Top Of The Town- Lisbon Girls Collection

 I've lots and lots of exciting Top Of The Town Vintage news to share this week on my blog! First of all I'd like to FINALLY introduce you guys to a brand new Top Of The Town website! I'm so excited to finally get this online store up and running, as I hope it provides as much improved, easier and all round more efficient shopping experience, which truth be told Top Of The Town had started to really need. Yes, that's right we're moving up in the world, if only slightly. It's one small step for man, one big leap for Top Of The Town Vintage...

Book Club- Books To See You Through Summer

Hello and welcome to my second book club blog post! The last time we discussed some of my favourite books of the year so far was back in March when life was a little different to say the least. Now three months on, all of which were in lockdown, I think it's safe to say I've had the time to get stuck into a whole new pile of incredible books and oh my, have I been a busy reader! As we enter into summer I've been trying to keep up the positivity towards lockdown, especially as it can increasingly feel more and more tedious from day to day. I've been taking full advantage of the last few week's incredible weather, reserving regular  slots of "me time" and enjoying the sunshine accompanied by a whole host of books. Summer generally for me, is a prime time for discovering new books whether that's a good holiday read or a moments peace in the garden. Granted this year there will be no holidaying but that doesn't mean we can't get stuck into an amazing summer time read and I've got a few suggestions to keep you ticking over for the next few months...

Understanding How We Are Part Of The Problem

If you had asked me a month or so ago if I was non-racist I would have indignantly answered without a moments thought, "absolutely, no doubt about it". But had the question been rephrased ever so slightly and I'd been asked what had I DONE to be ANTI racist, well I'm ashamed to say the answer after some hesitation would have been not enough. The recent tragic death of George Floyd AND Breonna Taylor amongst many others at the hands of police brutality in the US has sparked global outrage, anger and cries for justice with protests taking place in major cities across the world. Subsequently these events has had a lot of us privileged white folk asking for the first time "what can I do to be ACTIVELY anti-racist?". 

Top Of The Town- English Garden Collection

When lockdown first began back in March it felt like an abrupt pause on all work projects. It was hard to fathom being able to carry on as normal or being able to have the same creative freedom as before. Back in mid March I had just announced my Top Of The Town spring collection "Sunday Morning" and to be perfectly honestly I had thought this was going to be the last collection in a long while, because logistically I couldn't see how creating vintage collections, shooting pieces and sending them out efficiently was going to work within the terms of lockdown. It was disheartening and throughout the few weeks I promoted Sunday Morning, I was worried that "trying to carry on as normal" would be viewed negatively. I was very wrong! Sunday Morning was such a success and so well received. It was a true testament that what we all need at times like this is content which makes us happy and acts as escapism. As the weeks have rolled by I'd like to think we've learned to adapt to our new way of life. We've been able to sit back and think constructively about how we can carry on with some kind of new normal and from this I was able to look at creating a Top Of The Town summer collection through new, proactive eyes. And so it's with a little bit of compromising, a touch of optimism and a teeny tiny bit of modification that I've finally been able to create the ever so lovely "English Garden" collection.

The Good, The Bad and The Uncertain

Due to last week's incredible weather I may have spent most of my time in the garden basking and subsequently I may have gotten a little side tracked from writing last week's post. Unsurprisingly the weather has taken a turn for the worse and so I return to sitting at my dining table in my front room with my laptop in tow. I've decided that this week's post will be more of a catch up on both what I've been up to and also how exactly I'm feeling because truth be told it's been a funny old two weeks inside my head. I don't know if it's just me but I've been completely taken aback by just how drastically my thoughts and feelings fluctuate from day to day. 

Out With The Old, In With The Old

As we enter our third week in lockdown I've now managed to tick off quite an impressive amount of "things to do around the house". Jobs which have been lingering at the back of my mind and continually pushed back for months have now become a great way to to stay motivated, pass the time and most importantly stay mindful. Along with keeping up with my blog, social media and taking up hobbies I'd had on the back burner, organising my house and clearing out have had the amazing ability at keeping my head clutter free too. Kitchen cabinets have been methodically emptied, cleaned and neatly ordered. The dresser in our dinning room which was unofficially used as a dumping ground for forgotten receipts, discarded letters and the obligatory batteries, nails and miscellaneous wires (which no odd job drawer would be complete without) has been gutted and put to better use as my Top Of The Town workstation. And last but by no means least, I finally got round to clearing out (begrudgingly so) and reordering the black hole which is my wardrobe. A job which I'm ashamed to say to an entire day and then some.

Top Of The Town- Sunday Morning Collection

Back in November of last year (when times were arguably more simple) I proudly launched my very own Instagram vintage store, Top Of The TownVintage style is something I've loved since I was a teen and if you follow me on Instagram there's no doubt you've heard me harp on about it a million and one times. The sixties and seventies most notably have played such a huge role on my personal style and in turn my wardrobe, with hunting down great vintage pieces being one of my biggest hobbies (or vices on my purse strings). Vintage shopping as a whole is amazing, it's environmentally friendly and it means you're finding unique, one of a kind pieces. The only problem I've found is that when I'm sharing my outfits on Instagram and I'm being asked about one off vintage pieces, without giving people the clothes of my own back it's impossible for my looks to be 100% shoppable. Granted I've posted plenty of vintage inspired shopping guides in the past but still, I appreciate that not everyone has the time to trawl around vintage fairs, charity stores and flea markets, so this is where the Top Of The Town seed was first planted.