I started out years ago trying to achieve a deco look, but I've come to realise a late 50s/early 60s silhouette suits my figure, and the prices of actual vintage from that time suits my purse. Without meaning to I've ended up mostly in that space just before the 1960s really started to swing, when silhouettes were streamlined and 'active' but still ladylike, patterns bold and graphic without being psychedelic, and jewellery was BIG and BLINGY. I had been fighting it, but in the past year I embraced it wholeheartedly. Part of me would still like to steer a course for Deco Island, but I firmly believe that style should be natural. Instead of Deco Island I've washed up in Joan Holloway's clothes on Jackie O Beach.
Shopping-wise, 2015 was very different from previous years. I made the decision spend a bit more on my daywear and get things right. It's easier to find a good choice of cocktail and evening wear, in my experience, and in the past I've shied away from spending much on everyday clothes, but they're the things I wear most often so have the biggest impact on how I look and feel. It's daft to splash out on party frocks that get worn a handful of times and then skimp on a day dress that could be worn every week for six months. I also decided to pay much less attention to when things were made, instead asking 'Do I like it?', 'Is it also the sort of thing I enjoy wearing?' (because it's possible to like something on other people without enjoying it on onesself) and finally, 'Is it really going to fit me?'
The robot's new clothes
You'll be seeing all my frocks and tops again next year and beyond, too, assuming nothing dreadful happens to them or me, so it's not that extravagant. The dresses are mostly vintage or from dedicated repro companies but the tops I bought were from Boden, in the sale. I can't afford full-priced Boden, but their 60s-influenced patterns are irresistible, so I wait until the prices drop to buy things. To make room, I sent a number of garments to charity shops. I also wore out a couple of items. That does make me sad, after all you have to really love wearing something to wear it out. One was just a simple black jersey dress, but it was great for work, weddings, funerals, casual days – I just had to change the accessories as appropriate. I think this is the first time in over 20 years when I haven't owned a little black dress of some description.
I bought far fewer accessories in 2015 than in previous years, as I seemed to have as many as I needed. I got a replacement black boxy bag for work as the handle had gone on my usual one, and that was about it on the accessory front, until autumn came and new work shoes were needed. Being boring, I replaced my worn-out penny loafers with... another pair of penny loafers. Well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I also got a pair of plain black brogues. Those and the loafers were smarter than my hiking boots but just as practical unless I was actually going hiking. And then Porcelina sent me a handbag that was perfectly me. I've always had a theory that if you give stuff away, more stuff comes back to you. I gave clothes to a charity shop, Porcelina sent me a bag... I wonder what will be coming her way?
So, where do I think I'll go in 2016? To start with, I don't think my overall style will change: I'm happy on Jackie O Beach. While part of me really wants some more trousers and some pencil skirts, in 2015 it felt as though I bought something new (or new to me) every month. Because of that, I'm putting myself on a no-internet-shopping rule until July. I have enough, and I need to get more wear out of it all. However, as far as firm resolutions go, I have only one: to wear more of my jewellery. Most of it's costume and/or secondhand, but I like it, and I've realised I don't wear as wide a variety of it as I should on a regular basis so that's what I'm going to do. I've started in the picture at the top of this page - my New Year's Day outfit is a new-to-me midcentury dress (bought in Etsy seller Dethrose's Black Friday sale) and the coral necklace and earrings my stepnan gave me - I suspect they're 1950s or 1960s.
Have you made any fashion resolutions for 2016?