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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cinema Style Spotlight-Winter Fashions in 1934''s The Man Who Knew Too Much

Winter can be a difficult time for fashion:

People are rightly concerned with warmth and safety and if your like me and bike or walk every day you need clothes you can move in.   Also if your like me then your clothing choices are pretty central to your identify.  I'm just not willing to give up my vintage style in the winter, and so I'm always on the look out for practical vintage winter style inspirations and I found a stunning one in the 1934 Hitchcock Film The Man Who Knew To Much.

Most viewers are probably more familiar with the 1956 version starring James Stewart and Doris Day, but if you ask me the 1934 version is far superior, and not just for Peter Lorre who is amazingly creepy as the vilian:

The entire look of the film is better, and that includes the fashions.  The film takes place in Switzerland and the look that really got me swooning was worn by the young girl, and kidnap victim, Betty played by Nova Pilbeam.  While she watches her glamorous mother Jill, Edna Best, participate in a clay pigion shooting contest.  Betty wears some kind of adorable wool suit, maybe a ski suit, and the cutest crochet tam hat and gauntlet gloves I have ever seen.

(I also love the monogram or insignia on her father's scarf and bonus points for the cute dachschund, but I do wish he had a sweater too.)

Though Betty is obviously a young girl I definitely think this look would work on a women of any age and it certainly looks warm.  One of my most treasured items of clothing is my own 1930s wool ski suit:

and I can attest to the fact this it is very, very warm. 

The gorgeous fashion doesn't stop in the shooting scene though, the movie is choc-a-block with beautifully shot noir moments. 

  I am also in total awe of Edna Best's hair, it might just be the most perfect 1930s hair I've seen.

What are your favorite things to wear in the winter?

Monday, January 16, 2017

A 1930s Velvet Coat That is Black as Midnight on a Moonless Night

Just like Agent Cooper on Twin Peak's I only like my coffee black:

Nothing beats a delicious, dark, steaming cup of coffee on a cold winter morning.  It's a lovely treat.
I think black clothes can be lovely as well, but for obvious reasons, pet hair of course, I rarely wear black clothing.   I do have a few exceptions, and one particularly lovely one that is overdue a show on the blog.  My 1930s velvet coat.  It's one of my few really excellent thrift store finds and is so beautiful that when I found it two years ago I ignored the impractical color and fabric.

It really is beautiful and the black velvet is so beautifully dark and nicely set off by the white fur collar.

It flows prettily too and for such old fabric, I'd estimate it is about 80 years old, it is in great condition.

It's not very warm  though, so really only good for warmer winter days and fall, but then that is what makes this a luxury item, in my wardrobe, but a fun one.  As Agent Cooper says it is important to treat yourself, every day, once a day, give yourself a little present:

Whenever I put on this coat it is my little present for the day, and guess wear I wore it the day these pictures where taken?  That's right I wore it to get some coffee!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Product Review-Besame Decades of Fragrance-Part 1

As much as I love vintage clothing and hair, and to a lesser extent make up like a good red lip, there is one aspect of vintage style beauty I have never been keen on: perfume.

I was always confused by the dizzying array of perfume options, put off by the price, and most importantly I never much liked how they smelled.  In fact until recently I think the only time I wore perfume in the last 15 years was on my wedding day in 2001.  Still I liked the idea of perfume:

It certainly seemed an important part of vintage beauty rituals which is why I was intrigued when my favorite cosmetics company Besame (I've written about their lipsticks here, and here, and here) came up with their Decades of Fragrance Collection.

At last this was perfume I could understand, aimed at the vintage fanatic, each perfume is meant to capture the essence of a different decade.  As a vintage lover who likes to flit from one decade to the next this really appealed to me, I liked the idea of changing my perfume to match the decade of my outfit.  Also while the perfume is definitely not cheap, each rollerball costs $25.00, it is more economical then many department store perfumes I have seen.   I decided to take the perfume plunge and try fragrance representing my three favorite decades:  the  1920s, 1930s, and 1950s.

The 1920s perfume is described as having notes of mandarin, jasmine, and cocoa (as well as a bunch of other stuff).  I have no clue what notes are, but this one smelled quite good to me.   I did feel it smelled a bit cocoa-ey and fruity and I could see it in on the neck of a flapper in a jazzy speakeasy, which of course is the idea.  I definitely like wearing it with my few 20s outfits, even if no one else knows it is there, it seems to fade quickly on me, I do.

The 30s perfume is, to my nose at least, stronger smelling then the 1920s one.  It is described as embodying Marlene Dietrich, cigarettes and seduction, which even if it isn't my look has a definite appeal.

Some of the notes are mandarin, tobacco, and vanilla, and I do notice a subtley smokey aspect in this one.  It's a bit darker then the others, which is appropriate for a dark and troubled decade in history.   The 1930s are the decade that first got me into vintage and I have lots of 30s outfits and I do like wearing this fragrance with them, it's currently the lowest of my three vials which shows how much I wear it!  It adds the perfect touch to a 30s look and it seems to last on my a bit longer on me then the others.

The last fragrance I tried was the 1950s once. 

 The 50s are, tied with the 1930s, my favorite decade.   1950s, as well as 30s, looks make up the majority of my wardrobe, and I would say my day to day look is usually somewhat 1950s. 

The 1950s fragrance is described as evoking Billie Holliday

who I adore (after all what other Diva would let her dog chew on her shoes),
with a floweryy scent of gardenia and frescia.  I find this to be the prettiest smelling scent straight out of the bottle.  It smells powdery and like flowers and make up in a good way.  Picture the most glamorous make up table you can imagine:

Sadly it fades a little quickly on me, so I need to reapply it multiple times if I want the scent to last all day.  Still I wear it quite a lot, and its a bit of mystery to me why there seems to be more of this one then the 1930s one in the bottle because I really think I wear this one more.  It adds just the right sweet scent to my 1950s  style dresses and jeans.

Since each Besame fragrance retails for $25 dollars I was able to get three for about the price of one department store fragrance, and they all smell, at least to me, infinitely better then any of the better known perfumes I have sampled. 

My only complaint is they seem to fade quickly, but that may just be my body chemistry, perhaps I reject perfume?  I haven't read  any comments on the Besame website from anyone else saying the fragrances fade quickly.  It  is also somewhat mitigated by the fact that they come in a rollerball:

and thus are easy to carry with you and reapply.  Overall I am very happy I purchased these fragrances and I am calling this post Besame Decades of Fragrance part 1 because I hope to try the other scents 1910, 1940, and 1960 soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snowy Walk

We finally got some snow.  Not a ton but enough for Bob the bulldog to enjoy his favorite weather and me to wear my beloved 1930s ski suit:



Friday, January 6, 2017

Vintage Outfit Post-A Glamorous New Robe For a New Year

I wasn't the biggest fan of 2016, so I can't say I'm sorry to see it go.

But I'm starting out 2017 the right with a beautiful addition to my vintage  wardrobe, a 1930s style hooded negligee robe.  Stars in the 1930s really new how to do negligees to there full glamour potential.

However, despite how glorious they are I could never have really imagined myself in such a garment.  I  mean first off where ever would you find one?  And how exactly would  you wear it? Enter my vintage fairy God mother my beautiful friend Krystle Snook.

Krystle is a vintage expert who truly lives her life as if its 1932 and she is an incredibly talented designer and seamstress, one of many, many talents.  She also occasionally blogs at Krystle! Couturiere and Schneiderin   Chatting with  her on facebook we started to dream up a 1930s style negligee that would work for me.  I wanted something that would be comfortable, glamorous and covered up so a robe was the obvious choice.  

In addition to 1930s negligees like the ones I pictured here I was also thinking about a dress worn by Katherine Hepburn in one of my favorite movies, 1938's Bringing Up Baby (I did a cinema spotlight post on it here):

I love the  fabric of this dress as well as it's easy tie on style.   

The third inspiration for my robe was hooded evening wear and robes of the 1930s and 40s.

A look I've always loved.

Put those three ideas and you come up with my perfect 1930's style negligee: a hooded robe with simple fluid lines and a tie back made of a shimmery fabric.
Since Krystle is a genius she had no trouble drafting a pattern, sourcing fabric and buttons and getting my robe to me promptly for New Year's Eve.  It's so beautiful I just love it!


 Krystal even used authentic vintage buttons on the robe.

The fabric shimmers and flows beautifully, and the robe is very comfortable. 

In fact the only problem is it's so beautiful and I only wear it to lounge about at home!

Happy New Year, heres to a wonderful 2017!

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