Carousel love’s Vintage

One of the most exciting days in Carousel is the arrival of a new Original vintage delivery. It is the one day everybody comes in early. Who would have thought such a friendly bunch of girls could get so primal!!

  • Our vintage is shipped from Singapore, Seoul, Japan and else where in Asia
  • It is hand selected before shipping
  • Each piece is washed and cleaned and inspected for any major damage
  • Where necessary the waist is elasticated to give it shape
  • If the dress is too long it is shortened to a more contemporary length, determined by the personality of the dress

What exactly is “Vintage Clothing”?

Vintage Clothing is a term for garments hailing from another era. Generally speaking, clothing older than 25 years is considered to be vintage , though opinions vary on this definition. Many sellers of vintage clothing consider even more modern pieces to be ‘vintage’, provided that they are particularly representative of the era in which they were made. For example, the very simple slip dresses that emerged in the early 1990’s as an expression of the impact of minimalism and grunge aesthetics on fashion would be considered ‘vintage’ by many collectors and sellers of vintage clothing. What once brought up images of your grandmother’s closet, in the past few years has become a creative and stylish way to dress.

When women of the mid-1900’s needed something special to wear for an occasion, it wasn’t uncommon for them to create something for themselves. Whether they came up with the design or took inspiration from a Mccall’s pattern, clothing from this era was often unique and/or one-of-a-kind. Today, many people go to their local shopping malls or shop online for items to fill their wardrobe gaps. Anyone who has shopped at these malls is aware of the frustration that comes from trying to find a fabulous dress that will make you stand out when all you are surrounded by is boring, look-alike outfits.

Vintage clothing is a world away from the mass produced. It gives you the opportunity to take something from a different time and make it your own. It’s also easy to take vintage fashions and mix them in with your current wardrobe.

The fashion revolution of the 1960s brought us clothing and styles that were much more varied. People of the time embraced this by scouting thrift shops and yard sales, and vintage clothing stores began opening in the 1970s.

Vintage is all about giving new life to an item that had become a cast off. We are seeing more celebrity stylists, like Patricia Field and Rachel Zoe , dressing their clients in vintage. And with current designers like Marc Jacobs and Betsey Johnson constantly showing vintage inspired pieces on the runway, I think it is undeniable that vintage is here to stay!

Care of Vintage Fabrics

When in doubt HANDWASH! You must remember whilst most vintage items were well made,  they are still vintage.

 Here are a few tips to preserve your favourite new purchase!

  • Clean a vintage item immediately after wearing to avoid stains.
  • Use liquid detergent instead of powder or dry clean or vodka mixed with water is apparently a winner but don’t blame us if you get arrested!!!
  • Never store vintage items in plastic bags. They need to breathe.
  • Never hang vintage knits or fragile items…they stretch. Fold and store in draws.
  • Keep clothes away from light. It fades and deteriorates the fabric over time.
  • Use mothballs or lavender to keep away pests. Near but not touching the fabric.
  • Never use wire hangers. They can rust…use padded or wooden hangers
  • Use cool to warm water to avoid fade or running of garment dyes and spot clean first before washing. Steam rather than iron where possible

 Some of our favourite Vintage style icons of the past and present are.

Style Icons Of The Past
Ali McGraw
Audrey Hepburn
Brigitte Bardot
Goldie Hawn
Mary Tyler Moore

Twiggy Lawson

Style Icons Of The Present
Carrie Bradshaw
Kate Hudson
Rachel Bilson
Sienna Miller
Zooey Deschanel


Damsels in Distress

Why is it that high school and campus comedies always end up at the top of my DVD pile and at the tip of my tongue when I need to delight the room with a quick quip? Mean Girls, Clueless and Heathers have all reigned supreme on my screen at one time or another and now Whit Stillman’s beautifully mannered college comedy Damsels in Distress looks set to take its place among this elite group of films.

Released in cinemas last week, Damsels stars the wonderfully gawky Greta Gerwig as Violet, leader of a gang of do-gooders attempting to help their college classmates through the stresses of college life. She takes new transfer Lily (played by Analeigh Tipton of America’s Next Top Model ‘fame’) under her wing. The film also marks the very welcome return of Adam Brody to our screens (Seth <3 Summer 4EVA!) playing one instance of their eponymous distress.

The film seems to take place in an alternate universe – a universe where a man can reach college without learning his colours; creating a dance craze is the highest achievement one can reach; and the right smelling soap can save your life. It also happens to be eminently quotable. Just try not to label everyone you see a ‘playboy operator’ for months after you see it… or was that just me?

The costumes are another great reason to seek this film out. Crisp white shirts paired with simple skirts and pretty pastel dresses with contrasting cardigans had me green with envy until I took a look at this picture of our own Betty –

Couldn’t she just slip right in to the film? So everyone can recreate this look, just drape a cardigan over your shoulders and find an Adam Brody lookalike to take you dancing! How hard can that be?

The lazy gal’s treat

Time to play dress up and invite everyone around to mine for a vintage tea party! I’m excited! I like nothing more than to trawl the internet and watch video after video of vintage hair and make-up tutorials… not to mention rooting out my best vintage frock for such an occasion. Ok so I’ll look the part.. Now to consider what I might serve at my retro rendezvous? If you know me (which you might) I don’t deal well with cooking and baking… the kitchen is a foreign place to me and the microwave is my go to meal maker. So… I was thinking of buying in some goodies… but I decided that’s out of the question! I will be a vintage goddess and bake my own sweets to serve! Now to find the EASIEST recipe.  In my internet findings I come across ‘crunchy cookies’ – not many ingredients and only a short preparation time…perfect for a first time baker like me! A lady does not want to be kept in her kitchen to long… especially when she doesn’t own an apron.   I made a practice batch.  They tasted…fine… but needed something else.  Something that wouldn’t take hours and would taste fantastic. Impossible!? Never!  I root through my presses to find the lazy gal, crowd pleaser that is… chocolate spread! Hooray… It was now time (in good vintage goddess fashion) to get crafty with my easy treats.  I melted the spread in my trusty microwave and proceeded to dunk, drizzle spread and dot my cookies. 

Now for the taste test…. and who better to use? Work colleagues!  Well I got lots of compliments on my baking, but really, who isn’t glad when they get a treat at work!? 😉 they did finish them all and asked if I could make more! that’s a good sign then…So now I’m on my way to the perfect tea party.  What’s next, soufflé? Homemade meringues?!   We’ll see.  Must ask my grandmother if I can borrow her lace doilies. Any who… I’m on my way to impressing through the belly…Until next time…


Oh and here’s the recipe, don’t forget the chocolate spread!



225g/8oz  Cream plain Flour
75g/3oz  Porridge Oatflakes
200g/7oz Margarine (room temperature)
124g/4oz Icing Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence


For Dusting

Caster Sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease a flat baking sheet.
  2. Put the margarine and icing sugar into a bowl and beat until creamy.
  3. Add vanilla essence and oatflakes and mix well.
  4. Finally add the flour and bring mixture together to form a dough.
  5. Knead on a lightly floured board. Shape into a sausage like roll about 2″ in diameter. Wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour.
  6. Cut slices from roll and place on the prepared tin. Sprinkle with caster sugar and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until brown around the edges.
  7. Leave on baking sheet for a few minutes to “set” then transfer to a wire tray to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.


Charity shops in Dublin

In my experience everyone loves a bargain, so what could be better than a charity shop where everything is a bargain all of the time? Nothing. Nothing is the correct answer. Now please excuse me while I state the obvious but obviously being a charity all of the profit goes to helping others which is obviously a super bonus. Also in a sort of less overt way you are also helping the planet by re-using and recycling. Lovely.

So as a lover of feeling good and spending less, I have been perusing Dublin’s charity shops for many, many years. I find the best way to tackle their hit and miss nature is just to pop in while you’re passing by. This way there’s no disappointment when you don’t find anything, only delightful surprise when you do. Hurrah!

In the picture below you will see a collection of my all time favourite finds. Including a bright orange velvet jacket remade from old curtains (Enable Ireland, Capel Street, €12.50), a shell art rabbit (Enable Ireland, Georges Street, €3.50) and a feathered hat (Wa-Wa, Aungier Street, €10.00). I never knew that I needed these items but now I feel, with only slight exaggeration, that I couldn’t live without them.

If you haven’t experienced the highs and lows of charity shopping then here are my top five charity shops in the city centre to get you started…


Oxfam Home, Francis Street.

I rarely need a three piece settee or turn of the century dining room table but somehow I find myself standing in Oxfam Home admiring such items alarmingly frequently while I consider my poor finances.

You will see beautiful things, and you will want them. Be prepared to have to converse at length with your inner id:

“Oh but that dark mahogany letter writing desk will look just perfect in the east wing!”

“We haven’t got an east wing. We live in a studio apartment…”

“Oh tut tut, don’t be so negative.” You have been warned.


St.Vincent de Paul, Aungier Street.

The only charity shop I know that is constantly having sales with balloons at the door and a CD player playing all your favourite hits from the 90’s.

You know that blouse you were just considering? Well it was €2, now only €1! Oh all right then, have it for 75cent!


Ritzy Rags, Bolton Street.

This is the strangest of all the charity shops in the city. A rare breed where everything is beautifully organised and, unexpectedly enough, comes from Paris – Paris, France! How chic! There’ll be no raggedy old Dunnes Stores numbers to be found here. I have heard tales of beautiful designer gear being discovered unassumingly and, of course, neatly folded in a box (although Ritzy Rags is a bit of a mysterious establishment and these could be urban legends).


Enable Ireland, Georges Street.

I don’t know who does the window display here but kudos. I can’t pass without gawking.


Age Action, Camden Street.

First of all, like Ritzy Rags, Age Action supports the elderly which is a great thing. Secondly, I’m not a fan of its recent make over. I feel like the white wash floors and window display took away some of the charm of the place. Is that just me being weird? Probably is. They also have copped on to Oxfam’s (the one on Georges Street) idea of creating a pricier vintage section. I haven’t placed that particular Oxfam on my list as it is sort of “The Ritz” of the city centre charity shop circuit- meaning nice but over priced. Of course a charity shop that is over priced is still cheap in the scheme of things. I’ve gone off point, but basically Age Action is a great.