|Needs a honking great cocktail ring, no?|
Yesterday, the Gods of Vintage, Fat Chicks and Charity Shoppers smiled on me bigtime. I go round all my local ones most weekends – any dedicated charity shopper will tell you is you have to go regularly, because the stock is constantly changing. Some weeks you find something you'll like, many weeks you find nothing at all, and this week I found something so splendid I grabbed it off the rail on sight and didn't let go of it until I had paid for it: this wonderful 'Evans 'Tweensize' dress and coat.
Two other things dedicated charity shoppers will tell you is that it's nigh-impossible to get decent vintage in charity shops, and that they're all overpriced. I'd certainly go with the former statement; I find one or two really good items of clothing or accessories a year, though my local shops are really well priced. This suit cost me a mere £15, and I rarely pay more than a fiver for anything.
I'm pretty sure the suit is 1960s. There's a metal zip in the back, and the font on the label looks very 1960s to me, though I've been unable to find out anything about Evans Tweensize via Google. Evans was founded in 1930, and I believe it's always been aimed at the larger lady, but there's a real dearth of information on the firm between then and 1971, when it was acquired by the Arcadia group.
The A-line shape of the dress, and the length, sitting right on the knee, also make me suspect this is 1960s, though it's quite a conservative 60s. It's somewhat Mod-Mother-of-the-Bride. (Fairy Modmother, perhaps!) I love the sharp pleats falling from a little satin bow; they make the dress roomier without adding volume.
The coat has bow-shaped insets that echo the bow on the dress. I suspect the bow placement is done to draw the eye inwards, visually narrowing both the bust and hips, as that sort of thing gets suggested all the time in the vintage books and magazines I've read. They're a very pretty detail, at any rate.
Mr Stones Vintage; if you have pieces in need of fixing, he sells equipment for repairing vintage jewellery, too. I've been wanting a set that includes a necklace for a while, and this was the ideal price and style for me.