Saturday, March 22, 2014

1950's Vintage Love- Plus A Makeover!!!!

Oh hello there!  Remember me?  I've been sick lately and not in the mood for blogging, but I'm feeling a bit better and ready to show off some new old threads for your viewing pleasure.  Ready?  Lets go!

There is a reason  that the 1950's is my favorite decade for fashion.  Actually, there are many reasons.

First, the care that was taken when constructing garments during the 1950's can not be beaten.  Both the store bought and the handmade vintage items from the decade are impeccably assembled, which is why so many pieces from the 1950's have stood the test of time and are still around today.  This was before clothing was mass produced the way it is today, and each piece was made with the intention that it would last for many years to come.

Secondly, the 1950's silhouette is a shapes that is very flattering to an hour glass figure (like mine).  It was an extra feminine decade for clothing, and dresses were purposefully designed to enhance a woman's curves rather than disguising them the way that a lot of modern fashions do.

Thirdly, full skirts are forgiving, and comfortable.  Not that I particularly like to hide my thighs or bum, but a full skirt does help balance out the body in a nice way.  They are also easy to wear because they are free flowing, meaning that you don't have to worry about finding an exact fit.

Yes, 1950's vintage clothing are the best.  However, there are also some possible draw backs to collecting clothes from the 1950's.  For example, dresses were designed to be worn with girdles and pointed bras under them.  Sometimes that can be limiting if you prefer to stick with modern underwear.  Personally, sometimes I go for the full on vintage look, and sometimes  (like tonight) I just wear my regular underwear and try to let my posture be my girdle.  Whatever floats your boat, just be aware that some dresses from this era are extra exaggerated in the waist and chest, and can prove challenging if you are against girdles and aren't built like a Barbie.

Secondly, vintage clothing can be fragile!  I don't buy vintage items to be used as museum pieces; I want to wear them!  So I need to be careful when I sit down so I don't burst fragile seams, sometimes I need to do small repairs, and I always need to take special care when I am cleaning them.  If am item has lasted some 60+ years, I don't want to be the one to ruin it!  It is also important to look for staining, especially in the armpits, when buying vintage in the first place.  Some wear should be expected, but you have to decide how much you can live with for the price.  Beyond that, if you won't really wear it, don't bother buying it!  This should really be your mantra when buying any type of clothing, but it is worth remembering when you see some fabulous vintage piece that is really just not your style, but simply too dreamy to believe.  It is a cruel rule, I know, but if you won't really wear it, it is pointless to buy it, end of story.  And for heavens sake, almost fitting means it doesn't fit.  Let it go and more on.

 Lastly, 1950's vintage can come off as can costumy or too sweet for our time.  This can be combated by pairing vintage items with modern accessories, but it is something to be aware of.

So, with all of that in mind, lately I have been really crazy about vintage items from this decade from both a fashion, as well as a seamstresses perspective.  Not only do I love the look of this era, but the garments I have purchased also really have a lot to teach me about good construction techniques.

Take the beautiful vintage find I wore tonight for example.  Isn't it fantastic?  This hot pink fabric is amazing in person, and the shape of this drop-waist dress fits me like a dream.  I know a lot of people complain that vintage clothes are all extra-small, but I have actually found a lot of diversity in my search for the perfect vintage items if you are willing to take the time to look, and having to dig a little for something you like that also fits makes a find like this extra sweet.  I kind of can't believe my luck on this one.  PLUS it was hand made, making it even more unique.

It's fairly easy to tell if something was handmade of store bought, But how do you know it is really from the 1950's? You ask.  There are lots of ways to tell if an item is really vintage, and from what era.  This particular dress for example had a pretty great surprise in that the name of the brand of fabric that was used is printed in the seam of the dress, and that particular brand can be traced back to the 1950's.  Construction details like a metal zipper can also help you determine the time period an item was made.  I'm certainly not an expert, but I am learning to identify pieces through little tells like this, which is part of the adventure of vintage shopping.  Besides, as my bestie Rachel Browne once said, "does being old and falling apart really make something better?"  The answer is yes, but perhaps should be no.

I wore this dress to see my sister's newest dinner theater she was in, and I had a wonderful night.  Also, LOOK AT MY NEW MAKEOVER!  SQUEAL!!!!!!!

How do you like my new dark bob?  I gave myself the cut this afternoon before the show.  Yes, I cut and dye my own hair.  I know you must be so impressed with my mad skills.  If only my new glasses had come in in time to wear them tonight my outfit would have been perfect, but alas, they will have to wait for another day.  As it is, I wore my vintage dress with some mint heals from Modcloth (you can find similar ones here), and a necklace I bought a long time ago from Burlington Coat Factory for like $4.

So there you have it.  There is nothing like a lovely date night to get a girl out of her funk. I have a lot of new things to show you, so stay tuned!  I've been sewing up a storm, and I'm in the mood to blog my cares away!  But can we please see some more gratuitous photos of your new hair before you go?  You ask.  Well, if you insist.

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