Thursday, 29 August 2013

Getting my Laura Ashley on

Did you see this fab post from Kerry the other week?  I'd have loved to have gone to this exhibition. I've never been a huge Laura Ashley fan but have had some clothes from Laura Ashley over the years. In fact in the earliest days they were from jumble sales and destined to be repurposed into other items. I remember buying a navy needle cord dress and cutting it up. I can't remember what it became.  I had this conversation with Kerry and happened to mention that I had a Laura Ashley dress in my stash from the 1980's waiting to be recycled and Kerry informed me they're now very popular with student girls who buy them on ebay. I even had a look on flickr and found a few young girls living it up in the same style of dress.

So I got the one out of my stash. Now it was never bought with the intention of being worn. I just liked the fabric. I remember it was once worn by my Mum to Le Manoir in the 1990's when we had an invitation to afternoon tea and she had nothing to remotely suitable to wear.  The style of dress never appealed to me maybe because when it was fashionable it was generally worn by two types of people. (This is to my mind and yeah I'm going to shamelessly stereotype.)

Type 1: Middle aged women who were in the WI and really rather prim and proper. It was the kind of dress I thought people might wear to a tea party at the local vicarage.

Type 2: Younger women of the frumpy variety who wore velvet Alice bands, sensible slip on shoes and had names like Chlamydia Double-Barrelled.

You have to remember in this particular era I was either a pre teen or a teen. I generally had a more quirky and eccentric idea of dressing. Only not in frocks like this.

But now maybe 25 years after it was made I thought I'd try it on. You know just to see what it actually looked like on. So get ready for a giggle!

I had to get Mum to take the pictures so I'm 
pulling faces and frowning wondering 
if she's taking the picture and if my head will or will not make it into shot!

After checking the size, the first thing I noticed was it's a size 12 and actually a bit snug. I was aware over the years how dress sizes have been enlarged and adjusted to cope with the ever expanding womanhood. But I had no idea that even in my life time dress sizes had got so obviously bigger. I'm an 8-10 by today's standards so didn't expect a size 12 to feel snug. Or maybe LA dresses were always more petitely cut?


I even borrowed the sandals Mum wore to my brother's wedding in 1985. I think they're probably the only 1980's shoes we have in the house.  



So there you go, me in vintage Laura Ashley.  I'm not sure it's really me. But I have to say it is the kind of dress that makes me want to do some twirling and then head off to the vicarage for a nice cream tea...

I don't think I'll embark on a career as a model.


  1. Wish I'd saved some good vintage outfits I used to wear.... you look just right to head off to the vicarage. What are you going to do with the dress now?? x

  2. You don't look much like a Chlamydia! (That had me proper lol-ing) So, what you doing with it? Flog it on Ebay?

  3. *snort* I totally know what you mean about the types wot wore those! Flog it!

  4. Are you going to cut in to it

  5. I snorted tea out of my nose when I read 'Chlamydia Double-Barrelled' and that was before I got to the photoshoot. Thanks for cheering me up :-)

  6. So funny!!! There;s money in them there frills!

  7. Yes the vicar would be delighted to invite you to tea dear Chlamydia! And could you host a tea party to raise funds for the leaky roof - wot?

  8. Is Chlamydia related to Hyacynth?

    The fabric is still beautiful.

  9. The only Laura Ashley dress I had was a pinafore dress. It was officially a size 8, ( 25 years ago) and I wore it all the time I was expecting... with all three babies. And it was always too big! No wonder just before I left work to have no 1, a patient asked why I was leaving... 3 weeks before he actually made it into the world.

  10. You look so very much a 'lady'! The odd thing now is LA sizing is covert generous but not so in the 80s

  11. That's awesome!! I wish I still had my 70's Gunne Sax dresses. So silly but not as re useable as the Laura Ashely.

  12. I have been collecting Laura Ashley dresses to make a quilt from. I've cut into one shofar...and worn one when I became a Godmother!

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