for ultimate mind-bending pattern. We’ll be sporting ours in rainbows – try blending sunny yellowand candy pink together, or orange and purple – clashing is the aim of the game! Pinterest is absolutely bursting with inspiration – we found this great example on Elle Canada, using white as a spacer to create a great pop-art effect.elle canada

Contemporary 70s

Ever wished that you spent your childhood summers at an all-american summer camp? The contemporary 70s trend is for you. Think ringer tees, socks ‘n’ trainers, sporty shorts…the geekier the better for this hazy summer look. Worried you might be a little bit past the brownies and scouts phrase? Patch up a denim jacket or try out some kitschy accessories – we recommend a trip to our fair or flea for great novelty bags and baskets!IMG_7399

Feeling inspired to shop for ss16? Check out our upcoming dates to bag a bargain at a snip of the high street!

Dates for your Diary!

Trader Advice: Finding, Owning and Caring For Your Vintage Furniture

(taken from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Digest 7…read more here)

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By Kim and Phil Allsopp of Festival Fifty One

In our fast paced world of instant gratification and disposable lifestyles we are finding ourselves looking back at our pasts with fond nostalgia and a want to create home comforts from a bygone era.

There continues to be a growing demand for us to furnish our homes with original vintage furniture, lighting and styling from decades of the last century. A particular favourite period right now is the mid-century (1950’s – 1970’s).

So, how do we do this and where do we go?

Finding well made pieces that have stood the test of time, in good condition and at a reasonable price is becoming quite a challenge!

The Vintage Furniture Flea really is a great place to start. A sister business of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fairs, The Vintage Furniture Flea is filled with carefully selected traders who really do know their stuff!  You can pick up pretty much anything your heart desires for mid-century living at The Flea. What you will find is not only a fabulous array of stock to choose from but prices that really will surprise you! (in a very good way).

So, what do we choose?

Now this really does depend on personal taste.  I think it’s always best to start with a couple of key pieces which make an immediate impact.  How about a couple of new chairs, a new sofa or even a sideboard?  One simple piece can make a great new look instantly. The demand for solid wooden pieces in Teak or Rosewood is as high as ever and to be honest you really cannot beat these pieces for great quality and craftsmanship.

Don’t forget your mid-century lighting.  Lighting can and does dramatically change the mood of any room or space at home.  Mid-century lighting comes in many shapes and forms and in most cases, is instantly recognisable.  Warm yellow and orange glows from fibre spun shades and rocket lamps, as well as the space age forms of Danish pendant lights with their smooth copper and aluminium shapes suspended like floating UFO’s look quite simply, fabulous!

You can have an absolute field day with your soft furnishings too.  The vivid colours, prints, patterns and textures of fabrics from the

mid-century enable you to be as creative as you want to be in your own home.  Nothing looks as good as a scattering of cushions on a vintage sofa made from a variety of patterns and colours.

So, how do we care for our new mid-century homes?

To be honest, this is really quite simple…it’s back to basics here!  Remember this stuff has lasted an awful lot longer than most other things you have ever owned!

Wooden furniture always loves a feed.  When polishing it, use a non silicone based polish, and something beeswax based is great.

Remember a bit of elbow grease works a treat and helps with a nice shiny finish.

When cleaning your vintage glassware avoid the dishwasher at all costs! These were barely around when your glassware was produced and are far too harsh for your delicate Babycham glasses! (Look how cloudy your everyday glasses end up after a while when the dishwasher cleans them!)  Warm soapy water will bring a sparkle to any glass, vase or ornament.

Hand washing vintage textiles will not only avoid shrinkage but will keep your colours and patterns both bright and vivid.  This is exactly how you want these mini ‘pieces of art’ to remain!

This may seem a bit more arduous than your usual housekeeping chores, but just think of the pleasure these items bring to you and your home….it’s just like you’re rewarding them for their ongoing, almost eternal beauty!

Happy Hunting Everyone!

Hello Yellow!

Spring has sprung! Well sorta – you might have to look for the daffodils underneath the frost at the moment. But nonetheless, we’re loving the promise of warmer weather and a new season of events just around the corner. In typical Judy style, there’s only one way to celebrate – hello yellow!

Across our social media, we’re embracing our favourite hue of clothing, furniture and accessories. Captured your own retro photo in the sunny shade? We’d love to see it! Tag us in #helloyellow and we’ll reshare your images to create a perky feed that’ll ward off the last of the winter blues. Check out the best of our feeds so far!

INSTAGRAM
@judysvintagefair
@thevintagekilosale
@vintagefurnitureflea

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Fancy bringing some spring sunshine to your wardrobe? Check out our upcoming events…

JUDY’S AFFORDABLE VINTAGE FAIR
12th March – Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy (RSVP here)
19th March – Birmingham Custard Factory (RSVP here)
20th March – Clapham TA Centre 73 Kings Avenue (RSVP here)

THE VINTAGE KILO SALE
12th March – Liverpool Guild of Students (RSVP here)
13th March – Manchester The Union MMU (RSVP here)
20th March – Bristol Paintworks (RSVP here)

THE VINTAGE FURNITURE FLEA
12th March – Leeds Corn Exchange (RSVP here)
20th March – Bethnal Green York Hall (RSVP here)

Hello March! Our Vintage Line-Up

Call the police – it appears somebody has stolen the first quarter of the year! They say time flies when you’re having fun, and with a crazy-busy start to our vintage 2016, we simply can’t believe that we’re already heading in March.

The vintage fun isn’t letting up for any of our three brands – Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, The Vintage Kilo Sale or The Furniture Flea. Read on to hear what we have in store for you this month…

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Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair
With an ethos of affordability, the formula for our fairs is a simple one; gather premiere vintage traders from all over the UK, check them for affordable, eclectic vintage stock and gather them together in the biggest cities across the UK. Expect everything from the 20s right through to the 90s – mens and womenswear, homeware and accessories, all topped off with lashings of cake from our exclusive tea party provider. Here are our dates for March –

5th March – Nottingham Trent Student’s Union (RSVP here)
12th March – Oxford University Catholic Chaplaincy (RSVP here)
19th March – Birmingham Custard Factory (RSVP here)
20th March – Clapham TA Centre 73 Kings Avenue (RSVP here)

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The Vintage Kilo Sale
Join the UK’s longest-serving vintage kilo sale for tonnes of retro fun. Pick and mix 1000s of mens and womenswear items from the 1970s-90s – all seasons and styles – and pay just £15 per kilo. Weigh more, pay more; weigh less, pay less. What’s not to love?

12th March – Liverpool Guild of Students (RSVP here)
13th March – Manchester The Union MMU (RSVP here)
20th March – Bristol Paintworks (RSVP here)

10978545_10153072229581798_6924005862900749957_nThe Furniture Flea
Founded in 2010 from a gap in the market and some serious love for old-world furnishings, The Furniture Flea covers furniture and homewares, textiles and electricals, a showcase of decoration from the fifties and beyond, all bound by affordability. Visitors can expect a good selection throughout the UK and to never go flat-pack again!

12th March – Leeds Corn Exchange (RSVP here)
20th March – Bethnal Green York Hall (RSVP here)