Susan Morrison: It's amazing what was acceptable in the 80s
THANKS to the organisers of the vintage weekend in the Grassmarket, I was able to wander about in what basically looked like my wardrobe from the decades past. It was all there. The swing jacket, the strappy shoes and, ah, the shoulder pads.
Back in the 1980s everyone wanted to look like Sean Young in Blade Runner, all wide shoulders, tiny waist and Harrison Ford lusting after us. I managed the shoulder pads, and it may surprise you all to know that back in those days I had a 22in waist, and insisted on wearing skirts so tight I couldn’t actually sit down, or breathe out for that matter, but back then breathing was considered optional. There was a reason we favoured dark lipstick . . .
I’m still waiting for Harrison Ford, pictured, but, as I pointed out to the Yorkshire Husband the other day, all I have to do is down a couple of double gins, whip off me glasses and bingo, it’s like Han Solo is in the room. The trouble is, I’m looking in the mirror.
The 80s were the Dynasty days, when women had to be not just tough, but tough in killer heels and a pencil skirt. There were times when I had to turn sideways to get up stairs, although my mum tells me that the turnpike stairs of trams of 60s Scottish cities could be equally dodgy for the stylish miss who wanted to sit topside.
I spotted my Afghan coat from the late 70s. I have no idea if they really came from the mountains beyond the Khyber, but let me tell you that those coats and the Scottish rain were a toxic combination. The whiff off a soggy Afghan could clear the bottom deck of the 240 to Glasgow in minutes.
Clogs. Why on earth did we wear clogs? There was a time when we thundered about like some sort of backing band for Gracie Fields in a film about mill girls in the 1930s. There is a reason why people abandoned the clog as soon as the trainer appeared.
So, I guess that makes me vintage. Well, I’m slightly wrinkled, with a ruck or two here and there, but nothing a good ironing wouldn’t sort.
Lock, stockings and two half-empty barrels
There was a jacket with the shoulder flashes of the Women’s Royal Naval Service.
Last week I ran into two darling old dears, who had clearly enjoyed themselves immensely at the celebration for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Jenny Wrens.
They said they been at a tea party. I have no doubt that tea had been served. My sisters-in-arms had managed to avoid it, in favour of more strengthening beverages. If you had helped torpedo the Nazis, you’re entitled to sink a gin at any time in my book.
They were reminiscing. Loudly. Loud enough to embarrass the young man who was trying to steer them about. I think he was a great nephew. He was trying to get them home. They were trying to get to the bar.
You know, said one, resplendent in tweed, pearls and lace, I miss the hat.
Oh yes, said the other, looking like a finalist for Nice Little Old Lady of the Year. Oh, you had to be very careful with the tilt of your hat, very dangerous that was. Too far over to the side and the Yanks were after you.
Which, said her tipsy pal, was a good thing, because a girl can always use stockings. Cue hooting and shrieking from two wonderful old women who were once gals on the mooch for lipstick and gum.
The great nephew rolled his eyes and trundled them into the bar.
Clubbing days ... but without the alcopops
For a truly awesome combination of bling and battle gear, you’ve got to cut along to the National Museum of Scotland to see the exhibition about the Celts. It’s truly world class, fabulous, exhilarating and loads of big words like that. Look, just go. Yes, I know it costs a tenner but, seriously, you can’t get this sort of treasure in one place for Nectar points.
For a Celt, war was clubbing. Get together with the lads, impress the girls and dress to kill, literally. No warrior worth his salt moved without being blinged up, and even if you didn’t have a bit of gold to fling on, there was still your hair to be combed, oiled and styled.
Presumably you didn’t have to worry about it tilting too much to the side, since lecherous stocking-wielding Yanks were some way off. It’s an astonishing exhibition.
Men’s taps are definitely on
Dear Weather. Just stop this Arctic schizzle. It’s not big, it’s not clever and we all want to have some Vitamin D.
Is this perhaps the gods’ way of stopping the Scottish male from casting off his upper garment in the ancient celebration of Taps Aff?