Monday, August 29, 2016

A Day at The Lake And a Casual Vintage Outfit From Swell Dame and Freddies of Pinewood

The last days of summer are a great time to visit a lake

My favorite lake in NJ is Wawayanda.  Its in a lovely big park and there is canoeing, row boating, kayaking and swimming.  Its even dog friendly, though they are not allowed on the beach.  Since we wanted to try kayaking we decided to leave the dogs at home as kayaking doesn't seem a canine friendly activity.  

The lake is very pretty and peaceful and you really feel far from the city even though its only an hour and 15 minute drive from Jersey City where we live and maybe an hour and forty five minutes from Manhattan.

As I've said many times before on this blog vintage style can definitely be casual and I wore one of my favorite casual summer outfits for our trip to the lake.  I've definitely worn parts of this outfit on the blog before, but its so cute I think it deserved its own post.

The red gingham top is from Swell Dame and is a perfect 1950s style casual top.  The jeans are clam diggers from Freddie's of Pinewood and would probably be longer on a person of normal height, on me their pedal pushers. My shoes are the remix canvas pennies and are super comfortable.  The belt  I borrowed from one of my Bernie Dexter dresses.  I feel very 50s casual in this outfit!


 The purse is really something special, its a 1950s novelty purse with a horse on it!  I love anything with an animal on it and this is my first vintage horse accessory.

Incidentally is 38 too old for pig tails?  Obviously I don't think so.  This whole outfit makes me feel very young and carefree.

We had a good time walking around the lake:


We also waded a bit of course and tried the kayaking.  I really enjoyed kayaking, but didn't take any pictures.

It was a perfect end of summer day.  How do you like to celebrate the end of summer?

Outfit Details

Gingham top-Swell Dame 
 Clam Digger Jeans-Freddies of Pinewood
Red Canvas Sandals-Remix
1950s Novelty Purse- Annacatetsy

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

We All Bark for Ice Cream

In my post two weeks ago about our day at the beach I promised I'd follow up with some cute pictures from our ice cream pit stop at Rita's Ice Custard Happiness.  Here they are:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Vintage Outfit Post-1950s Pool Side Style

I've always dreamed of a mid century beach side  (or poolside) vacation.  The hotels, the clothes, the bright colors, it was all so beautiful. 

Of course lacking a time machine the vacation of my dreams is a little beyond me, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy my summer staycation in classic mid century style.    

This weekend I got to attend a family pool party and I put together an outfit that made me feel like I stepped out of a 50s beach side motor lodge.   The dress and bolero was made for me by the Etsy shop Vintage Rags and Digs.  This is a really great shop due entirely to my own measurement error the dress top didn't fit right when I first got it and the shop owner fixed it for me free of charge and added ties so the halter would fit my body type better, very nice of her and the end result is just what I wanted.

 I love that the halter ties keep it up and I love that it has a bolero, since I like a little bit of extra coverage:

 The print is also really fun its a little hard to see in the pictures but its a wave print with salmon colored swordfish on it.   I paired it with some bakelite and bamboo bangles, my beloved 1940s coconut purse, some 1950s cats eye shades, and my green remix sandals.   

To carry on the swordfish theme I added a pink swordfish novelty brooch from Mrs. Polly's Lucite that looks like it was made for the set.

 I was also super pleased with how my hair turned out and it was very easy to do.  I've been struggling for months with foam rollers, a bonnet dryer and pin curl clips in an effort to get a 50s style curly bob, with little success.  For this look I styled my hair by creating pin curls with a curling iron (first I sprayed it liberally with heat protectant), pinning them with clips, spraying with hair spray and then unpinning about half an hour later.  It was super easy to do.  I used this video as a guide, but be warned this women must have asbestos fingers because she touches the iron.  I didn't do that I just slid the curl of the iron, rerolled it, and pinned it.  Her look is definitely more polished but I'm still pleased with mine.  

 It was a really fun look for a fun day which is what vacation, or staycation, clothing should be all about.  Do you have a dream vacation?

Outfit Details

Halter Dress and Bolero Set-Vintage Rags and Digs
Bamboo and Bakelite Bangles-Thrifted
1940s Coconut Purse-Etsy, but I forgot the seller
1950s Cat's Eye Sunglasses-Etsy, I forgot the seller
1940s Style Sandals-Remix
1950s Style Novelty Brooch and Earings-Mrs. Polly's Lucite


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday-Ping as Mothra

Today Rifftrax, a comedy company from the makers of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 which I wrote about here is having a live event, streaming a riff of the Japanse sci-fi film, Mothra, to theatres ascross the country.  

I won't be seeing it until the encore show on Tuesday, but it reminded me of one of my favorite pet Halloween costumes.  Ping's Mothra outfit from maybe 6 or 7 years ago. Is she not the cutest?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Adventures in Vintage Hair Styling-Bright Blue Hair for Once In a Blue Moon

Technically this isn't really a vintage hair adventure, as blue hair isn't vintage unless you count old lady blue rinses (which I love),

 but I've noticed that plenty of people in the vintage community rock crazy hair colors, the sort of tones that would never grow out of anyones head.  Probably when your clothing ceases to be conventional your comfortable  with your hair going the same way.   I admired many of these tresses before trying pink hair this Spring and for my three week summer break from teaching I decided to try something a little crazier, blue hair.  

I'm no hair expert but I read everything I could online, there is a lot of information, before I took the plunge.  First off your hair needs to be a light blonde, at least a platinum color and if you want pastel colors you need Daenyrs Targaryen style ice blonde:

I was afraid that my own light blonde hair, which I get professionally blonded at the best salon ever, Artistic Hair in Jersey City, was to yellow and would make the blue dye turn green on my locks.   So to counteract this potential pitfall I used Manic Panic Virgin Snow toner.   I had washed my hair with clarifying shampoo the day before so it was clean and free of any products.  Then I applied the toner, which is not a bleach but a blue based product meant to remove yellow tones from blonde hair.  I saturated my hair with it and covered it with a shower cap and left it on for an hour.

This was the result.

Not a dramatic difference but it was a bit lighter.   

Next I applied the blue.  I used Manic Panic Voodoo Blue.  I choose Manic Panic expressly because their colors fade quickly.   I've since read you can add a bit of purple to the blue to counteract green tones, if I ever do this again I'm going to try that, but for this go I used Voodoo Blue only.  This is what it looks like straight out of the jar.

  It took one jar to cover my hair  so anyone with longer hair will need at least two jars.  I used a tint brush to cover my hair completely and even with gloves and vaseline at my hair line there was blue everywhere!  Seriously my bathroom looked like an alien murder scene.  Luckily the dye came off my skin pretty easily and most of it came off the tile.  

I covered my hair in another plastic shower cap and left it on for four hours.  

That is 8 times as long as the jar says but everything I read online said the longer the better.  I also applied heat a few times for a minute or so using the low setting on the dryer.  

After the wait time I rinsed it with cold water in the kitchen sink, cold water is a must, and don't get in the shower unless you want your whole body blue.   I also rinsed with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and cold water since I read that helps set the color.   

The next morning my hair looked like this:

It is basically the color of a blue raspberry tootsie roll pop.  Here is a side view a few days later after I washed and pin curled it, excuse the frizz!

To maintain the color I will wash it only about twice a week in COLD water with a mix of Clairol Shimmering Lights shampoo, white conditioner, and a dab of the voodoo blue hair dye.  Note: you need to wear gloves while you shampoo this dye comes out easily and your hands will be blue.

This hair is definitely a love it or hate it kind of thing.  I've gotten plenty of compliments, as well as odd stares, my father in law was horrified and my husband isn't crazy about it, though he doesn't hate it.  I have mixed feelings myself and realize its probably a color more suited to a teen or a women in her early twenties (though I never would have had the confidence at those ages), then a 38 year old, but I certainly don't regret doing it.  It's fun and I do feel a bit like a land locked mermaid.  I'm removing it in September for the start of school though, so this is a brief vacation fling.   

Once in a blue moon crazy colored hair is a blast and I'm not  ready to stop experimenting yet.  I'm already thinking about trying a purple or pink on my roots for my next hair adventure.  Even though I am fond of unnatural hair colors I hate brown roots with blonde hair and bright colors seem a fun way to disguise them and stretch out the time between professional dye jobs.

Have you ever dyed, or wanted to dye, your hair a crazy color?  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair

Today marks the 47th anniversary of Woodstock:

Despite a brief flirtation with grungy hippie style when I was in high school and college in the 90s, I've never been much for hippie fashions (I prefer the more polished looks of the early 60s), but since childhood I have had a great fondness for one hippie accessory, the flower crown:

Now to be fair, the flower crown made its appearance long before the 1960s.  There are plenty of images of gorgeous Edwardian ladies in flower crowns

and 1920s flappers sported them too:

But the look achieved its full glory in the late '60s, and floral band headgear will forever be associated with the optimistic hippies.

And it is a beautiful look, one that takes a little big of courage to wear, but once you take the plunge you'll see its fun and fabulous.  I now feel a bit naked with out a flower or a hat on my head.  
In honor of the 47th anniversary of 3 Days of Peace, Love, and Music here is my take on the flower child look.
 The dress is from Bernie Dexter.      It's the Paris Dress in My Deer print and I got it through the face book group: The Bernie Dexter Collective.  This is a group of Bernie fanatics like myself, many of whom re-sell dresses they have tired of or which didn't fit properly, so I managed to get this dress for a great price.  

Sometimes a comapnies designs just suit you, and that is how I feel about Bernie Dexter, she clearly shares my love of novelty prints and all of her dresses seem to fit me well.  I'm quite short, five feet, and they are never too long on me.  I wear a large in Bernie and so far I've tried the Kelly, Paris and Veronique style dresses and all have fit me well.  

This dress is in the Paris cut, and initially I was a little nervous that I would find the spaghetti straps and neckline too revealing, but I really like it.  It's cut high enough that it doesn't show underarm chub and it stays up well.  It reminds me of some of the spaghetti strap styles Marilyn wore.

I like the back too, low but not shockingly so.

This outfit makes me feel  a bit child like, like a fairy princess, in the best way possible.  No doubt it is the flower crown which I got about two years ago from Chatter Blossom and which is a copy of the 1920s crown worn by Louise Brooks.  I couldn't find any woodland animals to commune with so I settled for Fry and Spot.


Outfit Details:

My Deer Dress-Bernie Dexter (I got mine for a very discounted price from the facebook group, Bernie Dexter collective)
Vintage Flower Crown-Chatter Blossom
1960s Novelty Purse-
1940s Style Canvas Sandals-Remix Vintage Shoes

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