Stuck In The Midi With You

I'd like to think I've reached a point with my blog whereby you guys have got to know me, well my style at least and it's no secret I'm a lover of vintage fashion. I always have been and I always will be. There is no greater joy in life than rummage through rails upon rails (or Easy pages upon Easy pages) of vintage clothing and hunting out the perfect 1970's embroidered blouse or 1950's immaculate tea dress. The real special pieces are like gold dust and if you've been savvy enough to find them, than you're worthy enough to keep them. I have so many vintage pieces hidden away in my wardrobe that I don't necessarily wear regularly but keep for the simple fact I can't believe my luck on finding something quite so beautiful. When I was younger the real prized find for me was vintage Laura Ashley. The nineties trend hadn't really hit home yet and you could quite easily pick up a pristine condition floral print Laura Ashley button down dress for a mere £10. Gone are those days and if you're in the market for something similar now, you better be ready to part with 5x the money. Life is unfair sometimes and thus so is vintage shopping.

But here's where I make a horrific confession to you and I only hope you don't judge too hard. Within my trophy cabinet/wardrobe of vintage clothing I've acquired over the years lies various vintage skirts and tea dress all of which have been brutally modified by a younger/more foolish me. Cast your mind back 7 years ago and I would have had no qualms with taking a pair of scissors to that beautiful Laura Ashley floral item I was so lucky to find. I shortened everything. The lot. But that was simply a sign of the times. Skirts were strictly to be worn above the knee and there were no exceptions for vintage. But unfortunately times have changed and so has my skirt length. Now I would always opt for a midi length skirt over an above the knee in the summer months and in a cruel twist of fate I've found myself hunted down the discarded reels of fabric, I'd once so flippantly cropped off my vintages dresses in order to sew them back together. I so far have managed to retrieve one skirt and one dress whilst vowing to never harm another vintage pieces ever again. 

The Midi skirt or dress has become a standard in every high street store. And as mentioned previously it's my skirt length of choice, especially in summer. There's something a little refined, elegant and ultra feminine about a skirt which falls just below the knee. I don't know how but by just adding a few inches of material on to a skirt or dress you can completely transform your outfits overall vibe. I personally feel a lot more comfortable in a midi length skirt, there's just something care free about a button down floral passed the knee skirt, your favourite graphic tee and high tops for summer. Firstly you don't have to worry about just how brown your legs AREN'T and secondly because the cut of a midi length skirt is ultimately far more flattering on most body shapes than a mini. 

I guess the length of your skirt really does say a lot of about you. Where a mini skirt says youthful, confident and daring, a midi says sophisticated, fashion forward and a touch aloof. When talking in fashion terms, the word aloof will forever conjure up images of sartorial French girl style in my head. And if this is a look you aspire towards than the midi skirt is a must have for you. Two outfit saviours for any Jane Birkin wannabe (isn't that who we all truly aim to be deep down) are; A midi length, button down tea dress, unbutton from the bottom hem up stopping just above the knee to avoid any signs of frump, wear with your favourite gold locket, strappy sandals and wicker bag. The second; A midi length skirt, teamed with a embroidered square neck camisole and your trusty (dirtiest) white plimsoles. These two effortless outfits are summer uniforms of mine, think Mediterranean holidays, think drinking coffee outside a Parisian cafe, think lazy Sunday, summer walks round the city. This kind of style is really true escapism. Need more Midi length inspiration? Here's a few personal favourite's:

Penelope Cruz/Captain Corelli's Mandolin- Quite literally the definition of Mediterranean dressing. Ok so the film itself is touch and go (namely Nicholas Page's questionable Italian accent) but let's ignore that for one moment and concentrate on what matters... Penelope's impeccable collection of tea dresses. This is how you'll think you'll look in a midi floral dress but unfortunately no one pulls of effortless, summer style like this leading lady. Please note milk maid plaits for extra outfit brownie points. Fake tan maybe also be required.

Gwyneth Paltrow/The Talented Mr Ripley- Unlike Captain Corelli's this actually is a favourite film of mine and the highlight for me is that white shirt and patterned/striped/embroidered midi skirt combo Marge pulls off all too well. Perfect for replicating next time you've got a weekend lunch date or shopping trip planned. Team with a heeled clog for more of that super kitsch vibe and tie your shirt at the front if you're feeling a little daring but personally I think tucked in looks equally as chic. Which leads me on nicely to...

Audrey Hepburn/Roman Holiday- I mean if after watching this film you don't have an innate desire to chop all your hair off, start sporting neckerchiefs and ride around on a moped with a man you barely know, are you even normal?! This is Audrey's 1950s style at it's best. Her waist line will make you never want to even look at pizza and Italian ice cream again but her full, swing style midi skirt will temporarily make you forget your troubles so it's swings and roundabouts... Literally. Once you find the right full circle skirt, team it with your sweetest summer blouse button to the top and tucked in. That's the easy part out of the way, the next step is finding the right Vespa.

Rachel McAdams/The Notebook- Please note wearing a midi will not necessarily mean you will end up hitching a romantic boat ride with Ryan Gosling. In fact if you manage to find a midi dress as pretty as the baby blue dream dress worn by Allie, I would probably suggest giving any water based activities a swerve. Instead opt for something a little less risky (but no way near as exciting) like a dinner date (again Ryan Gosling is optional). This is the kind of dress you will spend years hopefully searching for when vintage shopping. When you find it don't let it go. To be worn with a heeled Mary-Jane or a Castaner heeled wedge espadrille. 

Now you've got a small taste of what to expect from your summer wardrobe, midi style you free to saunter around in your element, flowing skirt. Your summer just got a little more chic.

Disclaimer: No vintage dresses were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Sophia x

Thanks to Northern Flower, Tibb St for letting me shoot in and amongst your lovely flowers

Shop My Look
Turtle Neck Knitted Jumper- H&M, Floral Midi Dress- And Other Stories, Strappy Suede Block Heel Sandal- Mango, Round Wicker Straw Shopper Bag- Easy

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Photography by Rosie Ann Butcher

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