Monday, September 1, 2014

1930s Fusion

One place I always find it difficult to dress for is work. I'm a chemistry professor and that means I spend a good amount of my week in a lab. Labs have safety rules and that means pants!

My teaching schedule really picked up in the lab department for the fall semester so I had a wardrobe emergency! Enter these linen pants I made 3 years and 30 lbs ago.

They didn't fit that well to begin with and they definitely didn't fit after the weight loss. I hung on to them though since I wanted to save all of that yummy linen. Originally, I made them from Wearing History's Smooth Sailing Trousers but, due to time constraints, I used Wearing History's 1940's Overall pattern to remake them to fit since I already had a properly fitted version of the overalls.

 So these are my Wearing History fusion pants! The blouse I made from Simplicity 3173 from the 1930s. I got it for a steal on ebay! I love all of views included but this casual, sporty top was just perfect for me!

I wore this outfit for my first day teaching lab this semester with a pair of saddle shoes. Alas, I found these shoes are not up to 7 hours of teaching. So I'm still on the hunt for a good pair of work appropriate vintage style shoes. Until then, it's sneakers in the lab!

These shots were taken on the property of one of the guys in my husband's photography group. They were having a model shoot and I tagged along after work. I wasn't planning on modeling but I couldn't resist taking a few shots for the blog! It was very beautiful there!

Do you wear vintage to work?

Photography: Will Thorpe Intelligent Design

Saturday, August 30, 2014

5 Investments for a Great Vintage Wardrobe

When you first discover vintage fashion, it's easy to go a bit shopping happy! You want to fill your closet with all the things so every piece of vintage that fits you, every vintage bangle and brooch found thrifting, and every hat and pair of gloves found at yard sales ended up coming home with you. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great way to get started, but at some point in time, you need to start investing in more expensive quality pieces that will last you years.

1. Underpinnings

If you are not wearing the correct underwear, you'll never achieve that perfect period look. Plus, there's nothing that makes a girl feel more fabulous than pretty underthings. Whether it's a bullet bra, seamed stockings, a girdle or a luxurious slip, these little things really go a long way. Plus you'll wear them loads, so the cost per wear of even a more expensive piece is much less than that evening gown you wear once a year.

2. Coat

Another thing you'll wear loads is your winter coat. Unless you live some place where it doesn't get that chilly! A well made coat will cost you but the reward of cozy glamor all winter is worth it!

3. Footwear

Feet are one of the more overlooked aspects of a vintage look (perhaps because there are so many cute modern shoes). But shoe shapes have really changed since the midcentury and those little details really add or detract from that perfect vintage look. Invest in repro footwear or search out modern shoes with great details like tiny peep toes.

4. Basic Separates

Sometimes I go shopping for separ- Oh, looky, pretty dress! It is so easy to get distracted by pretty dress that we forget about separates. But since I've focused on adding more separates to my wardrobe, I've really discovered how amazing they are! If you are on a limited budget, start with items you can't make yourself or are hard to find vintage, such as pants or suits. Choosing solid colors over prints will make your wardrobe budget go further.

5. A Great Statement Piece

On the opposite end of the spectrum, every girl deserves at least one great statement pieces that says "Hey look at me! I'm fabulous!" Because, guess what- you are fabulous! This piece could be a hat, a novelty print skirt or that perfect little black dress. It just needs to make you feel as amazing as you are!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Let's get classy!

There's something so classy about the red and black color combination! You really can't go wrong with it. So when I picked up this darling red and black dress I just knew it would go great with some black accessories.

I know I have an odd figure so it's amazing to find a vintage dress that fits me so well! It could still use a few tweaks but it fits well enough that I'd rather keep the original integrity of the dress.

It's so much fun to breathe life into this dress again. The light cotton and whimsical ruffles suggest a casual air but I thought the graceful length called for a more dressy look.

Belt, hat and gloves: Vintage
Necklace: from my hubby's grandmother
Crinoline: Amazon
Shoes: Payless

I felt so elegant in this dress today! Plus it's cotton and sleeveless so it was quite comfortable in the heat. 

I don't usually wear red lippy when it's so hot and humid out because with lip liner, it's just so heavy and high maintenance but I knew this dress was just screaming for red!

What are your favorite accessories for when you want to look classy?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just Another Pixie Grow Out: Month Three

I'm still growing out my pixie! Check out my progress and see if those biotin pills are doing any good.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Warming Up

The title of this post refers not only to the recent heat wave but also to the opening of the Ohio Renaissance Festival this coming weekend! This year my hubby and I are the official photographers so we are going to be there a lot. Not going to lie though, he'll be doing most of the picture taking and I'll be doing most of the looking fabulous.

Anyways, Saturday was the dress rehearsal and we attended to photograph the street cast in costume.

Originally, I wanted to go in costume but after a few weeks of gorgeous, almost fall like weather, Ohio decided that summer must be here now. It was hot and wicked humid. So I decided to rock my playsuit instead.

We got a sneak peak at some of the new things for this year and it's going to be great! It's also going to be our last year since we're moving to Florida. I'd really love to do a meet up with some of you all this year!

Sometimes, I make funky faces...

So, if you are going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival or you think you might, I'm doing an email list to organize meet ups! You can email me at to get on the list. I'll be emailing out once a week or so to let you all know what day's I'll be at the faire and we can talk about meet ups.

Huzzah for the Renaissance Festival!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A look back

Sometimes an event occurs and photos are taken, but for whatever reason, they don't make it up on the blog! I've got quite a backlog from several modeling events I did this summer. These photographs were taken at a historic home right near my old college!

I brought my vow renewal dress for wedding shots! Will and I did a 5 year vow renewal on the beach near were we will be moving to back in May. I made this great late 40s dress to wear there.

But as with most wedding dresses, there aren't a lot of opportunities to wear it! So I pulled it out for this shoot to wear again.

I also brought some more casual outfits to wear around the grounds. It was very pretty there.

I think my favorite place to shoot was on the front porch with all of the gorgeous flowers!

Photography: Photography by Jenna

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Story of a Vintage Dress

Every vintage garment tells a story. Each piece is a tangible link to another person, connecting us to them across time. We become part of their story and they become part of ours.

There was a woman who wore this dress. Did she make it herself? Why did she add it to her wardrobe? Did she have a special event in mind or was she just treating herself to a new frock? What did she do with her life? Was she a high school senior trying to impress a boy or a mom of two trying to keep up with a hectic schedule?

 She was a neat and tidy seamstress. Each seam is finished cleanly and pressed.

But she also added a line of ruffles around the neckline so I think it's safe to say that she wasn't afraid of a bit of whimsy.

She was a confident woman who wasn't afraid to pair patterned buttons with a loudly patterned dress. I'm afraid I would have chosen a rather plain black button for this project!

But those buttons are just decorative and the dress actually closes with snaps! I wonder why she chose this method. Was it suggested by the pattern? Did she hate making button holes? Perhaps her machine didn't have a button hole function.

She made clever use of the selvages of the fabric on the facing of the bodice and on the skirt side seams. The woven selvage won't fray and doesn't need any special finishing techniques.

From the size of this dress, I can say she was rather curvy, long waisted and likely tall. She also must have loved the fashionable bullet bra as the darts go quite high on the bodice!

 When I wear this dress, I'll think about this seamstress. Where she wore the dress. What things it has seen. And I'll add a few more chapters on to the story of this dress' life.