When It’s So Bad It’s Good

p.s. All the keys in this bowl belong to beautiful women.

There’s a category of vintage clothing summed up by this Venn diagram:

Note that the overlap area isn't large and is murky.I’m a sucker for items that fall into the murky, “so bad it’s good” area in the middle. Mouton coats. Marbled silk prints. Giant pussycat bows. Hats that are ready for lift-off. Brooches that can be seen from outer space. These items have often survived because they’re so distinctive or over-the-top that they got worn once or twice and then got put away.

It’s also illustrated by this vintage 70s dress that I thrifted:

p.s. All the keys in this bowl belong to beautiful women.

"I knew it was going to be a great party when I had to get a bigger bowl for all the keys!"

The dress seems to have been custom-made in Asia in the ’70s. Only the ’70s can explain the totally bizarre, yet very high quality, stretch silk twill, and the enormous collar. Based on the total lack of a waist, it seems to have been made for an edgy matron – I’ll be wearing it with a belt and a slip in the future.

The dress has no zipper and pulls over the head. Easy-on, easy-off.

"Whose keys are these? And which way is the waterbed?"

The dress photos are thanks to Wellington photographer Diana Villiers – see more of her work here.


  1. What a great dress! I’m a sucker for the murky world of dubious vintage too. I also have to ask you about your glasses – are they genuine, or repro? I’m desperate for some cats-eye glasses, and I’m toying with the idea of getting some custom-made by Opera Opera in London as I can’t find any I like anywhere else – can you help?


  2. The glasses are repro – from the Derek Cardigan line, some of them are on this glasses web site.

    I get more compliments on these glasses! Except from children under 8, who freely tell me, “Your glasses are UGLY!” Then they collapse into giggles.


  3. Thanks for the link, I managed to get some from Jeepers Peepers Retro, I just hope they fit! I’ll be interested to see what reactions I get – I will be mainly wearing them at work but I’m sure there’ll be a few comedy comments.


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