Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Summer Wardrobe

As I remarked the other day, summer has arrived in northern Scotland.  The schools are on holiday here, but not yet in England, a disjointed fact which never ceases to irritate me, just like the mismatched Bank Holidays.  Chit-chat around the office kettle is inevitably centred on summer plans.  Lots of complicated “We are driving down to X to fly to Y” scenarios.  Me?  3 nights in Hebden Bridge and a week near Gairloch, thanks!
I am struck by the number of women who buy a whole suitcase full of new clothes for their holidays. OK, so they may shop at Primark or Asda, but it sounds like my colleagues are using up their 25 a year in a single supermarket sweep!
I have never been one for “a fortnight in the sun” so it feels pretty alien to me to require a holiday wardrobe.  As a rule, I pack a spare pair of jeans, a couple of ts and an extra jumper.  I am precisely the target market for companies like White Stuff, who helpfully group the clothes in their catalogue into matching sets, and provide  "packing lists" on their website.  These days I am more likely to be enticed by Howies, who offer "Bundles" of simple low-impact coordinates, like organic cotton jeans and a t shirt, for a reduced price. But they are still made in China...
So, back to real life. I am charmed by 1950’s capsule wardrobe sewing patterns, intended for early jet-setters, or more likely Caravan Club members, heading off to Morecambe or Scarborough or Southend.  I look at these patterns and I can smell the candy-floss and salty breezes!  The pattern at the top of this post is just gorgeous (and available on Etsy if you are prepared to invest- it's a collector's item.  I don't own it, or indeed any of the other patterns picured - tsk!)


But if the weather continues like this and we get a “proper summer”, who knows what might happen?  I am tempted to stitch a 50’s-style mini collection to wear to work.  No shorts or halter tops, obviously, but how about some cropped cotton trousers and a couple of airy shirts?  A sleeveless dress and jacket perhaps?  
And it would be fun.  FUN in the SUN!

13 comments:

Star speckles said...

They are fab, so stylish. I'm sat in shorts and vest roasting, I long to be the woman at thee top in the headscarf getting ready to head out to the country in Hubby's sports car... One day!

two hippos said...

oh to look so stylish on a summers day!

kbenco said...

The patterns are charming, but I can't see them at work, that would surely ruin the fantasy holiday appeal. Everyone on those envelopes is in a 50's movie!

Twelfthknit said...

I wonder where people in CHina get t here clothes. Do they have conversations with each other where they talk about stopping buying crap from overseas sweatshops in Glasgow.

Summer has also arrived in Zürich. I knew it would because I had just finished a much-needed wooly hat. Yes. Seriously. I was replacing a misplaced wooly hat in July.

Debi said...

Yes! Here's to a proper summer and fun in the sun!! Love all these patterns--the 50s capsule weekend/summer wardrobe is so classy!

Scruffybadger said...

Lovely patterns and I to am enticed by 50s and 60s holiday wardrobe patterns...but how chuckle some to dig down to the reality and imagine them being worn for al fresco washing up followed by a round of mini golf!
Do we have modern day holiday wardrobe patterns? Or is there more of a focus on coordinates. If there was, do you think it would be far more causal than these lovely fitted numbers? A loose top, pull on trousers that could be cut in two lengths to make shorts or longs and a shirt that can double up as a jacket? Or am I still thinking 80s90s ?!?

beate grigutsch said...

love this kind of patterns too!
they´re inspiring me since my youth to my travel packing. all in my suitcase/backpack should go together and for every occasion......
i wish all of us a nice warm summer!!!

christinelaennec said...

Hooray for some sun in the summertime! Those patterns are good fun, and the best thing is that in 2013 you wouldn't have to wear a girdle.

Claire Park said...

Yeah, im a capsule wardrobe kinda gal too....Dont shop specifically for hols. Pack what I have.
XxC

sulkycat said...

Black maxi dresses, sandals, hair piled up so I hit five foot. That's my summer wardrobe. I am too stumpy to be chic ;-)

Sarah said...

I love capsule wardrobes!

Linda C said...

I do have to plan what shorts or pants, what shirts (go with which bottoms) Shoes-re sandals or trainers, socks, bras and knickers, - to sleep in ? Old shorts and old t=shirts usually, shirts, and most important these days, which summer sweaters? Really hot outside so need AC inside; need AC inside so need a sweater inside. This, by the way, is because I live in one city in the South and go to another city in the South to visit. That's why we talk of, I guess I might think of, a more formal type wardrobe with pants and skirts and dresses, changing clothes more when it is so hot, etc., take that sweater in a big purse because you will need it -inside the grocery, restaurant, inside any building, etc.

Speaking from experience, cell phone, charger, sun glasses, hat, medicines, bathing suit and towel, check book, paper and pencils, something to read, etc.. What do you always forget?

LindaC

LinB said...

Capsule wardrobes can greatly expand your existing makes: ten yards or so of a decent solid, made up in skirt-trousers-jacket-vest (waistcoat) can be railroaded through your machine without having to change thread colors, in marathon sewing sessions. If you choose a color that works with existing tops, you can pack for vacation and dress yourself for work from the same capsule. Choose a jolly print or two in the same colorway for tops-shorts-swimsuit cover to magnify your efforts even further. I don't travel much but I am a sucker for those "everything in one envelope" patterns.