Up until recently, I’d have described my perfect fashion era as the 1950s. I love everything full-skirted, cinch-waisted and colourfully cute. That style and silhouette suits my more curvaceous figure and so that’s where I’ve always been drawn towards. See examples here, here and here for just a few of my 1950s inspired looks.
Recently though, I’ve been mixing things up a bit. I went through a period of not knowing what I wanted to wear and falling back on jeans and hoodies or sweatshirts almost every day. But now the sun’s come out – at least for a few hours a week! – and it’s slightly warmer, I don’t necessarily need my arms and legs covered all the time to keep me warm, which means I’m able to experiment with the more fun type of outfits I much prefer to wear. Really I should live somewhere sunny and warm all the time for me to feel happy in my outfits every day!
And so I’ve fallen onto a new style that I kind of love – midi dresses that aren’t necessarily full skirted, but still have a slightly defined waist and more of a sheath like appearance. While the dresses like this that I’ve found aren’t actually real vintage – true vintage dresses in wearable condition are tricky to find! – I’m thinking they’re inspired by the 1930s. I’m particularly loving shirt dresses with buttons down the front and ties at the waist. The dress I wore in a recent post at Fountains Abbey is almost this style, and while it’s definitely vintage, I’m pretty certain it’s 1980s does 1930s – definitely not an original!!
This dress, however, is all modern. It’s brand new, bought on Saturday from Mango and worn immediately the next day. My sister and I went shopping in York (where I managed to leave a shopping bag with an Urban Outfitters jumpsuit on the bus, boohoo!) and as we walked past Mango, I spotted a beautiful dress in the window that I couldn’t just walk by. In the end, that dress looked weird on me, but fortunately this one and another button-down dress turned out to be comfortable and beautiful and so made their way home with me.
I’m finding shopping a little tricky nowadays. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I’ve got rid of a lot of my wardrobe over the past year or so. It means that items I used to fall back on are now gone – I got rid of things that were worn out, tired, weren’t getting worn any more, or just didn’t make me feel happy to wear them. As a result, I have a diminished wardrobe compared to what it used to be, but I’m trying my absolute best not to restock it.
The reasoning behind wardrobe purge was two-pronged: to get rid of items I didn’t wear to clear out space, but also because of my awareness of cheap clothing, fast fashion and waste. I feel like my contribution towards this has been pretty big over the years. I’ve bought cheap clothes over and over again simply because I liked them in the moment, then worn them once or twice before they ended up in the back of the wardrobe to be forgotten about. My goal with clearing out was to be able to see and know what I own so that I would wear what I have rather than buying new things all the time.
And I’ve done pretty well. I will admit that my lingerie buying and acquiring is still way above average, but I’m trying to counteract that by not buying clothes. As a result, I’ve been rewearing old favourites, and now 6 months into the year, I’ve only bought new clothes on about 4 occasions – one of which was on our minimoon a couple of weeks ago when Ben and I both realised in our rush to pack that we’d definitely underpacked, whoops!
This dress is a result of another shopping occasion – this weekend’s – and one that had more thought put into it than previous purchases would have done. While I hadn’t expected to buy anything from Mango, I was very impressed with their selection of clothing, how well it suited my style right now, and the prices – I’ve always thought of it as being more expensive than I like to purchase, but at £29.99, this dress seemed like a very worthwhile investment into a style I’d been looking at online for a number of months.
I did make other purchases on Saturday – one being the jumpsuit left on the bus that I’m still mourning over (a lunch break spent on hold to the bus company proved fruitless when I ran out of time and had to hang up before speaking to anyone!). Wandering the shops did make me think more about my purchasing habits though. As a blogger and someone who works with bloggers on a daily basis, I see bloggers wearing new clothes and styles a lot. It can be a tempting job to spot an item I love on a blog and see I can get it on next day delivery. I’ve been very good at resisting this lately, but there’s something different about going on a shopping trip and coming back empty-handed which made me feel I had to make more purchases.
Nevertheless, I am very happy with the purchase of this dress. I know that it won’t be all that wearable once the summer months are over, so I plan to get the most out of it now, and I’ve done well already (I may or may not be wearing it again today…). It’s tricky when your style is going through a transformation but you don’t want to make new purchases to suit that. Perhaps it’ll mean I’ll be back at my sewing machine again soon?