March 21, 2018

Cataloging Catalogs: Ward's Fall/Winter 1947-1948, More Dresses!

What's that? More pages of beautiful 1940's dresses? Okay sure! So many of these are super simple in the best day-wear sort of way, and we even have a few maternity and juniors styles featured in today's pages! Vintage isn't all glamorous cocktail dresses of course, though sometimes I wish I could get away with wearing just those more often. Also, can we talk about how so many of the shoes these gals are wearing are almost identical to the wonderful Royal Vintage Shoes Marilyn pumps? Just goes to show how very authentic that silhouette is for the 1940's!

I've got plenty more coming from this 1947/1948 Fall/Winter Montgomery Wards catalog soon, I just have to schedule in some more time at my scanner ;)

March 19, 2018

Been Bobbed Before

I really had been trying to grow my hair out so I could do some more hair tutorials soon for YouTube...but I just didn't have the strength. I bobbed my hair once and now I can never seem to go back!

I was really excited about adding this #truevintage dress to my wardrobe, it is my first 1940's dress if you can believe it! And sure, it is nice in many ways, but you know what? Seeing these photos makes me really miss sewing my own clothes, because the fit in the shoulder here is just not how I would have done it. Also I need to hem up these sleeves a little, because this length is a bit awkward and unflattering. It's okay though because the skirt drape and the embroidered rayon crepe are lovely right?

I ended up having to do a bit of work on this dress when it arrived as many of the seams were falling apart. I sort of feel like with vintage, if I have to reinforce every seam anyway, mightn't I have just sewed a new dress that would be more durable and have a more custom fit? I am clearly not a vintage purest, in fact it's a pet peeve of mine. Perhaps part of that stems from my time working in textile and costume museum collections. I can't shut off the part of my brain that says preserving vintage clothing is more important than getting to wear it. What are your thoughts on "true" vintage? Personally I always find it such a bummer when I read something like "I wore this great 30's dress to dance last night and by the end of the night it was shredded and flaking away to nothing! Ha ha #truevintage" Like, we have a responsibility to these relics don't we? Ehhh... I'll get off my soapbox now before I offend anyone else.

Black and purple again though right? Yeah, I am super predictable these days. Should I keep the purple hair as we move into spring soon? I can never decide!

Dress, Gloves, Clutch, & Brooch: Vintage
Belt & Bracelet: Banana Republic
Fishnets: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Royal Vintage Shoes

March 15, 2018

Garden Gate

I will never understand why skirt suits have fallen out of favor with most modern women. I guess all the over exaggeration of the 1980's suits, and questionable boxy silhouettes and bad polyester of the 1990's just scarred everyone into avoiding them, but mid-century skirt suits are such a wardrobe staple for me now that the fact no one is making similar styles today (except for very high fashion designers out of most price ranges of course) baffles me. 1940's and 1950's suits always make me feel like a chic Hitchcock heroine, or a film noir fatale, and who doesn't want to feel powerfully feminine like that? I suppose it doesn't appeal to all, but if you have to suit up, you might as well feel a bit like Lauren Bacall if possible no?

This particular suit has the most wonderful beading on the jacket and a really pretty flecked black fabric speckled with light blue and dark burgundy. If I could find a dozen such suits out there in other color combinations I would try my best to snap them up! While this ensemble wasn't the easiest to photograph in the harsh winter light, it was very nice to wear for a wander about the botanical gardens down in Denver. Even in winter there are parts of the gardens to enjoy, like the indoor jungle like conservatory, and of course the Japanese gardens which are both beautiful and tranquil at any time of the year.

I hope all of you have had a lovely week. Time still seems to be speeding by this year for me so far, I wish I had more of it but it seems to be rushing away! Halfway through March already!!! So crazy, must make time to slow down soon ;)

Suit, Gloves, Clutch, & Jewelry: Vintage
Fishnets: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Bait Footwear

March 14, 2018

Cataloging Catalogs: Ward's Fall/Winter 1947-1948, Dresses!

My favorite pages in Ward's catalogs are the still the pages and pages of dresses. I find them so inspiring for dreaming up future sewing projects! Even if sewing has been on the back burner for me so far this year, as soon as I'm done with my current writing project I can't wait to dive back in, so some inspiration is always helpful!

These dresses I have to share with you today from the 1947/1948 Fall/Winter Montgomery Wards catalog are truly swoon worthy. Whether featuring sequin embellishments for a sparking cocktail hour, or made from sturdier fabrics in simpler silhouettes for versatile day wear, I'd certainly love to have one of each of these in my closet! Looking at these pages I can't help but think "forties fashion is just the best!!!" on repeat in my head. I hope all of you enjoy these images too, as usual fee free to pin and share them to your hearts desire ;)

March 12, 2018

Novelty Noir

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world... Sometimes you've just got to give into the novelty of noir. All right, to be fair Casablanca may not totally be a noir film I'll grant you, but a great trench coat is half the genre isn't it?

So when I found my wardrobe was lacking a truly perfect trench, to my favorite Etsy I went a' browsing. I ended up with this lovely number which ticked off all the boxes I was looking for: longer length, well spaced horn buttons, an oversize fit I could cinch, and that classic khaki color that works with everything. Now of course I would like a black trench coat one day too, but one coat at a time right? This particular coat may be "vintage", but only of the late 80's or even early 90's variety (the same vintage as me, I'm a '91...!). As for what I wore underneath, everything is thoroughly modern! I bought the grey sweater years ago from Forever 21. The skirt I'm wearing is from H&M, and was a Christmas present I had picked it out myself, so that was perhaps cheating a bit. One of the last two items I plan on ever picking up from a fast fashion brand really, as I have pledged to myself I will stop shopping from them any longer. Which is a bummer, because H&M and Zara do such awesome pretty things sometimes, but I just don't like not knowing who was hurt so that I could have a pretty skirt for only $19...Ever feel like you live in the capitol of the Hunger Games universe? I do. How's that for noir...

On a lighter note, I managed to get some more of the 1947 Montgomery Wards catalog scanned to share with you all this week! I know I have been slacking on...well everything but writing, as you all know. Which reminds me, I've got to go finish a scene set in a jungle now. Sadly none of my characters have a trench coat to wear, but I'll try and inject some film noir flavor despite that disadvantage ;)

Trench Coat, Handbag, Gloves, Belt, & Jewelry: Vintage
Sweater: Forever 21
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Banana Republic
Fishnets: Amazon

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