After last week’s formal wool jacket pairing with the jeans for Date Night, week 4 of my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge has taken a softer look, with a very subtle vintage vibe; the inspiration for it coming from my Gladstone style bag.
Yup, we’ve gone from hamburgers to handbags in the space of a week!
I’ve had this bag for quite a while now – another ridiculous bargain of 99p, pre-loved from e-bay. The bag isn’t technically a true Gladstone as it’s neither leather, nor built over a rigid frame but it has the feel of a Gladstone. Gladstone bags were designed and made by a gentleman called J G Beard in London. He admired the politician William Gladstone, who during his long career was Prime Minister of the UK a staggering 4 times. Beard named his design after him.
As my bag is soft and only opens at the top, it’s really a square-mouthed bag, sometimes known as a kit bag but either way, I think you’ll agree that with its shape, print and those bamboo handles, it exudes a vintage feel.
I took the colours and the soft shape of the bag and built the outfit around them. Once you start looking, you realise there are quite a few colours in the bag; pale yellow, teal, turquoise, green, dark olive, and varying shades of taupe.
I already have a turquoise top and the embroidery anglaise and the delicate floral pattern fit well with the style of the bag. I wore it back in the summer with my Hawaiian Print Shorts.
It was my Mum’s 83rd birthday at the weekend and we went to visit for the day, armed with fizz, food and flowers. I wanted to show her the bag as it was one she hadn’t seen and I knew it would be right up her street.
In her older years, she’s become quite a dab hand at thrifting in the local charity shops and we love showing each other our finds. She’s not as mobile as she used to be unfortunately. However, from time to time her lovely carer, who pops in every day, takes her out so she can hunt down a bargain!
As soon as she saw the bag, her eyes lit up and she said ‘oh, I love your bag, can I borrow it!’
You absolutely can, Mum!
The bamboo handles of the bag are a lovely deep caramel so I thought it would be fun to wear my circle stone necklace, to play on that colour.
When it came to choosing my shoes, it was a no brainer. A vintage feel bag, cried out for a vintage style shoe – my taupe, semi wedge Mary Jane’s. I’ve had this style of shoe on and off for years. It’s one of those timeless styles that seems to pop up most years in various guises.
What I didn’t know was why they’re called Mary Jane. Apparently, it comes from a comic strip published in the New York Herald! Back in 1902, in the strip, Buster Brown, the character of Mary Jane wore shoes with a bar across the top of the foot; hence this style of footwear becoming known over the years as Mary Jane’s!
The slightly mottled look of the shoes makes them feel older than they really are. They were another preloved find but the make is a well known and much loved British retail institution – Marks & Spencer!
Bhs Embrodie Anglaise top (SS15)
New Look Cardigan (old)
Necklace from Chile. A gift from my mum-in-law.
Bracelet from the Emporium of I Forget
Accessorise Gladstone style cloth bag (preloved from e-bay)
M&S Mary Jane Style Semi Wedges (preloved from e-bay)
I’m grateful for many, many things my Mum has given me over the years; not least her wisdom, love, and support. I also now can fully appreciate (and am thankful for) that I’ve inherited her love of colour, print and pattern. I’m truly my Mother’s daughter in that regard!
Bound by love, Mother and Daughter holding hands.
You can read all about my Seasonal Skinny Style Challenge here.