Josephine Myles, Samhain Publishing

Cabbages and Kinks: My Love Affair With Vintage Clothes Shops – A Guest Post And Giveaway by Josephine Myles

Hi. My name’s Jo, and I’m addicted to window shopping in vintage clothes shops. And I really do mean window shopping as I rarely ever buy anything, but still they lure me in every time. It makes it difficult getting down into town when I have to walk past at least five different vintage boutiques!

My first foray into proper vintage clothes shops was about fifteen years ago when I lived in Bath. Although I was no stranger to the flea markets of Brighton and London, visiting a proper vintage boutique was a new experience for me. The first one I discovered was a tatty, overstuffed nightmare of a shop (which shall remain nameless as it’s still in business and little has changed!). It was barely a step up from a flea market stall, and the shop reeked of dank and mothballs—not a winning combination. It wasn’t much fun to shop in either, as the clothes didn’t seem to be arranged in any particular order, and they were stuffed onto the rails so tightly it was hard work to browse through them. Worse yet, there were rails all the way up to the ceiling, and the only way to view the clothes on the top rails was to ask the surly assistant to take them down for you.

Those of you who’ve read Stuff will probably recognise this shop as the model for Cabbages and Kinks as it was at the beginning of the novel.

Fortunately there were more inspiring outlets for vintage and retro clothing available in Bath. The Yellow Shop down Walcot Street had much more of a hipster vibe and the staff were helpful. There wasn’t nearly as much vintage stuff in there as they also stocked new clothes, but at least what was there was arranged attractively and everything had clearly been vetted for quality. However, despite being a fairly regular customer there, this wasn’t the shop that really got me enthused about all things vintage.

That honour falls to Vintage to Vogue, a shop that I discovered one day when taking a short cut through a passageway from the Broad Street car park onto Milsom Street. I’d lived in Bath for several years by this point, but had never heard of this hidden gem. Compared to the other vintage shops, Vintage to Vogue was more like a museum of costume. There were fabulous designer clothes from all decades of the twentieth century, and you could even find such treasures as lacy Victorian blouses on their racks. One thing I particularly liked were the tables with jars of vintage buttons and baskets of lace and handkerchiefs. It meant that even at my most broke, I could still take home something special.

It’s the kind of clothing I found in Vintage to Vogue that inspired the contents (and eventual transformation) of Perry’s shop in Stuff. I wanted Mas to sort through all Perry’s hidden treasures and bring them into the light, so they could carry on giving people joy in the twenty-first century.

Are you a vintage shopper? Or even just a window shopper? And if so, what kind of vintage shops do you like to visit?



Stuff is out now from Samhain Publishing, and is book two in The Bristol Collection (which started with Junk)

Amazon | Samhain | Barnes & Noble


Blurb: When Mr. Glad Rags meets Mr. Riches, the result is flaming fun.

Tobias “Mas” Maslin doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends of clubbing, a rich boyfriend for love and support. Too bad his latest sugar daddy candidate turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.

When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, his worlds starts unraveling…until he stumbles across a vintage clothing shop. Now to convince the reclusive, eccentric owner he’s in dire need of a salesman.

Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. Truth be told, he’d rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. When Mas comes flaming into his life talking nineteen to the dozen, he finds himself offering him a job and a place to live.

He should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together.

Warning: Contains an eccentric, bumbling Englishman, a gobby drama queen, fantastic retro clothing, scary fairies, exes springing out of the woodwork, and a well-aimed glass of bubbly. Written in brilliantly British English.


Josephine MylesAuthor bio: English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. She blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the book creation process to someone else.

Website and blog | Facebook | Twitter @JosephineMyles | Goodreads | Newsletter


26 thoughts on “Cabbages and Kinks: My Love Affair With Vintage Clothes Shops – A Guest Post And Giveaway by Josephine Myles

  1. Bill says:

    Stuff is my next Kindle read, but I’d love to be entered to get one of her earlier books. Please include my name. Thanks.


  2. Jen CW says:

    I have recently started reading Josephine’s books and really enjoyed them. Thanks for the chance to win another if her books.


  3. Trix says:

    I’d bet British vintage shops would be fantastic! (I don’t know if you ever read the British ‘zine CHEAP DATE…I don’t think it publishes anymore, but they published a few print compilations. Thrifting was an epic sport, and they even came up with the concept of “shopdropping”–going into a store and surreptitiously ADDING to their inventory by throwing down old stuff you didn’t want. I never had the guts to try it.) As for me, I can’t pass up a used bookstore or record store…


  4. jenf27 says:

    Unfortunately, we don’t have much in the way of vintage shops where I live, but I do like love to browse when we travel and I also love vintage photographs.

    Thanks for the post and giveaway!


  5. Lisa G says:

    I was a costumer for my daughter’s theater productions so did a lot of shopping at vintage clothes shops – so much fun! I’m really looking forward to reading this series. Mas sounds like such a trip of a character.


    • I wouldn’t buy vintage online either as the sizing is so tricky, but yes, what a wonderful resource! I follow a blog for sewists recreating vintage patterns which is also fascinating.


  6. Hannah B. says:

    I always enjoy browsing at vintage/antique store. Try not buy anything tho, have way too much stuff in my own home. I really enjoy your books, please count me in for the the giveaway.


  7. Sula says:

    I love Josephines’ books, especially this series/Screwing the System & The Hot Floor, and look forward to reading the latest story so thanks for the chance to win the latest book. I hope there might be further books for Screwing the System & the Hot Floor.


    • Hi Sula! I don’t have definite plans to write more in those series, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out for the future. I really love the idea of writing The Hot Floor boys visiting Evan’s family…


  8. H.B. says:

    I’ve never been vintage store shopping. I don’t even really window shop because I’m such a homebody. When I am out though I do do it if I have the time and don’t have to be elsewhere. Usually it’s for clothes though.


  9. Penumbra says:

    I love the idea of vintage shopping, but I usually have no idea where to visit, unfortunately. I’ve already bought Stuffed, but I wouldn’t mind choosing one of Josephine’s backlist books if I win :)


  10. I love vintage clothing but am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad shopper. I’m so impatient and am quickly begin to lose my mind while browsing…. maybe it’s a gift I’ll get later but I don’t know many people that are willing to “conquer” a shopping trip with me any more! :D

    On the other hand, I DO love to read so thank you for the giveaway!


    • Yep, if you don’t enjoy browsing then vintage shopping is definitely not for you! I get frustrated by browsing in charity shops as so often the clothing is of very poor quality, so I don’t tend to go in those unless I know they’re extremely selective.


  11. Good morning and thanks to all of you who stopped by to enter Josephine’s backlist e-book giveaway. This contest is now closed and the winner’s been selected. The choice of back titles goes to


    Congratulations, Allison! I’ve emailed Josephine with your contact information, though I do know she’s on her way to the UK Meet, so she’ll get with you for your selection as soon as possible.


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