Meet our latest Vintage King – the incredibly stylish Chris Bridges. Not only does Chris look effortlessly sharp, he also has a home full of vintage to match his wardrobe. But over to him:
“I live in Derby in the East Midlands where I work as a specialist nurse in palliative care.  I’d describe my style as tweedy. I love the English country gentleman look which is perhaps a bit incongruous as I live in a very urban area. I’ve always had an interest in clothes since early childhood and a friend recently said that I’d crossed the line from being ‘dapper’ into being ‘a dandy’. I was very flattered and suspect that my collection of vintage cravats inspired the comment.

I really like well cut vintage three-piece suits and classic ties or scarves. I also love vintage coats and jackets. This may sound odd, but I actually really like the formality and restraint of a well fitted suit. It does wonders for the posture.

I’ve always had an interest in Twentieth Century history and am also an avid reader of fiction with a passion for Noel Coward, E.F. Benson and classic Thirties Agatha Christie as well as a love of mid Twentieth Century American literature. I became more interested in vintage styling about six years ago when I bought my current house. I love the Art Deco period and decided to decorate my sitting room accordingly with a sunburst style china cabinet and lamp and various other items from the era.

The vintage obsession grew from there and before long, it spread to the rest of the house. I also have a Fifties inspired dining room with wallpaper based on a 1952 design and the theme is carried through with various items including an original 1958 G.P.O. Bakelite phone and a Fifties typewriter. I’m always on the lookout for items and have to restrain myself a little as there are only so many quirky Fifties coffee sets and china poodles that you can fit in one house.

Chris

My favourite era for clothing is definitely the Fifties. I really like the Post-War boom in menswear production and the classic lines of clothing which emerged alongside new and exciting pattern making and production. The emergence of women designers and the revolution in art and textile design produced some beautiful fabrics, wallpapers and ceramics too.

I usually shop in Nottingham or Leicester for vintage clothes and home wares. The Sue Ryder Vintage Shop in Leicester is amazing and there’s also the lovely Dolly Mix and Pink Pigeon, which have a huge range of clothes. Nottingham is lucky to have the revamped Backlash in Market Street and the vast Hopkinson by the Railway Station which sells clothes and household items. I also rate Affleck’s Palace in Manchester highly. Trawling charity shops works for me too and you pick up some brilliant stuff for great prices if you’re a persistent browser.

phone

My hometown of Derby has a beautiful shop called Sheena Holland which is well worth a look at. She stocks a range of exquisite items in her well appointed emporium, and it’s worth a look in just to see her fantastic styling of the shop.

My best vintage finds have been a Fifties tweed Hardy Amies suit which is really well cut and very flattering. I suppose you’d expect nothing less from the Queen’s dressmaker. I tried it on and it was like it was a bespoke item made with me in mind. In terms of household items it has to be a beautiful Thirties dark wood china cabinet with sunburst detail and mirrored back panel. I picked it up for £20 from a charity shop. It was a steal, as well as being a good excuse to buy lots more china.”

suitcase

5 Responses

  1. Caramella

    Oh, Mr. Bridges looks like such a gentleman, so handsome, right out of the fifties Too bad there aren’t more men like that. I would love to have a fifties-inspired house, especially a cute little vintage kitchen. Just like Mr. Bridges, my favorite fashion era is 1950.

    Reply
  2. Kelly

    Chris, you are both dapper and dandy and we love you dearly. You will be so missed from book group. Lovely article xx

    Reply
  3. A-belle

    Such dedication to authenticity! Your love and knowledge of vintage truly shows. Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂

    Reply

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