Cashmere classics

Wolsey twinset advert 1949


Spring is about looking at pretty things: flowers, budding trees, men’s ankles in Hoxton (that from a Tweet I was sent), brighter light on old buildings in London and lambs frisking in the countryside somewhere. So this post about a pretty picture from an issue of Woman’s Magazine April 1949. A Wolsey advert for a twinset in delicate powder blue cashmere, the cardigan with a nice nipped waist.

Growing up I was always thrilled to visit John Lewis in Sheffield, it was one of my favourite places. My father got fitted for suits there and I remember the brown leather topped chair I sat in to wait for him. And in an exotic corner of the womenswear department where my mother bought separates, they had a magnificent twinset display all hung together in a rainbow of colour options. Each cardigan had buttons in a matching colour.

I still equate a good offer in a shop with an item available in many different colours. Season after season. Fashion now sells fleeting styles coloured and cut to sell quickly and never return. Basics stocked year in year out are rather old fashioned and don’t suit the fast moving stock that retail demands now.

I like everything about this Wolsey advert (I confess to liking other Wolsey adverts too). The pale disappearing colours, the loose brush style of the illustration (Francis Marshall?), the Audrey updo, the paintings hanging hinted at in the background, the (almost) acid yellow striped chair and curtains. It couldn’t be a more gentle offer to sell us a new twinset to ward off the chill of an early Spring evening.


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