vintage reproduction

Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

A weekend getaway to windy Wellington requires a practical, yet stylish wardrobe. Something suitable for sunshine with blustery arctic breezes, waterfront strolls and eating waaaaay to much. I’m not one for wearing exercise gear when I’m not, well, exercising, so I opted for the clean lines and practical fabrics of 1940’s swing pants and a button down blouse.

* I wasn’t paid, sponsored or cajoled into writing the following post, just so ya know. However If you would like to sponsor, cajole or otherwise encourage me to review your product or service, please contact me here*

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

I gotta tell you, these trousers are something special. I’m short in the legs, long in the torso and there’s a large disparity between my waist and hip measurements. But the Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers don’t care.

Apart from being 4cm too long – like every pair of pants ever – they fit beautifully! I’ll be shortening them and widening the cuff in the process, but for this look I was happy to wear a comfortable heel.
Based on a WWII era pattern these swing trousers are ACTUALLY high waisted. As in they go well above my belly button. The wide waistband is firm and doesn’t fold down or scrunch up ( woooohoo!) and front patch pocket is cute, if not overly useful. But what really sold me is the side button closure. Leaving a smooth panel over the stomach, it’s both classic and far more flattering than a bulky front zip.
( Can you tell I’m not a fan of front zips? Why are 90% of pants determined to make one’s tummy look bigger!?)

Pairing these green trousers with navy, off white and chocolate brown felt so right for a brisk oceanfront walk. I’m loving how the emerald green and deep blues reflect the water.

Oh and did I mention the pants are pretty easy care? I’ve just been chucking mine through the washing machine and line drying them. The fabric is durable enough for everyday wear without worrying about damage from pets or rough surfaces, which is great if you’ve got an energetic dog like mine! Wide leg trousers are such a versatile style. Wear them casual with a knit top, or dress them up with a sophisticated blouse and jewellery.

Outfit Details

Trousers | Vivien of Holloway 1940’s Swing Trousers
Blouse | Collectif Clothing – Mona Shirt
Houndstooth Coat | Vintage
Gloves, Hat & Enamel Brooch | Vintage, Tock Tick Vintage
Two Tone Shoes | Remix Shoes – Sydney Heel 

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Things you might want to know about Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers…

  • In my experience the poly cotton fabric doesn’t stretch much, so choose your sizing carefully.
  • I’m 5.3″ and these are 4cm too long if I’m wearing flat shoes.
  • I’m wearing the VOH size 10 which nicely defines my 26″ waist. For comparison I normally wear an NZ 6-8 in pants, or an XS in Collectif.
  • The fabric was a bit… crispy? Possibly to hold the front creases while packed? I washed them before wearing to remove the extra starch so they’d hang well.
  • Vivien of Holloway makes swing trousers in at least four fabrics and around a dozen colours, most of which I’d love to add to my wardrobe! Especially the Teal and Ocean colourways.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete



Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments

Maternity Pin Up Style | Insider Secrets from Betty Rage

Discovering your personal style can be hard enough, so adapting it to weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy can be downright daunting. I’ve been watching in awe as Betty Rage struts through pregnancy looking just as stylish and sexy as she always does. She makes maternity look seriously smokin’!

Now I’m not pregnant myself, but if I was I’d want Betty’s secrets. So here, for all you future baby mamas, is my style saving interview with Miss Pinup 2015, Miss Hot Rod Blowout 2015, SAFE Ambassador and Rebel Pinup the badass Miss Betty Rage!


V | Betty how did you maintain your signature style with the massive changes pregnancy brings to your body?
B | Maintaining my style while pregnant wasn’t too difficult especially with the likes of Moxie Mama on my side. I did change a couple of things like moving away from swing and circle dresses and increased the number of fitted wiggle ones.
I loved gaining a baby bump early and love showing it off, I think it’s a beautiful thing.

V | What are your top wardrobe staples to recommend to a pregnant pinup?
B | Wardrobe staples would definitely include a very stretchy wiggle or maternity wiggle with ruching along the sides. If you are swing dress obsessed go for a bengaline dress with stretch around the waist seam like the sailor dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.

V | Are there any tricks for continuing to wear your regular clothes? 
B | Tricks I’ve learned it’s okay if tee’s get stretched at the bottom, whether from tying or the expanding bump, because afterwards you’re generally going to continue tying or tucking them into high waisted pieces. I’m sure there are quite a few items from PUG in your wardrobe from pre-pregnancy that will work all the way through without having to go up a size. ( For example the Jessica or Monica. In late pregnancy I suggest going up in the Monica as we know that zip can be tedious normally 😂)

V | Have you changed your hair and makeup routine since becoming pregnant? If so, how and why?
B | My makeup routine is very much the same but I have made the huge decision to grow out my black hair and try out my natural dirty/dark blonde for the first time in about 16 years haha. It’s been interesting. I can say that reverse ombre doesn’t look as bad as I thought at this point. Who knows I might start a new trend!
I still only wash my hair once a week and wet or dry set it on a Friday night for the weekend and start of the week. All other times a barrel roll and bandana or scarf are my go to. Which will work brilliantly once our lil man is here because I can sleep with that thing in for a few days and it doesn’t move!!!

V |  Any other advice for pregnant lovelies?
B | My advice for pregnant Pinups would be don’t freak out or think that because you’re pregnant you have to look a certain way. Do what makes you feel good, because you will have moments of feeling crampy and most of the time getting up and doing your hair, makeup and dressing in your pinup style will make things sooooo much better. Even if you’re not going anywhere. You’re body will change and it will be a shock but it will be beautiful. Own it, maintain your sense of self.

And most definitely if you feel like vegging out do that too! Rest as much as you can. Don’t feel like you can’t relax in a hoodie and underwear when you feel like it because you’re a pinup 😉.

I have been dressing exclusively in a pinup style for the last 5 years and would not go back. My pinup style reflects my rebellious and sassy nature with tight fitting wiggles and capris teamed with tight sweaters. I love my body and embrace everything about it and it’s no different now that it is growing a little human being within. I don’t see being pregnant to mean everything in my pinup world will stop I just see it taking a slightly different direction.
Be you, be sassy and own it!

Pregnant Pinup Betty Rage | Velvet DeCollete

Photos | Betty rage & Tony McKay Photography

If you’d like to see more of Betty Rage’s pinup bombshell style you should check out her Facebook  – it’s jam packed full of style inspiration for all!

Bettie Rage 
The Rebel Pinup
Miss Pinup NZ 2015
Miss Hot Rod Blowout 2015
Vegan Pinup
Pregnant pinup
SAFE Ambassado

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 0 comments
Why I Use Vintage Notions

Why I Use Vintage Notions

Notions are the decorative or functional trims and closings on your clothes. If you wear vintage clothing you may have noticed these tiny touches are a little different; A carved button, handwoven lace trim, that hook & eye kissing at the top of a metal zip, they’re all available new but vintage ones are just …. nicer.

So much nicer that I hunt them out to use in my reproduction garments. Not only do they add legitimate vintage elements to a design, but I find they are often better quality than their modern counterparts. ( I’ve never had a 1960’s hook and eye unbend but modern ones sure have! )


Buttons are my biggest weakness. From the 1920’s through the 1960’s buttons were wonderfully inventive. Novelty buttons in glass, carved shell, molded plastics and wood displayed all shapes,designs and colours imaginable. The right buttons can instantly lift a dress from cute to oh-my-god-I-have-to-have-it, and I just adore them!

Some trims that are hard to find new because they simply aren’t used that often nowadays. All my circle skirts and full skirted dresses have a wide braid referred to as Horsehair in the hems to maintain shape and movement – not something you’d often see in a mainstream skirt. Leaded cord to help garments hang correctly was used by Coco Chanel, but isn’t stocked by many  modern haberdashers. Even seams were finished differently, with pinking shears leaving an attractive zig zag edge in place of unsightly overlocking.

The packaging on my old haberdashery is a nostalgic reminder of yesteryear and the importance of home sewing. Needles are meticulously packed in paper envelopes while Newey’s Hooks & Eyes claimed worldwide fame (really?). Sewing materials were salvaged, saved and re-used and notions were pricier than today’s common brands. I really enjoy the detailed packaging – complete with notes and prices scribbled by former owners – and I hope you’ll enjoy this very brief glimpse onto my sewing box…

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Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments