Thursday, 30 August 2012

Having your Cake and Eating It

Nowadays we can have it all.  Mod or punk chav or greebo, we can pick indiscriminately from different styles and eras safe in the knowledge that our clothes need not be tied up with our politics.  This stretches further than merely our wardrobes.  Take our homes, I love my 1950s curtains but I am not a vintage purist, I am not about to do away with my telly and my coffee machine any time soon.  I can categorise myself in other-words as being selectively nostalgic in my taste; I’ll have the 1950s frock without the 1950s sexism on the side!  This week I simultaneously happened upon these 1970s PVC pinnies at Armstrongs in The Grassmarket and this 1970s cookbook.
This combination required an unprecedented commitment to one era from me...this was the effect:
Not wanting to do away with 21st century culture all together and as a homage to season 3 of The Great British Bake Off, I decided that it was perfectly acceptable to use an electric fan assisted oven!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

For the Gents.

Well Gentlemen, it's time to put the tops back on, add a jumper and invest in a jacket for the chilly autumn ahead! And what better jacket than a timeless tweed? With Britain amidst an iconic year, it seems the Heritage trend is taking hold once again, and what better way to wrap up warm than with a brilliant tweed jacket?

Tweed has been on the radar for some time, with Dr. Who bringing it back over the past few years. But it's not just for time travel, oh no! The trusty tweed suits every occasion, from outdoor country pursuits, to a night on the town. 

The Harris Tweed is about quality and style, history and heritage. It is the fabric of choice for many of the world’s leading designers as well as their most discerning clients. When you buy Harris Tweed you are guaranteed the best, safe in the knowledge that the Orb secures a perfect cloth for years of use. 

We have a variety of vintage Harris Tweed jackets, along with plenty of other brands, so why not pop on over to our online store here and get yourself one! The perfect addition for the winter wardrobe for every dapper gentleman!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Here ye! Here ye! Read all about it...

Armstrong's have only gone and made it to the front cover of today's Edinburgh Evening News!!

Here's a sneak preview into the amazing shoot, using an array of Armstrong's vintage delights.

Styled by Lynne McCrossan.

Very in-keeping with the nations recurring patriotic theme!

Well, we will never doubt the infamous 'onsie' again!  Who knew it could look so stylish?!

Check out the full spread in tonight's copy of the Edinburgh Evening News! 

This 1930s original floral dress is just darling!  Remember a wide range of our stock is also available online at

Like what you see? Come visit us in Edinburgh at one of our three stores.

83 The Grassmarket
0131 220 5557

64-66 Clerk Street
0131 667 3056

14 Teviot Place
0131 226 4634

 And in case you missed it, we were also featured last week following Armstrong's latest venture onto Edinburgh's high street, in the form of a large concession based in Miss Selfridge

 Be sure to check us out; located at

 Miss Selfridge
Hanover Street

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

How to Dress for the Edinburgh Festival

We are coming to the end of August, the month in which Edinburgh residents rent their flats out to Londoners for London prices so that they can finally get some sunshine.  Not so for all of us, some must stay and brave it out.  Every year I think I have it sussed, every year I have the same wardrobe malfunctions.  Here is the unwritten guide to dressing for the festival, take heed of these words of wisdom and you will avoid discomfort, to some extent at least.

Beware of:
Cobbled Streets.  I strongly disagree with those who swear by the ballet flat.  These are bad for your posture, the arches of your feet and your air of authority as you stride purposefully over the cobbles.  Edinburgh festival requires a short, stout, no nonsense 1940s style heel, nothing too high or you will be singled out as an impostor and ruthlessly attacked with flyers, which brings me onto my next point...

Flyering.  Every show gets at least fours stars, in fact if you can find one with less it might be worth taking the flyer for it as these are a rare commodity and a collectible item.  To avoid carrying the hopes and dreams of every wannabe comedian I suggest instead gripping tightly to a boxy handbag.  This can act both as an excuse for not taking said flyers and as a kind of battering ram to get you through the crowds.  See examples below.

Sudden Rain.  Obviously a Mac is a sensible solution – both lightweight and waterproof it is more effective than the humble brolly as rain in Edinburgh tends to come at you sideways and even, on occasions, bounce off those pesky cobbles back into your face.  Do carry the brolly as a precautionary measure however, just never actually put it up.  Instead use it rather like your handbag; for crowd control and navigation.  See below.

Sudden Sun (a somewhat rarer commodity): Do not laden yourself down with factor fifty and a deckchair.  All you need is a pair of retro glasses tucked in your bag.  I am also an advocate of the fan.  Yesterday I was squeezed into a container watching...I don’t know what as I spent the entire hour wondering why no one has launched a marketing campaign to re-brand the fan and bring it back into everyday use.

Finally beware of this:
Bloating.  Most of your meals will consist of something in a roll so make sure your clothes are forgiving!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Pickpocket Thursday

We found a ticket for the 'Motorcycle Action Group' rally held in 1995 in the pocket of this lovely Belstaff jacket this week.

There are around 200 million motorcycles being used worldwide these days. The first motorcycle was developed in 1885 in Germany but it was a while until these motorbikes resembled anything we would recognise these days as a bike!

It will have looked something like this...

What comes to mind when you think of motorbikes?

Is it this? 

Or this?

This perhaps?

Maybe even this?

This more like it?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

We're on Instagram!!

We have added to our collection of social networking, and decided to get ourselves an instagram! You can find us by searching for @armstrongsvintage. We'll be keeping you up to date with all the latest in our wonderful world of vintage come along and follow us for exclusive updates!

Today we had a little look at the Outfits Of The Day at our eBay office...

Come follow us on instagram - @armstrongsvintage

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Gold Medal Look

This week everyone was watching these lovely ladies... 

... GB women’s beach volleyball team.  It was what was going on between matches that caught my eye however!

These 1950s dancing beach beauties stole the show and highlighted a few flaws in the skimpier swimwear of today.  If you don’t believe me just take a look at the stylometer below which clearly states that beachwear peaked circa 1954.

Post 1940s austerity we saw the gentle emergence of a more feminine, softer shoulder shape, a nipped in waist and, dare I say it in a double dip recession, a hint of luxury.  Corset manufacturers cottoned on to this; they had a bit of time on their hands as no one was wearing their products anymore!  They saw a market for something a little more revealing that would still cunningly disguise any lumps and bumps.  Bra cups, boning and stretch tummy panels were employed to create the new look and the costume was cut across the top of the leg to conceal the crotch in a style prudishly named ‘the modesty apron’.

I looked out a few ways that you could channel 1950s luxury on the beach this summer from our Clerk Street store.

What will you accessorise yours with?

Just in case the boys were feeling left out...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Pickpocket Thursday

This week we were delighted to find a thank-you note addressed to Dr John from Ruby.

We're not doctors here at Armstrongs, but we can recommend a 'vintage' prescription that's been handed down to us along with some 70s maxi dresses and the colour of our eyes. Here's an age old mother's recipe for a sore throat:
Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water. Stir well and drink up to 3 -4 cups per day.

We also recommend looking at a healthy dose of cute dribbling baby photos because silly things make you feel good too...

Bye bye for now Pocketeers!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Chain Reaction

Chainmail; a fashion statement of empowerment, resistance and rebellion, a declaration to those around you that you mean business!  Think Russell Crow in Gladiator, Vivienne Westward’s punk rock SEX shop, Liz Hurley in that safety pin dress (a 1990s twist on the chainmail look), Paco Rabanne... Pat Butcher!  The chain links the cheap and tacky to the one of a kind luxury through the decades; an all encompassing symbol of strength.  Let us not reduce the chain to the shoulder strap on a knock off Chanel handbag in a Primark bargain bin, let us reclaim the chain!

Why now?  This is the summer after all.  We should be artfully arranging ourselves on plaid rugs next to picnic hampers, channelling Rachel Khoo and cooking up madeleines in 1950s ditsy prints, drinking gin with sprigs of lavender in it – according to the Observer last week!  I am however yet to see the sun from Edinburgh this year and, in light of having to practically swim through the park last week due to the recent bout of flooding, perhaps this British summer we need a fashion statement of defiance against the odds.

The chain does of course have practical origins.  Chainmail and its use in armour can be seen in historical imagery dating back to 300BC. Today its practical uses may be a little less glamorous than those of the Middle Ages; chainmail is now used to protect butchers against the perils of the meat packing equipment.  The empowering quality of chainmail however remains steadfast, for what modern woman does not want to be the embodiment of strength and flexibility!

This look can be as bold as you dare but here are a few Armstrongs examples found at Teviot Place today to give you an idea.