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Woman embraces a 1940s wartime style after being inspired by her grandmother

A nurse whose style icon is her grandmother has revealed how she’s embraced a 1940s wartime style in tailored skirt suits and elegant hats – but insists she still has ‘very modern morals’.

Vintage-obsessed Katie Morrison, 35, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, copies outfits worn by her grandmother, Kathleen, during and shortly after the Second World War.

In true wartime style, Katie spends as little as possible on her impressive wardrobe – claiming half of her vintage-inspired dresses cost no more than £10.

And despite her clothing being firmly rooted in the past, Katie’s values are very much of the 21st century, with the nurse explaining that she and her partner Matthew, 37, share the housework between them. 

A nurse whose style icon is her grandmother reveals how she has embraced a 1940s wartime style (pictured) in tailored skirt suits and elegant hats - but insists she still has 'very modern morals'

A nurse whose style icon is her grandmother reveals how she has embraced a 1940s wartime style (pictured) in tailored skirt suits and elegant hats – but insists she still has ‘very modern morals’

Vintage obsessed Katie Morrison, 35, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, copies outfits worn by her nan, Kathleen (pictured), during and shortly after the Second World War

Vintage obsessed Katie Morrison, 35, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, copies outfits worn by her nan, Kathleen (pictured), during and shortly after the Second World War

Vintage obsessed Katie Morrison, 35, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, copies outfits worn by her nan, Kathleen (pictured), during and shortly after the Second World War

In true wartime style, Katie (pictured) spends as little as possible on her impressive wardrobe

In true wartime style, Katie (pictured) spends as little as possible on her impressive wardrobe

Katie (above) claims half of her vintage-inspired dresses cost no more than £10

Katie (above) claims half of her vintage-inspired dresses cost no more than £10

In true wartime style, Katie (pictured) spends as little as possible on her impressive wardrobe – claiming half of her vintage-inspired dresses cost no more than £10

Katie said: ‘I’ve so much admiration for my nana, Kathleen. She was an ambulance driver during the war, but she also owned a bag shop full of hats and bags.

‘What I wouldn’t give to go rooting through that shop today. She died when I was quite a lot younger, but there’s one or two images of her standing next to ambulances, which have really stuck in my mind.

‘I love looking at the clothing of the period in photos and interpreting the fashion for my everyday wardrobe.’

She added: ‘I like the style and cut of ’40s clothes and I love how people managed to do so much with so little due to rationing. The make do and mend attitude to fashion is really interesting.’ 

Despite her clothing (above) being firmly rooted in the past, Katie's values are very much of the 21st century, with the nurse explaining that her and her partner Matthew, 37, share the housework between them

Despite her clothing (above) being firmly rooted in the past, Katie's values are very much of the 21st century, with the nurse explaining that her and her partner Matthew, 37, share the housework between them

Despite her clothing (above) being firmly rooted in the past, Katie’s values are very much of the 21st century, with the nurse explaining that her and her partner Matthew, 37, share the housework between them

Katie (above) said: 'I've so much admiration for my nana Kathleen. She was an ambulance driver during the war, but she also owned a bag shop full of hats and bags'

Katie (above) said: 'I've so much admiration for my nana Kathleen. She was an ambulance driver during the war, but she also owned a bag shop full of hats and bags'

Katie poses in one of her 1940s-inspired outfits, complete with a matching bag and hat

Katie poses in one of her 1940s-inspired outfits, complete with a matching bag and hat

Katie (above) said: ‘I’ve so much admiration for my nana Kathleen. She was an ambulance driver during the war, but she also owned a bag shop full of hats and bags

Unlike some vintage enthusiasts who lavish thousands on their period collections, the nurse-by-day (pictured with some of her garments) believes fans of the 1940s needn't break the bank and should alter thrift finds themselves

Unlike some vintage enthusiasts who lavish thousands on their period collections, the nurse-by-day (pictured with some of her garments) believes fans of the 1940s needn't break the bank and should alter thrift finds themselves

Unlike some vintage enthusiasts who lavish thousands on their period collections, the nurse-by-day (pictured with some of her garments) believes fans of the 1940s needn’t break the bank and should alter thrift finds themselves

Unlike some vintage enthusiasts who lavish thousands on their period collections, the nurse-by-day believes fans of the 1940s needn’t break the bank and should alter thrift finds themselves. 

‘I love thrifting, as well as investing in original vintage pieces,’ she said. ‘You can buy a cheap straw hat, add a ribbon to it and make it look like it’s from the ’40s.

‘Lots of it is about researching the style, you don’t need to be a millionaire, but I admit I like to treat myself to original items too – they’re a piece of history.

‘The 40s can be quite utilitarian. The clothing had to be practical. I love the make do and mend look as much as I love a glamorous ’40s sharp tailored suit.’

Despite only dressing in 40s styles since 2018, last year Katie won best dressed lady at the prestigious vintage festival, the Goodwood Revival, and says her latest fashion choice has increased her confidence.

Katie's grandparents Kathleen and Ernie during the 1940s

Katie's grandparents Kathleen and Ernie during the 1940s

Katie said: '[My grandmother died when I was quite a lot younger, but there's one or two images of her standing next to ambulances (above) which have really stuck in my mind'

Katie said: '[My grandmother died when I was quite a lot younger, but there's one or two images of her standing next to ambulances (above) which have really stuck in my mind'

Katie’s grandparents Kathleen and Ernie during the 1940s. Katie said: ‘[My grandmother died when I was quite a lot younger, but there’s one or two images of her standing next to ambulances which have really stuck in my mind’

Despite only dressing in 40s styles since 2018, last year Katie (pictured) won best dressed lady at the prestigious vintage festival, the Goodwood Revival

Despite only dressing in 40s styles since 2018, last year Katie (pictured) won best dressed lady at the prestigious vintage festival, the Goodwood Revival

Despite only dressing in 40s styles since 2018, last year Katie (pictured) won best dressed lady at the prestigious vintage festival, the Goodwood Revival

Katie (pictured above in her 1940s-inspired outfits) says her latest fashion choice has increased her confidence

Katie (pictured above in her 1940s-inspired outfits) says her latest fashion choice has increased her confidence

Katie (pictured) explained: 'Competing in and attending vintage events has built my self-confidence and helped me put myself out there in a crowd of people'

Katie (pictured) explained: 'Competing in and attending vintage events has built my self-confidence and helped me put myself out there in a crowd of people'

Katie (pictured above in her 1940s-inspired outfits) says her latest fashion choice has increased her confidence

She explained:  ‘Competing in and attending vintage events has built my self-confidence and helped me put myself out there in a crowd of people.

‘I was quite shy when I was younger, but dressing in this way has helped me blossom.’

But while Katie has embraced the past in all areas of her style, the design of the post-war build home she shares with schoolteacher Matthew remains very much in the present, as do her morals.

She said: ‘I’m about vintage style, not vintage values. We’re a thoroughly 21st century couple. We split the cooking and cleaning between us.’  

Katie's partner's sister-in-law, Craigie (pictured together), is now a 1940s convert due to the nurse's influence

Katie's partner's sister-in-law, Craigie (pictured together), is now a 1940s convert due to the nurse's influence

Katie’s partner’s sister-in-law, Craigie (pictured together), is now a 1940s convert due to the nurse’s influence

But while Katie (pictured) has embraced the past in all areas of her style, the design of the post-war build home she shares with schoolteacher Matthew remains very much in the present, as do her morals

But while Katie (pictured) has embraced the past in all areas of her style, the design of the post-war build home she shares with schoolteacher Matthew remains very much in the present, as do her morals

Katie poses next to an old-fashioned train to match her vintage-inspired outfit

Katie poses next to an old-fashioned train to match her vintage-inspired outfit

But while Katie (pictured) has embraced the past in all areas of her style, the design of the post-war build home she shares with schoolteacher Matthew remains very much in the present, as do her morals

Katie and Craigie (pictured together) regularly go thrifting around vintage shops together to pick-up period pieces for their outfits

Katie and Craigie (pictured together) regularly go thrifting around vintage shops together to pick-up period pieces for their outfits

Katie and Craigie (pictured together) regularly go thrifting around vintage shops together to pick-up period pieces for their outfits

Katie poses with Craigie as the pair sport vintage-inspired outfits

Katie poses with Craigie as the pair sport vintage-inspired outfits

Prior to finding her niche in the 1940s, Katie (pictured) passed through goth and bohemian phases as a teenager and most recently modelled her style on the 1950s, before settling on the neighbouring decade

Prior to finding her niche in the 1940s, Katie (pictured) passed through goth and bohemian phases as a teenager and most recently modelled her style on the 1950s, before settling on the neighbouring decade

Prior to finding her niche in the 1940s, Katie (pictured left with Craigie, and right) passed through goth and bohemian phases as a teenager and most recently modelled her style on the 1950s, before settling on the neighbouring decade

Schoolteacher Matthew enjoys accompanying her to key vintage events on the calendar, but her partner of seven years has yet to develop the same level of passion for the period as her.

However, his sister-in-law, Craigie, is now a 1940s convert due to Katie’s influence and the pair regularly go thrifting around vintage shops together to pick-up period pieces for their outfits. 

‘When I go out shopping, the reactions to the way I dress are so positive,’ Katie recalled. ‘Often people come up to me and say, “You remind me of my mother” or “I remember my mother wearing that when she was younger”.

‘People tend to be chattier with you. You get lots of double takes and sideways glances too, but that’s all part of the fun.’ 

Prior to finding her niche in the 1940s, Katie passed through goth and bohemian phases as a teenager and most recently modelled her style on the 1950s, before settling on the neighbouring decade.

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