Monday, 12 January 2015

She loves you, yeah yeah yeah

Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress and Appluase Ringo Starr doll
Beatles 1964 black and white dress

I can't quite actually believe I'm making this post, ever since I first saw these dresses I've longed for one, it's my "holy grail" item but not one I ever thought I'd manage to acquire. But I have, it's mine, I'm wearing it. I cried real tears when I won it on eBay, and again when I unwrapped it. If I were a cartoon character this would be my signature outfit I'd be drawn in every day.

These dresses were a limited edition sold by fashion chain C&A for just 10/6d (10 shillings and 6 pence, a modern day spending worth of about £7) in 1964 to cash in on the wave of Beatlemania and they've become pretty iconic. Apparently this particular dress was worn only a few times, and had been hidden away under a dust jacket in a closet ever since, forgotten about for 50 years. I got it for incredibly cheaply too, I don't know how I've been so amazingly lucky. It arrived with a little note from the original fan who wore it back then, hoping I'd enjoy it as much as she did. I almost feel like I'm wearing a museum exhibit piece (I am really I suppose, Beatles exhibits often feature it).

I do have a confession to make -- I altered it. I feel a bit like I've committed some awful sin, but being a pear shape I struggle with shift dresses. It fit perfectly on my top half, but my hips said no and it just sat pathetically bunched up around my waist like some sad top. I figured I had two choices - cry about it, or alter it to fit my body. I got cold feet at that point, looking at this flawless collectable in my hands and thinking about how well it'd been preserved for 50 years. But I don't want it to sit in my closet for another 50 years, I want to wear it! It deserves to be worn! It fit so well on top I didn't see selling it and waiting around for a bigger one to turn up for sale as an option, as if I bought it to fit my hips it'd be way too big on top, it's the entire shape of the thing that's wrong for my body (and I admit I did spent a few messed up seconds wondering if I should loose weight to fit it, ew). So I spent my New Year's Eve ripping out the side seams and measuring some plain black fabric. It now gently flares outward instead of being a straight tube shape, and I don't think the panels I added are too awfully noticeable, you can see them in the side angle below. I do feel a little bit bad about altering it, but I did a professional job of it and I can wear it! Plus there was no cutting involved, so it can easily be put back to it's original shape if need be.

Is this appropriate to run errands in? I'm serious. I never want to take it off. I still can't quite believe it's mine. I think I may have to get a dressmakers dummy so I can display it properly, it seems a sin to hide it away in my wardrobe (when I'm not wearing it of course!).


Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress
Beatles 1964 black and white dress and Appluase Ringo Starr doll

Nancy Sinatra - I Love Them All (The Boys in the Band) (basically my anthem)

12 comments

  1. That same dress was in a museum exhibit on The Beatles in Melbourne! As soon as I saw it I was super tempted to steal it until I realised I wasn't a talented criminal and resorted to making inhuman noises while stroking the glass case. I can't believe you found one, I'm so happy for you!

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  2. What an amazingly lucky find! I must say I think I prefer it with the alteration, I think the slight flare is very flattering. But I know it must have been nerve wracking to do it! And yes, you should totally wear it while running errands!

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  3. I really could not believe my eyes when I saw you in this dress. I'm pretty sure it is on the hopes and dreams wish list of every girl in the world who claims to be a Beatlemaniac and you are lucky enough to say that you not only own one, but wear it too! It looks so perfect on you and I imagine the woman who you bought it from would be so happy to know that it went into the hands of a true fan. I also can't believe how good of a condition it is in - spectacular!

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  4. What a find! I've seen these in old magazines but never one in modern life! I can't think of a more worthy auction winner.
    Of course you were right to alter it, it would have been a crime to own that dress and not been able to wear it comfortably.
    You look wonderful. xxx
    PS Did you see the Antiques Roadshow on Sunday? Catch it on the i-Plaer if you can. There's a proper bit of Beatles memorabilia on there.

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  5. Oh my gosh, if anyone deserves one of those dresses it's you!!! And of course, it looks PERFECT! <333

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  6. This. Is. AMAZING! Truly a holy-grail-museum-level-oh-my-god-they're-real piece! The altering doesn't look out of place at all. What a GREAT find!!

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  7. WOW! I'm giddy for you, and also insanely jealous. Of course you were right to alter it to fit your body! Clothes are for wearing, not hoarding. Love this so much, and you look great in it.

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  8. omg wow! you got one! I wouldn't even think of looking for one assuming they were all in a museum! And you did a good job altering it. I really think wearing it is better then not wearing it. I sometimes feel sad to see such beautiful dresses in museums when they are better off being worn (preferably by me) - as that its what their intended for, just like this dress was! Congrats on the find, you look just like an original Beatle fan! Now to go off to a Beatle-cover band gig and scream your lungs out!

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  9. omg! this is the best dress. i never realized there's loads of beatles stuff around and now i need to go looking for cool stuff on le internet. i also need all the money. and no shame in altering it, it looks great on you! such a beautiful dress! xx

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