This weekend I headed back to the village where I grew up to stay with my mum for a night. We went to an outdoor cinema event (I was roped into watching Mamma Mia 2) and then the rest of our time was spent pottering around the house and just generally taking it very easy. It was just the type of weekend my soul needed…
I also convinced her to get some old photo albums out of the loft – there was so many photos that I hadn’t seen before, and it was truly the best way to spend a lazy afternoon. There was pictures of my mum at uni with her first boyfriend, pictures of her in Paris with her oldest best friend, and just so many wonderful snaps of my grandparents bringing her and my aunty and uncles up in the Lake District. Family holidays for which they were all impeccably dressed might I add – think the ‘Jane et Serge Family Album’ type of turned out. Matching turtlenecks on the beach, and retro spectacles for all involved. I’ve often cited my Gran as one of my main fashion influences on this blog but haven’t really delved deeper into it. She would always wear patterned blouses and beads of some kind – sometimes my mum will look at an outfit I’m wearing and say ‘I swear sometimes you’re just like Granny reincarnated’. It always makes me smile and makes me feel closer to her now that she’s gone. I like to think she’s looking down and approves of my wardrobe choices…
I guess it’s easy to look back at old family photo albums and romanticise how things might have been – especially if you’re like me and have a vivid imagination. These snaps do look pretty idillic though! I didn’t know my Grandad very well because he was very old from the moment I was born, and never seemed to speak much. He would always sit in the same chair and the first thing we did when we arrived at my Grandparents house was to go and give him a kiss and say hello. There’s so much I would have loved to talk to him about – he was part of the Navy during WW2 and actually ended up being a prisoner of war for three years. My Great Grandad also died in the Battle of the Somme which meant that my Grandad never got to know him. So crazy to think that all of this history was all part of someones life that I got to be around during my lifetime – even if only for a short while…
[My mum at age seventeen with her cat Pushkin who she named after the Russian Poet apparently. She told me that she passed her driving test in the jumper she’s sporting on the right – funny how clothing has the power to immediately trigger certain memories…]
[Mum with her first boyfriend at a uni party with what she describes at the ‘worst haircut of her life’. I have to agree, although I still think she looks adorable, and and bad haircuts are probably more important than the great ones in my opinion. They force us to focus on other things – character building if you will…]
[My mum referencing two of my summer wardrobe favourites: all white ensembles and statement polka dots. I love the little white bangle that’s half way up her arm too – I haven’t worn a bangle in this way since I was a teenager and there’s something about it that feels very innocent and playful…]
[My dad wearing two outfits that I’d happily wear right now. I mean, how good are the fit of these jeans? Not to mention the white plimsoles and the chunky grey knit! He’s basically showing how to style a classic pair of jeans for the two different types of British summer we tend to experience. Wear a T-shirt if it’s sunny, but always keep a jumper close by…]
The most lovely images to see were honeymoon and holiday snaps of my mum and dad – long before me, my sister, and brother even existed. They broke up when I was nine and I feel like I don’t have many memories of them in the same room that were particularly happy or prominent. Seeing pictures of them looking so in love and carefree was a gentle reminder of all the lifetimes a person can experience within one short stay on earth. A bittersweet reminder that whilst things in life will always change, it leaves space for new experiences to fall into place. Experiences that lead to growth, new chapters to learn from, and perhaps even a new capacity for love…
Looking through these photos with a cup of coffee, I caught myself feeling overwhelmingly happy and at peace. I realised there was little pieces of me in all of them in some strange way. Glimpses of the way I like to dress, or silly expressions that my face makes. This was definitely a very indulgent post to create and will no doubt also be one of my favourites to continually glance back at. In a world where there’s so much focus on creating newness, it’s comforting to look back and feel so inspired by the past of those close to me. I guess this is the warm and fuzzy type of content that makes me fall in love with getting dressed all over again…
All photographs taken from dusty family photo albums
This is one of your greatest post ever. Even though I’m just a humble reader who doesn’t know you, I loved seeing how much you look like your Mum and Dad, and all their style stories (agree about the Dad 1988 summer outfits !). This is very moveing. Thank you.
Thank you for reading! I love reading personal posts like this and looking back for inspiration – definitely want to do more with this sort of theme. I’m now on the hunt for the perfect Dad jeans ha… x
This is one of my favorite post you ever made! It’s personal but we can still identify with all of this. I often watch old photos at my parent’s house because I love it so much. Somehow, our brain tend to remember only the good memory when looking at an old family photo and I quite like that. Plus the vintage look of the photo is the best!
Thank you!! I wish I knew what camera my mum was using – love the feel to them xx
This is such a beautiful post and despite it being so personal somehow it’s so relatable, I always enjoying going through old family pictures with my parents! There are so many good quotes here too, what you wrote about how life leaves space for new experiences and how refreshing it is to look back at things we hold dear, instead of constantly surrounding ourselves with ~newness~ (and everyone in these pictures have great taste in style!)
Ahh thank you! So glad you enjoyed it – means a lot to me xx
I loved this post!!! I definitely want to do something similar with pictures of my parents ^^.
Flor | http://flordeblog.com
Thank you! And you should – it was so much fun ha x
This post is so beautiful Alice. I always love seeing snippets of my parent’s life before I was alive – it gives me more of an insight into who they are and their past experiences. Its funny that you put this post up so recently because my grandma just brought over a ton of her clothes from the 60s and I’ve been thinking up new ways to style them! One of them is her wedding dress – a lacy minidress with flared sleeves! She also sewed a lot of her own clothes including a pair of polka dot flared trousers that I can see with a pair of tall white boots. I find style so compelling for this reason – it truly is a medium of storytelling and can connect people in really amazing ways. Thanks for sharing this!
Sydney | thesydneystories.com