Tag Archives: vintage

  • Frockery Eco-Fashion Challenge 2015: winners announced!

    March 9, 2015

    vintage fair

    "Why buy new?"

    Our fifth #frockerychallenge has ended and our judges have had the most unenviable task of trying to pick the prize winners from a record breaking number, and amazingly eco-stylish, array of entries.

    Chief judge Janice Stewart,  owner of Tweed’ll Dee By Notions of Brechin and a previous challenge winner; the absolutely fabulous Patsy A, a former model who graced magazine covers in the 60s and 70s; and, last but not least, our very own Kirstin Frocker, all admitted to tearing their hair out over the final decision, which we are now delighted to announce.

    Cue drum roll....

    This year's winning slot is a 'first equal' as the judges couldn't separate Breagha Cuinn and Onnagh Cuinn, who they all felt brought a sense of fun and quirkiness to the competition, as well as demonstrating some strongly  'street chic' eco-stylish credentials. They can put their heads together to choose frockery to the value of £100 from our catalogue (and we'll expect photographic evidence!)

    Here's a small selection of their head turning outfits posted throughout the month.

    breagha 2

    Breagha: Second hand vintage sequin top, handmade furry skirt, charity shop tights 50p and handmade bow


    Onnagh: Swallow dress from charity shop


    Breagha: Charity shop dress £6, second hand pin striped blazer, charity shop tie, second hand tights

    onnagh 3

    Onnagh: Brocade top £5 from a charity shop. Pin striped mini skirt £4 from a charity shop 


    Breagha: Chartiy shop sequin dress; second hand faux fur mini cape and glasses; hand made pom pom head band and vintage cat pad lock choker 

    Our runner-up, who is invited to choose frockery to the value of £50 from our catalogue, is Douglas Johnston, a superbly stylish young man who wowed us all with some dramatic costumes, including hand made Jedi robes! There was no going back once he had been entered by A.N. Other (possibly his mum?) in this dashing ensemble.

    douglas 2

    Zara suit from a St Andrews charity shop, around a tenner; vintage silk scarf his mum would have paid £1 for in a charity shop at some point

    Here, Douglas cleverly combined third generation vintage with second hand to create a unique look with a proudly Scottish flavour and 'attitude'.

    douglas kilt

    Kilt 3rd generation handed down through family; boots, waistcoat, shirt, bowtie- all second hand; velvet jacket - charity shop £1.99 

    Congratulations to our winners and please contact us to claim your prizes.

    The fact that we had so many entries this year, all of such an exceptional standard, made it harder than ever for our judging panel. A big thank you goes to Janice, Patsy and Kirstin, as well as to all those who entered into the spirit of the challenge by posting their fabulous outfits and fostering a real sense of camaraderie among group members. [Note to Pat Jones: we're still waiting for that onesie pic!] 

    Looking at the stylish combinations of vintage, preloved and hand made clothes and accessories on display, it's clear that second hand is most definitely not second best, and we salute every one of our entrants for flying the eco-fashion flag and celebrating slow fashion with such passion. As Anne commented during the challenge, "I love the feeling of anticipation you get as you walk into a charity shop", a sentiment with which we can all identify, and some of our flea market finds and 'car booty captures' have been truly awesome. Let's keep spreading the message: "Why buy new when it's more fashionable, frugal and eco-friendly to go retro?"

    See you all next February, we hope, for  a full 29 days of leap year eco-frocking! Meanwhile, please stay tuned to our Facebook group for exclusive offers, giveaways and other one-off events that we hope to run during the year.


  • Rain-mates

    October 10, 2014

    rain mate

    Image via Pinterest

    Who remembers the rain-mate, that handy little head topping accessory that the 1950s housewife could whip out of her handbag at the hint of a shower? Apparently more than a few of us harbour fond memories of these concertina-folding pieces of transparent plastic with attached ties, which seem to have been reinvented for the modern Miss/Mrs/Ms and are readily available on ebay and elsewhere. A casual online search even revealed a blogger called Jonathan with a penchant for posting about rain-mates, which, he noted, had brought him a whole lot of new visitors and comments courtesy of Google. We thought we'd try it, too...

    The last sighting of an authentic 50s rain-mate we had was in a vintage shopping bag bought at Dens Road Market in Dundee some years ago by the chief frocker's friend Fiona. It sparked a conversation with K Frocker - at the time an art student - about a rain-mate revival as we felt they could once again become popular, especially in our disproportionately damp climate. We even mused about possible customised designs for festivals and outdoor events, but it appears they never actually disappeared and have just been skulking around the internet waiting for customers who want to keep their heads dry as cheaply as possible. And people obviously do still buy them. But would you wear one (even for a dare)?

    rain-mate bad postcards

    Image credit: Bad Postcards

    Anyway, the rainy season is upon us again and it's always a challenge to stay stylish at the same time as getting drookit. Despite its vintage pedigree, we would have to draw the line at describing the rain-mate as stylish.

    When the heavens open, the chief frocker invariably reaches for her green waxed Barbour jacket and matching hat which manages to frustrate even the stair-rod sort of rain that is native to north east Scotland. If rather more stylish attire is called for, she usually opts for one of her collection of Burberry raincoats and a trusty brolly.

    If you are in need of some storm proof, watertight wear without a thunder and lightningly frightening price tag, then look no further as the Frockery is packed with macs, trenches and anoraks that won't damp anyone's style. Unlike the rain-mate...

    oprions austin reed trench coat

    Options at Austin Reed classic trench coat

    Barbour quilted jacket

    Men's Barbour sportsquilt casual jacket 

    aqua retro raincoat

     Aqua retro raincoat

    burberrys beige raincoat mac

    Classic Burberrys beige raincoat

    Vintage red mod mac

    Vintage red mod mac

    men's burberry beige casual jacket

    Men's Burberry beige casual zip front jacket

  • This Old Thing: back to the future for fashion

    June 26, 2014

    this old thing dawn o'porter

    Dawn O'Porter  Image credit: Channel 4

    Being vintage aficionados for more years than we care to remember, and having worn 60s, 70s and 80s clothes with pride the first time around (when we were younger, thinner and rather more dedicated followers of fashion), it was disappointing to read some of the cutting reviews of the first episode of Channel 4's homage to vintage and second hand fashion, This Old Thing, presented by Dawn O'Porter.

    We would say that, wouldn't we? Nevertheless, we  find ourselves driven to disagree with the snooty put downs about the "predictability" of the show, the clothes, the presenter and the concept by mass media, which, one and all, depend on fast fashion corporations for advertising revenue in these straitened economic times. The "predictability" of vested interests, you could say.

    We are not ashamed to admit that we enjoyed the programme, tweeted enthusiastically about it along with some virtual vintage loving chums and saw our website traffic spike to 50% more than its daily average.  Although we didn't rate a mention (nor did we expect to as a micro mini vintage outfit in the sticks), we were happy to receive collateral crumbs of interest via the search engines from many new visitors, whose interest  in vintage had clearly been piqued by the programme.

    Wall to wall sport elsewhere probably had something to do with it, too, but far be it from us to criticise the "predictability" of fit blokes chasing a ball around a field, or hitting a smaller one back and forward over a net. Each to their own! Even if our Andy is defending his Wimbledon title, it won't get exciting until much later in the competition, so we'll stick to old frockery for now.

    We found Dawn's efforts to convert fast fashionistas into lovers of all things retro laudable, but the initial negative reactions of the young contemporary case studies was testament to the cult of disposability that now permeates our society. One wonders if these same people have a similar phobia of sleeping in hotel beds with their second hand mattresses and sheets. Have they not heard of washing machines or dry cleaners? Do they even possess a needle and thread, or know how to stop a ladder in the tights with a spot of clear nail varnish?

    While we're at it, why not mention the war? Back in the old days, without any mod cons, our mothers and grandmothers looked after their (relatively few) clothes to prolong their lifetime out of necessity and all had the skills to do so. Hell, even the chief frocker learned how to darn a sock and turn a heel on four pins (she kids you not!) at school in the early 70s before gratefully dropping domestic science (at which she did not excel) in favour of Latin. It is deeply concerning to see how the old values of thrift, make-do-and-mend and quality have since been supplanted by mass production of trashable fast fashion. We have written about this before - see Slow fashion: winning the race for hearts and minds?

    Even buying high end high street won't guarantee someone else won't turn up in the same frock, so if you want to be unique you really need to embrace the new / old paradigm and look back to the future! Shopping vintage and preloved, making and altering your own clothes and using your imagination to create an individual look that is not dictated by fast fashion brands is, frankly, a no brainer, so we old frockers welcome This Old Thing and will continue to value our own old things, look after them and wear them on a daily basis.

    We like to think we are part of the revolution that is second-handedly saving the planet (and the wallet) in style. As we keep banging on, why buy new when it's more fashionable, frugal and eco-friendly to go retro?

    Still doubtful? Here are a few of our 'old things' on a young and beautiful model. For more examples and inspiration, take a look at our Frockery Fashionistas section, and why not consider entering our next Eco Fashion Challenge?



    Photographer Oliver Schneider captured these stunning images of Juuli Vaajaniemi in some of our vintage frockery: a little black 40s cocktail dress (bought in a charity shop 10 years ago) and a 60s ivory silk sequinned two piece (pre-owned by a former model). Hair and make up by SC MakeUp Artistry,

  • Back to Black

    May 10, 2014

    Whatever the occasion, the wardrobe staple that can always be relied upon is the little black dress.

    Looking back over our blog, we wrote in 2007:

    "The little black dress - now known universally by that three letter acronym LBD - is a versatile and timeless classic which can be dressed up or down and worn by women of all ages no matter what the occasion. From breakfast at Tiffany's, through a day at the office and on to the wine bar in the evening, it will never let you down!

    "The LBD first came to prominence in 1926 when Coco Chanel succeeded in bringing black - previously relegated to funeral attire - into the fashion mainstream with a feminine new creation which was quickly adopted by Vogue and has been celebrated by fashionistas ever since.

    "The LBD's appeal is truly universal, and while its various incarnations have made headlines over the decades for fashion icons such as Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Hurley and the late Princess of Wales, its magic somehow manages to make ordinary women look and feel special."

    So going back to black, here is some beautiful black frockery that we have favourited from our current catalogue.

    little black pleated cocktail dress little black pleated cocktail dress

    Vintage Frank Usher black pleated cocktail dress 

    80s Frank Usher black cocktail dress 80s Frank Usher black cocktail dress

     80s wow factor black cocktail dress

    80s Jaeger black velvet and gold cocktail dress80s Jaeger black velvet and gold cocktail dress

     80s Jaeger black velvet and gold cocktail dress

    Black lace evening coat Black lace evening coat

    Black lace evening coat 

    black halter prom dress

     50s Marilyn style black halter neck prom dress 

    50s vintage black prom dress50s vintage black prom dress

    50s vintage black full length prom dress

    Oh, and don't forget that we also have plenty of frockery accessories and footwear to complement any outfit!

  • Maxi mixture

    March 17, 2014

    We have just listed three maxi coats which we have teamed up with boots and bags from our catalogue for maximum style. What do you think of these looks? Which do you like the best?

    This indigo navy wool riding style maxi coat with dove grey trim and buttons is simply stunning and we had one of our familiar 'wish we were smaller' moments when listing its measurements. A one-off statement piece in which you are bound to make a dramatic, sweeping entrance, it should fit a size 8 or 10.

    indigo wool maxi coatindigo wool maxi coat

    Black leather knee length riding boots  and a leather messenger bag would complete the look.

    black leather riding bootsblack leather messenger bag

    We are big fans of the coatigan and this beige knitted maxi cardigan coat by Renay Martan is in fabulous condition. It has dark navy edging and tartan fabric covered buttons as well as tartan appliqué flowers and leaves.

    beige coatigan with tartan trim beige coatigan with tartan trim

    These brown suede knee high boots and boho leather satchel shoulder bag would make the perfect accessories. 

    boho suede knee high bootsboho satchel shoulder bag

     There is something reminiscent of Biba about this Jeffery Rogers ocelot animal print monochrome maxi coat which has a lovely velvetty feel to the fabric.

    ocelot print maxi coatocelot print maxi coat

    We think these black velvet boots by Next and black velvet clutch purse would complement it perfectly.

    black velvet bootsblack velvet clutch purse


  • Frockery eco-fashion challenge 2014: everyone's a winner!

    March 7, 2014

    Well the judges have deliberated, argued, agonised, sweated, swithered and even sworn a bit (as it was such a difficult task), but a decision has finally been reached and it's time to announce the winners of this year's Frockery EcoFashion Challenge.

    Cue drum roll...

    This year's winner is Janice Stewart, who will receive £100 of frockery from our catalogue. Some readers may remember that Janice is a previous winner, but the judges felt her creativity, quirkiness and unique sense of eco-style stood out, along with her colourful personality that was so evident in all her entertaining 'tales behind the togs'. Here is Janice rocking one of her creative combos (where muck boots meet Zandra Rhodes!) and a montage of her amazing customised undertaker's coat cheekily teamed with red lace and tartan!

    muck boots meet zandra rhodes

    "Today's ensemble is entirely charity shops, over the years, not all at once! even the muck boots! (i'm off to an open air rummage site today so need them) NOT taking the fabby Zandra Rhodes bag that i got in a blind auction in a charity shop but had to add it to the picture as i love it! Photo by youngest son...who actually said i looked good, then added...for a wifie your age!"

    frockery challenge winner montage

    "Not exactly Sunday at Church wear...but this jacket will have seen the inside of a few in it's previous life as an undertakers top coat! I have now finished vamping it up & got hubs to take pics last night. The red lace dress underneath is from Sunrise..bought for a wedding that i couldn't get to due to snow a couple of years ago....tartan tights....just because i don't do american tan! Pink lens specs for special occasions...life looks better through rose coloured specs! #vintage#retro #upcycled #fun"

    Our runner up this year is Cecilia Townley, who will receive £50 of frockery from our catalogue. Cecilia's distinctive style, eye for a bargain (we must all bookmark the Woking hospice shop for a visit!) and showcasing of a range of eco-outfits throughout the challenge - from vintage to charity shop chic, for work, play and special occasions - were truly inspiring.  Here are just two of her winning looks.

    cecilia baby blue

    "This most beautiful crochet baby blue dress, from The Frockery is what I'm wearing! "

    cecilia 4

    "£4 for my red wrap dress. £4 for my navy blazer! Love a charity shop bargain Monday."

    But read on, fellow eco-frockers, for there are no losers and everyone's a winner when it comes to eco-fashion! 

    Since it was so incredibly tough for our judges to come up with just one winner and one runner up from the array of fabulous eco-fashion on display throughout February, we have decided to offer £20 of frockery to each of this year's participants. So please email us with your choice of items and we'll wing them off to you.

    Thank you again to everyone who embraced our fourth Frockery challenge with such enthusiasm and contributed to the community camaraderie. We hope you'll all take part again next year.

    Please feel free in the meantime to use the Frockery Facebook group to post eco-fashion tips, bargain buys, vintage adventures and news and we will continue to post events, competitions and exclusive offers there during the year. And if you haven't yet 'liked' our Frockery Facebook page , why not?!