Darn Cheap Fabrics have deluxe quilting cotton for $7.50 rather than $25 a metre. Sure, you have to sift through some ghastly prints, but this art nouveau paisley set my heart a-racing. Good thing I bought nearly 3 metres because this shirt – in particular its gargantuan sleeves – used up all of it.

Hard to see here but the points on the collar are extreme. I did a bit of adjusting – added significant length to the body and sleeves and curved the bottom hem up at the hips. It might not be true to the era but it was too blocky on me when straight across.

Topped with some lovely rust-coloured shank buttons from the Buttonmania sale stash and worn with one of my awesome 70s polyester ties, it was the perfect thing for my last day in a unloved office job where most people dress to blend in.

The verdict? “You look like you’re on an exchange program from Life on Mars.”


(Also, I just have to gloat a little bit. If you click on the photo of the shirt without the tie to embiggen it, check out how the pattern matches. She shoots, she SCORES!)