It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s our favourite time of year! Christmas inspires nostalgia and perks up traditions like no other time. Our Tootsie hearts are all a flutter at the sight of twinkly lights and the smell of mulled wine. Our feelings for the season are unwavering… Christmas, we adore you!

We are particularly excited about Paddington 2 (the M&S Christmas ad has done a marvellous job of whetting our appetites ahead of the film) and Love Actually accompanied by live orchestra! Not to mention the usual favourites: Ice skating at Somerset House or The Natural History Museum, Leading the carols at Ascot Racecourse, and singing by the prettiest tree in town at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Photo: Adam Robertson | Hair: Pretty Me Vintage | Dresses: Collectif Clothing

We love how it’s more evident than ever at this time of year that rituals are carried from generation to generation. This conversation got us chatting about family Christmas traditions, where they originate, and what new traditions we have unknowingly introduced in more recent years. Do you have the answers to these questions about your own Christmases?

We also found ourselves reflecting on the year passed, wondering if the words ‘tradition’ and ‘traditionally’ have lost some of their positive connotations in the age we live in? Christmas aside, traditional behaviours and routines are frequently questioned and instinctively remodelled. We are huge believers in mixing the best of the old with the best of the new. Learning from the past to optimise the present. Is it more common to defy ‘traditional’ expectation than comply these days? Or is it simply easier to question and be heard? People have always questioned the norm, however social media has played a huge role in facilitating people speaking out: exercising their voice with confidence and not only that, often garnering wide support for their beliefs. Traditionally, it would have been much harder to do so in such a far reaching way. This year has certainly felt the power of the hashtag, and seen the rise of Instagram stories.

Turning our thoughts back to Christmas it seems many of our personal family traditions remain absolutely in tact. May Christmas always be a time to slow down, appreciate and reflect, acknowledging positive world developments while allowing the concerning changes to focus us on what we believe to be right, honing balance and clear priorities for ourselves. We hope that for as many people as possible Christmas is a time that centres around the simple things that really count, the unwavering traditions that will hopefully never change: togetherness, thoughtfulness, celebration, inclusiveness, nourishment, recuperation, and loved ones.

Here are some of our favourite family traditions that have been passed down through generations and are no doubt not that dissimilar to yours:


Photo: Adam Robertson | Hair: Pretty Me Vintage | Suit: Lindybop

“My father always read us ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve, first published in the 1800s. He did so with such enthusiasm and character, a truly cherished memory of mine. Although we haven’t read it in more recent years, I am absolutely certain the book will be dusted off as soon as my siblings or I have children of our own! The famous, atmospheric poem heightened our excitement as children and still does when I hear it featured in a film or on an advert. If it isn’t a gleaming example of Christmas tradition, I don’t know what is! The eloquent narration of Santa’s visit has become a worldwide institution and remains popular almost two hundred years later. I adore the idea that it was read to my parents as children and that I will hopefully be able to do the same one day.”



Photo: Adam Robertson | Hair: Pretty Me Vintage | Suit: Lindybop

In our family we have a Christmas meal tradition of “A table present”. After the excitement, and haste, with which we open our presents first thing on Christmas morning, there’s still lots more to look forward to: a Christmas meal, seeing family, singing away to Christmas songs. However, my mum always surprises us with a “table present”. Just after dinner while we’re sharing our Christmas cracker jokes my mum gives everyone in the family one last gift. They are usually small in size (in order to fit on the table and befit their name) but not in thought or value. Over the years I’ve received all sorts from my favourite CD (when music wasn’t downloadable!) to my favourite perfume. My sister and I have returned the tradition and now buy table gifts, to accompany my mum’s, for the family. A few years ago my sister received a wonderful table present in the form of an engagement ring when her boyfriend (now husband) got down on one knee after dinner and proposed to her in front of the whole family!”



Photo: Adam Robertson | Hair: Pretty Me Vintage | Suit: Lindybop

“Our Christmases are a mash up of traditions from my Mum and Dad. On Christmas Eve we prepare the food for the cooking marathon the next day and drop off presents to nearby family members. This is a tradition passed down from my Mum and my Welsh grandparents who were incredibly sociable and loved the Christmas party season where they could catch up with friends and family. My Dad is from the North East and spent a lot of his childhood going for family walks and holidaying near the seaside. My parents now live very close to the Northumberland Coast and every year after opening our stockings on Christmas Day we bundle up and head out to the, usually freezing cold, beach for a long walk. However, I must admit, there is one tradition that has fallen by the wayside… my Granny would always go for a dip in the North Sea. None of us are brave enough to follow through on that one! This year we’re actually breaking a tradition and celebrating our first Christmas down in London at my sister’s house. My three and six year old niece and nephew are incredibly excited about this and as soon as the plan was made they started to brainstorm their ideas for the family walk. During the year it can be a challenge to get windows of time where all the family can get together. Christmas is a sacred time where we (almost) always manage to do this and some of my most precious memories are from these holidays. It doesn’t matter where we are as long as we’re together is what matters and I’m looking forward to celebrating old traditions and creating some new ones this year.




Photo: Adam Robertson | Hair: Pretty Me Vintage | Suit: Lindybop

“Like Anna, our household Christmas traditions are a mixture of both sides of the family. My Dad’s family are originally from Germany, so Christmas Eve was always the big deal. I have fond memories of being at Grandma’s on Christmas Eve, decorating the tree, eating Stollen and exchanging presents a full 24 hours before everyone else. My Mum’s side of the family hail from the North of England and their traditions are altogether less conventional and more involved… Christmas morning begins very early as our most prominent ritual requires a lot of time. Presents are opened one at a time, in order of age, with the youngest family member starting first. Not necessarily a lengthy process, you might think, but then every person present whether family member close or distant, long standing friend, or foreign student far from home, is given a full stocking. Each one of us gets to see what everyone else has been given, and it genuinely instils the joy of gift-giving from a young age (as well as gift-receiving!). I remember my Grandmother’s apparently boundless joy when she opened a box of home-made chocolate truffles, stickily rolled by my pudgy 4-year-old hands and stuffed into a re-used cardboard box. A proud moment indeed. My grandparents lengthened the process even further by writing poems, rhymes and sometimes even sonnets on the outside of the presents to give a clue to the contents. Much to the relief of anyone sharing Christmas at our house, this tradition seems to have dwindled over the years!”



Photo: Adam Robertson | Hair: Pretty Me Vintage | Suit: Lindybop

“My family Christmas tradition, handed down through generations, is the Crimbo eve present! It started as an assurance that you were indeed on the Good List & Santa would be visiting that coming eve. As a child I would wake up & rush to the front door – as Crimbo eve gifts came through the post box as festive power wasn’t in full swing until after dark – to see if I had gifts from the big man waiting for me!

Now I’m a woman in my 30s I still receive my Crimbo eve gifts & my amazing mum still leaves them amongst the morning post as a nod to our tradition. The gifts have always been the same: a film & a pair of festive PJ’s. Once upon a time it was the latest Disney release to be watched with hot choc in fluffy Santa adorned pyjamas… now it’s a festive favourite on DVD, that is watched snuggled in White Company loungewear while enjoying the first snowball cocktail of the holiday. The smiles & the sense of excitement from the whole family haven’t changed a bit!”



Photography Adam Robertson

Hair Pretty Me Vintage

Suits Lindybop

Dresses Collectif Clothing




Home House Photoshoot | Behind the Scenes

Our latest photoshoot at Home House London was one of our biggest to date. The mission; to shoot four fabulous looks in one day. A task taken on by our creative dream team Stylist Joanna Femi Ola and Photographer Adam Robertson.  They were supported by our incredibly talented glam squad Charlie Wilkinson (hair sculptor extraodinaire) and Arabella Webster (Queen of the cat-eye liner).

Home House was a stunning and versatile venue, with every room showcasing eclectic pieces of art which was a perfect fit for our “best of old meets the best of new” mantra.

Our Stylist Joanna Femi Ola pulled some stunning gowns and looks from an array of our favourite designers.  The dress up days are certainly some of best days to be a Tootsie! She worked with each of our body shapes and personalities to make us look and feel super confident.

Dresses by Kirsty Doyle and Stewart Parvin | Jewels by Merola London  Carat  and Michi Jewellery

Dresses by Chi Chi Clothing | Jewels Eva May Jewels

Charlie Wilkinson and Arabella Webster worked insanely quickly to create four different hair and make up designs for us in each look. We have spent a lot of time doing our hair and make-up during our Tootsie career and couldn’t believe the talent of these ladies. We believe there’s nothing they can’t do!

Suit jackets by Rokit Vintage and Stewart Parvin

Dresses by Zoe Vine | Cupcakes by Mary Clare

Adam Robertson is an absolute master of photography. He’s so much fun on a shoot it helps to keep everyone relaxed and at ease in front of the camera. He sent us over these shots which we absolutely adored and got us super excited for the final edits (watch this blog…)

Time for a team photo (minus the amazing Arabella)


Photos by Adam Robertson


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Lady Jane Vintage make-up

We were so excited to see that Lady Jane Vintage has started her own cosmetics range. Not only is it beautiful to look at, the packaging is so retro kitsch and looks divine on our dressing tables, but we have found it’s also gorgeous to wear.

Here are some of our favourite products…


The foundation is free from preservatives, dyes and bismuth oxychloride. It contains
skin healing ingredients so is perfect for sensitive or blemish prone skin.

“The foundation makes your skin feel silky to touch.  I love that it’s helping my skin instead of clogging it, as regular foundations often do” Flo


“I LOVED the eyeliner. I’m a massive Coke fan so that helped… The brush isn’t too flimsy so helps you create a decent vintage line” Lisa


“The Cola liquid eyeliner gives a sleek line and pops a smile on your face – it’s the cutest packaging on the market!”  Meg


The lavender lipsticks are free from preservatives and contain vitamin E, jojoba and lavender oil. They are packaged in super-cute bamboo cases and also double up as a cream blusher.

“The Lady Jane lipstick is a subtle colour of red perfect for daytime wear.  I loved the lavender scent which made it feel incredibly soothing to wear” Anna


“The colour really pops and it lasted well” Katy


For more information you can visit

Our night at the National Vintage Awards

On Wednesday the 15th of July six Tootsies bundled into our lovely tour bus bright and early. Now, normally we are not women that welcome an early morning… However this morning we were on our way to the NATIONAL VINTAGE AWARDS!

Over the last seven years we have seen the vintage industry grow and transition so rapidly, we could hardly contain our excitement on the way to an event celebrating our wonderful community!

After a few hours of sing-songs, snacks and chat we arrived at the beautiful Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham. Built as a spa building in 1740, the decadent venue really could not have been more perfect to host the NTAs!


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Ascot – Day 5 – Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins inspires our final look. The charming, colourful and fun household favourite seemed the ideal choice to round off a sensational week of style, singing, society and sunshine at Royal Ascot. The quintessentially British story, made world famous by Disney, won five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews, and of course features the delightful animated scene when the carousel horses come to life, springing from the merry go round entering into a race – how very Ascot!


In the same sequence Burt dances with enchanting animated penguins (which happen to be Tootsie Anna’s absolute favourite animal!)

Mary Poppins is one of the best known films for combining live action footage with animation in this way. We are big fans of the blending of the old and the new, as can be heard in our top Tootsie tunes.

The deal was instantly sealed: Day 5 of Royal Ascot 2015 required a Poppins piece de resistance ensemble!

The Dress

We knew we wanted our dress choice to bring a smile to passers by, so we set about finding a fabric that would reflect the animated aspect of Mary Poppins as well as the zingy colours of Bert’s memorable striped blazer. Mary wears full skirts, with this in mind we’ve opted for a similarly flared dress, but have raised the hemline above the nanny’s preferred style, adding a 50s Tootsie twist.


The unusual neckline closes with a feature button; a nod to the practically perfect neatly closed blouse collar, but again with a Tootsie twist.

These dresses are ‘Wendy Lou’  from retro repro designer Lindy Bop.

The Hat

There was no other choice for a sunny Saturday hat than the British classic, the boater! 

We adored Bert’s in the movie and set about to create six replicas using the boaters we wore at Royal Ascot in 2013. Us Tootsie’s love a bit of ‘make do and mend’!

Flo found some beautiful grosgrain in our favourite ribbon shop, V.V.Rouleaux, that matched the dresses perfectly. She sewed it around the hats in stripes, just like Bert’s.

To add a little feminine twist Flo made three cute bows to cover the ribbon join at the back.

In homage to our millinery mentor, Susie Hopkins, she added three orange gems to the centre of the bows. Susie always finishes her marvellous creations with a little Swarovski crystal to catch the eye 😉


It’s Day Five, and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from our four years at Ascot, it’s that we need a comfy shoe for the final day!!  Of course we also wanted to remain chic and vintage, so we’ve opted for super useful nude wedge from New Look.


There was nothing more perfect for this look than our faithful Collectif pearls.


You can never count on the English Summer weather so we’ve come today armed with three lovely umbrellas from Fulton. We’re sad we couldn’t have a ‘practically perfect’ duck beak on the handle, but they’ll be ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ if it rains!!!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Movie-themed week of outfits here at Royal Ascot; we’ve certainly loved putting each of the looks together with the priceless help of stylist-extraordinaire, Joanna Femi-Ola! We love you Jo! Thank you x

Ascot – Ladies Day – The Seven Year Itch



It’s Ladies Day and we’re taking inspiration from Hollywood’s all-time First Lady, Marilyn. Knowing our readers I’m sure we don’t need to spell out which iconic look has inspired day three? Yep, you guessed it! THE white dress.


Not only is Marilyn one of the THE most famous women in film history but we also learnt recently that she was a huge fan of legendary jazz singer (another of our idols) Ella Fitzgerald.  In 1955, Marilyn convinced the owner of her favourite nightclub ‘Mocambo’ in L.A. to lift the colour bar and allow Ella to perform there in return for her sitting on the front row every night that week. The knowledge that these two ladies were firm friends makes us so unbelievably happy. Ultimate girl power!



Today’s look, inspired by Seven Year Itch, left little room for dispute when it came to what style dress to wear; we had to draw on the iconic and unforgettable scene when Marilyn Monroe stands on the subway grate and her skirt get’s blown up in the wind. Whether you’ve seen the film or not, people are familiar with this moment of movie magic!

Unfortunately Royal Ascot’s Dress code prevents us from imitating the famous halter neck design but this gorgeous frock from ASOS does a pretty good job. The under-gathering gives us the same feel as Marilyn’s dress, whilst still maintaining a ‘greater than 1inch strap’. The shirt is full and blousy, perfect for catching any flurries of wind!  We adore them.

Fun fact: The original dress worn by Marilyn sold at auction in 2011 for $4.6m.




Jayne Elwell of The Libertarian Millinery has created six unique hats, each one inspired by a hat Marilyn herself wore. She is using satin and tulle, with a touch of netting, to create headpieces fit for any screen starlet.



We wanted to keep Ladies Day as classic, elegant and vintage as possible and really feel we’ve achieved this with the help of ASOS and Jayne.



By day three of our wonderful Ascot week we knew we would need a special pair of shoes to envelope our weary feet. Today we are wearing Jazz Heel Black Suede Court Shoes by designer Cleo B. They are an elegant, timeless style much like many of the shoes Marilyn Monroe wore.


Our stylist, Jo, had mentioned shoe designer Cleo B to us; specifically her unique shoe clips. As if by magic Meg found herself sat opposite Cleo at a Supper Club evening in London. We love Cleo’s shoe clips – they allow you to embellish your feet according to your mood, and are a perfect addition to our Tootsie style. We like to add a touch of fun wherever possible, exactly as Cleo advocates. Today we’ll be wearing Cleo B Hollywood Natalie Jet Clips to pay homage to Marilyn’s signature song Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend. We shall be serenading race goers with this ditty to match



We can certainly confirm that Carat London are a girl’s best friend.


Last year on a rainy day in London Town we met the Sunshine that is THE Lulu Guinness over breakfast. We already so much admiration for Lulu & her iconic brand BUT meeting the legend in person transformed that admiration firmly into love.

Lulu is the living, breathing personification of her brand. You will never catch her without her trademark red lipstick. She is inspirational & fun. A business titan with a naughty laugh. Quite simply everything you would hope she would be and so much more! Lulu started her design career creating beautiful colourful brief cases, but buyers wanted bags that were even more “Her”. Soon after the infamous flower basket was created & a brand was born.

Today is ladies day here at Royal Ascot & we will be wearing Lulu Guinness classic lip & lip stick clasp clutches. Not only are these pieces beautiful but the distinctive Dali-esque lips have been key in transporting the Surrealist art movement into mainstream popular culture.
Lulu still lives by the motto of her hero, the Surrealist artisan and fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, ‘Dare to Be Different’ and the women who wear Lulu Guinness do just that!

Royal Ascot 2015 – Look One – Funny Face


When we saw these stunning out-take shots of Audrey Hepburn from the classic ‘Funny Face’ Tootsie Flo’s imagination went into overdrive with ideas for out first Ascot look.  Audrey is one of our ultimate icons; not only was she a beautiful actress with endless amounts of class, she also devoted herself to charitable causes and in 1992 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.


With our ‘Audrey Dove’ theme under our hats we took to the internet to find other images to help shape our ideas


Even Gaga is a fan

We took our pinboard of images to the magnificent milliner Bee Smith.  Without even batting an eyelid Bee reeled off her ideas of how to get the look and said she couldn’t wait to get started.





Simultaneously, our incredible Stylist Joanna Femi Ola was meeting with one of our favourite designers Stewart Parvin.  We were lucky enough to wear a collection of Stewart’s gowns on the red carpet last month for The Kevin Spacey Gala at The Old Vid Theatre and were beyond thrilled when he offered to create us a bespoke ‘Audrey’ look for our Day One at Royal Ascot.  Stewart and Joanna opted for a ‘candy pink’ fabric, inspired by the iconic opening number from Funny Face.

The Editor-in-Chief of the fictional magazine ‘Quality’ exclaims “Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman what a woman oughtta think, But tell her if she’s gotta think: think Pink!”


IMG_7230   IMG_7234


Each dress was fitted to our body shapes which gave us an extra confidence boost stepping out at Ascot. We should be in good company with Clare Balding and The Queen being two names on Stewart’s star studded client list!






Our incredible Stylist Joanna Femi Ola
Our incredible Stylist Joanna Femi Ola

Our shoes have been designed for us by the incredible Harriet Wilde. She created the detail on the heels to match our ‘Audrey’  dresses.  We swooned as we opened the box. Such a gorgeous touch!




Carat London have given us some dazzling jewels to complete the look 


Upon re-watching the film recently we discovered that the instrumental theme throughout is Gershwin’s S’wonderful. This has long been a firm favourite of ours and has been in our set for years… We hope you agree that we’ve done a ‘S’wonderful’ job of our outfits today!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s MGM-inspired look….here’s a little hint:  “doodle-do-do…” 😉

Styling by Joanna Femi Ola

Come & roll with us for more retro fun


Tootsie Leading Ladies: Rachel ‘Rae’ Egglestone – Evans

Rachel ‘Rae’ Egglestone – Evans is the Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and as it says on their website, “this super glam magazine is full of vintage style.” It has been a Tootsie staple from the early days, giving us inspiration and an insight into other vintage lovers lives from all over the UK (and now all over the world).  We were lucky enough to bump into Rachel a few years ago at Twinwood Festival.   We hit it off straight away. Compelled by her passion, determination & shared sense of fun we have been firm friends since.  We were thrilled to be asked to come onboard ‘The Vintage Life Team’ as Music Columnists and it has been incredible to see Vintage Life Magazine soar in popularity and distribution. However, with Rachel at the helm we always knew that it would.

We’re delighted to to have her as our first interview in our series of #tootsieleadingladies blogs.
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Behind the Scenes at Tootsie Towers

There‘s a buzz at Tootsie Towers.  Creativity is blooming, much like the daffodils, and the theme for spring seems to be multitasking!  Luckily there are six of us.

When we meet new people they tend to want to know about behind the scenes details:  six friends singing, styling, writing, reflecting, laughing, lamenting, planning, performing, creating, choreographing, dreaming, developing, travelling, Tootsieing!

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