Must-Have Vintage Items: The Bakelite / Lucite Bag

lucite bakelite bag vintage

Lucite bags or bakelite bags are huge collector’s items and look utterly unique when teamed with an evening outfit. Dating back to the 1950s, these boxy style beauties were first introduced when post war technology created a high quality plastic that could be formed into the most interesting and unique handbag shapes.

lucite bags vintage myles

Big cities in the US such as New York and Miami were the first to take on the box bag trend, and soon bakelite and lucite became one of the most sought after fashion accessories in the Western world.

how to style lucite bag

original vintage wilardy bag

The original purses were Wilardy purses which aren’t so easy to come by and are true collector’s pieces. But due to the huge popularity of lucite and bakelite bags in the 50s, there were many replica bags and plenty of brands which came up with similar styles and designs. If you’re scouring your local vintage markets for high quality lucite bags, make sure you look out for brand names such as Rialto, Llewllyn, Evans, Myles, Patricia of Miami, Maxim and Gilli Originals. Look inside the handbag for a metal stamp of authentication – but remember, some stamps will have fallen off their original bags so just because there isn’t a stamp, doesn’t mean that it won’t be great quality!

vintage lucite bakelite bags

how to style lucite

Styling a vintage lucite or bakelite couldn’t be easier either; as these purses are such show-stoppers, they can be styled with the most simple LBD or evening gown. Or even an effortless skinny jean and beaded top combo – just don’t forget those killer heels and your best red lipstick! Let the bag do the talking…

For the best vintage accessories delivered to your door, sign up to the Style By Portobello monthly subscription box. Register now and fill in a simple style questionnaire so our team can hand-select the perfect items for you every single month!

SBP Team x

Vintage Hip Hop Style: Fashion Inspired by 80s & 90s Hip Hop

vintage hip hop fashion

The diversity in styles is truly remarkable when it comes to the archives of vintage fashion. This variety stretches far beyond just ‘decades’. Within each decade, fashion is written by the cultural or political movements (think San Fran’s hippie movements in the 60s or Hemingway and literature in the roaring 20s), the multiplying musical genres (and the sub-genres of the sub-genres), pop culture, art and film. That’s why a decade is never just one dimensional.

When we think of the 80s and 90s, so many things spring to mind. Power dressing and shoulder pads, acid house music and illegal warehouse parties, the birth of big-budget science fiction movies. But we’re not going to talk about that today. Today, we looking back at vintage hip hop style, something that really transformed fashion during these times.

Think back to the Salt N Pepa ladies, the many hats and chains of LL Cool J, the head-to-toe Adidas as worn by RUN DMC, and the idiosyncratic styles of East Coast and West Coast rap. If you love that hip hop style, take a look at our tips on getting that vintage hip hop look today.

1| Get a Retro Pair of Trainers

shell toes

The easiest way to get that 80s / 90s hip hop look is to slip into a pair of retro trainers. Trainers can say a lot about you and your style. If you’re a fan of old school rap, invest in some classic Adidas Shell Toes like RUN DMC. These classics are loved by men and women everywhere and can be easily styled with a pair of jeans/tapered trousers and an oversized jumper or shirt for that chic/casual look.

2| Add a Bomber Jacket to Your Look

bomber jackets 80s 90s

Skinnies make the perfect parter for almost anything. So throw on your usual jeans and t-shirt combo and then add a statement bomber jacket for good measure. This look is totally retro right now – don’t forget a messy top-knot and retro rucksack to finish off your look!

3| Go For Statement Accessories 

SALT N PEPA jewellery style

The easiest way to get instant hip hop style is through the application of bold accessories.  The girls of Salt N Pepa were never shy with their statement pieces. So grab a few pieces from your vintage market and start experimenting with you look.

For vintage jewellery and accessories delivered to your door every month (£35 per month), subscribe to Style By Portobello today.

SBP Team x


Style By Portobello Selfie Booth for #POGO150 and #LFW

selfie booth 1

There’s been a lot to celebrate lately. Firstly, there’s #POGO150 which is 150 years of Portobello and Golborne Market (one of the most iconic markets of London) and September has also played host to the exciting London Fashion Week . So we decided to get involved and celebrate with a Style By Portobello Selfie Booth! We love Portobello style, we love how the city comes to life with fashionistas during LFW, and of course we love selfies. So our team took to the one and only Portobello Road and set up a vintage selfie booth filled with stylish clothing and accessories (all sourced from the market itself) for shoppers to try on for their ultimate LFW selfie!

Armed with a selfie stick, we transformed the shoppers of Portobello and Golborne into vintage vixens with our huge walk-in wardrobe of Portobello hand-picked items! If you want to see the style posts from our Selfie Booth, make sure you take a look at our Facebook page.

We’re hoping to do a lot more events in the future so don’t worry if you missed out this time. And we captured the day with some fabulous photos, so take a look and see what we got up to…

selfie booth 5


selfie booth 3







selfie 2

If you would like to get involved in our next London event, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for our live updates. We can’t wait to see you! :)

SBP Street Team x



Tips for Vintage Interiors: Interview with Vintage Expert @CocoBardot69

tips vintage interior

We love everything vintage here at Style By Portobello. We live, breathe, eat, sleep and dream vintage. From fashion to interior design, we believe that vintage is a kind of culture or a way of life; something that trickles down into all areas of our world. So we decided to chat to the gorgeous and fabulous @cocobardot69, vintage boutique owner and self-confessed treasure huntress. She runs her own successful business, is completely obsessed with fashion, and refers to herself as a “bathtub mermaid” on her instagram profile (we love that).

After starting her vintage clothing and homeware boutique ( back in 2013 during a spell of being very unwell, Kathryn AKA @CocoBardot69 has never looked back. She now spends her time seeking out vintage treasures and living her dream, so we decided to interview her for some insider tips on vintage interior style and design. Here’s what the lovely Kathryn had to share with us…

(all images are from Kathryn’s beautiful home)

Q1: We love vintage everything here at Style By Portobello…..but do you think it’s a style that can be quite hard to get right when it comes to home décor?

“Introducing vintage into the home I feel is a very natural thing for any vintage fan to do. If you wear vintage clothing and enjoy it, it’s likely that you will be more drawn to vintage interiors. I also don’t think that it’s about ‘getting it right’ when it comes to vintage interiors…..your home is your home, nobody else’s so what you choose to buy to fill it is completely up to you; it’s all very personal to you, therefore you can never get it wrong as such. I think what people may struggle with from time to time is actually styling their home, so deciding how to display your favourite collection of vintage bottles or “how do I style that velvet throw?” or generally how to put a room together so it has function, liveability and style.

This is where I plan to help in the near future with branching out into interior styling and helping anybody and everybody who wants it. My service will offer styling – anything from just a room to the whole home. I will be guiding them through textures, colours and ambiances to help them achieve the styled home that they want and by incorporating their own found treasures with some new ones too!”

tips vintage interior

Q2: What are your best tips for styling vintage interiors?

“I would say that my top tips for styling vintage interiors is to surround yourself with what you love (for me this is natural linens, aged metallics such  as silver, gold and brass, and natural objects such as feathers, beach combed finds, skulls and so on) but style varies with everybody of course. Once you start a collection of things you love, try to echo the subject around your home for an even flow. I would also say it’s calming and good for the soul to have at least one thing living in each room, whether it be a eucalyptus plant or your pet.

Now lastly, lighting. It’s all about the lighting. You can create atmosphere, zones and space by playing around with light. Have a play, open your blinds or curtains wide, move your lamps and candles around or even add more! Mirrors too are great for bouncing and adding light.”

vintage interiors tips

Q3: Do you have a favourite era when it comes to interiors?

“I wouldn’t say I have a favourite ‘era’ as such when it comes to interiors. However, at the moment I adore classic French country style, lofty rooms with a feeling of calm and space, lightly styled homes with interesting objects for your eyes to wander and inspire you, and the addition of romance with crystal encrusted chandeliers, antique mercury glass giant baubles and candelabras.”

Q4: What are your favourite vintage pieces in your home?

vintage interiors tips

“Within my home, my favourite pieces have to be 1. my bed! It’s not true vintage but of an antique French style and I have adorned it with vintage velvet, embroidery and cushions upcycled from vintage postal sacks. I also adore our over-mantle mirror which we found on a holiday in Hastings, Sussex. It’s early 19th Century French antique and I adore it; it completely makes the living room.”

vintage interior design tips


We hope you have all enjoyed reading these tips and viewing the inspiring images from Kathryn’s stunning home. Don’t forget to share on social media if you love the post and make sure you follow Kathryn on instagram for daily interior/fashion style inspiration.

And thanks to Kathryn for taking time out of her busy day to chat to us about interior design tips and ideas! You’ve been great!

SBP Team x

Vintage Movie Style: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is quite possibly one of the most iconic movies of our time. Based on Truman Capote’s novel about a young girl in New York City who falls in love with the handsome Paul Varjak (played by George Peppard), this 1961 American romantic comedy features some of the most quintessential fashion statements in history. This movie has laid the groundwork for female fashion and here are some of the most defining outfits which have shaped our runways, high streets and magazine pages through the decades.

The Audrey Hat 

breakfast at tiffany's style

No-one will ever forget the huge Audrey Hepburn hat, which appeared in one of the very first scenes of the movie when Holly met Paul for the first time. This statement hat is still much loved today and we get to see spectacular displays every summer at racing events such as Ascot.

The Oversized Sunglasses

breakfast at tiffany's style

Here at Style By Portobello, there’s nothing we love more than oversized sunnies. Oversized sunglasses cover all manners of sin, including evidence of a late night on the cocktails. This look is still very relevant today and we don’t think any girl should leave home without a pair of vintage Diors.

The Headscarf

breakfast at tiffany's style

Sign up for the Style By Portobello vintage subscription box and you might be the lucky recipient of your very own vintage scarf. Vintage scarves have become a huge trend amongst vintage stylistas and there are so many ways you can style them.

The Statement Coat 

breakfast at tiffany's style

Cocoon coats, boyfriend coats and duster coats are always in fashion and this amazing bright orange/red number from the movie looks fabulous with a fur winter hat.

Sparkly Statement Jewellery

breakfast at tiffany's style

There’s absolutely no room for ‘understated’ in the Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie. And these fabulous pieces from the Tiffany’s jewellery brand are still very much loved today.

Vintage Icons of Modern Times: Alexa Chung Style

If you had to name just one modern style icon who rocked vintage style, who would it be? If just one name popped into your head, who would get your vote? If you ask us, it would be no other than the chic and effortless Alexa Chung. In the vintage game, it’s always good old ‘Chungy’ who comes up tops. And here’s why.

She’s Effortless and Natural…

alexa1 tumblr_m2k18kQvYf1rpm912o1_500

alexa chung vintage style

Everything about Alexa’s sense of style is effortless and natural. She doesn’t appear to be trying too hard, and that’s probably because she isn’t. She doesn’t care too much for matching prints or colours and her look is always eclectic.

She’s a Trend Setter…

alexa chung vintage style alexa chung vintage style

alexa chung vintage style

There’s no denying that Alexa is a trend setter, whether she knows it or not. Alexa single-handedly transformed the 70s smock dress into something accessible for mainstream fashion lovers – and she makes dressing like your mum totally cool!

She loves a Vintage Market…

alexa chung vintage style

alexa chung vintage style

Miss Chung is no stranger to Brick Lane or Portobello Road. She loves a vintage gem and she doesn’t mind rummaging through London’s best markets to find what she’s looking for. We think Alexa’s love of vintage is what makes her style so different from everyone else’s. If you love Alexa Chung’s style, make sure you come and visit Portobello Market this weekend. Or sign up to our Style By Portobello vintage subscription box for vintage accessories delivered to your door!

She’s Quintessentially British…

alexa chung vintage style

alexa chung vintage style

There’s something so quintessentially British and ‘London’ about Alexa Chung and we just love that. She also supports a lot of British designers such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and Stella Mccartney; and of course, she’s a regular at London Fashion Week every season. And what we love most about her is her ability to fuse vintage pieces with designer – so seamlessly.

Get that chic vintage style like Alexa Chung and sign up for your very own hand-curated vintage subscription box today. Take a simple style questionnaire to determine the look/styles of your monthly accessories which are hand picked by our expert team!




























The Vintage Watch: Iconic Style Through Time

watches vintage through time

There’s no doubt that you can pick up some great bargains when you’re shopping for vintage. Dig a little deeper and you may come across some one-of-a-kind gems that are limited edition, look a little harder and you might find a pair of vintage Chanel earrings or a Hermes scarf at ridiculously low prices, search through the stockpiles at a flea market and you may grab yourself something remarkable for less than £1. But vintage isn’t always about bargain hunting; vintage watches are quite the opposite. Watches from bygone eras can be worth a lot more than they were once purchased for. A Rolex sold at £500 after the First World War can now be up to anything as high as £20,000. And they’re not about to lose value either. So if you’re looking for the perfect vintage investment piece, take a look at some of the world’s most iconic vintage watches.

Here are a few of our favourite styles through time…

1920s: Great Gatsby Era Watches 

This was a real turning point in the watch industry. The end of World War I saw men swapping pocket watches for wrist watches and this is when designs started to become extravagant.

1920s watches

The Oyster Rolex was one of the most iconic styles of the decade, and even to this day the classic Oyster range still exists.

1950s: Post World War II Precision 

After World War II, there were great improvements in watch manufacturing and all the Swiss houses were offering accurate chronometer rated models.

omega vintage 1950s

One of the most reputable Swiss watch houses, Omega, produced the Omega Seamaster which is a classic design responsible for one of the brand’s most successful ranges to date.

1970s: Battery Powered Watches

In the 70s came the arrival of battery powered watches; something that would change the wristwatch forever. Not only that but by the 70s, hedonism and indulgence was in full swing. Gold Rolexes adorned the wrists of the rich and famous, and watches started to become a huge social status symbol.

james bond rolex vintage

The power of celebrities drove fashion and luxury brands in the 1970s and designs had really started to flower into something funky and fun.

1980s: The Working Man’s Watch

By the 1980s, any man and every man could be seen wearing a gold watch. Casio created a range which screamed “high technology” and it didn’t cost the earth either. By now, watches were becoming much more mainstream.

vintage casio watches

To this day, Casio watches still have a retro design which are loved by men and women alike.

Our Favourite Designers Through Time: An Ode to LFW

London Fashion Week is one of the most important and exciting fashion events in London. And you don’t have to be a buyer, press or blogger to get involved in the flurry of fashion, flaunting and camera flashing between the 18th and 22nd of this month; Somerset House courtyard is open to the public so you can go down and just mingle around with the rest of the fashionistas. Go armed with a camera and you may even be able to take some street style shots yourself!

Alternatively, come and join the Style By Portobello / Flash Fashion team on the 18th and 19th at Portobello Market for our very own street style selfie booth! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to find out more information nearer the time.

And in the run-up to LFW, we’re looking back at some of the most iconic fashion designers through time. Here are our favourite designers and some of their most transformative creations; classics which have changed the face of fashion.

Coco Chanel – “Keep your heels, head and standards high.”

chanel tweed

There really is nothing quite as iconic as the tweed suit, something we have Coco Chanel to thank for.  Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, this French designer created many fashion statements – including the quilted bag or the famous Chanel No5 perfume – but as vintage lovers, there’s nothing we would like more than to get our hands on the famous Chanel tweed.

Yves Saint Laurent – “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” 

ysl le smoking

Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer, known for many things during his time as one of the world’s most iconic designers. But we love him best for his reinvention of the classic tuxedo. Giving life back to the suit, Yves Saint Laurent changed the suit for men and women with ‘Le Smoking tuxedo jacket’, something which remains an indispensable garment in the fashion world today.

Christian Dior - “There is no beauty without happiness.” 

christian dior bar suit

His ‘New Look’ collection after World War II was a refreshing take on femininity within a world starved of fashion. The ‘Bar Suit’, which was a cream morning coat and pleated black skirt, was the first and most defining style within his range.

Mary Quant - “Fashion is not frivolous. It’s a part of being alive today.”

mary quant designer

Mary Quant is the genius responsible for bringing the mini skirt and mini dress into the swingin’ sixties! She liberated women worldwide and encouraged females to express themselves through the art of fashion. One of the her favourite models at the time was Twiggy, and even decades later, the mini skirt is still very much worshipped today; and Twiggy’s iconic sense of style remains a huge inspiration to women everywhere.

Vintage Style Icon: Debbie Harry (Why We Love Her)

It’s 100% true; we are totally obsessed with Debbie Harry. Who isn’t? From her Blondie Days and those endless number one hits to her iconic fashion sense which was so influential throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, everything about Debbie Harry has been sensational.

Last month saw this vintage style icon turn 70 years of age, and she’s just as stylish as ever. Somewhere in between Heart of Glass and The Tide is High, the world fell head over heels in love and we’re still worshipping Debbie Harry’s look, style and vibe to this day. At the golden age of 70, she still looks fantastic and here we’d like to create a visual tribute to her 70 years of being one of the most influential women in the entertainment industry; here are 10 amazing looks from the fabulous Debbie Harry!

1| The Girl Next Door 

debbie harry

2| The Blonde Bombshell

debbie harry 70s 80s

3| The Party Girl

debbie harry 70s 80s

(Photo taken at Studio 54)

4| The Bad Girl 

debbie harry 80s

5| The Statement Fringe 

debbie harry 70s 80s

6| The Queen of Punk Rock 

debbie harry 70s 80s

7| The Female Rapper 

debbie harry 70s 80s

(Photo taken from the Rapture video)

8| The Cute Bob

debbie harry 90s

9| The Red Carpet Star

debbie harry 2015

(Photo taken in 2014)

10| The Female Rapper 

debbie harry today

(Photo taken from a recent performance in New York)