Nostalgia – A Tale of Three Dresses

I started to feel a “pastoral nostalgia” when I heard that Laura Ashley are back on form with a new collection.  I have wonderful memories of their fashion, prints and homeware, which have been a firm favourite of mine from the early 1980’s.

As a young wife and mum to be, their clothing fitted with my lifestyle, back then. I loved their designs and individuality.  In our first home, we saved up and bought bits and pieces of their homeware, and have continued to do so, for over thirty years.

I bought some great fashion pieces, in those early days.  These included a few cotton dresses, jumpsuits – all of which had vibrant colours and prints – and a red maternity dress.  One of my “favourites” was a pale pink, cotton jacket with a sailor collar and cuffs (I dug out this photograph from 1986).  I used to wear it with a little pink mini-skirt and knee high, slouchy brown, leather boots.  I remember feeling “the bee’s knees” in this outfit……. well, it was the eighties!

I always felt I was wearing the very best in both up to date fashion and quality.  I wish I hadn’t let those items go, but I never thought I would wear them, again.  Laura Ashley clothes from this era are now classed as “vintage” and selling for hundreds of pounds on various websites, including eBay, of course.  This doesn’t surprise me one bit.

 

This was the time when Teresa Colonette was applying her “eye for style” and creative flair, influencing Laura Ashley designs.  Theresa is now a curator at The Fashion and Textiles Museaum, in London. Currently, there are other successful brands whose designs are very similar to vintage Laura Ashley.  This brings me to the present day and why I am interested in this new collection.

I still refer to this book for ideas when we are decorating our pre WWII house.

I have been looking for a winter dress that will take me over the Christmas period – not too dressy, “casual glamour”, comes to mind.

I have gradually become quite eclectic in my style, but the vintage prints of this brand still attract me. So, off I trotted to check this new collection out.

On entering the shop, the ‘Pimlico Collection’ prints caught my eye, straightaway. They remind me of the vibrant prints, of yesteryear.  I liked the style of the midi-length dresses, so I guessed they would suit my shape.  I ended up taking three dresses into the fitting room with me.

 

The prints are retro with a fresh twist.  I couldn’t decide which one I liked best.  I left the shop to have a ponder and signed up to their email.  I don’t buy spontaneously, anymore.  Plus, this was going to be a “forever” dress.

A few weeks later, I received an email from Laura Ashley informing me there was 30% discount being offered – bringing the dresses down from £110.00 to £77.00 – so very tempting.  I then ordered all three dresses so I could check, again, which one I preferred, and I also ordered a pair of lacy tights (couldn’t resist!!).

I have taken photographs of the three dresses for you to see which one you would choose.

And, the winner is!! This Hand Painted Fit And Flare Dress

After some “umming and ahing”, mainly between the burgundy print and the pink and black floral maxi dress, I picked the latter because I immediately felt great in it and loved the retro 1960’s – 70’s vibe.  It captures the romantic heritage of the brand.  I love the length and overall fit of the dress.  It will be perfect for outings at Christmas, and beyond. It’s definitely a “day to evening” dress.  I have worn it several times already, and I love it.

Styled with my Zara, velvet military jacket

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Alison

xx

This is not a sponsored post – I wrote this article as I genuinely have a feeling of nostalgia for this brand.  However it may contain some affiliate links.

 

 

42 Comments

  1. November 13, 2019 / 8:17 pm

    Great post about an iconic British brand. You made an excellent choice. The lacey tights look fab with it.

    • November 15, 2019 / 6:40 pm

      Thank you so much Gail. This collection really brought back memories
      of my younger days. I must admit it was a painful decision. Love this dress,
      and I’ll wear it a lot.
      Alison xx

  2. November 14, 2019 / 4:20 pm

    I love the style of these dresses and they fit you very well. Those tights are such a pretty addition. I had never heard of the brand but it is always interesting to read about things I don’t know about.
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

    • November 15, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you, Mireille. Laura Ashley is an iconic British brand, which I loved when I
      was younger. Their latest collection is fabulous. It was difficult deciding,
      as all the dresses were lovely. Have a fab weekend.
      Alison xx

  3. November 14, 2019 / 7:36 pm

    Ohh, your dresses are all lovely. I do love wearing dresses for almost any occasion! Thanks for sharing. Jacqui

    • November 15, 2019 / 6:33 pm

      Thank you Jacqui. It was really difficult making a decision as I couldn’t keep them all.
      Alison xx

  4. November 14, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    Fabulous dress! I loved Laura Ashley a lot when I was in puberty. The I lost the brand a bit. Fantastic tights too.

    • November 15, 2019 / 6:32 pm

      Thank you Nancy. Me too. Love their new collection. It reminds me of my younger days.
      Alison xx

  5. November 15, 2019 / 9:49 pm

    All of those dresses are lovely! You couldn’t go wrong with any of them. I am so glad I didn’t have to decide. LOL! You’ve styled the one you chose beautifully!

    Michelle
    https://bijoubeadboutique.com

    • November 16, 2019 / 1:09 pm

      Thank you, I agree. It was a difficult choice to make as they’re all lovely dresses. I’ve already worn the floral print quite a few times.
      Alison xx

  6. November 16, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    Good you couldn´t resist the lace tights Alison 🙂 Xou look amazing in all dresses but in the dress you choose you look fabulous!
    Enjoy aour weekend,xx Tinat

    • November 18, 2019 / 3:54 pm

      I have admit I love lacy tights and have quite a few pairs. Couldn’t resist the
      pattern on these. They’re a lovely addition to the dresses. Have a lovely
      week Tina.
      Alison
      Xx

  7. November 16, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    All three of the dresses are so lovely on you! It would be hard to pick! Love the prints and vintage vibe!

    Jill

    • November 18, 2019 / 3:50 pm

      Thank you so much Jill. It was difficult making the decision. Love
      the pink floral print dress and I’ll wear it a lot.
      Alison xx

  8. November 17, 2019 / 4:46 pm

    Laura Ashley is classic and reomantic. Love it! I can see why the style appealed to you! Very pretty! I love the longer length and floral print on you! Its a great year round print, and your stockings are very stylish!
    jess xx
    http://www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

    • November 18, 2019 / 3:48 pm

      Thank you Jess. Wandering around round their shop brought
      back some happy memories. I do love this dress. It’s
      gorgeous quality.
      Alison xx

  9. November 18, 2019 / 9:36 pm

    I discovered the Laura Ashley brand when I was twelve! The brand was thriving and my bridesmaid dress was made from one of their materials. A love affair was created. All of these dresses are gorgeous Alison. xx

    • November 18, 2019 / 11:26 pm

      Thank you, Laurie. I have never stopped wandering into their shops to check what’s on offer. This time it was hard to make the decision, as there was so much to choose from.
      Alison x

    • November 19, 2019 / 10:44 pm

      Thank you. I do love the pink floral dress and have already worn it a lot. I wish I hadn’t parted with the pink cotton sailor jacket, as well as other items from back then.
      Alison xx

  10. Karen
    November 19, 2019 / 8:22 pm

    Love all three dresses, but you picked my favourite !!! I feel like that about Laura Ashley, sitting here remembering having a pale pink sailor dress ! I loved their wallpapers in particular and once broke our decorating budget with some bedroom wallpaper.
    I bought a very similar dress to yours last week from Fat Face and I was wondering about outerwear as its a bit longer than a midi ( almost maxi ) I wore it on Saturday to a day house party with a long cardigan and it looks nice with a denim jacket…..need a jacket a bit like yours though for extra warmth.
    Thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane , enjoyed it xx

    • November 21, 2019 / 7:30 pm

      Thank you Karen for your lovely comment. I loved writing this post
      as it reminded me of the lovely memories which this brand gave me
      then and still does. Funny you should mention their wallpaper I
      have been looking on a few vintage websites and saw some
      Laura Ashley wallpaper we had in one of our rooms years ago.
      I’m pleased you found your perfect winter dress. It
      sounds gorgeous.
      Alison xx

  11. November 20, 2019 / 3:43 am

    I think you picked the perfect one! The print is so pretty! I love the fit on you too!

    • November 21, 2019 / 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much Laura. It is a lovely dress which I’ll wear a lot.
      Alison xx

  12. November 20, 2019 / 11:39 pm

    They are all so pretty! This style is so very you. I can understand why you love the brand so much! For me personally, I would be more likely to wear the burgundy one, but they are seriously all so pretty. I don’t know how you were able to return 2! I would have ended up keeping all three once I had them. Ha. Thanks for linking up with us!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    • November 21, 2019 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you Shelbee. I loved the burgundy dress too, but the pink floral will be a forever dress. I’ve worn it a lot already and will definitely be getting lots of wears over Christmas.
      Alison xx

    • November 23, 2019 / 5:00 pm

      Thank you, Kellyann. I’ve heard from a lot of people who
      have the same nostalgic memories from using this brand
      over the years. I Love the pink floral dress and will
      wear it a lot.
      Alison xx

  13. November 25, 2019 / 11:27 am

    While they are all cute dresses, I agree with the one you kept, it’s my favourite of the ones you tried! 🙂 I don’t have much exposure to the brand but it’s great it’s been around for so long!

    Hope that you had a wonderful weekend 🙂 Thank you so much for joining the #weekdayWearLinkUp 🙂 I just posted this week’s linkup, I’d love you to join again!

    • November 25, 2019 / 6:50 pm

      Thank you, Mica. Yes, Laura Ashley has been one of my favourite
      brands over the years.
      Have a lovely week.
      Alison x

  14. November 25, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    I love the print and skirt but the top is too much coverage for me. I will end looking like a giant print. Not been into a Laura’ Ashley’s for years, my Mother used to LOVE them

    Molly

    • November 25, 2019 / 6:53 pm

      Thank you Molly. Print isn’t for everyone. I hadn’t been into
      the store for ages, I loved having a look round and loved some
      of their stock. x

  15. December 3, 2019 / 10:47 am

    Lovely post. I remember having a laura Ashly dress years ago and wearing it all the time as I loved it so much. I would love to treat myself to one again 🙂 Beautiful dress. I love floral prints. Thanks for sharing at The Weekly Link Up.

    • December 3, 2019 / 5:00 pm

      Thank you, Claire. I used to shop there quite a bit in my younger days. I’ll
      certainly continue to check their stock as they had some lovely things in. xx

      • December 10, 2019 / 8:43 pm

        I love to see what they have in each season. Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays 🙂 Hope you can join us again tomorrow.

  16. jodie filogomo
    December 3, 2019 / 6:47 pm

    I do like all of the dresses, but I have to admit that the burgundy color seems so pretty on you.
    XOXO
    Jodie

    • December 5, 2019 / 6:45 pm

      Thank you so much Jodie. The burgundy dress is gorgeous – so
      tempting to keep two. I checked yesterday as I may buy it in the
      January sales but they are all out of stock. xx

  17. December 3, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    Oh my gosh!
    I had that book a long time ago!
    Bring back all the 80’s design trends.
    Looking fab in all those print dresses Alison!
    Bestest
    Ashley xx

    • December 5, 2019 / 6:58 pm

      Thank you, Ashley. I can’t honestly remember how long I’ve had
      this book. I refer to it when we are decorating. I still love
      Laura Ashley style and prints. xx

  18. December 4, 2019 / 9:59 pm

    Delightful dresses, Love them all and the style really suite you Hun. x Jacqui

  19. December 5, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    I always loved there homewares, I had a lounge suite from there. The dress is very pretty, I even like the jumpsuit.

  20. December 12, 2019 / 12:03 am

    Oh how I loved Laura Ashley back in the day. My mom made me a great knock off jumpsuit. Thanks for linking up with us at Style Six! XO

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