Price Points: Plain white T-shirts

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Trio of plain white- T-shirts

Fashion is one of those areas where price and quality can vary wildly. Shopping in Primark compared to shopping on Bond Street in London.

Plain white T-shirts are a very good item of comparison – I mean, how much differential can there be? Two squarish pieces of white cotton sewn together with holes left for your arms and head. Well, a lot it seems.

M&S fashion is almost universally trusted to be of more than adequate quality. Their £6 T-shirt is made using StayNEW™ technology which reduces bobbling, something that cheap clothes are oft known to do.

Would you be happy to pay £125 for one from Harrods? Granted, this Helmut Lang-designed one contains the “finest cotton and cashmere blend” – but is that really worth an extra £119? Perhaps it is if money is no object.

  1. M&S COLLECTION pure cotton short sleeve T-shirt: £6.00, Marks and Spencer
  2. Vintage wash crewneck tee: £13.95, Gap
  3. Helmut Lang scoop neck T-shirt: £125.00, Harrods

Price Points: Women’s down jackets

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3 women's down jackets

Have you been watching Winterwatch this week? We tune in, of course, for all the wonderful wildlife. But we love the presenters and their rapport with each other. The way Chris Packham tries to shoehorn in as many titles of punk singles into his dialogue as he can – hilarious!

I always admire the clothes they wear as well – lots of lovely outdoor wear. Chris and Michaela have both been wearing some mighty fine down jackets over the past few years and I’ve been coveting one. Not one in boring black – something bright green like theirs’ or perhaps a vibrant purple.

The one from Uniqlo is a lovely colour, but it doesn’t look terribly warm or waterproof and it doesn’t have an all important hood. The top of the range North Face example looks really robust, but the fabric is a bit too shiny for me. The mid-range Rab has a great colour and looks warm & waterproof. I also like the fact that it appears to give you a shape – the Michelin Man look isn’t a good one!

  1. WOMEN ultra light down jacket: £59.90, Uniqlo
  2. Rab women’s ascent jacket: £140, GOoutdoors
  3. The North Face women’s hooded Elysium jacket: £220.99, OutdoorKit

Gimme Five! Tech fashion accessories

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Selection of five tech fashion accessiories

London Fashion Week is upon us again and it got me thinking about tech fashion accessories, or ‘wearable tech’. One of the first episodes of Tomorrow’s World which aired in 1965 included ‘Tomorrow’s Girl’. She can be seen modelling synthetic clothes made of plastic and paper which she accessorised with a pair of earrings that doubled as transistor radios!

  1. UP MOVE™: £39.99, Jawbone
    Get fit, lose weight and have fun doing it. Put it on and wear it anywhere. And with an LED display and Smart Coach to guide you, the UP MOVE™ tracker doesn’t just count your steps and track your sleep – it gets you over the hump and moving on your path to a better you. With Activity Tracking, Sleep Tracking, Food Logging and Smart Coach.
  2. Marylebone Tech tote: £895, Aspinal of London
    The first luxury tote specifically and cleverly designed to carry an integral mobile phone and iPad battery charger pack for use with all your mobile devices. Boasting extra internal pockets with cable paths to carry your phone & tablet devices, the tech charger pack gives you the freedom to recharge your tech gadgets on the go in style.
  3. PEBBLE Steel smart watch: £133.30, PC World
    The Pebble Steel Smart Watch works with both Android and iOS smartphones and gives you instant access to text messages, emails and more, directly on your wrist. You can even control and search for music right from your wrist – perfect for sports or travel. It connects via Bluetooth, so is compatible with most current smartphones and gives you the freedom to leave your phone in your bag or pocket without missing out on important information.
  4. Dive Bar, tourmalated quartz by Ringly: $195, FAB
    Ringly connects to your phone so you can receive subtle notifications about what’s important. Through the Ringly app, you can set custom colour and vibration patterns for different types of notifications. The accompanying ring box also acts as a charging station.
  5. Unpocket: £26, 1984
    The police-grade stealth fabrics on the inside physically block all RFID, GPS, WiFi and Cell signals. UnPocket makes you unhackable and untrackable and allows you to drop off the global surveillance grid and become invisible to Big Brother #GoDark.

Sign of the Times

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pile of original Sunday Times magazines from 1966

We bought a batch of vintage 1960s Sunday Times magazines the other day. The word ‘sixties’ just trips off the tongue like it was yesterday, but it’s half a century ago now! These magazines are like time capsules from the era.

Original Sunday Times magazine cover from 1966 featuring white stockinged legs and shoes

Some have wonderful covers such as this one with skirt length predictions.

photograph of G.F. Trumper Hairdressing shop from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

There are some really interesting articles…

photograph of people at the seaside in summer from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

…and great photography from the likes of Eve Arnold, Robert Freson, Lord Snowdon, Ernest Cole, Peter Laurie, Donald McCullin, Duffy, David Montgomery, Ray Green, Constantine Manos, Horst Baumann & Maxwell Boyd to name just a few.

photograph of under 23 fashion contest finalists from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

There are features on fashion and food…

photograph accompanying a feature on soul food from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

…and, as is often the case in magazines from this period, some eye-catching ads that would be good enough to frame in themselves.

Pakistan International Airlines ad from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

Throw in some wonderful illustrations, drawings & cartoons – and you have a really great read, wonderful source material and archive.

illustration accompanying a feature on spices from an original Sunday Times magazine from 1966

We’ve just listed them all individually on eBay – quite a mammoth session! There are a few photographs and a brief description for each edition. Here’s the link if your interested in taking a closer look.

Gimme Five! Bobble hats

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selection of 5 bobble hats

We’re keeping with the cold weather theme in our Gimme Five! series.

I love hats – I’ve got all sorts – but I’ve not got a bobble hat. In my opinion, the bigger the bobble the better – one of these beauties has even got a double bobble!

  1. Nanny knit beanie: £21, The North Face
  2. Mustard yellow hand knitted Aran beanie bobble hat: £20, Etsy
  3. Helene Berman double pom pom beanie hat: £55.24, Jules B
  4. Jack Wills Thurlow faux fur bobble hat: £20.50, ASOS
  5. Slider bobble hat: £18, Notonthehighstreet

Vintage Vogue

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Vintage Vogue magazine cover from February 1962

We bought a pile of vintage Ideal Home magazines recently. We were delighted with them in their own right, but in amongst them was a lovely copy of Vogue which was a real bonus.

Model wearing green Capri pants in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

It dates from February 1962 – and priced at 2’6!

Patent in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage Vogues are very collectable and it’s easy to see why.

Line drawings of hairstyles in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

The fashion is obviously the real draw – gorgeous clothes, shoes, jewellery, hair & make up from the era.

Kanyana fabric ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Looks which still look very current over 40 years later!

Model with red top and lips and dusky eye make up in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Model wearing a blue dress and hat in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are other great features – the fabulous new mini in its early years of production…

Mini car ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

…and introducing pasta – now arriving on UK shores!

Pasta article in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are some genius illustrations too – the header for Vogue Travel is good enough to frame.

Travel in Vogue guide in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage magazines really are a great read – snap them up if you see them… and take a second look in that dusty pile of National Geographics in the corner of the charity shop – there might be a vintage Vogue lurking halfway down!