Glamour with a capital G is what you’d experience from my guest this week – from the limited edition vintage inspired shoes, seamed stockings and those oh-so-sexy wiggle dresses and plenty more inbetween! For those office parties, New Year soirees, vintage weddings and numerous other social events through to every day office attire with a 50s twist, Born Bad Betty has it all. So a big warm welcome BBB….
Hi! I’m Mariam Vossough – aka Betty from Born Bad Betty. I run the company by myself, so I’m owner, designer, order packer – everything!
What inspired you to start up Born Bad Betty?
Clichéd though it may be, I fell into a mid-life crisis on turning forty. My low mood was very much focused on how I looked. My body had changed shape so dramatically I hardly recognised it any more. I didn’t want any of it on show, so I started buying baggy tops and long, shapeless dresses to cover myself. During that time, I lost my sense of style and – worst of all – my confidence. On a weekend away with Mr BBB, we wandered into a vintage-inspired clothes store where a red and black polka dot dress caught my eye. A stunning red and black polka dot wiggle dress. I gazed at it lovingly and Mr BBB urged me to try it on. But it was fitted. Really fitted. Somehow, my husband twisted my arm and I scurried off into the changing room. The minute the fabric hugged my curves I felt amazing. It was like my body shouted ‘I’m back, baby’. We were the perfect partnership – wiggle dresses need curvy girls and curvy girls need wiggle dresses. From that moment, I was on a mission. I wanted every woman to feel the way I did when I tried on that dress. For the first time in many years, I was no longer hiding my curves, I was flaunting them. Born Bad Betty was born. So, I began searching for dresses that all women could feel fabulous in and designed a collection of lust-after shoes to go with them. I now have a vintage business, a wardrobe full of wiggle and some wonderfully supportive new friends.
When choosing stock/styles/colours of shoes, bags and accessories etc for your website,do you go by popular styles, customer requests, “vintage” fashion trends, your own personal taste, their uniqueness or bits of all those?
Firstly, and most importantly, whatever I’m buying has to make me go ‘wow’. If not, I won’t get it. I think you have to trust your own instincts. If you start trying to second guess what other people might like, you’re bound to end up compromising. After all, sometimes customers don’t know themselves what they want until they see it. We’ve all been there – you say to yourself “I really don’t want another floral dress”, then you fall head over heels in love with one! In order to keep Born Bad Betty unique, I’ve started looking further afield for dresses and also asking designers for exclusive colours and designs.
Out of the current clothing & accessory range, I adore the fun Jive seamed Dotty Stockings; the bamboo clutch; and your range of wiggle dresses – so, so sexy, especially the Mistress Black & Leopard 50s Dress. What clothing & accessory items have been most popular amongst your customers this season?
Floral swing dress are always popular. Worn with a petticoat, it’s the fifties look most people aspire too. Polka dots are also a popular choice. The Isabella dress in jade has flown out this season.
You do a fab range of shoes, and although I’m a real boot girl, I do like to dress up on occasions and I love, love, love kitten heels! The shoe for me this season is the lush Bad Kitty and it does live up to its description – “for the girl who wants to look feminine whilst getting up to no good”! What footwear has been the most popular this season?
In the summer, my flat shoes ‘Pump it, Cherry’ and ‘Good Kitty’ were super popular. So many flats are dull, and my customers appreciated being able to wear something comfy and gorgeous! Constantly popular are Hello Sailor and Strawberry Fox. Hello Sailor were the first pair I designed – and my signature style – and I’m so happy that people love them.
Ooh, you can’t ask me to pick between my shoes! That’s like asking which of my children I love the most! I have two favourite dresses at the moment. The two tone wiggle dress in teal – which is an exclusive colour to BBB – is super sexy. I haven’t seen any woman who doesn’t look drop dead in it. New in is the Estelle dress in a black lace print. It’s so lovely – such an unusual print – and cut especially to fit and flatter the fuller figure. I love it!
You’re currently running some “Bringing Sassy Back” challenges for your fans – including such challenges as wearing red lipstick every day! The challenges are a lot of fun! What has been your favourite challenge so far? What has been the most popular?
The very first one – wearing lipstick everyday – seems to have really taken off. It’s so easy for us busy woman not to bother doing things to make ourselves feel good. We’re always last on the list. Putting some lipstick on is a quick, easy way to add a touch of glamour to your day. However, my personal favourite was to wear a hair flower every day. I have some gorgeous ones and don’t wear them often enough. I have very exciting one coming up, so keep an eye on the blog!
I’m always on the lookout for killer wiggle dresses and cute swing dresses. I never set out with pre-conceptions about what I’m going to buy. Although, I do make sure I have a good mixture of styles. One thing I’ve started to do, and will definitely continue, is to buy more plus size clothing. The latest dresses in all go up to a size 20.
I love to wear comfortable day dresses like the Edie Rose Sailor dress teamed with a pair of BBB pumps. It has to be practical (and gorgeous) for when I’m working. If I’m not in a dress, I’ll be found in Freddies jeans and tops. They are fabulous and very flattering for us curvy girls. This time of year, I would wear them with some chunky motorcycle boots or my trusty DM’s.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I’m rather partial to Etsy. I love buying up-cycled vintage items. I’m also slightly addicted to vintage-inspired jewellery (which Mr BBB will confirm!) so spend far too much time gazing at Luxulite and Bow and Crossbones.
Don’t tempt me! But, seeing as you’re asking, I got my eye on a cute vintage snood hat. I also wouldn’t say no to a new pair of motorcycle boots
Boots or Shoes?
If I could only choose one it would have to be shoes. Like a lot of women, I have an emotional attachment to shoes in a way that I don’t with boots. Some shoes are so beautiful, you could place them in a glass cabinet on the mantlepiece. I can’t see myself ever doing that with a pair of boots!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Born Bad Betty.
Thanks Mariam for chatting to us – your shoes are an absolute delight! The question this week ladies is, what has tickled your vintage inspired fancy? Kitten heels, wiggle dress, pencil skirt or the total Fifties skirt & petticoat combo? Do tell! 🙂
All photos have been published with kind permission of Born Bad Betty (Mariam Vossough)