WHO? Barbara Good, The Good Life, BBC Sitcom 1975-78
In case you have stumbled upon this and you have never heard of Barbara Good, or The Good Life, firstly, shame on you and secondly, I’ll fill you in as a matter of context.
Set in Surbiton in the 1970’s The Good Life is based around two central households- The Goods, Barbara and Tom, a married couple who have begun a life of self sufficiency, living off the land of their Subriton home, much to the annoyance and sometimes humour or their good friends and neighbours, the Leadbetters, Margot and Jerry- who themselves, live in direct contrast with lavish luxuries.
Barbara’s style has always delighted me, it is neither fashion-centric nor expensive yet the wardrobe department have captured true, character style. Barbara is often, if not always, in denim (it was the 1970’s after all). From high-waisted, wide legged flares and denim shirts to dungarees and pegged-legged, rolled at the ankles with wellington boots.
Barbara pioneers the ‘Make-do and Mend’ lifestyle through her clothes, customising old jumpers into tabards, using the sleeves as leg warmers and borrowing, whimsically from her husband Tom. Tom’s old shirts are worn loose, given shape will rolled up sleeves, his old thick rimmed glasses, too large for Barbara’s face, yet give her the style panache and sexual allure of a stereotypical screen typist.
Although thrifted and borrowed, Barbara lends an incredible amount of femininity to menswear, her tomboy wardrobe is given an unimaginable sense of sex appeal through her Bardot-esque peek-a-boo fringe and slight frame, capturing ‘the girl next door’ in a ne’er truer sense of occasion.
Get the Good Life:
1. Jeans: wide-legged or tapered and rolled at the ankle.
2. Oversized Men’s shirt (preferably borrowed from boyfriend/husband/father) rolled sleeves to the elbow.
3. A round-neck Aran or ribbed Fisherman’s jumper. 4. A small pair of gold hooped earrings. 5. Lots of mascara for flirting eyelashes.