Keep Calm and Carry On – a motivational slogan from a desperate time, reborn as a modern icon. Funnily enough, it was never used for real in World War II. It was only intended to be used if Britain was invaded and, luckily, that didn’t happen.
In recent years, it has appeared on posters, coffee mugs, duvet sets and more, and parodies and infinite variations have followed. But the original icon still gives a taste of 1940’s British stoicism and bulldog spirit. And the clean and simple lettering appeals to most people.
If used in your home it will certainly be a talking point with visitors! I especially like the original iconic red which draws the eye, but nowadays you can get most items in just about any colour or slogan you want.
Pillows and Cushions
Being British, I would tend to call all these things cushions, but whatever you call them, they make a statement. I find cushions are an easy way to freshen up a room’s decor and like to buy new ones every few years when the old ones might be looking a bit tired.
This cushion cover is based on the original elegant white on red poster in a hard wearing fabric. Note: the cover only is provided; it does not include a cushion insert. Also, the back is a plain oatmeal coloured linen, not red. The seller recommends that you hand wash this and put some salt in the water the first time, to help keep the colours fresh.
This next pillow combines two great British icons, with a background of the Union Jack, though the back of the pillow itself is plain linen. Also, this is the cover only; the cushion insert is not included. Size is 18″ x 18″. The seller recommends that you hand wash this and put some salt in the water the first time, to help keep the colours fresh.
Finally, to ring the changes on these pillows, a nice black and white variation. Note: this is the cover only; the insert is not included.
Bedding to Theme with your Keep Calm and Carry On Pillows
Go crazy for all things British, and team them with a Union Jack duvet set! This is all about going the whole hog. Not being subtle. Better get some clashing curtains while you’re at it.
Beware – UK and US Bedding Sizes are Different
For information, UK and US bedding sizes differ in their description so if buying bedding imported from the UK, please bear in mind the following:
USA twin = UK single
USA full = UK double
USA queen = UK King
USA King = UK superking (though I haven’t seen many of those in the UK)
Also, a duvet is not identical to a comforter. In the UK, a duvet, also known as a ‘quilt’, is a filled/padded bedding cover which comes in various weights, known as ‘togs’, with the higher numbers being the heavier and warmer duvets. They can be filled with either natural duckdown or anti-allergy artificial fibre.
Some Brit Theme Duvet Sets
The duvet goes inside a duvet cover. The items shown here are covers only so you need the duvet to go inside them as well. A ‘duvet set’ usually consists of a cover and pillow case (or, in the case of a double or king size set, two pillow cases).
Yes, the pillow cases do have ‘Rock UK’ on them. So if you do feel like getting up in the night to strum on your guitar, maybe Brit Pop is the music for your serenade?
This had me confused, as it is what I would call a ‘single’. In the UK, ‘twin’ in a bed context refers to ‘twin beds’ which would mean two covers. Anyway, remember to check those measurements. And, as with the double, the other side features a guitar decorated with the Union Jack.
Last of all, here’s what I call a case for a real pillow – Keep Calm and Carry On style. Note that this is just the case; the pillow itself is not included. Fits a standard one, 32 inches by 20 inches.
Interested in British History?
Some Keep Calm items feature the British flag as a background. Strictly speaking, this is the Union Flag, but is known worldwide as the Union Jack, which is actually the Royal Navy variation. Or is it? Debate continues and you can read about it here.
And if you want to know where it all started, here’s the history of the Keep Calm and Carry On slogan, and some information about Barter Books, the bookshop which bought a box of books at auction that contained one of the rare original posters, and first popularised the slogan.
Top photo (c) florentine