What’s in a name? Playsuits, culottes and jumpsuits!

70s jumpsuit from Quirky PurpleIn 1977 the Queen came to visit my local town of Mansfield. It was the Silver Jubilee and if I remember correctly, she had come to open the new library.

When we were kids we only used to get new clothes at certain times of the year, like Whitsun or summer holidays. Well I was getting old enough that I could choose what I wanted, obviously within a pretty strict budget, and this particular time I chose a jumpsuit and a blue nylon bomber jacket.

The jumpsuit was fabulous! I was in a khaki brown colour, full arms and legs and had patches on it like an American car mechanic overalls. I was rocking it. I was so enamoured with it I wore it to see the Queen. People like Charlie’s Angles were the sort of girls that wore jumpsuits…

See how I called it a jumpsuit?

Jumpsuits were quite new, modern things as in the 60s the word ‘catsuit’ was used to describe an all in one. Think Cat Woman in the old Batman series, which incidentally was my favorite thing on the telly when I was 18 months old (and I have pictures from the local paper to prove t).

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleRoll on a bit to the 80s and something similar crops up. In the 80s there were a lot of culottes. These could be skirts or dresses, the dress was usually being the button front style and not really being noticeable as being culottes rather than a dress. Calling them jumpsuits would have seemed old-fashioned.

In the 90s I remember dungarees being the closest to jumpsuits or culottes, but I’ve got to say, I wouldn’t have been seen dead in them…

So moving forward again we seem to have had a little resurgence of these similar styles. This time around they are called playsuits. They look a little like the 80s culottes but more suited to the beach or a night out

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleIt’s actually been very interesting from a vintage point of view as 80s culottes have been very popular again and I’ve been sending them all around the world. I guess they are very wearable and can look smart enough for work, or dressy enough for a night out. Some are really lovely takes on 40s style tea dresses.

There’s one thing I’ve omitted to mention so far. Rompers. Hmm, to me these are something that a child would wear, or maybe one of those adults that like to dress as babies. Clearly I haven’t got the full picture as I discovered last year that this is what some other countries call our culottes.

So, it just brings me round to, what’s in a name?

101 things to do with a vintage computer

clockOK maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. There’s not 101 things to do with a vintage computer in this blog, but there are a few really cool things that I found.

My old laptop is really on its last legs now. It gets really warm, which to be honest at the moment is a bit like having  a heated lap blankie, so not terrible. A couple of weeks ago my second power cable started playing up which isn’t useful when the battery only last about 20 minutes. And yes, I have done the usual trick of sticking my battery in the freezer…

To cut a long story short, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and ordered a new laptop. As much as I love nice shiny techie things due to my geeky nature, I do grow very attached to my laptops.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I started working in IT when it was called Computing and desktop computers didn’t exist. OK, I know that really dates me, but wheat the hell. I like technology. I ended up working in IT because I read a lot of science fiction and the guy at the Job Centre made it sound like I’d be working on the Star Ship Enterprise. I ended up delivering print outs to Finance….

I digress, it got me thinking about what happens to all those old computers. In the 1990s one of the hardware guys at work made me a desk clock out of an old floppy disk and I thought it was pretty cool. I like remaking vintage things, so I though I’d so a spot of research. Here are some of  my findings.

Jewellery is pretty popular, and interesting other things to wear. I can’t imagine that any of these are comfortable or practical to wear…

Now, these two together would make just about any party go… a BBQ and a beer dispenser!

In this next gallery, I like the mix of technology and nature. These old bits of technology are now being used to grow things. I’m wondering if I could manage a ‘vintage computer installation’ down at my allotment…

Finally, I couldn’t miss putting these last ones up. It’s a really mixture – a cat bed, a mail box, a sun catcher, a dragonfly and a loo roll holder!

I’m not sure if any of this has given me any inspiration for what I could do with my old laptop. I think I might just keep it as a lap warmer until the summer arrives…

Sorbet, sherbet, candy cane – fashion that’s good enough to eat

Sorbet treatsListen to this – pistachio, peach, lemon yellow, Limoncello, lilac, tangerine, soft turquoise, muted melon, baby pink, zesty watermelon, soft peach, spearmint green, rose pink, glacier blue.

Do these sound good enough to eat? Well these are one of the latest fashion trends – sorbet. These are candy cane colours in soft, muted shades.

Remember the 80s? Pastels were a big trend there. In the 90s we had neon brights. Well sherbet is kind of somewhere between neon and barely there pastel. They are strong enough shades to stand out on their own – these are not wishy-washy colours!

I can remember my mate coming round to call for me in the 80s so that we could go Saturday afternoon shopping. She had on pastel pink pedal-pushers. They were very fashionable at the time and she was really pleased with them, until I pointed out that I could see the butterfly on her pants through the very thin material!

The high street is awash with sorbet colours in dresses, trousers, top, in fact just about anything. You can wear it head-to-toe, mixing pastels in colour-blocked macaroon like layers, or for a more subtle look combine pastels with brights, navy or neutrals (putty, nude, white).

Sorbet colours work well with colour blocking; clash pinks and oranges and yellows and aquamarines in bold statement pieces. For a softer, more feminine take on the trend try sheer fabrics, floaty textures and long loose layers in all sorbet shades of the rainbow. Don’t forget accessories could give you just that splash of fresh sorbet to any outfit. Or go the whole hog, and get candy cane hair

Sorbet shades for hair

Because these colours have been around in various guises over the decades, the good news is that if you look you will find vintage articles that really rock this trend. You can mix and match it with items from the high street to pull together your own unique look.

Quirky Purple have just popped some sorbet shades onto the online shop at http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple and below are some of the examples of what we currently have in stock.

Sorbet vintage at Quirky Purple

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay shop – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

Decades of denim

Who doesn’t own at least one piece of denim in their wardrobes?

Not bad for a piece of material that started out as work wear…

James Dean 50s deminIt’s been used in clothing probably since the 18th century and probably really only started to become a fashion piece in the 50s, when people like James Dean wore them in “Rebel Without a Cause”. This started to give them a rebel status with teenagers.
60s mods in denimAround the mid-60s it became more fashionable to wash jeans to give them a more worn effect, and shrink to fit. There’s a scene in Quadrophenia where Jimmy is trying to get his jeans shrink to fit. Sorry, I can’t resist adding something from one of my favourite films… When I was a mod I used to buy a pair of jeans and then get the sewing machine on them and make them so narrow I could barely get in or out of them – thank goodness I discovered stretch denim otherwise my knees may never have moved again!
70s FlaresBy the 70s, you have flares and bell bottoms and stitching and patching started to become the way to wear them. Standard wear for hippies. Fringing was also pretty popular. I can remember that you could buy different patches, some with slogans or just flowers etc, that you could sew onto your denim.
80s_SaltnPepaThe 80s saw some ‘innovative’ uses of denim – stonewash, acid wash, ripped jeans. I remember even seeing denim jeans that were printed with a tartan-like effect. Personally I decided the way to update my ridiculously skinny jeans to match my more scooter girl image was to put them in the bath and do the ‘bleached’ effect. I wasn’t sure it was working so got an old toothbrush to try to spread the bleach – but all the bristles fell out so I just left them there and thought I’d brush them off when I rinsed the jeans. It was a cool effect in the end – all the little bristles left little bleached marks all over the jeans. I also managed to accidentally get a ripped effect at one point when messing around with my Vespa battery!
00s denim lowriseMoving to the 90s, jeans were still popular and other styles such as baggy gangsta jeans were around and then the 00s brought us low rise – which to be fair a lot of people shouldn’t have worn as I saw way to much arse-cleavage and builders’ bums! Also that ever popular way middle-aged men started to wear jeans with a shirt and a casual jacket to prove they are still down with the kids (think Simon Cowell).

Jeans are now pretty much standard wear for all sorts of occasions – casual, dressy, clubbing, even work, with the more casual-wear culture in offices.

To celebrate all things denim, we have a whole range of denim and denim-inspired items for sale in our online shop. Here are just a few examples:

Denim inspired Quirky Purple stock

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay site – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple