What I Wore

I haven't been wearing anything that great lately. I can't get behind the whole seesaw affect, and mostly it's just been either rainy or really hot and humid here. Every year I nearly forget how much I hate summer in NY, and now I'm being reminded again.

Most of these are mainly for my hair which I'm trying to grow out right now. This gives me more flexibility for coiffures, but at the same time, I'm not adjusted to it being longer so it's taking so getting used to.

You can't see the details of this dress - but it's red black and white strips. Button closed chest. It even had cute fold over sleeves with button backs. I ended up wearing a black cardigan over this as it was a bit chilly out, but it was fine for the morning. I also had pretty large barrel bangs (no rat thank you!!) but it's hard to see.

Just side bangs

Large front roll with two side rolls. I love my frilly victorian leopard print shirt!


J.Crew Jewelry

I have never been one to eschew big time chain stores claiming ones' clothes should be all vintage, all the time. In fact, alot of times these stores carry some pretty impressively done clothes that may look vintage but you don't have to fear them falling apart everytime you wear them. For instance, I have a black satiny swing coat from H&M that I LOVE and get compliments on every year I wear it, some grey pin stripe jodphurs from H&M or Urban Outfitters (I don't remember), some feathered fascinators from Urban Outfitters, high waist tweed sailor pants from Anthropologie, etc...

All this and somehow I was still struck a bit dumbfounded when flipping through J.Crew's recent catalog this morning. Whoever is doing their jewelry this season is fantastic!

It's definitely on the more pricey side, but nothing like a little Wednesday eye candy to brighten your mood!
Take a look:

Fireworks necklace $118.00

Sunray necklace $150.00

Chandelier bracelet $58.00

Sunburst medallion cuff $115.00

Pearl-cluster drop earrings $55.00


Feel how you may about tattoos, they are widely becoming more popular and accetable in our culture. Even my 56 year old mother just got her first one last year. Sometimes they can be god awful, but sometimes they can be very very good, and though some people preach for fully authentic vintage looks, I appreciate the girls who can be traditional, and yet still slightly of the times. Plus, as much as anyone would like you to think only sailors had tattoos back in the day, it's just not true. They just happened to have the most of them ;)

I've had a picture of this girl saved on my computer for I don't even know how long. I love her look with the tattoos peaking out, and to me it doesn't take away from her look, but add to it:

Sammi Sadler from UK

I've always studied this girl's make up and hair styling's via livejournal. I love how it's retro with an edge
You can see more on her livejournal page here

There is also the famous pin-up Sabina Kelley. A mom, animal activist and devoted wife, she represents the pin-up spirit with her modern edge.
photo by Shannon Brooke Imagery

There is also a great article in the NY Times right now titled "Seafarers' Memoirs, Written on Skin" about the origins of tattooing as a review for an exhibit opening at The Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, PA.

More information about the exhibit and related programs can be found on the museum's website here


How to dress in 1940s Fashion

I am a consumate pack rat. I collect all sorts of things (hats, hair flowers, shoes, Norwegian troll sculptures, tiki mugs, etc), and while the hoarding of items is usually attributed to material goods, I tend to do the same with web links. Often I'll see clothing items that I can't afford at the moment, only to curse myself later when I check back and the item is gone. Sometimes it pays off and something will go on sale and I'll jump up and down with pride for my patience.

All this rambling actually doesn't at all have to do with clothing per se, but a link I found ages and ages ago and have constantly kept bookmarked in my files. It is on wikihow (I guess wikipedia's how to guide?) and is called "How to Dress in the American 1940's Fashion". Aside from all the wonderful instructions and references, it gives additional tips for creating your own vintage look, as well as links to other 40s fashion sites.

Young woman on wooden steps by lake, 1948 color photograph

Some highlights from the article:

Fashion from the 1940s is such a classic look that it never really goes out of style. You'll find that almost anywhere you go wearing 1940s fashions, you will get a lot of positive attention. This article explains the look of the times and aims to help you convert clothing from current times to carry a more 1940s flair, as well as giving some key tips on hairstyles, accessories, shoes and other relevant items.

-Consider the fabrics. Get tweeds, wools, silk, linen, cotton, or blends of these. Keep in mind that some synthetic materials, such as nylon and rayon, had already been invented. Rayon was quite popular in women's fashions, as a substitute for silk, which the military was using for parachutes. All the same, many fabrics we have now were not in existence then but you may be able to get away with it.

-Small hats were popular, also with netting that would hang over the face. A high-fashion woman may have worn large hats. These would often have little or no brim in the back and a high oval rim in front, which may have been any angle above the face. A woman's hat similar to a fedora began to be popular.

-Lipstick was still darker shades of red, maroon was popular. Mauves and corals were also popular, and Tangee lipstick, the original color-change lipstick, is still available. It was still common to fill in lipstick beyond the lip line, especially to emphasize the curve of the “Cupid's bow” of the top lip to more of a gentle arc.

You can read the full article here

or if you're looking for more great reference material for the times, this book is fantastic:

"Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs"
For sale via amazon.com for as little as $7.09!

Since it's clothing that was for sale during the time, not just what the upper class and movie stars wore, it has great illustrations for helping to put together an authentic look of your own.


Black eyeliner

Like most vintage, retro, rockabilly, pin-up, what have you, girls out there - I am constantly on the hunt for the best red lipstick (right now Make up Forever #205) and the best black eyeliner. It is essential to the look. Applying it is a skill, and an art form, and it has taken me years to get it down to where it only takes me about 5 minutes to get it just the way I like it. I've dabbled with liquid with a brush, with a felt tip, out of the jar, everything. For many people, their problem is in the application. For me, it's the longevity of the product. I have a very oily face that doesn't take too kindly to keeping make up on all day. I don't wear eye shadows or much during the day when I'm at my regular 9-5 - so my eyeliner has to stay put on its own without much to help it along.

Here are some items I've found recently that have a better chance of doing the trick than others, and if they can last on me for nearly 8 hours, a normal person would probably have to scrub their face off to remove it.

Almay Liquid Eyeliner -
The small felt brush is usually only left to the professionals because it's much easier to get a wayward line here and there. Though I've read reviews about this one smudging easily, I felt it's got nearly the best staying power and it is an intense solid black line.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner -

Definitely the priciest of the bunch, but I had to try it based on a review I read online where the girl couldn't even get it off with water. The part right along the lash line does last for hours and hours, and takes some real makeup remover to get it off, but my cats eye wing was gone after about 4 hours. Since it's just in the pot, you need to make sure you have your own brush to use.

Make up Forever Waterproof Eyeliner -
I love Make up Forever, so it was no shock for me to try out their liquid eyeliner. It's a thin long brush, super easy to use for one solid flowing line winging out at the ends. This lasts for hours, but can start to look not as black after a few and might need a touch up.

For those wishing for some tutorial on how to get the perfect winged eyeliner:

Remember, practice makes perfect!


Home sweet home

I'm back from Germany, thoroughly refreshed and ready to resume life. It was definitely enjoyable being away, but it certainly wasn't what I expected over there. I got the beer (very good) and pretzels (eh) and sausages out of my system - but I was waiting for tubas and accordians and lederhosen, which sadly never happened.

The weather has been see-saw-ing here in New York again so this was me before Germany in the garden by my house:

80 degrees and sunny - wearing vintage white polka dot skirt with vintage green straw bag, yellow scarf in hair and oversize sunglasses

and now I'm wearing this:

vintage Guy Laroche green wool jodphurs (see detail - I LOVE these pants) with back seam tights, suede peep toe platforms, and black cardigan. Swing coat and scarf reserved for braving the 50 degree temperature outside.

Sheesh! Make up your mind Mother Nature!



Guten Tag! Greetings from Germany!

I'll be back on the 13th of May.