When it comes to naming my favourite fashion decade, it can be hard to pin me down. I love so many different periods of twentieth century fashion for so many different reasons: from the symbolic androgyny of the ’20s New Woman all the way through to ’80s power dressing, each decade has its own fascinating messages woven through its fabric, communicating the social, cultural and political mores of the time.
The fabric of my own wardrobe is unique in this regard: I’m something of a fashion magpie and my allegiances to different style periods can change with my mood. But I always come back to the same old favourites, whether ’40s tea dresses, ’50s fit-and-flare frocks or ’60s shifts. I’m currently reading a Scottish play by artist and playwright John Byrne set in the late 1950s/ early 1960s where fashion itself becomes a symbol of escape, emblematic of a generation divide and the dawn of teen culture. Clothes can seem frivolous, but really, in so many ways they are much, much more.
Their stylings may be different to mine (I don’t think I suit quiffs or drainpipe trews), but the sentiment is shared. My equivalent would be the ’60s shift: a straight cut where you’re free to move around – in reaction to the ultra-feminine styles of the previous decade – complete with elegant high neckline and knee length. This Boden twist on the classic style emphasises the cut with boat neck, playful, retro-style pockets and oversized buttons. Its tactile jacquard and go-with-everything navy make it a modern staple. However, I love it so much I’m tempted to invest in the cherry red version too… Every time I slip it on, I feel as though I’m channeling that empowerment of the Mod girl, ready to take on the world.
What’s your favourite style decade?
What I’m wearing: dress, boots and bag c/o Boden; vintage jewellery; grey M&S tights.