I am sick of my clothes. I find myself wearing the same two pencil skirts over and over again, have very few things that match each other, and I have no Winter clothing. My drawers are bulging with black cut-up band shirts which are only really any good for Summer, and I find myself at an awkward crux between my old punk wardrobe and the glamourous vintage wardrobe which I so desire - I've been uncomfortably stuck between the two for years now.
I have some fabulous dresses which are for special occasions, but not much for everyday wear, and I get a lot of compliments on the way I dress, but really I just feel unresolved about it which is a massive bugbear for someone as obsessed with aesthetics as I am.
So, here are some things that would help take my wardrobe in the right direction, if I had the money. Maybe I will save up and get a couple of them.
First, hot on the heels of the 'Mad Men' trend, the 'Rita' dress by Bettie Page clothing, coming soon to Pinup Parade, available soon or reserve yours by dropping an email to the lovely Helen. (Picture from Pinup Parade, hope this is OK Helen!)
I would pair this with these fabulous accessories from Irregular Choice, who have FINALLY released some shoes suitable for vegans, after years of me waiting and coveting - normally there's a partial leather upper or a leather lining, but these are all fabric uppers with a sumptuous velvet lining - great for stopping stockinged feet from slipping out as you walk. Plus they have perspex heels and a MONKEY! Squee. The shoes and the matching clutch bag are available from Schuh stores and online, and I think I am in love with them both. In fact, I almost accidentally bought the shoes a couple of weeks ago, but common sense prevailed and I paid my rent instead. Prying them from my feet was such a sad affair.
In Summer I would match the dress with these 1950s aqua - coloured beads I picked up at a fleamarket, one of my new coral raffia fruit pillbox hats (on sale soon or contact me if you'd like one!) and these cute Miss L Fire 'Sylvie' sandals, which I might actually have to buy before the week is out before they're snapped up by someone.
My next two choices for versatile dresses are also from the Bettie Page line at Pinup Parade, the 'Nataly' and the 'Charm' (this one's in the Sale section too!)
I love the '40s styling and cute cherry print on the Nataly, and the dark colour and sheer fabric make it suitable for a variety of occasions and seasons. I also already have lots of accessories in the right colours to match it. The Charm is a fantastic dress for Winter, and the stretch fabric would make it practical and comfortable as well as sexy!
My next coveted item is a pair of vintage 1950s carved rhinestone lucite heels in a UK6/US8/EU39. Yes, this post was supposed to be about my imaginary practical vintage wardrobe, but if you think about it, they are completely practical *ahem* they go with any colour outfit, the heels are never too high so they're practical for nights out for a girl such as myself whose evenings (and possibly her boyfriend's evenings) are usually ruined by complaints about sore feet, plus they'd match my lucite bag collection.
My next set of desirables all come from Trashy Diva and make me salivate wildly. Unfortunately, I'd have to drop a dress size to fit into any of these, as their largest size is a US 14/ UK 18. I do hope to achieve this again soon though, as I lost some weight recently then put it back on by eating carelessly, so a motivation such as this might help!
First, the 'Courtney' coat dress in leopard print, which you can see being worn to full effect here at the ever enviable Freelancer's Fashionblog.
Next, the short version of the 'Courtney' in the divinely retro 'Midcentury Kelly' colourway would look fantastic worn as a top with a black pencil skirt, or with its fluted peplum would be excellent as a short coat with a circle skirted dress where a longer coat would get in the way. The 'Sweetie' dress is just so cute, I love the print with splashes of cheery red and yellow, and the big buttons. It would be great for Summer, nice and light whilst keeping the tops of the arms covered.
My next major desire is an 'Olivia' blouse from Heyday reproduction clothing. They have a black one with a marvellous cherry print coming out soon, which is the one I want! I would also like a pair of their sailoresque Navy Swing Trousers.
Finally, something no vintage girl should be without; the ability to create a finished hair and makeup look to go with her outfits. I have a good grasp of wet setting and a few different styling techniques, but could do with learning a lot more. Lauren Rennells' "Vintage Hairstyling: Retro Styles with Step-by-Step Techniques" has become a bible for vintage hairstyling newcomers, and is now available in an updated and expanded second edition (pictured here). It's available for around £28 from all the usual sources but is often out of stock due to its enormous popularity!
Lauren runs the helpful and interesting Bobbypin Blog with lots of styling and beauty tips.
A possible contender for its crown (and considerably cheaper) might be the newly-published 'Style me Vintage' by Belinda Hay, brought to my attention by Queen of the Vintage Blogs Fleur De Guerre. I'll let you know - at that price I think I should be able to afford to purchase this book fairly soon and try out some styles!
My last wish is the book ' A Stitch in Time: Vintage Knitting & Crochet Patterns 1920-1949', again featuring the lovely Fleur, this time in a modelling role, along with sixty designs for vintage knitting and crochet projects. Whilst my crochet skills are basic and my knitting skills are nonexistent, I'm sure I could learn easily or get my mum (hello, mum) to make up a couple of the lovely sweaters for me. I've already dropped a massive clanging Christmas hint about this book to someone who isn't a reader of my blog, so I can but hope!
If you don't fancy knitting it yourself but do fancy a 1940s/50s styled sweater, there is a fine collection available at Greetz from Tiz, Dressing4Impressing, Rocket Originals or you can pick up not-too-expensive vintage originals on US ebay.
L-R: Greetz from Tiz, Dressing4Impressing, Rocket Originals.