Buying Vintage Dresses Online – Tips for Success

So you just spent hours searching for vintage clothing stores, sifting through Twitter, comparing prices and have managed to get your heart set on one particular beauty. Press the button right? This is what thousands of online buyers do every day and unfortunately much to their disappointment; get a disappointing product in the mail.

Vintage clothing shouldn’t be purchased with the same mindset you would use for everyday clothes. It’s vintage, it’s awesome, but it also old, it comes from a time when shapes were different and materials were often untreated.

We aren’t trying to spread doom and gloom, but simply say that more attention needs to be paid to the smaller details. This blog post aims to give you some tips and hints which will hopefully help you find that perfect vintage dress.

Vintage Inspired Vs. Vintage


Image Credit: Planet Green

Unfortunately for a large number of true vintage enthusiasts, there has been an increase in the number of ‘vintage inspired’ pieces seen over the last few years. This has resulted in a lot of confused and ultimately disappointed online shoppers. Vintage inspired essentially means; 21st century remake of 20th century clothes. In no way are we suggesting ‘vintage inspired’ to be a bad option; only that it can lead to confusion. The golden rule is – read the full item description before making your vintage purchase.

Double check return policy

Most online retailers will have a clear returns policy. It is vital to find and read this prior to purchasing your vintage items as there are so many potential stumbling blocks.

Find out the condition


Image Credit: Mela Mela

Vintage clothes have obviously been on the shelf or rack for a while and most of them will also have been worn at some point in time. This means that you need to pay additional attention to the condition of your chosen item, less you may end up disappointed. It is highly unlikely that any vintage item will ever be ‘perfect’, the key is to understand exactly what condition your piece is. Most good vintage shops will have created a rating system to grade their stock. Make sure you pay attention to it and if there isn’t one; contact the shop directly to find out.

Check the size, then check it again


Image Credit: A Beatuiful Mess

Women of yesteryear did not have the same average sizes as women of today. Which when translated to clothing, means that the average cuts for vintage items are often very different to what you would find on today’s high street. This means you need to look at the measurements carefully and have a good understanding of your shape. Most good vintage clothing stores will list a whole load of measurements for each item, make sure you pay attention.

This article was brought to you by Mela Mela Vintage, who sell a huge range of vintage clothing online. Mela Mela has a comprehensive selection of vintage clothes including vintage 1960 dresses & skirts.

Lakeside Selection: Favorite Items for the Week

We made it through another week, and we are just days away from the Oscars. If you are having a party, you should check out the post we wrote earlier this week to help you plan the perfect party. Whatever your big plans are for the weekend, you don’t want to miss some of our new spring items. Our favorites are below.


Make your porch or patio shine with the translucent faux gems on this Outdoor Wall Décor. Glass beads cover the creature’s body and glow when hit by the sun’s rays.


Expandable Hot/Cold Food Carrier has upper and lower sections that are insulated to keep cool dishes at just the right temperature. The bottom compartment also features a mylar lining to hold hot dishes right out of the oven and keep them warm. The carrier can accommodate hot casserole dishes or chilled items measuring up to 15″ x 11″. Unzip the top section to expand the carrier.


Polka Dot or Striped Storage Bins have multiple uses around your home. Giant Stuff Bin provides plenty of room for toys, craft supplies, blankets and more. The Laundry Bin holds even the heaviest loads. Use it as a hamper, then carry it to the washer by the sturdy rope-like handles.

A great addition to yard or garden décor, the Tiffany-Style Solar Light also makes a distinctive centerpiece on a patio table or accent on a porch or deck railing. It boasts a beautiful hand painted shade that looks like colorful stained glass.

A great addition to yard or garden décor, the Tiffany-Style Solar Light also makes a distinctive centerpiece on a patio table or accent on a porch or deck railing. It boasts a beautiful hand painted shade that looks like colorful stained glass.


The lace panels that trim the sides of this Women’s Lace Trim Cardigan set it apart from the crowd. It takes an everyday outfit and makes it into something really special. Wear it over a vibrantly colored tank or sleeveless T-shirt for daytime wear or a casual night out.

The History of Valentine’s Day

Seasonal-Dishwasher-Magnet-ArtValentine’s Day. A holiday filled with love, flowers and chocolate. But before the chocolate, greeting cards and flowers, it was a church sanctioned holiday starting around 498 A.D. Filled with a rich and interesting history, Valentine’s Day isn’t just another made up holiday for greeting card companies.

Who Was Saint Valentine?
Because of its long history, it is hard to say who the Saint Valentine was—there were actually many early Christian martyrs named Valentine (or Valentinus). According to Wikipedia, the most popular of these Valentines was, “associated with [being] imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her.” We still use this saying to sign our cards today.

Enter the High Middle Ages
It wasn’t until the middle ages, that Valentine’s day was associated with love. We can thank the poet/author Geoffrey Chaucer for this. In his Parlement of Foules (published in 1382) he wrote: “For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” A handful of other poets in this same time frame also made romantic associations with the holiday during this time.

Fast Forward to the 1700’s
It wasn’t until 1797 that we would see anything that resembles a modern day Valentine postcard. Starting in England, a publisher created The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which were cards written for those who couldn’t express their love as eloquently as they hoped. These Valentines became so popular in England that by the early 19th century they were created in factories to keep up with the demand.

Jump to Modern Day
According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans send 145 million cards each year (this number doesn’t include Valentine’s given at schools). Christmas is the only holiday where more cards are sent. This is a far cry from the beginning of Valentine’s Day. The 20th century is also when giving gifts became the norm for Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that diamonds where associated with the holiday.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? How do you show love to the special people in your life? Let us know in the comments below.

And the Winner Is…You! For Hosting the Perfect Oscar Party

Perfect-Oscar-PartyPeople who think that party season ends with New Year’s Eve are missing out on a great excuse to celebrate: The Oscars. Heat things up this winter by hosting the perfect Academy Awards party.

Set the tone for the evening with fun movie-ticket shaped invites or formal black-and-white numbers. Make a note about attire; a black tie makes for an elegant affair and is a great excuse to wear that evening gown stashed in the back of your closet. For a little bit of levity, suggest guests wear “creative black tie.” It’s fun to see your friends embrace tuxedo t-shirts, tuxedo pants paired with leather tops, and outrageous dresses for the evening.

Set the Mood
Turn your foyer into a red carpet with a red aisle runner to welcome guests. Add some velvet ropes or make your own out of twisted crepe paper. Grab a digital video camera and interview guests as they arrive, then break the ice by inviting everyone to watch the recording. Create a party atmosphere by decorating with foil stars, film reels or cut-outs of Oscar himself. Have fun accessories on hand like feather boas, top hats and tiaras so guests can play dress-up, and leave your favorite movie soundtrack playing in the background.

Food and Drink
Pass fancy hors d’oeuvres like shrimp and caviar on silver trays and offer guests flutes of champagne as the party starts, then serve a buffet main course. Name a dish or two after nominated films, like “Life of Pi Sweet Potato Pie” or “Frankenweenie Cocktail Sausages.” Once the awards show starts, set up a concession-stand-like display of popcorn in red-and-white bags and favorite movie candies that guests can munch while they watch. For dessert, bake star-shaped cookies covered in edible gold glitter or whip up a silky black-and-white mousse served in crystal dessert dishes or martini glasses.

That’s Entertainment
The awards program is the star of the show, but fill in the gaps with Oscar-themed games to keep guests from zoning out in front of the TV. Print some Oscar ballots and ask everyone to predict the winners; the person with the most right answers wins a movie theater gift certificate. Prepare Oscar-themed trivia questions or present your own awards for “best dressed” or “most dramatic entrance” during commercial breaks. Offer the winners plastic versions of the little gold man, and request an acceptance speech.

Your Oscar party, like the movies it celebrates, should be all about entertainment. A touch of glamour, a lot of laughs, and plenty of food and drink make for a festive event where you and your friends might even have more fun than the nominees themselves.

This was a guest post by PJK. 

Image Credit: ArtVoice

Social Monday: A Quick Look at Where You can Find Lakeside on the Web

social-icon-collageThe past 10 years have evolved to a time where most of us maintain not only a life, but an online life as well. Facebook has hit a huge bench mark—it has over one billion users. To put that into perspective, if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world. Let that sink in for a second—that is a huge accomplishment. Today, businesses are connecting with their customers on a whole new level.

You can find The Lakeside Collection on Facebook, pin interesting (or should we say Pinteresting!) pins on Pinterest as well as reading this blog. Today we have collected all of the great places you can find us on the web so you don’t miss a beat.

We started The Lakeside Collection Facebook page back in October of 2010. Since then, we have grown a great network (we like the term Facebook family) of customers who can talk to each other as well our company. We are posting special deals only found on our page as well as fun tips. If you don’t like us our page yet, head on over to see what others are talking about today.

Who isn’t a fan of Pinterest? We knew we had to be part of a place where you can plan a wedding, redecorate your house and find the perfect outfit with a click of your mouse. On our pin boards you can find out how to stay organized, cook a great meal and how to make your garden the talk of the neighborhood. You can follow us here.

This Blog
Blogs are a great place to find information. The Lakeside Collection has to keep up with the latest fashion and home décor trends and we want to share our knowledge. Whether it is planning the perfect party or finding out how to cure the winter blues, you can stay ahead of the curve for all of your lifestyle needs.

Are you on a network we aren’t? Let us know in the comments below.

Credit Image: HJMT

Lakeside Selection: Favorite Items for the Week

Shoe-Wine-Bottle-HoldersSunday we get to see whose music made an impression in the recording industry. While your lounging on the couch watching the Grammy’s check out our favorite items for this week. If you have a big party to go to, rock your dress with our shaping tank. What’s your current favorite Lakeside product? Let us know in the comments below.

Word or Excel Made Easy Books
Word or Excel Made Easy Books are a wonderful program introduction for computer users of all ages. It features easy-to-understand tips on a range of different topics as well as useful information for work, school or your home office.

Long Length Shaping Tank
Banish back bulges with a Long Length Shaping Tank. It features a built-in molded bra for comfort and support. Soft, breathable fabric makes it a great layering piece you can wear all day.

Seasonal Dishwasher Magnet Art
Seasonal Dishwasher Magnet Art makes sure your dishwasher is festively dressed for the holiday. Magnet backing makes them easy to switch as each new holiday approaches.

7-Pc. Reflection Bed Sets
Beautiful 7-Pc. Reflection Bed Set will turn your bedroom into a private oasis. This pleated bedding set features sumptuous silky textures that create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Women’s Frilly Dot Capri Pajama Set
Women’s Frilly Dot Capri Pajama Set is full of adorable details. The capri pants have ruffled trim and an accent bow at the waist. The matching racerback tank has ruffled armholes and a lettuce hem. 

Five Versatile Items Every Closet Needs

five-versatile-items-every-closet-needsA few key types of items and fashion accessories are truly versatile in every sense of the word. If you ever need something to help cap off a great outfit, you need to make sure that your closet is ready to handle that requirement. By having a few well-placed items you can make sure you’re prepared for any situation.

A Black and White Dress

One of the most important things you can have in your closet is a nice black and white dress. Black and white is great because it can go with just about anything. By starting with a black and white dress and building your outfit around it, you’ll have a much easier time and still end up with a look that is perfect for almost any occasion.

A Colorful Scarf

Having a colorful scarf  is a great idea for a few reasons. For starters, scarves look great when combined with a wide variety of different normal items. Secondly, a scarf is a great way to quickly inject a little color into your look without too much fuss. You can add a nice blue scarf to a black or grey outfit and suddenly take on a whole new appearance. Be sure to match your scarf with another element of your outfit. If you’ve got colored glasses, for example, make sure the color of the scarf matches the color of your lenses.

Wide-Leg Jeans

Wide-leg jeans are a great opportunity to embrace a casual look but still maintain an air of sophistication. Wide-leg jeans go well in practically any context and can easily be dressed up or dressed down at your own discretion. You can dress up wide-leg jeans with a tank top, or dress them down with something like a regular printed top.

A Bold Necklace

Keeping a single bold necklace gives you the opportunity to complete a wide variety of different outfits both dressy and casual. Gold and silver necklaces in particular are incredibly versatile and go with just about anything. A bold gold or silver necklace could also be just what you need to complete an outfit before you head out for a night on the town.

Lightly Colored Tops and Bottoms

By making sure that you always have a few lightly colored tops and bottoms in your closet, you can instantly throw together a nice and colorful outfit whenever you need. When worn separately, light tops and bottoms can appear boring and bland. However, wearing all of your lightly colored items together is a great chance to try out an outfit that is suddenly both striking and minimalist at the same time.

You really never know when a situation might arise where you need to quickly throw together an outfit before heading out. By making sure that you’ve got a few versatile clothing items and accessories in your closet, you won’t have to fret over what to wear and can instead have fun putting together a whole new look before you leave the house.

Chelsea Hasbrouck is a beauty technician and fashion enthusiast. She enjoys sharing her style tips on various beauty and fashion websites. Find out how to buy contact lenses online and have them shipped directly to your home.

Image Credit: Tumblr

Lakeside Selection: Favorite Items for the Week

It might be award season for movie fans, but this week is all about football. No matter if you are rooting for the Raven’s or the 49er’s, this weekend decides who the best is in the NFL. So while you are getting your house ready for what is going to be a great big game party, check out our favorite items this week.


Get handsfree convenience for shopping or running errands with a Distressed Leatherette Crossbody Bag. It has space inside to carry all your essentials.


Wine Rack or Wall Hanging creates the perfect atmosphere for wine lovers. The Wall Decor features colorful acrylic gems that form bunches of grapes, along with metal grapevines and filled wine glasses.


Renew and reenergize as nature intended it with Himalayan Salt Detox Patches. Use them for a drug-free way to potentially eliminate toxins in your body, establish a healthy pH balance, and improve circulation.


This 3-Pc. Nonslip Handled Bowl Set is a useful addition to any kitchen. Each differently sized bowl has a handy pour spot, oversized handle and a nonslip ring on the bottom to prevent spills.


The Metal and Glass Solar Wind Bell brings a magical look and sound to your yard. The crackled glass sphere’s alluring color is illuminated at night via solar power.

It’s time for the Big Game: 7 Must Have Items for your Party

Set-of-four-cook-serve-and-store-platesYou’ve  got two more weeks to get your big game party in order. No matter if you are rooting for San Francisco or Baltimore, the star of any party is food.  Celebrate the big game with style this year, and check out some of our items that we think would make a great addition to your party this year.

Cook, Serve & Store Plates: Our set of 4 Cook, Serve and Store Plates streamline your cooking, display and cleaning process. You can prepare, serve and store all with one dish—what’s not to love about that?

Colorful Snack Set: Add a pop of color to your food display with this 8-Pc. Colorful Snack Set. These are perfect for dips and chips because of their two compartments.

Can-Tamer® Revolving Storage: If you are short on table space, our 2-Tier Can Tamer® Revolving Storage product is a great solution to your problem. It can hold up to 13 beverages and rotates 360 degrees for easy use.

Beehive Beverage Dispenser: Great for serving punch and other beverages, our 2-Gallon Beehive Beverage Dispenser is a great addition to any party.

NFL Pub Glasses: Sad your team didn’t make it to the big game? Show your support with our Set of 2 NFL Pub Glasses. Note: Not all NFL teams are available.

Cup Pie Baking Set: Put to use some of those Pinterest ideas with our Cup Pie Baking Set. You can make some creative dishes with this baking set.

Cake Pops Cookbook: Get creative with your desert options and use our Cake Pops Cookbook to find some great inspirations for your party.

Do you have your party all planned out? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Lakeside Selection: Favorite Items for the Week

We’ve made it through another week—the third week of 2013! How are your New Year resolutions going? If you’re going strong, then keep up the great work. If you have hit some road blocks, that is ok too. Stay organized and toned with some of our favorite items this week.

Trunkster-Divided-BagsTrunkster Divided Bags: Carry all kinds of big loads in your trunk without turning it into a cluttered mess. Trunkster Divided Bag can carry groceries, sports supplies, car essentials, laundry loads and more. It features 3 large compartments, 2 side net pouches and nylon straps to keep the clutter under control.



Full-Body-TrainerFull Body Trainer: The Full Body Trainer tones and shapes your entire body for quick results. It is lightweight, easy to use and compact to store when not in use. This all-in-one piece includes a sturdy, foam-covered launch pad, power handles and isometric resistance bands.



24-File-Folder-and-Basket24 File Folders or File Basket: Use this set of 24 File Folders to hold bills, receipts, monthly statements and more. The folders fit neatly into the File Basket to bring organization wherever it’s needed. The lined basket can hold the folders and other items such as magazines, cookbooks and incoming mail.



Good-Morning-Rooster-KitchenGood Morning Rooster Kitchen: Vivid colors and country roosters bid you a good morning on each of these functional pieces. Strutting roosters and bright sunflowers adorn each piece in this eye-catching collection. The Set of 3 Canisters adds vibrant color to your countertop while storing flour, sugar, coffee or other dry goods.


Daily-Diet-and-Fitness-JournalDaily Diet & Fitness Journal: Every page of this Diet & Fitness Journal has a food log, nutrient tracker, and spaces to record daily totals, mood, energy, workout rate, physical activity and comments. Experts agree that making daily records of calories consumed is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Jot down the info for each day and watch the pounds melt away.