70s Mini vs. 70s Maxi: Which Seventies Trend Would You Choose?

Mini skirts and maxi dresses are two of the biggest summer trends of the 1970s. Both tres stylish – but completely different in vibe – these trends contradict each other. So the big question is; are you a 70s mod gal or a 70s boho chick?

70s mini 70s maxi dress

The Rise of the Mini Skirt

Mary Quant was the genius behind the iconic mini skirt. This short skirt / dress style was first seen in the 1960s when English model, actress and singer Twiggy was at the top of her game. She claimed, “I was a mod long before I even became a model” and her slender “twig-like” figure made her the perfect mannequin for Quant’s short and daring designs.

By promoting the mini skirt and hot pant, designer Mary Quant taught the world to dress for themselves and liberate their wardrobe from the rules of the 40s and 50s. So you could say that the mini skirt is designed for the rebel inside us; even late into the 70s, girls were rocking the mod mini skirt or mini dress and it’s a look that we’re still loving to this day!

70s mini skirt minidress

70s mini skirt minidress

70s minidress

The 70s Maxi Dress

Flowing maxi skirts and dresses were also a big hit in the 1970s, so there really was something for everyone. The seventies was a very fun era,  bringing the best of the sixties and perfecting it. So the hippie look was still very much on trend. 70s maxi dresses were perfect for boho girls; there were elements of crochet, plenty of florals, fabulous prints, and more tie-dye than you could shake a stick at.

Singers such as Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin were certainly no stranger to the long, behemian style maxi. And we love that the maxi dress and maxi skirt is still very much appreciated in today’s fashion world.

70s maxi skirt dress

70s maxi skirt dress

70s maxi skirt dress

So are you a mod mini skirt or a boho maxi wearer? Whether you consider yourself to be a classic 1970s rebel or a care-free hippie, we think both styles are a an essential part of today’s wardrobe.

But no mini or maxi can be complete without the perfect accessories. For vintage accessories, sign up to Style By Portobello now. A simple style questionnaire will help our expert team hand-curate the best vintage items for your monthly subscription box.

SBP Team x

The Vintage Swimsuit Styles That We’re Still Rocking Today

♫ “We’re all going on a summer holiday. No more working for a week or two. Fun and laughter on our summer holiday. No more worries for me or you.”  ♫

Oh yes, we do believe the summer is finally here. And we’re super excited to pack our bags to jet off somewhere exotic! But we never leave home without our best vintage clobber; it’s all about key accessories to make our holiday outfits pop, and of course some vintage-inspired swimwear pieces to help us ‘wow’ on the beach.

Vintage swimwear styles are still incredibly popular today and here are some of our favourite designs of swimsuits and bikinis through the years…

40s: The Figure Flattering Fourties Bikini

40s bikinis

The forties bikini is definitely one of the hottest looks of the moment. The high waist bikini bottoms and focus on fine detailing (such as ruching, bows and prints) all help to flatter your body. Perfect for the fuller figure or girls who have curves.

50s: The Flirty Fifties One Piece

50s swimwear vintage ideas 50s vintage swimwear styles

One of the most notable swimwear looks of the 50s is the waist-cinching all-in-one. This glorious swimsuit style is utterly fabulous and more and more high street designs are now looking to the one piece rather than skimpy bikinis. Why? Because it’s so sophisticated – yet still extremely flirty and playful in its own way. You don’t need to flash it to flaunt it and that’s we love about the 50s swimsuit. Skirted designs are ideal if you want to cover up a little bit too.

60s: Sexy Sixties Swimwear 

Oh there’s no denying that the 60s was a fun decade. 10 years on from the post-war Baby Boomers era and things are really starting to get exciting. Funk, soul and psychedelic rock win the hearts of the nation and women really start to express themselves with fashion. Sixties swimwear is very much about bright colours, bold prints, and all things sexy and sultry. And if there’s anything we’ve learnt from 60s fashion; it’s that accessories are a MUST. So don’t hit the beach without the perfect hat, perfect beach shoes and perfect cover-up.




70s: The Saucy Seventies Separates

Separates were hot in the 1970s; because covering up was just so passé in the hippie seventies. As materials got smaller and smaller, girls got ready to bear all on the beach. Unsurprisingly, there was an awful lot of sex appeal in 70s vintage swimwear; gorgeous crochet fabrics, bohemian fringing, and even see-through mesh to tease the hot-blooded onlookers.



Do you have a favourite decade of swimwear? If you love these vintage swimsuit and bikini looks, make sure you you don’t leave home without your favourites.

For other vintage accessories, sign up to Style By Portobello now.

Vintage Sunglasses: The Key to Instant Glam!

Sunglasses; they cover all manner of sins. From the tell tale signs of fatigue from late nights and too many cocktails to a bad hair day when nothing seems to work, a pair of vintage sunnies will transform your vibe in seconds. When everything else is looking drab, a pair of vintage sunglasses can give you a boost of instant glam. And here are some uber glamorous ladies who have donned spectacular specs in the past!

audrey hepburn sunglasses 50s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s star Audrey Hepburn was rarely photographed without her oversized sunglasses during the 50s and 60s. Hair up, jewels on, her sunnies always completed her ultra-sophisticated outfits and gave her that little bit of extra ‘je ne sais quoi’. If you feel like something is missing from your outfit, simply add a pair of vintage sunglasses for extra chic points.


Jackie O was also another ambassador of oversized sunglasses. This first lady managed to make any outfit look fabulous. Always styled with voluminous hair,  her huge glasses made it so much easier to go au naturel with makeup; something we can all take into the 21st Century when we’re having a bad makeup day.

70s sunglasses grace slick

Grace Slick took a different approach in the 70s. Her effortless outfits were always finished off with small rim sunglasses or coloured aviators. Tres cool, simple, and totally rock ‘n’ roll! Worlds apart from the Hepburn or Jackie O look, 70s vintage sunglasses are perfect for the boho or festival wardrobe.  With a pair of Jefferson Airplane inspired vintage sunnies, wild unbrushed hair and barely there makeup is A-OK.


Or like psychedelic singer-songwriter Janis Joplin, go for huge, rimless and brightly coloured when choosing vintage sunglasses; and you will be Woodstock-ready in an instant.  Let your hair loose, get your sandals on and let your oversized vintage sunnies do all the talking.

Love vintage sunglasses as much as we do? Make sure you sign up for the UK’s first vintage style subscription box, Style By Portobello. Answer some simple style questions and you can receive up to 3 hand-curated vintage pieces for just £35 per month.

SBP Team x

Vintage Hangouts in London: Some of Our Favourite Places for Vintage Entertainment

London is the best

Portobello Road Market

vintage hangouts london

Of course, there’s no better place than the one and only Portobello Road. It’s the cradle to all our inspiration and it’s the place where we source our amazing vintage items. But it’s not just the shopping you will love in London’s most remarkable vintage market, it’s the electric atmosphere.  It’s really the place to be for true vintage lovers.

Poppies of Spitalfields

vintage restaurants london

If you’re all shopped out and need to refuel, there’s no better place than Poppies of Spitalfields. If you love fish and chips, that is. But Poppies is about much more than just classic F&C; it’s a recreation of 1940s and 1950s fish and chips. The entire experience is just super-cool and you will get the full flavour of East End London between the years of 1945 and 1955. If you have a sweet tooth, worry not. They even have a dessert menu with traditional English puds, just like in the good old days.

Cahoots Bar

vintage bars london

This 1940s tube themed bar is bursting with vintage decor. For those who want a bit of fun on a Saturday night, this is the place to be. But don’t worry, it’s not just a 40s gimmick; absolutely everything, from the seat fabric to the lampshades above your table, is authentically vintage.

Cafe de Paris 

vintage bar london

Cafe de Paris isn’t a recreation. It’s a 1920s venue that has survived just about everything that Britain could have thrown at it; it even survived the Second World War. It became one of the most fashionable hangouts in the fifties, and today, not much has changed. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Blitz Party 

vintage parties london

The Blitz Party  is hosted at secret locations across London every month. This 1940s themed party is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a full on vintage affair; from the hair to the outfits, everyone is there to make an effort so don’t attend without your victory rolls! Locations are usually released just 2 weeks before the party.

Drink, Shop, Do

vintage bars london

Drink, Shop, Do on Caledonian Road is a perfect all-rounder. By day, it’s a cafe/bar  serving up Victorian teacakes and finger sandwiches (and everything from the crockery to the furniture is for sale). By night, it’s the perfect venue to party the night away with special guest DJs. Set in an old Victorian Bathhouse, it’s the perfect place any time of day for a quick tipple or pick-me-up.

If you can think of any amazing vintage hangouts in London, let us know in the comments below!

SBP Team x


Vintage Make-Up Looks for Today

You’d be surprised at just how much we’ve learnt from beauties of decades passed. Our favourite modern make-up looks are all derived from some of the most iconic faces to have graced our TV screens, and many of these looks (albeit with a contemporary touch) look just as wonderful today. Here are some fantastic vintage make-up looks that work with our modern day wardrobes.


20s smokey eye makeup

This is one of the most iconic makeup looks of all time, don’t you agree? Every girl has done it, and every girl can do it. This simple makeup trick comes from the 1920s and was seen on Hollywood movie stars such as Clara Bow and Louise Brooks. Today, it’s the quickest way of turning daytime eyes into ready-to-party eyes and it’s oh so glam and sexy.


50s classic red lip makeup

The “classic red lip” runs through every single decade. There’s no doubt that the red lipstick is every girl’s best friend, no matter what age, style, era or time of year. But it was certainly prominent in the 50s due to something called Colour Keying; a makeup matching trick to ensure that blondes, brunettes and red-heads all had their perfect colour chart. And of course, no colour chart is complete without the perfect shade of red.


60s eyelashes cat eye flick

We just can’t get enough of 60s eye makeup right now! There were two key makeup looks in the 1960s; either big doll lashes and white eyeshadow (Twiggy) or the simple and sexy cat eye flick (Brigitte Bardot). For both, go easy on the lippy. Because unlike the 50s, lips were secondary and eyes were the main focus. Today, rocking big lashes is great for a night out and the cute cat flick eyeliner is fab for jazzing up barely-there makeup during the day.


80s makeup contour madonna

It goes without saying that every girl needs to learn how to contour. Whether you love or hate the Kimmy K makeup look, contouring can make your best bits better and your worst bits less noticeable. Using the art of shading and highlighting, we can make our faces look slimmer, noses look smaller, cheeks look more defined, eyes look larger and brows more lifted. Here Madonna has taken contouring to the extreme but if you prefer a subtle look, you can contour with gentle brush strokes and a lighter shade of bronze.



There are so many makeup looks from the 90s…..so many that we probably need to leave well alone! But if we’ve learnt anything from this mixed up decade of overplucked brows, brown lipliner and chunky blonde highlights, it’s that vamp = hot. Vamp lips can look amazing on every skintone (if executed correctly) and some of today’s hottest makeup brands such as MAC, Illamasqua and Nars are all recreating dark, sultry shades, taking us from 90s dark plum to some daring shades of purple, blue or even grey.  It’s a daring look but we just love it.