Thursday, December 7, 2017

Velvet, Plaid, and Pine

Purple isn't a very 'holiday season' color, but I'm going to make it work somehow! Pairing it with plaid could help right? And loads of velvet? 

I could wear this velvet jacket every other day it pairs so well with nearly everything in my closet. I'm always on the look out for another black velvet jacket with different details, because as far as I can tell they are just super versatile! This time I wore the jacket with my Vivien of Holloway circle skirt and matching black velvet accessories. I found the hat over the summer at a local vintage fair and just couldn't pass it up, despite already having a larger black velvet hat in my collection that I made myself several years ago. This one was just so perfectly 50's and was only $15 dollars! The velvety black suede heels are part one of a two part splurge from Remix that I mentioned a few weeks ago. Now I am on a spending ban for sure! No more shoes for me for a good long while, I had a bad case of shoe fever (including a bad breakout of shoe lust on Black Friday, damn you Bait footwear! I'm too weak to resist!). 

I haven't been in a very holiday mood yet, mostly because I am shocked to find we are in December already. I mean, of course if you go by the way the news and foul miasma of gross misogyny and general disaster that has permeated this year from the start, it seems to have been a very long year indeed, but personally for me it has actually flown by. As ever I have a lot to accomplish and never enough time to do it all. The more lights that go up outside, and holiday music invades my ears at the super market, the more I'll realize it really must be the end of the year. Which can only mean one thing...its almost time for more Star Wars!!! What did you think I was going to say?

Jacket, Hat, Gloves, Jewelry, & Bag: Vintage
Skirt: Vivien of Holloway
Petticoat: Malco Modes
Fishnets: Amazon
Shoes: Remix Shoes

Monday, December 4, 2017

Black-Capped Chickadees

These little birds were following us around at the Chatfield Botanical Gardens and singing sweet little songs. I felt a bit like Snow White with them hopping about in the trees! I just had to look up what kind of birds they were when I got home, and now I know they are black-capped chickadees. At least that's what I think they were, I'm no bird expert, I just think they are well cute!

We have reached the point in the year where I actually wish it would snow just a little bit so the landscape would be rendered a bit more wintry and charming. I didn't even need a coat this weekend, it was that warm out. This blue suit is a favorite of mine (she says about all her suits...) and this time I decided to pair it with red accessories. The reds here are actually not perfectly matched to one another, which I have decided to pretend I don't mind- even though that kind of thing does get to me! I want everything to be perfectly coordinated even if that is just not realistic. The gloves were a more recent acquisition this past fall. I actually didn't have a well fitting pair of red gloves until now, which seemed like a rather basic color to have and therefore strange to have missing from my arsenal. Red accessories are probably the most useful set in a vintage wardrobe after black, as red is such a great accent with most neutrals as well as many brighter colors. I decided to style this outfit just as I would if my hair wasn't a random loud color, so I didn't coordinate around the purple, and I was surprised that I felt it still worked in the end. The purple hair does make me want to add more purple into my wardrobe though...

I actually got a tiny bit of sewing done this weekend as I finally hemmed two pleated plaid skirts that have been knocking about for a few weeks! The 1980's made some very nice plaid wool skirts, but most are just too long for 40's styling.  I actually need to ban myself from picking up these skirts because I have so many plaid skirts now that it's just getting a bit silly. I need to focus on finding nice sweaters and jackets to pair with all of my skirts instead. I hope you all had a lovely weekend as we head into December, I just can't believe the end of the year is approaching so soon!

Suit, Hat, Handbag, Scarf, Gloves, & Brooch: Vintage
Fishnets: Amazon
Shoes: Royal Vintage Shoes
Earrings: Old Navy

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Video: A Ramble About Vintage Music

Hello there everyone! I put up a new video over on YouTube this weekend about how I got introduced to "vintage" music. Of course I grew up with a lot of music in our house that is now considered vintage, like Madonna, Spandau Ballet, Queen, Howard Jones, and other 1980's music, but now I listen to a lot of 30's, 40's, and 50's music too! (and 60's, and occasionally 70's). I cover some of my basic recommendations for 1940's music and general mid-century tunes, as well as some other less traditional soundtracks I enjoy listening to.

I did make the mistake of asking for recommendations without having mentioned very many artists I already knew of, which has led to many recommendations I already have in my playlists and makes me look like a total newbie. Opps! I should have known better that the internet would be ready to give me a complete vintage music education ;) So of course though I didn't mention Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby, The Mills Brothers, Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Doris Day or several dozens of other artists, I am aware of many of the big names of the 20s-50s. Most big artists of the time are introduced on the compilation albums I mention in the video. I should have been more specific in my recommendations request, as I am more interested in film/TV/other curated soundtracks or lesser known artists most of all. I still have so much to learn about video making!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Patent and Purple

I think for a long time I avoided adding patent leather accessories to my collection because I thought it was just too easy for them to look like cheap plastic, and well, my opinion hasn't exactly changed. In fact none of the pieces I'm wearing here are real leather, all of them are faux patent leather (and the coat is faux fur!). The thing is, it seems like patent leather pumps were really popular in the 1940s, so I was forced to reconsider their appeal, and in doing so I discovered I really wanted a pair! 

So I headed over to Bait Footwear and picked up their Vonda heel in black. What can I say to defend myself? I am bad at saving and real good at "collecting" which is my fancy way of saying shopping. *ahem* I think for vintage style black patent pumps, the Vonda's are the best looking pair available anywhere right now. For some strange reason it is quite difficult to find basic pumps out there in the world, all the modern ones are pointed toe, or stiletto heel, or have weird platforms, or stacked heels, or some other quality that disqualifies them from my standards for basic pumps. 

I'm looking for: 
a) an attempt at a well balanced  heel (Royal Vintage have turned me into a stickler for heel placement! I've been spoiled), 
b) the same finish throughout (uppers and heels covered in the same leather/fabric),
c) a heel around 3 inches high, 
d) nothing too decorative making them either too fancy or too casual. 

My idea of a perfect heel is Royal Vintage's Marilyn, Remix Shoes Carmen, and when desperate Bait Footwear's Vonda (only because they are not as comfortable as the Marilyn or the Carmen). The thing is, none of these three options come in all of the neutrals a large vintage wardrobe demands. Where are the navy pumps? The dark brown pumps? (and yes, again, I know I am a spoiled brat...). I never shut up about shoes lately, I need to get over it. These are my petty concerns okay? I don't want to think about all my real concerns, let me think of shoes instead.

Anyways, here is the purple hair in its true glory. I can't help but love it, even while a little voice in my head shouts about it not being very adult or sophisticated. In truth I am bad at adulting and am hopelessly less sophisticated than I'd like to be, so perhaps indeed fun hair suits me just fine. Should I write a post about how my desire to be demure and elegant goes directly against my clumsy and lazy nature? Perhaps one day, but doesn't everyone want to seem demure and elegant? I'll at least dress the part as best I can...

Dress: Made by me
Clutch, Belt, Gloves, & Necklace: Vintage
Coat: Vintage (huge 80's faux fur realness)
Shoes: Bait Footwear
Fishnets: Amaon

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cataloging Catalogs: Fabrics, Montgomery Ward Spring/Summer 1943

In our last flip through the Spring/Summer 1943 Montgomery Wards catalog we took a look at the hats available, but today we will take a look at what fabrics (and some sewing patterns too!) were available! 

Like everything in these old catalogs, I wish I could place an order for many of these fabrics, especially as it is so much harder these days to find nice apparel fabrics. I dream about finding these lovely rayons and super cute apparel weight cottons. These detailed descriptions of textiles and accompanying examples of dresses are great reference for those of us looking to do as many of our grandmothers did and sew our own 1940's dresses! Let's browse these pages and together dream of world beyond the quilting cotton purgatory we live in here in the modern world...

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