Monday, 23 March 2015

Shopping vintage for vintage rookies.

Vintage or retro fashion (as some refer to it as) is something that has become increasingly popular over the past decade and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. Today I am here to convince all you vintage rookies out there why it is a good idea to invest in vintage fashion and come on over to the dark side.

So the first question is 'why vintage'?

The high street these days has us all looking like clones. I don’t know about you but  don’t you like looking different? The way you dress is part of your identity believe it or not. It says something about you . It is a form of self expression.  I for one love standing out. I never used to but fashion became an important part of my identity at some point in my life ( I feel an ugly duckling to a swan story coming up). I like mixing high street trends with my vintage pieces to create a more personal look. Vintage is a great way of making yourself stand out. A lot of vintage pieces come as a one off piece that only you will own. So why not?

Other convincing factors...

Quality: Clothes and accessories from eras past where made a lot differently. The high street as we know it today did not exist back then and clothes where made with longevity in mind. Fashion didn't change drastically every couple of months or weeks so clothes had to last more than one season.  Often times when I look at a vintage pieces I notice that they are well made, with better material and  finishing. A lot more love went into making these things. Why not own some of that love? If an item has lasted that long on this earth and it still has life then surely it says something about the quality. Everything these days is mass produced. The high street is always trying to sell you a new trend and things go out of fashion very quickly. 

Price range

Vintage can be as cheap or expensive as you like. There is really a wide variety when it comes to shopping vintage. From flea markets to high end vintage boutiques. For all you rookies I would advice you to start off cheap especially if you are still finding your style. The good thing with vintage is that cheap doesn't mean less value it just means going to less glamorous places to shop and digging for what you think you might like. Don’t kick it till you have tried it. I once found a 1980s Givenchy jacket for R5 ( this is less than 5 pence  for all my British readers)  in the Manzini flea market.  Vintage stores kind of pick out stuff they think will sell or people will find interesting and high end vintage stores mostly deal with couture pieces or items worn by famous dead or alive people back in the day.  I for one love flea markets. I could live there and when I’m in Swaziland I shop in flea markets exclusively. The shops make me panic because my brain thinks in pounds when I see R90 my brain is seeing £90 and it shuts down on me.

What I think you should look for when vintage shopping?
Versatility : this is the most important factor for me. An item has to go with as many pieces in my existing closet. This helps me visualise the different ways an item can be styled. If a garment is versatile it means I get maximum use out of the item and for me that is a plus for me.

Unique factor : With vintage clothing you are most likely to be the only individual that own that particularly piece in your area code. ( I can’t guarantee the world sorry). Why not add a few pieces to your wardrobe that will make you have a more unique look. Mix vintage pieces with high street fashion and create something fresh and uniquely you. ( Am I drawing you to the dark side yet.  Yes. No Yes?)

Colour and pattern: Sometimes we give up on a piece of clothing because it’s too big or small. When shopping  for vintage. If it has an interesting colour or pattern  then I say go for it.  Just find a tailor to work with so you can breathe new life into something old and unwanted..

Where to shop vintage for rookies?

If the idea of diving head first into a loud flea market where you will have to haggle with people doesn't appeal to you. I would suggest trying a second hand shop first which is a bit more organised and less smelly than a flea market.  Also try looking online if physically going out there to buy stuff puts you off. There are a plethora of vintage stores. I have one check it out  here ( cheeky advertisement). But seriously from eBay to Etsy to ASOS market place there are many vintage stores online. This is especially a great idea if you don’t know how to style pieces. Online vintage stores invests a lot of time in styling their pieces to give their buyers ideas on how to wear them.  Get styling ideas from Instagram and Tumblr if you are not sure how you would style a particular piece. There are plenty of options out there.

Vintage clothes shopping is more or less like an adventure. Be open to experiencing new things and all will be well.

Well I hope you enjoyed this post  lovelies.  I really have a passion for looking unique and standing out and I am sure it comes through in this piece. If you have any questions feel free to ask me. For more vintage inspiration follow me on Instagram @misstiwscloset and follow my vintage brand’s account @tiwisclosetvintage.

Have a fantastic week people.

Be a Diva in vintage ( like my fabulous assistants below) 



Friday, 13 March 2015

Plus Vintage with Tiwi's Closet Vitnage

Hello every body. It's been a couple of weeks but as I always I remain loyal to my love for blogging and fashion. You guys don't know how many changes I have been going through in the last month.

So sometime in January or should I say sometime last Decemeber I had a fabulous brain wave. 
I thought it would be interesting to show you guys how I see vintage. I am usually the face behind the styling and buying but this time I decided to be the face in front of the camera.

 This is exactly how I would dress no jokes. To be honest when I am buying pieces for Tiwi’s Closet Vintage I always visualise how I would style the items. There has to be that connection for me to buy anything. You could say then that I have an emotional connection with all of my merchandise.  Whenever I pick out an item I visualise how I would wear it or how I would style it on another person. So you could also say the vision is what I buy when I pick each item and the vision is what I pass on to my customers.

As with anything fashion related there is usually a lack or limited amount of a plus size presence.  At the time of the shoot I wasn’t thinking “hey let me wave the plus size flag”. I was simply thinking let me share my style with fashion lovers out there. However I have noticed a lack of plus size wearable vintage out there so this one is for us plus size ladies.  All the clothing you see ( minus the shoes and ccessories) Will be available on our etsy shop. 

 We offer worldwide shipping .

On the day of the shoot it was raining and cold. The shoot was in Leeds and believe me my hair was not working with me. I had actually only just taken out my crochet braids the day before and didn't really have much time to do anything with it. This is my hair after it has been deep conditioned and washed. I decided to go with my hair in it's bare natural glory ( what choice did I have) and I  can honestly say I am happy with how it turned out. 

My photographer for the day was the lovely Kinga Kopcaz. She is an amazing and patient photographer. I worked with  her on the last Tiwi's Closet Vintage Lookbook and I wasn't disappointed this time either. 

And here is what we achieved together:

Photography credits: Kinga Kopcaz

Being a modella even for a day is hard work don't get it twisted. For all you aspiring models posing is no joke. I tried my best and I would love to do this again some day. Who know you just might see another one of these again. 

In the last two years I have become a doer instead of just a dreamer.  I am challenging you to do the same. Don't keep all those great ideas in your head. Make them a reality.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did. 

Happy weekend 

Love , your modella


Monday, 23 February 2015

So you wannabe a fashion blogger?

You will not believe how many times I have sat down to write this piece and failed. I have several drafts of blogging 101 but they were mostly researched points with a bit of me thrown in. 

Today I will be sharing Tiwi's Tips on why 
a) I think we should all be fashion bloggers ( a bit of exaggeration for you)
b) what it takes to be a fashion blogger

Now seriously if you have a great sense of style or something’s to say about fashion. Why haven't you started a blog? Blogging in the last 5 or so years has become a big thing. There are millions of people out there who want to be seen / share their passion for fashion. A blog is like your fashion CV. If you are seriously interested in fashion in any capacity then it kind of blows if you don't have a CV to really back up your passion.

The first thing you need to start a blog is ... Confidence. Pretty obvious ( you are probably thinking) However when I say confidence I mean you have to be confident that whatever you are going to share will find a reader or someone who will like it. You have to be confident in your abilities to start. You need to have  confidence in your knowledge and originality because there will be a lot of things out there that make you question yourself. When you start your blog you will notice that there are many blogs out there. Some you will admire some will baffle you as to why they exist but as with anything in life there will be people who are better than you and you will need to keep believing in your abilities and what you are about or you will fade into oblivion or becoming a copy of someone else.

Originality:  You need to have an idea about what you want to say. You want to try and communicate exactly who you are through the work you put out there.  Your originality is your selling point. It will be that thing that makes you different and stand out and believe me people know when you are being original or just copying someone else out there.

3)     Time: This is something I used to skimp on and I will tell you now. In order to be a person that blogs about interesting , engaging content you will need to dedicate some of your precious time and energy into your blog. Having a blog takes a lot out of you. You have to be committed to it if you want to grow ( in audience and knowledge). Readers can tell when you have taken time to work on a post. You pour more of yourself into something you invest your time in.

If you are blogging about fashion , especially your personal style then yes you will need money to invest in your wardrobe. I am just saying. You will need a variety of clothing to come up with interesting outfits. This doesn't mean you will have to spend thousands. You might just have to shop around. Only buy things that are truly your style. There is no point buying what everyone else is buying and styling it exactly like them. You can wait for sales , shop online. There are so many options out there but yes you will need money to buy stuff unless you already have an extensive wardrobe then hey you're all sorted.  

5)     You have to have a developing vision for your blog. This point goes hand in hand with the point on originality.  Ask yourself this question. What do I want my blog to say? What is my message or my angle? However you must be opening to growing and trying new things. For instance when I started blogging I just wanted to share my personal style. It has since evolved to include a lot about vintage, my hair and my love for lipstick. My vision about what I want to say is constantly evolving but it always includes my original idea which is my personal style and sharing my ideas about fashion.

Research: I can’t stress how much you need to research. Depending on what aspect of fashion you want to discuss on your blog you need to know your stuff and keep up to date with what is happening.  You can do this by reading other fashion blogs, Tumblr, twitter and fashion magazines are your friend. Also reading fashion books will help you build your knowledge. The more you put into learning about fashion the more inspired you will be and the more your originality will grow.  Research is also important when it comes to learning the technical side of blogging for instance making a header, editing pictures, editing your theme in html and so much more. YouTube and Google are your friend when it comes to learning these things. No one will come and give you the information ( unless you are lucky and you know very nice people who don't mind doing it for you). 

You will need to make an investment at some point in buying your blog name and making it an actual website and also changing the theme of your blog. When you use or all your work belongs to WordPress or blogger. They can decide to remove your blog at any given time. They basically own the rights to your content and your blog. So it is well worth investing in a domain name. Yes I know what you’re thinking. Hey Tiwi you haven’t done that yourself. Well I have bought my own domain name  I just haven’t got round to changing my BlogSpot to a Another thing to consider is that someone else may buy the right to use the name you want to use … Eventually you will have to up your theme game. Add social media buttons, make it look pleasing to the eye. It's hard I won't lie but it all it takes is patience and a willingness to learn.

Camera. You will need a decent camera to take good quality pictures. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to buy a DSLR but you will need a camera that takes decent pictures. Your pictures will be what people see and if they aren't good quality people will lose interest. You have to look at your blog and ask yourself if this wasn't mine would I be interested in it. Your pictures are the first thing that people see when they go in your blog. The pictures capture them and then they read what you have to say. I would say that if you want to take your craft seriously and move onto the next level you might have to consider investing in a DSLR. I’m just saying. 

Social Media.Yes chile you will have to familiarize yourself with all social media platforms. That is how you will get your blog out there. It is where you will mold your image and your voice. Get on that twitter, Instagram, make a Facebook page, get on Tumblr and Pinterest. These platforms will also help you meet other like minded people and will help you have regular interactions with your audience. Social media is your marketing tool and your networking avenue. Stufy it , learn it and use it well.

Well lovelies that is all auntie Tiwi has for you today. I hope someone finds this useful. I know I enjoy writing these long posts filled with loads of Tiwi tidbits. Let us all flourish and blog.

Love and Light

Tiwi x