A Good Vintage Read

I didn’t really start to enjoy reading until I was in my early twenties. Back then I was living in Cyprus and when holiday guests travelled home they would give me their books. My radiator became a great book shelf and after a while it wasn’t a bad little collection. I found myself immersed in these stories and loved entering new worlds imagined by others.

I then began reading old movie magazines, looking at the adverts to see how things had changed and what stars had a film coming out that week.  I have loads! I also like to read books based on historical events but sometimes you just can’t beat a good bit of girly fiction. Therefore this week I give you my three essential reads for vintage lovers (while wearing a prom dress of course).

1) The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean.

This book is based around Dora who must help run her Grandmother’s vintage shop. The only issue is she doesn’t really get why you would wear vintage day-to-day and likes comfort instead (hello!). In doing so she discovers that each dress in the shop has a written story to go with it, as if the dress was speaking from a moment back in time. If, like me, you believed The Shoe People were real then once you have finished reading this book you will find yourself looking in every pocket of every future vintage purchase with the hope that there is a story in it. Not finding one, you will end up making one up anyway. Written by Erin McKean, author of popular blog www.dressaday.com, this is a must – find out what happens to Dora’s Grandmother’s shop and of course hear all the stories.

What story would this dress tell?
What story would this dress tell?

2) Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris

This was a Christmas present two years ago and I didn’t put it down unless I was getting up for more chocolate coins! Think of the book as a modern version of  the televisions series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise and you get the idea. Based around Evie, who works in the stockroom of a department store which has seen better days, this fab book takes you on a vintage journey as Evie finds original treasures in boxes from under dust from when ‘Hardy’s’ was in its hay-day. With vintage finds that you could only dream about Evie begins to make some changes – after all who else is going to save ‘Hardy’s’ from being sold? You will get lost in this book and with all the ideas it gives you will find yourself wanting to raid the attic and re-arrange every room in the house.

3) A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

Set in the beautiful Blackheath (near where I used to live) Phoebe opens ‘Village Vintage’ a store full of beautiful vintage pieces all hand-picked to sell to the right person. As Phoebe starts her new adventure she takes us to Christie’s to try to buy a 1936 evening gown, we meet the interesting Mrs Bell who has some items for Phoebe to sell and you will hear about the marvel of ‘Cupcake Dresses’. This beautifully written book which has so much research and detail contained within is well worth a read. I was lucky enough a few years ago to meet the author Isabel Wolff at a talk she gave, let me tell you she was a very classy lady.
My ticket and signed book
My ticket and signed book
So with all this talk of reading the only thing left for me to do is to decide as I pack for a few days away with the Wife – which one do I take to re-read?

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