Vintage Style Icon: Grace Jones (70s & 80s)

Grace Jones; you either get her or you don’t. We wouldn’t go as far as comparing her to Marmite because the truth is, even those who don’t “get” her still admire her from afar. Her style in the 70s and 80s was bold and daring she will go down in history as one of the most iconic females in the world of fashion.

But it wasn’t her style alone which made her so famous amongst New York’s celebrity circles in the late 70s; it was her hedonistic nature and her ability to get the party started. She famously became one of the most frequent party goers at New York’s Studio 54 Nightclub. This was at a time when 70s hedonism was at its peak and the crazy antics of the nightclub scene were often of an unspeakable nature; let’s just say, things got crazy. Almost as crazy as some of Grace Jones’ outfits. She was known for her daring boyish hair, her crazy hair pieces and her revealing evening ensembles. And whilst her look was seductive, it was also intimidating. But that’s what we love most about her style; she wore everything with conviction.  And that’s the key to true wardrobe confidence.

To celebrate our love for Grace Jones, here are some of our favourite images of her from the height of her singing career.





grace jones 70s 80s

grace jones 70s 80s

grace jones 70s 80s

grace jones 70s 80s

Do you have any vintage style icon? If so, we’d love to know who. Drop us a tweet at @Stylebybello and maybe we’ll feature them one day.

SBP Team x


Summer Crops: Vintage Pixie Cuts & Short Hairstyles from the Past

Do you dare to wear a crop? Here at Style By Portobello, we really admire  a woman who braves the summer chop and goes lighter with the locks for a more care-free appearance. If you’ve been contemplating getting a summer crop, here are 8 fabulous short hairstyles from way back when; let this blast from the past give you some vintage hair inspiration!

vintage short hairstyles twiggy

Twiggy is just an inspiration in every department; from her Mary Quant minidresses to her iconic 60s eye makeup, we simply can’t get. But when it comes to the pixie cut, we bow down to her. If you have pretty doll-like features like Twiggy, this boyish pixie hairstyle will suit you perfectly.

vintage short hairstyles liza minelli

Liza Minelli also made a huge hair statement back in the 60s with her dark boy cut. Often teamed with big eye makeup and plenty of accessories (big earrings or bold neckscarves), she really rocked this look.

vintage short hairstyles Louise Brooks

For something with a bit more drama or pazazz, try this 1920s cropwith a strong fringe. The 20s was a major turning point in women’s fashion; this was tthe ‘Jazz age’ when women were liberated to wear trousers or slightly shorter skirts. Women wore loose dresses with dropped waistlines and chopped their hair as a statement. Comfort and fashion finally came together.

vintage short hairstyles marilyn

Marilyn Monroe’s 60s short haircut was always full of volume. So if you’re worried about moving over to the tomboy side a bit too much, try a curly, wavy creation like this one.

Linda Evangelista short hair

Linda Evangelista was one of the original ‘super models’ of our time and she influenced millions of women everywhere to brave the hair scissors during the late 80s and 90s. To pull off Linda’s supermodel haircut, you need to look after it and keep it looking healthy and shiny. Time to add Moroccan hair oil to your shopping list.

vintage short hair mia farrow

Mia Farrow is another icon from the 60s who sported the short pixie haircut. What we really love about her style is the un-brushed, slightly wild, just-got-out-of-bed look.  So effortless.

Keri Russell short hair

Actress Keri Russell has been known for her flowing curly locks. Her long tight curls have been her signature style since the early 90s. But she surprised the world with a nail-biting chop in 2000 and we just love it. Why? Because it means that curly haired vixens can get the pixie cut too. Go ahead girls, let those waves  go wild above the ears.

vintage short hairstyles jean seberg

Another simple yet beautiful crop top from Jean Seberg, American actress of the 50s and 60s. If you have fine or soft hair, this look will work perfectly for you. It’s very Parisian chic.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little round-up of the best vintage short hairstyles from the 20s, 50s, 60s, 80s and 90s. We just love everything vintage here at Style By Portobello; if you do too, don’t forget to sign up for our UK vintage style subscription box. Take our quick style questionnaire and get hand-curated items delivered to your door each month. So simple, it’s almost criminal.


SBP Team x 

Guide to Shopping for a Vintage Bag: 3 Point Check

There are fewer things in life quite as exciting and fulfilling as shopping vintage. Why? Because unlike searching the high street, the gratification you get from finding that perfect, ultimate piece is knowing that what you’ve just found is one of a kind. And there’s probably not another one like it in the world.

But we understand that there are a few drawbacks to shopping for vintage accessories. Handbags experience a lot of visible wear and tear and some people just don’t feel comfortable with that. But worn leather and old time fabric has a beautiful kind of charm that we just love here at Style By Portobello.

If you’re shopping for a vintage handbag, read on for our 3 point vintage bag check.

vintage handbag guide

The first thing you need to do is check the bag thoroughly for wear and tear. The ‘used’ look is very common and it’s something that many vintage shoppers find charm in. But it’s important to check everywhere, especially the bag lining for holes or snags. Look in all the inside pockets and always inspect the strap to make sure it’s secure.

vintage handbag guide

The best way to see if a vintage handbag is for you is to try it on. Not only do you need to find something that looks great with your everyday wardrobe (use a full length mirror if there is one around) but you also need to find something that is comfortable on your shoulders / arms.

Trying on your bag  will also ensure that you get a full inspection of every part of the vintage item before you commit to purchase.

vintage handbag guide

One thing many vintage handbag shoppers miss is the zips/fastenings. Always test these to make sure they work properly and if they don’t, as the vintage seller if the bag will be easy to fix. Clothing alteration companies can often help with zip replacements.

If you’re new to vintage shopping and would like to receive beautiful, hand-curated vintage handbags and accessories in the post each month (or a one-off box), please sign up to our Style By Portobello monthly subscription. It’s the UK’s first vintage style subscription box and it’s perfect for both vintage lovers or fashionistas looking to try vintage for the first time.

SBP Team x

Style Inspiration: Great looks from Studio 54

Studio 54 is one of the most infamous nightclubs throughout modern history. Known for its glamour and hedonistic charms as well as its seedy after-hours sex liasons, the television studio turned nightclub was the talk of town in  70s New York.

But above all else, it was the place to be for anyone who was anyone. Owner Steve Rubell once said of the club: “Only the Mafia made more money.”

Studio 54 was at its most popular from 1977 until 1981 when the original owners eventually sold it on. And during the decade crossover, the nightclub played catwalk to the many glamorous outfits which passed through the door. Here’s a look at some of the iconic Studio 54 fashion trends that we still love today.


studio 54 fashion 70s

Singer Grace Jones was certainly one of the more extravagant dressers at Studio 54. Always donning a dramatic headpiece and always sparkling with glitter and sequins, her style gives us a true reflection of the anything-goes attitude that came with the nightlife.


studio 54 fashion 70s

studio 54 fashion 70s

Hedonism was a strong theme so sheer fabrics were A-OK, even without underwear. This liberating trend became a common look in the 70s and early 80s nightclub scene.


studio 54 fashion 70s

The glamorous jumpsuit was hugely popular for nightclubbers in this era and we think this look is just as fabulous today. Unlike the sheer fabrics and the glitter trend, the jumpsuit can be an elegant statement. We love this groovy yet sophisticated look.


studio 54 fashion 70s

Anything shiny seems to go with the Studio 54 trend. And metallic dresses, jumpsuits, make-up or accessories were all the rage back in the day. If you have a passion for vintage, you will find so many beautiful belts and handbags which resonate Studio 54 fashion and here at Style By Portobello, we’re always coming across wonderful pieces for our subscribers.

To receive up to 3 hand-curated vintage items each month, sign up to the Style By Portobello subscription box (£35 a month).

SBP Team x


Vintage Wardrobe Essential: The Vintage Denim Jacket

The faithful denim jacket; it’s known as the “working class staple”. But this ridiculously stylish item of clothing has always been fashionably unfashionable.  Which to us, makes it an absolute classic. An underdog type of classic. And if we had to own one item of vintage outerwear, it would most certainly be the vintage denim jacket.

Every girl needs a vintage denim jacket. Take it from our girl Drew Barrymore…

drew denim

Believe it or not, the denim jacket actually dates back to the 1800s, when the King of Denim, Levi Strauss, designed something which he called “the working blouse”, designed purely for function. For us, we probably associate vintage denim with the 60s, 70, 80s or 90s.

If you think back to The Clash, the Sex Pistols or icons like Blondie who all wore denim at the time, there was one very clear message being conveyed by this working class wardrobe staple; no-one was here to apply for law school. This was the jacket for rebels, underdogs and free spirits. As Drew Barrymore showed us in the 90s, it was definitely the jacket of choice for a bad girl.

madonna denim

Another bad girl was Madonna in the 80s. Denim for Madge was all about distressed, fraying and of course, the fabulous waistcoat / sleeveless number.


With the rise of the 90s supermodels, denim almost took on a slightly more wholesome flavour. But not wholesome enough to change the fabric of its very nature and very purpose.

Through the decades, we have watched the faithful denim jacket evolve. But it stays faithful to its roots as a “working jacket”, something which was never designed to be a fashion statement. It simply floats through the world of fashion, effortlessly, unashamedly, and never trying. It’s the jacket of the people.

If you’re looking for the ultimate vintage wardrobe staple this summer, make it a vintage denim jacket. It’s truly versatile and we just love styling our Style By Portobello vintage accessories with denim.