This has been an interesting not to mention downright odd and unexpected time. For months we’ve been dealing with Covid-19 and lockdown in the UK and now we’re slowly coming out of it.
Whilst I’ve been fortunate enough not to lose any friends or family, I, like many people, found myself an emotional wreck from time to time. What’s worse is I knew that I still had it good – I had my asthma under control, a roof over my head, we still had a wage coming in, and I was able to walk every day either in my village or around my garden.
And yet I found myself feeling low at times, even teary. My husband tells me I don’t do well with uncertainty – even if something is bad I need to know so that I can plan. This living from day to day or in reality three week to three week blocks waiting for an update for the government really wore me down.
So what did I do to keep my sanity? I got up and I got dressed. Every. Single. Day.
Having worked from home for years and needing routine I always dress – after all you never know who will knock on your front door!
But with the closure of my business and lockdown I had no need to go anywhere and could have stayed in my pyjamas. Except I was saved by my love of vintage/repro wear.
And I wasn’t the only one – Instagram and Facebook were crammed with pics and groups of online meetings and encouragement to wear your best and brightest for those nights out of staying in. The only difference is that this is the norm for me.
For around 13 years I’ve dabbled in 1940s/50s style but 18 months ago I decided to stop flirting with it and sunk myself full time into dressing 1950s style.
I adore Dior’s New Look and favour circle and swing over pencil styles and I don’t feel fully dressed unless I’ve got a petticoat on – even if I’m at home.
Now I don’t own any muggle clothing unless it can pass as 1950s. And I have one rule when it comes to clothes – dress for myself every day to make myself feel good. Don’t save it till best because that day may never come.
I have an Instagram account @modern_life_vintage_loves which allows me to showcase my outfits. I enjoy putting these together from skin up, choosing foundation garments depending on the outfit, to the main items, additional cardigans and of course finishing with accessories from hair flowers to bracelets. And yes, I may only be walking the three minutes to my office in the garden, but great co ordinating shoes are always on my feet.
I was even lucky enough to be asked to model some tights by SnagTightsSnagTights, as I’m a big fan and use many of their tights – as shown through out my Instagram. The shot was used on all their social media and is even on their website. Not long after that my insta followers shot past the 1k mark and has kept on climbing.
Dressing well has always been my salvation – I love to feel smart and have always been the odd one out, dressing in suits and ties when others my age were in jeans. Once I discovered Dior’s New Look I was hooked. Before lockdown I’d be stopped in the street to ask if I was off to a party or an event – when it was 10 in the morning and I was on my way to the supermarket.
I’ve been stared at both in an incredulous manner as well as complimentary. It makes no difference to me – I love how my clothes make me feel and wouldn’t change for anyone. Best of all I’ve got a great husband who encourages me and says “put on a twirly dress because it makes you smile”.
(Although when we moved house last year and I got to have a bigger dressing room with more wardrobes he had to build, he begged me not to buy anymore dresses otherwise we’ll have to reinforce the floor ☺️).
I’ve been asked many times if I ever dress down. The answer is of course yes. But even then I’ll be attired in 1950s style. I love high waisted trousers and jeans with buttons down the side. I throw on knitted tops or twinsets – no effort required at all, yet I’ll still be in keeping of my style and still feel well dressed, if not quite as smart as I like to be.
So I’d say it’s more than just a fancy outfit – it’s a way of keeping sane, raising my spirits, and encouraging me to start my day during these difficult times. In happier times I do it because it makes me smile to feel a petticoat swish around my legs. I’ve never been more clothed yet felt more feminine.
I know for many others, especially tired mums and dads who’ve now had to homeschool as well as hold down jobs, athletic sportswear or pyjamas are now their best friend. And why not? To each their own and during these difficult days we should all do what we need to, to get through, as long as it’s not hurting anyone.
Be kind to yourself.