Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Vintage Embroidered Bolero


It was a friend's birthday on the weekend and he decided to celebrate at our local pub. It has been raining non-stop in London so it was a bit of a conundrum deciding what to wear as the state of our bedroom attested to after I got dressed. Does anyone else do this whilst getting ready for a night out? Pull out item after item in panic and toss it on the floor/bed in haste after trying on and rejecting it, leaving a big messy pile of clothing to be sorted out once you get home? Make that - once you get home really late, slightly tipsy and just not in the mood to hang anything up to boot.  Is it just me??

I finally decided on a bit of retro glam clashing the thirties and the seventies. I realised I hadn't worn this vintage bolero jacket in years. I saw it in a vintage clothing store in Bath and it was love at first sight!  I wore it incessantly at one point, and took it with me when I went to live in Spain where it somehow looked at home, like a cousin of the richly embroidered shawls worn by the Andalusian women to attend wedding ceremonies.  It was all I needed to cover up my bare shoulders on a hot balmy evening and to turn an ordinary outfit into something special.


On my return to England, a series of poor summers and bitter winters relegated adorning oneself as being less important than keeping warm, and it soon became a forgotten item. It's too good to be left languishing in a drawer so I decided to go a bit more dressed up than I normally would to the pub and give it a long overdue outing.

I also managed to wear two unworn items from the wardrobe, the jeans and the shoes. These black denim flares are too long for me so I paired them with these Wisteria wedges from Topshop which seemed like they would be high enough to do the trick of lifting the hem up. Even with the shoes on I had to spend ages safety pinning the hems up even further and yet I'm still managing to do that Rachel Zoe flared-hem-to-the-floor look.  The hoops one has to jump through when one is short!


This jacket was sold to me as being from the thirties but who knows what its true vintage is. I'm certainly no expert and would be happy to hear opinions from the vintage clothing gurus out there! It is made out of a soft crepe and the intricate embroidery is done in a multicoloured thread (ranging from yellow, apricot and pale pink and blue) and actually looks like it was sewn by machine rather than hand. It has a metal hook and eye and a metal press stud to fasten it closed.


Now I've rekindled my love for this bolero I feel like wearing it again!  I'm quite pleased I managed to combine this peice with items I haven't worn it previously - I feel like I've activated an unused pathway in my brain.  Now I see why the 30 x 30 outfit planners enjoy the game so much.  Anyone else recently rediscovered a gem lurking in their wardrobe?

1930's embroidered bolero jacket: Vintage to Vogue; Belt: Vintage; Pendant: Wallis; Earrings: Warehouse; lace insert camisole: Mango; Draped cowl neck top: Tokito; Black flared jeans: JBrand for Topshop; Chiffon tie platform shoes: Topshop

28 comments:

  1. That is exactly how I get ready too :) Hard to date the jacket exactly without being able to check the insides etc, but in any case it is totally gorgeous x

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  2. So beautiful! That bolero is stunning--and very much worth wearing out a lot once more.

    I have to laugh about the jeans. I'm also short and have a few pairs now that have to be worn with 5" heels or so--and that's after *hand hemming them*. To have that hem graze the floor, I have to work two hours on each pair. Yes, it's easier to have them sent out, but this way they're easy to unstitch and do over differently if I want. :)

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  3. Ooh, love this on you! So flattering...you often wear baggier trousers, so it's nice to see these lean lines which show off your svelte figure!

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  4. WOW! That jacket is CRAZY FABULOUS! The whole outfit just WORKS! Love it! ~Serene

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  5. It's a beautiful jacket! I'm no vintage expert so I really can't help confirm the facts...but you look fine in those jeans.

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  6. I love that bolero. I like how it is the featured piece of this outfit. Love those shoes too by the way.
    No Guilt Fashion

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  7. It's a beautiful jacket, Veshoevius. What are the inside seams like? Overlocked or hand finished, are they folded double inside themselves? Either way it's fabulous and perfect with jeans and those glorious wedges.xxx
    PS My bedroom is exactly the same after I've prepared for a night out.

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  8. P.S. Forgot to say there is no discernable label on this jacket.

    @Penny Dreadful - phew, I feel at least I am in good company now!

    @Aesthetic Alterations - there are some jeans I can't bring myself to slice up and hem anew either precisely for that reason - I feel I want to be able to change the length again at some later point. Pointless though unless I suddenly buy a pair of stilts to use as shoes!

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  9. @Vix - I suspect from the workmanship and lack of a label that it is home sewn with a sewing machine - the seams are overlocked but whoever did it was using a very simple overlocker that wasn't able to cut the fabric as it sews. The jacket's edges are finished with bias binding.

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  10. Hi my dear-wow, what a stunning jacket, that is great how you've resurrected it as its a perfect summer evening piece, especially with jeans. I really love this outfit, just my style too xxx

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  11. I WANT, WANT your bolero, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    lOVE 80 VUELVEN YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
    BESOS, GUAPA!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  12. The jacket is gorgoeus, Veshoevius!! I love how you always seem to wear dangly statement earrings when you dress up - they look so glamorous - I always forget to put any on! xx

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  13. I love that jacket!!!! It's gorgeous!! It's amazing and that whole outfit is awesome! And when I stop swooning over the jacket, I'll move onto the earrings (those bad boys are right up my alley!!)

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  14. That jacket is absolutely perfect! And I really love the silhouette you've created. Pure perfection!

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  15. The bolero jacket is beyond beautiful. And your description of the process of putting an outfit together sounds very familiar to me.

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  16. That bolero is stunning and I so love what you paired it with, especially the wedge sandals! Rachel Zoe would love this look too, you know she would! (I have been watching some Season 3 re-runs the last few nights, I need a little lift.) Glad to have found you on Twitter. I feel like I joined a great party already in progress. Now to figure out how to use it!

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  17. Oh gosh, that all sounds familiar. Particularly the getting home tipsy bit ;) xx
    We Shop Therefore We Are

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  18. Yup, exactly how I get ready too. I vaguely scoop everything on to a chair when I roll in. Fabulous bolero and loving those shoes! xx

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  19. No, that's certainly not only you - I do exactly the same. I think I got it all sorted and then get into a panic 5 minutes before we need to go. It worked out well though and you re-discovered a real gem with this jacket. I like the loooong flared trousers... It all looks incredibly chic!

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  20. You are sooooooo delish Miss V!! I hope you had a fantastic night out, you were certainly dressed for one. I love everything - the flared jeans, towering hells, ALL the jewellery and GASP the bolero is off the richter scale!! xxoo

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  21. Fantastic! I love it! Retro-licious!

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  22. Another stunning and highly-covetable piece, my darling! I feel your pain re being short - the whole peg trousers thing has been a godsend because I don't have to faff around with hems. As for hidden gems...my whole wardrobe is under-used at the moment (partly because most of it is in storage) - I need fresh eyes to come over and shake me up!

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  23. omg, i LOVE this jacket! wow, just so adorable

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  24. It's such a beautiful dramatic look) I really like how all of the pieces are singing together - the top, the jeans, the platforms, the jewelry, and, of course, this amasing jacket <3

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  25. Stunning jacket. I hated short jackets for so long but since, oh, 2008, I've been all about boleros!

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  26. *drool* I'm in love with your jacket, and it looks so chic whith those long dark jeans. Just beautifully elegant yet noncholant.

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  27. Oh my god you should wear those jeans every day! Your legs go on for years! Gymspiration for me!

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