It might have been tailor made

Austin Reed of Regent Street

Celebrating 110 years of Austin Reed

“The best things come in small packages”. That was what my primary school teacher used to say when someone brought in something small for our weekly “Show and Tell” session. In my case this statement isn’t completely true but it delivers the same kind of message: the best things come when you don’t expect them to. On Saturday I headed out to buy a paper and thought I’d pop into a couple of the local charity shops to see if they were hiding any treasures. I thought that I was simply being very optimistic so you can imagine my joy at finding a beautifully tailored, fitted ladies blazer in my size and a lovely and bright shade of red for just £3.50. Oh, did I happen to mention that the blazer in question is Austin Reed?!

I really couldn’t believe my luck, especially as it had been marked down from £6.99! I had to check with the shop lady that I was reading the price right and she must have thought me a bit odd as I just kept saying, “But it’s Austin Reed!” There is only one small downside and this is that the blazer is missing a button, but I was hardly going to leave it in the shop. I mean, how often do you find items like that going so cheaply? I bought two other items in the charity shop in question – a red and white skater dress which actually turned out to be Primark, and a bright red rollneck jumper from Oasis. I was very happy to part with just £10 for the three!

Austin Reed of Regent Street

The "Elegant Gentleman"

In fact I was so pleased with my blazer that I wore it on Sunday (over my new red and white dress) – button missing and all! Not very thorough of me I know but it actually wasn’t very noticeable as the button missing was the third one down so I simply buttoned up the first two and left it at that. There’s something about wearing such a bright shade of red when it is still so cold and dreary and wintery that just makes me happy, so I accessorised which a bright red beret and a patent red bag. Quite often I will wake up, pick a colour and stick with it completely for the day – clothes, shoes, hair accessories, jewellery, bag, make-up – the lot! It makes dressing so much more fun when you have the challenge of matching everything.

I really want to post a picture of the blazer but I want it shot in natural light. Due to this I will hopefully post it at the weekend when all my free time doesn’t happen to fall only during hours of darkness! But for now I leave you with some vintage and modern advertising campaign posters for “Austin Reed of Regent Street”.

Austin Reed of Regent Street

Another original advertisement from 1926-30 designed by Tom Purvis (1888-1959)