A Brief History of Stripes in Fashion


Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace

Zebra, pedestrian crossing or bar code – stripes! They have been ruling the world of fashion for the latest 150 years and counting.
We do not exactly know when the first piece of striped clothing was worn but we have got loads of interesting information on stripes anyway.

Rewinding the time back to the Medieval times – it was only prisoners, clowns, prostitutes, hangmen and all the condemned that wore the striped garment as the pattern was seen as being evil. A French cobbler was sent to death only because he had been caught in striped clothes!

Lets fast forward to more friendly times for stripes though.  In the end of 18th century stripes have finally become chic. All thanks to well know at these times people.

In 1846 Queen Victoria dressed her four-year-old son, Albert Edward in a sailor suit to board the Royal Yacht. Ever since then the public became entranced and adored any kid wearing stripes.

The whimsical look was also popularized by Franz Xaver Winterhalteanr’s painting in 1847 showing a boy wearing striped marine jacket. These days no one knew that the sea-to-land look would be the basisand a mainstream trend that would span more than 150 years.

Eventually swimmers also adopted the style, wearing smart, navy blue and white striped bathing suits, in the standard these days neck-to-knee fashion.


The striped shirt has been a beloved institution in fashion since mid 19th century. A navy blue and white shirt with 21 striped symbolizing each of Napoleon’s victories became the uniform for all French navy men. The Breton shirt – named after the Breton workers who increased its popularity throughout the later half of the nineteenth century.


In the beginning of the 20th century Mademoiselle Coco Chanel took a trip to the French Rivera. When she arrived there, she saw the workers in the marina wearing their knit navy and white striped shirts. Not surprisingly the inspiration for a new nautical collection was born. The always influential Coco Chanel beloved the stripes’ minimalism. Right after the visit to the French Riviera she knew she wanted to take the bold stripes mainstream and started selling them in France at her Deauville shop in 1917.


Mademoiselle Coco at her house in La Pausa with her dog Gigot. 1930

Thanks to still very influential Coco Chanel – The Nautical stripe fashion craze began.

Later in the 20th century the Breton shirt was adopted by almost every group possible. Artists such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol took the Breton shirt back for the male population and made it their own.


Pablo Picasso at his home wearing his favourite striped shirt

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Andy Warhol

In the 1950′s movie stars like Marilyn Monroe , Audrey Hepburn or Brigitte Bardot looked absolutely stunning in their stripes.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn beloved different types of striped clothing – not only the Breton ones

Brigitte Bardot is still remembered for her remarkable beauty and the sultry persona that earned her the nickname “sex kitten.”

Brigitte Bardot is still remembered for her remarkable beauty and the sultry persona that earned her the nickname “sex kitten.”

I 'sea' stripes - Marilym Monroe

I ‘sea’ stripes – Marilym Monroe

Do not forget James Dean wearing Breton shirt in Rebel Without a Cause. In the 1960′s, the Beat Generation literary movement took the Breton stripes and incorporated it in to the hip fashion of their subculture.

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Rebel without a cause but with the stripes.

Stripes become favorited not only by movie stars – musicians loved them too. Especially the grounge ones. Remember Kurt Cobain in Smells Like Teen Spirit?


Kurt wearing basic black & white tee


Washed-out, cult now T-shirt, with green and brown stripes. One of the most wanted. Video

During the 60s and 70s stripes were seen as a rebellious, hipster pattern and were worn only by those looking to question the fashion authority du jour with an artistic intrepretation.

John Lennon?

John Lennon in red and black striped pajamas 01

John Lennon in red and black striped pajamas

We could add many more photos of artists, musicians, movie stars and other wearing striped clothing. The telnyashka has been covering adults and kids, boys and girls, workers, seamen, anarchists and pacifists, different subcultures’ followers, soldiers, film directors and movie stars, role- and fashion models, politicians, architects and artists, freelancers, photographers, prostitutes, prisoners and fashionistas around the globe. We all love stripes.

Before showing you what striped beauties we posses in our stock – few rules to follow for wearing stripes:

1. Go vertical – vertical stripes will make you optically look taller. Wearing horizontal stripes comes with the unfortunate side effect of making overweight people look even more overweight. It is only an optical illusion though! 🙂

2. Avoid very thick stripes – thin ones look more stylish.

3. Be careful with colour combinations. Unless you want your outfit to look loud and funny.

4.  Mix stripes carefully. Two pieces of clothing should have stripes of different weight.

Now – Stripe It Up!

We think it might be the best band to listen to while shopping in our ASOS Boutique now:) Enjoy ♪♫

H&L, xx ♥

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Happy Shopping!

Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace


The Forgotten Judies

Who doesn’t love a kick-ass female vintage inspiration? This week we were absolutely inspired by the 1950s gang. Androgynous, preppy, stylish, black and white – another great tomboy style inspiration.

Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace

london teddy_boys (1)

You might have heard of the Teddy Boys – also known as Teds – a 1950s British rebel youth subculture characterized by an Edwardian dandies inspired style of dress which famous tailors from Savile Row Street in Central London had attempted to re-introduce in Britain after World War II. Teds were basically a generation of rich kids leaving school. In 1950s the National Service imposed two years in the Army (boys aged 18 – 20) and because the young adults had money to spend they saw no purpose in taking on poorly paid apprenticeships when they would learn a trade in the Army anyway. These wealthy young men, mostly Guards officers, were educated well, had money, and they took on the new outfit style and cranked it up a level. At that time, the Edwardian era was then just over 40 years earlier, and their grandparents or even their parents, wore the style the first time around. The kids were out of control, and worse still, even after spending two years in the Army didn’t make a lot of them settle down. Teddy Boys became the image of villainy and thuggery in a society which regarded them as being totally ‘beyond the pale’. To make matters even worse, a new music craze called ‘Rock’n’roll’ arrived which immediately became identified with these awful rebellious people.Teds formed many gangs across London – from East London to North Kensington and became high profile rebels in the media.


Teddy Boys and Teddy Girls became associated with and American rock and roll  music, prior to the advent of that genre, Teddy Boys primarily listened and danced to jazz and skiffle music. A well-known dance that the Teddy Boys adopted was The Creep (hence the name of the creeper shoes!) a slow shuffle that was so popular with Teddy Boys that it led to their other nickname, Creepers. The song “The Creep” came out in 1953, and was written and recorded for HMV by Ken Mackintosh. Although this was not a rock and roll record, it was widely taken on by the Teddy Boys of the time. From 1955, rock and roll was adopted by the Teddy Boys when the film, Blackboard Jungle, was first shown in cinemas in the UK, and Teddy Boys started listening to artists like Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and Eddie Cochran.

Teddy Boys on Kings Road, Chelsea.

But an important 1950s forgotten subculture of the Teddy Boys, an unlikely female element, has remained all but invisible from historical records. Meet Judies – The Teddy Girls.

teddy girl

Teddy Girls were just a little-known aspect of Teddy Boys subculture – the working class Londoners. The Teddy Girls are considered to be the first British female youth subculture. They, as a group, remain historically almost invisible.  Not many photos of them were ever taken and the only article on the female representation of Teds was published in the 1950s. They were unfortunately considered less interesting than the Teddy Boys.


Teddy boy culture was a ‘run-away’ from the family into the street and the cafe.  They were spending their evening on trips ‘into town’. Teddy Girl were just dressing up and going out, either with boy-friends or, as a group of girls, with a group of boys – within the same subculture naturally.


We’re here to talk about the fashion though. To get The Teddy Girls style we need to start from the roots – Teddy Boys’ style. The Teddy Boys wore long drape jackets usually in dark shades, velvet trim collars, slim ties and rolled up trousers usually exposing the socks. They also began to pair the look with thick rubber-soled creeper shoes and the ‘greaser’ hairstyles of their American rock’n’roll idols.

Teddy girls would still dress up in their own drape jackets, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars and put their feminine spin on the Teddy style with straw boater hats, brooches, espadrilles and elegant clutch bags. Their choice of clothing was not only for aesthetic effect: these girls were collectively showing their rejection of post-war austerity. The important fact is – they were young working-class women, often from Irish immigrant families who had settled in the poorer districts of London — Walthamstow, Poplar and North Kensington. They would typically, similarly to the Teddy Boys, leave school at the age of 14 or 15, and work in factories or offices. Teddy Girls spent much of their free time buying or making their trademark clothes.


This week Herper and Lewis vintage is all inspired by the rebellious Teddy Girls’ style. The 1950s tomboy masculine style cannot be forgotten. The Teddy Girls and Teddy Boys were considered to be a shame subculture od the 1950s. Say nothing of troublesome reputation of Teddys – well, in fact most of the violence and vandalism was exaggerated by the media, but there were notably a few gangs that chose a darker path – their stylish masculine outfits had a great impact in subcultures’ styles.






50s Teddy Girls Tomboy style – ponytail, plain white bottomed up men’s shirt, 70s waistcoat, black rolled up trousers and Dr Martens boots. Masculine minimalist style perfect for work and business meetings.



Another smart Judies’ inspired look – white shirt, black pencil skirt and all important for Teddy Girls accesories – elegant clutch bag and black and white scarf.



We did not forget about the tailored jacket. Here in combo with a pencil skirt and a white blouse with a ribbon – you can also go for the black ribbon around your neck for even more edgy look.

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Looking for something more feminine but still 50s gang inspired? Put a black boat neck dress on and do not forget the black or white neck-band. The point here is to add lots of visual interest to the black color scheme by playing with accesories.

Go with black and white combos for special occasions. It’s a timeless look that takes great to sexy fabrics like lace or silks.

Now – go black & white tomboy masculine style with Harper and Lewis Vintage.

Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace


I ♥ 80s

All Trends Make a Comeback

Who remembers 80s fashion showed up on the night time soaps like Dynasty or on the first Madonna’s video clips? – boxy shoulders, large buttons and necklaces.
80s blazers with footballers’ shoulders best look in combo with light washed Levi’s 501 shorts or chlorine soaked jeans with the top blue denim lyer removed. Cut-offs, white jeans with blue undertones and 80s boyfriend oversized jackets – everything available now – at Harper & Lewis Vintage. xx



Boyfriend blazers available here

Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace

The Sun Is Shining & We Are In Full-on Gig Mode. It’s Not Too Late To Choose Your Festival Outfit!

Listen up all you festival vintage fashion lovers, Summer is that time of year when all our thoughts turn to festivals! Get inspired by Harper & Lewis’ coolest vintage festival must haves this year, from Levi’s 501 hot cutoffs through to worn 90’s dresses, 70’s waistcoats, heavy leather jackets and dr. Martens boots. Festival season has kicked off weeks ago but if you’re still not ready for the one you are going to, then begin on with our definitive edit of all you need, whatever the weather – stay vintage – come rain or shine.

Whichever festival you’re off to within the next few weeks – V Festival or Reading/Leeds Festival – and whatever vintage look you plan to make your own, our retro collection of all the clothing beauties  was chosen for dancing out the days in!


As long as you want to feel comfy – a summer festival essential. The jumpsuit saw a revival of epic proportions last season, and thank to its comfort zone it seems to be a trend that won’t ever go away. The loveliness of the playsuit is also that it is a whole outfit in one piece – leaving more space in your bag for more vintage beauties! Go for loose, oversize linen version in grey – in case you were going to be covered in dust while dancing right in front of the main stage!


Oh, don’t forget these season’s hit – them dungarees. We absolutely love them! Hundreds of them available in our ASOS Boutique.


Keep your toes dry – wellington boots has long-been a favourite foot cover with festival-bound lovers. If you have ever been to a festival you most definately have all donned the waterproof wonders. Wellies are the only shoes to wear when the rain is falling and don’t forget we are in rainy Britain so a wet festival is more than likely to happen! For downtime, they’ll prove the perfect partner to cut-off shorts or 90’s dress worn with a wax jacket when the weather starts to thaw. Quite simply, they’re a buy you definitely won’t regret, especially when you’re off for a festival anywhere in Europe!


Make sure you’re prepared for whatever the Great British weather throws at you in…

If you’re off to any of the upcoming big festivals (so as we are! 🙂 ) in the next few weeks of August, then there is a big chance you might get caught by a warm summer shower. But don’t let the gloomy water coming down from the sky dampen your vintage apparel. Add a rustling neon vintage mac with showerproof hood to your backpack –  you will always be prepared for both rain and wind!


Keep your feet comfy while jumping long hours in on of these hipshaking tents till early morning hours (if you know what we mean 😉 ). Our retro NIKE, Adidas, Diadora and Puma sneakers are right here waiting for you to get them and start flying on the dancefloor right after jumping in front of the headliner!


Are you more into stars and stiffer rubber sole? Then we have these beautiful worn Converse All Stars trainers waiting for you in our ASOS Bouitique. The more worn look they have the coller your outfit looks like. Our model is completely addicted to those Chuck Taylor’s beauties, her favorite are the ones with soles partly fell off – true story. The charm of those rubber-soled ankle beauté is hidden in the history they have been through – the more festivals they saw the better and more vintage they look!


I see a red door and I want to paint it black. Want to flaunt yourself proudly in the crowd and let everyone know what cult bands you’re into? Get one of these black vintage tees to say “I’m with the band”. We’ve got loads of motif T-shirts available – from Guns’n’Roses through the Rolling Stones and Nirvana up to Marilyn Manson and other masters. Paint it black.


Tie Dyes – they are so colorful it’s untrue! Perfect to throw on and go to see your favorite band on stage. Sublime match with Levi’s 501 shorts. Add a little sunshine in a dark muddy day and walk proudly in the crowd – be sure your friends can always see you, even if the sun goes down!


You can never get bored of them. Never ever. We all know that! Made 140 years ago by Levi Strauss to become a summer style best friend ever. You see, these worn denim 501 are just perfect for every dressing at the festival – perfect match with tees, jumpers, coats, macs, shirts, wellies, sneakers, crop tops – simply everything! But we’ve been through this story already 😉


Why sit on the grass with your guy when you can use your super-size multicoloured scarf which can work anytime as a blanket? Why keep your heavy jumper in the bag in case it gets chilly when you can wrap yourself in a scarf? Oh wait, don’t frget the little ones – Channel your inner-70s wild child and wear it as a headband across your forehead! Silk bandanas are perfect for adding that little something extra to simple get-ups. Now fill your festival suitcase up with those handy extra layers.


One of the new festival dressing essentials and it has just arrived this Summer at Harper and Lewis Vintage! Go back to the 70’s – waistcoat makes a perfect combo with a silk shirt and Levi’s shorts or jeans. Feel like your mum spinning around with flowers in her hair!


With all that dancing, spinning and pogoing a secure bag is absolutely required for any festival stay. Wear it around your hips or across the shoulder and keep your belongings safe all the time! Bum bags are rocking at H&L, you should get one too.


Come up smelling of roses!

If you like your look with plenty of femininity, then the ultimate throw-on 90’s floral-print dresses should be your festival fashion fare of choice.  Its print, and the way it looks paired with a biker jacket – we just love it. Dress it down with a pair of Dr Martens boots, sneakers and a leather or denim jacket. Go babydoll and don’t forget to add round mirror shades to get a 100% boho chic.


Festival look is more about having fun with your fashion – so even if these slouchy printed hareems would not neccessaily live in your everyday wardrobe, they will be perfect for throwing on with a black top on V or Reading/ Leeds Festivals!


Reflect the Sun off if it is burning your skin for too long. If the yellow star is shining and you feel as you were baking then these white tops will be a style dream – just stay away from any muddy patches later!


Festival’s evening chill sets in? Then the baggy beige jumpers will keep you out the cold. Get the slouchy look by getting an oversized one. Wearit with heavy black boots or wellies. Stay cool and bang on trend!


We would all go hell for leather this season. Well, any season as the leather jackets are always in!  It is a fail-safe go-to when it comes to hanging at the festivals. Put in on a vintage tee and go rocking.


Walk back to the 14th century and become one of the Aztec empire. That’s right, shirts inspired by people living in Aztlan ages ago are an absolute must have at this year’s festivals. Team it with a pair of denim shorts to continue the look.


The colorful patterns, the oversize, the cool-girl vibe it gives off—you just can’t go wrong wearing on of our vintage silk shirts. Tuck it in your Levi’s 501 or simply wear it as a dress. Hell yeah – as a dress! Feel the warm wind on your skin. Sounds like a bliss doesn’t it?
denim jacket


Do it in denim! Get back to basics with our denim Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler jackets and shirts, the ultimate must have in fesival wear. Always cool, always grounge. Great for rocking out in day or night.


Talking about grunge – show your teen spirit for classic grunge. What was Kurt wearing all the time? Checked flannel shirt of course. Come on, it always makes you looking cool and casual – that’s what grunge is all about.


Work the military trend into the festival season ahead with our camo shirts and jackets! Perfect for throwing on over a band tee and washed jeans on one of those milder nights on a campsite.


Do you want to become head-to-toe 80’s style girl? Distress your way to the perfect vintage denim acid wash high-waist jeans. Perfect to go and see 80’s rock masters on stage with an oversized tie dye t-shirt and crop-tops.


Hooters and Las Vegas tees do not really need a description. Simply – Hooters and LV. They will always leave you looking cool.

Right guys, get your vintage bargains here and let us know if you’re going any festivals in August with us!! Hope to see you there, H&L xx

Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace

Get back to 1970’s – get a Waistcoat!


Get back to 1970's

Denim, silk and corduroy waistcoats as a nostalgic nod to the 1970’s – the key look for this season and our waistcoats are right on trend. Look cool worn over a 90’s dress or with a pair of cutoffs for a more edgy look. If it’s for Him – get a worn look wearing it over a Vintage Tee or Shirt.

Happy Shopping, H&L Vintage, xx

Harper Lewis Vintage for ASOS Marketplace