September 18, 2014

The cutest ladybug cardigan ever + the top comments that vintage wearers receive

Outfit details

Black satin 1950s hat: eBay
Pearl stud earrings: Claire's
Marietta ladybug cardigan: Voodoo Vixen
Red faux leather skinny belt: eBay
Grey 1970s does 40s/50s a-line skirt: Cereal Vintage Thrift
Red 1950s gloves: Unknown, had for years (likely eBay or thrifted)
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
Red patent faux leather pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Every time I wear this ultra adorable Marietta ladybug cardigan from Voodoo Vixen, which I've been doing a whole lot lately since receiving it as one of two thoroughly fantastic review products from the brand a little earlier this year (I blogged all about the other, the immensely beautiful Flora Dress in a post here last month), I'm reminded of the absolute plethora of these polka dotted insects that lived on the juniper hedges in our front yard of one of my earliest childhood homes.

I've never been the type who was of was terribly fond of bugs (being very arachnophobic doesn't help there), but these wee little critters didn't frighten me one bit and like many folks, ladybugs are pretty much the only insects I've ever let intentionally crawl on me. Proof positive if there was that beauty can be a game changer and how you interact with someone or in this case, something!

I love a great novelty cardigan, though objectively don't own very many (despite my rather large cardi collection), so I was especially elated to receive this beautiful black and red one from Voodoo Vixen. It's a splendidly soft viscose knit with some stretch to it that hugs the body marvelously. I generally like my cardigans to fitted, but not ultra skin tight, and this spotted insect adored charmer delivers there big time. The solid red coloured tie neck is another big point in its favour and helps instantly impart a further vintage vibe to this lovely garment.

Though red, grey and black is, no word of a lie, my default winter colour palette of choice (I wear it so very much between November and March that I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to sport other hues, lest folks start thinking I only own those three colours!), every now and then, loving it fiercely, I'll don it during the warmer half of the year as well, which is precisely what I opted to do when styling my beautiful Mariette ladybug cardigan for these photos.

A classic 1970s does 1940s/50s grey a-line skirt, a glamorous black satin 1950s hat (which strikes me, more than any other vintage chapeau I own, as one that Marilyn Monroe would have worn), red 50s gloves, classic pearl jewelry, black vintage patent leather purse, and red patent pumps round out the ensemble, which is just right for the not too hot, not too cold days of late summer/early fall (come winter, I'll slip on black tights and another shirt or blouse under the cardigan to help ensure I can keep on wearing this outfit even when we're up to our mascara coated eyelashes in snow again).

I've also been wearing this fabulously cute ladybug cardigan with denim capris, my grey 1940s style Heyday swing trousers, Freddies jeans, and with a red quilted 1950s circle skirt. I’m sure further ensembles will follow the longer I have the pleasure of owning this darling vintage inspired cardigan from Voodoo Vintage - which always, without fail, puts a big smile on my face when I spot it in my closet or wear it. Life, and one's wardrobe, needs a good hit of whimsy sometimes of the sort that only a cardigan this fun can deliver.

On the day when Tony and I took the outfit photos for this post, we also shot a video for my YouTube channel in which I talk about some of the top comments that vintage wearers receive from members of the public (and sometimes our own friends and family, too). I'd chatted before back in 2013 about a handful of the far more bizarre comments and questions I'd had directed at me over the years in a post called Strangers say the darndest things, but I hadn't overly addressed the more common, everyday sorts of comments that I receive before and felt that day was as good as any to do so.

Now, these are not the only comments I hear often of course, but the are some of the top contenders and as I know many of you receive such remarks and questions as well, I wanted to discuss them and let you know, especially if you're relatively new to the world of wearing vintage, that you're not alone in hearing such things. As I touched on in my video, I usually don't mind at all when people ask me questions or say comments to me about my vintage attire.

I am entirely aware of the fact that, objectively, I don't look/dress like 99.9% of other people (make that an even 100% here in my small town) and that that alone will always be enough to illicit curiosity. Fortunately, more often than not, the comments I receive are friendly, kind and well meaning, something that I know isn't always the case for some of my vintage loving/wearing peers around the world, such as this wonderfully lovely vintage couple from the UK who were recently in the news because of the challenges they've faced due to their vintage lifestyle and fashion choices (which is nothing short of criminal - we should all be allowed to dress, and live, however we please - so long as we're not hurting anyone, of course - without any fear of ridicule or rudeness whatsoever).

In posts such as I am Authentic to My Soul and Dress Like a Cupcake Should Feel, and many others here over the years, I have talked at length about the importance of wearing whatever one fancies and makes them happy no matter what those so-called haters and narrow minded folks out there might think, and this message is one that I will continue to promote for the rest of time.

Receiving comments and questions, assuming they're polite, from strangers and people I know alike doesn't phase me - shy as I am - any more in the slightest. After half a lifetime of sporting vintage attire, I've grown completely at ease with them and know that at least a couple (often more) will come my way anytime I'm out and about in public. It can be fun to see the look on peoples' faces, for example, when I reply that, "Yes, I do wear vintage all the time", for example. It is usually either a wide-eyed look of surprise, as though they themselves couldn't even remotely fathom doing the same, or conversely, a big smile and positive remark such as "That's awesome!" or "Good for you!".

Certainly another common type of question that I receive is where did I get a particular garment or accessory I'm wearing from, and numerous folks have already asked me that about this enchantingly sweet red and black Voodoo Vixen cardigan. I find that the general public is often more apt to want to know where to source repro, rockabilly, pinup, and vintage inspired pieces from, than full on genuine vintage ones, because those who don't wear old school vintage themselves are sometimes more apt to sport a modern piece that has a yesteryear look to it - and indeed, mid-century appropriate though it is, this cardi could easily be worn with more contemporary ensembles as well.

So, my lovely dears, just as I asked in my video, tell me, what are some of the most common comments that you receive when you wear your vintage (or repro, etc) finery? Have you found the public to be generally accepting, kind and polite where you live? What are some things you've been asked that you never would have expected? Do you wish that people would keep to themselves or you enjoy the questions about your appearance that come your way?

Personally, at this stage in the game, I fall into the latter camp. You just never know who, in doing so, you might help inspire to embrace and wear vintage more in their own life. I madly love, love, lovvvvvvvvvve vintage and any chance I get to chat about it with friendly people is a good thing in my books.

As is this cuter than cute, comfy, fantastic ladybug cardigan, which I think I might just have to sport again today while I continue packing up a storm for our trip in a mere four days to Vancouver Island. There's so much to do and so few days to accomplish it all in! I best hop right to it, like a ladybug flittering around a hedge, so that we'll be all set to leave at the crack of dawn on Monday, two week’s worth of vintage outfits all ready to see what kinds of comments and questions the lovely people of Victoria have about them.  :)


September 16, 2014

Fill out Chronically Vintage's 2014 survey and you could win big!

It has been well over two years (I know, where on earth does the time go?!) since we last had a reader survey here on Chronically Vintage, and in the face of an ever changing, ever evolving online universe, I thought it was high time for another.
This survey includes questions not only about Chronically Vintage the blog, but also the Etsy shop, as well as CV on social media. From day one, your impute and feedback have always been extremely important to me and I genuinely care about what kind of an experience you have when you interact with any of my sites. I value and adore my readers and online friends and would wholeheartedly appreciate it if you took a few quick minutes to fill out this survey.

{Now's your chance, take this Chronically Vintage reader poll, tell me your thoughts loud and clear, and you could win a $75.00 Chronically Vintage Etsy store credit to spend on anything in the shop. I can't wait to hear what you save to say. Image source.}

Once you've done so, please leave me a comment on this post letting me know that you've taken the survey. All comments will automatically be entered in a draw for a $75.00 store credit, which can be put towards any item (or items) in my Etsy vintage shop (that is/are available at the time you redeem your store credit).

Please note that if the item(s), including shipping, that are selected exceed $75.00, the additional cost is the responsibility of the winner. If you have any questions about this giveaway, please don't hesitate to email me any time.
In one month's time (I want to keep it open for a month to give lots of folks the chance to fill it out), I will use a random number generator to draw the winner, contact them via email or Facebook private message, and announce their name on Facebook and/or Twitter. This giveaway is open to readers from around the world and the only condition for entry is that you fill out the the survey below.
In addition, to thank you for filling out this survey, all those who complete it will receive a special, limited time coupon code (upon completion of the survey) which they can use in the shop until October 16, 2014.

Please note that your answers are completely anonymous and confidential. I will see your answers, but I won't know who or where they're coming from, so please be as honest and forthright as you'd like when filling out these questions.


Thank you very, very much, everyone, for your time and help. I'm always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to grow and better my blog, shop, and social media presences, and really look forward to studying the data this immensely helpful survey will provide me with and doing just that as we head into the last leg of this year and well beyond.

September 14, 2014

Photos of early and mid-century Miss America winners

Though there are no shortage of different opinions on the Miss America contest - and beauty pageants in general - and I know full well that not everyone out there is a diehard fan, I think it's relatively safe bet to say that what unites nearly all of those reading this post today is a general love of, and appreciate for the past, which includes looking at vintage photographs, even if they're of beauty pageant winners.

Started as a marketing ploy by the Businessmen's League of Atlantic City to lure visitors to the boardwalk after the Labour Day long weekend, the traditional end of the tourist season had wrapped up, and ultimately evolving into a hugely popular televised event decades later that is broadcast to many countries around the world, the Miss America contest has not been without its share of ups and downs (as well as contrary including anti-Semitism and racism - prior to 1950, for example, the contest was only open to Caucasian participants) over the years.

Ultimately though, it held on and flourished, giving rise to the dreams of many a young lady across America over the better part of the last nearly ninety years and becoming a cultural institution of sorts in the United States (and beyond). Often imitated (there are, for example, similar competitions such as Miss USA, which began in 1952), but never, save perhaps in more recent decades by Miss Universe, which is open to participants from around the globe, quite matched, Miss America is to beauty pageants as Barbie dolls are to the toy world: Glitzy, beautiful, heavily made up, and often met with criticism, yet few can deny its rightful place in 20th and 21st century culture.

In celebration of the fact that today is the 88th Miss America event, I thought it would be fun to take a peak at each of the earliest earliest winners, starting all the way back in 1921 with Margaret Gorman, the first ever winner of this now world famous event which was initially held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and spanning the mid-century years until 1960, when a Mississippi gal named Lynda Lee Mead took home the crown.

{Miss America 1921 ~ Margaret Gorman}

{Miss America 1922 and 1923 (intitially participants could compete for more than one year) ~ Mary Katherine Campbell}

{Miss America 1924 ~ Ruth Malcomson}

{Miss America 1925 ~ Fay Lanphier}

{Miss America 1926 ~ Norma Smallwood}

{Miss America 1927 ~ Lois Delander}

{Miss America 1933 (the contest was not held between 1928 and 1932; in addition, the 1933 winner retained the title throughout 1934 as, again, no pageant was held that year) ~ Marian Bergeron}

{Miss America 1935 ~ Henrietta Leaver}

{Miss America 1936 ~ Rose Coyle}

{Miss America 1937 ~ Bette Cooper}

{Miss America 1938 ~ Marilyn Meseke}

{Miss America 1939 ~ Patricia Donnelly}

{Miss America 1940 ~ Frances Marie Burke}

{Miss America 1941 ~ Rosemary LaPlanche}

{Miss America 1942 ~ Jo-Carroll Dennison}

{Miss America 1943 ~ Jean Bartel}

{Miss America 1944 ~ Venus Ramey}

{Miss America 1945 ~ Bess Myerson}

{Miss America 1946 ~ Marilyn Buferd}

{Miss America 1947 ~ Barbara Jo Walker}

{Miss America 1948 ~ BeBe Shopp}

{Miss America 1949 ~ Jacque Mercer}

{Miss America 1951 (due to changes with how the dates of a winner's reign occurred, there was no Miss America 1950) ~ Yolande Betbeze}

{Miss America 1952 ~ Colleen Kay Hutchins}

{Miss America 1953 ~ Neva Jane Langley}

{Miss America 1954 ~ Evelyn Margaret Ay}

{Miss America 1955 ~ Lee Meriwether}

{Miss America 1956 ~ Sharon Ritchie}

{Miss America 1957 ~ Marian McKnight}

{Miss America 1958 ~ Marilyn Van Derbur}

{Miss America 1959 ~ Mary Ann Mobley}

{Miss America 1960 ~ Lynda Lee Mead}

{Please click on a photo to be taken to its respective source.}

♥ ♥ ♥

Even if you're not keen on beauty pageants (I can see all sides of the coin there, believe me), it's hard not swoon over the stylish clothing, hairstyles, makeup looks and overall sense of glamour that these gorgeous yesteryear winners all shared in common and that alone is worth shining the spotlight on at least once a year.