K: Check it! So stoked to announce that super talented Features Writer Beulah Devaney will be sharing some of her style icons here on TC and they're the very crème de la crème of unconventional. First up is Mrs Pepperpot...
Mrs Pepperpot; a tiny old lady who shrinks to the size of a pepperpot at inopportune moments, owner of voluminous skirts, a neat bun and a lanky husband. In retrospect this was enough to ensnare me as a loyal worshipper from a young age but it wasn't until this summer that I realised how much my wardrobe owes to Mrs P.
Created by Norwegian author Alf Proysen, the Norwegian translation of Mrs Pepperpot is The Teaspoon Lady. Awesome books that have the word "teaspoon" in the title is a different post (that I am more than capable of going over the word limit for) and the fact that I have accidentally become a cruet collector suggests this obsession should hardly have been a surprise.
My stylistic allegiance to The Teaspoon Lady started with the gingham circle skirts I started frantically buying as soon as the June heat wave kicked in. I was convinced that if I could find the right skirt (buttoned down the front and guaranteed to balloon whenever I sat down) the rest of my summer wardrobe would fall into place. And it did. Basically everything I've worn this summer is oversized and designed to suggest I've shrunk a few inches.
Calf-length skirts, billowing blouses, oversized jumpers, fly away hair ties. The colours I've found myself picking out come straight from the old Puffin versions of Proysen's stories - cherry red, cream, navy blue, maroon and the odd splash of candy pink. The heat has seen my occasionally regret this allegiance to excess material but the overall effect has left me walking and feeling lighter.
After a summer of summers topping 30 degrees, a trip to sizzling Madrid and multiple bike rides my Mrs Pepperpot gear is now covered in red stripe, brown sauce, barbecue ash and sunscreen but she's proved to be an unlikely and highly effective inspiration.