Friday, December 20, 2013

1940ish Sunday

This Sunday I wore kind of a vintage themed outfit. First, may I say I was not trying to recreate exactly how someone from the 1940s would've have looked. I can't do that, but I suppose it's my interpretation of some 1940s trends.

First I wore a vintage dress that I've been anxiously waiting to wear somewhere, and this Sunday seemed the perfect opportunity. I just love it when a vintage garment fits like it's made for me, don't you?

I wore it with a vintage brooch I bought several years ago and still love to wear. The only supposed drawback to wearing this brooch is that it's really blingy looking, but that's not always bad in my book.

I also wore some vintage screwback earrings I bought as a teenager from a local antiques mall. I've always liked the petina of them, so I've never tried to polish the silver to get rid of it. Sometimes I like for old things to just look old.

The dress has rhinestone button ribbon flowers embroidered on the front. How fabulous is that?

For a little more accessorizing, I wore my vintage silver feather clamp bracelet. I think it's uber glam, for me anyway.

I don't own any navy heels (I wish I did sometimes!), so I wore my black round-toe heels. They're not authentic forties, but I like the look of them anyway, and they're comfy.

I only own a couple pairs of perfectly-skin-tone-matching seamed stockings, so I save them for special outings and Sundays. They did seam straight at the time, if you'll forgive the pun.

I wore a long wool coat that I've had for ages and that doesn't get much wear, because, well to be honest since I've had three kids my bustline is a little *ahem* larger, and so it's a tighter fit than I would prefer. But it so matched this outfit that I had to wear it.

I had pin curled my hair the night before and it was perfect for wearing my wool navy merrimac hat. It was also a cold day with fits of spitting snowflakes (no accumulation though), so it helped to keep my head a little warmer. The only bad part was that I didn't think I needed to wear a hat pin to keep it on, but I soon discovered that windy days were the best reason for the invention of hat pins. Thankfully I didn't lose my hat, but I could have.

To add to the warmth, I wore my vintage creamy white leather gloves with bows at the wrist. They are actually very warm, but girly all at once. I must confess, I love a strategically placed bow or two or three.

I'm noticing my wardrobe has a lot of blue in it. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, but it does make me want to reconsider what to buy in the future. I guess we all tend to wear colors that we like and/or we think look well on us, but I'm definitely going to try to branch out a little colorwise this next year.

Outfit details:
Dress-vintage from eBay
Hat-vintage from eBay
Brooch-Homestead Shoppe, a local antiques mall
Bracelet-antique store ages ago
Earrings-Homstead Shoppe
Shoes-by Tommy Hilfiger over ten years ago
Stockings-vintage from eBay
Coat-Old Navy about fifteen years ago

It still amazes me the reactions of people when you wear vintage in public. Now, arguably you could say that if you mix modern and vintage more you will get less reaction, but try going for an overall vintage look and see what happens. I think, oddly enough, I get a little flack because I'm a mom of three, don't have a perfect body, and I'm not nineteen.

There are inevitably giggles from teenagers and early twenty somethings. That doesn't bother me really, because they see me as old and funny anyway. What I don't understand, and honestly does bother me a little, is the way some older women and women my own age react. Like I'm old enough to stop playing dress up and somehow I'm being immodest by drawing attention by dressing differently. Yet these same women get trendy haircuts, wear trendy clothes, make sure they work out and are tan, often all while being a mom/working mom themselves.

I don't get treating people differently at all, but I really don't understand this kind of reaction. After all, it's not like I'm wearing skimpy or inappropriate clothes. I dress to please myself and my husband (who thinks it's really awesome, by the way), but somehow our culture has a hang up about a thirty something mom wearing something a little different. How this is offensive or even disturbing, I don't understand.

I think in the past there was a lot more room for people to look and dress differently and in clothing that flattered them, without everyone treating them as wrong. If you look at the 1950s for example, there were lots of different skirt styles and lengths and colors worn throughout the decade. If you didn't look good in a tight pencil skirt suit, you could wear a fuller skirt and blouse. Both were in style along with pants and dresses. There was a hem length for everyone, and altering/tailoring your clothes to best fit you was the norm.  The idea was that everyone could look good in something, but individuality wasn't crushed by the fashion trends, simply enhanced.

Today everyone is expected to look good in whatever style dictates. If your age, body, or finances don't agree with the fashion trends, then the problem is with you and you should change. Women are the worst at feeling bad and making others feel badly for not being "in fashion". One thing I love about the online vintage wearing community is how most of them are an encouragement to each other in seeking out what compliments them, regardless what anyone thinks you should or shouldn't wear.

Do you get not nice reactions for how you dress sometimes? Will you do something today to encourage another woman about her appearance?


  1. Now granted, by and large, Canadians are wonderfully polite and respectful bunch (especially once they've passed adolescence), but I must say, I've received exceedingly few genuinely negative or unkind comments from people about my vintage looks over the years. A few eyebrow raising questions and remarks, yes, but I can count on one hand the number of times in all the years I've been wearing vintage that someone had said something hurtful to me in person. Far more often I'm showered with lovely compliments and the usual assortment of questions (such as, "Are you going to a costume party?", "Do you dress like that all the time?", "Are you a model/actress?", "Where to do you find your clothes? and "How long have you dressed that way?"). One thing that I routinely hear people say is that they "Wish they could dress like that, but could never pull it off", which I admitedly believe is not the case. Anyone who love vintage or even just has an interest in it, can successfully master wearing yesteryear styles (and make-up and hairstyles), and when people say this to me, I try to encourage them to just go for it. There's nothing to lose and so much to potentially gain!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. I agree. I just don't understand the anger, unless they wish they were brave enough to wear what they liked. Anyway, have a very Merry Christmas!!!