She is clothed in strength and dignity.

From the earliest days of women striving for equality our fashion has not only evolved but has also reflected society and, particularly, our status within it.

The 19th Century saw the emergence of the bustle; used to expand the fullness, or support the drapery, of the back of a woman’s dress to keep the skirt from dragging.


Although the origin of the corset may be traced back to the 16th Century; and the women of the French court, the corset was still the foundation on which women’s fashion was constructed throughout the 19th Century.


Despite organised campaigns for women’s suffrage starting to emerge in the 1860s the era was one where women were primarily viewed as mothers and housewives.

The restrictive nature of fashion mirrored the restrictions placed on women by Society.

(Poster by Hilda Dallas, c.1912)

As the United Kingdom suffrage movement evolved, and led to votes for some women in 1918, and all women in 1928 women’s fashion also allowed women a new freedom.

(Actress Norma Talmadge)

The flapper fashion of the 1920s, and it’s slim boyish silhouette, required lingerie to be lighter and less restrictive than earlier decades; including the ‘modern’ brassiere…whose ‘invention’ is usually credited to Caresse Crosby. Finding the ‘traditional’ whalebone corset to be unsuitable for her evening gown she asked her maid to ‘bring two handkerchiefs, pink ribbon, needle and thread and some pins’…and the rest is history.

With our focus on vintage style fashion we are both pleased and honoured to welcome Giada @DarlingLeGlam as a guest blogger.

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C). Why is glamour and, in particular, vintage style glamour so important to you?

Giada @DarlingLeGlam (G). Glamour… honestly I’ve never thought about glamour or being glamorous myself until people around start complimenting me. I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandma as my mum was a full time worker. I have memories of her getting ready for the day in such an accurate way. It didn’t matter if we had to go to buy groceries or to meet someone. She looked perfect at all times. I think this is were I took my inspiration from. She taught me that you can still look good regardless what you have to do. In terms of vintage glamour, that came a little later. I started getting interested in old family stories, particularly about a far cousin that I never had the chance to meet. She was a singer and she was beautiful, looking stunning in each picture. That took me to start researching about the past, and I couldn’t stop loving it! I just felt that this is where I belong.

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C). Which decade is your favourite, in terms of its fashion, and do you have one individual item of clothing that you especially favour?

Giada @DarlingLeGlam (G). My favourite decades are late 30’s and the 40’s. But to be honest it’s not only about fashion. To me those decades have seen the real strength coming out of women. Considering the crucial historical moment, with the war, with the rations, with losses, women rolled up their sleeves and started working to support their men. And despite that, they managed to look gorgeous.

Talking about a special piece, I don’t have a specific one! I love buying vintage pieces because of the story behind. I get lost thinking about who was wearing it, why, which occasion, was that a gift?! And this is why I love all of my treasures the same way.

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C). Who is your vintage style icon and why?

Giada @DarlingLeGlam (G). Again, I’m helpless. I have at least 2 or 3 icons. I’d lie if I don’t admit that Rita Hayworth is my top favourite. She had everything: beauty, class, charm, glamour. “Gilda” has been my favourite movie since the first time I watched it! On the other hand, I always wished to live a love story as Lauren Bacall did with Humphrey Bogart…such a dream! And for style…well Hedy Lamarr is a huge inspiration. Style wise she definitely was and is an icon.

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C). Do you feel that today’s women can learn from the fashion of our mothers and grandmothers?

Giada @DarlingLeGlam (G). I do feel that today, for many reasons, women have gone too far. Let me explain: I’m obviously proud of what we have achieved in terms of equality, rights etc. But at the same time I feel that we went a little too far in the way of fighting for it. I don’t know if this is clear yet…I don’t need to show my body off to obtain a good job, nor not to shave to demonstrate I’m strong. Women in the past were strong as we are, if not more. At the end of the day don’t forget that we have what we have because of them!

It was recently reported that, based on current projections, it will be a hundred years to achieve gender pay equality. To be honest @Rations2R_n_R promotes a neutral stance when it comes to any matter with a ‘political’ flavour. However we are very proud of our contemporary vintage sisters who recognise our past whilst being modern empowered women who freely choose fashion; whether it be contemporary or vintage. We thank and celebrate you all…with special thanks to Giada for her invaluable contribution. (Giada’s blog may be found at ).


Rations2 Rock “n” Roll…A Top 100 Vintage Blog. ( 

@Rations2R_n_R does not own the copyright to the images included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either change or remove anything that we post.


Double, double toil and trouble. 

Alone in the house; or so she had thought, the only sound was her footsteps on the kitchen floor. 

As she opened the refrigerator door, to quietly ponder its contents, out of the corner of her eye she saw a mysterious black shadow that moved silently towards her across the floor…causing her heart to miss a beat. With Halloween only a few days away, and suddenly too frightened to breathe, she told herself that she had to look down so that she may witness the terror at her feet. She wanted to scream but her fear would not allow it. 

Had a demonic being escaped to unleash hell on earth? 

(Gil Elvgren (‘Riding High’ 1958)). 

Was it a witch that had left her cauldron bubbling nicely in search of human ingredients? 

Slowly she lowered her head in trepidation.


Happy Halloween from @Rations2R_n_R.


Who is your vintage style icon?

Who is your vintage style icon? A question posed by Sparkle O’Hara in their competition mentioned in our blog post

With much consideration I have; perhaps unusually although I hope with valid reasons, selected a fictional character in Joan Holloway from Mad Men portrayed by Christina Hendricks.

The 1960s saw many women chosing to raise their hemlines to almost indecent lengths and ditch the more restrictive lingerie and hosiery of the 1950s. 

Contrary to this trend Joan continued to wear her traditional corsetry and fashion that reflected the earlier decade…

…this floral pencil (wiggle) dress being an example.

As a ‘person’ Joan projected herself as a strong and confident woman. She was actually very vulnerable and it is these flaws that appeal to me as we each have our own.

It is however her 1950s style; build on a foundation of the corsetry of my favoured fashion era, that has led to my selection of Joan Holloway as my vintage style icon.


#sparkleoharaboutique #bringbacktheglamour #1950s @SparkleOHara

“Who is your vintage style icon?” Tell Sparkle O’Hara to have a chance of receiving a personal dose of sparkle. 

My blog post collaborations have given me a number of wonderful opportunities to connect with many energetic and fascinating #womeninbiz. 

A question that I like to ask is about the women; either contemporary or historically, that have provided inspiration. 

I am therefore delighted to see that Sparkle O’Hara are running a competition; running through to 11pm 29th September 2017, in which they ask “Who is your vintage style icon”?

In an event that will be filled to overflowing with sparkle Fiona; from Sparkle O’Hara, has provided a selection of the fabulous items that can be chosen by the lucky winners.

FIRST PRIZE – A private and personal shopping appointment “Sparkling Sparkles” at the Sparkle O’Hara boutique in Willesden Green, London and a vintage/vintage inspired dress worth up to £100. This includes a private showing of all Sparkle O’Hara dresses, fitting and selection with a bottle of Pink Prosecco or Sparkling alcohol-free alternative.

We have a large selection of dresses for occasionwear – silk..hand-beaded…vintage from 1950s onwards…new vintage inspired…glamorous…elegant…cocktail dresses…prom dresses..ballgowns…the list goes on! A number of these dresses are priced at £100 or under. Upon visiting the boutique, the first prize winner will be shown a number of dresses at a private and personal consultation. They can then select their perfect dress.

Navy satin halterneck evening gown with pleated skirt – £95. 

Short silk hand-beaded cocktail/party dress – £90. 

50s style party dress, swan motif with sweetheart neckline – £65.

We have a number of dresses priced above £100 up to £300. If our first prize winner would like to select one of these we would deduct £100 from the price.

Silk pleated gown and shawl perfect for cruises, holidays or a special party – £120. 

Jovani crystal encrusted ball gown with train – £165.

SECOND PRIZE – A pair of vintage inspired semi-precious gem earrings worth up to £50 to be selected at the boutique.

Sparkle O’Hara also offers a wide range of vintage inspired jewellery to go with your perfect outfit. The jewellery is sterling silver and set with semi-precious gems such as topaz, ruby, sapphire, citrine, and emerald as well as some stunning polished crystals such as rose quartz, carnelian and chalcedony. Second prize will be a pair of semi-precious gem silver earrings priced at up to £50. The second prize winner can choose from a range of earrings at their visit to the boutique.

Stud silver earrings set with citrine – £50. 

Topaz, citrine and amethyst silver drop earrings – £50. 

Stud silver earrings set with sapphire -£50.

THIRD PRIZE – A £25 gift voucher. 

This can be redeemed in a number of ways. Our third prize winner could use this to deduct money off a dress or jewellery of their choice and we also have some beautiful accessories such as hats, gloves and 100% tibetan wool scarves.

100% Tibetan wool shawl – £25.

Entry is via Twitter @SparkleOHara, Instagram @Sparkleohara, or through Sparkle O’Hara’s Facebook page with full terms and conditions available on 

Sparkle O’Hara tell us... “We will announce our Prize winners on 1st October 2017. We will contact prize winners directly and
arrange a mutually convenient time and date for them to visit us. Ideally we would love to host our winners at the boutique however we are mindful of those that might not be able to make it or may require special assistance. We will endeavour to support people to visit or select a suitable dress
remotely should they need.”

@Rations2R_n_R sends our best wishes to each entrant and thank Fiona and Kirstie of Sparkle O’Hara for allowing us to share details of their fabulous competition.


Rations2 Rock “n” Roll…A Top 100 Vintage Blog. ( 

A dress that’ll bring you to your knees. Black velvet if you please. 

Welcome to today’s vintage fashion pick.

From (link below *).

1950s Vintage Wiggle Dress by Blanes Black Velvet with Ruffled Neckline. The dress is sleeveless, and is fitted at the bust, waist and hips in the classic style of the wiggle dress. The dress fastens at the back with a zip. Hips 34″. Bust 34″. Waist 28″. Measures 33″ from underarm to hem.


Rations2 Rock “n” Roll…A Top 100 Vintage Blog. ( 

@Rations2R_n_R neither owns the copyright to the images nor much of the written content included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either change or remove anything that we post. 

What is a “vintage style fashion pick”?

Welcome to the second blog post of the day in which I feel compelled to explain my; usually daily, “vintage style fashion pick”.

This post has been prompted by the following comment from “Aby” in response to my last blog post

In reply to the first point it is natural that there are different tastes and that diversity is a unique trait of the human race that we should all celebrate.

To continue…my “vintage style fashion pick” is my choice of a retro, vintage or vintage style garment that I like or; more importantly, I believe that my blog readers and twitter followers will like.

Each “pick” includes the following statement…

“@Rations2R_n_R neither owns the copyright to the images nor much of the written content included herein. We use our blog to showcase retro and vintage fashion and, where we can, credit the copyright owner of any content by way of a link to their website. Please email if you are the owner of any content included and would like us to either change or remove anything that we post”

…that I believe is self-explanatory.

The dress that I featured from Lindy Bop is available in my local independent retro shop but, as explained in my blog post, did sadly not fit.

The compliments that I often receive regarding my fashion picks lead me to believe that they often generate traffic to a retailer’s website as well as, and more importantly, sales.

They are a “guide” and they are fun and nowhere have I suggested anything different.

Being “A Top 100 Vintage Blog” ( I must be doing something right!


Introducing Maud and her Vintage Emporium. 

Welcome to today’s blog post in which I am fortunate to be able to feature another collocation, and one in which I introduce Brenda Maguire; creator of Maud’s Vintage Emporium.

Thank you for talking with me Brenda. 

Christine @Rations2R_n_R (C) Firstly I am sure that our readers would like to hear a little about the woman responsible for the creation of “MaudsVintageEmporium”. 

Brenda @VintageMauds (B) For as long as I can remember I have been really into homes and interiors. As young as 6, I used to make up pretend rooms out of play dough and draw out room plans and make furniture for them. When I moved into my first home in 1994, I became hooked on buying vintage furniture and bits and pieces for it, even down to my cutlery. I’d always been wearing vintage clothing but now my love of it could continue into my home. From that date to now, I have only ever bought one new piece of furniture (a metal Ikea cabinet which I still use). I have never really hunted for a particular piece, preferring to stumble across pieces that catch my eye. I prefer mid-century furniture, and have had an ongoing love affair with Ercol, Gordon Russell and G plan. My philosophy is to never throw anything away, to recycle, re-use, up-cycle and down-cycle and this was initially my reason for buying pre-loved furniture for my home.

(A dresser from a charity shop that I upcycled. All of the tea sets will be on Etsy in the coming days/weeks). 

(I absolutely love this dressing table which is from the 1930’s. Although I won’t be selling it, much of what is displayed on it will be listed soon.)

(C) I am interested in the reason for the name “MaudsVintageEmporium” and would love to hear why you chose this.   

(B) My love of vintage spills over into names too. I always had a list of vintage names that I’d call any children I may have (but ended up not having). My pets have all ended up with old fashioned names, and Maud’s Vintage Emporium is named after my cat!  

(C) My particular interest is retro and vintage fashion and would like to hear about plans for your preloved vintage clothing section.   

(A favourite vintage coat which I still wear, and a dress which is for sale). 

(B) I have a lovely selection of vintage clothing that I regularly wore in the past, some belonged to my grandmother, some belonged to my mother and the rest mainly from charity shops. I have a selection of day wear and party dresses that I want to sell. I no longer wear this lovely wardrobe of clothing and it’s been in the loft for a few years now. I do keep my favourite dresses and coats hanging from picture rails in my house, as beautiful clothing is most definitely art in my eyes. I still wear some of my vintage coats so am thinking carefully about what I can part with!

(1960s floral dress.)

(C) I am sure that our readers would like to know about your own interest in vintage clothes, when it started and how it has developed.  

(B) When I was a teenager I used to visit London’s Covent Garden most weekends. I came across a shop called Flip which sold second hand clothes from America. The basement was booming with 50’s rock and roll music with rails and rails of Levis and checked shirts. I used to adore going to this shop and it set the scene for my future shopping habits. I was always attracted to charity shops and I have very rarely ever bought any clothes from high street stores. I realised way back then that I could buy clothes with a bit of history, looked gorgeous and allowed me to express my style, and that no one else would be wearing.  

(Size 14 black lace dress.)

(C) Do you have a particular fashion era of which you are fond?  

(B) My taste is eclectic, and I have bits and pieces dotted around my home from the Victorian era to the 70’s, but I prefer the 50’s and 60’s for both clothing and interiors. I have fallen in love with one or two art deco pieces furniture and accessories.

(C) Are there women, especially from history, that you admire and why?  

(B) There are so many women I admire from both history and modern times, it’s hard to name just a few. Simone De Beauvoir for laying the foundations for the contemporary feminist movement, Helena Bonham Carter for her quirky individual style, Frida Khalo for crossing boundaries with her style and art, and even though she’s fictional, I admire the curves and nature loving Hilda by the artist Duane Bryers! I’m also very lucky to have some very inspirational and strong women in my life.

(C) I see that you also run a green design and decorating business using recycled paint and are also a lover of up-cycle. Please tell us more about this obviously important part of both your business and personal lives.  

(A simple but cute way to re use jam jars. I painted these to store some of my paintbrushes.)

(B) Two years ago, after a couple of life changing events, I decided to leave full time teaching to lead a lifestyle that would energise me and use other skills I had developed. I had 21 years’ experience of decorating under my belt but had only decorated my own home, and those of friends and family. I went on to become a sole trader, got full liability insurance and joined a fantastic business start- up group called Sophia Hubs (, and started on my design and decorating journey. Where possible I use reclaimed paint from a social enterprise called Forest Recycle Project ( I’ve been busy decorating other people’s homes since then.

Again, since getting my first place, I have upcycled my older pieces of furniture that needed a little ‘something’ to bring them back to life, and more recently started to use recycled paint to do this. FRP has always got a wonderful selection of great colours for a fraction of the usual price. I also take on upcycling projects for other people too.

Shortly after starting my decorating business I was offered a fantastic part time teaching role as art co-ordinator in a local primary school. I was torn because I had just started my own business, but I accepted it and now split my time between teaching and painting people’s homes. It’s been the most significant and rewarding lifestyle change I have ever made.  

Your readers may be interested in a blog that I wrote a couple of years ago when I started my decorating business…

Guest blogger Brenda Maguire announces her vintage, quirky, recycley, fab internal painting/decorating business and passion

(C) I should be very grateful if you would be comfortable in sharing your life-changing events with us Brenda. 

(B) Four years ago I had a routine thyroidectomy and due to complications I had to stay in hospital for three months. Before and during my hospital stay I’d also been having a particularly turbulent time in my five year relationship. My relationship ended while I was in hospital. Coming home to an empty house and still being quite ill was a very challenging time for me. I knew if I could face this challenging time, that I could do absolutely anything!  

(C) I would like to hear more about some of the other items stocked by MaudsVintageEmporium.  

(Up-cycling in my kitchen including scaffold boards for my worktop from FRP and a sink that was a planter in my garden. Apart from my kettle, everything in my kitchen has already had a previous life and, although not for sale, I believe shows the benefits of up-cycling.)

(B) My stock is initially a mixture of clothing, fashion accessories and household accessories. Largely they are things I have already enjoyed living with or worn. I’ve often bought things in the past with the intention of selling on but ended up keeping because I fall in love with everything I buy. My stock ranges from mid-century homewares, cute floral tea sets, brooches, vintage evening bags, vintage petticoats and the occasional bigger piece of furniture which I have upcycled. Some friends have commented that my house looks like a vintage shop, so I thought it’s about time I opened an on line shop. I wish I could put a shop sign outside my front door and open up to passers-by!

(Cabinet found in a charity shop. It was lovely as it was (dark brown varnished wood) but imposing.) 

(A pineapple from the 70’s and a camera and radio bought in the early 90’s.)

(C) What are your aspirations and plans for the future?

(B) I am currently in the process of starting a Facebook page for Maud’s Vintage Emporium. As I have just started out, I am happy to see where this takes me and continue to make sales through Ebay and my Etsy shop. The bigger goal ultimately, is to move to a house with a workshop so I can dedicate more time and space to upcycling furniture for other people.

(The halfway stage in upcycling an old certificate board from a school skip.)

(C) You are situated in East London. Where do you ship to?

(B) I’m happy to ship worldwide.

(C) Where can MaudsVintageEmporium be found on Social Media and how can you be contacted?  

(B) I can be found on Twitter and contacted either through Twitter or my Etsy shop. (

Thank you Brenda for taking the time to chat with me and for being so open in your replies.

I am grateful that you have let us into your life and shared some of the wonderful pieces in your own home.

I send my best wishes to both you and Maud and wish Maud’s Vintage Emporium every success.


Rations2 Rock “n” Roll…A Top 100 Vintage Blog. (