Monday, 27 August 2012

Bank Holiday Monday

It's Bank Holiday Monday and, of course, it's raining, heavily. We have come to expect it so have stayed tucked up in the comfort of home. Far too wet to work in the garden but I'm in my old kick- about clothes because the dog  still needs her walk, whatever the weather.
I'm wearing a pink linen blouse from Boden that has a frill down either side of the front buttons, very old Gap crops that were once navy, a ballet cardi from Monsoon and suede flats that were made for me about thirty years ago and which hopefully will never wear out.
But my watch is brand new!
 I wanted something cheap and cheerful to wear whilst working in the garden. £15 from Casio and it has a face large enough for me to read without putting on my glasses.  I love the colour lilac, and that is the 'cheerful' bit.
For Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

At the 'Dig for Victory' event last weekend I bought a fifties vintage dress. It wasn't cheap, quite the reverse. It isn't in particularly good condition. There are holes in the skirt, a tear, patched, in the bodice, and the metal beneath the covered buttons has rusted through. I wasn't going to buy it. The stall holder at 'Cock-a-Doodle Vintage' said it's a lovely dress but very small in the waist. My friend Janet told me to try it on. "Not if I can't get into it, I said. The waist of the dress was measured, I was measured. The fabric is unforgiving, some sort of gingham taffeta that doesn't give an inch. If I gain that inch the dress will no longer fit!
So why did I buy it?
It is the Dior 'New Look' style from the late forties, early fifties that I remember my mother loved, dresses with a neat waist and, after years of rationing, a very full skirt. I love this style, so utterly feminine.

Velvet coat, 1955

The cut of my dress is clever,

with a triangular design repeated on the cuffs, pockets and bodice.

And it works very well with my £8 vintage hat!

Which can be worn at a rakish angle thanks to a piece of elastic.
Now all I need is a wedding invitation!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Forties fashion

On Sunday we had a day out.

We went back to the 40's at the Lacock Garden Centre 'Dig for Victory' weekend.
We were more appropriately dressed this time,
although I drew the line at authentic ladies' underwear!
We went with friends.
Tony hired his army outfit and found it heavy and hot. He was given an appropriate lapel badge from a stall holder and told how to wear his hat correctly! If we go again he is going to be de-mob!
Himself had a bit of car envy.
Can you blame him?
These delicious hats were on the back seat of the car.
Hats were one item of clothing that  escaped rationing and were therefore an important feature of a woman's outfit. These hatted ladies were involved in a bit of 'make do and mend'.
We kept a look-out for Lucky Uncle George
but couldn't miss the Lancaster bomber fly-past.

There was some fabulous dancing

and an exercise display.
"I must, I must
improve my bust."
Phew! After that, a nice cup of tea
and then everyone watched a fashion show.

I was amused to see these pigtailed girls in their puff-sleeved, 'Peter Pan' collared and smocked bodice dresses.

 I remember it well!
 1940's passport photo. 
My funny smile is due to a cherry stone stored, hamster fashion. in the corner of my mouth!

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Until we went to the 40's weekend in Leyburn I had never heard of 're-enactors', people who dress in costume and re-enact the period and character of their outfit.
Those in uniform had carefully researched the history relating to the clothes that they were wearing.
This Queen Alexandra nurse was immaculately dressed and she told me some historic details of this famous nursing corps. I was not surprised to learn that her career had been as a nurse.
And this chap had studied Churchill's voice and mannerisms very well.

'Our boys' were keeping an eye on the unexploded bomb. They had discovered the local butcher's shop and were munching pork pies
while the 'Americans' were eating fish and chips.
It was very much a family affair, with a great many couples enjoying being in character together.

There were a few eccentrics. (This is England!)

Evacuees were collected from the railway station and given refreshments
and a newspaper hat
which blew off in the wind.
These two evacuees, in their brownie uniforms
were put in the back of a vintage car with Mum at the wheel - an entire family outing.
the band played on.
We are going to a 'Dig for Victory' event at the weekend!