The Capsule wardrobe project is temporarily on hold! No apologies, I have been working on other things whilst enjoying the unprecedented heat wave! Apart from my garden and vegetable plot, I have been busy taking photographs of new stock for Coolclobber and Floslingerie. We have now had weeks and weeks of hot sunshine, and I have had to eat my words about shorts! It has been too hot to wear much else!
So, here are some of my latest stock items for Coolclobber ⬆ Tap on any photo to enlarge it.
UK customers, Postage & Packaging is free on all orders over £35 throughout June, at Coolclobber.
Here’s the latest shopping offer from Floslingerie.
Applies to all U.K. orders over £25 throughout June.
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.
Today I visited some of my favourite haunts, searching for vintage pieces that will fit in my shops. Late in the day, I came across this amazing 1970s Ronald Joyce “After Six” evening dress…..certainly today’s best find!
These are my preview photographs, taken for my Instagram feed….as I couldn’t wait to show off my latest find. Although I haven’t taken measurements yet, I can safely say that it is Small, no more than a U.K. size 8, and it is in amazing condition. Later this week I will photograph it for the shop listings, and taking a full set of measurements to add to the description.
Vintage classics, the gentleman’s hat.
Historically, hats were always an essential element of any man’s wardrobe. Worn to denote occupation, worn to denote class, to keep the elements at bay, to protect the wearer from missiles and blows, and to make a statement about culture, taste and style….hats were worn with pride and with dignity. In the liberal 1960s and 70s, men’s wear in general became more casual and individualised, and the classic hats of former eras fell from grace, or were worn for more limited occasions as a part of formal dress.
With the renewed interest in styles of the past, lovers of vintage, watchers of costume dramas etc., have discovered a new love of classic hats, and their many forms. A man can create a particular vintage look more effectively by including a hat in his ensemble. There are many styles to choose from, but I am particularly fond of those classic styles that can be worn by Everyman, looking stylish without looking as if in fancy dress!
The British Bowler.
I love the bowler hat, as it is quintessentially British in origin and in nature. I always associate the bowler hat with suave Patrick MacNee…Steed in The Avengers (1960s). He was the epitome of London cool sophistication in his sharp suit, with rolled umbrella and bowler hat. The bowler is a classic, created by the eponymous Bowler Brothers, William and Thomas. They were commissioned by the 19th century hat retailer Lock & Co. To create a sturdy low crowned hat for their aristocratic client Mr.Edward Coke. This was in the mid 1800s, and for the next 100 years it was a popular style with city gents and politicians. In general, the bowler hat is no longer worn by the man in the street but is still a popular choice for high society occasions. For an authentic look, the bowler should be worn with a classic suit or with a well cut overcoat, smart shoes and gloves.
The Trilby and the Fedora
These classic styles are similar, and are perhaps the most commonly worn and popular of hats, particularly in the first half of the 20th century. They were both invented in the early 1890s.
Generally made from wool felt, the Trilby has a narrow brim and an indented crown, and is usually tightly turned up at the back ( and less so at the sides). The Fedora has a wider brim, and also has an indented or pinched crown. Both usually have a hat band, often of ribbon, and may either be stiffened or soft. Right up to the 1960s these were everyman’s hats, but the Fedora in particular is associated with glamour….often worn by film stars of the era….and by gangsters!
The Trilby and the Fedora are having a revival, and in my shop there is always a lot of interest in both styles. For a touch of glamour, 1930s to 1960s style…..wear with a classic trench coat ( incidentally, it’s a style that looks great on men and equally good on women!)
The Panama and the Boater
The Panama hat and the Boater are both men’s lightweight Summer hats, originating in the 1800s. The Boater is a flat crowned, stiff brimmed straw hat, with a ribbon band, often worn by tradesmen, barbers shop quartets, and particularly by butchers. It is also the classic hat for wearing when messing about on the river…..punting or rowing. Wear it with a good striped blazer and white bags for an authentic vintage look.
The Panama hat is finely woven from palm fronds and is as flexible as the Boater is rigid. The Panama usually has a pleated or dimpled crown and a ribbon band. It is an elegant hat popularised in the movies and beloved of both screen stars and public notables. Wear it best with a lightweight linen suit.
Of course, there are many other styles of classic hats to explore and enjoy, and it’s good to see men using these vintage styles to add a touch of individualism to their outfits.
N.B. The archive Photographs of Patrick MacNee and of Maurice Chevalier are not my ©
There is free Postage on U.K. orders over £30 from December 28th until the end of January 2018.
Now is a great time to think ahead to the New Year, and to Springtime. At Coolclobber there are plenty of warm coats and jackets for the current season, as well as glitzy gear to take you through the party season. There are hundreds of cool vintage items in stock , including a fine selection of handbags, gloves and headsquares.
This is a fabulous little equestrian number from a huge selection of vintage headsquares that I now have in stock.
My best friend wears hers like the Queen….tied under the chin!
There are fifty ways to leave your lover (so I hear), but how many ways are there to wear a headsquare?
1 folded diagonally and tied under the chin, like the Queen.
2 folded diagonally, crossed under the chin and tied at the back (Audrey Hepburn)
2 folded diagonally , tied around the back of head, over the scarf tails, gypsy style.
3 As above but tied under the scarf tails, hippy chic.
4 folded diagonally, point in the front, tails brought round to front and tied, point tucked in , washerwoman style.
5 pleated, tied, with ends fanned, turban style.
6 rolled on the diagonal and worn as a Hendrix style headband.
7rolled on the diagonal and used to tie a pony tail
8 folded into an oblong and worn as a knotted stock under a hacking jacket
9diagonally folded and tied behind the neck with the diagonal creating a cowl neckline.
10 diagonally folded and worn around the neck with tails at the front, Boy Scout style
11 as above but tails worn near the collar bone, cowboy style
12 as an element of a hijab
13 as an element of a headwrap
14 tie it around your wrist
15 tie it around your waist
16 tie it around your hips
17 tie it around your leg, like a punk Morris dancer
18 wrap up some possessions,tie it to a long stick and take a hike
19 drape over a side table
20 use it as a halter neck top
…….. I can think of more!
Coolclobber has a growing section devoted to sewing, crafts and supplies, including many vintage sundries and fabrics that will lend themselves to a variety of vintage sewing projects and upcycle projects.
I have always enjoyed re-using vintage fabrics and giving them a new life. So, along with selling clothes and accessories , I am always on the look-out for interesting textiles, vintage buttons and trims , patterns and sundries. Today I added a number of completed tapestries that I came across recently. There are already a few in the shop , so now there is a great selection to choose from. Some would lend themselves to being incorporated into luxurious cushion/pillow covers, some would look great framed and there are endless possibilities for creative sewing projects, including their use in carpet bags or totes.