VINTAGE CLOTHES FOR THE STYLISH SURBURBANISTA
The last thing I expected on a Saturday morning at the kids swimming lessons was to bump into a long lost friend and to then start gushing over her vintage start-up business. But that’s exactly what happened and the rest, as they say, is history…
Vintage clothing is a bit like marmite, you either love, love, love it, or absolutely loathe it…
I A.DORE it dahling *puts on best Craig Revel Horwood voice (and Marmite too!) So you can imagine my piss-pants joy when I discovered that a pal from my Beauty Editor days had started up a joint business venture selling vintage clothes – with another pal from my Fashion Editor days (do keep up) And get this!? It was all local too!
You see, back in the days when I worked in London, getting my vintage clothing fix was easy. I’d hit up places in the East End or head West to places like Portabello. Like a kid in a sweetshop, I’d scour thrift shops like Beyond Retro and Rokit. But I don’t really get a chance to do that much these days and while there are lots of great charity shops locally, I’d have to rummage really long and hard before I found that true style bargain from yesteryear.
So it’s fairly safe to say that vintage shopping wasn’t really something leafy Surrey sold itself on – until Dot & Dol *claps hands excitedly
Allow me to introduce you…
WHO IS DOT & DOL?
Dot & Dol are Kat Mackie (L) and Emma O’Leary (R). Emma says: “Our name combines Kat’s youngest child, Dottie and my eldest daughter, Dolcie.”
WHAT IS DOT & DOL?
Kat: “Dot & Dol is a travelling, pop up, vintage shop. We started up over a year ago with an old, beaten up 60s horse box that we found online for a couple of hundred pounds. We slaved over it for months in our spare time – with babies by our sides – and turned it into a walk in shop with flooring, rails and everything.”
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Emma: “We go way back, we both did a Fashion Design degree at what is now the UCA. Our friendship cemented over our love of second hand clothes and vintage pieces. I then had a long career in fashion and beauty PR and marketing, while Kat worked as a stylist and all the while she’d be whispering in my ear about setting up shop! It wasn’t until we both independently moved back to the leafy suburbs of Surrey to raise children, that Dot & Dol became a viable option for us both to explore. It is now the baby of our broods.”
HOW DO YOU BALANCE PARENTING & BUSINESS?
Emma: “We’re super realistic, we have to be, we’re both full time parents so from the very beginning we didn’t put any unnecessary pressure on ourselves to achieve XYZ within a certain time frame. Not to say we don’t have a plan, we certainly do! Selling vintage by its very nature is a very organic process, and we like to keep it simple. We source and buy vintage stock in relatively small quantities, even individually and sell at vintage fairs and markets. Even when we get our online shop, which we’re in the process of creating right now, we will still head out to markets as much as we can because it’s great to see peoples appreciation for what we have lovingly curated.”
ISN’T IT GREAT THAT MORE PEOPLE ARE BUYING MORE CONSCIOUSLY THESE DAYS?
Kat: “We know that current fashion trends are cyclical, which stands us in good stead for our mini mission of prolonging the life of good quality, vintage clothes and stop them going to land fill.”
“In the U.K, 350,000 tonnes of good quality clothes go in the bin! ”
“We both very much feel that when you wear vintage, you don’t have to recreate the past, you have to make it your own. Be guided by your own body shape, colour palettes, even era and more importantly what you feel good in. That’s the beauty of vintage, there’s not just one season to shop from, there’s decades of choice!”
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Emma: “Our personal styles are so contrasting, which is why we work so well together. Between us we cover a broad spectrum of colours, eras and patterns! Kat has been likened to a pantomime dame (by her kids!) she’s an explosion of colour and print clash, whereas I favour more boho muted tones and soft prints and textures.”
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR VINTAGE-VIRGINS?
Kat: “It’s still a common perception by many that vintage can be ‘difficult’ to wear and we hear so often that “vintage just doesn’t suit me.” or “I’m not brave enough to wear that.” It doesn’t have to be that way. We hope the way we present our vintage pieces, which we style up in to full outfits, with accessorize, whilst mix and matching eras and prints, helps our customers to see the versatility and fun of vintage shopping.”
STYLE TIPS FOR AW17?
Emma: “For this winter, you couldn’t get more of a 70s influence, it’s amazing! We’re seeing a lot of high collared dresses with long puff sleeves in delicious ditsy prints. Then there’s pussy bow blouses, silk retro prints and velvet is big this winter again, too. Wide leg trousers in jumbo-cord and the return to rich caramel colours work well in autumn and seasonal checks and tweed coats are back with stylish statement collars. There’s even a nod to the 80s with houndstooth jackets, big lapels and power shoulders. We really are in our element with the real deal, on tap, for our customers.”
WHERE CAN READERS FIND YOU?
Emma: “I post my outfits everyday on Instagram @vintageinsurburbia and of course, it’s always vintage! I rarely shop on the high street.”
“I really struggle with online clothes shopping too! I just love getting involved, getting touchy feely with fabrics!”
Kat: “Our Dot & Dol website is currently cooking and we’ve got an Etsy site just around the corner too. We post regularly to our Facebook page and we take orders from there as well as our Dot & Dol Instagram account.
In terms of pop-ups and markets, we will be at the following venues below, so do come along and say Hi. We’d love to meet you.”
21st & 22nd October ’17
Kingston Ancient Market, Kingston Upon Thames
Vintage Fashion Fair Farnham, The Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey