Tag Archives: 1960s

Capsule Wardrobe, a versatile clothes collection.

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I am no minimalist. My aim is to create a “capsule wardrobe” of assorted pieces that I can combine in a variety of ways and enjoy wearing.  I think it is a given that I should have more than one pair of jeans and more than one T, but key pieces have to versatile.

In the little collection above, I have combined some favourite Vintage pieces with new items.

Firstly, I have included my favourite coat, a black wool, single breasted collarless straight cut garment by Corner Shop that I bought in 1990 from a Paul Sartori charity shop in Haverfordwest. I think that it had been made to measure for someone, but fitted me perfectly, and still does! It cost me £7. When I put this coat on, I feel instantly smart, and it works with dresses, skirts, trousers and jeans. As it is collarless, I often add a scarf. The scarf in the photos is one that I made myself. It is black wool with woven border deep pockets and a light grey suiting lining. ( One of the photos also shows this scarf worn with a black dress.)

I am a great fan of traditional Welsh Wool, and collect blankets and “carthen”, mostly brightly coloured ones from the 1960s.  The 1960s was a great era for the Woollen mills of West Wales, as fashion designers such as Mary Quant, used Welsh woollen cloth to create funky clothes and accessories.  The two skirts included in this collection are both Welsh wool cloth from the 1960s.  Both the red cloth and the green cloth are traditional woven patterns.  In one outfit, I have combined the sixties skirt with an early 90s black zip top by Workers for Freedom, and a white T.  I would wear this zip top with either skirt, and love the white “surprise” detail on the back.

The grey merino wool cardigan with red and maroon yoke is a recent purchase from TK Maxx. It is the perfect length to wear with the red skirt, but will also combine well with jeans.

The classic denim jeans jacket is also a recent High Steeet purchase, and already a favourite of mine. I have shown it here with one of the 60s skirts ( I could wear it with either), with my black straight cut Per Una jeans (bought second hand), with a Vintage Orvis button-through below the knee black cotton dress, and with  a stretchy knee length tie-dye patterned T shirt dress by Apricot, bought a few years ago on the High St. ( cheap and cheerful!)

One of my favourite items is a glorious reversible Vintage embroidered silk jacket from the Orient. Depending upon my mood and upon the occasion, I can wear it black with a red lining or red with a black lining. I can dress it up or dress it down. I wear it with the black jeans or over the black dress.

The last item in this little collection is a Vintage Hyphen silk lined knee length frock coat, that has been in my wardrobe for about twenty years. It has a single button in the front and is fitted. It looks great over black jeans, but also looks great over the stretchy Apricot dress.  It’s the type of garment that looks pretty sharp!

So, I think that is about a dozen items of clothing that form the basis of my wardrobe, and about 50% of its volume. The remainder is mainly seasonal or party clothes that I can happily put into storage, but also include a couple of shirts that I love and wear, an oversized sweater, ditto, and a classic trench coat.

That’s it!

Add ons include: underwear, footwear, accessories, bags, scarves, belts etc.

A revolution in shirt design, 1960s men’s fashion.

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Re-imagining the Shirt in the 1960s.
Men’s shirts through history have been fairly functional. They would keep a chap warm and well covered up, and particularly throughout the nineteenth century they would have been fairly voluminous with a wide straight cut, maybe with a generous shirt tail to tuck in to trousers, sometimes with detachable starched collars and cuffs. The collarless shirt, sometimes made of wool flannel, would be worn mainly by manual workers, a white or pale coloured shirt would be worn by office workers.
In the 1950s and into the 1960s, Rael-Brook was one of Britain’s largest manufacturers of men’s shirts. Their advertisements, featuring dancing shirts, were shown on the television, accompanied by the catchy musical jingo, ”Rael-Brook, Rael-Brook, the shirt for men”. Real-Brook introduced subtle stripes and soft colours, including primrose and pink to their range, to attract younger men to buy their products. In the early years of the 60s, millions of white shirts were imported from Hong Kong to Great Britain, but the younger market demanded something different. Arrow and Tootal were popular brands with the younger buyers, offering new and brighter patterns, with an emphasis on a new slimmer silhouette and innovations to the collar. Tab collars and button down collars became popular, as did pointed collars and rounded collars.
In 1963, Ben Sherman brand was born. Ben Sherman (neé Sugarman) came from the USA and started up a company making an iconic 1960s shirt. It was immediately adopted by the Mods of 1963, and later by Two-Tone and Ska followers. Like an Italian profile, the Ben Sherman shirt was a very slim fit with a square cut hem ( no bulky shirt tail!), it had a box pleat at the back, a back button and button down collar. It came in many colours and patterns. The Ben Sherman shirt was the epitome of mod fashion for British men.
In the USA, Arnold Palmer, probably the best known and best loved golfers of the 1960s, won the US Open in 1960, and created his own brand, Arnold Palmer Enterprises, a year later. From those early years, shirts were part of the Arnold Palmer range, and bore both his name and his own logo, a golfing umbrella. The Arnold Palmer shirt of the 1960s comes in a variety of colours and patterns, plains and abstract, has a sharp collar, is a slim cut, and reflects the tastes of young American Pop Culture.
Colour and pattern remained a feature of men’s shirts throughout the 1960s and into the 70s, when collars and cuffs became more exaggerated, sometimes with the addition of frills. 1960s shirt fashions remain infinitely sharp and wearable, making them highly sought after pieces of vintage clothing.

Caravan chic, 50s 60s curtains

Continue reading Caravan chic, 50s 60s curtains

1960s Vintage, Swinging London, The Summer of Love, Models, Music and Mods.

The Swinging Sixties, as it became know, is synonymous with an explosion of creativity in fashion and music and art, that put Britain on the map as the innovative capital of the world!

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Hermans Hermit, David Bowie.

Pop Art, Op Art, Peter Blake, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Andy Warhol.

Hair….the lacquered beehive…..Vidal Sassoon, the five point bob.

Make-up….eyeliner, false eyelashes, pale lipstick, pale nail varnish.

Over the decade, various styles emerged, and it is possible to find plenty of 60s vintage clothing in good wearable condition.

Themes

Space Age and Futuristic, with  clothes made from plastic, metal or paper and new fabrics.  Lots of white and silver. Helmets, short boots, geometric structure and keyholes, geometric prints.

Designers

André Courrège, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne

The Mini Skirt

Courrège showed above the knee short skirts in the early 60s, however the term Mini skirt is accredited to Mary Quant, who, in the mid sixties, introduced skirts 6/7 inches above the knee. Mary Quant also designed groovy capes, mini skirts, dresses and bags using Welsh tapestry doublecloth in vivid 60s colour combinations.

Designers

Jean Varon, Mary Quant, John Bates, André Courrège.

Biba

The brainchild of designer Barbara Hulanicki, Biba started as a small store in Kensington in 1964, later, in the 70s, moving in to the old Derry and Toms department store in Kensington High St. Biba was a complete look, a distinct style, based on both Biba clothing and Biba make-up. Biba was a “dolly girl” look, big eyed and young.

Designer

Barbara Hulanicki

Flower Power, The Summer of Love.

1967 is known as The Summer of Love, and marks a summer when over 75,000 hippies gathered in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco. 1969 was the year of the Woodstock festival.  The late 1960s is associated with hippie fashion and inspired by American music.

Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Monkees, The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Mamas & Papas.

Designers

Sandra Rhodes, Celia Birtwell, Ozzy Clark,

Models, Muses & Icons

Twiggy, Penelope Tree, Patti Boyd, Jean Shrimpton, Peggy Moffit, Grace Coddington, Cathy McGowan, Jackie Kennedy, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Mia Farrow, Nancy Sinatra, Sandy Shaw, Twinkle.

Key Pieces

Fingertip length mini dress, mini skirt, skinny rib sweater, ankle or knee high boots, baker boy hat, 3/4 length jacket, the headscarf, sack dress, smock dress, hot pants, palazzo pants, long floaty dress, headband. Welsh tapestry capes, skirts and handbags, the Afghan coat, a bibbity bobbity hat, satin loons.

lots of

crimplene, Tricel, polyester, permapleats, courtelle, acrylic, nylon.

1960s go go dress
1960s go go dress
1960s cocktail dress
1960s brocade cocktail dress
1960s purse, Welsh doublecloth.
1960s Welsh tapestry doublecloth purse
1960s Welsh doublecloth Handbag
1960s Welsh doublecloth handbag

 

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