These (Golden) Wonder Years

Happy Days – Those (Golden) Wonder Years

The ever lovely Audrey Hepburn in her iconic role as Holly Golightly

“Just at that moment another beastly car came twisting down, and a woman got out of it dressed in the brightest chintz frock I have ever seen, scarlet poinsettias, I think they were, and she had on one of those big native straw hats – Cuban aren’t they? – in very bright scarlet.

The man, seeing her gave an astonished shout, “Carol” he cried, “In the name of all  that’s wonderful, fancy meeting you here! There’s Margery – my wife, you know. You must come and meet her.”

They went up the street together side by side. I had just a glimpse as they passed by me. Just enough to see a very white powdered chin and a flaming scarlet mouth and I wondered – I just wondered – if Margery would be so very pleased to meet her.”

   The Bloodstained Pavement – Agatha Christie (I know this has nothing to do with Breakfast at Tiffany’s but I started doing these clothes quotations from crime novels and then didn’t feel I could stop….)

 We always have some music for this blog, don’t we? Well, I could have googled “Soundtrack to Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but seeing as I really like Deep Blue Something’s iconic song – here it is – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (which actually has a great video. So if you want to watch that instead of reading this I won’t mind. Well – not much anyway…)

So – what have I to offer for this week? Well, amazingly, some stuff that some of us might actually wear! Yes, girls, I know it’s hard to take in; you might want to sit down and pour yourself a glass of Pinot Grigio first; but yes, in my humble opinion (Oh – sorry  – IMHO for all you girls who text-speak), there are some rather nice bits and pieces here.

So- an overview… “The 1950s add light hearted sex appeal in flirty skirts and body-conscious curves. Pencil skirts and full dresses add to the mood while ginghams and crisp cottons keep the look contemporary and feminine.”

Oh indeed?

So – let’s see then.

Ah – do you remember last week and the trench coat? Do you remember how I complained that I couldn’t find one in Apple Green? Turns out I wasn’t looking in Hobbs, was I? There they have the classic 1950s Trench coat in – well – almost any colour you can think of…

Hobbs – Sara Mac £159

Oh – perhaps you are remembering that we had the Trench coat as a staple of the war years? Hmmm – turned out that it lasted into the 1950s too. We’re not going to mention the 1960s, 70s, 80s… Look – it’s a classic: it’s always there, OK? It’s just that the designers like to think that they are the first ones to invent it. Yes, every damn year. Yes, they are the first. Let’s not prick their bubble, huh?

But – turns out the Hobbs people are a little bit more adventurous. Look – I mean, just look! The Trench coat as even I never dared dream…

Honeysuckle trench coat £229

… and in fact, as even I never dare wear… Hmmmm

And moving on…

Apparently the designers have been doing the belted jacket. Oh, have they? Not on the high street apparently.   I found this… and that was it…

Gerard Darel Antiquaire Jacket Beige £285

So – rather than spend hours in a fruitless search (oh yes, I did spend hours in a fruitless search, I remember now) let’s move on.

Tops. Oh yes – lots of crop-tops. (Significant pause). Well – I don’t know about you, but although I can see that my ten year old daughter looks great in crop tops, I think that, for yours truly, the moment has passed. It passed about twenty years ago in fact, and was never mourned.

Mango crop top £55

 Oh, not just the crop tops. There are the brassiere tops too…

Baziic sheer mesh crop top £32

 This reminds me very much of the scene in Cold Comfort Farm where Joanna Lumley as Mary Smith, works with her collection of vintage bras, pinning them all to mannequins. Bras were different in them days. Apparently so different that these days we’re wearing them on top. Ah, now when I say “we’re” wearing them on top – I didn’t mean that literally. Shall we just pause for a moment of respectful silence and pass on before they notice we’ve gone, eh?

 So we won’t bother with the tops. Oh – but hold on. Apparently neat little shirts are all the rage too…

Hobbs sleeveless dot shirt £69

 Well – these were always a little boxy on me, but I can completely get how they would appeal to some people. and – polka dots too: I feel a love affair about to start… If polka dots do it for you, then do let us know how you get on, but spare us the details, please: for some of us that’s just TMI (Too Much Information)!

 Skirts. Ah, skirts are where it all starts to really happen… We have a choice, full or slim. In the full corner, reminding me irresistibly of the film Greece, we have this little number, which just cries out for ankle socks and a high ponytail.

Coast Coro Skirt, Primrose Garden £95

 Please note the wide cinched in ribbon waist. According to my notes one should wear this with a cropped top to show off one’s midriff. Hmmm – there are laws on public decency you know, and although my next blog will be an angry diatribe on the subtle but all pervasive incidence of body shaming and how we should darn well be able to wear the clothes we want regardless of our size, I will still choose not to show off my midriff, thank you.

For those of us who like that style but feel that pink satin may be a little unforgiving, don’t despair, prints are a big thing with this look, so here we have more or less the same skirt, but in a giant floral print.

Mint Velvet Orchid Print 50s Skirt, Multi £79

So what about the slimline skirts, eh?

Whistles Lekki Broiderie Pencil Skirt, Black £110

 Oh yes – and another theme (which you’ve noticed running through all these looks, haven’t you, but you were just too polite to point it out); lace and Broderie Anglais. Most of it chunky lace and some of it looking like something that your great aunt Ida tatted up last weekend because she wanted you to have something pretty to wear… Still, nothing says “pretty” like lace, now, does it? And who said “nothing says Captain Jack Sparrow like lace?” No – please don’t give me ideas. But yes, I suppose the pirate look will storm onto the scene next season, swinging its cutlass and demanding rum with extra pieces of eight. We shall see.

 But, back to the fifties…

 Dresses have been a big thing this season. All the looks have revolved around the frocks, and this one is no exception. Big skirts, big prints, tight waists. It’s a look. It’s actually rather a nice look.

True Decadence Skater Dress, Light Blue Cream £85
Damsel in a dress Zsa Cotton Dress, BlueWhite £169
Hobbs Wessex Dress, Cornflower Blue & White £129
Coast Bella Stripe Dress, Coral £150

  Fresh blue and white colours abound and if flowers and lace get a bit much, you can always opt for the bold stripes or gingham – or even windowpane print. Sweet. All very sweet.

 Now there are trousers for those of you who like to keep your legs covered at all times, but don’t expect these trews to go all the way to the floor. Again we’ve got full and thin, but both of them get cropped at the ankle. Well, think of it from the designers’ point of view: if they made them full length we might carry on wearing them into the winter and they do rather want us to buy some more come September. They have a living to make, y’know.

Mint Velvet Carrie Print Soft Trousers, Multi £75
Hobbs Fern Cropped Trouser £110

 So, there you have it. I have to say that this is my favourite look from the season. I might be tempted by one of those dresses, or the Hobbs trousers above. Let me know if there’s anything you’ve seen in these blogs that you feel might work for you.

 Ah, but I know quite a number of you will cheekily say that the only things you’d like to wear out of the pics I’ve posted here are the men. So – Okay – and this is very reluctantly you understand – a man from the fifties. No – not Elvis – let’s have someone with style….

Paul Newman in the fifties
   Paul Newman – a bit later on…
 Ah – now there was a man who just improved with age… I like to think that we’re all improving likewise!
Have a happy day, everyone!
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