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…