Tag Archives: Accessories

Happy birthday to me

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Hard to believe but doctor dolittle has just turned one. I ordered this custom perspex necklace from London-based jewellery designer Tatty Devine to celebrate my first 12 months of blogging.

Big, big thanks to everyone who has liked or commented on my posts or decided to follow doctor dolittle’s magpie musings.

Three iconic handbags that I’ll probably never own

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Forget shoes – my love of handbags borders on legendary.

My first ever Chanel 2.55

My first ever Chanel 2.55 (Photo credit: rosebennet)

The top of my wardrobe is stuffed full of bags: leather bags, pleather bags, sequined bags, animal-print bags, satin bags. They come in all shapes and sizes – tote, hobo, clutch, shoulder, messenger, shopper, envelope, bowling – and a myriad of colours and patterns. But I would trade them all for the chance to own just one beauty from my iconic handbag wish list.

Chanel 2.55 The classic quilted bag from Mademoiselle Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, with trademark chain strap and double C clasp. The 2.55 made its debut in February 1955. Like the Model T Ford before it, the 2.55 should always come in black (no ifs, no buts, no baby pink).

Hermès Birkin A close relative of the Kelly, this bag was launched in 1984 in response to actress Jane Birkin’s plea for the perfect hand luggage. Meticulously handcrafted, the Birkin costs a small fortune and reputedly has a waiting list that runs into years.  

Louis Vuitton Alma Thanks to their distinctive LV logo, Louis Vuitton bags do tend to get ripped off. A lot. The Alma bag in Epi leather is, however, nice and discreet. And a very versatile shape. Trouble is, this bag comes in lots of lovely colours and finishes, so it might be hard to choose just one to take home…

The 2.55, Birkin and Alma are, of course, a pipe dream: something gorgeous to blow the cash on when our numbers finally come up big on the lottery. But I can’t help wondering about the amount of money that I’ve spent on inferior bags over the years. I suspect that I may already have parted with the equivalent of an Alma.

Oh, shame on me!

Small, shiny things

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As a magpie, I am inordinately attracted to small, shiny things. Sparkly things. Glittery things.

Over the years, an eclectic collection of brooches has made its way into my nest. Ranging from vintage to highstreet, individually they have little intrinsic value but all have a tale to tell.

Most of the vintage brooches in my collection were bequeathed by granny dolittle. Indeed, she left me her entire stash of costume jewellery, stored in a blue leather case, with her initials on the lock.

A large proportion of the brooch collection harks back to when granny dolittle lived in Malaya. She was there from the early 1930s until 1942, at which point a hasty exit from Singapore was required owing to the Japanese invasion. She returned after the war but the precise dates are hazy. All of the brooches from Malaya are typified by filigree, black enamel and oriental designs. They seem timeless. Indeed, granny dolittle bought me a brand spanking new one when she visited Malaysia (as it’s now called) in the early 1980s. It is hard to tell the new brooch apart from her originals.

I love butterflies and so, it seems, did granny. I have butterfly scarves, butterfly t-shirts, butterfly dresses. The small blue, medium cream and large filigree butterfly brooches were all hers. As an aside, the butterfly is the international symbol for the thyroid gland. Perhaps granny was a closet endocrinologist.

The masks hail from my amateur theatrical days, representing as they do tragedy and comedy. I bought this brooch from a craft fair in Eugene, Oregon, on my first ever trip to the US of A.

The large silver lizard is pure 1980s. This brooch was inspired by jewellery from the collection of Wallis Simpson, AKA the Duchess of Windsor. I think I got it mail order from a Sunday newspaper and I wore it to my 21st birthday party on a plain back dress with red evening gloves. Well, that was the ’80s for you…

The silver oblong-shaped brooch is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired design. It was a gift from my flatmate’s mum on the day that I made the transition from miss dolittle to doctor dolittle. It is also a symbol of my adopted city of Glasgow.

I am particularly fond of the three floral brooches, which all belonged to granny. I remember her wearing the large pearl one on a cardigan when I was a child. The three small leaf brooches linked by chain are very unusual (and a total nightmare to pin on!); I also have the matching earrings.

The Prefect’s badge is my actual one from highschool. My first taste of power!

The bird brooches represent my tendencies to “twitch”. The diamanté bird brooch is classic Primark; the pink bird brooch is bakelite repro. I am slowly building up a stash of bird-related jewellery. My pride and joy is a pigeon pendant from The Mymble’s Daughter.

The small blue turtle was a Christmas present from my brother. Like the lizard, it is an art deco repro. I am totally fascinated by the 1920s and 1930s. And turtles.

The purple stone brooch was a souvenir from a family holiday on Guernsey. The day after we got home, I went for the interview that secured me my first ever job after leaving school.

Seeing my brooch collection laid out in its full glory, I do feel that I should try to wear them more often. Style guru Genevieve Antoine Dariaux recommends pinning a brooch to a dress, as long as it is “simple and unadorned”. Or on the collar of a coat or suit.

The world’s number 1 brooch-wearing style icon is, without doubt,  HRH Queen Elizabeth II.