In the early to mid-’80s I remember Chelsea Girl as being quite the label to aspire to – smarter than Miss Selfridge, less tacky than Top Shop as it was then, trendier than C&A or Primark at the time, but still affordable for young teens with saved pocket money, and also acceptable to middle-class parents. I had quite a few Chelsea Girl items, though mine would have been – even then – secondhand from a car boot sale or charity shop, ‘cos my mother didn’t believe in spending money on fripperies such as fashion. Nothing’s changed – and I found this tweedy checked number, half-way between a cardigan and a jacket, at the jumble in Plumpton last week (£1). I’d probably have been too young to want this first time round but I rather like it now; I shall take Maria’s advice and pair it with a black pencil skirt. Needs a button, but I’m sure I can sort that out.
Also on a slightly ’80s vibe, albeit more of an indie-pop one, is the rust-red shirt (20p) I picked up for D. Nice detailing including elbow patches and wooden buttons; funnily enough, it’s from River Island, from the same brand-family as Chelsea Girl and its male equivalent at the time, Concept Man (remember?). Other find for D: a very ordinary purple shirt for work-purposes.