Here at Blue Banana we stock an extensive range of Vintage inspired clothing. With dresses, blouses and footwear from big name brands such as Hell Bunny, Voodoo Vixen and Banned, you can always count on us to help bring your retro-inspired wardrobe to life! Still stuck for inspiration? Then why not let our chat with ‘vintage-loving’ fashion and beauty blogger CiCi Marie shine some light on the wonders of reviving vintage fashion!
Blogging about tutorials, adventures and ‘mid-century style’, CiCi Marie’s blog is jam packed with all things ’50s inspired. With product reviews and style guides to help you on your way to true vintage valour, now’s the time you checked out her colourful blog for yourself!
Eager to hear more about her inspirations, favourite garments and seriously impressive shoe collection? Then make sure you check out our in-depth Q+A chat below:
Q. Has vintage fashion always been of interest to you? If so, what inspired you to start blogging and sharing your stunning style ideas with others?
I first got into vintage fashion around about the time I left University (longer ago than I care to admit!) when I became a little bit obsessed with Marilyn Monroe and found myself acquiring a lot of pencil skirts for my New York wardrobe to put a Marilyn-worthy wiggle in my step! The interest sort of grew from there, particularly as I found vintage style bloggers and admired their wardrobes. It didn’t dawn on me to start sharing my outfits for the world to see until a friend suggested we started a blog together – although back in those days, five years ago, I didn’t really know what I was doing and the content wasn’t exactly the best!! My friend decided it wasn’t for her several months in and I worked to shape the blog into the vintage style one you see today.
Q. Do you have a style icon? If so, who is it and why have they inspired you?
Genuinely, it’s other bloggers that I take my inspiration from, much more so than any past or present celebrity icon. Even with my fondness of Marilyn, what she wore day to day isn’t really my taste – I prefer a more casual, comfortable and, dare I say it, modern twist to my outfits. I’m never trying to look like I walked out of the 50s, I’m just trying to borrow the bits I like! I find what other bloggers wear is so much more relatable because it’s in the real world – and there are some amazingly creative ladies out there!
Q. If you had to choose, which year would be your favourite fashion era and why?
Forced to choose, the early 60s is when vintage style was at its peak to me (I doubt I’m alone in that opinion), with all those beautifully nipped in waists and huge skirts, not to mention hats, gloves, coiffed hair and perfectly matching accessories! I’ve got a bit of a thing for matching, and this era really gets me as far as that’s concerned!
Q. Do you have a favourite, classic Hollywood film?
It’s a cliche, but Some Like It Hot is an absolute classic. You just can’t beat that dialogue and I challenge you to take your eyes off Marilyn whenever she comes on screen. I also really like Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant; what a pair of leads!
Q. As you’re currently a Book Publisher by day, do you ever think you’ll publish a vintage inspired book?
Never say never! I usually work on the marketing of academic books, but the odd less scholarly book does come along about fashion and I can’t pretend I don’t show favouritism 😉 I’m not sure what a book I would write on fashion would look like, but if I ever had a vision you never know what might happen. You know, I genuinely never even thought about it until now, as weird as the might sound – maybe it’s because the lines between work and play would become too blurred!! I’m also pretty sure I’m the exception to the ‘everyone has at least one book inside them’ rule – I’ve always been convinced I’d never manage to finish one.
Q. On a daily basis, do you still choose to rock your awesome vintage styles? Or are your styles mainly showcased on your blog and social media platforms?
I definitely tone it down at work – I would worry I wouldn’t be taken seriously if I went full ‘blog mode’! I also wouldn’t have time in the mornings, as I commute to London and get up at 5am those days!! This is not a low maintenance look, so generally speaking I go full CiCi Marie at weekends only, but that’s not to say I don’t borrow elements of what I wear on the blog for my more everyday look, because I certainly do. I wouldn’t feel like me without some kind of vintage twist on my outfits.
Q. Roughly how many vintage dresses do you own?
Most of my dresses are reproduction vintage and I actually have no sense of how many I have. Isn’t that terrible?! I always think I’m quite good at keeping a rotation of dresses, but I probably only throw one out for every ten I add…! I’d guess it’s probably something in the region of… 60-80?? And yet I can still never find one to wear when I need it…
Q. You have a gorgeous shoe collection! Roughly how many pairs do you own? And crucially… do you wear them all?
Thanks for noticing 😉 I think my husband-to-be would strongly disagree about its qualities, given he spends most of his life tripping over them all! Again, I’ve never counted and dread to… I’d guess it’s probably around the same number of pairs as number of dresses, perhaps even slightly more… I’m going to go with 70ish+ of those pairs, I reckon around 30-40 are in regular use, with maybe 10 or so paris being my real go-tos I can’t live without.
Q. Do you find fashion blogging rewarding?
Ooh, that’s a good one! I know there’s frustrations from fashion bloggers lately as there’s a belief that our audiences are migrating to Instagram and YouTube, where they prefer to see a different kind of content, but I don’t wholehearteldly agree with that. I think there’s still a lot of people who read blogs and a really solid community around them. I’ve made some fantastic friends through blogging – one of whom is coming to my wedding this month! – and I will always find it rewarding for allowing me to connect with like-minded souls. Every time someone leaves a comment or contacts me through the blog, that’s hugely rewarding and it keeps me going, especially if they say they found something useful. And it’s of course a fab bonus to get to work with companies like you!
Q. If you could offer any words of wisdom for those looking to create their own fashion blog, what would it be?
It helps to know what direction your blog might go in from an early point, as you can start to ‘carve out your niche’ (as they say – it’s a bit of a gross term!). The more content you have that fits together, the more people who want that kind of content are going to follow you. If you post a jumbled bag, people might not know what to expect and therefore might not check back for new posts. The only other thing is don’t give up when no one reads it for a while – the audience needs to build and it’s a slow process for most, unless you get lucky. Most of us don’t get lucky though and have to build up our following the long way! Also, it really helps if you can find a way to take decent photos as blogs have a very high level of visuals these days and it makes you look that bit more professional, which helps if you want to work with brands one day. You don’t need the best camera in the world (mine is an entry level DSLR with a fairly low-end portrait lens), but you do need to know how to get the best out of it!
So there we have it, everything you needed to know about one of our favourite vintage fashion bloggers CiCi Marie! Eager to check out her numerous other channels? If so, then you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as on her Official Blog Site. Once you’re there, be sure to check out our latest collaboration featuring the stunning Voodoo Vixen Adelyn Dress!
Got a vintage look your eager to share? If so, then why not hit us up on Social Media? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest!
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Tags: 1950s, 1960s, alternative, Alternative Fashion, Banned, Beauty, beauty blogger, Blog, cici marie, Dresses, Fashion, fashion trend, Footwear, Hell Bunny, interview, ladieswear, Q&A, question and answer, spring style, Summer Style, Vintage, Vintage Fashion, Voodoo Vixen, Womens