It’s no secret that Marilyn Monroe’s look makes up a large part of my style inspiration. I love her sexy Fifties style, and find that those retro shapes suit my curvy size 14 figure. So this morning I was listening to my Marilyn CD and deciding what to take away for the weekend to Bristol. I am going to St. Paul’s Carnival (like a mini version of Notting Hill), and was suitably inspired by Marilyn to go retro and colourful. So to cover Friday, Saturday and Sunday I needed three outfits that would match the weather, the occasion and my mood!
Outfit one is actually a gift from my friend Tracey, and is an amazing heavy cotton sun dress from H&M with a full pleated skirt in cream with yellow spots and thick horizontal orange stripes. I am accessorizing with a turquoise statement necklace and cream winged Fifties shades. Taking the Fifties look literally, it’s colourful, retro and fun, and I feel I should be strolling along a pier at the British seaside circa 1950. What do you think of this retro look?
Outfit two is for the carnival itself. I wanted to wear something a bit shorter and lighter so have decided to go for a black All Saints dress I snapped up in a sale for £25. I rarely wear all black, but I love this dress as it has a flattering sweetheart neckline, exposed zip at the back and huge bustle over the booty. This frock definitely has a retro feel but with a modern edge, but how could I make it colourful enough for the carnival atmosphere? Well, I love corsages, the bigger and brighter the blooms the better. So I have decided to pin three huge ones to the front of my dress in yellow, orange and cream to make it more exotic and tropical. Too much is not enough? A motto I like to adopt in styling.
Outfit three is a vintage Fifties button-through dress I bought in a second hand shop in Wells, Somerset called the Changing Room. It is a dress circle, but also has a great vintage rail upstairs, and has made a huge contribution to my wardrobe over the years. It’s a gorgeous light cotton lime green and white polka dot style with huge, roomy pockets. I have added a vintage gold rose brooch which was a birthday present from two friends last year and a vintage lime green belt, as well as my sequined sausage dog bag for some extra kitsch appeal. The sausage dog was a great find from a shop called Mad Fashion Bitch, and it has been ferrying my stuff around for years. The zip is broken but I love it, and use it all the time. Probably an acquired taste, but who can resist a sausage dog made from sequins?!
The only decision still to be made for the weekend is which bag to take to carnival. It needs to be big enough for money and lippy etc.., but not too big that it will bash people in the crowds. Here are a few options of handy across the body bags I have picked up on my travels over the years. Decisions, decisions…
So with my Monroe-inspired carnival wardrobe sorted, I can guarantee it will be perfectly accessorized by only one thing; a can of Red Stripe, or two. Carrr-neee-vaaal here I come.