Category Archives: The Way We Wore

Bum Deal With Bum Bags

Honestly, Hubby and I do have riveting conversations but the other night for some reason the topic of conversation was er, bumbags! Hubby was shocked to discover that in England they are called bumbags. I was shocked to discover that in America, they are called fanny packs. Hubby was shocked when I told him what fanny meant in England. I, in return was shocked, when he told me that in America, fanny meant bum. It was a night of shocking revelations indeed. Christmas Eastenders had nothing on us!


It dawned on both of us that as popular as they were in the 1980s and early 1990s, they now seem to have vanished off the face of the earth. With the exception of someone I trained with back in January who wore one everyday (we have no idea why!) nobody owns a bum bag/fanny pack anymore. Or at least nobody we know. To be honest, I’m not surprised. They may have been the height of fashion at one time but to be honest they were a bit naff! I’m not sure why, but I never actually owned one though I did want a bum bag as everyone had one and they seemed to be really cool. The closest I got to having a bum bag was the purse belt I had to wear as part of my school uniform when I started secondary school. I was thrilled when I first got my purse belt… but the novelty soon wore off.

As handy as I’m sure they are, especially for runners, joggers and other sporty types, I don’t generally see the point of a bum bag. Surely that’s what pockets and regular bags are for. I am surprised to discover that bum bags are still readily available; production has not ceased. You just have to go online to see the huge variety available.I just haven’t seen them in stores for years. And with the exception of that one person, I haven’t seen anyone wearing them. However, the fact that they are still being made means that someone is buying them. But the question is, who?

Answers on a postcard please!



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Forever Ulay


My colleagues love playing a good game of ‘Guess Angel’s Age.” I don’t know why – I’ve already told them I’m old. What more do they need to know?

“I reckon she was born in the 1940s,” laughed one of my colleagues.
“Of course I was,” I replied, “though you’d never know due to all the Oil of Ulay I’ve been using.”
“Oh my gosh,” cried another colleague, “my mum used to use that all the time!”
“Yeah but back then it definitely would have been called Oil of Ulay. None of this Olay Business.”
“I know – I don’t know why they bothered changing the name. They should have just left it.”
“Don’t lie – Oil of Olay used to be called Oil of Ulay?” (Bless her, it was before her time.)



Trust me, the conversation was a lot more riveting than it sounded – and of course took me back to my childhood when a bottle of Oil of Ulay adorned the dressing table of many women – and my mum was no different. Ulay, back then, was heavily advertised on television, urging consumers to purchase a bottle, with promises of beautiful, youthful skin. As a child, I figured that was what I needed if I wanted to keep looking, er, eight!


Olay began life after the Second World War when it was invented by South African chemist, Graham Wulff, a man who undoubtedly has the gratitude of females all over the world! He named it ‘Oil of Olay’ as a spin on the name of the product’s key ingredient, lanolin. Packaged in a heavy glass bottle during the early days, Olay stood out from the beauty product crowd as it was a soft pink fluid rather than a thick white cream.

In fact, what Olay actually was was a bit of a mystery as it was never labelled a moisturizer and neither was it referred to as a beauty fluid. the packaging didn’t say what the product actually did but it was uniquely marketed as a ‘beauty secret’ and promised a ‘younger looking you.’

It was soon launched in other parts of the world as Oil of Ulay (UK and Ireland), Oil of Ulan (Australia) and Oil of Olaz (continental Europe). It was only in 1999 that the product was given the globally unifying name of Oil of Olay – which is exactly as Wulff intended.


Sales really took off in the 1970s, with a huge television ad campaign and an extended product range which included a cleanser and a night cream. The sub heading ‘beauty fluid’ was added to packaging.

Today, the product range has exploded with a multitude of products catering for virtually every age, skin type and skincare requirement. All these years later, Olay is still very much a giant in the beauty industry.


This iconic, pretty, pink beauty fluid is so symbolic of ‘my era’. Oh and it’ll always be Ulay to me!




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French Plait: Style of a Generation

When I was younger, there was only one hairstyle I wanted to rock. It wasn’t the ‘Rachel’ cut (although I did get that years later) or the pixie crop and gorgeous as it was, it wasn’t even Bardot’s tousled beehive. Instead it was… the French plait! That’s right, the super simple, humble French plait was the hairstyle du jour pour moi back in the day. Almost every girl in my class came to school at one point or another with their hair braided from their hairline right down to the ends of their hair. The intricate woven design that ran down the middle of their head always looked very impressive to me and it was very much the trend back in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

The traditional French Plait

The traditional French Plait

Sadly I wasn’t a member of the French Plait brigade. Why? Because I couldn’t do one to save my life! To be honest I’ve always been quite rubbish when it came to doing hair – even now. I always just tied back the top section of my hair; wore my hair in a simple low slung ponytail; or if I was feeling more adventurous, a French pony which was a lot more easier to accomplish than the fiddly plait. I only ever attempted the French plait once in my life. It was incredibly messy but I was pleased that I had had the patience to persevere in order to achieve the weird, haphazard creation on my head.

The French Pony

The French Pony

One of the reasons why I loved the French plait – apart from the fact that it was very much en vogue at the time – was because it was so neat and sophisticated. Girls who wore their hair in such a style looked very well groomed and elegant. Teenage girls back in the early 1990s weren’t necessarily into elegant and sophisticated (certainly not any of the teenage girls from my neck of the woods anyway) but I thought it would make me feel very worldly and grown up. Thankfully, I had an aunt who would always French plait my hair whenever I stayed with her and I just as expected – I LOVED it!


However, I have noticed that the more traditional style French plait isn’t quite so common now among girls of any age. It was seeing a young woman in a café recently with her hair in a French plait that reminded me of my school days and made me realise that it’s not as fashionable as it used to be for everyday wear. The only other time I see it worn is during Oktoberfest!

Side French Plait

Side French Plait

That’s not to say that the French plait is dead and buried. It would appear that it has undergone something of a transformation and the new 21st century plait can be worn on the side; across the front of the head. You can even French plait your fringe. Unfortunately, I’m still boring when it comes to hair but let’s see how I fare with the new style braids!

Plaited fringe courtesy of Ms. Aniston!

Plaited fringe courtesy of Ms. Aniston!


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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in The Way We Wore


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