Saturday, 11 August 2012

In my 80's

I have made mention before and I shall make mention of it again. 

I wear dresses from the 1980's. 

I adore the 40's look. I really do. But I have not the breast size, hip ratio nor the bank account with which to maintain an authentic, bona fide 1940's clothing collection.

It just ain't gunna happen.

1980's dress & modern sandals

This does not bother me in the slightest. I do not feel that I do not belong, that I am not period enough or that how I dress is unacceptable in the eyes of others. Regretfully, this does not stop some sniping at others.

1980's jacket & dress -  modern brogues

Sadly, it seems to be a regular occurrence in retro world. Those who declare that others are not aesthetically pleasing. It's on forums, chat rooms, FaceBook. From mocking photos taken on the street and beamed out via Instagram, callous words from an event eagerly tweeted, snide remarks and whispers at meets or biting one liners on blogs.

Supermarket dress, modern shoes & belt, vintage hat, bag & gloves

And it does my head in. I find it an embarrassment to all those who dress with any retro persuasion and a wall to climb for those who want to take part, but don't own a Dior New Look piece or a 1920's dress that has seen more Charlston and Absinthe than you've had hot dinners.

1980's dress, modern brogues, belt & cardigan

Personally, from the virtual land of blogging to real life people weekenders -  I have not encountered snobbery aimed at me. At least not to my face. I love to meet people who have a like minded retro way of dressing -  be it on a day to day basis or not. Be it repro. Be it flares or flappers. Be it 1930's day-out-in-the-country-shooting-party-tweed or swooning-over-Little-Richard-T-Bird wannabe, tattooed to the hilt. 

If you are a genuine person - then you get my time and possibly a drink*

I just don't understand the mean spirited attitude and snobbery that occasionally rears it's ugly head.

1980's dress, jacket & jumper -  modern brogues

The majority of people I have met have been more than friendly and I have kept in contact with most. Despite my 80's frockery. As shocking as it may be to some in the fantasy land of perceived hierarchy, mixing your eras and looks is not a crime. Unless I didn't get the memo. And if I did, I think I would use it to light a smoke.

1980's dress, modern shoes & belt -  vintage hat

Authentic looks rock. They truly do. If you have the period clothes from the age -  fantastic! But, for me, it is the 40's style that is important, and what I chose it to be. I own dresses from the 50's to the modern day highstreet.  I use accessories and hair & make up to tie it together. But, the items that feed my closet the most are from the decade of my childhood. All of which I use to create my war time inspired look.

So what if someones clothing was made in a decade that is different to their chosen style? If you don't like it, if it doesn't float your boat -  that's dandy. Each to their own.

I think this retro/vintage thingymajig is about taking part, being friendly, creating a personal image.

Being yourself. Being nice.

*you have to enjoy a good dark rum. Or brandy. Or cider. 


  1. Hear hear! I think you always look smashing x

  2. I love your blog, so inspiring and true to life. I have enjoyed this piece in particular. You look fabulous in your mix and match vintage and modern attire and the dresses compliment you beautifully -MrsNx fellow lover of all things vintage/retro x

  3. I LOVE that jacket! Also, I agree with your words.

  4. Funnily enough, I saw a little dig on another blog just the other day - did not impress me much.
    I love the way you dress and your outfits are always so well put together. At least in your 1980s frocks you can sit on a park bench without fear or slouch on the couch! Also, if you drop some ice-cream on it, you can bung it in the wash - same can't be said of a period piece :o) I love the authentic look, or course I do because I sell the stuff, but unless you are at an entirely 1940's period reenactment event where authenticity is very important, then people should keep their hurtful opinions to themselves :o)

  5. You look gorgeous in all your dresses.

    In Germany we have not so many real vintage clothes vom the 30s, 40s or 50s. Especially in my big size. :-) So I sew the most of my "vintage" clothes by myself. And often I use old pattern for them. I´m happy with my repro look-a-likes.

  6. I completely agree with what you've said, what you wear should be entirely personal and who cares what era it comes from? The only thing that does bother me is sellers trying to pass off repro as the real deal. You always look great to me, anyway x

  7. Totally agree with what you say. You look fantastic.

    I love 50's styling but I would never feel right confining myself to one era. I like wearing all sorts of clothes. There is some negativity about that but I don't really care.


  8. Clothes should be authentic to... the person wearing them! You are super stylish and snidey people obviously haven't got past that 'indie/goth clique' thing from when they were 14... wanting to be different, but actually wanting to be the populah gals in their own little club. Nice people are all different and the only thing they have in common is being nice. :)

  9. To me you always look glamourous and just the ticket. I especially like the third picture down.
    I certainly can't afford original clothing, though I do have the odd piece, but the crux of it is I am tall and that leads to problems getting a fit right. I won't even consider looking to buy repro clothing as that is also out of my price range.
    Speaking as someone on the outside looking in socially, I couldn't give two hoots whether someone was wearing authentic pieces, repro or this era does that era, if it has been put together nicely, and if the person feels fabulous wearing it, then that's the main thing, it's just a shame that there will always be someone who doesn't see this, who has to get the claws out.

  10. You are spot on. The 40s style flatters you well and so whatever you use to get to that style is perfectly perfect. I love how you mix and match ereas. Know one but you would really know whats 80s vs whats 40s. I have both and they look accurate regardless. Same with 70s does 30s and a little of today does 80s punk.

  11. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I love retro and vintage clothes from a whole range of eras, but can't afford the pricetag (or fit into the boob space)I see no problem finding an item on the highstreet, supermarket or charity shop and dressing it up to suit your own style.
    I love your honesty- you're awesome and always look rather smashing! x

  12. I couldn't agree more - it's easy enough to buy a head to toe vintage look if you have the money, but making modern day pieces and other decades work for you - like you do so perfectly - shows true skill and style.

  13. I couldn't agree more - it's easy enough to buy a head to toe vintage look if you have the money, but making modern day pieces and other decades work for you - like you do so perfectly - shows true skill and style.

  14. Hear, hear!! Who wants to be a fashion victim anyway (be it a modern day one or a vintage version)? Much more fun to mix your eras and create your own style and you do it brilliantly. Those that snipe at the way other women dress really want to get a life, it's clothes at the end of the day not nuclear science! xxx

  15. You always look charming to me. The fact that you are able to pull your look together with dresses from the 80's impresses me even more!!! Poopoo to the haters that just want to see what they can mock rather than what they can learn and or appreciate.

  16. Yes yes and yes. It is fun to collect original vintage pieces, but there is no rule that says that is ALL vintage is about! As you know, I think people should be able to wear whatever they like without being judged, as long as they are happy. It is okay to have an opinion on what we do and don't like, but never to make someone else feel bad about what they wear. You, and your 80s dresses, and your mahoosive bosoms, rock my world xx

  17. People like that are annoying pricks. I've spent my life wearing second hand clothes from one era or another and I've never encountered this nonsense that seems to float about now. I like to see authenticity for re enactments or films, theatre etc but the clothes can be newly made, just as long as the costume detail is correct, but apart from that do what the hell you like. For those of us who truly care about history and stories past etc etc it's not about that anyway, it's something more that those who do it for fashion will never understand. It's the connection with the past that is important.
    I do like that brown jacket you wear, very nice shape.

  18. Well said that woman!
    As you know I have had a similar rant or two on my own blog. My poor sister was reduced to tears by two nasty bitches at the Rockabilly Rave once, if only I had been there with her....... well lets just say they wouldn't have known what had hit them! I cannot abide people like that.

    I think you always look bloody stunning and I am often green eyed over how you have put an outfit together, don't ever change. x

  19. I think you often look more retro than those who wear 40s pieces, simply because you have a more period attitude and carriage, which to me makes all the difference!

    You look amazing!

  20. Well said! I completely agree. I always think you look great and had you not told us most of your dresses are from the 1980's I would never have guessed. You totally pull off your war time look regardless of what decade the dresses you wear actually came from! I only wish I could pull of a retro look as well as you do!

  21. I totally agree with you!
    In Poland, where I live, it's really hard to get some real vintage clothes - in antique shops or flea markets you can only find things like silverware, paintings, books - but no clothing at all. Rarely, some pieces of vintage clothing appears on bidding services, but they are sooo expensive! And that's why the only vintage clothes or accessories I own, I got from my grandma - or from my friends' grandmas. My wardrobe in biggest part consists of modern things - and it's even funnier to achieve a retro look while using only modern pieces of clothing :)

    (sorry for misspellings and poor grammar - my English is a bit rusted)

  22. I think you always look great! To be honest I didn't know they were 80s dresses, and really, who cares! You feel great, you look great, and you're comfortable and put together. I love the 40s era, but from a distance, and I've been following your blog for a long time now. This post has actually been an eye opener for me. To see the outfits you've put together and to find out they are a mix of era, including modern, is amazing. Keep doing what you're doing so well!

  23. Fo sho. You always make 80s look convincingly 40s somehow - to the extent that I never even consider you as even "mixing eras", cos you're 40s all the way. Much as we'd love to have a closet full of original dresses, most of us can't, so we have to find alternative routes to the look we want.

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

  24. I hear you 100%! I wear 80s does 40s/50s dresses often, too, and have zero qualms admitting it. Even my grandma who was alive during those decades says that sometimes she can't tell the difference between my 40s/50s dresses and some of my 80s ones, because the cuts and patterns are so similar to those from her youth.

    I think you always look wonderful, stylish, and very vintage, so I say keep rocking the 80s and I'll do the same! :)

    ♥ Jessica

  25. You are farking awesome!!!
    I'm gagging to share a drinkie or two with you!

  26. O,I've been wearing a few 80's frocks myself lately! I wear whatever I can get my hands on that I like and fits my bloody annoyingly large boobage!!!

  27. As discussed on twitter, I think you totally they 80s dresses:O)

    For me they are an affordable way to dress AND many of them are polyester!!! - not so good for the august heat but amazing at stretching over boobs! x

  28. To me you look perfectly 40s and, even more important, always fabulous. Who cares if the dress was made in the 80s or today or whenever? And what about clothes you made yourself? Are they unauthentic, because they weren´t made in the era, even if made after an original pattern? People should stop worrying about others clothes and mind their own business :)

  29. Hear, hear!

    I really like your style and admire the way you're able to combine 80s, vintage and modern pieces so convincingly. I wish I could do it as well.

  30. Well said young lady! (I can say that I'm old!!) I hate snobbery, most of the fabulous 50s stuff I love has rocketed in price waaaaay beyond my budget. I would love to pay $350 for a black lurex dress, sadly it's not going to happen unless I win the lottery,and fingers crossed for that he he

    I'm lucky in that I do make my own, and honestly I get loads of compliments about my 'me made' stuff. I think that it's how you wear something not whether it's a certain era. I was into this stuff back in the 80s and there was some great stuff in the shops back then, every one wore Next trousers as they were so 40s looking you couldn't get better at the time.

    You always look fabulous, big fat raspberry to anyone who says otherwise!

  31. You look gorgeous! Just like you I buy clothes from the 80ies, because they do have that forties feel. I don't care what people think. It totally works on my budget and I look damn good ;) No snide comments yet. Altough, I was trying on a lovely frock in a second hand shop with some huge shoulderpads when somebody told me I should remove those shoulderpads because then I would look less like an idiot (not the exact words, but couldn't really translate this accurately). Let's just say I wasn't happy. So about that drink, I do like cider. And rum. And brandy ;)

  32. You always look great so you are proof that the retro look works. Most importantly, you have the confidence to carry it off and be happy in yourself (probably why you look great!) The only thing that gets me is when people (ie. dealers) try to say that items are vintage or 1940s for example, when they are more recent or 1980's copies. There's absolutely nothing wrong with buying the copies, wearing them, enjoying them and going for the '40s/vintage look at all, so long as nobody has tried to mislead or charge a fortune for it. I recently inherited a load of my nan's stuff, my mum thought it was hysterical that nan's flowery '80s dresses and pussy-bow blouses were now my style!

  33. Bravo! I think a lot of women are in the same boat as you (and I) with vintage sizes, as they are tiiiny - plus they are miles out of my price range! I was recently warned by quite a few people at the Hotrod Hayride that other shows could be quite snobby, and it was a relief to be in a relaxed environment where people could wear modern repros and not feel judged!

  34. Go girl!

    Dressing in vintage style should be fun not a contest.
    I love your blog. I love vintage clothes but do not have the guts to wear it myself but I so enjoy watching girls like you who dare. I dress up my home in vintage instead!

    Love and best wishes from Christine in Denmark.

  35. Hi Charly,

    On this blog is a flyer for a 40s weekender. Not sure if you've seen it:

  36. Hear, hear! I don't understand knocking anyone's retro style or their take on it. It's amazing how people can easily put down someone else with a few choice words (they'd NEVER wear an 80s top with a 40s skirt, they'd NEVER sew with a modern pattern, they'd NEVER wear trousers, etc, etc). I don't really have a "vintage scene" where I live, so I never experience anything like this in person, but it does bother me when now and again I see it online.

    I adore your style, and I think it's MORE impressive that you're able to wear so many 80s dress in such a delightfully 40s style! (And talk about less hassle in the laundry.) Anyone can throw on a vintage suit, but you really show your sense of style and fashion in how you put yourself together. I love little delicious 'cheats' too and do it frequently myself... one of my favorite 40s style blouses is a strange-man-made fabric 80s or 90s piece. It's so inspiring to see how you create your 40s look with other pieces!

  37. Thanks for all your wondrous comments folks :)

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