Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Top Ten Vintage Outfits of 2016

Admittedly as we are now a month into 2017 this post is coming a little bit late, but I was inspired by my lovely blogging friends at Silver Cat Tea Party and really wanted to contribute my own outfit roundup post (see her's here its great!).   After all time flies (I can't believe I'll be 39 in two months) and this year really flew buy, some of these pictures feel like yesterday.  So here they are: my 10 favorite 2016 looks.

1) 1960s Cocktail Dress

This is an authentic vintage piece and one of the only 1960s pieces in my wardrobe, as well as one of the few evening/cocktail dresses.   I got the dress from Fab Gabs for a friend's wedding and accessorized it with a Chatterblossom hair flower, lucite box purse, and Remix vintage shoes.  Sadly this dress was very delicate and it really only survived one evening before the lurex started to tear.  It was a vintage tragedy because not only is the dress beautiful it fit like a glove.

2) 1930s Style Winter Dress

This dress is a reproduction from Sew Vintage Seamstress.  It has a classic late 30s silhouette with puffed sleeves and a notched collar.   The best part is the fabric, thick warm Burgundy colored corduroy.  This is a warm dress.   I accessorized it with an authentic 1930s hat I've had for year's and a 1940s ice follies brooch.  The gloves are a thrifted pair, I think from the 50s, and the shoes are from American Duchess.

3) Rocket Skirt from Girl in A Whirl- 

This skirt was my 38th birthday outfit.  I wanted something that would combine a sci-fi element with vintage, and thought of space travel.  I've always admired the optimism that pervaded space exploration in the 1950s and 60s. Girl in A Whirl can take any image and use felt to put it on a 1950s style circle skirt.  So I asked her to put the cover of the This Is The Way to The Moon by M. Sasek on a skirt.  

She did an amazing job depicting the family visiting Cape Canaveral on the skirt.   I paired it with a 1950s style blouse from Swell Dame, and old grey cardigan, thrifted bakelite bangles, gold Remix shoes, atomic earrings and a brooch from the Alamo basement and a Star Trek pin a blog reader sent.

4) Sunny Stripes from Hey Day

This is a really nice casual dress from Hey Day Vintage that definitely demonstrates the power of a print.  The casual tie on style of the dress is very comfortable and easy to wear and reminds me of dresses from the 1950s and early 60s.  The print is super versatile and lends it self to accessories in lots of different color combos.  I wore 1950s gloves and a head scarf in bright aqua and lots of bakelite bangles, but plenty of other colors would look smashing too.  The shoes, like most of my shoes, are Remix again, playtime canvas wedges. My favorite accessory in this outfit though is the purse it is a 1940s or 50s children's doll shaped purse.  This is my second one, the first one a cow girl broke sniff, but I think I like this tropical lady with her big sun hat even better.

5) 1950s Fun with Flamingos: 

 I've always loved fun kitschy stuff and nothing is more delightfully kitschy then pink flamingos!  I planned this outfit around a pair of flamingo vans, I saw a fellow vintage love wearing them on face book and set out to get my own pair.   I loved the mso much I got a Flamingo purse on etsy, make from a genuine pink garden flamingo, to go with them.  I love the color combo of pink and green so I wore the purse and shoes with a pretty green and white check Bernie Dexter dress and a 
Luxulite Audrey 2 Brooch.  The final perfect touch is my amazing 1950s style Coolie sun hat that was made for me by the vintage style milliner Tanith Rowan, she did an amazing job.  This outfit is so great because its comfortable, fun, and sun protective!


6) 1940s Style Mexican Play Suit:

My friend Kim Clark made this 1940s style sun suit and placed it up for sale on the Facebook 1930s and 40s costumers group.  As soon as I saw the amazing lime green vintage Mexican fabric I knew it would look amazing with the 1940s style Mexican sun hat I had, had for awhile.  Seriously these pieces look like they where made for each other!  The pay suit consists of a halter neck sun suit and a boxy over jacket with a tie waist.  The lime green 1940s style sandals are from Remix and I've worn them so much I need to replace them. The final perfect touch was the 1940s style brooch of a Mexican man in a Sombrero from Mrs. Polly's Lucite.   This is pretty much my ideal beach outfit, covered up, flattering and fun!


7) 1950s Style Gingham Top and Denim Peddle Pushers:

I'm always saying vintage style doesn't have to mean dressed up and this outfit is proof of it.  It's just a simple 1950s style gingham top from Swell Dame and 1950s style Pedal Pushers from Freddies of Pinewood.  The hat is one of my favorite things ever, a foldable 1960s beach hat, and the cat's eye sunglasses are fun too.  I got the sandals from Remix, like nearly all of my shoes, and I've had the cherry pin since I was a kid.  The purse I'm holding in the second picture is one of the most amazing novelty purses I have ever sen it has a horse on it!  I think I wore this outfit more the anything else this summer.

8) 1950s Style Western Dress From The Black Pinafore:

 1950s style western wear is a long time favorite of mine, but I didn't really have any pieces until fall of 2016 when I had Debra from The Black 
pinafore make me this dress.  It's a simple 1950s sundress in a western novelty print with rick-rack trim, I'm crazy about rick-rack.  I really love the neckline on this dress.  I wore it with a red hair flower from Chatter Blossom, bakelite bangles, a vintage belt, a western novelty brooch from 
Luxulite and my 1950s horse purse.

9) Bernie Dexter Winter Wonderland Dress-

I have quite a few Bernie Dexter dresses but this one is really special.  It is a popular print and it was sold out in my size for a long time but I finally nabbed it and on sale!  I'm not sure if you can call this a traditional vintage look but I don't care.  It's such a fun print and so festive and the skirt is made for a petticoat.  I wore it with a Chatter Blossom hair flower of course, sparkly silver tights, Ivory remix pumps, and my lucite purse.

10) Kitschmas Cat Skirt from Girl In A Whirl

I love clothes but there are two aspects of vintage style dressing I'm particularly crazy about: seasonal dressing and stuff with dogs and cats on it.  This skirt has both!  Girl In A Whirl made it for me based on pictures of vintage Christmas skirts we found online and she made the cat look like my darling Spot.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cinema Spotlight You're Telling Me

January 29, marks 137 years since my favorite comedian WC Fields

entered the world.   It is certainly a testament to his unmatched hilarity that nearly a century and a half later people are still watching his films.   So far on the blog I have written about It's A Gift, It's The Old Army Game, Pool Sharks, and fashions in Fields films.  This year I want to focus on 1934's You're Telling Me!

This isn't one of Field's most famous film, but it is, in my opinion, one of his best.   

As in most of his other classic 1930s films  Field's plays a relatively ordinary guy.  A hapless inventor named Sam Bisbee

with a wife and daughter

and of course a weakness for strong drink (in the clip below you can see him using one of his inventions a key hole finder for use upon returning late from the bar).

Sam is convinced he is on the verge of major success since he has succeeded in inventing a puncture proof tire which he believes will make him millions.   He arranges a meeting with an auto executive to show off his new tires, but naturally it doesn't go as planned. Bisbee's idea is to shoot at his tires with a gun, demonstrating the impenetrability, but unbeknown to him a police officer has moved his car and an identical car with normal tires is in its place.

Bisbee returns home distraught about his failure but his wife and daughter are completely unsympathetic.   His daughter Pauline, played by the lovely Joan Marsh ( I love her adorable tie neck sweater)

has gotten engaged to the richest bachelor in town Bob Murchison, played by Buster Crabbe,:

but her intended mother in law, Mrs. Murchison, played by Field's film regular Kathleen Howard is so disapproving of Sam that she has sworn to disinherit Bob if he marries Pauline.

Pauline, too proud to marry into a family that doesn't want her, ends the engagement and everyone is furious at Sam.

Depressed by his professional and familial troubles Sam resolves to kill himself.  He books a one way train ticket and carries some poison along on the ride.  However, at the last minute he changes his mind and decides to live.   

Meanwhile, also riding on the train is a beautiful women, the 
Princess Lescaboura, played by Adrienne Ames, (take a look at the amazing carved bangles she is wearing.)

Bisbee mistakes a bottle of iodine on the Princess's table for poison and tells her not to kill herself. He also tells her his entire story and his own recent plan to commit suicide.  Lescaboura is touched by Sam's kindness, and moved by the story of his daughter's recent heart break.   She decides to help Sam out.

Without telling him her true royal identity the Princess Lescaboura comes to Sam's town on a royal visit.  Mrs. Murchison as the towns leading  citizen  is beside herself with the idea of entertaining a royal.  

However, the Princess makes it clear that she is in town to see only her old friend Sam Bisbee.   An elaborate party is held at the Bisbee's home and Mrs. Murchison is forced to see Sam as her social equal.

By the end of the film Sam has sold his puncture proof tires for millions and Pauline and Bob are once again engaged.

All in all You're Telling Me! Is a delightful comedy with lots of fabulous 1930s fashions that deserves to be remembered.   It is available  on amazon as part of the WC Field's Comedy Collection, Volume Two.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Spot's Star Trek Cross Stitch

From what I've seen on the web most vintage ladies, and even dog moms, are incredibly crafty.  Not me, I've failed at knitting and crocheting and can't even sew on a button, but I think I've finally found the craft for me.  Something so simple and basic that a six year can do it well, which means I can do it ok:

Cross stitch.

  I decided to give it a try whenI saw that there where lots of geeky sci-fi and fantasy patterns available on Etsy.  I started with a really simple Star Trek The Next Generation inspired pattern from the etsy shop  Quote Stitching.    This pattern was perfect because it referenced my beloved Spot, who I named after the cat belonging to the Android Science Officer Data on Star Trek The Next Generation.

In one of my favorite Data/Spot moments Data explains to one of his friend that Spot is a feline and not a canine and thus does not respond to verbal commands.  

(This might not be true of all felines, but it seems to be true of mine.)

It took me about 2 days of stitching in the evenings while watching TV to finish my project and I'm pleased with my results.

I bought the threads and supplies at  Everything Cross Stitch which I found very reasonably priced with a huge selection and cheap shipping.

I tried to take Spot's picture next to the finished cross stitch but you know he doesn't respond to verbal commands.  So here is a picture of him playing on his cat tree instead.

I'm really happy to have found a craft simple enough for me to do while I watch TV.  I've started my next one, A Super Natural inspired pattern.

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?

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