Patching Things Up – Tips For 2016’s Hottest Trend


Even the most casual fashion fans among us will know that this year, one trend has dominated all of fashion – the humble pin or patch. No longer the domain of cub scouts or your Nana’s darning needle, these cute little customisations are how the fashion set are personalising their look, showing some individuality and crucially offering a serious throwback to the ‘collector’ trends of the 80s/90s.

But how best to rock your own patched piece without looking more shabby than chic? Embellished jeans, dresses and bags can look great in the right hands, but for patching newbies, you can’t go far wrong with a classic jacket. Feeling inspired? Follow our top tips and you’ll be rocking this look in no time.

Start simple
First things first, you’ll need to select your patching garment. It’s best to opt for a plain, hardy fabric – think denim or a heavy cotton. A plain background is often best so as not to clash with your pins and patches. A quick trip to our kilo sale or vintage fair is the perfect place to source your garment – play your cards right and it’ll cost you less than £15!

Shop Independent
As us vintage fans will know all too well, there is an immense satisfaction for sporting a garment that nobody else owns. Patching a jacket is a great excuse to support independent businesses and avoid lower-quality high street imitations (see the current accusations against Zara for copying indie artists’s work.) Shop around on etsy or search the tracked tags on Instagram – or have a chat with our traders of course!

Quality not Quantity
It can be tempting to patch as you go or throw any old thing at your jacket in an attempt to ‘finish it’, but we think it’s definitely worth building up a solid collection of patches over time before you go to town. The best patch effect is achieved by good curation, so think carefully about the vibe you want to portray and be patient in your pursuit for the perfect piece. Remember that a jacket can be subject to a fair bit of wear, so always opt for patches and pins of good sturdy quality – you don’t want bits falling off!

Plan things out
Feel like you’ve nailed your collection? Perfect! Now you’re at the stage where planning is key. Pins are obviously easy as they can be moved around, but patches require a little more consideration – lay yours out in full on your jacket or tack them with needle and thread to ensure you’re happy before going the whole hog. Also, be sure to check the instructions for each patch – modern ones are often iron fixable, whereas vintage patches may be better off handsewn. if you do get things a little wrong, don’t worry – the patched look is meant to be a little messy and unkept for it’s true effect.

So there we have it – time to get patching! We’d love to see your best efforts – tweet us a picture to @judysvintagefair or tag us on insta!

denim patch moodboard

SS16 – Shopping retro in the high street sales

We all know what it’s like when you have an event coming up and just can’t find THE outfit – stress city! While we are normally complete vintage purists for both ethical and style reasons (no chance of turning up to that party in the same dress), we do understand the panic of a last minute outfit or the desire for that mid-week treat, which is why we’ve been keeping our eye on the high street and online summer sales.

Whether it’s a repro shop or a more traditional chain, there are plenty of retro pieces to be found in your local city centre – this vintage trend just ain’t going away! Classically british weather can make it difficult to part with too much cash in pursuit of the perfect summer outfit, which is why we’ve stepped in to help you do it on a budget. Behold’ our digest of the high street sales to give you four classic looks to help you through these months.

Not feeling our mass-produced picks?  Or just fancy the real deal? Never fear – check out our events tab for your next local vintage fair, furniture flea or kilo sale.


retro summer outfits ss16


Summers Day
Blouse – Topshop, £18
Skirt – New Look, £9
Sandals – Clarks, £40
Handbag – Zara Kids, £7.99

Date Night
Top – New Look, £8
Trousers – Tara Starlet, £25
Heels – Clarks, £20
Clutch – Lulu Guiness via ASOS, £145

retro summer outfits ss162Retro Wedding
Dress: Marks & Spencer, £30
Bag – Zara, £22.99
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens via Office, £96
Earrings – Bow And Crossbones, £8

Office Wear
Blouse: H&M, £8
Skirt – Tara Starlet, £14
Sandals – Clarks, £30
Earrings – Bow & Crossbones, £6

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


The Eliza Dress (£45)

eliza dress

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


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


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


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





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 – 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!

Retro Inspiration from London Fashion Week SS16

We’d be a little hypocritical at Judy HQ if our personal wardrobes weren’t at least 90% vintage, but we’re sure we’re not alone in getting a wee bit excited everytime LondonFashion Week rolls around. A veritable whos-who of front-rowers, the street style, the soundtracks and wacky hair and makeup…we love it all! While we were not lucky enough to attend London Fashion Week ourselves this year, we did enjoy picking our favourite retro-inspired styles out on the Vogue website. Tres chic…

orla kiely ss16Orla Kiely
Kilo Manager Jenessa is a huge fan of Orla Kiely and her 60s-inspired floral prints, so it was no surprise to find her coveting almost everything from the collection! Set amongst a crazy golf scene, purple pastels held their own against vibrant yellows and of course, THAT clarks footwear collaboration. We best get saving our pennies…

holly fulton ss16Holly Fulton
Feeling more seventies? Studio Fulton is your place to be. We loved the autumn-pallette-meets-summer-shapes that makes this collection so wearable all year round. Catch us in that flare and blouse combo…or maybe a statement dress or two…we can’t decide!

jeremy scott moschino ss16

Jeremy Scott
Lead designer at Moschino, Jeremy Scott has been a kitsch favourite for a while. This season, he took things to the 80s height of Barbie once more, contrasting with edgy prints and neon colours. Not for the faint-hearted, but those electric blue boots have our heart.

mansur gavriel 2Mansur Gavriel
The colours, the prints, the super-cool models…we’re in love with everything about this Italian accessory designers collection. While the emphasis was on the shoes and bags, we can’t help but wish they’d whip up those pinafores for consumer sale as well…we want every colour!

Feeling inspired to grab some fashion-forward garments for your wardrobe? We’ve got a vast calendar of kilo sales and fashion fairs to get you kitted out in the sort of retrowear that will be influencing the catwalks for years to come. Let’s face it, vintage never goes out of style! Check our events tab for more information.

Fri 25th September – Leeds Freshers Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 26th September – Cardiff Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 26th September – Birmingham Vintage Kilo Sale
Sun 27th September – Bristol Vintage Kilo Sale
Thursday 1st October – UCLU Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 3rd October – Manchester Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 3rd October – Edinburgh Vintage Kilo Sale
Sat 3rd October – Leeds Vintage Kilo Sale
Sun 4th October – Bethnal Green Affordable Vintage Fair
Saturday 10th October – South London Kilo Sale
Sun 11th October – Newcastle Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 17th October – Cambridge Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 17th October – Liverpool Vintage Kilo Sale
Sun 18th October – Bristol Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 24th October – Oxford Affordable Vintage Fair
Sat 24th October – Manchester Vintage Kilo Sale
Sat 31st October – Lincoln Vintage Kilo Sale
Sat 31st October – Birmingham Affordable Vintage Fair