Monday, April 26, 2010

Featured Sponsor: Heyday! Vintage Style

Yay, it's time for more sponsor love! I just adore writing these posts, because all of my sponsors are very cool women who run very cool businesses. Case in point: Shona Van Beers is the owner of Heyday Vintage Style, a company that makes reproduction vintage clothing, an occupation that was inspired by both her love for both sewing and competitive swing dance. Read on for my interview with Shona - and hear how she gets her 40s style trousers to fit perfectly every time!

Gertie: What inspired you to start a vintage clothing reproduction business?

Shona: I grew up in New Zealand and started dancing Rock and Roll when I was 15. My mother had taught me to sew from a really early age and she and turned the lounge into a petticoat factory for a few weeks before my first dance event. I needed garments to thrash in competitions and we didn't know where to go and buy real vintage, so instead we worked with my mother's patterns. If they were not the right era, we altered them to look right by adding a collar, putting a full skirt on a basic bodice, or cropping a jacket to make a bolero. It was quite experimental which I am glad for, as if it had been easy to source the vintage stuff I would not have had the experience I did. From there my style interest moved on with my dancing; I started Lindyhop I did the same thing with a 30s and 40s styling. Somewhere along the way it occurred to me that my friends were in the same boat, needing clothing that could be treated harshly and still looked the part.

I never used to value my sewing, not realizing that I had an ability that others didn't. Every item of clothing [I had], even if it was shop bought, had been customized in some way, even if it was just a hem taken up or a t-shirt nipped in at the waist. Something I did so naturally was also easy to ignore for many years. I think many many people are like that and their talents are hidden to them.

What's your bestselling item and why do you think it's so popular?

It would be my ladies trousers, closely followed by mens trousers. I would say its popularity has a lot to do with it being so incredibly difficult to find ANY vintage trousers, especially in a decent size, and when you do, often they are ill-fitting, with a crotch part-way to your knees. It seems this is how they made them then, whether it was out of modesty sakes or because they didn't know how to improve them. (By the way, an interesting tidbit: ladies didn't have a front fly because it was seen as vulgar!).

I, too, love the trousers you offer. I get a lot of questions about finding the perfect pair of 40s style trousers. Any hints you can offer on finding a flattering fit and style?
Trousers need to hit the right spot in more ways than most garments, especially when they sit on the waist. You have waist and hips to take into account, as well as thigh size and length of leg. 40s trousers should fit well from the waist to the hip line, then drop down in a wide leg. Some girls find the look strange at first, since they are used to hipster jeans with a skinny leg. I think they are immensely flattering on everyone (but of course, I would!)

My trousers can also be adjusted with a inlay in the center back seam (like men's good dress trousers), so if you are curvy you can go up a size to accommodate your hips and thighs, and then take them in at the waist, or, if you are straight up and down, you can go down a size for your hips, and let them out at the waist. And they are long, so you can shorten them as you need to. The hem needs be half an inch from the floor so that you don't trip up.

Readers, I can attest to the customizable, flattering quality of Heyday's trousers - Shona sent me a fabulous black pair which I am going to model for you soon! Heyday is based in the UK, but makes it easy to shop online wherever you may be. So go show a fellow seamstress and vintage enthusiast some love at the Heyday site- tell 'em Gertie sent you!


  1. Hoorah! I'm a huge fan of Heyday and think Fleur ( does a great modeling job.

  2. I need those red swing pants, they are gorgeous!!!!!!!!

  3. I LOVE Heyday! Those swing trousers are perfect. Every vintage loving girl should have a pair in all the colours they do!

  4. Such pretty clothes! I adore those trousers but I would worry about how they'd look on me - I'm really petite, and even shortened, I'd worry that they'd completely swamp me! Anyone know of any small petite ladies who rock these trousers so I can find some sort of comparison? Ever since Elegant Musings made her beautiful pair of vintage trousers, I've really wanted some but worry that I'd have to toddle around in heels to look any good!

  5. If I tell 'em Gertie sent me will I get a discount? :D I love their pants but I seriously need to buy, like, ALL the colours.

  6. Don't those shoes look familiar?
    I am still not in love with the Greta shoe that you previously posted about but the shoes here look fabulous with the head to toe vintage look.

  7. Love those trousers. I'm not sure they'd suit my stubby figure but maybe I'll try some one day.

    I stumbled across this online magazine today and thought it looked like your sort of thing. It's called vintage life.

  8. I've been eyeing these trousers for a while now, but buying trousers is my worst nightmare. I was therefore pleased to read the interview, with details on how to alter them and what to have in mind when buying! Great! Can't wait to see you modelling yours!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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