Hat Wars
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A long way down memory lane

On the way home from food shopping, I noticed something in a shop window. It's a posh frock shop - you know the sort of place - the window is usually full of very tiny expensive things you'd have to be equally tiny to wear. Taking pride of place today was a frothy crinoline skirt made out of several tiers of gathered white net. It took me straight back to my early teenage years when it was de rigueur to wear such a garment underneath your frock, not instead of it.


This is me (on the right) with my best mate at the time, Carol, waiting for the next dance at the school Christmas party c 1959. I loved this petticoat more than anything else in the world, even though wearing it was a complete pain in the bum. The tiers were so enormously frothy that I had to cart the thing round with me in a big box and change when I got to the party, dance or wherever. I remember starching it with sugar solution and picking off tiny little flies that got stuck to it while it was drying. And I had to be awfully careful to keep it under control when I sat down...


You haven't changed much, I can still see it's you in the photo, though I can't imagine you wanting to wear that outfit! I used to try wearing full satin skirts (in the seventies) but never had much of a waist, even when I was skinny!

I was young (and innocent) and hadn't discovered black or purple, let along plain fabrics!

How I remember those skirts and the sugar solution - I used to keep sticking to mine when the dance hall got hot and had to go to the ladies and carefully peel it off my thighs.... I had a (home-made) circular felt skirt in purple, with applique bits all round the hem, and that underneath. You had to be very careful going upstairs on buses....Met my husband while wearing it - with a homemade knitted beaded jumper in lilac....(same pattern as is in the Sarah Dallas Vintage Knits book).

I have a spookiy similar picture of my Mum in a similar frock, yes with sugary petticoats and glitter in her hair!

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