I’m a rather feminine girl. I generally wear a dress or skirt most days, I have long hair, I love make-up and high heels and regularly paint my nails. This is very much the look we all think of when someone says the word vintage. We think pretty dresses, elegant women dressed from head to toe in classily styled, well-cut skirts and jackets, full make-up and perfectly quaffed hair.
However, there’s one look that gets over looked a lot in vintage clothing that flowed throughout the 20th Century. As women tried to push the boundaries of society this also reflected in their dress. With women becoming increasingly interested in politics and wanting to become part of a world of equality, rather than one rule for men and another for women, they knew they had to dress in a more masculine way to be taken seriously.
As women’s leisure pursuits became more active and more strenuous, it also became a practical solution. For those wanting to spend time horse-riding, playing sports and traveling to far off countries, rather than sitting around drinking tea, reading books and sewing, trousers offered greater freedom and less restriction.
It’s a style that has always intrigued me. During my college years I used to spend hours searching in charity shops for small men’s suits I could wear. I finally found a beautiful Aquastutum three piece suit I paid less than £10 for. It must have been owned by a jockey or someone similar because I’m 5ft 3 and was a size 8 at the time and all I did was nip in the waist on the jacket and waistcoat! I wish I had a photo of me in it to show you but there aren’t many pictures of me from back then.
With all that in mind, I have put together some of my favourite vintage androgynous looks from the 1910s through to the 1970s.