Eastenders is home to many memorable characters, and few so well loved as Dot Cotton. Poor old Dot has been through it all over the years, but that’s for the TV section of this blog, I’m only interested in what she wore while putting up with Nasty Nick and them pesky Mitchell’s.
Dot has something I’d love to be able to master, and that’s a signature style. Throughout the decades, not only has Dot’s style stayed pretty much the same, but her wardrobe has too. Always immaculately turned out, with her hair in it’s pin curls, lipstick on, nails painted, no matter what was going on in her life, she always had time to make an effort in her looks.
A stubborn lady, I imagine her stoney exterior, and proper dress was a bit of a mask, her war paint, that helped her hide insecurities, and true feelings. It was a very very rare occasion when you seen Dot having a bad day, and even then, her hair was still perfect.
Dot’s style never faltered. Her patterned shirts and matching cardigans, below the knee skirts, and what must be an never ending supply of nylons, have suited her for over 20 years. I can honestly say that I couldn’t see myself wearing the same clothes in 20 years, never mind fitting them! But Dot has that thriftiness that ladies of an older generation have, the pre-Primark gals. Clothes were looked after, mended, and reworked in subtle ways, rather than simply discarded or replaced like is done so much these days.
Shirts are always buttoned high in her later years, though through the late ’80s she was known to wear a lower cut wrap dress. Looking back at these pics, I find it weird to see any deviance from her regular style, but I’m glad it was only a phase! With the shirt, she wore an array of fabulous chunky beads, straight from the market stalls no doubt! She always sports a brooch on the left lapel. Perfect with a pussy bow blouse that’s too bulky to wear a necklace with.
Her coats were pulled out year after year, the classic mac has rarely suited anyone more, and the ridiculously plush long line camel coat, with a fur collar may sound bonkers, and indeed it is, but Dot wears it with pride and confidence. She doesn’t attempt to dress up more for special occasions, as she’s already dressed in her best. That’s one mantra we do seem to share; clothes are bought to be worn, there’s no point keeping things for an occasion that might never happen.
Two other accessories Dot is rarely seen without are her enviable vintage handbags, and of course, her cigarettes. I’d advise you to start collecting one of these two. If you need told which of the pair, then perhaps you are reading the wrong post….
Dot has a confident style, and adding the wee quirks like a brooch, or the pillbox handbags means that regardless of what else she’s wearing, you know it’s still Dot. Whether she dressed too old in her younger days, or too young in her older years, I’m not really sure. But she’s an icon on the tele and I wouldn’t mind having some of her style now, never mind when I’m retired!