Does anyone wish it could be like the olden days, when....

(83 Posts)
Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:41:51

You had, in your wardrobe say, a number of pinafore-type dresses and different shirts/blouses for underneath? I'm hankering after a Valentine Wallopp (Parade's End) or Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility). Then, on a Sunday, you maybe had a choice of "best" outfits.

I'm utterly sick to death of our stores and all the excess. It's all cheap material, see through flimsy crap, T-shirt "dresses" that look awful on a woman of a certain age and aren't really dresses because they're so short, you need jeans or thick tights under them.

I suppose (and I don't expect anyone to post back) what I'm saying is, I wish clothes/looks/image weren't so important. I'd like to bin half of my wardrobe (and its pretty minimal, as it is) and just wear much the same thing, every day and not feel people are thinking "doesn't she have anything else to put on?"

I'm hankering after not so much a contrived "capsule" wardrobe as a just less of everything.

Am I bonkers? (Be kind, in answering that question) or does anyone else feel as I do?

Trill Fri 26-Apr-13 09:45:45

I suspect that some people do feel as you do, but they might not frequent the Style and Beauty section smile

All of the Jane Austen books that I've read have had at least a little fussing over outfits and ribbons and whatnot (even if it was mainly an indicator that a character was frivolous).

hedgefund Fri 26-Apr-13 09:47:50

watching that sewing show makes me want to have lots of dresses custom made to fit just me! i think we have lost the art of dressing to our shapes and just rely on slouchly badly fitting stuff most of the time!

i never did have a pinafore dress though, do you mean a la laura ashley from the 70s?

ZaraW Fri 26-Apr-13 10:13:57

I love retro 50's clothing I was born in the wrong decade.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 10:15:42

No. I like cheap stuff.

Trill Fri 26-Apr-13 10:23:49

You can wear retro 50s clothing while still being in this decade with modern appliances and modern medicine and being allowed to have a job after being married and having the right not to be raped by your husband if you are married and not to be a social outcast if you are not married.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 26-Apr-13 10:27:25

You might enjoy the minimalist thread. It's all about having less, except space and time to enjoy yourself, which you will get more of.grin

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 26-Apr-13 10:29:35

Deep down I feel like you, OP. in fact, my mum always says Mao's China had it right, with bowl haircuts and standard-issue pinafores for everyone grin.

All the time, effort and money we put in to image is wearing.

But hey, I'm as sucked in as the next person, I guess....

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:51:36

Laura Ashley, um no! And no to Per Una/M and S. I take your point Trill about the Jane Austen style.

I have an above knee Hobbs pinafore dress that I wear a LOT in the winter months. Tights, white/grey/black shirt under it. I love it cause I don't have to think too hard. I never really wear patterns (except with a skirt) and then , it has a white T and cardi over. I have many, many pairs of beige/taupe/tan Capri-style trousers for summer/spring again, worn with a white shirt. I guess I am minimalist already!

I tried recently to shop having read a few blogs and seen what others wear and was shocked by the overpriced utter tat, on offer.

Can't do 50's Retro. Too pear shaped and I'm 50. I'd look a bit like a pantomime dame. I'm not stylish enough to cay off a trend/theme.

christinarossetti Fri 26-Apr-13 10:54:11

I yearn for less 'choice' - who needs 15 different yellow t-shirts to choose from in one shop.

In fact, I feel quite nostalgic for the unravelling outgrown jumpers, steaming the wool, then re-using it days.

poorbuthappy Fri 26-Apr-13 10:56:16

I just yearn to be skinnier. I'm sure all my wardrobe stresses would seem more insignificant if I was a size 10.

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 11:03:08

I kind of know what you mean although I do enjoy clothes and would actually buy more if there were more shops catering to me and the clothes I like to wear (44 yo, not skinny).

It sounds actually as though you have found your style and don't need to vary it at all. Think of yourself as Jean Muir and you'll be fine wearing the same thing every day grin.

This is probably totally groovy (as is my choice of phrase) but your post reminded me of this lyric from a Stevie Wonder song about love called "If it's magic":

If it's special
Then with it why aren't we as careful
As making sure we dress in style
Posing pictures with a smile
Keeping danger from a child

ProjectGainsborough Fri 26-Apr-13 11:39:44

I love clothes, I love looking (or attempting to) put together. It's my happy place. But when things happen like this Bangladeshi building collapse, it just makes me realise how obscene our obsession with buying new stuff every weekend is. Just utterly fantastical and obscene that the world works like that.

Wow. Sorry to bring everyone down man.

higgle Fri 26-Apr-13 11:43:52

I have a thing about pinafore dresses too! I have an British tweed silk lined on that I got in the Brora sale three or four years ago and I propose to wear it every winter until I die! Brora and Toast ( they do good sales) are probaby the makes for you as their stuff is tip top quality. Brora have a clearance section which is ending soon - have a look there. Whilst I'm not quite as negative as you, op, I do not want to see another mock wrap synthetic or body con dress in printed polyester jersey ever again. Next, Phase Eight and white stuff have such poor quality now ( and Boden, on the whole) that I've given up on them entirely.

iheartdusty Fri 26-Apr-13 11:46:29

projectgainsborough, I agree with you particularly about the Bangladesh collapse. All those children coming out of the building, were they sewing the clothes my family buys? I am guilty of buying cheap clothes, I can't stand the worthy stuff People Tree sells and I'm too fat and busty to wear vintage, so I generally suppress my qualms about where the cheap stuff comes from.

MrsRebeccaDanvers Fri 26-Apr-13 12:15:45

I wish people would buy less cheap, tatty clothes and have fewer, better quality things instead. There's far too much choice of very similar cheap clothing

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 12:31:40

projectgainsborough that's a really good point about that awful factory collapse. I suspect it probably applies to almost all clothes now not just cheap clothes. I just took off my brand new Hobbs jacket to see where it was made - full price was £169 which is shock (I got it in the sale). Made in China. I guess (hope) Hobbs have a policy about their sourcing but someone is making a lot of money from selling clothes made by poor people to rich people who are silly (ie me)

mewkins Fri 26-Apr-13 12:56:21

I would love to be able to make clothes and would make a set of basic (perfect wide leg black trousers, pencil skirts and some great dresses and then any cheaper basics I bought would look great against my made stuff. So maybe post-war era would be good but without the rationing!
In Austen's books I think clothing was a massive indicator of personal wealth and status and so who you could and couldn't marry etc al rested on how wealthy you were/looked. So, in a way we are better off now- lots of cheap copies etc and if you're clever about it you can blend in without standing out as 'poor'.
Similarly, kids who come from poorer backgrounds don't have to wear homemade clothes and hand me downs so much as cheaper clothes are out there. There are positives and negatives I guess.

Eliza22 Fri 26-Apr-13 13:09:19

Thanks higgle I'll definitely take a look at Brora sale.

DrJ'sCat probably, you're right. I have a style already. I also probably look as though I wear (pretty much) the same thing, every day.

We as a consumer society, seem to have gone "disposable" where clothing's concerned. I overheard a conversation recently where a youngish woman said "well, if it falls apart after a few washes, it's cheap enough to throw it!" And I had visions of what manufacturing process the garment had been through and at what human cost, to reach our "throwaway" society sad

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Apr-13 13:22:18

This is a nice thread It's unusual to be thoughtful on here grin. I have a friend who says she has no jeans (well the 2nd pair she has has a broken button so she was quite happy to go to some boutique like Hobbs drjohsonscat that would sell cheaply made but expensively sold stuff to buy a new pair).

I tend to shop in 2nd hand places where you can buy good quality worn once or twice clothes at much more reasonable prices. I so agree about the bad quality not only of the manufacture but the revolting cheap material that is used in the Primark type shops (you can smell the 'treatment' they use to make the clothes "hang" better as you go in those places)

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 13:30:48

In the good olden days people had few clothes because they were handmade and the raw materials were a major investment (either in money or labor). Have you heard stories from elderly relatives about turning (=picking them apart and resewing to reuse the fabric) clothes? Or going barefoot in the summer to save precious leather shoes?

There has to be a happy balance somewhere between mindless exploitative consumerism and no choices at all...

spanishring Fri 26-Apr-13 13:55:00

I feel the same I long for those high neck, high waist Edwardian dresses- they look so comfy! And well made, and lovely fabric.

Ive always been fussy about fabric but recently everything is a poly mix and as i see it, a total rip off

Because i have decided im fed up of cheap tat im taking these measures:
No more tat- not even charity shops but vintage 80s and previous is OK

I am ( slowly) learning to sew and to adjust clothes

I am going to stop buying things for a do. So reusing what I've got.

I'm also fed up of the cut of clothes. They just don't fit me on the high street

I'm trying to learn

drjohnsonscat Fri 26-Apr-13 14:11:13

It would be nice to wear Edwardian clothes though. Nice nipped in waist and and long skirts. Only for winter though. And only if I had someone to do all the laundry and help me into my carriage so the skirt didn't trail in the mud. Also v happy in 40s clothes - that super-heavy crepe that you can't get any more.

Appreciate this was not really the point of your thread though OP.

OrlaKiely Fri 26-Apr-13 14:17:18

yes op I think you're right. far too much shitey stuff being produced, that then breaks and needs replacing with more cheapo shite.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 26-Apr-13 14:34:13

My challenge to myself is to only buy in charity shops this year. I actually get more pleasure out of the 'thrill of the chase', than just buying new. When I'm in a 'real' shop getting ideas, I imagine it's a charity shop and I often find I don't actually like a lot of the stuff, just the image of the brand. Today I've got my £3 whistles jeans, and a River Island knit £2 and a lovely scarf on. Knickers model's ownwink

My teen daughter also buys second hand a lot, she is very bothered about child labour, green issues and so on.

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