Modern Romance 1980’s Style!

It’s really Spring now and romance is in the air. Outside two blue-tits are building their nests, my husband has cut the lawn for the second time and it’s the last of my fashion blogs.

Last Autumn I wrote about punk, and I’m sure you can all remember the tartan trousers. I got more comments over those tartan trousers (mostly from those of you who remembered them from the 1950s) than I have on any other single piece of clothing I’ve featured.

For those of us who can remember (a little more recently) the end of punk, we can probably also remember what took it’s place: the New Romantics. Suddenly we couldn’t turn on Top of The Pops without seeing pretty boys in sharp suits, or billowing shirt sleeves, or even loin-cloths (Does anyone remember Tight Fit and The Lion Sleeps Tonight?); boys who’d obviously raided their big sister’s make-up drawer and, to be honest, were wearing it rather better than she did!

It was difficult to come up with the perfect song for you to listen to while you read this but in the end I’ve plumped for Modern Romance themselves, with the 1982 track Best Years of our Lives.This track proves a point, with it’s swinging salsa beat, that fashion trends are never distinct, but always linked, because this could equally well be applied to the Carnival look

Well, if the Post Urban Traveller look was Punk all grown up and sophisticated, then this look is the antithesis of punk and, while it’s left the billowing sleeves firmly to the Carnival look again, down in Rio (wasn’t that a Duran Duran song? Now they were New Romantics, weren’t they? Look, if you’re not that into Modern Romance you can listen to Rio instead. Always did like that Simon Le Bon….), this look is girly and feminine and quite unashamedly pretty.

All the clothes (with one notable exception) come this week from Dorothy Perkins, French Connection and (almost statutorily for prettiness) Phase Eight.

So let’s start with the dresses as usual.

Fit and Flare is everywhere this year, and it fits right into this pretty trend as if it was meant. We can find it in floral prints, in lace and with delicate texturing.

Dorothy Perkins Blue floral fit and flare dress £25

Very feminine indeed.


This dress, with the gauzy embroidered overlay dresses the look up for evening. That sheer top takes us back to the fifties, doesn’t it?

But the fit and flare is not the only shape out there for this look. While the Body Con dresses are too sexy for our little girlie corner, we are just loving the narrow knife pleats, laser-cut crochet look (just dipping into the Festival theme for a moment, but much more daintily) and luxe fabrics.

French Connection Riviera Mist Sequin Dress £180

Even further back than the fifties girls; I put this one in Ancient Greece!


Now – you’d wear that one to a wedding, wouldn’t you? Not a festival. Yes, and I know it’s too much for most of you, but I’ve a couple of Romantic Classics out there who will be wanting more details on this one, so just stifle your gag-reflexes, OK!


Another pretty dress with lots of texture. Oh, and notice the fringing. That’s why I couldn’t find the rodeo look on the denim last week, Phase Eight had stolen it all for their evening dresses!

A must for this delicate look, providing you have the shoulders and dainty collarbones for it, is spaghetti straps for dresses. Anyone however who played rugby for their school/university (or even thought about it) should probably leave spaghetti where it’s meant to be: briefly on your plate before being given a snug welcome in your stomach.

French Connection Desert Tropicana Maxi Dress £160

Nobody can have legs that long. She’s standing on a stool inside that dress, surely! And she never played rugby, I bet.

Moving onto skirts we have a high waisted pencil skirt that would be quite comfortable in an office – if not for the fact it’s come out in a terrible rash of daisies.

Dorothy Perkins Daisy Pencil Skirt £18

And, just in case you were thinking of dashing off to the Acropolis in your lunchtime…

Dorothy Perkins Blush mesh pleated maxi £23.40

But, be careful with your Moussaka. You wouldn’t want to spill anything on that delicate blush pink, would you?

Speaking of blush pink, the biker jacket has had a makeover so that it fits in with the sleepover. Turned out, all it really needed was a dye-job

Dorothy Perkins Blush Quilt Stitch Biker Jacket £44

Although, if leather is a bit too bad-girl, let’s try it in a summer tweed

French Connection Bel Air Tweed Biker Jacket £150

Note the dinky little shorts: they are the nod to the sporty look. See, I told you; it all ties in.

If the biker jacket is still not enough of a girl even in pretty pink, you may wish to go for something more sheer – and in polka dots no less.

Dorothy Perkins Black Lace Spot Kimono £14

Lastly, especially attending that big  summer event when you’re not sure of the weather, the jacquard duster coat. Now – before you fall in love – this is the item that came from Harrods and costs more than all the previous items put together, OK?

St John Floral Jacquard topper coat £999

You see, you too can be as well dressed as the Queen.

And I’ll leave you to take that comment any way you please. Absolutely no offence, your Majesty and with the very greatest respect.


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