Friday, January 18, 2013

Rockabilly Pretty

I'm going to start by saying that I don't love rockabilly. It's not historically accurate. It's too sexy. I think most rockabilly ladies would look better with less tattoos and piercings. And I never got the 40s victory rolls with a 50s inspired outfit.

But there are somethings I find really inspiring about rockabilly fashion.


Rockabilly has such excitement! It takes a small snipet of the rock 'n roll, youth counterculture of the 50s and reinvents it with all of the advantages of the 21st century. Stretch fabrics! Airbrush makeup! Crazy high heels! Bold hair colors!


Speaking of hair, these girls have it going on! It's always so perfect and striking! Whether night black, bleach blonde, fire engine red or bold pink, it always makes a statement.


And the make up is gorgeous! Really, these girls have skills! I must learn how to do this.


They are so creative and push boundaries! This girl has a yarn and knitting needle fascinator! Eep!


But they are not all over the top glamor. They know how to do casual and still look fabulous.


What do you love about rockabilly? What parts could you live without?

24 comments:

  1. Not a fan of the tattoos and piercings myself (especially when they clash with the print on the fabric). I'm always impressed by the 'perfect' hair wit clever use of accesssories. And juxtaposition of colours and prints in dresses etc. But not the 'pin up' styling.

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  2. If you go to a rockabilly event or show you'll see there was actually a whole lot more to it than the stereotype people typically think of online. Lots of vintage day dresses, casual makeup, set curls both long and short, ponytails and bangs, full skirts, pedal pushers, the most amazing swimsuits I've ever seen (gah!) and such. Yes, a certain amount of what you said exists, but that's only one side of it. My first taste of some of the most immaculately dressed vintage women and men I've ever seen was in rockabilly!

    Having lots of tattoos I have my own opinions on the subject matter but we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. :)

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    1. I'd love to go to some rockabilly events someday! I'm sure there's loads of vintage gorgeousness. I've seen photos from Viva and oh, my goodness! Fabulousness everywhere!

      Tattoos fascinate me and there are some absolutely gorgeous ones! (I'm a closet Ink Master fan.) I'd actually consider getting one myself, but I don't do needles well and I'm terrified that I'd pass out 5 minutes in! Mostly, my opinion is that less is more when it comes to ink but it's a personal decision. You certainly rock yours!

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    2. I agree with Tasha. As a self proclaimed Rockabilly girl I always get a little annoyed when I get lumped into the stereotype that is normally associated with rockabilly. Yes, there is a segment of women that dress that way. Overtly sexy, crazy hair, and hooker heels. However, the Rockabilly people I know wear vintage clothes and hairstyles from the 40s and 50s. We are passionate about the music, first and foremost, along with the dancing, clothes, housewares, etc.

      As for tattoos...most of us come over from other subcultures, punk, Teddy Boy/Girl, goth etc, so the tattoos come with us. As for how this goes with the 50s, well, we also really celebrate the 50s juvenile delinquent, rock & roll, Chicano/Pachuco, R&B, bikers, and car clubs. Anything that was the undercurrent of that generation. That is where that edginess comes from.

      I wear vintage and I have tattoos. For me, I love that play on hard and soft. The fact that my hair, makeup, clothes are super feminine mixed with the edginess of my tattoos. I don't want to look period perfect because I am not from the 50s. I am a modern girl with modern tastes and my tastes are a bit on the edgy side.

      I love that you posted this though. I know a lot of vintage lovers look down on us Rockabilly people as not being 'authentic'. What they don't understand is that we don't want to be 100% authentic. There are too many influences, too many subcultures within the subculture, for us to only be one thing. And the truth is, a lot of rockabilly people look down on that stereotypical girl who wears panties to the car show and poses with the cars. It all comes full circle I guess!! Lol!

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    3. It is true that rockabilly is a lot about the music and I know I didn't focus on that in the post, but I do love what you said about the hard and soft. That's one thing I like about rockabilly fashion even if my personal preference of hard is lower than a lot of ladies who do rockabilly.

      The great thing about subcultures like vintage and rockabilly is that it lets us have a great outlet for our personalities and celebrate what makes us unique.

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    4. Exactly. I love that there are so many different types of people into all this vintage stuff. It never gets boring to me.

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  3. I love the hair and makeup!!! Not sure it's an everyday look for me though, and I do think some are a little over the top sexy. As a mom of three, I couldn't pull this off everyday, but it would be awesome for special occasions/dates with my husband. I enjoy your vintage looks, because they are beautiful and practical. I also really like Ashley at Lisa Freemont Street for the same reason. My dad goes to a lot of car shows, and there is the occasional rockabilly lady that's too pin-up/sexy, but most are just vintagy normal. As far as tattoos, I think it's like anything else (I.e. Hair color, makeup, clothing, etc.) there's tasteful and then there's what were they thinking, lol. I don't mind someone having a few tattoos, but don't feel the need for them myself. I love the fact that rockabilly mixes eras, too, because I think it actually makes vintage more accessible and modern. It's an interpretation of past styles, and therefore less costume, so in that way it could be more everyday practical. I do not dress rockabilly, but love to sew and dress vintage, and wish I had some of the hair and makeup skills of these gals. It's hard to dress vintage/rockabilly in a small town in rural east Tennessee, but slowly I'm gaining confidence and clothes and hope to have my own style eventually. Blogs like yours help me gain confidence to wear what I like een if no one else likes it, lol. (My husband loves it when I dress vintage though.) Love your blog, keep inspiring!

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    1. We all started out dressing like "normal" people so just keep going and you'll get there! Mostly, I've found that people love that I dress vintage and no one has ever been rude to me about it.

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    2. I don't think I've ever been considered "normal", lol, but my problem is mostly not having the wardrobe yet. I've actually sewn a vintage maternity wardrobe, because I was mostly pregnant in the last few years (I have a 22 month old and a 5 month old), but post partum I only have a couple outfits that fit, and I'm just now getting to the point where I can sew for me again (lots of sewing for the kids here and then there was Christmas sewing...). I just decided I'm a grown woman and I should wear what I like and what flatters me most. Again, love your blog, and hopefully I can start posting vintage outfits on my own blog ;)

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    3. Oh, and quick question: How do you do hats? I love vintage hats and have some, but have trouble actually wearing them. Any suggestions? Thanks :)

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    4. There's two things that help when wearing hats. First off, they really look best with vintage styled hair or with at least some curl in the hair. Be sure to leave a nice flat space in your style for the hat to go. The other thing is that at some point, you just have to be brave and do it.

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  4. I LOVE rockabilly! What I like the most is the fun- this includes tattoos & piercings, its a bit WWII, a bit 50's & a bit punk. The music is the best & I always feel beautiful when I am doing rockabilly.

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  5. The thing to keep in mind is that the pictures represent "dress up". Whether it's for an event or for a photo shoot, it's not every day. I'm a working mom of two teenage boys who is turning 40 this year. I dress more on the Rockabilly side than vintage, every day. I don't look pin-up or over-the-top. As for what I could live without, it's the shoes. I have bad feet and an ankle that never heeled from a break, so I gave up high heels about 5 years ago.

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  6. I absolutely love rockabilly outfits, but they are a little bit too sexy to wear for work... Most of the time, I wear 50's dresses to get to work, with a cardigan and flats or boots. When I'm going out, I love to switch to a more rockabilly look, with outrageous make-up, more sexy clothing and great hair updo's! I take best of both worlds and I actually have a tattoo and I will be getting more of those tattoos ;)

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  7. I agree with you 100%! I think there is a time and a place for everything and everyone. And I believe Rockabilly has it's place. I do love the fashion, but could do without all the tats. Not to say tattoos aren't beautiful, but some are a bit overkill.

    I do love the colors. So vibrant! I've been thinking a lot about Rockabilly lately and this post echos a lot of my feelings towards it. I love how daring these ladies are, but I guess I can be a tad stuffy and prim because some of the dresses would nearly show off all my girls if you know what I mean. LOL!

    I would love to dye my hair pink or blue or some other vibrant color like these ladies, but I don't have the guts. And I'm not a fan of needles, so that pretty much means I won't go the tattoo route, but I've always thought nose rings looked so pretty. Kinda Asian/Indian jewels have always attracted me.

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  8. I love the whole Rockabilly thing. I have a dalliance with it most years, usually in the summer, and then put it away again for the winter, but I do think that Rockabilly girls are so glamorous and it's a fantastic look.

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  9. The one thing I don't really care for are lots of tattoos and piercings but whatever. What bugs me if I try and do it myself is it involves such a high level of maintenance that is usually not very environmentally friendly, or friendly to my health. Think of all the chemicals in that hair dye! Ack!
    But I really love that it updates the look in a fresh exciting way. The outfits never seem as stuffy as some of the vintage I've tried on and I really like that. With vintage patterns and clothes it can very quickly look old ladyish.

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  10. Everybody is forgetting the hole "billy" part of it, which is why I enjoy rockabilly from time to time. Hillbilly. The vintage country music aspect of rockabilly. When people say "rockabilly" I think of the music genre of the 40s/50s, not the commandeered style of today's car show enthusiasts.

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  11. I agree with you totally but I do admire how these ladies celebrate vintage but in their modern and edgy way. There are so many beautiful women doing it too. Its personally not my style and I do wish their was more authentic vintage going on here in the states but hey they are having a blast with it so thats all that matters in the end! xox

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  12. Oh my! I love the genre of vintage country music of rockabilly, it just gets me going when I feel down. One of the things I could do without would be tattoos. I don't have any plus I don't think they would look good on me, but they do look beautiful on others. Other than that I love it all. ^_^

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  13. I cannot call me a Rockabilly girl, but I love this music style, I go to rockabilly events, most of my friends have many tatoos!
    It's because of this rockabilly scene that the 40's-50's became so fashionnable lately and also vintage clothes prices rised because those girls wear vintage! I must admit that US rockabilly gals have often more sexy look that european rockab lovers if I compare VLV to the Rave in England.

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  14. There are element of the rockabilly look that I really like, but they rarely work on. I'm a million miles away from looking like most rockabilly lasses, enjoy dressing relatively modestly, and have only one wee tattoo (not that one has to have scads of tattoos to enjoy the rockabilly scene, of course), but that doesn't stop me from drawing some style inspiration from these gorgeous gals and very occasionally dipping my toes in the rockabilly waters, so to speak.

    ♥ Jessica

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  15. I love the casual rockabilly styles. I'm not into piercings or tattoos, myself, but they don't bother me either.
    For work, I wear 40s or 50s styles, but on weekends, I find a little rockabilly fun!

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  16. I'm personally a big fan of rockabilly style, tattoos, "inauthenticity" and all. I don't get too bothered by hair and clothes not being of the same era- aside from the hair and makeup, as you've noted above (and tattoos, which I adore on others, but I've only got one- on my back, for professional reasons), I'm really attracted to how CONFIDENT they always look. They pull the look off with aplomb and as someone still working on wearing red lipstick in public without feeling like people are looking at me, I find that awesome.
    I personally don't subscribe to any one subculture- I think it'd be exhausting! I change how I dress daily based upon how I feel. But those rockabilly ladies got it going on (to use an old 90s term. :-)

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