This autumn there are bags everywhere: Oxford ones on your pins and clutch ones in the hand. The return of the straight trouser has brought with it wing lapelled jackets with padded shoulders and neat waistcoats. Underneath, a feminine touch to soften the butch look, blouses with floppy painters’ bows. And don’t forget your clutch bag tucked neatly under your arm.
First-job salaries can present problems when you’re not used to juggling the rent around a new skirt or sweater. But there are ways—as you’ll see on these pages—of looking not just good, but positively great on a tight budget. Learn the rules of the “looking-good-on-a-little” game . . . remember that one pair of pants at £10+ will outlive two pairs that split whenever you sit down; that washable fabrics mean you’ll have no cleaning bills. Learn how to bleach and dye, starch and press properly—so you’ll be able to match vest tops and T-shirts to your new longer flowery skirts and keep them looking fresh. Invest in beautiful leather shoes: they last and look good if polished every day. Spend more on accessories —sometimes—than a new dress. Build your wardrobe around two or three colours—as crazy as you like—and find jolly extras to pull it all together. . . . This may be the summer you always wear a hat. Here is my choice of nine outfits . . . chic, very wearable and all cheap at the price. That’s fashion knowhow.
As it’s my *cough* 40th *cough* birthday next week, I thought I’d theme a few blog posts to celebrate. So this week, they will all be hailing from the July 1979 issue of 19 Magazine. It’s a fascinating period on the cusp between the decades, which I like to think had some kind of immense bearing on the person I am today. Being July I’m afraid it’s a bit swimsuit-heavy, but it’s also one of the greatest, most creative periods for swimwear which, in the case of Swanky Modes, is almost the purest distillation of their aesthetic.
Photographed by Ku Khanh. Hair and make-up by Colin Booker.
I think it’s fair to say that us Brits went a bit Snoopy-crazy in 1976, from what I’ve read and seen, and this adorable editorial is the perfect example of the post-modern appropriation of childhood cartoon figures by fashionable adults in the Seventies (see also Mr Freedom and Miss Mouse). Of course, there are clothes from Miss Mouse and Lee Bender’s Bus Stop – which is similar to the notorious ‘Andy Pandy’ dungaree outfit worn by Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who.
Photographed by John Greenaway. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, April 1976.
Hat from Elle. Shirt by Riva. Dungarees by Bus Stop. Corduroy and leather shoes by Miss Revolution.
T-shirt by Radley. Jumpsuit, tights and socks all by Mary Quant. Shoes by Miss Revolution.
Shirt by Emesse. Skirt by Miss Mouse. Sneakers by Miss Revolution.
Baseball cap, from Badges and Equipment. T-shirt by Radley. Bomber jacket by Emesse. Scarf by Herbert Johnson.