Friday, 30 August 2013

My favourite 'old fogey' brands

I think I need these! (Hotter 'France')
Style’s a funny thing. We all start developing our taste in clothes early, even if we’re not aware of it, and one day you wake up and realise your taste has actually dated. Despite not being especially into fashion during the 1980s and 1990s I’ve still absorbed some of the maxims of those decades. Thou Shalt Not Wear Brown, for example (brown was massively popular in the 1970s and therefore to be shunned, though I have abandoned that one, with some help from steampunk). Thou Shalt Not Wear Flares (another shunned 70s style). Recently I’ve been realising that some of the styles that are ‘just normal clothes’ to me probably mark me out as someone who was young in the 1990s, such as my conviction that clumpy boots go with everything. I still have slip dresses and a crushed velvet babydoll in the wardrobe, and I'd be wearing them now if they still fitted!

Because people cling to the styles of their youth a little, it’s always worth investigating ‘old fogey’ brands because they carry on making older trends for a bit longer, and they stock a good range of classics too. Van-Dal still make shoe clips, as well as fairly traditional-looking shoes – I like their court shoes. Miss Mary of Sweden manufacture corselettes and bras that are admittedly mostly low on glam, but rock-firm on shape.

My favourite old fogey brands 
Edinburgh Woollen Mill
A great source of pleated tartan skirts for women and Harris tweed-pretty-much-everything for gents, from waistcoats to trilbies to ties. I’d avoid the shortbread, though, as some of what they sell contains vegetable oil! (If it’s not all-butter, it’s not worth eating...)

Hotter shoes
They only do about one retro-styled pair of shoes a season, but I always get a pair and wear them to bits. I'm currently eyeing up a pair of France for winter workwear. (Helen Highwater included Hotter in her guest post 'Vintage style shoes in larger sizes' for Retro Chick.)

Triumph
Specifically, the Doreen bra. You can keep your modern foam rubber half-sphere bras – a Doreen gives amazing lift, plenty of separation, and is dead comfy. Okay, it’s not the sexiest garment in the world, but if you’ve got maximams (I’m a 34F), it will give you a better silhouette than anything else on the High Street. I know at least two other vintage-loving bloggers who are Doreen fans, and I bet we're not the only three.

Bronnley
Bronnley have been making toiletries since the 1880s. I’m a massive fan of the Orange and Jasmine (Seville in a bottle!) and Lemon and Neroli scents, though the Pink Bouquet and Freesia are also lovely.

Have you got a favourite oldie-but-goodie brand?

14 comments :

  1. I did chuckle at your clumpy boots comment. I am the same, I'm convinced that any dress is enhanced by wearing clumpy boots, or daps. So much so that I'm wearing daps to my wedding, as you know!

    I do like Bronnley, but it's a long time since I've owned any. I'll have to check out the Orange and Jasmine and the Lemon and Neroli, as they sound divine.

    My Nan bought me a summer housecoat from Edinburgh Woollen Mill. It' a lovely waffle cotton, with pretty pink sprigs on it. It's not particularly glamorous but I feel elegant the instant I put it on.

    I might have to buy the France shoes - they are stunning!

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    1. Nowadays I wear hiking boots, but back in the 1990s I wore army surplus boots. (Those, or a pair of over-the-knee black leather boots.) They're so practical! Much better than the Ugg boots young'uns favour nowadays...

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  2. I was eyeing up the Hotter shoes in the new season styles last week. Unfortunately the best of them don't come in the extra wide...I am broad across the toe area...which sooo annoyed me. Gimme purple shoes, I say, they are not just for the narrow of foot! I had to give them a bit of ticking off to relieve my feelings and to remind them that wider sizes ought to offer all colours etc too. But as they aren't as narrow as a lot of brands I shall try some on next time I'm in town to see how they feel anyway. France, Riviera and Donna particularly appealed to me. Love the jewel colours.

    As for the Doreen, I am wearing one as I type! Not convinced it fits right despite what the fitter said. I'm a fan of Playtex Cross Your Heart but no shop seems to stock them now and have given up trying to fit myself from online, eight sizes later and still no further on.

    As for the brown, I know what you mean, but I always did like it, even as a child, which everyone thought queer. But I have quite a lot of it lurking in my wardrobe.

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    1. I'd try the Hotter shoes as they're pretty wide even in the regular sizes - I've got short, chubby feet, and the regular shoes fit me just fine.

      Doreen does have odd sizing; I think it's sized a couple down from most other brands/styles. Whether that's because of modern size creep, where a modern 12 is larger than a vintage 12, and so a modern 34C will be larger than a vintage 34C I don't know.

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  3. "if you’ve got maximams " - maximams. HAAA HA HAAA! I love this word. AWESOME.

    I don't have any particular brands per se. I am so used to just finding what I need on ebay or thrifting. That said, Topshop of all places have brought out some rather fetching "geek shoes" this season which are RIGHT NICE. Very comfy - but can be a little sketchy on the sizes.

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    1. Interesting - I never go into Topshop as I feel I'm just too old for it. That said, having seen Miss L Fire's AW preview, I may well wait for their range to be released. They've got some seriously nice shoes coming out. I might get a pair from them for 'best' and another sturdy pair of Hotters for work.

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  4. Eee you lot and your Doreen brassiere!

    I like the look of those shoes, hmm there's a Hotter store in Oxford.......

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  5. I stumbled upon the 'Hotter' brand too and bought 2 pairs of very vintage style shoes (one was even on sale!) Although I was initially sceptical of the brand for the same reasons as you, the two styles I picked were far from 'old fogey' and they'll both be great come winter!

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    1. And they are so comfy! I walk for miles in mine.

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  6. Yep. I wear my docs with little velvet dresses. Went into River Island, saw a youngster doing the same for a retro look. Didn't know whether to feel trendy or ancient!!

    I like a Doreen, also M&S 70s-esque 'cross your heart' style full support non wired - SO unsexily 70s but perfect under tank tops and maxis for the correct silhouette.

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    1. The young-people-doing-90s thing is so odd. I saw a 90s theme bar in Cardiff!

      Hmm, I'd given up on M&S for bras, maybe I'll have to try them again. I wish they'd start making their nice sets with non-padded bras in large sizes again. They used to do one bigger bra style with each fancy range - you'd get about three bra styles (only one big) and three pant styles in a range, so you could get the cut you wanted. Then last year they went down the 'foam footballs' route for all their large bras, so I dropped them and started going to Debenhams.

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  7. Nothing wrong with like fogey stuff - i am partial to a bit of Yardley myself ;-)
    I started my blog again xx Missed you all
    http://madamehorn.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-big-66.html

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    1. Hooray that you are blogging again. It's good to see you back - lots of people seem to have slowed down/ disappeared lately, and I do miss them.

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