You may know her as Arya Lloyd on our wonderful 'Pin Up Wannabes' Facebook page. Here is the wonderful Nicki Perrins to tell us exactly how she found her way into the wonderful world of vintage style.
"How I fell for vintage?
I’ve always been a huge fan of history in general and throughly enjoyed listening to the stories my Nans would tell me from being a child and growing up in the 1940s and 50s.
In my 20s I used to try and keep up with the latest fashion trends. I had my hair highlighted in a salon and enjoyed wearing make up everyday.
When I had my first daughter at the age of 28, and then my 2nd daughter 3 years later, I went for comfort as I was constantly chasing after them! My wardrobe staples consisted of leggings, very stretching jeans, trainers and big baggy t-shirts to hide myself away. I hadn’t got time anymore for doing make-up and going to a hairdresser’s salon was impossible. In turn, I completely lost my identity, I was just ‘mum’ and I felt like this would just be me from now. I did my best to fit in and ‘blend-in’ like all the other mums I met at baby and toddler groups.
Then in 2016 my eldest daughter was assessed for Autism and ADHD, during one information session I sat in, I had what I call my ‘lightbulb’ moment, I’d always felt like I was different, even through childhood and my teenage years, but I never knew why. I was put on the adult assessment pathway for ‘Autistic Spectrum Condition,’ (ASC) which was previously referred to as ‘Asperger’s Syndrome.’ Everything that was being observed in my own daughter was relevant to my own childhood. I was given a formal diagnosis in March 2017. That’s when I changed completely, as I felt like I’d been hiding who I truly was for years. I started helping out a friend who’d just opened a vintage store and I became fascinated by the vintage fashions. I used to talk to customers about the styles they used to wear in various eras. And I became a huge fan of the 1940s and 1950s fashions. I started to get the confidence to try on things from my friends’ shop.
I also rediscovered my love of 80s and 90s fashion, reminding me of growing up. I found the confidence to dye my hair again, as I once did in my teenage years and 20s.
I took the plunge and had my first 2 tattoos in 2018, followed by more the year after. I was encouraged by my friend to dress in vintage styles on night out and one day in a local cafe, I spotted a lady wearing some ‘Miaow’ boots! I asked her where they were from as they were so beautiful! She said “haven’t you heard of Irregular Choice?!” So when I went home I Googled them! As soon as I saw the range, I thought “these shoes are so me!” I now have a growing collection of ICs and also love Ruby Shoos.
I go for very quirky, and usually bright prints and patterns on dresses and skirts, with the swing skirts being my absolute favourites. I found these to be very flattering for my curvy figure. Finding a love for vintage found my confidence again, I gained new friends from online fan groups, and for the first time ever I travelled alone to meet ups and met like-minded people, many are now my really good friends. I finally felt accepted for the first time in my life and found the confidence to start my own business from home. I love to see how others combine their outfits, admiring their shoes particularly! I also love to see hair and accessorises in vintage styles and I’m currently practising my own hair styles.
It’s simply amazing to think back now, on how my discovery of Vintage literally changed my whole life for the better :)
My favourite life motto is now: Why fit in? When you were born to stand out!”