You're gonna be seeing a lot from this book 'Cheap Chic' by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy  that I picked up for a pretty penny last week….  I'm milking it for all it's worth because it IS such a joyous book on all levels; there's kitsch factor, home truths, sagely advice and hilarious prose.  It's unintentionally funny but also freakishly useful even if it was originally published in 1975.  So if anyone else has this tome, bear with me.  It didn't come cheap though so I get the feeling there aren't a huge number of copies about so hopefully it won't all be wasted posting.  Grey marl keeps coming at me in unexpected ways; through an old issue of Fantastic Man where writer James Anderson waxes lyrical about grey marl in a far more eloquent way than i ever did and through these images in Cheap Chic.  Terry Melville (whoever she is…) here makes a plain grey sweatshirt and sweatpants (tracksuit for Brits) work in the office, on the weekends and for a night out on the town.

Click on the first image to read the text…

"Terry turns up the collar of her shirt and ties and old bowtie, just so."
"The cowboy belt comes from Uncle Wally, who works for the railroad in Ohio."
"Disco sweatsuit?" 




Comments (31)

  1. Jess Lynn says:

    wow thats actually really cool and i love the pictures especially cause there in black and white.

  2. jennine says:

    oooh what a marvelous book! i love vintage style books, priceless…

  3. Eline says:

    What? Hahaha. Please post this entire book! XD

  4. Meream says:

    That is cool. Do you realize that that is a like a fashion blog of the last century? Awesome.

  5. Sabrina says:

    I have a tweedy blazer just like that! Lol. Now you’ll have me purchasing a grey raglan and pairing it with my boyfriend’s bow-ties.

  6. Ann Regis says:

    Reading this entry, I went to my books & proud to say that I found my copy (purchased when it came out), full of my marginal notations (fun to reread) and still timely. A sampling of my notes:
    Peace of mind = Freedom = Movement = No Hassles
    Style: Sense of humor, sense of refinement, sense of delight, sense of yourself.
    Elegance=understated, very easy, lazy, languid, sensual.
    30 yrs later, I couldn’t agree more.

  7. Molly Rose says:

    Awesome looking book, the 70’s were an amazing decade!

  8. eliza says:

    Thanks so much for posting this.
    I had this book as a kid in the early 80’s, way back when vintage meant cheap 50’s cocktail gowns, and your Grandpa’s shirts were real cotton poplin, with detachable collars and french cuffs.
    It definitely influenced my magpie style. Keep ’em coming!

  9. janavi says:

    Have this book- has always been one of my favorites!

  10. Lucy Jay says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I’ve been wanting to read this book for years! Please post the whole book!

  11. Laura says:

    This book sounds like so much fun. Reminds me of my mum!

  12. Harley says:

    I’ve wanted a copy of this for years, but just can’t afford the ¬£50 it always seems to be going for.

  13. What great fun! I love an old style book and am very envious of your discovery and indulgence. Keep promoting it and they will reissue.
    Funny about the grey marl stuff I selected a grey marl t-shirt dress today for look in short film.

  14. Lavender says:

    This could be the greatest book ever published. I think I’m in love.

  15. Kim says:

    What’s this about you putting together a collection for theUrbanCollection?

  16. Alicia says:

    Susie!! I could have gotten one for you. I just found a copy for .75.
    Yikes! I may have to get it now just because.

  17. Hum, d’you know, I think I quite dig the last look featured in your post: grey marl sweat suit, heels, coat and fox fur stole.
    Say, Doc, d’you think I’m mad?

  18. char C. says:

    how bizarre! i was just reading the original Cheap Chic book (not the “update” version, and blogged about it too….haha…)
    mine doesn’t have Terry Melville, but does have other equally great icons like Rudi Gernreich and Zandra Rhodes!

  19. andrea says:

    I have both copies, the original and the revised edition. I think the pink cover is the revised, yellow is the first edition. It was my style bible in the ’70s. (I was born in, ahem, 1953.) It’s so interesting to see that the book is really timeless and not dated at all. Everything they espouse is still fresh today.

  20. i used to look at my mom’s copy of this too. there was another cool book, i think it was “more dash than cash”?
    ok, found a reference to it-
    seems it was a Vogue column then a book. it’s great too.

  21. Emily Jayne says:

    SwanDiamondRose – I believe that ‘More dash than cash’ has been recently revived by Vogue, was definitly in the last couple of issues I read. Great response to the recession!
    Oh, and that book looks amazing.

  22. susie_bubble says:

    SwanDiamond, I know the book you mean….think my mum had a copy but chucked it away…
    Emily: Will be posting more from this cheap chic book…hopefully it’s not too tiresome!

  23. Emily Jayne says:

    Hey, I like chic, and I like cheap as long as it’s chic so should be a long way before you hit tiresome!

  24. Isabel says:

    It’s kinda of funny how a book on Cheap Chic was so expensive! But cool nonetheless.

  25. Shay says:

    I have a book like this that’s a total treasure called “Make it with Mademoiselle” (yep, the magazine) from the mid 70’s. Freaking awesome, particularly the section on all the things you can do with scarves.

  26. pills says:

    susie_bubble Thank you for your interesting article, and your blog is also full of useful information, many find useful information.

  27. Ha ha! I blogged about this book in July too! I picked it up in a charity shop – it’s my favourite fashion book ever!
    Corinne x

  28. Carol Troy says:

    Hi — So glad to see you guys are having such fun with CHEAP CHIC. We sure had a lot of fun when we wrote it and photographed it!
    Carol Troy, Author

  29. Rebecca says:

    I just bought the “Updated” edition – does it have the same information as the original, or should I try to track down the original as well? It looks SO good!

  30. susie_bubble says:

    I don’t know what the updated version is like but it’s probably the same as the original with added bits…

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