Crinoline Robot's vintage week

Weirdly, though there hasn’t been a major shift in the amount of vintage in my life, I’ve been feeling the love of Old Tat much more strongly over the past couple of weeks. Not sure why. It could be pondering what the new attic room will look like – don’t laugh, but I’m currently leaning towards a 1970s look with spider plants in brass pots and macrame hangers, and faded patchwork bedspreads. Mr Robot was pretty startled at that. I’m not a massive fan of the 1970s, as you know, so I dare say I’ll see something and completely change my mind again. But just exploring possibilities, having fun with it, working out what I like, has made me realise once more how much I love hunting out old things. Like everyone, I'm too prone to comparing myself to other people and deciding I fail to match up – not thin enough, not pretty enough, not into 'vintage enough' or not into the 'right sort of vintage', and really that's all daftness. There's no shame in just liking what we like. So if in my case that turns out to be 70s macrame pothangers, I can live with it.

Thinking about the new room has got me pondering why I never do, in the end, style any of my rooms in a more art deco fashion. I love art deco, yet it never seems to be a style I end up living with. Perhaps it’s the completeness of deco, which never seems like a look that can just be assembled as you go along (though that’s a daft thought on my part, because there are plenty of people who’ve built up a beautiful deco home over time). Who knows, maybe I’ll ditch the 70s plan again and go for deco. Or perhaps a Biba-deco sort of thing. I’m really feeling the love for Biba dresses right now, all bishop sleeves and covered buttons. Why not a Biba bedroom too? For now I’m just pinning things I like to a Pinterest board.

On the subject of dresses, I’ve got a new-to-me vintage dress. I hadn’t planned to buy any more, but I haven’t proved very good at losing weight, and this dress fits right now. It's actually a short fitting (according to the label), but that just means the waistline falls above my bowling-ball belly, which is no bad thing.

I was a little uncertain about the age; I bought it as 1950s. The print strikes me as 50s, possibly 60s (not the mod or psychedelic sides of the 60s, obviously). The label (Belmont De Luxe) looks midcentury. However, it’s got a nylon zip, overlocked seams, and doesn’t handle like cotton, which is what I expected. My heart sank a little when I first examined it; had I paid 50s prices for an 80s-does-50s dress? But I don’t think I had. My gut feeling is that it is most likely 60s, but not high fashion, as it's longer and fuller than 60s fashion dictated. Certainly a Google books search turned up references to Belmont De Luxe in the 60s.

I'm doing my best to stick to my 'sleep more' resolution. When I can, I try to go to bed at 9pm and read for a bit, as it helps me sleep. Getting away from the telly and smartphone is a good idea. Though my current book has Attitudes Of Their Time in such heaps, I’m sorely tempted to give up on it! Still, reading in bed means when I do sit in front of the box I watching the telly I genuinely want to watch, rather than any old thing that's on. The first episode of Back In Time For Tea was good (1920s and 30s), though I despaired a bit that the teenaged girls didn't know what tripe was and couldn't peel an onion... aiee, I am turning into an old fart!
I hope you’re having a fun time right now, looking forward to brighter days and making plans. And, of course, getting enough sleep too.


  1. Well, never say never, not even to macrame hangers and spider plants! If I had to plan a room from scratch, I'd be so overwhelmed I wouldn't be able to make up my mind which style to choose. My "vintage" is a bit all over the place, as I love a bit of deco but 1960s and everything in between. As far as I'm concerned, there are no rules to this "vintage lark". I can't decide on the dress from your photo (which I think you look lovely in) but from your description I'd say early 1960s. The fabric looks very familiar ... I've recorded Back in Time for Tea, but still have to watch it. I'm sure many teenagers do not know what tripe is, or cannot peel onions ... xxx

  2. If you go for the 70's you know Vix will get you set up with beaded curtains and patchworks ;)

    My home is definitely 70's with our large mid-70's brass and glass dining room set dominating the first floor. Every era has good and bad so as long as you steer clear of foil wallpaper and long pile carpeting, you should be OK. I took a macrame class when I was about 12-I was terrible at it!

  3. Art Deco always seems so expensive to do & too clutter free for my cluttered lifestyle. I always went for the Shabby Chic thing at my homes in California - ranging from faux Victorian to trashed Tuscan villa. (Real antiques are rare in California but manufactured antiques are easy to find.
    Who cares if that dress is 80's does 50's or 60's? It looks like it fits you beautifully and that is worth whatever price you paid for it!

    On dinner & tea- "Tea" only exists as a refreshing hyper-sweetened cold beverage in my dad's Louisiana family & is not taken at all by my mom's Dutch Mennonite family. I could write a paragraph or two on the difference between dinner & supper in Louisiana but I shan't bore you.

  4. The dress looks beautiful on you - such lovely colours; soft and muted. If it feels good on don't worry about where it came from and when just enjoy it!

    Your new room venture sounds very exciting. Imagine being able to start from scratch! I have never consciously gone for an era as interior decor; I just buy and do what I really like so my home is a mash up of relatively modern things and secondhand stuff from all eras.

    I'm looking forward to back watching 'Back in Time for Tea'.

  5. As you know I adore Deco but I have too much stuff and my love of Kitsch keeps bursting through too so I could never go all out deco either.

    I was really disappointed with the first episode of Back in Time for Tea. The family irritated the hell out of me and they galloped so fast through the eras. It does seem like 2 teenage girls and a younger boy is their formula though, they had that for Black in Time for Dinner too!

  6. Macrame plant holders and faded patchwork bedspreads? Now you're talking! Like you I adore Art Deco style and daydream of having a huge 1920s apartment on Mumbai's Marine Drive but in reality all that rigid style would drive me a bit daft. Eclecticism all the way for me.
    That dress is fabulous. I've had a couple of 1950s St Michael pieces with nylon side zips and over-locked seams which surprised me initially. Could be a potential frock to take to India and get copied!!
    I'm all for going to bed early with a good book and only putting the TV on when there's something I actually want to watch.
    Lovely photo of the urchin! xxx

  7. More of the dress please 😊

    I like the idea of a 70s room, beaded curtains, macrame plant holders, that metallic thread on black velvet art. Oh, and dried honesty seed pots in White Friars glass vases xxx

  8. Decor is such a funny thing. There are just so many styles to choose that it can be mind boggling. I blame Pinterest. :) I think that what ever you choose, Mim will be lovely. If you ever find any in the charity shop the "Golden Hands" series was filled with macrame DIY projects. I keep buying vintage bits and bobs and cushion sized bits of home dec fabric for when I get a new house. I can't wait but am stuck in house sale limbo and am a bit fed up of being in somewhere that I can't paint for the moment.. Really love that dress. The colours are perfect for you. Xx


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