I do hope you are enjoying the way the temperature is creeping up – certainly in the UK and we are having some warmer days. Spring is here and the summer officially starts on 20 June! So, for the last month of May, I have been busy working through my Seasonal Changeover and will be completing it this weekend as I do the final part which is changing over my handbags and gloves from A/W to S/S.
Welcome to Gloriously Vintage, dear Reader, is this something you do, have different clothes and accessories for the changing seasons? Do you put away your “out of season” clothes and bring out the ones you want in the wardrobe for S/S or A/W? Do you have any tips that have worked really well? I have some tops that I wear all year, but my “top clothes” change. I also do this changeover for my husband and my mother who will be 92 this August.
“Clothes make a man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
This is a well known quote from Mark Twain as is often quoted, and is based on a quotation from Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Clothes are important to us and express so much about us. Having the clothes for each season is very much a part of that expression for me.
I work on the Seasonal Changeover twice a year in May and in September. In recent years this is something that has grown into a much bigger exercise because of taking it on for my mother too.
Now that I am wearing vintage style that changeover has taken on a greater significance because I find it is easier to categorise my clothes by season. The reality of living in the UK is that we need “in between season “clothes as the seasons are changing too. So once we come to May, I start organizing the clothes in the house and moving them around to be in the right place when needed. The “out of season” clothes for us all are in my loft, waiting their turn to shine. I have allocated parts of my wardrobe for my out of season shoes, scarves, gloves and handbags. My makeup also changes twice a year with darker shades of lipstick and blusher that come out in September to see me through the autumn and Christmas time, giving way to the brighter, lighter and more vibrant shades I wear in the spring and the summertime.
This changeover is always tinged with a little sadness and also a frisson of excitement.
I keep my clothes for a long time because I am following my own 1950’s influenced style and am not trying to only wear current fashions. I have been there and done that at earlier stages in my life – and I can honestly say that it felt like pressure and was not really all that much fun. Dressing in vintage style is always fun. The wonderful memories attached to some of the outfits add layers of pleasure I feel in the swish of a skirt or the neatness of a jacket! Oh yes, I also bring out the wonderful Fox’s Umbrella I had last year for the family Wedding . I am using it now as a parasol.
I will be sharing with you some of my favourite summer looks and best Oxfam finds, with added treasures from my collections in future posts and all this is starting as summer is near and everything is now in place!
Why bother? Life is just too short for all this!
Well, yes, it is a busy time and sometimes hard to make the time to do it, but I would never stop planning and doing my Seasonal Changeover because of the delight and expectation of happy times coming as the months are passing. I am keeping up with the seasons and my year has real structure. This has been going on for at least 20 years in this house and has gathered momentum because I am taking care of the clothes for my husband and elderly mother now.
We all like to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When thinking about this post I found this article about how the catwalk shows of London Fashion Week and others have changed the way we look at our fashions.
As a woman who likes tradition – I love to be in 100% wool in the A/W and am happy in cotton or polyester in the S/S. Our climate is changing too in the UK. The clearly defined frosts and snow from October to March do not happen regularly now. The summer we always hope for does not always appear! Temperatures even out and there are only a few degrees difference between spring and summer some years.
All this has given way to the “Resort” collections before S/S and the “pre season” collections before A/W which greatly influence what is available to buy in the shops. This is one reason why I buy from Oxfam, aside from supporting their invaluable charitable work. They offer winter clothes and summer clothes and by reading the fabric content, I have been very successfully attaining pieces for my wardrobe that I love and that are warm for A/W and just right for S/S.
I buy a few new pieces each year and rotate my separates depending on the fashion trends.
I love to keep abreast of the fashion forecasts and follow the trends that are show cased in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and also in the major newspapers which I read on line. Harper’s Bazaar also features current trends in jewellery and embellishment which is of great interest to me with my brooches! You can see from this post why! Do you follow the trends?
Once I understand the trends, I pick what I like and go to my wardrobe for colour, shape and texture. It is marvellous that at the moment ladies fashion is much more feminine and is influenced by drama like “Mad Men” for example. The 1930’s – 1950’s exert a powerful influence on fashion and although designers bring out new collections every year these influences can always be appreciated.
So I have S/S and A/W and a small collection of “in between season “pieces that are made up of 45% -50% wool, that I move into around April-May and September-October depending on the weather!
Taupe Suedette shoes Dorothy Perkins
Light green Viyella Pleated skirt Oxfam on Line
S/S “Chateaux” Tweed Jacket Oxfam on Line ( my dressmaker changed a boring button for this vintage mother of pearl one, making the jacket go with more separates)
1980’s Taupe Leather Clutch Handbag bought at a Vintage Fair
Cream V neck top Marks and Spencer
Trifari Bow Brooch on lapel
Trifari Knot Clip on earings
2 Rows of Lotus Pearls
Trifari Pearls and gold coloured bracelet
Napier twist Bracelet
This outfit is from my “in between Season” collection.
The changeover started to include Lipsticks, blusher and nail varnish about 10 years ago as I started to take changing my look more seriously, when I was 50 years old. So when March -April have passed and May arrives that’s me- changing my make up a little at a time over the whole of May. My look is getting lighter and I know the summer is on its way! Around mid May, I do my scarves.
My scarves are in boxes by season. It always feels sad to put away my furry collars, thicker scarves and more autumn hued silk squares. However it is like meeting dear friends again when the S/S ones are there in the box, in the wardrobe ready and waiting! New scarves are there too like the beautiful silk find in Stratford upon Avon, to be worked into summer “looks”.
“You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.” —Christian Dior
Shoes are dealt with next, after the scarves. I only wear white or cream shoes with other coloured ones from May to September so when they come out there is great excitement! I love nude and blush shoes and do wear them all year round because they go with so many outfits.
Some of my summer shoe collection have amazing stories attached to them as they were bought to go with specific outfits for family weddings and special events.
Lastly, I do my gloves and handbags, putting away the dark rich colours of the A/W for white, ivory and pink gloves to wear in S/S.
The pink gloves were from the Chronically Vintage Etsy Shop who I recommend to you for marvellous vintage items and wonderful customer service from Jessica.
For my husband, he has heavier fabrics for trousers and he wears a lot of lovely viyella shirts too that are 80% cotton and 20% wool. They all go away into the loft with lots of cedar wood to stop them being nibbled by pesky moths. I do a one in, one out exchange using my hangaways (I have2) and it does not take long to put on the clothing bags and whisk the out of season clothes into the loft! He sits with me and chooses the pieces he particularly wants each season. It works very well.
The changeover I do for my mother is more complex because she lives near me. So clothes must be transported! The hangaways are a wonderful help – her out of season clothes are hung on a rail in my loft in clothes covers and are also folded into a large box. Everything goes into her bedroom, is then put onto hangers, onto the hangaways and then the swap begins. It is a time for sorting out items to be discarded and lovely pieces to keep. I look after her wardrobe and buy her new items as she is now too old to “do” fitting rooms now. The S/S changeover is hardest because her wool items are dry cleaned and then stored on appropriate hangers.
I am very fussy about hangers and always put jackets and coats on ones that support the shoulders!
So dear reader, as this post is going out at the start of June, it is all done. I am feeling thrilled at the welcome return of dear skirts, jackets and a few dresses for S/S. Think of me positively revelling in wearing white shoes with my collection of lovely white handbags! Yes, recording the ensembles in My Style Book and looking back over last year for original and memorable outfits and creating some new ones too!
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Glenn has taken all my photographs, so a big thank you to him.