What is vintage?

First of all I should introduce myself, Hi I’m Rachael a vintage enthusiast and in 2013 I turned my dream into a reality and opened The Yesterday Society a vintage boutique in Newcastle’s historic Grainger Market https://www.graingermarket.org/ . If you want to know more about me check out https://theyesterdaysociety.co.uk/new-year-new-me/  

So, this is something that gets asked a lot when I tell people what I do, I will do my best to clear up what vintage means to me . Vintage was first used to describe wine referring to the time of harvest, but before you crack open the Rioja let’s move onto another of my passion’s clothes.

When are vintage clothes from?

In short vintage clothing is described as clothing from a previous era,  the consensus, and a rule we follow is anything from the 1920’s to a 20-year age gap from current day (1999) is classed as vintage. It is important to note that this is very fluid and, as I found out when writing my dissertation on vintage clothing, everyone has their own opinion.  Clothing produced before the 1920’s while being incredibly rare and hard to find due to its age, tends to be considered as antique clothing.

What about retro?

Some people also use the term retro to describe vintage clothing from the more recent end of the vintage time frame, usually from the 1960s onwards. This can get confusing a retro can also be used to describe reproduction items (retro repro)  that are made in current times but to styles from the past.

Are vintage clothes the same as second hand clothes?

To be vintage the item should reflect the iconic fashions of its time period and be desired in the vintage world. Due to its age most, vintage clothing is second hand and has been worn previously but some new/old stock can exist. However, it is important to note a distinction most vintage clothes are second hand but not all second-hand clothes are vintage.  As mentioned earlier to be vintage the item must be from the past and should reflect the iconic fashions of its time period, the item should also be desired in the vintage market .

What are the styles of each era?

I now intend to look at each decade in turn 1920s- 1990s and look at the prominent styles and fashions of each.

I hope you enjoyed reading this I would love to hear what vintage means to you and what are your favourite eras and styles.


Rach xxx

Turning 30 Camper Vanning around the Valleys


Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while but after an eventful April I thought now would be a good time to update you lot on what I’ve been up to. April started with a great concept from a fellow vintage dealer Wish Vintage (@wishvintage) which was using the hashtag #aprilget2knowavintagedealer to share information and find out more about other vintage dealers. Check it out it’s a great way of finding other vintage dealers.

Me and Jay always head off on an adventure at this time of year to celebrate our birthdays which are only one day apart, we also have a book of 1001 places to see before you die which we are working our way through. This year was no different and on Sunday 2nd April we packed our bags and headed off on the open road, here’s what we got up to.

Sunday 2nd April

After an intense day for Jay working on the van on Saturday by Sunday it was ready to head out on its maiden voyage. Up until around 15:00 on Friday the plan had been to head up to Scotland and visit the Isle of Mull, Skye and surrounding areas. However, Jay received some great advice from a fellow caravaner “to follow the sun” so plans changed and we set off to Wales, on what can only be described as a glorious day.

Our first task in Wales was somewhat of a random one, to find and deliver a CD of Jay’s dad and uncles band Segedunum Rust to a distant relative Jay had never met. We eventually found the address but no one was home and couldn’t find a letter box so left them on a doorstep. Only to find out later that they had recently moved to a new house. We found it rather humorous that a random Welshman would return home to find CDs from a Geordie band left with no explanation.

That night we drove up to Church Bay in Holyhead to set up camp for the night. We were trying out the Brit Stops book, which details places that allow free stop overs by motorhomes if you put money back into the local economy. That night we stayed in The Church Bay Inn carpark with a magnificent view of the coast. Unfortunately, we had missed food, but popped in for a drink or two. We had of course stocked the van and had a cheese board while watching the sunset.

Monday 3rd April

We started Monday off with a trip to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch which I discovered translates to “St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave”, being a typical tourist I wanted a picture with the sign.

We then drove over the Menai Suspension Bridge (1001) to Caernafon Castle (1001) and spent the morning wandering round the castle and town and trying on pith helmets for size.

Next on the list of places to visit was Portmeirion (http://www.portmeirion-village.com/) a place that I could only describe to Jay as a strange looking place where The Prisoner was filmed. Jay hadn’t seen the series and I only had a vague memory of a huge white orb chasing a man in a black turtle neck, but somehow this was enough to warrant a visit.  I’m glad we went as I really liked it and my description of a strange place was rather fitting.

That night we headed to another Brit Stop and set up camp again with a magnificent view of a lake then headed to the pub for some food. Jay had Lamb (when in Wales and all that) and I had Sea Bass with crab bon bons. Both were delicious and just what we needed after a busy day.

Tuesday 4th April

My 30th Birthday started early as we had booked on to the 8am Velocity zip wire and Zip World (www.zipworld.co.uk), so before breakfast I was hanging face first over a slate quarry about to do the longest zip line in Europe and fastest in the world! If you’re ok with heights give the video of me doing it.

Keeping with the extreme theme we then heading to another zip world site The Caverns an atmospheric underground adventure that has been inaccessible for 200 years, where we climbed and ziplined around a network of underground caves.  Birthday dinner was in the form of a cuppa and pug cake given by my mam.

As it was my birthday we decided to treat ourselves to a real campsite with showers in the beautiful woodland surrounding Devils Bridge. Needless to say, a few celebratory gin and tonics were needed after such an adrenaline fuelled day. In the local pub we met a couple who we had spotted (due to flowers on their camper) at Portmeirion and were doing a very similar maiden trip for their camper.

Wednesday 5th April

Jays birthday started with breakfast in bed then a trip to Aberystwyth to visit the National Library of Wales (1001) followed by a visit to the National Botanical Garden of Wales and their butterfly house. It was another glorious day so we enjoyed a stroll around the gardens and impressive greenhouse.

On the way to our Brit Stop for the night we stopped off at a local butcher so Jay could have his favourite meal of steak and peppercorn sauce for tea. Again we were met with another peaceful place to stay and a great river view.

Thursday 6th April

Thursday saw us visiting Dinefwr to see their herd of historic rare breed Welsh cattle being released from their shelter and seeing the grass for the first time since the winter. Well we have a cow themed van after all and after seeing videos online we were expecting some excitement from the cows. The whole area of Dinefwr was great with a house, castle, bird watching area and deer park all in one.

After Dinefwr we headed to The Big Pit (1001) museum of coal mining. It did as it said on the tin and was indeed a big pit but interesting to walk around and hear the similar history to the pits of the North East. The gift shop also allowed us to stock up on welsh cheeses for surprise surprise another cheese board.

Friday 7th April

We started Friday off with a visit to the Caerleon Roman site (1001) after visiting Rome last year and growing up close to the wall, I wasn’t expecting much but have to say it was a pretty impressive amphitheatre.

We then attempted a drive to Cardiff Castle (1001) but after a week on country roads in the middle of nowhere the hustle and bustle was a bit too much. So, we changed plans and went to Barry Island (yes of Gavin and Stacey fame) for fish and chips instead. It was everything I expected sun, sand and slot machines.

Keeping with the cow theme of the van our Brit Stop that night was Cowpots and the Cowshed. A dairy farm and ice cream producer that had diversified into wood fired pizzas in the old cow shed… ideal. The only thing friendlier that the owner was his welsh collie who wanted to play and chase stones constantly, give me a dog and I’m entertained for hours! That night we tasted the best pizza we had since Rome and were impressed by no less than 6 welsh ciders on the menu.

Saturday 8th April

Saturday morning started early with a visit from my new collie friend. We had breakfast (I shared mine with said collie) the headed off to Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber and Blue Stone to see the origins of the Stonehenge stones.

We then jumped back in the van and headed to Newport for a dolphin watching trip. It was yet another lush day (I’m not sure how we were so lucky). So, although we only saw some birds and a seal it was a nice trip along the coast in the sunshine.

Before heading back to start the trip home we stopped at the Lime Crab for the most amazing fish and chips to fuel up and to catch some last welsh rays.

Thanks for reading

Rach xx

Stilton and Horsemeat

Hi Guys,

Sorry it’s been a while, but so far February has been hectic. I just thought now would be a good time to take stock and give a quick update on what I’ve been up to, before I shoot off to London to see Me First and the Gimme Gimmes .

I’ve been busy at The Yesterday Society, sourcing some great spring summer looks and providing catwalk collections for several university fashion shows. Starting with the Collingwood College (Durham Uni) Charity Fashion Show on the 10th, followed by St Aidan’s (Durham Uni) last night with further shows coming up at Newcastle College. I could not attend the Collingwood show due to it clashing with my mams 61st celebrations which I’ll chat about later, but I’m sure you will agree that judging by the photos a great night was had by all with a great amount raised for charity.

To kick off the birthday celebrations we did a rather frosty Historical Horror tour of the newly renovated Castle Keep, random I know but it was a laugh. As we were guided around the castle we met various creepy characters from Newcastle’s past. The tour ended on the roof which allowed amazing views of the city, that made me proud to be a Geordie.  We then headed to Georges Great British Kitchen in Eldon Square for a gorgeous meal. Traditional fish and chips were on the menu for most, but I opted for charcoal grilled sea bass and a superfood salad, to be healthy and counterbalance the side of Stilton Chips (to satisfy the cheese fiend in me).  All the food was lush but I must say the Stilton chips were amazing! Georges also has a good gin selection, bound to keep a girl like me happy.  We skipped desert as I surprised my mam with a giant coffee cake.

Last Friday I had a great night out at the Horsemeat Disco Takeover at World Headquarters. Who doesn’t love to dance all night to a bit of D-I-S-C-O after all?However, Saturday morning made me realise I was getting too old (30 in April!) to stay up dancing until 4am and expect to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for work the next day. Luckily the lovely Sacha was on hand to hold the fort while I went home for a disco nap.

That’s about it I think, anyway I hope you all have a fab weekend.


Rach xxx

January ain’t so bad!

Last week started off with so called ‘Blue Monday’, after just coming back from a fab weekend with my Mam seeing the Lion King, I was pretty darn happy! This got me thinking if such terms push people to make themselves look on the negative and suffer the ‘January Blues’ more than they would normally. That day I had a conversation with a chipper customer who took the standpoint that January was just a month, no different to any other, and there was no point in letting it get you down. Especially as a smile will always spread happiness. This in mind I decided to try and look on the positives and ensure I had things to look forward to this week.

On Tuesday I met a couple of mates in Tilley’s, sipping lime and soda I had my first ever sober trip to a bar (that sounds bad doesn’t It!). Then we headed off to see LaLa Land. As a lover of old school films and Ryan Gosling I was rather excited to say the least. LaLa Land did not disappoint, while at times very cheesy I loved in and really routed for both characters and their relationship. It reminded me a lot of Blue Valentine which I also adore, and left with fuzzy feeling inside as I headed home to Jay.

 On Wednesday I spent the day (5 hours in fact) in pain, and having my tattoo coloured in. While at times it absolutely knacked it was great to see how the colours pulled the whole tattoo together, and with only one more session to go I can’t wait to see it complete.


Friday was date night and we had a table booked for Blackfriars Restaurant Week menu. I’ve wanted to try Blackfriars for ages and never got around to it so was extremely excited.

Jay met me from work and we headed for a few pre-meal G and T’s (Portobello Road and Brokers), it was Friday after all! We then headed to Blackfriars the location, décor and ambience were great, and unlike some of our previous restaurant week experiences we did not feel packed in or rushed in any way. One part of the decor that I particularly liked was the placemat which contained a detailed list of local suppliers. As a believer of shopping local and fresh is best, this was great to see.

We started off with another G and T (Hendricks) for me and a scrumpy for Jay, and tucked into the bread basket. After 20 days of trying healthy eating the bread and particularly the salty butter was divine.

For starters Jay opted for Ham terrine with Pease pudding, and for myself the Wild Mushroom Risotto. Both went down extremely well and I was happy to say the portion sizes were great. I often worry about risotto being too filling as a starter, but what was served was the perfect size and extremely tasty. Jays looked amazing unfortunately one of the disadvantages of having a carnivorous fella I couldn’t steal any.

We had a good break before mains to discuss our current campervan plans, and the work we hoped to complete over the weekend. We had a full day to work on the panelling out on Sunday and I had some new overalls to wear ha. Once again, the mains did not disappoint. For Jay Belly Pork and me Fish of the Day with heritage potatoes and kale. Jay was particularly impressed by both the size of his dish and the crackling. My fish was cooked perfectly and I couldn’t fault any part of the dish.

We decided to go the whole hog and opt for desert too. As my fail-safe option (a cheese board of course) wasn’t on the special menu, I opted for something totally out of character a hazelnut brownie with vanilla ice-cream. Jay predictable as ever, went for the sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel and banana ice-cream. Both were delicious however the only mild criticism would be the banana flavour didn’t really come through in the ice-cream and the sticky toffee was so sweet, jay stepped into a sugar coma and needed to go home for a lie down.

In short, our meal at Blackfriars was amazing, and we will definitely be returning. If you want great quality food, and a relaxed environment I’d recommend it. They also do a great pre-theatre menu and a set menu that are similar to the restaurant week menu and won’t break the bank.



Rach xxx

Welcome 2017


Hi again, I hope you’re all coping with the January blues. I started the year off, by doing something unheard of for me on New Years Day. After copious amounts of prosecco I was somehow  hangover free, and  outside in the freezing wind chills of the North Sea with Jay (the fella) scrubbing the back of our newly purchased Transit clean for welding . 

I made up for it on the following day, and took full advantage of my last days holiday, meeting mates in Tilley’s for a few too many pints. Looking back, not the best decision when I was back to work the next day . Merry conservations focused on the usual, New Years resolutions and how we planned to make 2017 a better year. For me along with healthy eating (lets be honest I work in the best place for it); getting fitter again (I want to smash my GNR time from last year) ; and helping Jay to convert the transit into a campervan for April (hence the New Years Day cleaning) . My main aim  for 2017 is to begin work on the Yesterday Society’s website and carry on writing this blog.

I’m not going to lie, the website has been neglected. It was set up  and maintained by Rosie when we opened, but after she moved to the big smoke in 2014, I’m sad to say being a bit tech phobic I’ve avoided it. But this is the first week of 2017 and I am positive and determined to learn how to update and run it myself .Therefore I have spent the first week of the new year learning the basics and in doing so have successfully managed to make some changes. I also have a tonne of ideas moving forward ,and feel writing them down here would keep me focussed and allow me to get feedback. So here goes:

  • Create an online shop to spread the reach of The Yesterday Society.
  • Archive all past events, catwalks and photoshoots we have been involved in and continue to update with new things.
  • Create pages with descriptions and photographs of trends and fashions for each decade. I get a lot of people calling in and asking for advice so figure an online tool could be helpful.
  • Set up a mailing list to keep customers in the loop of new stock coming in, special offers and any events we are involved in.
  • Set up a customer area with a bios and photos page, it is The Yesterday Society after all and you guys are a trendy bunch so would be great to get you involved.
  • Continue with the idea of The Yesterday Society on tour photographs, but add in customer photos of their own trips including a Yesterday Society on Tour sign, for a chance to win prizes.

It would be great to get some feedback and hear any ideas from you lovely lot.

Cheers and good luck with any unbroken resolutions .

Rach xxx



New Year New Me!


Hi, I’m Rachael and I’ve finally came up with a New Year resolution I think I should be able to stick to. Forget giving up cheese and booze, this year I aim to write a blog about my life as the owner of The Yesterday Society Vintage Boutique in Newcastle upon Tyne.


The best starting point is probably a bit of background about me and The Yesterday Society. I am a Newcastle lass through and through and was raised in Walker. I believe my love of vintage and flamboyant clothes can be attributed to my mam who took me on shopping trips to treasure troves like Attica as a kid and was known to overdress for any occasion. I have always loved looking different and standing out from the crowd, this has taken many guises from goth on “Hippy Green” to super girly all pink outfits.

It was at Northumbria Uni while studying for a degree in Human Geography that I found my true style wearing vintage and mixing a variety of decades in one outfit. I’m not going to lie there was a couple of questionable outfits. Once walking into a lecture with a mate Jess and over hearing someone comment “what the hell are they wearing now”! But hey everyone makes mistakes.

To complete my degree, I managed to write my Human Geography dissertation on identity creation through vintage clothes, this fuelled my love of vintage and allowed me to go shopping while doing my research.

After graduation and becoming disenchanted with working at the Job Centre, I took myself off backpacking around South East Asia with my mate Kirsty. Returning jobless I managed to get a successful interview at the Tyneside Cinema working FOH. It was at my induction session that I met future friend and business partner Rosie Skett. Rosie was a fine art student at Newcastle Uni and we hit it off straight away. We worked at the Tyneside happily, but on one particularly boring bar shift we got to talking about our dream jobs, both agreeing that owning a vintage shop would be up there.

As anyone who knows me will admit I’m pretty laid back and would never have got around to doing it, but luckily Rosie was on the ball and went on her dinner break to look at the vacant units in the Grainger Market. One being Unit 9, the now home of the Yesterday Society. From that point, everything seemingly fell into place we created a business plan, came up with a name after numerous suggestions (cat’s pyjamas anyone?), applied for finance, secured the unit, found suppliers and two months after that initial conversation in the Tyneside Bar we opened the doors to The Yesterday Society on 31st August 2013.

After settling into shop life, we became confident on what to buy, styled several catwalk collections and held events. During this time, we both worked at the shop part time while keeping up part time roles at the Tyneside until April 2015 when Rosie moved down to London to work with the buyers for TK Maxx. At this point I decided to take the plunge and become the sole owner of The Yesterday Society. While thinking, I may go a little stir crazy and panicking at my lack of decision making ability, the pull of leaving the events world behind to listen to vinyl, drink tea and chat to folk about clothes all day was just too strong.

In short, my advice to anyone thinking about starting their own business is give it a try, there is nothing better than working for yourself and doing something that you love. So, onto what to expect from this blog, I honesty I don’t know … but if you have any interest in The Yesterday Society and a Geordie lass who loves vintage, festivals, traveling, dogs and her fair share of mothers ruin it may be of interest.

All the best and have a great 2017.

Rach xxx