Monday, 31 January 2011

Dot Cotton : Unlikely Style Icon

Yes folks. I am an Eastenders fan. I might as well just get it out there. I have watched it for too long now to ever leave it's side. Through the fab and the drab story lines, I have watched. And of late, I have come to love Dorothy Branning , aka Dot Cotton, more and more. Being one of the only original characters, she has remained mostly unchanging through the years. Fag in hand, tomato juice at the Vic (a Sherry for medicinal purposes) and perish the thought she should gossip -  she is one of my favourites.

But it is her clothes that I seem to be admiring most at the moment. Nay, getting inspiration from. I seem to be studying her, when she is not wearing a tabard at the Laundrette.

Although Dot was not a young woman in the 1940's (she was evacuated from Walford during WW2, which was ample opportunity for the Beeb to do a spin off about her life as a girl) she dresses in a decidedly 1940's way, I think.

Always in a skirt or a dress, hair always done, nails always painted. My kind of woman. She has a delightful fur-trimmed coat. She drives, well shuffles in, my dream car -  a Morris Minor. With wooden trim.

So, is this a confession, that actually -  I would quite like to be Dot Cotton when I am grown up? I have a suspicion that it might just be.

My wardrobe is so close to her's that recently I thought about going as her to a TV themed fancy dress party. The only thing I would have needed to complete the outfit, and to show I was in character and had not just decided to go as myself, was a bible.

And as for the actress, June Brown MBE, she seems a wonderful lady, who at 83 is still going strong.

Born in 1927, evacuated during The Blitz and in the latter years of WW2, serving as WREN, she then classically trained as an actress. She has been in Eastenders since 1985, taking a break in 1993 and returning for good in 1997.

The year I started watching full time.


  1. I love Dot! She is always so funny and yet handles the serious storylines too.

  2. I used to watch this years ago back when dirty Den was still around, but don't watch any soaps at all these days, maybe I'm weird? But I'm loving the handbags in these pics!!

  3. I'm not an 'Enders fan (I used to be years ago though circa Dirty Den & Angie), but without June, the Square wouldn't be the same. Wasn't she beautiful in her youth? It looks like she was blessed with a great bone structure with those cheekbones.

  4. It is all about the amazing shirts, clearly. You need to work on the grim put-upon facial expression though x

  5. Hi

    Just found your blog through Perdita's. I never watch Eastenders, but Dot's definitely the best character!

  6. Her ensembles are so prim and proper! I love all the tie-collar blouses and structured ladylike bags. Definitely worthy style inspiration :)

  7. Brilliant! This post really made me smile. I think a war time Dot spin off show would be awesome.

  8. I'm pretty sure I have that exact raincoat she's wearing in the top picture.....

  9. My gran was very much like Dot Cotton in terms of dress, cigarettes and accent. June Brown is a very fine actress.

  10. Ha! I SO agree! I enjoy her dress sense and just the other day had serious shirt envy when I saw her in one of her floral numbers to the point that I started immediately searching ebay for such a shirt. Also I have serious kitchen envy for some of her units. AND she used to have the most beautiful rose wallpaper in her front room that I always used to lust after! They replaced it recently, with something very similar....but it just wasn't the same, I could tell... how sad is that!?
    Also, on my work placement I was called Dot because I spent my time doing their embroidery huddled in a corner eating biscuits and gossiping in my fur coat!

  11. I LOVE Dot too! She has a lovely collection of kelly bags :)

    My fella leases me that I will look like Dot when i grow old (minus the chain smoking) I dont mind if i do :)

    Check out my new blog. Just started this blogging business but have been a reader for some years :)

  12. Hi there! Wow she was beautiful as a young woman, never seen an old photo of her before. There are very similar blouses on the high street right now, reckon the New Look buyers had the same idea as you!

  13. Never thought of it before but after seing your pics Dot really is a fashion icon. I love her bags.
    And WOW wasnt she a stunningly beautiful young woman.
    Hope i have her style soon and when i reach my 80's

    em x

  14. I totally love June! Her off duty style is always inspirational - when I grow old I want to be like her. Colin thinks she should be the next Dr Who, would love to see that!

  15. Ha ha and I thought I was weird in my Dot adoration (or so my teens tell me). I have often looked at her kitchen units with longing and envy her always perfect nails and set. But I want her gorgeous car more than anything! Sherry anyone?

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