Last year I bought some 1930s shorts from a vintage trader. I struggled to fit them but i bought them anyway because they are a work of art. White linen, pleated, top stitched, mother of pearl buttons on both sides and even had a name tag. I love them so much – and I will admit that at this moment, their main role is wall adornment….
However, thereafter i have been on a mission to make these shorts and I do believe it was a fated exercise. As in September 2016, i bought a shorts pattern from a vintage trader who i met at a very random vintage car event in a small west yorkshire town. (Yes – very random) So over winter, we started work.
The pleated short was an iconic item from the new sport casual styles growing in popularity in the late 1930s and early 1940s when ladies began to partake in exercise and sporting pursuits. Im sure i remember our gym shorts at school looking a bit like these – before they were replaced by the unattractive and tight fitting cycling shorts 🙁 Or am i thinking of the skort?
The issue with vintage styles is that in order to provide these gorgeous shorts for your lovely ladies and enabling them to be affordable – we have to compromise on some detailing. The problem being that time is more expensive than it was in the 1940s – moreover, this was a time when many ladies made their own garments and would have a vested interest to add the detailing.
We think we cracked it though…and are still able to make these shorts here in Blighty!
These shorts are pleated AND topstitched – we couldn’t compromise on that. They do, however, have a zip and that has modernised them a little. The fabric is our signature poly/visc mix fabric – which means it is washable and hardy with a little stretch.
In any case, these shorts are fitted on the waist which make them flattering or many figures and are full due to the pleats.
I really think they are a fabulous addition to the foxy catalogue.
I hope you take as much joy in wearing them as I did in making them 🙂
xx Clare @ Foxy
foxylady August 9th, 2017
So this year we decided to take the important leap into bricks and mortar retail…many customers prefer to try the items on and like to see the garments in person. Unfortunately we cannot have visitors to the factory and warehouse – it would really spoil the glamour 😉
As many are aware, the enormous costs involved in having a physical shop means that many small businesses just can’t make it work easily. It has always been a dream and something we are still working towards.
So when I visited the marvellous ‘Space’ Vintage Emporium in Harrogate, and they had room for us, it seemed the perfect option. ‘Space’ has many vintage dealer concessions and we are now just one of many fab little shops selling fabulous vintage loveliness. If you like vintage and retro homewares, books, jewellery and furniture aswell as clothing – then you will love it! Plus – upstairs there is a splendid bar and eatery and a vinyl shop!
So – We now have a concession area at Space and try to stock the majority of our best selling lines alongside regular additions of new items. We restock roughly every two weeks and one of us is there fairly regularly to help with fit and style advice.
We do post on social media when we are going and what we are stocking – so keep an eye out!
So come along and see us or contact us to find out when one of us will be at Space
foxylady July 9th, 2017
Posted In: Vintage Events
Introducing our new reproduced 1930s print – Deco Dot
In 2015, i had the incredible opportunity of acquiring a collection of original vintage print designs dating from the 1920s through to early 50s and are largely from Paris. They appear as a square design on a blank sheet and are stamped for authenticity. The majority are probably 1930s – which is a favourite era of mine for prints. There are many art deco geometric themed prints in this collection and the ‘Deco Dot’ is the first we have taken to print.
Im not a fan of polka dots anymore – probably because they are everywhere – but dots are nice and a great alternative to florals. So our idea with this print was to create a print that could be The House of Foxy version of a polka dot….our ‘take’ on it.
We decided to product the initial print run in a stunning emerald green but as you can see, the original design in a deep chocolate brown. This design has so much potential with colour use – i think we will produce it in a few different colour ways. For now – the emerald is very popular – for this time of year it is bright but it an be worn throughout the year. The fabric is 100% raton marocain crepe – reminiscent of the vintage fabrics used in the 1930s & 40s. Hence the majority of the garments we are making in this fabric are from these eras.
1940s Shirtwaister dress in deco dot
1930s Beach Pyjamaas in deco dot
1940s Grable dress in deco dot (coming soon)
We also have some blouses in this range
foxylady June 23rd, 2017
We are so excited to be back at The Festival of Vintage next weekend (22nd & 23rd April) for what is always a fabulous event. Packed full of dance classes, fashion shows, talks and q&as, live music, Make Do and Mend workshops, classic cars and shopping it’s always a firm favourite in our diary. It is also the best place to sit and watch what everyone is wearing; their attention to vintage detail is inspiring so make sure you watch the Best Dressed Competition held on both days.
We are running fashion shows throughout the two days featuring both The House of Foxy and 20th Century Chap at 12.00 and 3.00pm with some new exciting designs to reveal to you. Best get there early to bag a front row seat!
We have teamed up with them to offer one lucky person a pair of weekend tickets for the festival with more details later, but first let’s talk fashion!
The festival embraces and loves the styles from the 1930s-1960s (there’s no 1980s retro at this event!) which let’s face it, are our favourites too – with some 1920s thrown in for good measure. So, we thought we would pull together a little guide for what to wear, Foxy style.
Surely the “must have” item for the 1930s is the beach pyjama.
New to our collection, this will bring glamour to the festival even though they are based on the new casual dressing from the late 20s and 30s.
Here we have taken influence from the wide leg sailor styles also popular at the time, as well as now, and echoed other key details such as the drop tie and colouring.
Can you believe there is almost 3 metres of fabric in these pyjamas?
Made from rayon crepe for true vintage draping, with patch pockets and a matching kimono to keep off the sun, this look will surely get you noticed plus you will be so comfortable throughout the day.
There are so many pieces to choose from for you to get the 1940s look here at The House of Foxy, but we have chosen what we feel is the perfect vintage style dress that will see you through to summer.
The Grable tea dress is our 2017 version of a best-selling design, this time with a warm red crepe skirt and a geometric patterned bodice.
This dress is the perfect dress to dance in, so a great choice for the festival as they are teaching us a whopping 6 styles of dance over the two days from jive to balboa.
The dress named after our favourite Betty Grable, is truly flattering; with a slimming fit around the waist with elegant short sleeves with a touch of shirring and a sweeping 7-gore skirt to float you through any dance.
For those of you who love the 1950s, how about wearing our new Doris day dress, which will be perfect for the whole day with all the walking you will be doing (while you browse over 100 sellers!).
Based on an original design, this dress has all the detailing you expect from us to bring you a frock that could almost be from the era itself. It has an interesting and unique bodice design that gathers under the bust and tabs at the shoulder in contrast black buttons and is finished into a flattering square neckline.
Grown on sleeves hug the shoulders and the button detail is mirrored in the single pocked on the semi full skirt.
Team up with a simple white cardigan and get set to shop!
There are so many styles to choose from the 1960s; the mini dress, the wiggle dress but also the fit and flare.
We feel the best dress for the festival is our new Lucy dress in an amber floral. This design is very typical of the early 1960s, and we have taken inspiration from a 1963 Sears catalogue but created it in a wearable, washable fabric with simpler lines.
The deep waist panel makes it so flattering for everyone, and the scoop neckline, full pleated skirt and the cute cap sleeves makes this dress our must have summer frock – imagine the picnics wearing this!
Whatever era you decide to wear, make sure you drop by our stand and say hello! We can’t wait to meet you all.
Here is a video from last year’s fashion show
If you want to win a pair of weekend tickets for The Festival of Vintage in York? (who wouldn’t?) then simply share this post on social media, tag us using #thehouseoffoxy and we will choose a winner by weds 19th April. Winners will be notified via social media.
T’s and C’s
foxylady April 14th, 2017
So we were asked to put on a fashion show… on a cruise ship – To Amsterdam
And a riot it was!
When I had a phone call in June last year asking us to put on a fashion show on a cruise – i thought it was a prank call… But the lovely fella, who called on behalf of P&O, had seen our little fashion shows at The Festival of Vintage in York and wanted the same for his event. I wrongly assumed it would be from Southampton (which is a very long way from Yorkshire) – but when reassured that it was Hull to Rotterdam, I thought ‘What the hell”!
I have done fashion shows at The Festival of Vintage in York for 5 years and over that time have built up a pool of wonderful northern based ladies who love the whole experience and are reliable, flexible and simply lovely. (since fashion shows are not without their stresses – having a bunch of lasses that don’t let you down and are non-divas is a massive plus). So when i asked them if they were interested in coming along – there was no hesitation and so we were booked!
So when the day finally arrived, we boarded ‘The Pride of Hull’ – and there was an air of complete excitement following my ‘cackle’ of Foxy Ladies pottering around the ship with rollers in their hair and sunglasses on. You can imagine the scene! Since the ship was also used by other travellers – we bumped into a few surprised truck drivers during the journey! 😉
The other entertainers were so friendly and the space to use was fabulous and we had enlisted the lovely Bethany from The Vintage Beauty Parlour and Sarah Bloor from Pinup Curl to prepare the ladies for the initial show which was at 7:30pm. My goodness – they did a fine job and the foxy ladies looked fabulous! We had a great audience – with several familiar faces too! Our first show was 3 catwalks of different eras – firstly 1920s/30, secondly 1940s, thirdly postwar 40s, 50s, early 60s. A great show and we had some lovely feedback. There were some new styles from our spring/summer 2017 collection plus for favourites that we keep in the collection.
After the show – we enjoyed the entertainment and retired to our tiny cabins (which was probably the main downside of the experience).
The following day was an early start but a day trip to Amsterdam! Yay! Again – a gaggle of excitable Foxy ladies, this time in head scarves and sunglasses pottering around the city without much of an idea on where we were! It was difficult getting around at a decent speed partly because there were a group of 12 but also because we kept getting stopped for pictures! Such fun! Many of us descended on the city’s vintage shops and some excellent purchases were made!
Once back on the ship – we did our second show which was initially the menswear from 20th Century Chap followed by evening wear through the eras. This time the ladies had no changes and were able to have their own ‘looks’. Again done exquisitely by Bethany & Sarah – a massive thank you to them!
Until now, we have generally avoided floor length gowns in favour of cocktail style dresses due to customer demand. Apart from the siren dress of course… However, we are now working of adding a few evening gowns into our collection which brings me much joy!
I was able to showcase a few new ideas in this show – which started with the 20s Garbo velvet dress circa 1925, the early 1930s Sheba, the red velvet Siren circa 1935, The Ava Evening Dress in gold satin with black crepe & bolero circa 1939, The 40s Vivienne circa 1942, The 1940s Hayworth Cocktail Dress in brocade, Darcy swing dress circa 1952, Bardot wiggle 1958 and lastly, my personal fav, The Manhatten Dress circa 1962. Pictured below in all their finery
It has always been REALLY important to me that we represent ‘all’ women in these shows – so my ladies represent a range of sizes, ages and shapes. In this era of social media pressures, i prefer to avoid adding the ‘polish’ that has become the norm. This is why vintage style fashion is so liberating for many women – it’s about celebrating femininity and shape – and i still believe that there really is a style within the eras aforementioned that will suit anyone. Maybe there is a blog post on that entire subject – for another day!
So the highlights from this show are:-
What’s next? – come and see our fashion show at The Festival of Vintage on 22nd & 23rd April 2017 – York Racecourse
& we are opening a popup shop at Space in Harrogate on the 8th April – information to follow
Thankyou to everyone for all your efforts – thank you for reading! xx Clare
foxylady March 23rd, 2017
Posted In: Vintage Events
Last Saturday, we took a trip out to the Imperial War Museum North to visit the ‘Fashion on the Ration – 1940s Street Style’ exhibition. I was really heartened when i heard this special exhibition was on in Manchester. Sometimes, despite the will, the time isn’t there and i was very cross with myself for missing it when it was on in London.
(Note to self – Freezing day – should have worn warmer clothes. Chose to wear our new 40s pussy bow blouse in primrose delight in homage to the exhibition and caring more about style than warmth did not pair with thermal underwear. My Granny would have turned in her grave.)
Anyway, this is our little review of the exhibition which ends in May. I dont know if it will travel elsewhere after that…but I say to all fans of the 40s – you MUST try and visit this exhibition. It was fairly small but fabulous! Despite having a humungous number of books on 1940s clothing and original items in my collection – i learnt so many new bits and pieces.
What I particularly liked were the personal letters and soundbites from ladies who gave real accounts of their approach to how they dressed during a period when clothing rationing took hold. These women talked about their uniforms, how they rarely fitted properly and what they did to get around rules.
I also loved seeing the examples of dresses that had been reworked from older styles from the 1930s but particularly one interesting dress reworked from a victorian one! These wartime ladies were adept at adjustments, reworks, resizing and I have always admired the creativity that comes from it. Here were many examples of this.
The exhibition was laid out very well, moving from uniforms through to siren suits and practical clothing then onto ‘make do and mend’ and then a section dedicated to the 1940s utility clothing designers that tried to demonstrate how the rules ‘could’ produce stylish clothing to a very unconvinced nation of women. I loved the films from the period demonstrating how they might make a stylish hat from an old fedora in the cupboard or a suit from their husband’s sunday best. Accordingly, there was a plethora of men returning from war to find they had nothing left to wear 🙂
The utility clothing section featured many examples of branded garments and propaganda films from the period. Rationing and coupons was certainly a real leveller – and it broke down class boundaries. This is really interesting – but it explained also how many were worried about how self expression though clothing might therefore be restricted. It was very interesting to see how the rules were implemented and how many examples of design showed that this clothing wasn’t as dowdy as we are perhaps led to believe. There was information on prints and fabric too – again something I have a lot of interest in – there were some original prints that proved wartime wasn’t all grey and khaki.
The exhibition concluded with some examples of the ‘New Look’ styles that were born from Dior in 1946. I didn’t realise that the reaction from Britain at the time to these styles was extremely negative – exclaiming that they were completely out of touch. Of course, rationing didn’t relent for many years and as the country was bankrupt, there was no chance that women could adopt these styles. Plus, most manufacture in Britain was dedicated to selling abroad.
I don’t want to say too much more about the exhibition for fear of ruining the experience for those who have yet to see it but the highlights were:-
– many original garments demonstrating reworking
– the audio and films from the period – some of which are very lovely and humorous
– a fabulous original siren suit
– stories about wedding dresses – some that were worn by 17 women
– it was very dark and you couldn’t always see the details (maybe that won’t matter to all – but I wanted to see ALL the detail)
– very little on the menswear
In conclusion, an excellent exhibition well worth braving the cold for and paying £6. The exhibition runs until 1st may 2017 at IWM Noth, The Quays, Manchester www.iwm.org.uk
Fashion on the Ration book – click here
foxylady January 24th, 2017
Posted In: 1940s Fashion
For the past six years I have been trying to achieve a specific goal: to create the ultimate vintage trousers for us ladies. Everyone who knows us, knows i am never satisfied and am always searching for improvements – but sometimes there simply isn’t one solution – and in this case there are 4!
So far, we have produced 4 specific styles of vintage trousers starting with the high waist swing pants, quickly moving to the 30s inspired sailor slacks – a few years later came the wide leg yoke pants and then more recently the Katherine Hepburn inspired 40s pleated trousers.
Wide leg, natural leg – turn up, no turn up – natural waist, high waist – button side, bib front – pleats, darts – etc… I think Im obsessed!
However, after feedback and speaking to our customers at shows and observing what ladies have bought – I have come to the simple conclusion that because we women come in all different shapes and sizes – we have simply been creating these different styles with that in mind.
A bit of History & why we love the vintage trouser…
Safe to say it wasn’t really until the wartime 1940s that the average woman would have considered wearing trousers and this was only due to the fact that many were now working in factories and trousers were safer and warmer. Prior to that there were trends among the wealthy set that evolved from beach pyjamas from the late 20s onwards and there are a few fashion images from these times that feature trousers including the sailor styles slack. These trends came from the rise of sports as a major past time for women.
In the 1940s, however, the trousers women wore were initially mens but the growing need resulted in the production of trousers. They were functional rather than fashionable but, as we women tend to do – they made them work to their advantage.
So in my relentless search for inspiration on the perfect vintage trouser – here are our styles and a bit of history and which shapes tend to choose which style and why.
1. The 40s High Waisted Swing Pant
This style was derived from a late 1930s pyjama pattern I acquired and is the very first style we produced. It first high on most people – at least 2 inches above the belly button and is darted to fit with the flare dropping from the upper hip. The style has 4 medium sized shell buttons on the left. Fabric is a nice quality poly/viscose with some stretch. The leg width is generous but not as wide as our other styles to adhere to lower fabric use guidelines of the 1940s. However, they do have a turn up which is perhaps not as wartime accepting – but gives a nice finish. Inside leg is 32″ (measuring 31 from crotch seam) and we offer a custom length service for this product.
The style works really well with blouses tucked in and then pulled out a little to enhance the waistline. Pair with a short jacket like the Americana.
Shape & fit Advice:-
Less wide leg means pear shapes find this style too lean on the thigh area. Style seems to work wonders on those without a defined waist like pillars, inverted triangles – many apple shape ladies have liked this style. If you have a flat bottom – this style is great because the high waist creates shape.
Click here to see our High Waisted 1940s Swing Trousers
2. Sailor Slacks
This style was inspired by the sailor fashions of the late 30s and American 40s – they fit on the natural waist but have a wide waist band and so can fit fairly high on some people. The size large buttons on the big front are fully functional and the leg width is a bit more generous than the 40s swing trouser. No turn up but a deep hem to allow for personal adjustment but to also give some weight to the trouser. Fabric is a nice quality poly/viscose with some stretch and has a 32″ leg.
These are a best selling style – possibly due to the button front which is VERY vintage/retro and so many ladies are drawn to it. Feedback is that they are extremely comfy!
Shape & fit Advice:-
You must remember that the use of buttons on the front means that this area will draw attention. Because they are functional, there may be some gaping if they are very tight. Some ladies like this – some ladies don’t.
This style is popular with all shapes BUT works best on hourglass, pillar and average pear shapes. Extreme pear shapes will find these a little tight on the thigh.
Click here for our Sailor Style Pants
3. Yoke Pants
These are inspired by the beach pyjama styles of the late 20s and 30s due to the V yoke panel at the front. These are certainly inspired rather than being an authentic reproduction of a style but nevertheless, still a great vintage style that pairs great with all out tops.
This style has been a slow burner from a sales point of view BUT has sold very well when at shows and through stockists. Meaning ladies love it when tried on. Style is evolved from the sailor pant pattern and has a similar waist band which fits on natural waist and is quite wide. Style also has 4 large wooden buttons on the side which are a lovely feature. The magic element on this style, however, is the V yoke panel over the tummy. The yoke panel holds the tummy in rather than expanding too much to accommodate and the soft drapy fabric on the leg drops from there. Inside leg is 32/33″ but have no turn up and so are easy to take up.
Shape & fit Advice:-
We have been more generous with the waist band on this – which means that the style will fit ladies who have a wider waistline. The yoke on the tummy holds in BUT won’t behave like control pants… This style works very well on apple shapes, extreme pear shape due to wide leg but won’t work well for hourglass without adjustment to waist band.
4. 40s Tailored Pleated Trousers
These are an authentically reproduced style – albeit using modern stretchy fabric. Taken and adapted from an original pattern – these are definitely our ‘most’ 1940s repro style in the collection. Wide waist band fits on natural waist and style has two deep pleats on the front which run into front creases. Darts in the back fit the bottom in a flattering way and style also has turn-ups. This is the first style of have pockets and a zip rather than buttons – although it has one shell button on the waist band.
Style has a real Katherine Hepburn vibe to them but due to their recent design – we don’t have a lot of feedback just yet. However, this style is definitely one that creates shape as they are designed to give that boxy 40s look since the pleats and pockets bring some extra to the hip area and thus enhance the waist.
Shape & Fit Advice:-
Pleated trousers are not for ladies who are overly conscious of their tummy area or who want to avoid bulk. However, for straight pillar shapes, inverted triangle or those who wish to disguise a flat bottom – this is a great style that creates shape.
Check out our 1940s pleated trousers here
foxylady January 9th, 2017
Fancy doing the party season in 1940s style? There are plenty of options available to you at The House of Foxy. From 1940s Film Noir & Femme Fatale to wartime pinup plus some modern takes on the 1940s look – check out our ideas below:-
We love this Film Noir 40s look – an elegant look that you really won’t find on the high street.
40s Hayworth dress – from size 8 to 18 in stretch navy brocade – click here
Add some bling with this gorgeous vintage inspired brooch and some diamante stuff earrings.
Finish with some seamed stockings!
For 1940s style with a modern twist – we’ve paired our Veronica Jumpsuit with a bit of bling and a great clutch bag. You can wear any classic shoes with this style – a nice high heel we think! Plus a lovely Veronica Lake inspired hairdo is easily achievable and a nice compromise between modern and vintage.
For a classic 1940s look we love the Grable Tea Dress or Tea Dance Dress with our Americana Jacket. This is a really authentic 40s look
1940s Grable Tea Dress in Peony – available size 8 to 24 – click here
Matching peony chiffon Scarf
foxylady December 14th, 2016
Favourite Dress of the Moment – The 1960s ‘Madmen Inspired’ Manhattan Dress
Sometimes the best ideas come out of the blue and then almost magically come together in a few days! This is true of this dress which is based on another one from my own vintage collection and is my utter favourite at the moment. I tend to wear 1940s most of the time but go through periods of fixation of other eras – not that i have OCD or anything 😉 I will say that at this moment its early 1930s that I’m obsessed with but prior to that it was the early 60s again and this design came from that!
Our challenge these days is to come up with designs that have something extra ‘special’ about them – to ensure the dress and its wearer – stand out from the crowd and have that ‘Foxy Magic’. As we make here in this country, we are in a great position to literally turn around a new design within a week. Im blessed with having an amazing team who are like-minded and are happy to work that way 🙂
The ‘Manhattan’ Dress – named by a customer on a recent Social Media competition, is a late 1950s, early 60s wiggle dress with a nipped in waist and is shaped to enhance the bust and to give the wearer a real wiggle. It feels really great to wear because although its very figure hugging, it isn’t revealing as the neckline is not low, nor the hemline high. So, very typical of the early 1960s and later 1950s – it has a ‘class’ about it and that ‘Madmen’, Joan Holloway look.
To explain the shape, it has a really flattering scoop neck – not too revealing but not prim either and grown on sleeves which hug the shoulder. Many ladies prefer sleeves these days which is tricky for us designers because arm sizes vary so much. These sleeves are enough to flatter and make you feel more ‘dressed’. My favourite element in this dress is the bust tucks – these are typical of the time and were used in place of a dart. They give quite a point finish to the shape and are further enhanced by the under bust seam curving upwards towards the underarm. You start to see this shape in vintage garments from late 50s onwards. I love how styles evolve!
This dress is made in super stretchy bengalene which is also quite figure forming and forgiving of any lumps and bumps. As modern fabrics go, its very comfy but doesn’t create the other problems of bobbling or seam slippage.
The cummerbund is a ruched piece of contrast gold brocade which is around the centre of the body. It was the part of the original dress that told me it was early 60s because there are so many styles that have this styling at the the time. It’s like wearing a mini corset and really gives extra hourglass emphasis. The drop sash which is on the left side of the body is an elegant addition – not too OTT and is a rather clever way of flattering the tummy!
Ooo – we also added bra anchors – we know you love them.
For guidance on how to dress early 60s – please visit our style guide here
foxylady December 5th, 2016
For those who might be struggling to find the perfect gift – below are a few ideas to help Santa on his way! Perfect for Vintage Fashionistas or even for those who are just dipping their toes into the vintage world.
Girls, this could be a good page to send to your fellas 😉
For serious vintage fans!
Sculpture Pin Curl Tool Box Set
The Sculpture Pin Curl Tool is a reproduction of an actual styling tool used in the mid-20th century to aid women in creating fast, uniform curls.
Always a helpful gift
Seamed Stockings in Latte
15 denier translucent champagne leg with slightly darker latte foot, seam and welt
Something to pamper
Ravishing Rosalee Gift Set
This beautiful gift set is handmade in the USA by Margarita Bloom and includes a revitalizing rose water mist, a moisturizing Hibiscus and Rosehip serum and a deodorant
Crystal Drop Earrings
These elegant and understated earrings have a matching necklace but can equally be worn on their own. – inspired by jewellery from the early 20s.
She will definitely appreciate this!
40s Style Scarf
A simple 27 inch square scarf in our season signature 1930s reproduction print ‘Deco Floral’. Scarf is perfect size for finishing off any 1930s/1940s inspired outfit.
Or how about a gift voucher!!
foxylady December 1st, 2016
Posted In: Vintage Gift Guides