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Did Someone Say Tweed? My 1940s Scottish Attire

Elise Wortley, following in the footsteps of histories forgotten female explorers

What do you wear if your heading back to 1940s rural Scotland? Well let me tell you.

Compared to my last journey, following in the footsteps of Alexandra David-Neel and having to search for 1920s Himalayan clothing and equipment, this time round was, dare I say it, relatively easy.

Things had come a long way by the 1940s, and what's more, vintage items from this era are more readily available online (Ebay is my saviour). If you search hard enough, you can find almost anything....apart from a yak wool coat.

After much peering at old photographs and quite a bit of reading, I was satisfied with my list of must-haves for my next journey deep into the Scottish Highlands.

It looked like this:

- Tweed Jacket, with a fur neck if possible

- Pair of vintage leather lace up walking boots

- Head scarf

- Woolen tights and socks

- Cotton blouses

- Cotton skirt

- Wool jumper

- Leather belt

And obviously, like last time, I went the whole hog with:

- A 1940s rocket bra

- High wasted pants

I also discovered a few extra items, which I was quite surprised about:

- Tampons: (the first ever tampons, taking on many different forms can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, but the more modern cotton tampon with an applicator was actually invented around 1929 by Dr Earle Haas).

- Red lipstick: (apparently Maxfactor had a lovely selection out in the 1940s, but due to the matt nature of the product back then, Vaseline was applied on top to give a shiny finish).

- Vaseline: (founded in 1859 by British chemist Robert Chesebrough)

I managed to gather most of this clothing within a month, some from Ebay, other bits from Bernado's charity shop in Brixton (best charity shop ever) and a few bits I already had lying around the house. It all went very smoothly, which was worrying because things rarely go smoothly for me and this project.

So with high hopes and my clothing all sorted, I set off in search of my 1940s equipment...


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