I remember clearly when I first became aware of fashion. Not just clothes, I’ve always loved clothes. But fashion, as in what was in style and what was not. Grown-up fashion. It was late 1967, early 1968. I was eleven going on twelve, and in grade five. Our class was producing the monthly assembly for our school and we had planned to have go-go dancers on stage, of which I was one. And, besides having stage jitters, I was upset because… wait for it… I had nothing to wear. I still remember the outfit that Mum bought for me: black turtleneck, black tights, and a pink and black, tweed mini-skirt with a wide belt. Ooooooh, I looked fierce. Well, as fierce as a gangling, long-legged, skinny kid with frizzy hair can look. I imagine those black tights did not do much for my legs. Like twigs they were.
But that was okay. Because Twiggy, well, she had legs like twigs too, didn’t she? And in 1967-68 Twiggy was big. Really big. And although she couldn’t make me feel any less skinny, she did make me feel not quite as gawky, maybe a little less self-conscious. So, yeah, Twiggy and me. We go way back.
At sixty-six, Twiggy still looks gorgeous. Of course she’s not a skinny kid anymore. None of us is. She celebrates fifty years in fashion this year. You can read about her career in this article in The Daily Mail On-line. And about the line of clothing which she collaborates on with Marks and Spencer in the UK.
I first read about this line of clothing on Alyson Walsh’s blog That’s Not My Age, in a post where Alyson writes about Twiggy’s fifty years in fashion, and where she and M&S gave away three Twiggy biker jackets in gorgeous khaki suede. You can read Alyson’s post here. And, you know what? I won one of those jackets. Yah. I never win anything. Let’s hear it for Twiggy. And for That’s Not My Age.
So, last Friday, we came home from our two week spring road trip to find a package from Marks and Spencer UK waiting. Along with a personal note from Twiggy herself. How cool is that? I sound like a twelve year old there, don’t I? Ah well. Twiggy and me, we have history.
So the note is special. But the jacket is even better. Much better. I first tried it with a plain white tee shirt, tucked in, my Current Elliott jeans, belted, and my Paul Green boots. I feel so comfortable in this outfit. This is what I’ve been wearing in one form or another since I was in university. It’s vintage me.
And speaking of vintage. I dug through my bags of old earrings and bracelets that I don’t wear anymore but can’t give away. And found these earrings from the eighties. “I knew I had a pair of earrings the exact colour of the jacket,” I yelled excitedly to Hubby. “What? Did you say something?” Sheesh. Some people will never be able to comprehend the joy of finding something old, which you’ve hung onto for years, is exactly what you need to wear with something new.
Then I tried my new khaki suede biker jacket with my cropped Citizens of Humanity jeans, this grey and sage green striped tee from Vince and my Stan Smith Adidas. I felt great in this outfit too. Particularly since I haven’t worn this Vince tee enough, and it goes perfectly with the jacket. What luck, eh?
Not to mention the fact that the jacket also looks good with these Anne-Marie Chagnon earrings. See that little green bead? It looks great against the darker green of the jacket, I think.
I also paired the jacket with my Paige high-rise skinny jeans, and this blue and white striped sweater from Brooks Brothers. And my Stan Smith sneakers again. I love khaki green with dark blue.
And yesterday when I was heading out to run errands and then had an afternoon appointment for a post-winter facial, I kept the Paige jeans and sneakers, and changed up the sweater for this white Theory shirt. Simple. Works for me.
I must tell you that I tried very hard not to get too excited about winning this jacket. At first when Alyson e-mailed me for my size, I panicked. I’m not an easy fit even when I understand the sizing. Rosie, who reads this blog, came to my rescue and sent me a helpful link on UK sizing. But when I took my measurements, I fit exactly in between sizes. So I played it smart, and did what Mum would have done when I was a kid, I went up a size. And all during our trip south, I kept telling myself that, when it came, the jacket probably wouldn’t fit. It probably wouldn’t suit me. I probably wouldn’t like it. You know… downsizing my expectations.
And truthfully, it is a little big. But, if I’m going to wear it with tight jeans, I don’t want it to be snug. Not at all. It’s described as a “fitted” jacket on the M&S website. But I want it to be a bit loose to better hide my middle-age middle. And I like it a bit slouchy. A bit louche. Makes it more biker-y.
So I guess you could say that I like my new jacket. That it goes with just about everything I own. Or at least with enough things to keep me reaching for it regularly. I guess you might say it suits my long-legged, carrying all my weight above the hips sort of body type. I guess you might say that, in a way, Twiggy is still inspiring me to feel good about my body… with all its flaws. Even though those flaws are a bit different than they were in 1967.
So yeah. Twiggy and me. We go way back.
As far back as that assembly in grade five. Of which I have such clear memories. Of what I wore. And the song we danced to. “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees. I still know every single word to that song.
And be honest… from the point of view of your twelve year old self… tell me…. wasn’t Davy Jones just the cutest thing ever?
Do you remember when you first became conscious of fashion? What’s your take on biker jackets? Or on Twiggy? Or the Monkees? Or… you know… whatever?