Wednesday Q&A: Gemma from Retro Chick

Today we are lucky enough to feature an adorable fashion blogger with a flair for retro style and vintage clothing. Say hello to Gemma, Gemmathe editor of Retro Chick, who entertains her readers daily with fashion tips, coverage of events like London’s Fashion Week, and even video tutorials on how to achieve fabulous retro looks (make sure you check out this video on how to create vintage style hair rolls…so cute!) Here she gives us a glimpse of her own personal style and offers some advice for the fashion-timid. Make sure you also drop by our sister blog next week to read her post about scarves as a travel necessity.

Q: Tell us a little about current handbag trends.

A: Handbags for spring and summer will mirror the trend on the catwalks towards a girlier style, so there will be lots of feminine bags, candy colours, nudes and embroidery.

Q: What is your personal purse style?

A: For day I like big practical bags with a shoulder strap, bags that I can chuck everything into. At the moment I’m permanently attached to my Lulu Guinness City Tote (Editor’s note: for a similar American version, try our Quilted Tote). For evening I like sleek and chic clutch bags; my current favourite is a black patent leather vintage clutch.

Q: What’s in your purse, always?

A: I can’t live without my phone to check my emails on the go – plus, it also doubles as my camera. Obviously I need my purse, but I also carry my passport (you never know!), sunglasses, gloves, lip balm, hand cream, a pink multi tool and a mini maglight (be prepared!) Also in the bottom of my bag is a compacted layer of old receipts, bottle caps, hair bands and tube tickets.

Q: What advice would you give someone struggling with which handbag to choose?

A: Think about what’s practical for your life and your style. There’s no point choosing a tiny, embroidered, feminine clutch if you spend your days dressed in sportwear and need to carry a lot of stuff with you!

You carry it with you everyday, kick it around the floor, fill it to the brim with heavy things and still expect it to look good, so I would say it’s important to buy the best handbag you can afford as your main “everyday” bag to make sure it doesn’t fall apart and drop your entire life all over the floor.

Q: Tell us about your blog. What do you hope to accomplish with it?

A: I started Retro Chick because I was selling vintage and pre-owned clothing and wanted somewhere to write about new finds, but it’s evolved into so much more than that. I was so sick of reading endless catwalk reports and rehashes of vogue fashion shoots on other blogs. I love vintage style, but I’m also interested in interpreting fashion trends my own way and taking a more ethical and sustainable stance on fashion. I want Retro Chick to be a place for the girl who’s a bit quirky but keeps one eye on fashion without slavishly subscribing to the trends.

Q: Is there anything else you’re dying to share?

A: Never be scared to wear exactly what you want. Even something as simple as a bright handbag or some lipstick can give you confidence and a spring in your walk that’ll make you feel happier and more positive. Too many women feel constrained by what everyone else is wearing because they don’t want to stand out. Just because they’re boring and dowdy doesn’t mean you have to be!

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