A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. Frock on Friday: Call the Midwife

    Get the Look: Nurse Lee from Call the Midwife, via weebirdy.com

    Following on from last week’s retro TV-inspired Frock on Friday, I couldn’t resist paying tribute to another brilliant TV show, Call the Midwife. The final episode of the third season just aired here in Australia, and I was reduced to a sobbing big girl’s blouse.

    Like Mad Men, it showcases authentic mid-century fashion, although London’s harsh working class East End provides a marked contrast to moneyed-up Madison Avenue in the late 1950s.

    I loved watching Jessica Raine’s marvellous performance as Jenny Lee, and I adore her simple and sweet ’50s cotton day dresses. Nurse Lee knows how to work a bateau neckline with a sensible button-up cardigan. Here, I show you how to get her look with original vintage frocks as well as modern versions from the high street.

    Get the Look: Nurse Lee from Call the Midwife, via weebirdy.com

    1. Vintage ’50s dress, AU$150.61 from When Decades Collide’s Etsy shop. This frock is bally good, too. Call the Midwife’s costume designer Ralph Wheeler-Holes (spiffing job, Ralph!) recommends heading to London vintage stores Beyond Retro and Rokit for Jenny-style ’50s frocks. Beyond Retro and Rokit both have stores in London’s East End (for bonus authenticity).

    2. Lazybones Jane Dress, AU$109 from Birdsnest.

    3. Vintage ’50s tulle dress, AU$85.12 from Kerrilendo’s Etsy shop.

    4. Favourite crew neck cardigan, £34.30 to £41.30 from Boden (available in a range of colours). Costume designer Ralph Wheeler-Holes recommends heading to Brora for beautiful cashmere cropped cardigans.

    5. Vintage polka dot dress, AU$150.61 from Swanee Grace’s Etsy shop.

    6. Flowershow dress, £99 from Boden.

    I’ve added some more ’50s dresses, cardigans and accessories inspired by Call the Midwife to my Etsy page.

    And for fans of Chummy, I give you illustrator Jana Christy‘s bally good tribute to this spiffing character…

    For fans of Call the Midwife: Chummy illustrations by Jana Christy, via weebirdy.comFor fans of Call the Midwife: Chummy illustrations by Jana Christy, via weebirdy.comFor fans of Call the Midwife: Chummy illustrations by Jana Christy, via weebirdy.comFor fans of Call the Midwife: Chummy illustrations by Jana Christy, via weebirdy.com
    For fans of Call the Midwife: Chummy illustrations by Jana Christy, via weebirdy.com

    Illustrations courtesy of Jana Christy.

    Tell me, are you a fan of Call the Midwife? Is Chummy your favourite character, too? And were you also reaching for the tissues by the end of the final episode of the third season?

    Finally – would you like to see some more get-the-looks inspired by Call the Midwife? Trixie and Patsy provide some wonderful mid-century fashion moments, don’t you think?

    • Sandy Cash

      Those frocks are sweet! I should wear more dresses. I’m bored with being so casual. My mum had the most amazing handmade 50s cocktail dresses. I think they went to Vinnies because at the time I was in 501s and Doc Martens and couldn’t imagine ever wearing them. Such a shame. It really is a lovely style and silhouette. I’ll have to check out the show. Thanks for the heads up. I’m dying waiting for the new series of Mad Men…

      • topbird

        Hi Sandy, thanks so much for popping by! Yes! Wear more frocks! The vintage cotton ’50s day dresses are perfect for Aussie summers. Meet the Midwife really is outstanding television. (I need to read the memoir that inspired the series!) I can’t believe we have to wait 11 whole months ’til the last season of Mad Men. Arg!

      • weebirdy

        Hi Sandy, thanks so much for popping by! Yes! Wear more frocks! The vintage cotton ’50s day dresses are perfect for Aussie summers. Meet the Midwife really is outstanding television. (I need to read the memoir that inspired the series!) I can’t believe we have to wait 11 whole months ’til the last season of Mad Men. Arg!

    • Catherine Alekna

      ooh lovely! Jenny has such a lovely wardobe in retrospect. Such a lady! And chummy, possibly the one that make me giggle at her posh exclamations the most! But Trixie is definitely my girl. I love that little pixie cut she got – it suits her name so well and I love all her little antics and love of Babycham!

      • weebirdy

        Oh Catherine, I love Trixie’s style too! And I adore how they sneak Babycham after work in their bedroom! She’s more adventurous with her wardrobe than the other girls. I’m working on a ‘get Trixie’s look’ now. Thanks for your lovely comment!

    • http://www.pottymouthmama.blogspot.com/ Lexi Kentmann

      YES YES AND YES! I freaking love that show and was sobbing on the couch on Thursday night. LOVE THAT SHOW and love this post. x

      • weebirdy

        I’m comforted to hear I’m not the only one wailing on the couch, Lexi. 🙂 I just found out that the BBC has commisioned another series. I was feeling bereft that it had ended (and I’ve also binged-watched the entire second series of Orange is the New Black) but feeling somewhat cheered now. Thanks for your lovely comment! X

    • CathB

      This a beautiful post! You have treated us to so many gorgeous dresses. Do read the books – they’re rich in historical detail, but in this case the television series is the real winner with each actor lending something special to their character. I love Miranda Hart in her comedy “Miranda”, but would never have predicted how compassionately she played “Chummy”. There was always a little sadness beneath her jolly hockey sticks exterior, which was brought to a head this week when her Mater died.
      I love all of these dresses and am glad I can throw a cardi on over the “tuck-shops”.
      Pleases also do a post on their “pant” outfits. The girls always looked terribly modern and brave when they donned the pants.

      And who could forget the puffy sleeved purple nurses outfit designed by someone whose name eludes me that Jenny was excited to wear for her stints at The London?

    • Jenbug

      Great post WeeBirdy! I love the dresses…wish I could wear these. Looking forward to more posts like this.

    • Gemma

      Love me a yellow cardi

    • Jen

      The Adventures of Chummy are wonderful! Please do some with Young Sir.