My frump suit scares all the boys from the yard

And they're like, "You dress like my nan!"
Damn right, I dress like your nan.

My name's Mim, and I'm a frump. And you know what? I like being a frump. There are some women who manage to be vintage and sexy – not just Dita von Teese, but regular ladies, who have a touch of Marilyn or Rita or Clara Bow about them. They have gorgeous high-heeled shoes and saucy pencil skirts and red lips and they work it. Me, I'm channelling Margaret Rutherford, possibly Miss Lemon on a good day. I wear jumpers and vintage-style but comfy shoes, and when I read old magazines and pattern books I realise that my figure looks more like the ones in the very few patterns 'for the mature woman' or 'for the fuller figure' than it does like the pretty ones in the rest of the book. (Well, nuts to that, I know how to resize a pattern; if I want to knit the pretty thing, I shall!)

I am making an effort to look a little more stylish, but I think I'll always be a frump. I really can't be doing with shoes that make my feet hurt, and I have too much front to go bra-less, so I've said sayonara to strappy and strapless tops and frocks. A thick waist and small hips render pencil skirts pointless. So I have made the decision to Work The Frump. Why not? I  can pin my enormous blingy brooches to my shift dresses, look for smart suits with fascinating details, have fun knitting my own jumpers and wearing them, and do all the things I enjoy doing, from book shopping to the Charleston, in my comfy shoes. Yeah. Being a frump – it's awesome!


  1. I do find this media-driven (and yes, even vintage/new-media driven sadly) idea that we must do vintage to be 'sexy', and that doing vintage is more 'female'/'alluring' than modern a little wearing too (& this idea of a different, more CLASSY but more DESIRABLE 'sexy' than lipgloss and tight jeans, what is more... erm when you look at it closer, doesn't that sound a little bit gold digger? A little bit sister-hating?).

    Vintage isn't about being a wannabe burlesque star, it's about personal style- whether inspired by history, art, fun OR being sexy.

    I love the brights and surreal patterns of the 70s. I rock the 'bad taste' vintage (the other thing vintage is 'supposed' to be is tasteful- yeah, Cath Kidston tat is garish, but a posher garish so it's tasteful snort). I love your look and think it's more 'boss' than frump - I love it because it is for the joy of clothes and for your personality, not to fit into any image clique. Go you!

  2. and why not? Dress to make yourself happy! x

  3. Go girl ... be you and proud of it. Anyway, nans rule! M x

  4. I agree with Perdita, I hate that vintage is meant to mean burlesque apparently.
    Quite frankly there comes a time in a woman's life where comfortable shoes are what it is all about! (actually in my case I have NEVER been able to walk in heels as I have a dreadful sense of balance)

  5. After reading your description of what you consider a frump to be… well, I guess I’m classed as one too! Though I like to think my vintage style is comfortable and practical, yet smart! (Like yourself) Yes I can dress up to the nines, and wear heels and hats like the 30’s/40’s mannequins, but I don’t do it every day and especially not when pottering around the house and town (that would be silly)- I like to think I always dress appropriately for an occasion, and if that means people think I look a frump, then so be it! In my eyes you look great and if you like it, then that is all that matters!
    T x

  6. Heh, it's nice to know so many people enjoy being something other than sexy too. Sometimes I feel the prevailing attitude towards women seems to be, "Be sexy or be nothing". Smart, fun, practical, eccentric... let's enjoy ALL the options!

  7. hehe, you should see what i'm wearing today! brown baggy checked tweed trousers and a navy jumper with geography teacher style patches on the elbows!

  8. frump is the way forward - you're not frumpy, you just don't dress is a boring standard way. xxx


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