Monday, 21 April 2014

A happy dress, and a gentle backwards glance

It's been a quiet sort of Bank Holiday weekend, which is fine by me.
Saturday saw a trip to my lovely hairdresser, a charity shop rummage, and a recce of Sheffield's city centre vintage emporia for an upcoming blogger meet-up!

 The Spring sunshine had me craving new sandals, but the charity shop gods provided instead.
Praise be.

1960s dress - Ebay
1960s slip (underneath), hat, and Jones the Bootmaker sandals - charity shopped
Sunglasses - retail (old)

I love the lightweight (see-through) gauzy cotton of this frock. 
It had been, according to its former owner's Ebay listing, a happy dress. I can believe it. 
The daisy print and hippy goodness of it compensate for the straight-laced navy.

White pendant necklace - gift from Leisa
Silver branch necklace - won in Patti's giveaway
Cuff and rings - charity shopped

So this outfit is topped and tailed with red; I do like my hair when it's freshly coloured.

There goes Jess, she's camouflaged against the pebbles and wood.

She and Charlie were rolling around in tandem. Jess stalked off when he had the temerity to pat her head. 
Don't mess with The Queen.

Min knows better than to get involved.

And in the spirit of a rambling, miscellaneous sort of post, here's an old pic of me from 1986/7.
I've been having a look through my old photo albums; the pics are generally dreadfully murky, but they do make me smile. 

I don't subscribe to the view that we should laugh at our former selves and our previous sartorial choices. It was fine at the time, and we looked great, whatever the cut of our trousers or the style of our hair. Look back in kindness, I say, that's a version of us which went on to become the current us; why mock?

That was my bedroom in a shared rented house where I lived between 1984 and 1988. 
Ash tray and fags on the side, along with my record deck and the obligatory Pre-Raphaelite posters and cards on the wall. Ahh, the memories!

 Linking to Patti's gathering of friends for Visible Monday.
 It's a fabulous place to celebrate who we are now, whatever our age or style!



Vix said...

That is one happy dress, deliciously gauzy and very Dollyrocker-ish. Your hair looks amazing and I'm lusting after your sandals, too. What a find!
Camo cat, if you hadn't pointed her out I've never have spotted her. Polly Piglet is the colour of old leaves and often takes us by surprise. The rest of the gang are utter beauties, too.
Love your 1980s photos. We wore our hair the same and had similar posters on the wall. Were your earrings from Hennes? I'm sure I have those cottage curtains in my fabric stash.
See you over at Pattis!
Love you! xxxxxxx

Vix said...

FIRST! xxx

Gracey the Giant said...

You look wonderful; blue is gorgeous on you. And those sandals! I'm so jealous. I don't have very good luck with thrifting shoes at all and it makes me sad.

Fiona said...

Navy is not synonymous with straight lacedness...oh no. It can be chic and soignee and if it's slightly see through, a bit bloody saucy! Smokin' new hot red sandals, what a serendipitous find. Lovely to see another pic from way back when... Perhaps I'll get up in the loft to find mine and give you all a laugh?
Was the recce successful? xxx

freckleface said...

Yes to all of this! To the gauzy dress, those fantastic new sandals, freshly done hair, camouflage cats and a recce with a cause. But maybe more than anything to being kind to that which is in the past. As you say, we looked fine at the time, and that's the only way to judge it. Besides, a universal notion of beauty in any capacity would be so limiting. I would have loved to have had hair as fabulous as yours. I did the best i could with bad perms! Xxxxx

Laurie Duncan said...

Another lovely dress, and I think those shoes are adorable! Are they as comfy as they look? That blogger meet sounds so fun! :)

Ripple Dandelion said...

I had exactly that same hairstyle!! And mine was similarly huge. I completely agree--why not say, gee, look how young I was, and fabulous, and that hair sure was glorious.

There's this one memory I have of that hairstyle: I was about 21, visiting Italy for the first and only time. Lots of male attention, despite the chaperonage of my father and grandmother. One man called out, "Testarossa, you are magnificent!"

Love your navy dress and new sandals--such finds!

Patti said...

Love, love those sandals! And the happy dress, too. I think you look smashing in 1986, and today. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox.

Natalia Lialina said...

Ohhh so much in this post... :)
Dark blue is gorgeous on you, beautiful red head! I too love freshness and brightness of the color right after visiting my hairdresser. I see you had a wonderful visit with yours! You look like a queen or a goddess in your beautiful maxi and sandals and the HAT!! Love it all on you. Your jewelry, as always, are complimenting the look.
And I so agree with you about our past - past looks, past selves... Look back with kindness. What wise words, my dear dear friend! :-) Oh, and I am so wanting to be there for your meet-up!!!!!

Happy Spring, love!

Northern mum down South said...

Love the frock, necklace and your new red sandals, hope the are comfortable. Cats are fab, they do keep you entertained with their antics. xx

Wee Wendy said...

I just love the way you write. And quite right to look back at the past with fondness, memories are very precious things x

Kezzie said...

Oooh, you look so Jane Austen! Love the dress and the sandals are really nice. You have SUCH nice hair! I like what you say about not laughing at one's old self- that's a really important point!x

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Very pretty dress!! Love the 80s pic! Back when everybody smoked!!

Goody said...

I have a similar Indian tourist blanket like the one covering your table (trunk?) in the photo. I tried giving it to Danny and he stepped back, like he was going to catch a "case of the 80's" from it or something, and refused to take it. It sits unloved in a box these days.

That dress would make me happy as well-what a beautiful colour.

Helga! said...

Love these old pix. I am usually wondering just what I was feeling and thinking at the time when I look at old pix. I kind of hardly relate to who I was as a young woman! Gawd, the 80's seem so far away, yet so vivid in my memory.
Gratuitous kitty pix! Min is just gorgeous, a lot like my darling Boris.
This frock is so Summery and pretty, and a bit Napoleonic Era too! Love navy and white. Bless the Chazza Shop Goddess for bringing you some splendid "new" sandals!

Jane said...

Oh my! That dress is DIVINE! :)

Brooke F said...

What a score with those great red sandals - praise be charity shop gods! Love the happy frock and stunning hair do. I'd like to look back kindly at my former self in photos but I usually just mock myself and giggle. Silly bugger that was. OK, still am. XXX

Connie said...

That IS a happy dress. It spoke to me through the computer and said, "I'm Happy! I now belong to Curtise. And I shall make her look like a blissed out Flower Child." Love the cool old photo. I always wanted to hang out with girls like you. I still do.

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

I get it! I never think I look any stranger than I did when the photo was taken. No less, perhaps, but not any weirder. I have enough problems second guessing myself ... won't spend any time poking fun at what I chose to wear in the WayBack.
You look grand then and now.
Especially with your new shooooze. So cute. Such a pretty dress ... a little Austen, a lot Summer of Love!
Now that I've cut the hair, I want a straw fedora. But I need just a bit more brim!
Thank you for the kitty photos ... one of our garage kitties is having her kittens out there as I write. She's one of my faves, so I'm nervous. Sweet shots of kittehs in the sun. Zen for my spirit.
And I've nominated you for a Wonderful Team Readership Award ... it's not one you have to figure out a bunch of personal factoids ... might be something you'd like to play.

Angels have Red Hair said...

I love your new old dress and that fact that it's navy makes me like it even more ... I have a bit of a thing for navy lately.

Melanie said...

I just love this hat with this filmy floating lovely maxi. And ask and ye shall receive from the thrifting gods - ee gads, those are great sandals. And your fresh hair colour is gorgeous.
A quietish weekend flipping through old photos, I can see you at it, chuckling and smiling. I have a similar photo of myself from that time, in my bedroom in a big shared house. Great memories, yes! Thanks for this peek into your past.

Sheila said...

So many lovely kitty pictures - what dears they are, rolling about.

You look just smashing in that dress, Curtise! Your hair looks wonderful - I love fresh colour on mine too! Why can't we just make it grow in the colour we want??

Val S said...

How many things do I love in this post!?! I love the dress and its hippy goodness, I love your hair all freshly coiffed, I love the red shoes. I adore the kitties (glad you pointed out the stealthy Jess), love the Pre-Raphaelites, and I love the old picture of you! I think you're right about embracing our younger selves. Someday we'll look back on these present times and laugh, oh, how we'll laugh.

beate grigutsch said...

your hair looks fabulous!
and your chic and romantic dress with the red sandals and the elegant jewelry is so fresh and lovely on you!
i never laugh at my old pics. and why should we? you look very fashion forward for that time!

love your cats - so cute :-)

Sue said...

The new shoes are bloody gorgeous and that goes without saying as you know about me and shoes. See if you ask you receive!! Loving your haircut, very chic length. Oh and a very happy dress indeed. Loved the old photo. I actually look back on mine and don't cringe, they remind me of a time gone by that I lived, loved and remember fondly. Love your cats!!!

Asparagus Pea said...

I seem to remember there was a big pre-raphaelite exhibition that I queued for ages to see at the Royal Academy (???). Also a Chagall show that I felt had been arranged especially for me. Did Art History as half of my degree so spent a great deal of time swanning around galleries and museums - happy days!

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Curtise,

The devil is in the detail they say and it most certainly is the detail that you do so well.

The Panama hat is such fun and gives a really chic style to the whole ensemble. That hat could take you anywhere and would surely give any outfit a touch of class.

The sandals, complete with blue painted toenails peeking cheekily through are simply wonderful. What fun they are going to be, one can easily see that they are going to be trusted friends for ever......

peaches mcginty said...

Camouflage Jess made my eyes go fuzzy! I could only see half a cat! Love your dress! and the hat! and the shoes! and your hair! I've just thrown out a shocking amount of shoes, they were in a bad, bad way! the murky pics of the past are great aren't they? we enjoyed a rummage the other day, I have to be honest though, my mullet at 15 was a steep learning curve in hair!x x x

Ivy Black said...

Fuck me if I didn't have the self same Pre Raph poster and the cat print too! Athena wasn't it...wasn't everything? What's the chances of that? I agree, look back in kindness. I was generally sporting a chronic bitchface and something an elderly man had only just ceased wearing himself because of his death. I was trying to change the world, so I always cut myself some slack! I think our generation rocked actually. Still do.
I'm dribbling over shoes and your hair. Sorry...I'll mop it up now.

Miss Magpie said...

I love that picture you look so unimpressed!

Your new hair is fab, I'm hoping I can get mine done before the 3rd or I'll be wearing a balaclava!!!!

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I love seeing old photos. They always make me smile. And you are right, we were looking good at the time! Gorgeous frock. I have grown to love navy. Paired with red it is perfection. I have never heard of the term bank holiday before. I had to google it! Xx

The Style Crone said...

You're the picture of spring in your floaty maxi and fedora. I am drawn to the color of your hair for obvious reasons!

I agree! Why mock our previous selves. Personal history is important, and this photo of you is fabulous.

thorne garnet said...

When I look through old photos I sometime surprise myself. I look pretty darn good in some of them! At the time they were taken it was always "good god I look awful". Funny how that happens

Dawn Elliott said...

Yet another fabulous dress and the sandals!!! WANT! I totally agree with you about old photos of ourselves...(after I chuckle good-naturedly) I will be sure to appreciate the past with humor and honor. Great reminder!
I wanna come to the vintage emporia!!!

Diane said...

I love that dress. The detail looks really pretty. I also love your old photo - how old would you have been? you looked so young! xx

Forest City Fashionista said...

Freshly coloured locks are the best - it just makes you feel better all over! Speaking of hair, I wanted big hair like yours back in the 80's but since mine was fine and flat, I just cut it all off. Yes, we should look back on our former selves with kindness instead of scorn. We were a pretty hip bunch "back in the day" ;)

That is a smashing dress - love the fabric and the cut, and the hat looks so cute with it. I want to tickle those kitty bellies....

Carina Rosenholm said...

You look stunning in that dress !

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

I think the dress is quite Jane Austen ish. Especially with your straw bonnet. The shades? Not so much.
I'm pleased you found sandals you were after. It's fantastic when you find the perfect thing.
Lovely to see your kitties frolicking in the sunshine. xxxx

Anonymous said...

Very jealous of the fact that you find beautiful sandals in a charity shop. I'm praying those same charity shop gods shine on me soon, I could do with new sandals! Gorgeous dress too, it looks just lovely on you!

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

It is nice to know that you are wearing a dress that was happy : ) I want all of my clothes to come from happy childhoods.

The dress looks cool and comfortable.

The blue and red are such a great combo. I'm like you, love it when my hair is freshly coloured.

I adore the hat!

Great old photo. I need to find more of mine.


Shawna McComber said...

So pretty! That is a happy dress indeed! Your Jess does look like my Sophie. I see she has a big tail too. Sophie's tail is like Squirrel Nutkin. Your Min looks like a cat I had in childhood named Minnie.

Your 80's photos make me quite impressed at the big hair you achieved. I failed miserably at big hair. My wedding photo from 1987 is almost not even identifiable as eighties except that my dress does have puffed sleeves.

Olga Rani said...

Another beautiful dress of yours, Curtise! At first I thought it has polka dots all over but it turned out to be daisies. Lovely. Your cats on that photo say "life is wonderful", they are adorable.

silvergirl said...

this is a great maxi dress
i love the "faux" lace trim

Mother of Reinvention said...

What a lovely dress and the colour is great on you. I try not to laugh too hard at what I used to wear because in all honesty I still wear quite a lot of the same stuff I used to in the 80's, just in a bigger size. I mean you never have to iron crushed velvet or t-shirts. What is not to love. Your cats are cuteness incarnate. Xx

Lesley Extance said...

Gorgeous Curtise, the dress is lovely and you look great in it!.
Best wishes xxx

Kelly Jackson said...

Gorgeous dress, Curtise! And your new do length is fab. I have hair envy. Xoxo

Penny-Rose said...

Your Kitties are so cute, the last photo is my favourite.

Lucy Nation said...

I do love looking at people's old photographs. I never get bored of seeing old family snaps and pictures of night's out gone by. I had all those Pre-Raphaelite pictures on my wall too when I lived at home.

Btw, how are you so blase about knowing RH. I would be a dithering wreck if I ever met him. I'm a big fan! xxx

Trees said...

I can see that is indeed a very happy dress - I love it and I want one of my own. I also feel my hair is at its very best when its been coloured (although I know there are those who think I'm naturally black haired - bless!). Seriously, I just have to say again how amazing that dress is...maybe I can find a pattern to whip up something similar??