After getting home from work, changing into pajamas (pink striped ones!) and starting dinner, Sam looks at me and says "Um, you still have your hat on."
I need to post more pictures of where my inspiration for each outfit comes from, because usually something sets off a spark and I attempt to emulate it. So after looking through back issues of fashion magazines this weekend I wanted nothing more than to search through my closet for something that looked like it came from last years Prada or Kate Spade campaign.
Haha! Sam just walked over and took the hat off of my head. I probably would have gone to sleep with it on.
Jacket and gloves-Thrifted, changed the buttons and monogramed it.
Skirt and shoes-Buffalo Exchange.
Pin-The Urban Eccentric
Since some questions were similar you may not see yours, but the answer is there.
What is it like having bangs like yours? Are they easy or hard to care for? Also, why how come you ended up with all the nice hats?
Having bangs is really nice, actually I think I look pretty funny without them. When they get long they get annoying though, so I’ve got to get them cut professionally, doing them myself would just end badly. I've accumulated the hats over the past decade or so, starting out as tea attire and dress up items, and morphing into my must have accessory.
How long have you been dressing vintage, and what is your favourite outfit of all times?
I’ve been dressing vintage for about five or six years, and every once in a while seem to have a favorite outfit, though it never sticks to the same thing ;)
What do you know about taking in vintage coats? I got a gorgeous early '50s brocade dinner jacket but it was meant for a much larger woman. I want to take in the body of the coat and maybe the sleeves (although they are not as ill-fitting)
I would leave taking in coats to a professional. Coats and suits depend on their structure, and even a small mistake can ruin that.
I have a few questions! LOL. Some of these might be covered in hate week (I can't wait!!). 1.) I have many vintage hats and gloves. Not so much vintage clothes. How can I incorporate them into my wardrobe without looking like I'm wearing a costume? 2.) Some of these hats don't stay on my head. How to adhere hats to head. 3.) Hairstyles with vintage hats. Is it possible to stay contemporary with the hair but vintage with the hat?
I’ll be covering all of this during hat week! Hopefully I’ll be able to give you some good info then, but I've been seeing hats gracing magazine pages lately so until then flip though some magazines and a fantastic look might jump out at you! You would be surprised how good a 30s topper looks with skinny jeans, heels, and a cardigan.
Oh, I have a question! When you sew your clothes do you make your own pattens or do you buy commercial ones, if so which? Any good advice on sewing vintage style clothes?
For sewing vintage clothing there is no better way to go than with authentic patterns. I find them at thrift stores, estate sales, and of course, online. If you are going to sew vintage style clothing with a vintage pattern then I have to say you MUST use vintage sewing techniques. I’ve read over a few 20s and 30s sewing books that give amazing tips and tricks, things that just are not done anymore because they take too much time and effort. However these techniques are why vintage clothing lasts so long! So invest in a good authentic vintage sewing book, and start with a simple pattern, with few pieces.
How did you and your husband meet?
Sam and I met in high school our senior year.
When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I think a ballerina.
Do you want kids?
Yes, I love children :)
What kind of music do you listen to?
At work I listen to the old stuff, from 20s jazz to Frank Sinatra, but a few of my favorite bands are Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Black Rebel Motercycle Club, and The Decmeberists to name a few.
Which are the top 5 blogs that you read?
There's so many!
Liebemarlene Vintage with a modern twist (not to mention the fantastic photos)
The Mysterious Life of the Metropolitan Housewife My partner in crime, and super stylish vintage mama.
The Satorialist Street fashion from around the globe, real people rival style icons.
Lulu Letty My biggest everyday style inspiration, she pulls off menswear like I wish I could.
Frances Baker An Australian gal spending time in London right now, just go look at her, she's cute :)
Is your home also vintage-inspired?
What do you wish to achieve in your life?
I was ironing a dress to wear this week and thought of all the lovelies that you wear. They always seem to be in pristine condition. How do you care for your vintage/otherwise garments? Do you clean and press them yourself or have it done? How do you store things? I would love some tips.
There are a few things to know about preserving any article of clothing, not just vintage. Materials break down with each washing, and something as old and delicate as vintage should be treated with extra care. If it’s cotton, hand wash it, wool, dry clean, silks generally should be dry cleaned as well. Although these are the correct ways to wash vintage, they should not be done often. Wear your clothes gently.
One great thing to keep your clothes feeling clean without over washing is inserting underarm guards, Modern deodorants basically destroy vintage fabrics, and even persperation can have harsh effects. Underarm guards prevent any damage, and can be changed regularly.
For storing things, I rotate my closet seasonally, right now my summer wardrobe is packed away, everything folded and stored in rubbermaid containers. My fall clothing is all in my closet, on padded hangers. All knitwear is folded and stacked on a shelf. Never ever hang knits, especially dresses, they will loose shape. For beaded sweaters, fold as you would any sweater, but place acid free tissue paper or unbleached muslin between layers to prevent the beadwork rubbing and scratching against each other.
Ironing works great for most things, but having a garment steamer is much gentler than hot pressing. I would highly recommend one if you have a large collection.
I would love to know what your favorite thrift stores in Van/Portland are. I had mine when I lived there, but since it's been so long they are all moved and new now. :) Thanks darling! Xoxo
The Urban Eccentric
The Red Light
Do you plan to visit NYC anytime soon? It would be fun to hang out! Wow, that sounds kind of stalker-ish, but I swear I'm not a creep!
Hehe! I actually got the pleasure of visiting there a few winters ago, no plans to go back at the moment (although of course I would love to go back).
Who are your biggest style inspirations/icons?
Other bloggers are great style inspirations, and old movie stars are the ultimate style icons. I particularly like seeing photos of stars in their casual wear, such as a simple pair of cigarette pants and a cardigan.
Favorite classic movies or film stars?
I love watching Roman Holiday, and have been watching a lot of old movies on NetFlix Instantwatch lately. I love any old film star really, and hopefully will gather some favorites the more films I watch.
How do you do your make-up? It's gorgeous!
Thanks! Basically I keep the eyes simple (smudged brown eyeliner on the top lid, mascara) and paint and line the lips in red.
What tips do you have for customers who want to care for their new vintage wear? I always have a problem getting smells out of some pieces.
Getting smells out can be tough, especially if its something that can only be dry cleaned, like a coat that smells like mothballs. If it’s a weak smell you can steam it, then air it outside, and repeat a few times if needed. Otherwise it’s a trip to the cleaners.
I'd love to know what your favorite beauty products are, especially lipsticks. :)
Here are some products I use daily:
Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
Berts Bees Radiance Day Cream
Boots Botanics Night Cream
M.A.C. Studio Fix Foundation
M.A.C. Lipstick in "Lady Bug"
L'Oreal in "True Red"
Revlon Matte in "Really Red"
How do you store or display your hat collection?
Like my wardrobe I rotate my hat collection seasonally, and store hats upside down and stuffed with tissue paper in hat boxes. I display them in our dining room on the wall, hat racks, and on shelves. The ones I use often stay within easy reach.
Is there a piece of vintage clothing that is 'the one that got away' for you one that you still regret not buying?
The Leopard accessory set!
Have you ever had any big sewing/laundry disasters with your vintage clothing?
I can’t recall any HUGE disasters, but I always manage to do something wrong when sewing. The last thing I did was sew my 30s wide legged pants in the wrong spot, so they came out like a big long skirt.
I'd also love to be nosy and see what your home looks like. :) I'm sure it's gorgeous!
Here's a few photos, at the moment just a couple rooms are decorated fully, but I can't wait to get a house where we can paint! (not that thats anywhere in the near future).
I would LOVE to know how you store all your hats too!! i have probably a quarter what you have and am perplexed what to do with them... and i'm always curious what people's sewing/work rooms look like.
Ideally I would love some sort or China cabinet to display them in so they are not prone to dust, but at the moment they are on walls and shelves, and a hat rack.
Right now my sewing room in the basement is full of fabric and stuff, but I actually have my sewing machine/table in the hat room, it's much cozier to watch TV with Sam and sew, than be in the cold basement alone ;)
When you come across vintage clothing, how do you determine what era it came from?
I suppose experience would be the best way to determine an era. There are lots of little things you can look at to determine when a piece is from such as zippers, labels, materials, silhouette, length, seam placement, and sewing techniques. Reading books and looking at authentic photos is a great way to place a style, along with looking at old photos.
I would also love to see more pictures of your home. I remember a few photos when you
were moving in/setting up.
Here's a few more:
What are your greatest inspirations?
How can I start incorporating vintage fashions into my daily wardrobe? (I only have vintage dresses I wear to church)
There are two great ways to start: Work in a simple, classic item into daily wear such as a high waist pencil skirt, cashmere cardigan, or button up blouse with an interesting collar.
Wear a bold accessory with your modern clothes, like a novelty brooch, silk scarf, pretty gloves, or lush handbag.
Wear what you are comfortable with, and wear it with confidence. Taking a step outside your normal style can add so much excitement to the everyday
At what age did you start wearing vintage?
About 14 or 15.
Which era is your favorite?
At the moment the 1930s, but I have a soft spot for the 40s and 50s too.
Which one was your very first vintage outfit?
When I was about six or so my uncle bought me a fantastic Gunne Sax style prarie dress from the 70s. So even though I dress in clothing long before that era, I still love those style dresses, thought they rarely fit me.
Is it uncorfortable that people look at you because of your clothes?
It is really uncomfortable being blatantly stared at, but I’ve learned to ignore it most of the time
How old are you?
I will be 21 in March
How long did you dated with your husband before getting married?
We dated about 2 1/2 years.
Where did you get all the vintage photo backgrounds and effects you use on the pictures in your blog?
The images are digital scrapbooking images. Most were given to me, but you can find a lot of great ones here, you can even sign up to get free downloads every Friday!
What kinds of modern pieces do you own, and how often do you buy new? When you do, where do you go, and what is the appeal of a new item versus finding a vintage piece for you?
Button stockings...Blue dress...Cable cardigan
I generally buy modern pieces as basics, such as cardigans, pants, and tights. I always buy modern shoes, but they have a vintage feel, and I love modern designer purses, the one I have has just the right amount of pockets and durability, vintage purses are always too small and have only a few pockets. Thanks to constant thrifting I hate paying full price for things, so I'll shop for modern at secondhand stores or hit good sales ;)
My favorite modern shops:
I've saved up some really fun things for the holiday season, and this week they finally get listed! I've got an outfit for any occasion this season, from casual to formal, but always very pretty. Here are a few formal dresses you could easily wear to a dinner party, holiday ball, or cocktail party.
Forget going to the mall for that black tie event, these two dresses are definitely statement makers. What statement are you making? "I looks fabulous."
For those casual family get togethers, dinner with close friends, or even shopping for the perfect present, you'll always want to look your best! These dresses will last you this season and many to come, and a good wool coat is a must have!
Today I guess I'm channeling Sherlock Holmes. I feel the look is not quite complete without a pipe though...
This morning I headed over to Twila Jean's for a great day of cookie making and laughing at things children say. The weather was so nice we even got to walk to the grocery market :)
In the evening Sam swept me away to Portland, where we window shopped at Pioneer Place (J. Crew had an AMAZING pair of navy, side zip, cigarette pants, so perfect). For dinner we ate at our favorite restaurant Henrey's Tavern built in the old Weinhard brewery.
After, we stopped by Powell's Books to get the second book in a series I'm reading The Mysterious Benedict Society. Can't wait to get started on it!
Incase you're wondering that neon light picture is me standing in front of the crazy awesome Louis Vuitton window display.
Last but not least we went to the photobooth at the Ace Hotel where I made sure Sam did not make the same face as last time.
1960s trench-Garage sale
Pendleton scarf-The Urban Eccentric
Hat-Hand me down from Sams dad
Boots-Millie B Vintage on Etsy
Today I tagged along with my mother to go to our salon, and my our hairdresser was kind enough to cut my bangs. They were out of control! Now I can actually see.
Beforehand we stumbled across two estate sales where I bought a dress and jacket set for my shop (40s I think) and a box full of hatpins! Also a bag full of buttons, and a blue ribbon from 1935 among other things. So my Saturday night consists of looking through buttons :)
1940s ski jacket-J.C. Penny from The Urban Eccentric
Skirt-Made by me from a 1930s pattern
Hat-The Urban Eccentric
Shoes-Hand me down from mother
My science teacher in high school used to ask that at the end of each class.
So, now that outfit posts have dwindled (blame the rain!) I'm searching for ways to keep posting interesting things. Of course one "event" will be hat week, still a work in progress, and inspiration photos are a must.
Meanwhile, does anyone have any questions for me? Anything totally random, or completely common? I'll do my best to answer in a post next week :)
I know this campaign is a few seasons old, but I still love to gawk over the images every time I flip through back issues of W.
I would love to get my hands on the Dolce and Gabbana red lipstick, it looks so luxurious! Do you hear that Dolce and Gabbana?
Eh. They're not listening.
Oh yeah, I made a facebook page for Vixen Vintage, become a fan! Someone comment over there or something, it feels so empty!
Everyone, meet Charlie. Charlie, meet everyone. This is how we met.
After a good amount of time with a very fashionable lady he was passed on to her granddaughter. She however, thought Charlie was creepy and paid him no attention, never letting him out of a musty box, never showing him the world. She didn't even care to learn his name!
So she gave Charlie to a charity shop where he was spotted by a woman who collected old junk. She liked to sell old junk, and thought perhaps Charlie might sell to someone who needed a cat toy.
Charlie of course, was terrified.
Time passed and the old junk woman set up shop one hot summer day in a parking lot, along with hundreds of other old junk sellers. She set Charlie out on a table next to some straw hats, and he waited. For what, he didn't know, but it was better than picturing what his life might be like as a cat toy.
Person after person passed by him, many pointed in disgust, or called him names, but he was quite used to it.
Then he saw her. She wore a blue dress and feathered hat. She looked like someone his first owner would have called a friend, and he wanted to be her friend more than anything. And when she saw him, she wanted to be his friend too.
She picked him up, and despite it being 90 degrees outside, wrapped him around her neck. At once they clicked.
And now they live happily ever after, the end.
Pants-Thrifted, Talbots label.
Sweater-The Urban Eccentric
Charlie-Portland Antique Expo.
Here are a few new items being listed this week, including a few things I totally want to keep. But where on earth to keep them?
Even though I've never seen Mad Men the plaid dress reminded me of all the pictures I've seen of it, very wiggle worthy. The mohair cardigan is just darling, I know someone will make it look so stylish, and the plaid skirt is a terrific cool weather wardrobe staple! Also being listed is a fantastic 40s/50s tapestry bag, that would make a great purse, knitting, or sewing tote!
Next week get ready for some fabulous holiday party formals :)
Contact me with any questions or reserve requests.
Rhiannon posted this video on her blog, which is pure inspiration. I don't think anyone is quite ready to let go of fall yet, although it's coming to a close, but this little film (by Drew of course!) shows that it's still here to be appreciated. Plus is was neat to see "behind the scenes" of their fantastic pictures ;)
Clockwise from top left: 1940s Princess coat....Hunter green coat....Tweed detective coat....Blue mod coat
If you are going to have just one vintage item in your closet, JUST ONE, then for goodness sake make it a wool coat. Unless you live somewhere warm, then perhaps look into a nice dress :)
Vintage wool coats are made from, well, wool. Pure and simple. Most modern coats, at least the fashionable ones, have a blend of wool and synthetic fibers, which brings down the quality but not the price. You can on the other hand find a vintage coat that no one else has, is made from all wool, looks amazing, and not spend a fortune. You can buy a well made vintage coat for a fraction of the cost for a modern coat of the same quality. These are some of my favorites on Etsy right now (especially that brown princess one. Wow.) and I'm sure you can find a great coat to last many winters to come!
And speaking of coats, check out this interview I got to do for Feathers and Air!
Actually they have nothing to do with each other, but still, you should take a peek :)
At some point in her life every girl wishes she were French. Unless you are French, in which case you should know that we are all just a little jealous of your Frenchyness.
I don't want to go into why, thats a discussion best suited for when my brain is not fried at the end of the day. Actually, about an hour ago I attempted to plug in my iron and the plug decided to pop in half in a rather large ball of smoke and sparks, temporarily frying my fingers. They are still slightly black, but fine.
But back to the French thing. Us other girls try to capture it. Whatever "it" is. It's something effortless, passionate, and alluring. There's no piece of clothing that can really convey French style, because it's so much more that that. Perhaps because it's unattainable to the rest of us is why it's so coveted. We all want what we can't have, but try anyway and well, thats kind of the fun in it.
1930s skirt-Handmade by me!
Blouse and cardigan-Thrifted
Ribbon beret-Moving sale in Akron Ohio
Today Twila Jean and I went thrifting in Portland at the crack of dawn (ok, ok. 8:30.) and of course found a vast collection of ugly sweaters and above all, this creepy, creepy doll. She's made from a liqueur bottle! As we made our way around the store she kept popping up behind us with her arms open, staring at us, but we never saw anyone move her. At one point we turned around and there she was, headless!
Afterward we went to Twilas house and sorted through our treasure (including some wool navy fabric for skirts! Oh gosh, we'll have to not wear them on the same day...) and reading books with baby M. I wanted to pinch her cheeks all day, but she would definitely give me a piece of her sassy little mind.
The last picture...well...Sam and I stopped by Nordstroms to get a fresh pair of stockings (three for $22.50 right now!). I have not seen the movies, but the fact that there were these cardboard cutouts of Twilight guys randomly among the racks of clothing made me giggle, and not taking a picture was not an option. He gives Zoolander a run for his money. Blue Steel!
I finished the skirt last night I have been making from a 1930s pattern, it turned out just how I wanted! I used french seams and a lot of hand stitching, I didn't just want a skirt for this season, I want it for years of wear. At first it was a little straight, looked more 20s than 30s, so I curved it in a teeny bit under the hips and the effect I think is just right. This is one of those patterns I'll make lots of skirts with, for this one I used the leftovers from my 30s pants in the previous post, and I already bought some blue wool fabric to make another :)
Skirt and cardigan-Handmade by me!
Shoes-Mier and Frank
I feel the colors of this ensemble and lacy knit of the sweater is more appropriate for spring, but it's very comfortable and easy to wear, and the weather has been quite nice lately so I might as well take advantage of that before bundling up in heavy wool coats and boots.
Sweater-The Urban Eccentric
Pants-Handmade by me!
Here are some items for sale this week in my shop, the duck jacket and red cashmere (yes cashmere) jacket are from my own collection, but I have more coats and jackets than I care to admit to, so they need a new loving home :)
The black 1940s rayon dress is another pretty one that was hard to photograph, partially because it is black, and partially because I can't fill it out, but it would make a terrific dancing dress because of the side flounce.
The skirt and barkcloth bag are my favorites this week though, I'm always so taken by novelty prints, and this little broomstick skirt has rickshaws on it!
The bag I bought last week and went back and fourth on whether to keep it, it's a terrific size, perfect condition, and even showcases an exotic bird! The lining is really cool, totally different from the shell, and yet somehow works.
Have I ever mentioned how much I admire Coco Chanel? Well now I have. Ever since I did a report on her in ninth grade her life and designs have captured my interest in every way. That spurred on a 20s kick for a few years, bobbing my hair and wearing pearls every day. I've since found other eras of clothing more flattering on myself, however have a soft spot for 20s fashion, and if I really put effort into it I can manage not to look like a bunch of potatoes in a sack.
Today my mother treated me to Coco Avant Chanel a French film about Coco Chanel, played by Audrey Tautou, before she began her legendary clothing line. I loved how it showed her process of inspiration, design, and construction, and especially her courage to wear her simple designs amongst a sea of frou-frou and frills. The film did a wonderful job of showing how influential the men in her life were for her designs, sometimes it seemed like she was simply raiding her lovers closets, just as women today do. However during that time such an activity was unheard of. It was a perfect fall film, full of tweeds, black straw hats, and gray days at the oceanside. Since it's a foreign film it's only plays in select theaters (I saw it at the Fox Tower if any Portlanders are interested) so if you can find it near you I would recommend seeing it, it's a beautiful film and not too heavy or light.
We also stopped at Magpie Vintage where of course there was lots to look at, including a few very pretty 30s dresses which at the thought of actually wearing made me nervous, though they were great inspiration for making my own. I think my next 30s dress will be black silk with a white lace collar and matching cuffs, the one like that at the shop was darling, and after seeing the film the elegance of it appeals to me.
I didn't leave empty handed though, I never do, and took home a really pretty gold filled 1940s locket which I will fill with a little photo of Sam.
Coat-The Urban Eccentric
Sweater with fur collar-Gift from mother
Shoes-Mier and Frank
1930s purse-Moving sale in Ohio
Cloche-I don't remember....
Ah! I have neglected my blog for a few days, due to this that and the other. Yesterday I finished up a 30s dress I'm making and watched old movies, and friday before work I went to an estate sale with my boss. Well, we went to two. At the first I bought a merry widow for my shop, and a little purse for myself, and at the second I found a 30s sweater I was going to buy before we realized they took cash only :( So since I went out early there was no time for pictures, but here is a drawing, something I've seen some people do and think is a fun idea. I may do it more often since it gets dark early now, what do you think?