Friday, 28 November 2014

If we squeeze you any tighter, you might turn into a diamond

It's been a grey old week, and since grey is not a favourite of mine, I have fought back with burgundy. 

Or merlot. Or claret. Any red wine would do, I suppose.

What are we calling burgundy this year? 

Berry? Oxblood? Maroon? Magenta?

 Lord knows. But I like wearing it. 

Velvet jacket, cardigan, leather bag, beret and bangles - charity shopped
1970s dress - Ebay
Boots - retail (sale) 

That tan leather saddle bag has become a firm favourite since I bought it on our bloggers' trip to Burton on Trent.

I looked up the brand online (Grafea) and found they are an English company; this particular bag retails for £105 on their website. Nice score for £6 then. 

1960s Eclipse wool cape, 1970s Hennes crochet dress, belt and bangles - charity shopped
1950s carpet bag - flea market

Does it get any more Nanna Chic than tweed, crochet, and a carpet bag with a bamboo handle?

Of course the Welsh cape was another Burton treasure. 

  Incidentally, does anyone know when Hennes changed their name to H&M? I definitely recall Hennes shops in the late 1970s/early 1980s. In fact, in my head I still call them that, just as John Lewis here in Sheffield will always Cole Brothers (the department store which JL took over, retaining the old name for many years).

It's that Nanna thing again. My kids mock me, reminding me of how I rolled my eyes when my mum referred to the radio as a wireless when I was growing up

The charity shops have provided some interesting bits and pieces this week;

an amazing 1980s silk evening dress by Wim Hemmink. It's tiny, so hopefully it is destined to be someone else's LBD this Christmas via Ebay...

a fur-trimmed brooch (I'm guessing 1950s),
vintage gloves galore,
a 1967 jumpsuit pattern,
1950-60s glass necklace,
and a 1970s tea towel.

I have been looking for a vintage jumpsuit pattern for ages; this one is too big, but I'm hoping that reducing the size will be a reasonably straightforward task. Of course, I may be deluding myself.

Speaking of sizes (and self-delusion), after my surprise at not being able to fit into the size 20 Global dress in my last post, at least not comfortably, I've had further disappointment this week. 

Look at these beauties;

My friend Judith's mum had kept some of her dresses from the 1960s and 70s, and Judith said she was very happy to give them to me. Of course I was delighted, especially when Judith assured me that her mum had not been a teeny waif back in the day. And when she dropped these gorgeous dresses off, I couldn't wait to try them on.


I can't get into them. The turquoise maxi is the only one I can do up, but truthfully, it's too tight.


So I'm putting the dresses on Ebay for Judith. Although it's disappointing, as I would have loved to wear them, it's also true that I have a wardrobe overflowing with vintage frocks which fit me beautifully, so I'm not complaining. Well, only a little bit. 

Tomorrow is our school's Christmas fair, so I'm hoping for better weather and festive cheer. And we're back to my mate's house afterwards for a glass or two of Cava, which we will richly deserve. 

Hope you have a splendid weekend, whatever you're doing, wearing, or drinking!



Goody said...

I *still* call it a wireless-I guess the transformation into my mother is complete.

It is a pity about the dresses, but being able to breathe is important! You should be able to scale the pattern down easily enough-you sew better than you give yourself credit for.

The crochet dress is anything but nanna (well, MY nana anyway). Have a lovely weekend. I hope the weather improves for you.

Goody said...


Mother of Reinvention said...

Nanna chic rocks! You look fabulous in your cape. I bet it is nice and warm. Pity about those frocks but vintage stuff does tend to run small. I lament, where were all the big people in the 1960's (i.e those over a size 12)? Did they run around in their pants? Or stay in the house eating pies? Have a great time at the fair and enjoy the Cava. Tis' the season to be merry after all. Xxxx p.s. I will have a lok through my masses of patterns to see if I have a jumpsuit one. What size do you take? Xx

mondoagogo said...

Hennes was always H&M -- it was Hennes & Mauritz, but no one ever said the second part. I think it started being H&M around the turn of the millennium but I might be wrong. Whenever they started having more than one store on Oxford Street... I still call the John Lewis shop in Sloane Square Peter Jones.

Burgundy is more purple than oxblood, which is browner, but I like them both!

Lots of lovely dresses in this post :)

Patti said...

Great vintage scores, Curtise - the gloves are slinky and the sewing pattern will be fabulous for you - I think making smaller is not too difficult.I hope your weekend is wonderful in every way, xox.

Kelly Jackson said...

Nana Chic, love it. That outfit is killer, the cape, the crochet dress, everything. Xoxo

Kezzie said...

My friend Sarah called it Hennes in about 1994, but I think it changed around then. I remember it being referred to as Hennes in Just 17 magazine in around 1992!!

You look such an antidote to grey gloomy Autumn!
What a S;shame about the dresses!! X

Elizabeth Rebecca said...


Lizzie's Daily Blog

Sheila said...

Burgundy forever! I adore that cape on you - it's swoon-worthy! Also loving those vintage dresses and feeling that sad, sinking feeling for you that they didn't fit.

Northern mum down South said...

That cape looks great with the burgundy skirt. Hope all goes well at the Christmas fair and the enjoy the 'do' afterwards. xx

Natalia Lialina said...

I love how the plaid cape looks against the burgundy crochet dress, great color and texture combination! You look so good in a beanie (I wonder whether would I?..), and that cross body bag is perfect and such a score! Lovely finds as usual! I have a few vintage tea towels myself, waiting for an inspiration for a display to come. Your new one is so sweet.

Have a great time with your friends and some good Cava! :) xxxx

lawyerdoll said...

I'm absolutely MAD for that '60's cape. I want one!!!!

Bobbi said...

You look gorgeous in burgundy!
The new little black dress is beautiful - too bad it's not your size. The black and white maxi is dreamy!

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Oh gosh those frocks from Judith are delicious. I especially love the orange pleated one. I love your outfits. Maroon is not a colour I wear, often or ever really. It reminds me a bit too much of my high school uniform. But you look gorgeous in it Xx

Fiona said...

Some great frocks here Curtise, what a bugger they are not your size. Love your crocheted number, in fact that whole outfit is a triumph. Hope the xmas fair goes well, enjoy the Cava.

Melanie said...

Lovely outfits :)
That's a shame about the fit on those lovely dresses. I was given three dresses recently, along with my gorgeous 50's one that fits like a glove but two I can't even get on and the third makes me look like a slightly pregnant housewife of the 1950's, it's so unforgiving around the belly area!
Lovely charity shop finds, that brooch looks like bunny fur to me. The necklace is so pretty, it puts me in mind of one I made up from a broken strand xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Nana chic, indeed! The nanas of Advanced Style would heartily approve your combinations with the Breton cape, leather boots and bag(s). Can't say better than that, can one?!

The charity shop gloves are so elegant, especially the opera length pair. Too bad about the gifted dresses, Curtise. I've begun to suspect that we modern women are somewhat fitter/muscular than the ladies of the 1950s...well, I do sling 40 pound bags of cat litter around quite often.

Frocktasia said...

I always called it Hennes or Hennes & Mauritz as I was growing up,their mail-order catalogue was a firm favourite in our household. I haven't heard any one use the '& Mauritz' bit for ages and when I go to Sweden now most people just call it HM.

I found this interesting infomation on wikipedia...

"In 1946 the company's founder Erling Persson was on a trip to the United States and came up with the business idea of offering fashionable clothing at attractive prices. In 1947 he opened his first shop Västerås, Sweden "Hennes", which exclusively sold women's clothing. "Hennes" is Swedish and means "for her" and/or "hers". In 1968 Persson acquired the hunting apparel retailer Mauritz Widforss, which led to the inclusion of a menswear collection in the product range and the name change to "Hennes & Mauritz" (H&M). In 1998, the company successfully gained control over the initials "HM" for its Internet domain"

Have a great weekend :)

Ariane Lasalle said...

Hi Curtise ,

Tks for welcoming back, i'm happy to be be back
I really missed it but the energy wasn't there.
I love your cape i have seen it before when you girls went to your charity shop expedition and blogger meet up, what a super buy !
Those gowns are really spectacular, i see some once in a while, i had one gorgeous one that i wore when i had my accident in March - I didn't keep it, too many bad memories, i could not wear that dress anymore.

I have seen you kids in previous posts, they have grown so much especially the oldest
H&M apperared only about 10 years ago around here

I don't wear burgundy a lot, it looks superb on you !

Till nex time!


Olga Rani said...

I used to have a jacket of same colour and almost of same design as yours. Gave it to one of my daughters. Love the floral dress that you wear with the jacket. Beautiful maxis, someone will get lucky.

Lesley Extance said...

Yes its been a grey old week , but as usual you look wonderful and love the colours ! have a fab weekend Curtise xxx

Miss Magpie said...

I'm so late to the party I see the Hennes thing has already been covered!
I was gutted when the one in Oxford closed and for years had to go to Reading to get my fix, but this year they finally opened again in Oxford so I'm a happy bunny.

I'm so sad none of those dresses fitted I could see you in all of them.

You're never going to give me/let me steal that bag now are you? ;-P

Connie said...

I know what you mean. My Dad always called the fridge the "ice box." And what is it with those 1950's/60's women and their tiny waists? Girdles? Repressed ambitions? Martinis??? Who knows what their secret was. I have a few 50's house dresses that send me dangerously close to Mrs. Wolowitz territory. But I'm not giving them up just yet. Curtise, your are plum beautiful in all your autumnal finery. You, my dear, are already a diamond.

beate grigutsch said...

wonderful, curtise! to read your musings over red wine, nanna chic and vintage finds while sipping my tempranillo! (red wine from spain)
a crochet skirt is the must have of the season i think. i will look for a granny to made the crochet, the sewing up would be easy. purple, gray or dusty rose?
that cape is still the stunner! every time i love it more!!!!

Porcelina said...

That turquoise one is divine! What's your selling name on Ebay? I seriously need to place a bid, assuming that I can get into it that is.

Love all the berry, claret, winey colours.


Mrs Bertimus said...

I remember Richards shops, it seemed so glamorous!
And as for that bargainous hand bag...well done! X

freckleface said...

I'm calling it aubergine delight. Or is it plum perfection? I don't know, but I sure do love it on you and it looks luscious with tan and green tweed. Burton was a treasure trove, with that cape and bag! So glad you plumped for both. Wim Hemmink sounds the very epitome of sophistication and that dress lives up to the label. Someone is going to rock that! What a shame about Judith's mum's frocks :( they are a lovely collection. My fave is the little red mademoiselle. I'd love to see your kids flicking their eyes at you. Funny. I'm rather excited about the jumpsuit pattern!! Xxxxxxxx

Suzanne Carillo said...

That second look of yours with the cape that you refer to as granny chic is PERFECT!!! Love that ensemble.

I cannot believe those dresses didn't fit. So sad.


thorne garnet said...

crying shame about those dresses, all of them are beauties.

Here's a sewing hint: make the jumpsuit up in really cheap fabric and see how it fits. Them make what ever alterations on the cheap fabric. It's easier that altering the paper. Don't make the facing.

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Looking good in plum! What a shame about the dresses being too small.I remember Richard shops!
I'm sure you can work wonders with the sewing pattern Curtise. Is it the shorts jumpsuit that you're going for? Can't wait! xxxx

Forest City Fashionista said...

Wine, Burgundy, or Merlot (excellent alcohol colours!), they all look great on you. Rich colours like that go so well with your hair. That was an excellent deal on the shoulder bag.

Oooooh, I would LOVE to be able to wear the 80's silk party dress, but too small for me :( I can't believe the other dresses are all too small for you - how unfortunate, as I could definitely see you in the black and white maxi. Hopefully you will be able to make Judith a bit of cash on Ebay.

Angels have Red Hair said...

What a shame the dresses don't fit. That orange one with the pearl buttons is absolutely gorgeous … you need to start putting up links to the ebay sales so we can have a go at bidding :0)

Laurie Duncan said...

Love both of your outfits, I need to get more burgundy in my wardrobe! That saddlebag purse is just perfect, I've been looking for something like that and can't find anything! :)

Sue said...

I am calling Burgundy 'Plum', it looks gorgeous on you. Love the new cape, totally fab. Half the fun about second hand shopping is being able to on sell to others which helps fund the continuation of shopping. All the frocks are gorgeous and someone is going to be tickled pink to have one.

Jazzy Jack said...

So many gorgeous comments already. I do love the cape with the belt. That is the standout for me. My son has been taught to call that colour magenta at school. It seems so grown up coming from his mouth!
You rock that colour, whatever its called.
Hope the weather improved! xo JJ

Ivy Black said...

I do love a bit of nana chic and you are rocking it. I love that cape on you.
I still call it the wireless and I'm thinking that as contemporary life progresses, I'm tending to step backwards. I like a slower pace to be honest. I also like those frocks a lot. Shame they don't's that fabulous bosom again I bet! The black n'white number is a beauty.
Hope the Christmas fair went well and that there wasn't a Black Friday type of meltdown over the cake stall. I've seen that before now!
Loves ya.

Vix said...

Nothing remotely nana about you, love! You look gorgeous. Burton certainly yielded some treasure in the shape of that cape and posh saddle bag.
Isn't it funny how often burgundy changes its name to suit the fashion. It was always wine or maroon when I was a girl - ha! I do it too.
I'm sure I bought a Hennes dress in the late 1980s. A great place to kill time waiting for the bus home if there was someone I didn't want to sit next to in the queue!
Some great scores there and how gutting about those glorious dresses! Can't wait to see you creating that fab jumpsuit!
Hope the fair went brilliantly.
Love you! xxxxxx

MIS PAPELICOS -Mis P said...

The wool cape is just perfection, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
I love, love, loe it all

Helga said...

Well, wouldn't that just rip your knickers?! It's SO tiresome when you get a pile of splendid vintage frockery thrown at you and it doesn't bloody fit!!! GAH! And you are quite welcome to complain, there's always a need for another frock or two!
I just love that cape, and I love burgundy, in whatever disguise it comes!!! I am sniggering over "What ARE we calling burgundy this year? " It's hilarious. A rose by any other name, I guess.
Hennes, I remember that name. Didn't know they'd become H & M, of which I have heard but never seen. None in this country, but I think there is one in Melbourne.

Kelly Roy said...

All wonderful finds and yes burgundy they call it and it's a big hit here in Greece!I've saved some great pieces while thrifting that didn't fit. Not many and I keep them for myself to look at.

Sabina said...

Found your blog through Vix's.

Love the first outfit--and yeah I would say that jacket's more merlot than oxblood.

And great vintage finds--sorry they didn't fit but then again a bit of cash through eBay never hurts. I need to get to work taking pics of a few goodies to sell myself.

silvergirl said...

Just loving that second outfit so much!!
All of those gloves.... so fabulous!

diaryofapennypincher said...

Love all your burgundy pieces, it's a great colour! What an amazing haul of items this week, such a shame about those dresses, especially the turquoise one, bet it would look stunning on you!

joyatri said...

You look great in that plummy/winey color. It's one of my favorite colors as well (I am partial to a variant I call 'raisin'). I'm with you, too on 'Nanna Chic.' I've realized that none of my vintage garb is in the least bit sexy, and that's ok with me.
Too bad about your friend's frocks. Although, as you say, there are plenty of other frocks out there (and in your wardrobe) that are perfect for you.

Shawna McComber said...

Your blog is always such a visual feast! As are you, my dear Curtise. The outfit on the left is just so perfectly you I stared at you for a long time like the true Vogueoff model that you are. I love the crocheted dress-or at least the skirt part which I can see and the delightful drama of the cape. Burgundy/wine/maroon/oxblood etc is one of my favourites too though I also love grey. Grey is good enough for cats, elephants and dolphins so it's good enough for me! Now, I'm off to see what there is for breakfast in the icebox.

Krista Gassib said...

Nanna are Curtise chic! This tweed cape will go with so much of what you own and I adore the little floral dress!
You too have really scored charity shopping I love the last three dresses! Too bad the blue doesn't fit but I understand about having to let go of those tight ones, I have too many myself.

ArgentGal said...

Yay! An entire post devoted to my favorite color. And you wear wine/burgundy/maroon/berry/oxblood/merlot/magenta beautifully! The crocheted dress and plaid cape are perfect together.

Delia Ryder said...

Haven't seen you in ages but you still look fabulous :-) Sorry you cant get into those dresses but wow I am sooooo loving the little orange dress :-) Stunning. dee xx