Category: Ruffs, Cuffs and Farthingales

What makes a summer garden party? I have a theory that it is actually the people who make it. Inviting a lively, attractive crowd will do more for an event than all the chicken wings, Rioja and Space-age Bachelor Pad music in the world.

For one thing, the soul of a good garden party or barbecue is the conversation between those attending. How sophisticated or enjoyable this conversation is will depend largely on what tone is set; too jocund, and the event can be abandoned as too raucous, and equally, too staid and dull and people will be thumbing the tops of their wine glasses, pondering the possible entertainment value of a nearby wake.

This halfway point between ferocious fun and utter boredom is exactly the point to be remembered when choosing clothing for such an event.

credit - Edward QuinnIf you mention King Edward VIII, later Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor in conversation, sadly the only response one is likely to get is; ‘Oh, the guy who married the Wallis Simpson woman.’ The fact of the matter is that this man’s legacy is overshadowed by his practically small, but consequentially huge decision to abdicate, thus giving up the crown in order to marry the woman he loved. Precious little is known of his youth or his other influences. Such was the consternation of the British establishment, and so mighty was their power in the early part of the 20th century, that later generations of British people have known him for little more than the man who wanted to marry a divorcee.