Glyndebourne Outfits 2013 AND 2014…

Because, hey, apparently I’m totally rubbish at finishing and publishing posts I’ve half written, so here’s two years in one.

OK, for reference, Glyndebourne is a country house that hosts the annual Glyndebourne Festival in it’s grounds (the 80th year this time around).  Apart from some wonderful music and singing, amazing sets and costumes, many of the audience go to town on their outfits and (weather permitting) bring completely over the top picnics, often with tables, chairs, flowers and candles to eat in the immaculate grounds.  Over the course of the evening you eat a multiple course meal around the performance (starter when you arrive, then there is a big interval so you can eat your main course, usually with dessert afterwards, followed by candle lit coffee and mints at the end…..or is that just us!!?).  My very generous Sister kindly treats her best friends and me to tickets each year and as I don’t get out much, I take it as an opportunity to dress up.


When there a few years ago, we chatted about opera coat envy (oh yes, there are opera coats) and there was talk about my making some, but, in reality, the cost of the fabric alone (I was thinking tweed or velvet, Scottish Widow style) would be high, and then there’s the actual making, which I just know I’ll never get around too.  A quick Etsy hunt showed it would be a much better idea to just buy a vintage one.

DSC_0108I found this 1930’s beauty quite modestly priced and it was swiftly delivered from Mexico City (the listing photos were a bit dreadful, so it was a punt, but one that worked out well).  It’s been shortened at some point, so is a bit below knee-length on me, the lovely beaded ‘phoenix wings’ were in good condition as was the velvet and lining.  I washed it.  Now that was a gamble, but the white lining was more than a bit grubby so I chanced it, the dye did run a bit from the velvet but I managed to wash the lining separately so it ended up looking pretty good.  I did quite a lot of fixing, as some of the actual seams were splitting and I re-stitched nearly all the beads on just to make sure they stay there over time.


These last three photos were taken a few weeks back, as the poor thing has been waiting for a new button before being carefully stored away (I don’t like to leave dark coloured things, or ‘dust catchers’ on display in case they get sun damaged, or worse, clothes moths move in).

ad3b753b788513c93e2f2e174208e00bThe rest of my outfit was matched to the cloak, from things I already owned.  There was this fab Orla Kiely dress that sat on my wish list for months, I remember being a bit gutted that in the sale, there were none left in my size, then my pathetic ‘keep looking at it’ method paid off as some more were listed and I snapped one up.

f45334c3ad9536d0f4944316a0401333My shoes were an addition to my Chie Mihara collection, courtesy of a Christmas gift, ‘Anuncio’ in the brown/gold colour.  I notice that these are still hanging around on some sites in the sale, even after a year or so.


A rare chance to get my nails done and drag out some family jewellery, the ring was my Mum’s and the bracelet my Gran’s.  I used to wear the ring daily when I was an art student but it mostly sits in a box now and rarely wear gold, I tend towards silver and more modern style for day-to-day wearing, so the bracelet doesn’t come out much either.  Shame really, I must wear them more often.

DSC_0058 A very dodgy selfie complete with out of focus bits.glyndebourne lunchFor the first time, we abandoned plans for a picnic.  The year before we’d eaten in windy, cold, dampness and it rather took the fun out of things, so we booked into one of the on-site restaurants.  It’s a quick turn-around for the serving staff, you choose your food order in advance and the starter is in place when you arrive, it was yummy as well as pretty.  Sadly this was the only photo I took of the day itself.  We did take pre-Opera nibbles and champagne to have before, setting ourselves up on a side lawn to try to stay out of the wind, only to discover we had a prime view of the dressing rooms, which didn’t put a few of the male singers off from stripping down to bare chests in front of the glass.  It was a bit like a Diet Coke advert but we’re maybe a bit old for leering (not!).

(Incidentally, we saw ‘Falstaff’ which was funny, easy to watch and well designed; not as exciting, visually as ‘The Cunning Little Vixon’ which we’d seen the year before, which had AMAZING sets and costumes, but still good).

Now for this year.  I did consider wearing one of the many floor length dresses I own, largely donated to me by my Sister, as it’s a rare occasion that I can wear a proper long frock, but then I fell in love with this amazing number some time at the end of last year.  Clearly, it’s not me in the photos, but the shop owner (Animal Head Vintage – what a cool name!)

il_570xN.337204434Being a little…humm…’larger’ it’s not quite so flattering on me, as it hangs off the bust and makes me look like a little dumpling, but I don’t care, I LOVE it!  As it’s another just under knee cloak, the rest of my outfit is the same as above, just in case you think I go the whole hog and wear all new.  I have no problem recycling outfits, I am happy to (and often do) wear a favourite frock over and over with no shame, for a couple of very busy Wedding and Christening years I pretty much wore the same two frocks in rotation, everyone must have thought I owned nothing else (which is clearly not true, as those who read this blog regularly know).8bc39a98977cf0ee2c32425f59b07ea2Besides, it gave me an excuse to finally buy a jewellery piece from Bill Skinner, in the form of a Tiger Bracelet,

product-bs-nw052-g-77I’ve a bit of a crush on the dome necklaces and rings too, which is the fault of Maison Bentley Style, for blogging these beauties some time ago, but for now they’ll have to sit on the wish list.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 07.30.41 Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 07.31.12

We’re going to see Don Giovanni this year, which is an opera I know (phew) and have seen other productions of, I read this one is well staged and from the above publicity photos, I know I’m going to like the costumes.

The flaw in my plans will be if the sun shines, then I’d roast in the large opera coat as we’ll no doubt take a posh picnic to eat in the grounds, but it’s looking a bit stormy right now; and clearly I should be writing this AFTER I’ve been, but I know myself well and bet I don’t take any photos on the day, so I may as well publish now.

On other news, the boys go back to school today after half-term (spent in Centre Parcs for their joint Birthdays) and despite the house and garden needing attention, I’ve promised myself a week of sewing, as I haven’t done any in ages.  Besides, M has come down with a stinking cold and is at the stage where you feel lots of sympathy, but at the same time would like to kit him up in one of those infection control tents as seen in the movies, or in my case, hide out in the studio, donning a mask and lots of Purell before entering the rest of the house.  Perhaps I can give him a bell to ring so we know when he’s coming and can clear the room?  Actually it wont be needed as he’s coughing so much you couldn’t miss him (I joke, but it’s crucial Iron Man training time so it’s bit of a disaster for him really).

Back soon, maybe with some Glyndebourne photos?

24 thoughts on “Glyndebourne Outfits 2013 AND 2014…

  1. Hi Beth,

    how wonderful to get to go to such a lovely place and dress up! You look beautiful in your dress and I love all the jewellery going on! I especially love the cloaks you got, the beaded on is so pretty and I love the shape of the black one with the bow 🙂 I would love to have something to dress up for but never go to anything ‘posh’ but would love to one day just for the dressing up part I think. I have one lovely 1920’s pearl necklace that is very special that I inherited and would love to have something special to wear it to one day 🙂 I always though if me and H ever get married I will wear it. I hope you have a lovely time with your sister, its great to have these sorts of things to look forward to 🙂 I’d love to see pictures of the day but don’t worry if you don’t get round to it, sometimes its best to just enjoy the moment itself 🙂

    Poor M with his cold, I do hope he feels better soon. Your commentary did make me laugh though! Centre parks must’ve been so much fun for your boys birthdays too. I hope they had good birthdays 🙂 Have fun and enjoy your day 🙂 Safxxx

    1. Hi Saf. Oh I hope you do get some ‘posh’ dates sometime soon, I used to go to a lot of ball type things when I was in my 20’s….no idea why…I think back then is was fashionable for work parties etc to be black tie and I must have tagged along a lot with my single male friends as their ‘plus one’. When I was pals with an acting crown, many, many years ago, I made one promise that when he collected his Oscar, in years to come, he’d take me so I could get my red carpet dress on! I have two pearl necklaces (my Gran’s and now one of my Mum’s) and I wore one on the Orient Express after I had the boys, as it was a prefect excuse for pearls. It’s lovely to have special jewellery pieces, even if you don’t get to wear them often. Bxx

  2. Ha, love it Beth, Diet Coke break with champagne! 🙂
    Great post Beth, full of lots of deliciousness. I must say you do look amazing in the photo!
    Enjoy Glyndebourne!
    V xxx

  3. I’m with Vivienne – you look amazing in your selfie photo. You’ve got such an eye for beautiful clothes, and you wear them very well. I’m loving your new Opera Coat – what a great find.
    Glyndebourne sounds amazing, and what a great event to spend quality time with your sister.

    Violet was poorly with a bad cold over the holiday, though that didn’t stop us going to the cinema 3 times, taking her to see her very first ballet of The Little Mermaid, and constantly nag me to make her an Elsa coronation cape from the Frozen! Hope M feels better soon.

    Jill xxx

    1. Thanks Jill, that’s a lovely thing to say. Poor V, I’m glad you still managed to get out and about, I hope she loved the ballet, an older relative took me when I was a child and I remember being a bit scared of her, but loving the pretty costumes and the chocolates she brought to eat during the show! Funny what you remember (trust me to remember the food and the frocks more than the dancing!!). I bet you get worn down, I be expecting a coronation cape to appear on your blog soon 😉 Bethx

  4. Don jealous..and at the wonderful Glyndebourne! SUCH an event…you HAVE to wear the opera coat..I’ve always wanted one too – the curse of watching too many black and white movies… xxx

  5. What fabulous outfits! We have a Vintage Emporium in St. Albans, with loads of vintage clothes. I walk past it daily, but never seem to get round to browsing the shelves… Hope the opera is fab.

    1. I used to hunt out vintage shops in my youth, there were a few in York when I was an art student there, but these days I prefer buying on-line as I can get to the thing I want and have a better choice…it does rather take the fun out of rooting through rails for hidden gems though!

  6. Dear Beth,

    I would be green with envy but I’m not as everything looks so perfect on you (and wouldn’t look that great on me) but those shoes – they are to die for! And added to your collection as you said, I really wouldn’t mind having one too! I love everything vintage, but rarely wear any (I am far too big for it all here) so seeing you with that glorious red hair is fantastic. And yes please, more Glyndebourne pictures would be lovely!

    Happy June!


    1. Hi Mia,

      Oh no, I just know what does and doesn’t suit me, there are many, many clothes that don’t work (this one has nice waist pleating to accommodate my tummy and room for expansion during eating – very important in my eyes!). I think I buy so many shoes though, as I am always thinking I’ll loose some of the weight I gained during my pregnancies, if I have money to buy treats it often goes on shoes. I buy my vintage on-line mostly from the US, and I use the search word of ‘large’ or ‘extra-large’ as in vintage terms I am both, the waist are always so teeny, tiny on most dresses, hence my also buying repro a lot. I hope the sun is shining on your little bit of the world and you are enjoying every minute. Bethx

  7. Sigh! I’ve been to Glyndebourne once (to see Don Giovanni…snap…they do a wonderful production) and it is the most fabulously glamorous event. I do hope the weather holds for you but either way you’ll have fun and look completely the part in your gorgeous outfit. Enjoy!

    1. My sister just sent me the weather forecast which says rain, rain & storms! But hey, at least I’ll be warm in my cloak 😉 I do agree, Glyndebourne is glamorous, as it good as it gets for me, I do LOVE dressing up and worry my poor sister feels she has to take us all each year or face my disappointment. Glad you enjoyed DG, I do hear it’s very well done so I’m looking forward to it a lot.

  8. What wonderful clothes Beth, you look stunning! The opera coat is fantastic and the tiger bracelet my favourite.It’s such fun to attend such events…I look forward to seeing more photos . I hope your poor Hb improves soon, sending get well wishes xx

  9. Love the selfie, Beth! You have such an interesting expression. You’re so lucky you can buy things that fit without trying them on – but then I gather with your sewing skills you rework them a bit to make sure. Really nice post with lots of interesting things to read. I’m waiting for the garden to dry up a bit so I can get out and do more weeding between showers. June is our rainy month so I have lots of things to do inside on wet days. Bet your garden is miles ahead of mine. We live in a high elevation zone and plants have a very slow start in Spring. Bleeding hearts are just starting to bloom, can you believe it?

    1. Hi Janette, lovely to hear from you. Your comment on my expression did make me laugh, I think I always look cross in ‘selfies’ as I’m usually concentrating so hard on trying to hold the camera still! I think on on-line shopping, I tend to buy from the same designers over and over, so I know my size with them, but I also guess I know my shape quite well, ie my bottom half is quite a bit bigger than my top, so I gravitate towards dresses that can accommodate that. We are steaming into Summer, here in the garden, the alliums are out and the iris are about to end, which is a shame as late spring is the best time in my garden. It gets quite dry here in summer (in terms of a country that rains a lot!) so unless I water each day, the borders tend to start giving up soon. I promise each year to improve my late summer flowers, but never do. I hope spring hurries in your direction soon! Bethx

  10. Hi Beth, Sounds like a terrific outing with very special clothes. How fun to really dress up and see some opera with your sister. Love the ring, bracelet and coat/cape. I know what you mean about wearing dresses multiple times!! Hope the weather improves. Would love to see more photos…..Happy June! Anne D.T. xx

    1. Hi Anne, oh it’s going to be all change (I think) as it’s set to be hot and humid on Saturday, with possible thunder storms, so I might have to re-think on the cape! I’ll still be ‘frocking-up’ in something fancy, but it will need to be cool to wear, as well. Happy June to you too 🙂 Bethx

  11. Oh gosh Beth, I really shouldn’t follow the links you post about fashion and jewellery… I just end up with a wanty list, ha! I hope you had a lovely time – Jane x

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