The Elegance of Elvis

Quiff. Sunglasses. Giant collars. Sideburns. Medallions. Jumpsuits. Blue suede shoes. Leathers. Hawaiian shirts. Capes. Loafers. White shoes.  White belts. White flares. And that gold suit. Elvis Presley is one of the very, very few figures worthy of that ghastly, overused, underachieved word: Icon. Like the Byzantine images from which the word derives, Presley’s style is…

Lady Levis®

Jeans had been around for sixty years before it occurred to anyone that women might like to wear them too. Designed as tough workwear for miners in 1873, they had been swiftly adopted by cowhands and other chaps in the American west as comfortable, practical clothes. That’s not to say women didn’t wear the men’s…

Tiki Chic

One of the least-played records in my vinyl collection is Bing Sings Songs of the Islands. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was seduced by the picture on the front: El Bingo is resplendent, happily sporting several Leis and a sailor hat. It was only after playing half a side that…

The Fabulousness of Princess Margaret

Okay, so she never got to be Queen. Missed it by a whisker. Coming second has its advantages though, as Prince Harry will tell you. It allows a freedom you’d never have if you actually had to be monarch. Princess Margaret could be wild. She could break the rules. She could smoke and go out with…

Backs to the Land, Girls!

  1939. The world is on the brink. Mr Hitler hasn’t actually invaded anything yet, but it’s not looking good in Poland.   The men in grey suits are worried. How will old Blighty survive if the lads have to fight? They look at each other warily. There is one option. It’s not ideal; the chaps…

The Delicate Art of the Evening Glove

Evening gloves conjure up the opulence of a bygone era like tiaras and opera glasses. Every lady should know how to wield a pair, but they are fickle mistresses. Well-chosen, they’ll transform that tired old cocktail shift into something Edith Head would be proud of. Poorly chosen, you’ll be mistaken for a hen-night refugee and…