Rome and Tuscany outfits review

Rome Italy sightseeing fontana Di Trevi

Sorry for the long delay to write this review. I had a wedding to plan, my wedding dress to make and moving house! (Which also means I’ll be writing a post on my dress.)

While the weather is still cold it’s rather nice to think about holidays abroad in the sun. Maybe you’re about to go on a winter break somewhere sunny or need packing inspiration for your summer holiday. Here I review my holiday outfits from my 2018 summer holiday in Rome and Tuscany.

The weather was hot and we even had a couple of stormy days, which while in Rome wasn’t the best experience because of the mosquitos coming out to play and not so glamorously getting drenched in a downpour while at the Trevi fountain. Long sleeves and long baggy trousers would be ideal to protect yourself against the blighters.

As usual, getting full length photos of good quality was non-existent, as the group of us was fairly big, and by the time we’re all in a photo, we look quite far away!

I wore the striped cotton blouse I made based on a photo of Marilyn Monroe ( in a striped shirt dress) with a reproduction of a favourite linen skirt I owned that fell apart. I co-ordinated a true vintage square scarf. This outfit was my Roman Holiday homage. It was light and cool except for the belt because of the extreme heat in the colleseum.

A vintage outfit with comfortable footwear is always a good idea if you are going to do a fair amount of walking. I added gel soles to my flat sandals which made them really comfortable.

Leaning tower of Pisa cream Palazzo pants thirties repro striped blouse
Taking inspiration from Phryne Fisher

On our trip to Pisa I wore cream high waisted Palazzo pants from La Reroute, which I altered to fit. These were cool and easy, with no apparent creasing, unlike the linen. The blouse, made from the same remnant of fabric as the other blouse, was made using an original Thirties pattern. It wraps t the back and ties at the front. The shaping works well with What Katie Did bras. In this case, it’s the CC09 1940’s bra. I wore comfortable wedge sandals to keep my cream trousers off the floor!

I packed a cotton shirt dress which I could button over swimwear or shorts and was a flattering shape without a belt, although I did wear one to smarten it up.

Apart from a couple of days sightseeing, I spent time by the pool in swimwear and high waisted shorts. I didn’t stay vintage all the time, but there’s a good selection of vintage style and retro swimwear around. It all repeats eventually! For example, do a good selection, some similar to styles worn by Marilyn Monroe.

There’s no reason why vintage can’t be comfortable if you keep your destination needs in mind, like weather, walking and activities you have planned.

Japan – Part 4

My last week before returning to a wardrobe full of clothes, so outfits were repeated, but I tried to accessorise differently. The weather finally cooled down, and an umbrella was a key accessory.

For our last week we drove up to the North of Japan to stay in a traditional Japanese inn, a Ryokan. We got to see a bit more of the countryside, with roadsigns of monkeys and wolves! The Ryokan was built over water, and we got to try out the onsen, hot spring baths.

While we were at the Ryokan, we wore traditional yakata, and our shoes were kept put away in the lobby, until we wanted to go out, and they would magically appear. For one of our trips out, we visited Fox Village.

I finally found good light and somewhere to stand the camera!
Another peek at the new dress

On our return to Saitama, it was time to say goodbye to our new friends and pack for an early flight. One of the lovely gifts I received was this dress which, now I’m back home, is on the ironing pile. I want to do a proper photo of it, so I’ll post it soon.

Want to ask any questions about packing a capsule wardrobe, feel free to comment or e-mail.

Japan – Part 3

This week we went to Nara, Kyoto and Osaka. Beautiful parks and castles, as well as old Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.

Jasmine Guinness dress and headscarf

One of my favourite things was feeding the deer in Nara Park.

Great little B&B in Nara with yukata (robe) and slippers, drinking green tea in a traditional Japanese cup.
Giant button brooch with orange slash neck top tucked in

Next, I’m going north, to Yamagata, so I’ll pack a couple of outfits from my capsule wardrobe to take with me. Part of the journey is by train, on the Shinkansen (bullet train), so packing light makes the travelling easier.

I’ll post the last leg of my trip once I’ve returned to England. Subscribe to be notified when I’ve posted it.

Japan – Part 2

In advance, I apologise for the poor quality photos. The lights where I’m staying are no good for photos, and my travelling companion is not enthusiastic about taking photos on our travels, unless it’s food.

So, I wore this Wednesday night to London, ready for an early start on aThursday. Two flights and about 16 hours later, I arrived in Japan on Friday morning.

The weather is unusually hot this September, so I’ve spent most of the week with my hair up, and wearing this hat. The ladies seem to keep a flannel with them, to ‘mop their brows’, so I have bought a flannel too, because the temperature is in the 30’s, and I’m melting.

Ready for a cycle around Saitama

The Japanese leave their shoes at the front door, so that’s why I’m not wearing shoes in some of these photos. I wore the cream Mary Jane’s for cycling. It’s fairly flat here, so it’s great for cycling.

I still have a few things I haven’t worn, so they’ll feature next week, while other things will be worn again.

Japan – Part 1

Japan travel preparations

Tomorrow I’m off to Japan for 3 weeks with my brother! So, sorry for the lack of posting lately, I have had clothes spread across my floor as I planned a co-ordinating wardrobe and comfy shoes. I wish I could wear high heel s all the time, but being realistic, there will be plenty of walking.


I’ve gone for a set group of colours and started with a basic set of dress, skirt, cardi and trousers + 7 blouses, 1 pair of heels and 2 pairs of flats. Can you pick out my colour theme?

After this, I did add a few extra things, as I had space. Plus, climbing Mouth Fuji meant packing some walking gear too.

Although we have a washing machine at our airbnb flat in Saitama, I don’t want to be stuck inside doing laundry too often!

I’ve chosen a few groups of accessories I can mix and match. It’s a shame, but I don’t think I’ll pack any hats (I’m scared to squash them).


What I’ll take on the plane

We’ll have 2 flights to get to Japan, so I wanted to be comfortable for the long flight. as well as flight socks, I’ll take a few other things to make the journey more pleasant and keep a basic beauty routine.

In flight handbag and what I’ll wear
  • Moisturiser, pore minimizer, concealer, powder & lipstick
  • Face cleansing wipes & deodorant wipes, toothpaste, eye drops & hand sanitiser
  • Micro perfume (tester size), gold eyeshadow
  • Pashmina, iPod and some puzzles

A few things plan ahead before you go to Japan

  • Japan Rail Pass – Check which type of pass and dates required, which lines you’ll need and if this will cover them. It doesn’t include the Shinkansen (bullet train). However, if you will travel around Japan, it is great value and may still save you money, even if you have to buy a ticket  for the odd trip not included on JR lines.
  • Currency – Even with the recently fluctuating exchange rates for the £, shop around for a good deal and buy Yen before you go.
  • Currency card- Japan is a cash society, so you may need to exchange more currency once there, but don’t rely on withdrawing cash, as many ATM’s only work with Japanese cards. Locate a Post Office or 7/11 for Western cards. A currency card that can be topped-up via an app is the most useful.
  • Check the expiry on your passport!

The more I read about Japan, the more excited I am about visiting. I don’t think 3 weeks is enough now, but it’s going to be an amazing taster of another (very beautiful) world.

I’m lucky to have a brilliant travel and events organiser (my brother), so I hope to post what we’re up to. If i don’t have a chance, I’ll write it up on my return. Follow me on Instagram (@thegirllovesvintage) and subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date.

The Prisoner

Portmeirion Village

A few days in Snowdonia, North Wales, but not mountain climbing! I went with my family to Portmeirion, where the cult British series The Prisoner was filmed. My choice of outfits hopefully reflect the era and were inspired by the series. As a seaside village, stripes and summer blazers feature quite heavily. As I visited in February, when I went exploring I wore a boxy wool coat. Block colours are also obvious in The Prisoner, keeping lines clean and simple too.

It was filmed around the same time as The Avengers (with Steed and Emma Peel). I think the orange boat neck and baker-boy cap are very Emma Peel.

Striped roll-neck, Blazer and bright blue courdroy A-line skirt.

Day 2- With a similar jacket to The Prisoner and a badge!

Breton stripes, A-line skirt and Chelsea boots and Baker boy cap keep the Sixties in mind. All from the high street recently.

For a meal out at the castle (which is used as the hospital in The Prisoner) I wore a mint A-line dress with low heeled pointed Mary Janes (Kurt Geiger). I made the dress from an original Sixties pattern, in thin sweatshirt fabric.

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I made the boat neck orange top based on a Marilyn Monroe photo shoot from 1962, and this style is easy to wear. I’ll have to make it in more colours.

We stayed in the Toll House, Portmeirion. The photos were taken here.