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?

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Big, bright and bold 80s

A little while ago I did a post about 80s colours – Sorbet, sherbet, candy cane – fashion that’s good enough to eat. That was more about the softer side of 80s colours. This week I’ve been posting up some vintage 80s clothes onto the Quirky Purple One Shop and they all seemed to be the bolder brighter 80s colours and it got me thinking.

As anyone who knows me or has read previous posts, you’ll know that I am a big fan of all things 60s. I properly discovered and became fanatical about the 60s in the late 70s. The 60s look was just starting to hit mainstream with films like Quadrophenia and then all the mod revival and Two Tone and ska bands suddenly hitting the charts.

This started a whole raft of 60s inspired clothes, colours and patterns in the High Street. Well, if you ignored the ra-ra skirts, leg warmers and hammer-pants…. The 60s and the 80s were both about big, bold and bright colours. Stripes and geometric patterns and of course big colour blocking was in – this didn’t have to just be the bright colours, but monochrome worked just as boldly with black and white contrast. That’s one of the keys here – contrast.

Anyway, as I was cropping the photos I’d taken of the dresses and playsuits it really struck me on how vivid some of this outfits are and the fantastic contrasts. Have a look at these:

Bright 80s coloursMore bright 80s coloursThey look fab don’t they? The other weird thing is that these are all original 80s vintage, but if you walk through the High Street you’ll see similar colors, patterns and styles. The great thing about wearing the originals though is that you are unlikely to walk into a room and see someone else wearing the same outfit!

Anyway, all the items pictured are either up for sale on our Quirky Purple Online Store or about to go up online.

Floral frenzy in our online shop

Quirky Purple floral stockI’ve just been adding some extra sections into our Quirky Purple online shop. One of the features is a section on Trends. I’ve done a few blogs on current trends and I thought it might be quite nice to split the stock into the various trends.

One of the trends I have blogged about recently is florals in Flirty florals and playful playsuits blog.

More Quirky Purple floral stockWhat is really odd is when I think of florals I always think of those ditzy type designs or Laura Ashley type patterns, or tea dress prints. Well, I’m not a huge fan of these, so I usually think I don’t really go for florals.They are a bit too girlie for me…

Anyway, as I was moving things around in the shop, I noticed how many different floral designs there are. There are loads.

So, I realised that I was wrong – and that’s not something I usually admit. I do like florals – but the big and bold florals. Much more your 60s big flowers patterns or your 80s Monsoon style. Something with some ooomph.

Anyway, we now have sections on current trends in our online shop, which includes the floral designs in the swatches on this page. Jump straight to the Florals section by clicking here.

What’s your favourite floral design? Big and bold, or girlie and ditsy?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

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

Flirty florals and playful playsuits

Well, we all know that the british summer can be changeable at best – as I’m writing this it’s raining, but only a few days ago we had a lovely heatwave.

So, I think we all need something that will brighten up even the dullest, rainiest day – florals can just do the trick!

Florals are really big news at the moment and vintage florals really fit the bill especially when they are vintage playsuits.

Can you remember playsuits in the 70s and 80s? The 70s always seem to be the longer full length trousers and then the 80s made it shorter.

My mum and dad have a picture of me on a cruise in 1990 at the Captain’s dinner. I was wearing the most fabulous full-length, wide-leg, halter-neck pantsuit in black with gold swirls. I thought I looked the dog’s doo-daas. That was until the current Mr Quirky Purple saw the photo, burst out laughing and asked me why I was wearing fancy dress!

It took me until the end of last year to buy something similar for an award ceremony in London. I didn’t want to look like everyone else, just wearing the same little black dress. I thought it was a pretty glamorous outfit. No gold swirls this time around, but plenty of gold bling accessories!

I’m loving seeing all these playsuits in the shops, so I’ve found some absolutely fab vintage playsuits – mainly floral, some strappy and some that look like gorgeous tea dresses. We also have some great 70s floral summer dresses that just remind me of Saturday Night Fever disco dresses.

Below are some of what you can find on sale in the shop.

Floral playsuits and summer dresses

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://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