Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video


Style Spotlight - Rockabilly

Style Spotlight - Rockabilly

Now, we're being a bit naughty here as rockabilly isn't really a style of fashion, but there is a definite look that goes with many people standing in the crowds of rockabilly gigs that the two sort of go hand in hand together now.

Let's take it back to basics. What is rockabilly? Rockabilly is a genre of music born in the mid 1950s which ties together blues, rock'n'roll and hillbilly to create a sound synonymous with fast beats, bass slaps and guitar solos. Although a popular subculture in the 1950s, rockabilly saw a resurgence in the 1970s, 1980s and into today. Team Splendette love spending their evenings and weekends dancing their nights away at rockabilly gigs and weekenders, such as the popular Rockabilly Rave on the south coast of the UK.

Sparkle Moore 1950s rockabilly singer. Splendette vintage inspired 1950s rockabilly jewellery blog.

Rockabilly style can be summed up in three words: casual, comfy and cool. And we mean cool in that sorta "I want to look like that when I grow up, mum!" kinda way. Now, you don't have to dress in this way to enjoy rockabilly music, and you don't have to enjoy rockabilly music to dress like this, but the two often do go hand in hand. You can take a little inspiration from here, and a little inspiration from there to really make the style your own nod to the 1950s subculture.

Up top there are a few options to venture down. There is the classic t-shirt look, usually with some statement slogan or eye catching design. Whilst you can still get some original 1950s t-shirts these are often as rare as hen's teeth due to them being so popular. There are some fantastic reproduction t-shirt companies out there still singing some punchy catchphrases. We love Atomic Swag, Larryette and Mischief Made Me for some traditional style reproduction. Not forgetting picking up some band t-shirts at our favourite weekenders as well!

Splendette vintage inspired 1950s rockabilly jewellery modeled by Ruby Valentine with Mischief Made Me tshirt

Keeping it casual with the bottoms, jeans are a super popular choice when dressing rockabilly - don't forget the cuff them! The cuff is the quintessential finishing touch of the 1950s rockabilly style. You want to cuff those jeans at somewhere between 3cm to 5cm for an authentic style. Freddies of Pinewood is world famous for their vintage inspired denim (not forgetting their tops as well!) for those who love high waisted, 1940s and 1950s style bottoms.

And we can't forget accessories! Leopard print is a staple in any rockabilly wardrobe so our leopard print bangles are an absolute must. Team them with some more black and red bangles, a pair of dramatic matching earrings (we love the Heavy Carved collection for that), and a pair of sunnies, and your outfit is complete!

Splendette vintage inspired 1950s rockabilly style jewellery worn by Freya Vintage

Rockabilly fashion is another example of how diverse vintage fashion can be, and is one of our favourite 1950s subcultures. We can't to get out to more rockabilly events soon, and hope to see some of you there!

Continue reading

Style Spotlight: Dorothy Dandridge

Style Spotlight: Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge is a name that is often over looked in Hollywood history, but she was a really remarkable woman, the first of her time in many aspects, and a testament to the lives, loves and struggles of women of colour in the mid-century world. October is Black History Month here in the United Kingdom and we could not think of a better person to shine the Style Spotlight on this month.

Born in 1922, Dorothy Dandridge had a tumultuous childhood, akin to many of her Silver Screen colleagues. Moving to LA in 1930 Dorothy and her sisters, Vivian and Etta,  were pushed into the spotlight by their mother. Singing for large audiences, alongside icons such as Cab Calloway, at the Cotton Club, young Dorothy often confronted the racism and segregation that plagued the era. This is something that would affect her career throughout her life, and, it could be argued, her legacy. When we think of stars of the 1950s we think of people like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Jane Russell. We rarely remember the artists of colour in popular culture, and this is doing their craft a disservice.

Dorothy Dandridge collage of three vintage 1950s formal red-carpet outfits for Hollywood events and photoshoots

It wasn't until the 1950s that her career really sky-rocketed. After her divorce in 1951, Dorothy took to the stage once more singing alongside Desi Arnaz at sell-out gigs, and acted beside Harry Bellafonte in Carmen Jones (1954). It was for this role that she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress - the first African American to receive such an accolade. However, she never matched this success again. Dorothy never wanted to be type-casted into the stereotypical (and overtly racist) roles that Hollywood offered her. She wanted the leading-lady roles, the strong roles, but, as Harry Belafonte said, she was the right person in the wrong time. An active member of the Civil Rights movement, sometimes speaking alongside Martin Luther King Jnr., this was not going to be a fight she would back down on.

After a decline in work, Dorothy Dandridge began drinking heavily, mixing alcohol with anti-depressants to form a dangerous cocktail. She could no longer afford the 24 hour care required for her daughter, Harolyn, and so she had to make the heart-breaking choice to put Harolyn into a state institution. Soon after Dorothy suffered a nervous breakdown. Tragically, on 8th September 1965, Dorothy Dandridge was found dead in her Hollywood home at the age of just 42. 

Collage of black and white photos of Dorothy Dandridge in formal Hollywood events in the 1950s

Now we have reflected on Dorothy Dandridge's life and career, let's shine a light on her vintage fashion. Dorothy was most well known for a her tailored, structured and streamlined clothing, favouring trousers over skirts when dressing casually. There are photos of her look oh-so-casual but oh-so-elegant in cigarette pants and corresponding tops. Honestly, style goals. In an era of very rigid norms, Dorothy was not afraid to break the mould in her style and her acceptance of Hollywood stereotypes.

When she would glam up for award ceremonies and other red carpet events, Dorothy Dandridge would show off her spectacular hourglass figure in clinging pencil or fishtail dresses. She had one feature which she always highlighted: her shoulders. If Betty Grable was famous for her legs, Dorothy Dandridge matched her in the décolletage department. Often choosing strapless gowns and off-the-shoulder tops, Dorothy highlighted her sleek collarbones and shoulders, adding an eternal touch of femininity to her outfits.

Let's talk jewellery shall we! Like others of the 1950s, Dorothy was often adorned in metallics and jewels. To highlight her famous shoulders and collar bones delicate necklaces were the finishing touch to many outfits. She accompanied these with gem encrusted drop earrings which drew the eye in and complimented her cropped and coiffured hair. Occasionally, Dandridge would dabble with the bangles, sticking to the metallic sort, and wearing them in singles as a cuff either on her wrist or further up her arm.

Collage of three photos of vintage Hollywood star Dorothy Dandridge at home or dressed down in the 1950s

Dorothy Dandridge was taken from this world far too soon. She was a force of triple-threat talent who was determined to shape the world to allow women of colour to thrive in the arts. By refusing the settle for what Hollywood offered her, she broke the mould. It cost her dearly, but it paved the way for future African American women, letting them know that they could be just as successful as their white colleagues. Her style, talent and legacy is only just being recognised by the wider world, and it's about time too.

Continue reading

Style Spotlight: The Irresistible O

Style Spotlight: The Irresistible O

Burlesque! The fine art of dance and female empowerment combined with a healthy dose of sex appeal. We spoke to The Irresistible O about what burlesque artist means in the 21st century, as well as to learn a little more about her big creation: History of Performers of Color in Burly...

Describe your style in five words.

Eclectic, of the moment, colorful, fun, creative, and uh... individualistic *wink* 


How long have you been performing as a burlesque artist?

Oh golly, it’s at least five years now. I should probably know this but I’m too busy performing, Lol. 


Splendette vintage inspired 1940s 1950s style fashion pin up burlesque The Irresistible O collab

What made you get into burlesque?

I was given a t shirt with a picture of Dita von Teese on it. I loved that she wore vintage fashion and makeup but I wanted to know what she did, why she, in particular, was on a t-shirt sold by such a large company like MAC. I started to research Dita and saw that she did burlesque. After watching a short bit of video of her performing burlesque I thought, “I can do that and do it my way!” Plus, I’d already begun to do some research for a project in archives that I was working on, to get my degree. The two moments kind of happened at the same time. I found out my paternal grandmother did belly dance and my mother did burlesque. I was fascinated by the glamour, their personal accounts, and the rest is herstory.


How do you incorporate your style into your burlesque performances?

Oh, there's “O” running through and through in every single act, show, and shoot, writing, everything that I do! I may depict moments in history but I put my spin on it to reflect my personality. I also strive to modernize each element so that it’s fresh and has reference to today’s time(s) in it. For instance, I may wear a pompadour or victory rolls but I make sure to keep my hair natural, highlighting the struggle(s) of my ancestors and the celebration of the beauty of women of color, myself included. Along with that I’ll have a bit of hair styled with my personal flourish. Thus, the look is historically accurate for that time period and today, whilst showcasing my individuality, my take on things. 


Where and/or who do you get your style inspiration from?

I get my style inspiration from my mother, she’s the most glamorous woman to ever walk the face of this earth, my grandmother, my aunts, women in history, like Dorothy Dandridge, Hazel Scott, Dorothea Towles Church, Nancy Wilson, Sade, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger. 


Tell us something about you that people might not realise.

I am constantly studying and researching. Even if I’m not working on something I’m, well, working.


Do you have a favourite place to buy our clothes from?

I have favourites, but not one specific place. I enjoy finding new brands and trying new looks. If anything, I’d say that’s my favorite. Adventures abound in the realm of O! 

Splendette vintage inspired 1950s style fashion pin up burlesque The Irresistible O collab

Do you have a favourite vintage/burlesque event in your calendar?

I can’t say that I have a favourite of either. I make it a point to go to events even when I am not performing, in order to support the endeavor and the artists giving the events. It’s good to be in the audience experiencing everything from a different point of view as well. It gives you a different take on things. 


Who should we be following the antics of? Who is making a mark in your world?

The time is ripe for this world to be aware of artists of color and sellers of color. People of color really haven’t had the recognition that we should in the vintage community or in the artistic world as a whole, not even in the academic world, either, really. It’s a shame too because we have been working steadily since always. Ha! That’s why I make it a point to teach and write on the subject. Lack of visibility and acknowledgment is why I started doing panels, articles, and lectures, like my History of Performers of Color course. 


Here are some great BIPOC in burlesque:

Perle Noire 

Poison Ivory 

Egypt Blaque Knyle 

Jet Noir 

Whisper De Corvo 

Tre de Marc 

Lottie Ellington 

Bella Sin 

Lakota Shekhar 

Missa Blue 

Maestro Maestra 

Aurora Boobrealis 

Nyx Nocturne 

Kita St Cyr 

Imogen Quest 

Eartha Kitten 


Here are some BIPOC pinups to check out: 

Donna Denise 

Miss Jazzy D 

Retrodoll Brittney 

Brittany Calavera 

Little Bit 

Macabre Masala 

Pinups of colour Instagram (there are tons of talented BIPOC here) 

Asian Pinup Girls Instagram (lots of fab BIPOC to support on this page) 


Do you have a party trick?

I suppose my party trick is that I don’t drink. People are usually shocked by that, but I get high off life. Being alive is all I need. 

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - Vintage Swimwear

Style Spotlight - Vintage Swimwear

Summer is well and truly here. Even if you can't get to the beach, pool or off on your holiday, we can still gawp at gorgeous vintage swimwear from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s together. The iconic pieces of the mid-century period have influenced the styles and fashions of future summers right up until this day, with many high-street designers and small vintage repro businesses taking inspiration from yesteryear.

Splendette vintage inspired 1940s hand painted summer swim wear bikini fashion style

The 1940s

The 1940s is when swimwear really came into its own. Prior to this decade most swimwear wasn't made from the most flattering fabric and was subject to strict guidelines. These guidelines really were enforced by the 'swimwear police' who measured how much skin was on show and who could actually arrest women who dared to flash a thigh.

Cut outs in one-piece swimsuits became fashionable during the 1930s, and this trend continued into the 1940s when two-pieces became more popular. The bottoms were often high-rise, a very popular shape for anyone familiar with vintage fashion, often looking more like a skirt than shorts, and the top was larger than a traditional bra with it only showing a band of skin at the navel. The fabrics were often hand painted making each and every swimsuit unique. This was uniqueness trend was a trait of the 1940s; if you fancy reading more on 1940s spring and summer fashion head to our little article on it once you're done here.

You can still find some amazing 1940s swimsuits if you scour the internet, vintage fairs and selling groups on Facebook. They will often be fragile and much more suitable for posing in than actually swimming, but boy do they look fabulous! If you do fancy a dip then repro will be your friend. Most vintage inspired reproduction swimsuits can pass for both the 1940s and the 1950s, and, like everything, it all comes down to how you accessorise. The 1940s was all about rich and powerful colours to bring brightness to their dark world. We love how our Heavy Carved fakelite looks with 1940s swimwear, giving it the added note of decadence, especially when teamed with some of our woven bangles as well. 

Splendette vintage inspired 1940s style heavy carved fashion fakelite pin up model shoot bangles necklace earrings

The 1950s

Post-war and post-rationing fashion was allowed to come into it's element. The 1950s was the decade of holidays at home and aboard. Holiday parks like Butlins and our favourite Pontins (ahem) gave families the opportunity to have time away together, and with that came more excuses to get creative with swimwear.

Although the bikini was officially invented in 1946 (debatable depending on what you define a bikini as but for the purpose of this blog we're going with 1946) it was just a bit too risque for the masses for a few more years. By the mid-1950s, with teenage rebellion wafting through the air, the bikini was here and it was here to stay. Bottoms became smaller and busts became more, er, prominent. Racier Hollywood starlet pin-ups like Jayne Mansfield and Brigitte Bardot popularised the skimpier bikini, but the traditional one piece remained popular in the magazines and with the public - who can forget the white swimsuit worn by Marilyn Monroe in her Sam Shaw photoshoot from 1956?

1950s swimsuits are much easier to come by thanks to them being ever so slightly newer and made from much more durable fabrics. Although I still wouldn't recommend swimming in them (especially not in chlorinated water) they will be more forgiving than their previous counterparts. Once again, reproduction will be your best friend. I love shopping from Outerlimitz for my reproduction stuff. Designed by Di Brooks their clothing is great quality and comes in a wide range of sizes - plus they do swimwear! Not just swimwear either, they do all the beachwear you could think of including towel cover-ups which are perfect for the beach. Other options include Bettylicious who have such an amazing selection of 1950s inspired swimsuits, and, when in doubt, Unique Vintage will always have our back. Unique Vintage have a plethora of reproduction pieces on their website, including us! (That's another tip you can have for free. If we are out of stock of any of our jewellery, check in with them as they might have over on their site.)

Splendette vintage inspired 1950s style fashion beach swimwear pinup hair blonde bombshell

The 1960s

Now the 1960s is the decade where you can explore a vintage style with more modern note. The fashion industry is always taking influence from this iconic decade, whether it be in prints, patterns or accessories. For swimwear, bikinis got much, much, much smaller than during the 1940s and 1950s, actually becoming much more like the bikini designed by Louis Réard back in 1946. This trend has stuck with us for many years which means that for a 1960s beach vibe you can find many inspired pieces on the high street today. You want to look out for big, bold colours (think oranges and greens) with swirly, psychedelic prints if you're going for the west coast California vibe, or go for polka dots if you want the itsy-bitsy-yellow-polka-dot-bikini look.

What is going to make it really stand out as a 1960s inspired outfit is going to be the accessories. Build yourself some big ol' hair (tease, tease and tease!), shield your eyes with some oversized sunglasses, and, of course, drip yourself in lots of jewellery. The drop hoop earrings were super popular throughout the entire decade and look great with a mahoosive beehive. Team them with a stack of bangles and jangle your way to the beach. The 1960s was all about clashing colours so if you're wearing orange think about teaming them with green jewellery, pinks with blues, yellows with purples. You get the idea. 

Splendette vintage inspired 1960s beach party swimwear retro surfboard


I love vintage swimwear and just being by the beach in general (I grew up on the coast and feel a bit funny when I go too in land) so this was a super fun article to write. I think the late 1950s and early 1960s are my favourite, but I find so much vintage fashion inspiration in it all. Where shall we shine the spotlight next?

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - Audrey Hepburn

Style Spotlight - Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of the vintage British girl next door; she was cute but charming, smart but not arrogant, giving without boastfulness. Her style is synonymous with the Little Black Dress and chic European elegance, whilst her hairstyles set trends which have become so iconic in vintage fashion history they are still replicated today.

Born in Belgium in 1929, Audrey (or Adriaantje to her family) grew up speaking both English and Dutch, and moved back and forth between countries until her (questionably moralled) father left the family just before the outbreak of the Second World War. During the war, Audrey and her family suffered under Nazi occupation and the consequences would stay with her for life. Her willowy frame was a result of a combination of her dance background as a child and the Dutch famine experienced during the war years. Rumours have it that Audrey used her dance skills to perform at secret charity functions to raise money for the Dutch Resistance - a humanitarian, Oscar winning, Nazi fighter?! She just gets better and better!

Audrey Hepburn vintage 1950s Hollywood icon retro spring style mid century Splendette

After the war Miss Hepburn turned to ballet and acting, giving her acting debut in Dutch In Seven Lessons, and educational film about, yup, learning Dutch. It's on YouTube if you care to watch it. Just five short years later Audrey would pick up an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for her leading role in Roman Holiday alongside Gregory Peck. And that is where we will pick up the vintage fashion side of her story...

Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck Roman Holiday Vespa vintage Hollywood film 1950s 1953

Roman Holiday showcased European fashion during the 1950s to the global audience, highlighting the obsession with Princess couture that was taking the world by storm (thanks, Dior). Her vintage style throughout the movie is ever changing, moving from the formal, stiff New Look to a more casual, laid-back vibe. And we can't forget to mention the hair cut. The hair cut! It's a pivotal part of the movie, a literal shedding of her royal looks, and was to popularise a trend which was mimicked by hundreds of women off screen. The 'Italian Cut' is still worn by many women who favour a shorter, 1950s inspired hair cut within the vintage community.

Audrey Hepburn Breakfast At Tifffany's still 1961 1960s Splendette vintage inspired jewellery

Moving forward a few more years we reach Breakfast at Tiffany's which is probably Audrey's most famous look and how the majority of people imagine her in their mind. The Little Black Dress, the bouffant chignon, the jewellery. Holly Golightly is one of Hollywood's most emulated characters and frequently reappears in pop culture as a vintage inspiration heroine. The vintage jewellery frequently takes centre stage throughout the film (probably why we like it so much!) and often steals the show. Although we aren't quite Tiffany's, you can see the influence of the late 1950s/early 1960s style in some of our pieces. Take for instance the Narrow Diamante bangles in black and white - they would set off any Holly Golightly inspired outfit to a tee, especially if you paired them with a white bead necklace. We definitely think Audrey Hepburn would have fitted our smaller Maiden range of bangles perfectly.

Audrey Hepburn casual 1950s vintage outfit riding bike cigarette slack pants ballet pumps Splendette

Off stage and set, Audrey Hepburn's style was casually effortless. She loved a slack trouser and ballet pump combo, and often teamed it with a light knit or fitted shirt. She lived an active life, contributing frequently to charity work across the globe, and her fashion choices mimicked this. Although she always looked like a princess at formal premieres and parties, it seems that Audrey was much more comfortable in well tailored casual wear. Jewellery wise, she loved wearing earrings was almost never seen without her lobes adorned in some form of stud, hoop or drop. She is attributed to the popularity of the drop hoop in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, so we can definitely thank her for some major vintage inspiration there!

Audrey Hepburn Sabrina 1950s vintage inspired style drop hoop earrings Splendette

Maybe it's because she is a little closer to home than the American Hollywood celebs of the mid-century golden years, but I have always had a soft spot for Audrey Hepburn. She stars in some of my favourite 1950s and 1960s films, her charity work was quiet but had a great impact, and her casual style is something that I always aspire to. She definitely deserves her place in our style spotlight, and she will shine there forever.

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - Marilyn Monroe

Style Spotlight - Marilyn Monroe

Just the name Marilyn Monroe immediately conjures up an image of vintage glamour, pinup perfection and 1950s glitz. She was icon who has transcended the decades and her elegance is just as powerful as it was 65 years ago. But she wasn't just the blonde bombshell and sex symbol everyone remembers. Did you know that Marilyn (or rather Norma Jean) was a keen reader with over 400 books in her collection, and her Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is apparently delicious.But we're not here to talk about stuffing, we are here to talk about her legendary outfits, from the early days to that dress.

Marilyn Monroe casual Norma Jean denim vintage outfitNorma Jean Mortenson's style was very different from her alter ego Marilyn's, and you can see this from how her style changes when she is in 'character'. When at home Marilyn preferred a more casual look, and often donned trousers over the slinky dresses she is more known for. You can recreate her casual look with the cleverly named Norma's from Freddies of Pinewood. Twin them with a sweet sweater (get some inspo from our Sweater Girl Style Spotlight article), a pair of sandals and, of course, a stack of pastel bangles for an authentic vintage inspired outfit. It's a great look worn by rockabilly girls all over the world to this day. It's a fab daytime outfit when your hair is setting in curlers but you still want to have that vintage vibe.

When Norma stepped in front of the camera she immediately became the Marilyn Monroe 1950s pinup Hollywood icon black and white wiggle dress suitHollywood legend that we know as Marilyn Monroe. Her classic 1950s style has become vintage inspiration for people the world over. The wiggle dresses which clung to her shapely yet petite frame are now staples in pinup girls and rockabilly lovers' wardrobes, and often paired with iconic jewellery pieces such as our fakelite Starburst bangles from Winter 2019. We think Marilyn would have loved the Clear Starbursts, don't you?                                                                                                                                                                          There are lots of vintage inspired pinup clothing companies out there with a plethora of wiggle dress designs to choose from. We love Vixen by Micheline Pitt for their daring busty looks which are perfect for making everyone in the room stare at you as you walk it - make Marilyn proud! There are also our pals over at Outerlimitz who are a home grown company from the south west just like us. Their Joan dress is the perfect dress to go from the office to the bar in. It hugs in all the right places and the lurex fleck looks amazing with some of our glitters.                                                                                                                                                          Of course, Marilyn didn't just wear wiggle dresses. In the earlier years of the 1950s the studios often dressed her in smart, tailored suits to contrast the glitz and glamour of her private life. In one of Marilyn's most famous screen appearances Gentlemen Prefer Blondes there are some incredible two-piece suits which have definitely stood the test of time. If you can't find yourself a vintage original, keep an eye on Prettie Lanes' designs as they have some vintage inspired pieces which can pass as the originals.



Marilyn Monroe frequented countless movie premiers and even more cocktail parties in her time. And what do these things call for? Why party dresses of course! Marilyn had one of the most famous party frocks in modern memory. Yup, we're talking about that dress when she sang that song for that president. Did you know that the rhinestone covered beauty sold for $4.8 million dollars back in 2016! You don't have to spend that much to look just as fabulous though.

Check out how Deadly Is The Female's Scarlett sequin dress combines Marilyn's sparkly 'Happy Birthday' dress with her equally iconic dress from the 1955 classic The Seven Year Itch. Marilyn was also partial to a fringe dress (aren't we all) and you can recreate her look from Some Like It Hot in one of Maria Aguye's hand tailored dresses. Finish the outfit off with a pair of 1950s style heeled mules, some complimentary vintage inspired jewellery and you're good to go!

Marilyn Monroe JFK Happy Birthday Mr President dress

What was your favourite Marilyn Monroe outfit? Let us know!

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - Sweater Girl

Style Spotlight - Sweater Girl

Well it seems that spring is taking its time to get to us this year. It's still the perfect time to be wrapped up in jumpers, cardigans and twin sets. Wait...twin sets? Aren't they what your granny wears from M&S? Firstly, yes she does, but secondly the M&S twin set is an absolute vintage inspired classic, and twin sets can still be a staple in your midcentury wardrobe. Enter the 'Sweater Girl' style...

Sweater Girl style is basically what 1950s style pinups wear when it is a bit nippy outside for a spaghetti-strap dress, or when they just want a day off from cinched waists and towering heels. The look is inspired by Old Hollywood queens such as Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren and Diana Dors and originates all the way back in the 1930s when jumpers really came into their own. 

1950s pinup old hollywood Marilyn Monroe Diana Dors Mamie Van Doren sweater girl

We're going to jump ahead to accessorising before we get stuck into the outfit details. Just because you're all wrapped up doesn't mean that you can sparkle with some of our vintage inspired fakelite jewellery. A few rolls of the jumper cuff reveals space on the wrist to be filled with stacks of bangles. We love the classic look of the Starburst range, but the sky really is the limit. Clash, combine, and create the best stacks of your lives! Don't forget to add a pair of earrings as well. The iconic fakelite drop hoops look fantastic with this sort of look, and we love contrasting them against the colour of the sweater.

Splendette vintage inspired 1950s style spring 2018 fakelite jewellery Marilyn Monroe

As with all 1940s and 1950s looks, you're going to need a solid foundation to begin with. The best way to get that iconic vintage silhouette is the famous bullet bra. Stick with us here, we know what you're thinking..."they'll poke someone's eyes out!" but you really will get used to it. In modern times we're used to a fuller, rounded bosom, but during the mid-century years it was all about really sticking them out. What Katie Did is every vintage gals first stop when needing some pinup style underpinnings. Famous for their corsets they also have a spectacular range of bullet bras in sizes 32-40 and cup sizes A-FF - plus if you're not brave enough just yet for the full cone effect, they also do a softer 1940s style which can get you on the way to Sweater Girl chic.

What Katie Did with Splendette bullet bra vintage inspired underwear fakelite jewellery

Now, onto the main event! You can still pick up some true vintage sweaters if you are in the right place at the right time. They might not be actual 1940s or 1950s items but the 1970s and 1980s took a huge amount of inspiration from the mid century when designing their winterwear. Head to your local vintage fair to see what you can find, have a search at online shops like eBay and Etsy, or join a vintage selling Facebook group. (On that note, have you joined our Facebook group yet?)

If you can't get your mitts on true vintage, fret not. There are lots of retro-ready sweaters out there to suit everyone. You can find some amazing jumpers, cardigans and twinsets on the highstreet - I found a corker of a 1940s style jumper in Topshop about ten years ago and it's still something I reach for frequently. But we're a small business, and we love supporting our fellow small businesses on the vintage scene. 

If you are more of a 1950s kinda gal then you need to pay a visit to Freddies of Pinewood. They're best known for their high-waisted denim wear but they are now taking the sweater world by storm. They have nailed the three-quarter batwing sleeve style which was everywhere in the 1950s. This length is perfect for showing off your stack of fakelite bangles from your's truly.

Freddies of Pinewood 1950s vintage inspired Ski Sweater

What if you prefer a touch of vintage inspiration to your outfit you can still get involved by going to our pals at Miss Fortune. They specialise in a modern day pinup with an alternative flare. They have dozens of knitwear designs over on their website - I think my favourite are from the Snake Charmer collection. This sort of jumper is always enhanced by a carefully placed fakelite brooch from the Splendette collection.

Miss Fortune vintage inspired pinup Snake Charmer sweater jumper

Underwear done, jumper on. You have to put some bottoms on (apparently it is inappropriate to go out in your knicks!). We have two choices here: the skirt or the trousers. Personally, I prefer trousers but there are lots of lasses out their that team their jumpers with pencil or circle skirts. Both style are taking their inspiration from the 1940s and 1950s so you do what you feel most comfortable in.

Let's stick with trousers for now. You can always rely on aforementioned Freddies of Pinewood for a really great pair of jeans, but there is also the capri pant route to go down. They look effortlessly chic but also are super comfortable and have that "oh...this old thing?" look about them. We love Piplotex's Cigarette Pants as they can be completely customised to fit you individually (I'm 6' so am always in need of an extra inch or so in the leg!). Her iconic 1950s style black trousers are always a classic, but you can be that bright and bubbly pinup with bright pink, red and even yellow pairs too.

Piplotex vintage inspired 1950s black capri cigarette pants

Finally, lets pop some shoes on. Heels are always going to finish of the look perfectly, but let's not do flats a disservice. The good thing about vintage inspired heels is that they tend to be a bit lower than modern ones - usually ranging between 5-8cm in height. This is because they were designed to be worn all day,every day by a lot of women. Johnson Shoes take a lot of inspiration from these day-to-day shoes, and they're also super comfy. I've worn them all day on shoots before and never had an issue.

Sometimes (like right now) it is absolutely pouring it down and you really don't want a sogger. This is where the beauties that are saddle shoes come into their own. Originally worn by men, and made famous by Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock, saddle shoes are a classic, often two-toned, shoe which pair super well with cuffed jeans for a more casual vintage inspired look. Rocket Originals are by far the best on the market at the moment and come in a wide range of colours so you can get a few to go with your new wardrobe. Oh, and did we mention they also do great twin sets?

Rocket Originals vintage inspired 1940s 1950s style saddle shoe

And you're ready to go! The Sweater Girl look is the perfect way to see out the colder months but still being having a great vintage vibe.

Show us your winter looks! We love seeing what you create over on Instagram - don't forget to tag us!

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - Wilhelmina af Fera

Style Spotlight - Wilhelmina af Fera

Splendette's Style Spotlight takes a look at the inspirations and fashions from yesteryear as well as the modern day icons from the vintage world. This time we're taking a peek into the world of the Finnish beauty, Wilhelmina as Fera.

You might be thinking "hey, I recognise Mina from somewhere" and you'd be right! Mina modeled our Summer '18 range splashing around in a stunning swimming pool. That range was chock-a-block with traditional vintage inspired heavy carved fakelite, and tropical delights to transform any outfit into a bright statement.

Wilhelmina Af Fera modeling Splendette vintage inspired fakelite jewellery and Violets in May vintage style clothing

So, what does Mina's vintage inspired style mean to her?

Describe your style in five words.
Vintage-y, quirky, bold colour & hats.

What is your must-have accessory from Splendette?
Bangles are my favourite and I do wear them pretty much everyday. Maiden midi and wide bangle sets have been my go-to lately and I am totally obsessed about the Tropical Punch colourway. Spring, I know but I love it so much! I have such small wrists I always need that one maiden bangle to spot my stacks from slipping off and I have been over the Moon now that Splendette has done maidens in different sizes other than just narrow as it gives so many styling options when you can choose midi or even wide to be the stopper on the top of your stack! Love it!

Where and/or who do you get your style inspiration from?
I love reading old fashion magazines and there's so much style inspiration in there! 1940's magazines are my favourite for sure, but I also love going through some 30's and 50's stuff.
I don't really have anyone I'd look up and tried to copy but of course I do have some old movie starts whose style I like, Marlene Dietrich for example.

Which is your favourite piece from the current collection?
I loooove the autumn collection in full, mainly because all the new colourways have the resemblance of true bakelite. But having to pick just one I'd probably go with the Mouse colourway and for a single piece - maiden midi bangle. So versatile, beautiful colour and there just is something I love about the maiden midis!

What made you get into vintage style?
When I was a kid my mother made me watch all the old movies, especially Audrey Hepburns, so I guess the love for vintage was kinda born then. I did not wear vintage until my 20's though when I moved to the capital area for my university studies and found the first vintage shops. Before that I never even knew one could wear clothing that old in daily bases. I had always felt bad about my figure, it was never good enough for modern clothing but when I tried on my first 50's dress I was blown away! It did fit perfectly. And here we are.

Tell us something about you that people might not realise.
Hahaa, I am no lady! I may look like a diva in my photos but in real life I'm more like a teddy boy rather than a girly girl. As a teen I had such a crises about my gender I secretly wished for gender change. I felt like I just could not be a woman, I did not feel like one. But still I ended up here. Strange thing, life.

Do you have a favourite place to buy your clothes from?
For vintage clothing I do have few favourite shops in Finland, Hoochie Mama Jane in Helsinki and VintagEija's in Turku. Other than that I love wearing Miss Candyfloss pieces, their fabrics are soft and I like their cuts. Plus their garments are degsigned and made in Europe. I tend to be a bit sentimental when choosing brands to wear but I also keep an eye on the quality, I hate getting clothing with poor quality. For example I love to wear Rubylea headwear and bespoke clothing as it's a local small business, I love Splendette's connections to Finland, Revival Retro is also admirable female run small company and so forth!

Do you have a favourite vintage event in your calendar?
I do not think I have one favourite. Finns love recycling so we have loads of vintage fairs around the year which I like to visit and during the summer the country is full of  outdoor events all about vintage, classic cars and rock n roll. But of course Viva Las Vegas is marked on my calendar every year even though I may not be able to visit it annually. Besides Viva I am eagerly waiting to see Dita Von Teese in London next year. Last years show was such a vintage fashion show and I cannot wait to see what people come up outfit wise with next year!

How long have you been modelling?
I have been doing portfolio shoots ever since high school but I guess my first real modeling jobs were in 2016. So not that long, and every shoot I still learn something new!

Do you have a party trick?
My party trick is that I rarely go out! Seriously I am the least party animal you will ever meet and I'm basically leaving the house for party or night on the town kinda fun just when Eeva the Boss Babe drags me out either here in Finland or when I'm visiting UK. She forces me to put on the party mood and I love her for that but when she's not around I'm more like reading a book with a nice cup of tea curled up in a cosy armchair kinda person.


You can see more of Mina over on her Instagram and Facebook.

(ps: we can't wait to party with Mina at Dita von Teese either!)

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - The Glambassador

Style Spotlight - The Glambassador

Splendette's Style Spotlight takes a look at the inspirations and fashions from yesteryear as well as the modern day icons from the vintage world. This time we're taking a peek into the world of The Chronically Overdressed Christine, aka The Glambassador.

You might recognise Christine from the photo shoot for our Autumn 2019 range. It was an absolute blast working with The Glambassador as she brought so many incredible vintage inspired pieces from her own wardrobe and matched it perfectly with our bangles, earrings and necklaces.

Splendette vintage inspired 1940s 1950s style carved fakelite Fox orange jewellery with Chronically Overdressed The Glambassador Christine Cochran

To get to know her and her vintage inspired style a little better we sat down for a chat...

Describe your style in five words

Classic, polished, colorful, thoughtful and fun.

What is your must-have accessory from Splendette?

I love the hoop earrings from Splendette. When I was working as a massage therapist and esthetician, I couldn’t wear a lot of jewellery or wear my vintage clothing, however I was able to express my style with my hair and makeup and a few accessories. The hoop earrings are a perfect way to add a splash of color to my look (I always had to wear black), and they are secure enough that they didn’t get in the way of my work.

Where and/or who do you get your style inspiration from?

My mother and her best friend were always my style inspiration growing up, but now I tend to turn to Pinterest and Instagram whenever I need to spark my creativity. I love to look at old photos from the 1930s and 1940s on Pinterest to get inspiration for authentic styles. I have several boards that I keep updated and return to time and time again.

But of course there are a lot of specific people that inspire me as well, such as Dita Von Teese of course. Her polished, classic look is always a winner. I’m also fortunate to be friends with several people who constantly inspire me with their own style. To name a few on Instagram - wardrobe_experience, mariabordoysboudoir, birtheweijkamp, essbdee, and myvintageloveblog are an unending source of inspiration for me. Their sophisticated, comfortable, and authentic styles are what I strive for and the fact that they are all strong, intelligent and supportive women makes me privileged to call them friends.

Which is your favourite piece from our current collection?

Do I really have to choose one?!?!?! Ok, fine…I’m in love with the Alder Fakelite Necklace right now. I recently moved to Hawaii and this necklace goes so well with so many of my tropical outfits. I have to say though, I moved here with a fraction of my wardrobe and accessories in tow (awaiting the rest in a few months) and I received my box of the autumn collection shortly after I arrived in Hawaii. Even though these are scrumptious autumn colors (a season that I miss terribly by the way), everything from this line has gone so beautifully with my more summery and tropical attire. It’s so versatile and can be worn year round.

What made you get into vintage style?

As I mentioned above, my mom was my style icon growing up. She was one of the most glamorous women I’ve ever known. At a young age, she instilled in me a love for vintage garments, everyday glamour and the concept of always being “put together”. When I was about 16 years old, I decided that vintage style just suited me best. I felt the most comfortable and confident in vintage style clothing. I loved shopping in thrift and vintage stores with my mom and knowing that the clothing I wore was not going to be seen on anyone else at school.

From then on, I just continued learning and honing my look and style. Of course it’s evolved quite a bit as I’ve matured and become more comfortable in my body and I’ve learned what looks best on it. I also didn’t grown up with the internet, so having that as a resource now is invaluable.

Tell us something about yourself that we might not know...

Oh boy, that’s a hard one. Well many people don’t know that I wanted to become a police officer and eventually join the FBI. When I was 16 I joined the police department’s cadet program. But unfortunately a knee injury quashed that dream. So after school, I went into public relations and marketing instead and then eventually became a massage therapist, holistic esthetician and holistic health coach. At 43, I feel like I’ve already lived multiple lives.

Do you have a favourite place to buy your clothes from?

I do, however it’s not a typical vintage or reproduction clothing shop, but they do have amazing vintage style clothing at times. It’s All of their garments can be customized to suit your exact size, or hem length, or sleeve length, etc. And all of the dresses and skirts have pockets! I have a hard time buying a dress or skirt if it doesn’t have pockets. Ladies need their pockets!!!! In addition to eShakti, I adore Emmy Designs, Vivien of Holloway, Scarlet Rage Vintage and I’m always scouring Etsy for volup sizes of vintage dresses.

Do you have a favourite vintage event in your calendar?

I’m embarrassed to say that I actually don’t get to many vintage events. There are several in the UK that I wanted to go to, but it just never worked out. I’ve attended several Dapper Day events at Disneyland in California as well as in Paris and I always enjoy those.

Now that I’m living in Hawaii, I’m hoping to get to a few events in California, or maybe even Viva Las Vegas, as I’ve never been.

How long have you been modelling?

I started modeling when I was about 15, so 28 years ago. I did some catalogue work and a few small fashion shows, but I stopped when I turned 18 and started working full time. I have done a few smaller jobs here and there over the years, but I wouldn’t consider myself a “model” really, as I’ve not done it consistently for any significant amount of time. I would love the chance to do more and help represent the plus-size gals and show that we can wear vintage styles and look amazing. That’s one of the reasons I started my blog. I wasn’t seeing the representation of gals who looked like me anywhere in the vintage scene. So I figured I would be that representation and hopefully someone could see themselves in me and have the confidence to get out there in their own vintage style.

Do you have a party trick?

I’m not sure if you would call it a party trick, but I worked as a voice-over actor for a little while and I’m pretty good with picking up accents. I’m a good mimic and when I spend a bit of time with someone with an accent, I start to sound like them.


You can see more of Christine over on Instagram, Facebook and her blog.

Continue reading

Style Spotlight - Pinup

Style Spotlight - Pinup

Welcome to a new series of blogs! We’re going to shine a spotlight on different vintage fashions from days gone by, plus those who influence them, past and present.

First to step under the limelight is pinup…

Let’s start with the basics. What is a pinup? Well, to put it literally it’s a gorgeous gal who is photographed and put into print which is pinned up on walls. Originating in the Second World War (debateable) soldiers, sailors and airmen took photos of the pretty girls from back home to keep up morale whilst they were fighting. The practice was kept in peacetime and now women all over the world keep the style of the pinups of the 1940s and 1950s alive in their own way.

Iconic pinups include vintage goddesses such as Betty Grable, Diana Dors, Eartha Kit and, of course, the Queen of Pinup herself, Bettie Page. The level of risqué differed from model to model, from birthday suits to swimsuits to glamorous evening wear.

1950s pinup collage Dorothy Dandridge, Marilyn Monroe, Eartha Kitt, Betty Brosmer, Rita Hayworth, Bettie Page

So, how does one dress in a pinup style? Pinups are well known for their sultry silhouettes with wiggle dresses clinging to all the right places, immaculate hair and makeup as well as statement pieces of jewellery to catch the eye. Of course, you can find some incredible original vintage fashion pieces which would make you instantly pinup perfect, but there are also some fabulous companies out there creating outstanding vintage inspired clothing. Oh, and there’s us! So many pieces of our fakelite jewellery can complete your pinup get up.

Let’s start with the basics. It’s really important to get your undies right when going for the pinup look. Think curves, think nipped in waists, think pointy boobies. What Katie Did is a well-established, London based foundation garment company who provide ladies the world over with bullet bras, merrywidows and waspies. It can get a bit of getting used to as their undies create such a different, dramatic shape to what we are used to in the modern world, but boy oh boy is it worth it for the result.

 What Katie Did and Splendette vintage inspired green corset and fakelite jewellery

(Yup that's me! Modelling Christmas '18 range!)

Once you’ve mastered your pinup shapewear, it’s time to step into some fabulous frocks. Although pinups don’t always need to wear a skirt it is usually the preferred item of clothing whether its full or fitted. First time adventurers into the realm of pinup usually find themselves at the doorstep of Collectif, and many stick around for the duration of their journey. It is a cacophony of pinup style all heavily vintage inspired and is a great place to be introduced to the fashion. If you’re ever in London or Brighton, you can swing by one of their boutique stores!

 Collectif Wanda wiggle dress vintage inspired 1950s pinup fashion Miss Deadly Redd

Wiggle dresses look amazing with our Bead Necklaces

Like I said right back at the start of this blog, there are so many small businesses creating their own pinup style clothing. It’s all about finding your own way of working it and seeing who takes your fancy out there. One of our favourites is Violets In May. Owned and operated by Lola Diamond (a pinup goddess in her own right!) Violets In May custom tailors their range to your measurements and has so many different styles and fabrics to chose from. Both her day wear and evening wear is to die for!

Violets in May vintage inspired 1950s pinup style lurex wiggle dress modelled by October Divine

Imagine this with a stack of glittery bangles!

Pinup is often the gateway into vintage inspired fashion for so many people (it definitely was for me) because it is so timelessly glamorous. We’d love to see what outfits you create with your own twist – don’t forget to tag us on Instagram when you add our fakelite jewels in!

Continue reading