The Great Dickens Fair

‘Tis the season for great merriment and a ho ho ho, so off to a Victorian London I go!

The annual Dickens Fair is a holiday party that takes place in Victorian London in the 1800s. Although I am a vintage lover, I admit my knowledge only goes as far back as the 1920s. Anything in the century before that I am quite clueless, so even I had to brush up on the era of dress that bears my name.

The Victorian Era refers to Queen Victoria’s reign in the United Kingdom, from the 1830s-1901. Boned corsets, layers of petticoats, décolletage revealing necklines, and bonnets are just a few hallmarks of womens’ Victorian style dress, while the Victorian gentleman often sported a top hat, frock coat, and walking cane. Attending the Dickens Fair was like a fashion history lesson, because not only are the characters and entertainers are decked out to the Victorian nines, but attendees are also encouraged to dress the part. Who can’t refuse being outfitted in period dress? Certainly not I! A hoop skirt I do not have, but I’ve got the tulle time for Yuletide.

Stepping into the arena, I felt transported through time. A stomping river dance performance to my left, sounds of British English in my ears, and the smell of roasted chestnuts – crikey, it was a Victorian sensory overload! The Grand Concourse was festooned with Union Jack flags and strings of lights, while the streets were dusted with freshly fallen fake snow. Pubs, eating establishments, theaters, music halls, and purveyors of Victorian wares lined the streets of old London into a merry holiday fanfare that never ceased to entertain.

I curtseyed to her majesty Queen Victoria as she made her way through the streets, sang along with carolers to my favorite Christmas songs, and oogled at just about everyone’s Victorian outfits, taking note of how I could improve my ensemble for greater vintage precision next year (a bonnet is a must!). And just as accurately as it would happen in old Victorian London, I attended a riveting reading of A Christmas Carol by Sir Charles Dickens himself.

Nevermind the Ghost of Christmas Past, this has to got be the best Christmas Present yet. God save the queen!

Vintage blazer (similar) | Vintage faux fur stole (similar) | Vintage blouse (similar) | fascinator (similar) | Anthropologie skirt (similar) | vintage oxfords (similar) | vintage dooney & bourke (similar)

Gift in a Box

For Her

Gifts for Her

Have you ever received an unexpected gift during the holidays that caught you by surprise? On the one hand you’re delighted. A gift for moi? You shouldn’t have!

And then, reality sinks in. No really, you shouldn’t have.

We’ve all heard of the saying, “Tis better to give than to receive.” I can agree with this statement to some extent. There is nothing more gratifying than watching your dearest loved ones open a gift in delight to discover something hand picked especially for them. All the while, chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.

While this adage makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it fails to address the guilt befallen to the recipient. On more than a few occasions, I have been the giftee of many a generous gifter. But, like a dolt, I did not have any presents to give in return. Being the fruitcake that I am, instead of a graceful thank you, I offered what I think to be a guilt ridden expression on my face while I sheepishly accepted the present.

The moral of the story is: avoid that awkward social situation like the plague, and be prepared like Doomsday Preppers by having a few stocking stuffers handy, for both his and hers in mind.

You can thank me later – as long as the gift comes wrapped in a pretty little box.

Gifts for Him

For Him