Things A Woman Should Know About Style Book Review. (Currently I’m Reading…)

Disclaimer: this is a proof copy that I was sent to review, at my own request. What follows is my own opinion. Thank you to Chloe at Carlton Books.

Remember Fashion? That very controversial subject-it raged over the fur debate, is still a major industry, and bloggers are now sat on the front row, complete with its own hashtag. One thing that strikes me about this book is that it seemingly does not like fashion-and prefers style as the alternative. (Jacqueline Kennedy had style, yet it is her ‘look’ that endears today. Fashion comes, fashion goes, which is the most notable difference.) So far, so good.

The further I progress through this book, however, the more I think it has a little bit of a snarky tone; there are claims such as ‘cheap clothes don’t look good on people over thirty’. What exactly are cheap clothes, anyway? Mine are largely pieces worn over and over, from places like H&M; I see nothing wrong with these. They fit well into my style of wannabe preppy student, anyway. 

However, my favorite thing about this book is that it uses history to back up its arguments; the twenties and thirties had style-courtesy of Coco Chanel, who is then partially quote on one of the pages. And it gives examples of fashion by era-seventies, eighties, nineties, etc.

This book is ideal for a style-conscious friend, a fashion blogger, even as a Mother’s Day gift. Yet, I’m not sure it’s entirely for me.

Rate: 8/15

Click here to buy the book.

Photo Diary: Day out to Brighton! 

Owing due to personal circumstance-being told I had “nothing to wear” to a party-I went down to Brighton not too long ago with a few realitives, in order to ‘remedy’ the situation. Whilst I was there, I took a lot of photos, enough for a Photo Diary Post-which I’m going to share with you now. 


(This won’t necessarily be in chronological order, due to varying quality of my photos, and the sequence of editing.)

I was fortunate enough to have lunch at Ed’s Easy Diner. This is a lovely American style diner that stays truely authentic to its USP; it has mirrored walls, graphics of the classical waitress, an all-American menu, and a lovely jukebox system. And the food is lovely! 


Although not full size, and sitting at your table, for every song choice you put twenty pence in at the top, and select the corresponding letter/number combination. Instead of playing at your table-imagine how noisy that would be!-it plays on the overhead speakers. (Fifties classics on the selection menu vary from Jailhouse Rock and Rock Around The Clock, to Hello Mary Lou and Johnny B Goode. Lovely!

I also tried a Cherry Flavour Pepsi Max; not being a big fan of fizzy drinks, I was pleasantly surprised-although this was a little bit too flat. (Too much ice!)

As a meat eater, I was pleasantly surprised at the range of meat; sometimes going round restaurants, I feel like the meat doesn’t vary a lot, and is often heavily greasy. (May not be suitable for vegetarians!)

The waiter was also lovely-very smiley with an easygoing manner. What more could anyone possibly want in a Diner?!

(Although next time I visit, I’m determined to try the desserts. But then again, Rees’ Cheesecake is not something that I can get on board with…) Give me a slice of chocolate cake and Icecream with caramel sauce any day! And there was also a possible side of sweet potato fries-I didn’t have them this time, but these are on ‘The List’ to try.

If you look carefully, you’ll be able to guess what I had to eat-although we shared a side of fries. 

Brighton is a lovely place, one of my favorite places there is; I love how there’s just a place for everyone-there isn’t a conventional standard to be followed, really.

Apart from it being utterly freezing-we had snow, people, snow!-I was happy to explore, despite being very cold at points. (Having left a spare jumper in the car, at points I was kicking myself.)

Anyway…

I can also report back that Waterstones has finally completed its general work and repairs; it now has a white exterior, marketed as a book cafe. The Romanovs was the book dominating the window display at the time; must read it soon!

(As you can see, I have a one track mind; books and food, books and food, books and food. Maybe Netflix ought to be added into the mix?!)


What’s not to love about a cat-themed beanie?!

I believe that I found this in H&M, although I may be wrong about that. It didn’t see, to be on their website, although you can find a different cat hat by clicking here.

This was a shirt that I felt particularly inspired by. Warning: a little bit of a rant coming up.

I really dislike the way that some clothes are marketed for my age range, in comparison to male counterparts; female clothing puts forward the perception of only being concerned with being a socialite, whilst male clothing is more to do with being brainy. 

Why?!?

There was one I saw online that particularly irritated me; being “allergic to algebra” is apparently a good thing in female clothing. I really disagree! 

Anyway, for once I spotted a shirt, retailing quite cheaply, and in correlation to my views. Finally!

(Sorry for the rant.)

I’ve also possibly found a replacement for my Starbucks-not that I drink it regularly-and that is probably far healthier.

Smooth is obviously a Smoothie drink franchise, that makes the smoothie up as you wait, in correlating to its menu. You can also choose your size-Kids, Small, or Regular.  (For this photo, I went for Regular-I was thirsty, after all!)

(Just as an aside: I don’t generally go around, taking photos of my food. To me, food is food; gotta eat or drink it that moment! I don’t mean this as an offensive thing to anyone who does-I just don’t want to be stereotyped as a millennial. Maybe I should do a post about that?)

But yes: eat, drink and be merry.

Hmmm….


Continuing with the cat theme…

Funnily enough, I found a bow tie for cats. (Yes, really, you read that correctly.) I was t sure what to think, to be honest. To me, putting human clothes on animals seems really cruel-the same as putting them in prams, bags, etc. But who am I to judge? 

Additionally, I also began to notice that some clothing has begun to pay far more attention to internet phases and language. Just take a look at this shirt on the left…

(‘Salty’ is essentially being sassy, I guess, although I’m not really explaining it well, for those of you who don’t know..)

In targeting collections, I guess that this could be a good idea; it’s relevant to the buying demographic, which is why we buy X, Y, or Z, right?

But then again, I do feel that it can be a little bit patronising, in making up their own abbreviations. Online one particular brand had marked one such product as being O.C.D-Obsessive Cat Disorder. 

Yep.

You read that correctly.

Basically; I’m on board if it’s fitting with actual slang, and is not used to stigmise a serious condition.

Plus, unicorns!

Generally speaking, whenever I think of an English high street, I see rain, and people dressed either in head-to-toe black, grey, maybe even brown. That’s quite a negative image, isn’t it? It just suggests boredom, trudging on, not caring.

One such marketing too, I would like to see is more of a ‘Unicorn’ vibe; putting back glitzy hues into our clothing. (Because unicorns are cool, right?)

Ironically enough, the shirt, pictured to the right, is what suggested the whole above commentary. And it’s grey!

Not that there is anything wrong with grey, it’s just running in contradiction to the point I was trying to make.

(This’ll probably be something in my next “Goals for….’ post.)

A few things I saw in Topshop!


Gotta keep teachers on their toes!

There was also a lot of stationary that made me feel very envious-for example, a kit basically making complimentary notes about somebody. What a good idea..

But then again, this epistle stack.

I’m not sure what to think.

What should I think?

And what do you think?

I’d love to know.

That way I can come to my own opinion.

Please help.

I am really not sure.

Moving on…to the final photo.

I feel in love with this leather jacket; it’s one of those garements that just seems to tick all the boxes needed. (And it’s a birthday present-I can’t wait!)

Have you visited Brighton?

Lydia

XO 

London Photo Diary: City Girl!*

*obviously meant as self-deprecation.

I was very lucky to visit London recently, and thought that I would share my photos with you:

From H&M

I just love a grumpy cat, don’t you?

From H&M also.

And some great blouse structuring. .

Hobbs Window.

Jackie Kennedy dresses seemed to be all the rage. I, for one, am not complaining.

Whole Foods Market Window.

I love it..

Ramen Noodles.

What’s a bone Daddy?

Where have you recently visited?

Lydia

X

Jacqueline Kennedy Clothing: Part Two

N.B: I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while-particularly after seeing the following video;

So, the basic idea is to cover (most of)  the Presidential years, including the Campaign-so from the years 1959-1963. The following photos do not belong to be (please note). Don’t forget to click through the photos, to see external content:

1959:

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A red coat, made by Givenchy,worn during the 1960 Presidential campaign by Jackie. It was worn during the announcement of Candidacy of John F.Kennedy, and was also called “The Good-Luck coat” by Mrs Kennedy. This coat is kept at the Kennedy Library in Boston, among other clothing that had belonged to the First Lady.

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1961:

Pre-Inauguration gown:

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With Oleg Cassini, Jacqueline designed the above dress, which she wore the evening before (19/01/1961) her husband was sworn-in as President. The dress is made of Ivory, and was a collaboration between Jackie’s official designer, Oleg Cassini, and herself. On the waste is a Cockade, which is French in its region: during the eighteenth century , it was worn as a sign of resistance.   Later, Jackie herself would remark that she preferred this to her Ballgown (up next).

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Inaugural Gown:

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 Later worn at an Inaugural ball she attended, this gown was designed by Beregdof-Goodman, and was not exclusively  designed for Mrs Kennedy. It also has a matching cape and glove set-right now, this Gown is in the Smithson exhibit of First Ladies’ gowns. Jacqueline always remarked that she preferred her Oleg Cassini gown. It was made with the supervision of Diana Vreeland, and is European in design.

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Inaugural Day:

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Worn with Kitten heels, as well as a matching muff and Pillbox hat, this is what Jacqueline wore when her husband was sworn-in as the thirty-fifth President on January 20th 1961. Made as a Collaboration between her and Oleg Cassini, this was designed to have minimalist  fur  , to make her stand out from the Congregation. The Pillbox hat , which she wore that day, would also become very popular later, particularly in 1962.

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1962:

The White House Tour

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Mrs Kennedy, during her thirty-four months in the White House, was particularly noted for her Restoration of the White House. Taking a year and a half to complete, the results were later televised on Valentines day in 1962-to an estimated audience of sixty million viewers.  For this, Jacqueline wore a red dress made by Dior-however, the stiff upper-neck collar it had was altered by Oleg Cassini, so it was in a more appropriate setting. A french edition of the tour was later broadcast (Jacqueline was a fluent speaker).

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French Trip:

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In her 1962 trip abroad to France, accompanied by her husband, Jacqueline was seen to be wearing the above dress, to a dinner at Versailles with General De Gaulle.   Made by Givenchy, this ensemble was exclusively designed for Mrs Kennedy. Mrs Kennedy was noted for her style during the french trip (due to the label paying homage to France), but also particularly her ability to speak fluent French (she later dismissed her interpreter).

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India and Pakistan Trip:

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On her solo trip to India, Jacqueline was seen notably in Pastels-used to make her stand out in the Jewel colors. Also, the fabric used was Silk-useful, to keep the structure of the dress. Above is a design by Gustave Tassel, which was worn by Jacqueline for a tour of  a medical centre in New Delhi.  The dress comes with a matching jacket also.

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Same trip, but design by Oleg Cassini:

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Instead, this time, we have a design by Oleg Cassini.What is different, apart from the Silk, is the use of the bow; as well as this, it’s not Blue but Apricot color-but again used to make Jacqueline stand out in the crowd. This was worn on a boat trip, and comes with a matching, tiny clutch.

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Don’t forget to read part one, here.

Guest Post: Cat Hannah: Fashion Trend’s From The 1960’s

For a while now, I’ve been reading the blog Through A Cat’s Eyes, written by Cat Hannah (click here to view). A real mix of Books and Beauty, we are lucky enough to have Cat guest-posting for us today. Please note, none of these photos are ours:

 Fashion Trends From The 1960’s – Who Changed The Fashion World?

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn
When you hear someone say 1960s fashion and beauty, the first person who springs to mind is most probably Audrey Hepburn, especially when she played Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of 60s fashion. She oozed effortless elegance and sophistication and was undoubtedly a 60s fashion and beauty icon.

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Twiggy
Twiggy was ‘the world’s first teenage model’, starting out when she was only 16. She was tiny; weighing only 6 and a half stone and whilst she didn’t consider herself as beautiful, the industry saw her as the perfect young model. By the time she was 17, Twiggy was one of the most well-known faces in the world.

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Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy was only 31 when she became First Lady, making her the youngest First Lady for over 60 years. She brought glamour to the role and was ‘the walking definition of class’. Jackie Kennedy was a role model to hundreds of young women, as well as bringing about new trends such as the bouffant hairdo, the low-heeled pump and the shift dress. (Click here to view our post about her style letters)

Don’t forget to have a look at Cat’s blog (Click here to view), and her Twitter page @TACEblog (click here)

Anyone else want to guest-post? Just email me through the contact form on this site!

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Jacqueline Kennedy Clothing

Over at the John.F.Kennedy library website, there’s a whole page dedicated to an exhibition of Jacqueline Kennedy’s clothing (click here to view).Jacqueline was the thirty-first lady from 1961-63, until her husbands death. Known for her restoration of The White House, and her love of art. Click here to view our profile of her.

Here I have a round-up of my most favoured outfits: (None of the following photos are my images):

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A navy blue suit, made by Designer Chez Ninon, it was worn by Mrs Kennedy in 1961,June 3rd, during an official visit to a Vienna Procelain Factory, Austria. I liked this in particular, as it reflects Jacqueline’s love of conservative fashion, though unfitted in nature.

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A classy ice blue dress, made by Designer Gustave Tassell, worn in 1962, for a trip to New Delhi, India. I really like it for its unconventional colour and cut. Subtle for the Indian heat, the dress would keep its shape, and is quite eye catching.

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Made in 1959, by Givenchy (reflecting Jackie’s love of French Couturiers), this scarlet coat was worn during a 1960  press conference, for the announcement of the Kennedy presidency. It was also dubbed “good luck coat” by Jackie herself. I like it for its colour , shape and design.

Here trademark was also her triple-stringed pearl necklace, demonstrated in the interview video below (An interview with the new first lady, March 1961):

Knitting in fashion: A guest post from Oberjean.

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Hello Mademoiselle readers! I’m Jean, from over at OBERJEAN (click here to view her blog) , and probably two of my most favourite things in the world are knitting, and fashion, so what better to display my enthusiasm than to showcase the interesting history knitting has had in the
fashion world? It’s not always been that comfortable and fashionable knitwear has existed, and even  as recent as the 1980s, knitwear was seen as dowdy and old fashioned. So, what changed?

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Chanel wearing one of her infamous striped jersey tops.

Knitting itself has existed for hundreds and hundreds of years, and the practice itself  saw a sharp decline in popularity in the 19th century when the industrial revolution began and the use of machines caused many families to stop hand-making clothes and
undergarments, because many had to instead spend most of their time working. Knitwear never really came to the fore until Coco Chanel completely changed the course of fashion. Chanel is of course known for the classic Chanel suit, now seen as being made from tweed, but it was her use of jersey, a type of loose knit (which, at the time, was made from wool) primarily used for men’s underwear which caused a furore and a change in women’s clothing. Instead of suffocating and constricting clothes, Chanel herself wanted to wear more comfortable clothing which allowed ease of movement. Her answer was to use a cheap fabric like jersey (because she hadn’t much money) with quality techniques in order to appeal to her clientele. Using the jersey in her Chanel suits and in striped tops saw the beginnings of not only knitwear in fashion, but also the beginnings of modern fashion for women.

 

A postcard encouraging Americans to knit for the troops

A postcard encouraging Americans to knit for the troops

 

Now with knitwear seen in fashion and not just in lacework, underwear and hosiery, knitting’s popularity grew with leaps and bounds as the First World War saw many women “Knitting For Victory”. Knitting soon was seen less as a hobby and more a
valuable occupation, as many knitted socks, jumpers and hats for soldiers. Then, in the 1930s, knitwear became practically commonplace as the Great Depression meant many people then resorted to knitting their own jumpers, cardigans and more, just because knitting was a cheaper option than buying already made clothes. Just as in WWI, the Second World War saw women breaking gender stereotypes and working in hard, laborious jobs that previously only men were seen “fit” to do. Again,
using knitting, a hobby increasingly seen as being “feminine”, to help the war effort was hugely liberating.

The 50’s and 60’s saw colour being injected into fashion and along with that, knitwear became very fashionable. Chanel, after being seen as too luxurious during the 30’s and 40’s, re-introduced her Chanel suits which cemented it as a classic, and continued
to use innovative fabrics. However, what changed in these decades was that knitwear began to actually be seen
on the catwalk. This was thanks in part to the so-called named “Queen of Knitwear” Sonia Rykiel. Her re-invention of the bulky, dowdy, jumper which became known as the “Poor Boy Sweater” literally took the world by storm when fashion was quickly
adopted when introduced through magazines and television.What was different about her sweater? It clung to the figure (much to the dismay of the older generation) and used a much lighter type of knit which allowed for a far more comfortable experience whilst wearing it. It clung to the figure (much to the dismay of the older generation) and used a much lighter type of knit which allowed for a far more comfortable experience whilst wearing it.

“The Rykiel skinny-rib jumper was born. It was short, finely knit, close-fitting and fluid, brightly coloured
and with long sleeves. No one had ever seen anything quite like it.”

 

In 1963, ELLE used one of Rykiel's jumpers on the cover. In a time when only  haute couture was used on the cover, it caused a massive stir and saw the popularity of Rykiel's jumpers sore hugely. A jumper like this is easily still seen today.

In 1963, ELLE used one of Rykiel’s jumpers on the cover. In a time when onlyhaute couture was used on the cover, it caused a massive stir and saw the popularity of Rykiel’s jumpers sore hugely. A jumper like this is easily still seen today.

However, the rise of a consumeristic and materialistic culture which began in the 1970’s, saw knitting and knitwear suffer a brutal period in the 1980’s. Mass-production meant it was so much easier just to buy clothes rather than to make them yourself, so the love for hand-knitting plummeted, and with that knitwear began to be seen as drab and old-fashioned. A popular culture against the old-fashioned meant knitwear was superbly unpopular in the 80s, but countering against that meant knitting became much more “artistic” than “fashionable” and this decade saw the beginnings of guerrilla knitting and yarn-bombing, which are now still seen as popular ways of making comments on society and politics.

Despite decades of knitwear being seen again as dowdy, the latter part of the 90s saw the rise of the “Handmade Revival”. This can be explained in part because of the spread of the Internet and people sharing patterns, stories and more about knitting. Hand-knitting again became more popularised, and with celebrities seen knitting it only increased more in popularity. The 21st century has seen knitwear become a staple in fashion, regularly seen in runway shows and championed by hundreds of fashion designers.
Knitting and its past of being seen as dowdy has enabled its future to be seen as innovative, and if you walk into any retail shop today and you will see a knitted item within seconds. I just hope this love for knitwear and knitting itself continues to grow and grow. My only problem is that I can’t wear a jumper in summer!I hope you found this little post on the history of knitting in fashion interesting, and if I sparked anyones interesting in knitting that would be absolutely amazing.

Thanks so much for having me on Mademoiselle!

Jean
(Click here to view her blog) ..