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Style Inspiration: Clara Bow

Celebrating the Roaring Twenties in a Special Series

It’s no secret I love the style of the 1920s, although Louise Brooks is usually more my speed than Clara Bow. However, last year I saw the 1927 WWI film Wings, starring Clara Bow, and take a fashion cue from her. Most of the film was set on the battlefields of France, but there is a scene at the beginning where the actress is wearing a scarf tucked into her belt, on top of a sweater and pleated knit skirt outfit. ‘I like that!’ I thought when I saw it, ‘I must try it at home.’

It’s great watching period films and seeing how clothes were really worn – I especially like to check out what the extras are wearing, because they usually will be dressed in more ordinary clothes than the glamorous star of the film.

The Outfit

I am wearing a mix of modern and 70s items. The outfit was a deliberate combination of quiet beige and tan tones paired with robins egg blue. Of the latter, the skirt is a linen/poly mix, and I bought it in a charity store for just a few dollars. I was particularly pleased with that find because it was almost exactly the same as a vintage 40s skirt I’d been eyeing on Etsy, which was much more expensive. I would love to own a vintage 20s cardigan – my modern version features beautiful detailing and is a very warm merino wool, by Nanette Lepore.

The Accessories

Also 70s, the leather handbag came from a Melbourne vintage boutique. The mint green silk scarf and perforated leather belt are recent charity store finds – the latter immediately became a favourite accessory. The cream wool beret has been part of my wardrobe for nearly twenty years, while the cashmere/silk blend socks by Phillip Matignon, the patent leather Mary Janes by John Lewis Women (both bought from an online sale site) and the sunglasses by MinkPink have never been worn by anyone else. The blue chalcedony earrings I made myself, and the turquoise ring is a souvenir from Barcelona.

It tickles me that this Twenties daytime look is entirely made up from garments from other eras! But that marches perfectly well with my creed of never looking like I’ve stepped off a period film set. Even if this time I’ve deliberately paid homage to a film star. 

Picture Note
The background images were taken last year at my cousins’ farm on the outskirts of Melbourne. 

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