When I wear my hair in twin buns Jon calls them my Mickey Mouse Ears so, after spotting a pair of Disney curtains in the 50p bin in a chazza on Friday, I just had take them home and transform them into a maxi dress.
At the Acoustic Festival last weekend we got chatting to lady about our mutual love for cats, travel, festivals and the Labour party. After we got home she phoned us and asked if we'd be interested in buying some of her late mother's clothes as she'd been hanging on to them for years and felt that, after meeting us, now was the right time to move them along. With a resounding Yes! we jumped in the van and drove over to rural Staffordshire to take a look. While there's always a thrill when we're buying vintage stock, discovering the story of the previous owner makes them all the more special.
Sadly, nothing in the collection was my size so Ms Kinky has kindly offered her modelling services.
Born in 1927, Betty was just a teenager when WW2 broke out but had an older sister who owned this Utility suit. For thirty years the females of Betty's family borrowed the suit for work, appointments and job interviews until it was eventually packed away in the late 1970s.
Bearing the increasingly rare CC41 label, utility clothing was introduced at the end of 1941 by the British government (To learn more click HERE).
Unlike many 1950s women Betty wasn't a stay-at-home wife, choosing to work full-time as a cashier for a well known (now, long gone) Black Country bakery firm. Outgoing and sociable, she took it upon herself to organise coach trips to the seaside for the bakery workers and their families. This cotton two-piece was her regular day trip outfit, featuring in many photos and hand made by her sister, the dressmaker of the family. The skirt has been painstakingly darned in places, something I love to see. No throwaway fashion back in the 1950s, back then clothes were loved and treasured and often worn until they fell apart.
This was Betty's "good" suit, worn at weddings and christenings throughout the 1960s.
The Acetate blouse was on the same coat hanger, suggesting that this was what she regularly wore under her brocade suit. Take that, fashion bloggers! Pattern mixing is neither new, brave or revolutionary. Betty was rocking clashing prints half a century ago.
Betty's husband was described as a bit Victorian in his attitude and wasn't much into socialising. Did that stop her going out? Hell, no! She took herself off to the Saturday night dance at the social club with her three kids in tow (to prove to her husband that she had no intention of copping off with a bloke behind his back) and danced the night way.
On their 25th wedding anniversary in 1975, Betty and her husband saved like mad and went on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise, visiting Morocco, Cyprus, Portugal, the South of France, Malta, The Canaries, Italy and Spain.
Her husband (now in his 92nd year) must have looked extremely dapper in this cobalt blue velvet jacket from C&A
(now in Jon's wardrobe!)
Meanwhile this insanely fabulous lime green maxi was Betty's cruise-tastic choice of dress.
Betty sadly died in 2008 but her fantastic wardrobe lives on as I'll take huge pride in telling our customers Betty's story when they buy her clothes.
|Mickey Mouse curtain maxi (made from 1971 Butterick dressmaking pattern) worn with cropped and spray painted 1960s leather coat (charity shop, 2014), Swedish apple green clogs and Indian tribal jewellery|
Linking to Patti & The Gang for Visible Monday.
See you soon!