Am I too old for…Dungarees?

The answer to the question in the title is “no”, we should be wearing what we damn well like. There is no rulebook.

My one and only pair of dungarees were bought in my late teens from a great shop in Newcastle called, “Plus Four”. It was situated in Eldon Square in the city centre. Back then, “Plus Four” was the shop to go to for up to the minute “Levi’s” and “Le Breve” jeans. But, more about the dungarees, later!!

As an aside, when I shopped in Newcastle in the late seventies, I would pop into a boutique called, “Bus Stop”. If you are of a certain age, you may remember this shop.  For my younger self, going into this boutique was like entering an Aladdin’s cave of fashion. I bought a lot from “Bus Stop” and I so wish I’d kept some of the items I purchased from it back then – for nostalgia more than anything. Vintage “Bus Stop” designs are now highly sought after for their flattering cut, beautiful prints and fantastic fabrics.

Here’s a little bit of history of this iconic shop…..

“Bus Stop” was created by Lee Bender along with her husband, Cecil, in the late ’60s. They had previously produced clothing under their label ‘Lee Cecil’. They then went on to open the first “Bus Stop” shop in 1969 in Kensington’s fashionable Church Street, right next door to the iconic “Biba”.

The “Bus Stop” name was chosen as it represented something identifiably British. And, the red interior of the shop continued this theme, based on the colour of telephone kiosks, post boxes and London buses. Customers to their London shop included Brigitte Bardot, Marianne Faithfull and Pattie Boyd, amongst other famous faces.

Lee and Cecil famously designed their clothes for “real women”. Joan Collins, another celebrity customer of “Bus Stop”, named Lee Bender as one of her favourite designers, saying “she designs clothes for women with boobs and bums”.

“Bus Stop” became a chain of twelve stores throughout the UK. I would love to hear from you if you, too, visited this great shop. It was a place where I could indulge my younger self in great fashion, here in the North East, which was quite rare back then, since shops in this genre were mainly based in London. The chain was bought by ‘French Connection’ in 1979.……

Now, back to my quest for dungarees and my thirty-year hiatus from them….…

Dungarees seem to fall into that category of “are they worn over a certain age”? On Pinterest, I noticed the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore and Diane Kruger looking very cool and stylish in them. This was the inspiration behind my search.

While having a browse through the various brands, I, again,  noted there isn’t a realistic representation of the “midlife” age group. The majority of models are teenagers or a little older, wearing clothes I may like to buy. The problem is their youthfulness can be “alienating”, which shouldn’t be the case.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we saw more of our age group showing off these clothes on their websites?

I know these stylish midlife women exist because I follow them on their blogs and Instagram? If brands used older models, I would certainly be inspired and more likely to return to their sites to buy their clothes.

The denim dungarees I was looking for had to be the right shade of blue, soft to the touch with a small amount of lycra so they would be extra comfortable. I was avoiding thick, stiff denim which would be restrictive. After quite a good search, I came across this pair from “Fat Face”. The reviews spoke for themselves. When they arrived, I knew, immediately that I’d made the right choice. They ticked all the boxes and I even got the seal of approval from my boys who were around when I tried them on for the first time. They don’t usually take a lot of notice.

My advice is to look for a pair that is made well (check the fastenings and inside seams) and, in terms of fit, the actual style hasn’t really changed much from the classic-but-baggy cut that seems to work with most body shapes.

Here are a few plus points……they feel surprisingly feminine and fit the body well with a little bit room to spare – making them super flattering.  I find them very comfortable and quite flirty, in a tomboy way.  Depending on what time of year it is, they can be worn with a little tee and flats to keep cool in the summer months, or worn with a woollen in the colder months.

The list is endless of how to style dungarees. Casual understated glamour is coming to mind with a tailored jacket and heels, or stomping boots.  Alternatively, suede ankle boots will do the job nicely along with a stylish coat.

Shop the look:

Please note that all items worn in this post are my own. However, some of the above are affiliate links – if you like the look of one of the items and click through to the website, there is no extra cost to you.

If you are looking for some home entertainment inspiration I am currently putting together a list of TV series/films we have watched and enjoyed over the last year or so. 

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you have enjoyed it. If you have any questions about this article, I would love to hear from you – please let me know in the comments below.

Best wishes to you.

Alison x

 

16 Comments

  1. 13 January 2021 / 7:02 pm

    That boutique sounded amazing! Those were the days! I think dungarees look even beter on,, older,, women then the young ones.

    • 14 January 2021 / 5:28 pm

      It really was the place to go. I didn’t know a lot about Lee bender at the time – it’s since that time I’ve learnt about her great designs and prints.

  2. Karen
    13 January 2021 / 9:49 pm

    I love this look and the reminder of the fun days of funky dressing in years gone by. I wore dungarees for many years but not recently. In my neck of the woods we’ve called them overalls. I always like your posts…. they keep me happy in my wardrobe selections which are always somewhat out of sync with my circle of friends. I’m never 100% sure if “Oh…. look at YOU!” is a compliment or not.

    • 15 January 2021 / 7:05 pm

      I still love 70’s fashion and this style is a reminder of my youth. There are no rules and we should wear what makes us happy, confident and comfortable of course. I’m so pleased that I’m helping you with your wardrobe selections. Have a lovely weekend.

  3. 13 January 2021 / 9:54 pm

    I think these overalls look amazing on you! And I love them with the cozy sweater! I hope you are having a great week!

    • 15 January 2021 / 9:25 pm

      Many thanks to you Laura. Wish I had bought a pair sooner – they are so comfortable. xx

    • 15 January 2021 / 9:27 pm

      Thank you so much. It was great reminiscing about this great shop – wish there was more like it now. xx

  4. 14 January 2021 / 6:30 pm

    I just recently got a pair and I love to wear a sweater under it, too! That turtleneck looks so cozy!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    • 15 January 2021 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you, Carrie. they are such a great addition to the wardrobe, aren’t they? That is such an old sweater I’m wearing with them – I’ve had it for years. Have a lovely weekend. xx

    • 15 January 2021 / 9:32 pm

      They are so comfortable. I will wear them a lot as I do feel good in them too. xx

  5. 18 January 2021 / 10:18 pm

    I’d never heard of Bus Stop but it sounds amazing! I sometimes wish I could go back in time for a day to visit all the fabulous shops that were around in the 70s. You look great in the dungarees, the fit is perfect. I love the chunky sweater underneath too. I just ordered some cord dungarees and was unsure if I should keep them but my daughter persuaded me to…I think she has a secret plan to claim a lot of my clothes when she gets older! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • 19 January 2021 / 9:19 pm

      Thank you so much, Emma. I do love these dungarees – they are so comfortable. I didn’t mean to write about “Bus Stop” – but when I started to think about that time in my life all of the memories came flooding back. Lee Bender has a website. It’s worth a browse – there are some beautiful prints. xx

  6. 18 January 2021 / 11:26 pm

    Yay, Alison, you got the dungarees! And they are fabulous on you! Such an adorable outfit and I really love the ageless style message as well. And what a fun little trip down vintage lane with the Bus Stop history. That was super fun to read! I will be featuring this post on tomorrow’s link up. Thanks for joining!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    • 19 January 2021 / 9:36 pm

      Thank you for the feature and inspiration Shelbee! I do love these dungarees – they are so comfortable. I enjoyed writing about my “Bus Stop” days – a lot of lovely memories came flooding back – as well as the fab clothes I bought back then. Lee Bender has a website. It’s worth a browse – there are some beautiful prints. xx

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