10 Sixties Chic Fashion Items Inspired by Mad Men!

Mad Men's Megan DraperOver the Christmas I became a box set night owl and watched endless episodes of Mad Men back to back over the holidays. Funnily enough it was the Gucci Autumn Winter 2015 collection that inspired me to take up watching Mad Men, which centres itself around a New York advertising agency set in the sixties. It dawned on me one day, when putting together an ensemble to wear for drinks with the girls on Christmas eve, that the culmination of Gucci’s modern mod and the wardrobes of Donald Draper’s ex-wife, Betty Francis, and his current wife, Megan Draper, has given my recent ensembles a distinctive sixties feel. One of my favourite ensembles at the moment is a retro print shift dress from Primark, patent knee high boots from Dune and my hair styled with a deep side parting, a la Megan.

Although my ultimate favourite era will always be the Roaring Twenties, I have recently discovered a new found love for sixties fashion. I love shift dresses, mainly for their versatility and their ease to wear. But as I love to wear statement jewellery, the shift dress’s simplicity offers lots of styling opportunities. Ironically, as I enter my early thirties I have also rekindled my relationship with shorter hemlines and A – Line skirts, which comes just after my affair with midi-skirts. The advantages of the shorter hem lines and skirt shapes of the A – line are three fold; Firstly, they allow me to enhance one of my favourite features, which are my legs. Secondly they add a youthfulness to ensembles, a considered factor in my styling since turning thirty. Thirdly, because I enjoy piecing together ensembles and will always opt for skirts and separates over dresses.

I am sure it won’t be much longer before I am once again of the belief that I am far too old for mini-skirts and dresses, but for now, these are the fashion items I am loving!

See the items I am coveting and the Mad Men ensembles I love!

1. Gucci Leopard Print Sleeveless A-Line Dress available at Flannels

Gucci Leopard Print Dress

2. Lanvin Iconic Love Ring available at Net-a-Porter

3. Victoria Beckham Lace and Cotton Dress

Victoria, Victoria Beckham Dress

4. Planet Pale Blue Double Breasted Coat available at John Lewis

Pale Blue Planet Coat

5. Valentino Garavani pumps from Valentino

Valentino Pumps

6. Orla Kiely Sixties Stem Embossed Handbag from Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely sixties style handbag

7. Givenchy Vintage Door Knocker Earrings from Farfetch

Givenchy Door Knocker earrings

8. Stella Jean Pussy Bow Blouse available at Farfetch

Stella Jean Rosella Blouse Top and Clothing 

9. Black and Grey Large Dogtooth Print A-Line Skirt from Matches Fashion

Carven Houndstooth skirt sixties fashion

10. Oscar de la Renta Gold Statement Necklace from Net a Porter

Oscar De La Renta gold plated disk necklace

Be Charmed, Stay Inspired! x

Bangles BoJangles

Wrist Divertissement…

…and Bangles in  Bojangles fashion…

WRIST OF THE DAY<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
The clang of metal bracelets is music to our ears.

I somehow acquired the name of Bojangles a few years back as I would insist on clanging about my life with heavy bangles adorning my wrists right up to my elbows! I took the inspiration from J-Lo‘s video Get Right (I am now pausing my funky house playlist to search my I-tunes for the Get Right track). A friend and I would laze around my parents’ front room watching MTV for endless hours, pausing, replaying and admriring the bangles that J-Lo showed off whilst gyrating herself on the bar in this particular video. The day our student loans landed in our accounts we headed to Selfridges costume jewellery department and bought an insurmountable number of bangles, sufficient enough to bangle ourselves up to our armpits total J-Lo style. For years it became my thing to wear bangles and if the blouse in question didn’t reveal my bangle collection creeping up my arms, then I simply wouldn’t wear said blouse! That’s how I acclaimed the name Bojangles!

I just had a quick look up of who or what Bojangles actually is. Aside from it being a famous American Chicken and Biscuits place, Bojangles was also the alias of a deep and dark prisoner who had been arrested in conjunction with a high profile murder case in the sixties. He shared a prison cell with singer Jerry Jeff Walker, who wrote the song Mr Bojangles. The song was isnpired by a moment whilst Walker and Bojangles were sharing the cell with a group of other prisoners, sharing stories and speaking on all kinds of subjects. Finally Bojangles told a story about his dog. The story turned out to be a pretty sinister tale, turning the mood in the cell dark. When asked to change the subject and lighten the mood, Bojangles took it upon himself to perform a little tap dance in the middle of the cell! (I just found this little anecdote so absolutely hilarious I had to share it!)

Indeed, my bangle obsession may have been my own tap dance to divert the attention away from my limited wardrobe fund whilst at uni! Today my approach to costume jewellery adornement more resembles Olivia Palermo as opposed to the ‘pile up as much as I can, wherever I can and make as much noice as possible’ approach. But the aesthetic I am truly seeking to achieve, but am still yet to master, belongs to the fashion set that we see so often photographed by the Sartorialist or Tommy Ton (my absolute favourite street style photographer)…

To create perfect wrist divertissement…

My favourite wrist diverissement below…I just love it!WRIST OF THE DAY<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
The clang of metal bracelets is music to our ears.

Check out Sincerely Jules and LuLu Frost for perfect wrist swag!

Costume Jewellery

Last weekend I watched X Factor whilst tweeting, shoe shopping and searching for that one piece of jewellery that is going to heighten my wardrobe for the christmas period. Florence Welch belted out her wondrous, thick and sweet, powerful and angelic voice adorned in a particularly unique off-white dress.   The dress in itself was probably phenonomenal enough to write about, but it wasn’t so much her dress that appealed to my own aesthetic tastes, it was the magnificent Art Deco embellishments that featured in the staging. I have been dying to purchase a pair of wonderful, dangling Art Deco inspired earrings for ages, but the fear that they’d only end up amidst the rest of my precious costume jewellery, that sits on shelves, in trinket boxes and overspilling vanity cases, looking pretty but with nowhere to wear them – I have always opted to save the money.

It’s pretty predictable of me to adore Art Deco design. All the opulence and drama, the glitz and glamour walk hand in hand with my love for the 1920’s, the Jazz Age and of course, the man I try to live up to every time I sit down to write my own novel, the stupefying F Scott Fitzgerald. I am not saying that I am glamorous or glitzy, but I have battled with my inability to be understated for many years. I am not sure I will ever master the art of understated chic, but I think I have finally found a balance. I find myself residing somewhere amongst, formal, classic, occassionally trendy, but always with a hint of glamour.

I express my love for glamour nowadays with my jewellery. My social life consists of dinners, gatherings, cocktails, going into the office or attending  meetings. Jewellery is  the only way for me to express my luxurious attraction to glamour  tastefully and practically.  I don’t go clubbing that frequently and unfortunately have never been invited to a red carpet event, therefore my life seldomly requires me to be dressed as glamorous as Kim Kardashian. Having said that, I’d take her jewellery, shoes and fur coat collection any day of the week.

For those who too love the 1920’s, whether it be for the Art Deco design, the feathers and the glitter, the mentality of the Flapper or simply the literature, I can’t think of a better time of the year to be extravagant and express the inner flapper than the next few weeks leading up to Christmas. There are many Christmas parties to be attended, copious amounts of alcohol to be consumed and lots of fun to be had. I am looking forward to Christmas so much this year I am almost combustible. I am looking forward to spending time with my family, I am looking forward to endless days of curling up on the sofa not having to worry about going to work, but what I am most looking forward to – is reverting back to being a child. And by child I mean, twenty one, without responsibilities and lots of opportunities to dress up.

Nothing shows a bit of frivolity like a stunning piece of costume jewellery. It’s all in the name, ‘costume’. It’s fantastical. One powerful piece can define an entire outfit. I am completely excited by the impact a statement necklace can have on a simple shift dress for example. My excitement is not only evoked by the aesthetic of the combination, it’s the actual communication. That necklace combined with that shift dress says, ‘I care just that little bit more than I need to.’ Granted, it doesn’t communicate anything particularly profound on the grand scheme of things, but its enough to tastefully nod towards glamour. Besides,  the way we dress and embellish our atire says plenty to the people that we want to communicate with.

That necklace worn against that shift dress could be vintage, that’s kudos from the vintage fiends. It could be Givenchy, that’s kudos from the designer divas. It could have been designed specifically for a Vogue shoot in the 1920’s (undoubtedly the average Jo wouldn’t be able to get their hands on it),  that’s kudos from fashion journos, editors and all the fashion big wigs. If you happen to come across a figure who embodies all of the above then all the more powerful a statement that statement necklace makes.

Lisa Salzer  of Lulu Frost says, ‘Jewellery is transformative.’ There was a time when my casual wardrobe consisted of little more than skinny jeans, long line vest tops and boyfriend cardigans. I dressed simply just so I could pile on my jewellery. Transformation through accessories has been my number one style tip since my parents stopped buying me designer clothes. My jewellery collection is vast and predominately costume. Unlike when I was younger, my collection now grows at a much slower pace. Having said that, my collection is far more powerful. Instead of buying ten pairs of earrings from Topshop and Accessorize at any one time, and having to replace them once they change colour, I am starting to invest sensibly in beautiful, admittedly more expensive, transformative pieces of jewellery.

I am now in search of one transformative piece of jewellery that I’ll wear proudly over the christmas period. My search has been dominated by chunky necklaces and chains, solid cuffs and bangles, broches and of course the art deco inspired earrings. I thought I’d share with you my findings and show you which designers, shops and jewels I am coveting to glamourize my christmas wardrobe.  It is to be noted that I don’t tend to wear many sequined or beaded garments on my upper body, so my jewellery preference is big, bold and strong!

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