Vintage Wardrobe Essential: The Vintage Belt

If you’re new to shopping vintage, accessories are a great way to ease yourself in. That’s what makes the Style By Portobello vintage subscription box such a cool concept. Each month, we deliver a hand curated box of up to 3 unique vintage items, sourced from the amazing Portobello Market here in London. Our team hand pick each item and we’re always thrilled when we come across a beautiful belt from decades passed.

vintage belt

Above: a past ‘Bello box (photo courtesy of @aliceelizabethvarney on Instagram)

If you only ever own one vintage accessory, a vintage belt is the perfect accessory to have. To us vintage fiends, it’s a wardrobe essential and we couldn’t imagine life in fashion without at least one fabulous waistbelt.  Vintage belts are perfect for cinching you in at the waist and accentuating your curves.  And if you’ve seen our Guide to Shopping for Vintage Clothes, you’ll know that some of the best vintage shirts or dresses come oversized (it’s all a part of the vintage charm and if you’re confident with your wardrobe, you will look just fab). So a belt is totally essential for helping you style those niggling oversized pieces that just don’t seem to sit right otherwise.


Above: 1980s vintage belts from past ‘Bello boxes

Now vintage belts comes in so many different styles. So when it comes to shopping for your ultimate belt, it’s good to understand some of the key differences between the decades. You’ll find some gorgeous buckle detailing with belts from the 1970s, and the use of leather was extremely prominent too. In the 80s, belts were huge and there is a fantastic choice of styles including skinny belts, large belts, double buckle belts (seen above left) and the use of metallics.

If you’re new to vintage accessories, make sure you sign up for the Style By Portobello subscription box. You may receive a beautiful belt in your next ‘Bello box and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

SBP Team x


Vintage Holiday Inspiration: Destinations That Are Eternally Cool

Like most things in life, some holiday destinations sadly have a shelf-life. When once Aiya Napa was the place to party, today it’s all about the Adriatic. When Blackpool was once the glamour magnet in the 1930s and 40s, today it’s more shabby than chic. But there are some vintage holiday destinations that have really stood the test of time. Some places are just meant to be eternally cool and exotic. And here are some of the places we just love!

Torquay, Devon 

torquay 1950s

It may not seem all that glamorous at first but staycations are all the rage now, and still known as the ‘English Riviera’ to this day, Torquay retains the dazzling reputation that it had back in the 1950s. In a time when cheap flights were not available to the masses, going abroad just wasn’t an option. But whilst B&Bs were the working class family option back in the fifties (as opposed to hotels for the rich) , today B&Bs are full of charm and are often the chosen option when staying at a UK seaside resort. Go to Torquay today and you’ll be met with some of our country’s most outstanding coastal hotspots, amazing attractions for the whole family, five star boutique hotels, and gastronomical delights such a Michelin starred Elephant Restaurant by Simon Hulstone or the nearby Mason’s Arms by Chef Mark Dodson. 

New York, New York

new york vintage vacation

The city of lights, the city of dreams, or the city that never sleeps; whatever you want to call it, there’s no other city quite like it in the world. And this hasn’t changed since time began. In the 20s, iconic hotels such as The Empire Hotel and The Belvedere were built; they were the hangout places for rich mobs and gangsters and staged countless flapper parties. The 1920s roared with jazz and gin and America was changing dramatically, both socially and politically. This was a time to rejoice – and boy did they know how to party in those days! Today, NYC retains that overwhelming WOW factor and every traveller should experience The Big Apple at least once.

St. Tropez, Cote D’Azur 

st tropez 1970s vintage vacations

Oh there’s just no denying that the French Riviera is eternally cool. And anyone who’s anyone has been there, right? It’s the ultimate vintage holiday destination and St. Tropez was booming in the 1970s. It was one of Travel & Leisure Magazine’s most featured vacations during this decade, and leopard thongs and tanning oil set the scene for this hedonistic French beach town. Today there are so many different holiday hotspots to frequent along the glamorous French Riviera coast including Cannes, Nice and Antibes. Wherever you go, there will be unadulterated glamour.

Know any cool, chic and stylish vintage holiday destinations that we should try? Make sure you tweet us and we will retweet you!

SBP Team x



Cool Crochet: Retro Looks to Try this Summer

It’s official; crochet isn’t just for your grandmother’s doilies and cushion covers. This fabulous form of handwork, which actually dates all the way back to the 16th Century, is making a huge comeback in fashion. And we at Style By Portobello just love it! So if you’re looking for a new retro look to try out this summer, make it a cool crochet party with vibes from the 60s and 70s.

the history of crochet

According to American crochet expert, Annie Potter, crochet started in the 16th Century and was known as “chain lace” in England. Other research suggests that it first appeared in Arabia and soon spread to other parts of the world such as Tibet, China and Spain, before becoming hugely popular in England, France and the US. But most of us best know this fantastic fabric work from the groovy 60s and psychedelic 70s when stars such as Twiggy rocked the look with the iconic miniskirt and minidress craze, as pioneered by Mary Quant.

twiggy crochet dress

Today, this trend is hotter than ever. And we’re thrilled with the nation’s rekindled love for this stunning handmade style. It’s perfect for summer and a fantastic look for beach and festival wardrobes.  So if you’re digging the cool crochet as much as we are, how can you incorporate it into your #OOTD?

crochet waistcoat 70s

One of the easiest and most iconic looks of the 60s and 70s is the crochet waistcoat; it’s totally festival chic. But it can also be styled over an everyday outfit for a bohemian twist and can be worked into any vintage ensemble so seamlessly.

how to wear vintage crochet

Or the crochet cover-up can be super luxurious for your upcoming beach holiday. This look is both modest and sexy and can be styled with amazing beach accessories for extra glam points. Oversized hats, big earrings or cute wedge sandals make the perfect partners in crime for your beach crochet ensemble.

For amazing accessories to team with your crochet pieces this summer, make sure you sign up to the Style By Portobello subscription box.

SBP Team x

Vintage Wedding Inspiration: Vintage Ideas for Your Wedding Day

The ‘vintage wedding’ has become a popular theme with modern brides. Vintage elements can add such an elegant touch to any wedding venue and when it comes to the dress… simply doesn’t get better than vintage.

Whether you choose to rework your mother or your grandmother’s wedding dress from many moons ago, or you choose a vintage-inspired wedding gown design for your own big day, choosing vintage over contemporary is très très chic. To get the sophisticated vintage look, take a look at some vintage wedding dress styles below for inspiration.

Vintage Lace 

vintage lace wedding dress

Is there really anything more spectacular than the sight of lace? If you’re averse to bling and sparkle, choose delicate lace instead. It has just as much opulence and even more class.

The Glamorous Train

vintage wedding dress styles

If you think that long trains are reserved for princesses and royalty, think again. This gorgeous, attention-grabbing dress style was prominent in the 1930s with women from all walks of life, and it’s a great way to inject a little vintage drama into your wedding day. The 20s and 30s were all about romance and elegance so add a touch of lace, a lovely draping neckline, or an extra long veil for even more added drama.

The Mini / Midi Wedding Dress

50s 60s wedding dress styles

This look is so 50s or 60s; and both decades have their own unique take on the short wedding dress. In the 50s, women were not afraid to embrace their curves and in the 60s, the minidress was all the rage. So you can make your wedding dress completely sophisticated with cap sleeves and lace detail, or you can make it seductively stylish with a midi length and plunging neckline.

If you love our vintage wedding dress moodboards, make sure you take a look at our Vintage Wedding Inspiration Pinterest Board for more fabulous ideas for your big day. And if you’re looking for the perfect vintage gift for your bridesmaids, why not sign them up to the Style By Portobello vintage subscription box? It’s a wonderful and personal touch for your vintage themed wedding, and they will love receiving hand-curated vintage goodies every month.