Friday, 29 August 2014

Coco Chanel... The Fashion Legacy.

Chanel emerged post WW1 and her style could not have suited a better time. She understood the changing need for women desiring clothes that were built for comfort and favoured simplicity and practicality. Despite the drastic change from restrictive corsets and the need for women to be all curves, her designs were a huge hit. Female elegance no longer came from how small a waist you had or how many frills you had on your dress, it came from being understated.

The Chanel Suit
Picturing Coco Chanel in your head and an image of a small lady in a string of pearls and a smart skirt immediately emerges. The Chanel suit was an innovative design that allowed the wearer to take on the world but still be subtly glamorous at the same time. The idea behind the suit was that it was built for practicality. No stiff shoulder pads or tight material, finally women were dressing to be able to do things rather than just for show.

Despite having been designed in 1930, this has stood the test of time. Not only was it a dress that could be worn by women of all tastes, it was a look for all budgets. Again, there was no unnecessary frills or beading, it was a simple black dress that flattered women's shape but upheld their dignity. High necked and low hemline, as you can imagine, it received criticism from men who preferred their women spilling out of corsets. But, with women it was a hit especially in the post war depression where simple, cheap designs were in desperate need.

Always one admirably in touch with society Chanel believed; "It's disgusting to walk around with millions around the neck because one happens to be rich. I only like fake jewellery … because it's provocative." She not only wanted to make a statement against society with her views but with her designs. She was the epitome of liberating women's fashion. With jewellery, she drew inspiration from Egypt and felt jewels should either be fine or costume. Often seen in her string of pearls, costume jewellery allowed women of all budgets to be on trend and create an expensive look.

Chanel No.5
And of course, not forgetting the biggest fashion statement; perfume. Keeping with her theme of the understated design, the bottle of her perfume was a simple glass bottle. It was this that makes her perfumes so desirable, there is something so attractive about its' simplicity. Chanel had strong associations with the number five and it is such that created the iconic name; Chanel No.5. Marilyn Monroe reignited the excitement about the product by creating the glamorous image and unforgettable quote; "What do I wear to bed? Why, Chanel No.5 of course!" Ever since, it has been a product that women every where associate with the wealthy and classy lady.

Words by Charlotte Hobbs

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Trend Tuesdays: History of the Chanel bag


“I would shed tears the day no one copied me”

It was 1955 when Coco Chanel did for bags what she had earlier done for female fashion. She reinvented the style and there has never been another bag that comes close to rivalling the class yet practicality of it. The 2.55 was born. Tired of having to carry her handbag and inspired by the soldiers attire, she added thin straps that I think every woman is thankful for! Famous for wanting to be original, she would no doubt be sad to see the counterfeits of her bag produced today. However, her original design is yet to be bested by other designers, which we hope she would be proud of!

The 2.55 original
Inspired by the cushions in her Parisian apartment, she added a quilted effect to give the bag volume and shape. Personal touches such as the inner lining being burgundy, the colour of the uniforms at the convent she grew up in, give the bag authenticity and the history every stylish handbag deserves. The inner zipped compartment was a hidden pocket where women could keep their love letters and diaries.
The original 2.55 design had a simple rectangular clasp, sturdy and practical, which was named the 'mademoiselle lock' after Coco Chanel who never married. The lock we see today with the intertwining C's was designed by Karl Lagerfeld to add an extra hint of glamour for the modern day woman.

Coco Chanel was the best example of a visionary. She recognised the changing needs of women, starting to combine careers with family life and realised a strap was an essential part of their progression. Not only did she change the most important accessory, she evolved the way women held themselves and created a bag that represented the needs; a bag that didn't just carry makeup, but a bag that carried the evolution of women in the workplace. Women would have, and still do, worked hard to afford such a classic and luxurious design. It represents how far women have come and their independence to afford to buy their own bag. If anything, this should be the outcome Chanel is most proud of achieving, herself being a role model for independence and hard work.

Words by Charlotte Hobbs

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Remembering Lauren Bacall

A husky voice, elegant poise and sharp wit, Lauren Bacall was one of the last remaining stars from the golden era of Hollywood. She passed away on the 12th August 2014 leaving an entire legacy of films and a great romance behind her.

With her big feet and tall features, by her own admission, she was snapped up as a model and catapulted to her first major film 'To Have and Have Not' by the age of 19. This unbelievable success is somewhat overshadowed and back seated by her romance with Humphrey Bogart. Their first film together sparked the greatest romance in Hollywood, with Bogart 25 years her senior.

Bogart and Bacall also shared an onscreen romance in several films. Their films together were lapped up by audiences who were charmed by the pair. They went on to have two children together despite Bogart's aversion to becoming a Father. In their passionate marriage, they had sporadic fights and Bacall's announcement of her first pregnancy sparked fears in Bogart that he would lose her to a baby. The romance sadly ended when she was 33 years old as Bogart passed away from throat cancer.

She went on to marry and divorce Jason Robard's and had the infamous but short lived romance with Sinatra.

"I think your whole life shows in your face, and you should be proud of that"
After the 1960's parts waned, it was safe to say her golden era was over. She attempted multiple other films but none were received with as much enthusiasm as those in the beginning of her career. Despite this, she continued to work on projects right till the end; "What's the point in working your whole life and stopping" and her career still shone brightly behind her. She rightly won multiple Lifetime Achievement awards and had a myriad of awards under her belt, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guilds, all deservedly gained for her earlier films.
Lauren Bacall was a complete juxtaposition. While she was one of the greatest movie stars of all time, she actually preferred to dedicate her life to her marriage, deeming you had you choose between success and your relationship. The contradiction continues with her portrayal in the media, as in one recent interview she was described as ice cold one minute and overtly charming the next. It seemed Bacall was the master of deceiving appearances. She came across as a stunning model, with elegance and charm but behind the exterior was a sharp, witty lady who could cut down an interviewer with one glance of her icy stare. Perhaps this is what made her such a great legend. She didn't give all of herself to film and she challenged the perception of what women should be. She was whatever she wanted to be and she will be remembered as someone who never gave up.
Words by Charlotte Hobbs

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blog feature: Vintage Jane

Photo taken from Vintage Jane's blog header
We would love to introduce our friend over at Vintage Jane!
If you're looking for lots of beautiful pictures of vintage adventures, this blog is a must! Each post follows an event in her life and is like a dream land to the avid vintage follower. Accompanied by a short poetic description, this blog is lovely to search through, a real haven for those who like less writing and more idyllic pictures! We feel a calm every time we visit and it's one of those blogs that has such a personal touch, you feel as if you know her already!
If you would like to check out her blog (who wouldn't?!) 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Trend Tuesday: Vintage hairstyling tips

We at BettyRae Vintage spend hours trawling through pictures of immaculate vintage hair and make up looks. We refuse to let all these hours be wasted though, so we've compiled some tips and tricks to creating the perfect vintage hairstyle!

  • Bobby pins are your new best friend. Be sure to pick up as many as possible though, we all know how they mysteriously disappear!

  • Don't underestimate the power of water! Waves can be easily manipulated and pin curls work great when left overnight to dry.

  • If you really want to go authentic vintage, sugar water was used to hold together their carefully constructed hairstyles. If not, a bottle of hairspray will do!

  • Unwashed hair is essential for making hair last longer and more easily manipulated. Freshly washed hair slips out and doesn't have the thickness you get from unwashed, gross but true!

  • Especially for those with thin hair, back combing will help when forming victory roll style hair.

  • Just like bobby pins, some metal clips go a long way, especially for the 20's style where waves tightly formed to the head were all the rage.

  • Take inspiration from our vintage sisters and keep equipment simple. Sometimes shaping a roll with your fingers is better than fighting with combs and tools.

  • Consider buying a hair donut that can be unclipped. Not essential but a great time saver!

  • And lastly, always try to have the healthiest hair possible. Keeping your locks in great condition will give the look a smooth, sleek finish.

Words by Charlotte Hobbs

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Trend Tuesdays: Fashion on a student budget

At a time when you want to look your fashionable best, you find yourself having the least money! It’s not all bad news though, by following our tips you will be looking good for less in no time!

Spend money on key pieces
This may seem expensive at first, but by spending money on key items like a staple handbag or a decent pair of shoes, you will save money in the long run.

Wardrobe swap
Sisters and friends make great resources for a few new items! Often they are chucking out clothes that are almost new that would be perfect for you. If not, there’s always the potential for some borrowing…

Shop savvy
Stores that you would often stick your nose up at could in fact be your saviour! Just because they sell cheaper clothes doesn’t mean you won’t find a few gems you like for half the price of normal shops.

Be sure to utilise your student status and flash your card. Lots of high street stores offer discounts for students to be a bit kinder on your bank balance.

Swap up accessories
Next time you are out shopping, rather than choosing a bold dress that you will only wear a couple of times, try going for neutral colours and classic shapes. This way, you can mix up jackets, heels and jewellery and make it look like a different outfit each time.

Wait before you shop
When the new season emerges it can be oh so tempting to run to the shops and pick up all the new fashion you just have to have! But before you go, have a look in your own wardrobe first. Often you’ll find clothes you had forgotten about that work perfectly with the new trends.

Don’t forget statement jewellery
A statement necklace or some chunky bangles can be worn whatever the season and you can often pick these up in the sale. By pairing a well placed statement necklace with a fairly plain outfit, you can make it look a lot more expensive and up together than it really is. Perfect for evening meals or a couple of drinks at the bar!

Shopping spree
If all else fails and you can’t help but go on a shopping spree, all is not lost. Always keep your own wardrobe in mind and buy items that will work well in a least 3 outfits in your wardrobe. Or, if you’ve picked a particularly daring piece, think where you could actually picture yourself wearing it. If you are struggling to think, well then, I think you know the answer…!

We hope this helps your bank balance!

Words by Charlotte Hobbs

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Trend Tuesdays: Our favourite fashion blogs

Blogs seem to be taking over the internet at the moment and we are loving it. They are the best places to get personal tips, provide us with ideas for our own wardrobes and allow us to be a bit nosey, all at the same time! What is not to like?! We had a difficult time narrowing it down, but for now, here's 5 of our favourites:

Wolf and Lace:

Of her own admission, this blog is 'affordable style for the free spirited girl'. She has a real thrifty style so this blog is perfect for lovers of mixing up vintage buys. Her style is very grunge with a hippy type feel to it that we absolutely adore! A great blog for flicking through some gorgeous pictures for inspiration, not one for those of you who prefer a bit more reading.

Sincerely Jules:

Not all fashion blogs have that friendly feel alongside their to die for outfits but this blog perfects the personal touch. Perhaps it's her photo's that always seem to capture her in her day to day life rather than a perfectly poised image like most. Or maybe it's the style of her writing that allows us to look in to her life and her thoughts as well as her incredible wardrobe!


It seems as though everyone has heard of Zoella and quite rightly too. A very popular Youtuber, with appearances on 'Loose Women' and 'This Morning', she also seems to find time from somewhere to write her blog. She writes a mix of beauty, fashion and lifestyle posts and her personality makes her Youtube channel addictive. Every girls best friend, she gives tips perfect for all ages. wouldn't be a BettyRae Trend Tuesday without a pinch of vintage.

Diary of a Vintage Girl:

The lovely Diary of a Vintage Girl is a must follow for lovers of vintage. She has brilliant snaps of her outfits that provide great inspiration and she has plenty of posts that give readers a splash of history. Her blog is really an all rounder and best for those who love to really get stuck in to vintage fashion.

Victoria's Vintage:

This blog had us hooked straight away from the oh so pretty design! Her blog appeals to so many tastes which is what makes it so great. She has fashion tips, mixing her vintage finds with modern items, ideas on how to up-cycle furniture and lots of beauty too, thrown in for good measure. Our favourite part about her is she shows you how to get some incredible items for great prices. Love!

Words by Charlotte Hobbs