Not quite vintage

Not quite vintage… but this outfit embodies everything I love about a vintage look. The funky pattern of the dress (which friends have complimented thinking it’s a thrifted buy); the oversized, masculine-shaped coat; and of course a pair of timeless Dr Martens. The shoulder bag is the only true vintage addition: a treasure I picked up from a charity shop (as given away by it’s weathered exterior) and adore for its classy charm and boxy shape.

Sustainable shopping is a priority for me, which is why I’m so happy to be working with Boden as their quality clothing stands the test of time meaning pieces can be worn again and again. I have steered myself away from fast-fashion buys, and instead try to invest in items that are durable and strongly align with my style so I know I will return to them waiting patiently in my wardrobe every year.

Even better is when clothes can be interchanged throughout the seasons. This amazing midi dress was a hit in the summer for boozy garden parties turned into nights out on the town. Now for the colder months it has just as much flair when layered over a turtleneck jumper and under a chunky jacket (lack of tights not recommended).

I rarely opt for tight-fitting garments and prefer to bask in the comfort and ease of floaty dresses and tops that are far too big for me, but it can feel powerful and sexy to slip on a more figure-hugging style when it’s the right piece. Boden have an eye for detail and a knack at sneaking unexpected adornments into their collections, and these small, unique alterations usually turn out to be what I love most about their clothes. The 60s cowl neck in this instance offers up a refreshing twist on a simple dress, while the barely-noticeable slit in the hem adds a point of interest and keeps it modern.

The vibrant mustard colour makes a bold but beautiful statement emblazoned in a groovy flower emblem – it’s no secret that quirky prints are Boden’s thing, and this is an example of how they contribute to creating a fun and unusual ensemble.

The jumper nestling underneath is ancient from New Look and is constantly prepared for the task of keeping me toasty in support of a good show on top.

Despite mourning the warmer weather, I always highly anticipate diving back into the cosy comfort of coats come winter. I had to prevent splurging on some truly amazing ones I’ve come across this year by reminding myself I own incredible styles already that serve most purposes (the dressing gown, the puffer, the leopard print – the list is endless) that I have accumulated.

This mottled green number is an oldie from Zara that is great to snuggle in and big enough to chuck over anything, and provides a satisfying clash when teamed with other bright tones. The oversized fit appeals to me so much; I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and drool over any jacket that looks like I’ve nicked it from my boyfriend and drooped it over my shoulders to keep warm.

I have a selection of coats from Zara and while they are all delicious, versatile styles, be warned that the pockets will tear without fail – foiling my plan to hibernate with all the essentials I need stuffed into those deep sides (and highlighting the point that we really do need better pocket options to fulfil womens’ needs, no matter how trivial). Thankfully, Boden craft most dresses with a handy set so I can tuck my belongings in there instead.

These cherry-red Dr Martens set off the other hues effortlessly, emphasising the contrasts and matching with my bag to bring everything full circle. My best friend stowed them away in her cupboard having never worn them so I practically stole them off her hands brand-new for £20, and couldn’t be happier as it’s allowed me to fall in love with a style I may never have tried for myself.

COAT Zara (old, similar here) | DRESS Boden (gifted) | SHOES Dr Martens (similar style here) | TURTLENECK New Look (old) BAG Vintage | EARRINGS V&A Museum shop

These photos were taken during a lovely outing with friends to the Victoria & Albert museum in London, which has been on my list to visit for years. I felt very at home surrounded by the true vintage fashion and peculiar antiques, and paled in comparison to the elegant glamour of the decadent staircases and ceilings.

I even treated myself to these abstract earrings from the shop (which was the main reason we went, let’s be honest) because they suited my outfit so unbelievably well! Admittedly they broke on the second wear, but that was nothing a little superglue couldn’t fix and for a tenner they were too good to pass up. After all, there’s no better reminder of a fab day out than a sartorial souvenir to tickle my memory.

Boden also have an incredible 50% off pretty much anything at the moment too! So if you’re quick you can stock up on those sturdy but gorgeous pieces that you’ll wear forever.

Lily x

ph. Abi Thomas

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