1940s · 1950s · A-Z of a vintage girl · Uncategorized

E is for elegance: The A-Z of a vintage girl in a modern world

This week, I struggled to think of topics beginning with ‘E’ for my A-Z. The Boy and I had a bit of brainstorm walking to the cinema last night, quickly deciding that ‘elegance’ was the way to go.

For fun, here’s a selection of other ideas:

Exercise – because I’ve been doing a bit (and ‘a bit’ really is the operative phrase);

Emphatic – because I like the sound of it;

Excited – a strong contender;

Exterminate – because. You know. Daleks; and

Elephant – because they’re awesome (although I’m not sure where they’d fit).

And, almost as if I’d planned the whole exercise, dear readers, this leads us to a sneaky thing that’s not really got anything to do with my A-Z, but that I want to share anyway, because I am so emphatically excited. The Boy recently wrote an article for Doctor Who Magazine, all about Doctor Who weddings (including one which had a dalek as a ringbearer – it pootled down the aisle shouting ‘Exterminate!’). And that means that OUR WEDDING WAS IN FREAKIN’ DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE!

The issue is on sale now, but here’s a sneak peek at what Doctor Who would look like if The Boy was the Doctor (and nicked Matt Smith’s hat), and I was a slightly overdressed (hey, it worked for Catherine Tate) companion.

Bother. Elephant really doesn’t work, does it?:

CAChrisDoctorWhoMag

But, onto the reason we’re here. The next installment of my A-Z of a vintage girl in a modern world: elegance.

Whenever I think of the fashion of the 1940s and 50s – my particular eras of interest – one of the first words that comes to mind is elegance. In any photos I’ve seen, the ladies always look so pulled together. Of course, this could be because there were fewer cameras around, and correspondingly fewer opportunities for women to be caught off-guard, like this (photo by Lina & Tom):

Carrie-Ann and Chris - 0238

(Still, at least the black and white classes my face up a bit. It does, right?)
As you can probably see by this photo, elegance is something I’m still working on. I’m quite clumsy, and have a tendency to fall over my own feet (as I’ve done here,  which is a bit ridiculous, given my feet are a UK size 4). I have also been known to topple over no fewer than four times while wrestling into a pair of tights. (I won’t even go into the nightmare that is keeping the line on a pair of seamed stockings straight.)As someone who dresses in 40s’ and 50s’-inspired outfits every day, people often think me an authority on the topic, and ask me lots of questions. One of them is if I think women were more elegant back in the day. It’s one I went back and forth on a few times, and I think, on balance, my answer is no. And I’ll tell you for why, through some handy questions:

      Did women look more elegant in photos? Undoubtedly, yes – but, as I’ve said, there were fewer opportunities for the everyday woman to have her photo taken. So our opinions could be skewed by an emphasis on movie stars and styled shoots.

 

    Were there fewer instances of women drinking a bit too much? Possibly, but that’s because there were a lot of ridiculous societal rules about women drinking without a man by her side, which I’m pretty glad have gone out of the window.Don’t you think women dressed up more? Well, you sometimes see photos taken of women who were popping to the shops in a housecoat and a headscarf. I believe the housecoat was generally seen as an indoor item, and the modern day equivalent would be popping to Tesco in your pyjamas. So…not necessarily, no.

So, there you are. Grace Kelly had it, the Duchess of Cambridge has it, and some of us just have to work a little harder at it. Me? Well, I’ll keep practicing.What do you think, dear readers?

Also this week: while buying our tickets at the cinema last night, The Boy and I got chatting to a lovely young man working there. He complimented me on my hair, then asked me if I was in fancy dress. While it was definitely a fancy dress, I don’t think that’s what he meant.

CAPUGdress

Still. He was very nice about it when I explained it’s my day look.

***

And finally, there’s just under a month to go until voting for Miss Vintage UK closes. I’ve entered this year, and would love to get through to the next round (I know you know, but just in case you’d forgotten). If you haven’t already, and would like me to stop banging on about it, please can you click on this photo and like it?

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