This week, something very exciting happened (not quite as exciting as The Boy proposing, or that time I found a solid chocolate KitKat, but very exciting nonetheless). I was included in a feature for Woman’s Own, one of the UK’s leading women’s weekly magazines.
As regular readers of this blog will know, I entered Miss Vintage UK this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t get through to the final, but a lovely friend-of-a-friend who voted for me suggested me to a journalist who was writing a piece on people obsessed with different decades. Here I am talking about the 1950s in the middle (joined in the photo by Doris, my 58-but-not-showing-her-age wedding car), joined by Sarah from my-eighties (not surprisingly, talking about the 1980s) on the left and Lynnette Lovely’s Vintage (1970s) on the right.
Lucy, the journalist, made my journey to 1950s fashion-obsessive sound much cooler than I remember it being, but she’s absolutely right in that dressing like this makes me feel like ‘me’. I used to try to dress exactly the same as my friends (sometimes with a bit too much success – there have been a few times where me and one of my friends have turned up in exactly the same outfit), and it was only once I started going to Twinwood Festival with my grandad and met The Boy that I started to feel confident enough to experiment.
Now, my wardrobe is pretty much all 1950s styles, with the occasional 1940s silhouette to break it up a bit. While I don’t have many original dresses (I’m just too big for them, sadly), I’m building up a nice collection of vintage accessories. One of the things Lucy asked is why I love the 1950s so much, and for those of you who haven’t read the article, here are a few reasons why:
- The shapes are super-flattering. People will often say to me “Oh, I love your dress, I could never pull that off”. Nonsense! If I can do it, anyone can. I firmly believe the right dress can make you feel like you can take over the world (not that you should. That would, in fact, be a bad thing).
- People made an effort. I’m not saying I never have a day where I’d quite like to stay in my pyjamas, but I must confess that I really hate the fact some people go to the shops in theirs. I worked in a pub while at university, and we’d often have people turning up in their pjs for breakfast. It’s just not for me.
3. Linked to 2, it was a super-glamourous era. From Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Olwen Cooper (my nan), ladies always looked so polished.
4. From poodle print skirts to Tiki prints, fashion in the 1950s was fun!
Heart of Haute Monte Carlo dress, Sarah’s Doo Wop Do’s hair flower
5. If I’m feeling glum, nothing brings a smile to my face like twirling around in the garden like a five year old (see photo).
6. Clothes were built to last, and most modern reproduction companies have the same ethos. Pretty much all of my dresses are so well-made, I know they’ll keep me well-dressed for a while yet.
And, just so we’re clear – I love the fashion of the 1950s, and many other things about the decade. However, there are a few things I’m not so keen on either. This Bustle article puts it pretty well.
I think it’s safe to assume that most of this week’s copies of Woman’s Own in my hometown are sold out, thanks to excited friend and family, but if you want to read more, you’ll have to be quick, as the next issue comes out on Tuesday.