Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Black hair ribbon: saved from the packaging on something I bought
1940s/50s tartan dress: etsy seller Vanity
Dangle charm kilt pin: eBay
1940s/50s ruched mustard yellow gloves: eBay
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
1950s red belt: came with a different dress
Faux leather bow clutch: Bentley
Nude with black seamed stockings: eBay
T-strap suede peep-toe heels: Nine West
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Antonio Cangiano
When I think of tartan, aside from its obvious Scottish heritage, two things spring to mind first: a darling little tartan cross body bag I had when I was about five years old (complete with cute tassel), and secondly, the packaging on Scotch Tape. It is the latter that we'll soon be turning to as we wrap Christmas gifts this month, and so this dress seamed especially well suited to the approaching winter season.
No snow in sight on the day when these snapped were grabbed a bit earlier this fall however, in fact it was sunshine aplenty - carrying on the theme of beautiful days that we were often treated to this autumn.
This dress was one of those pieces that I feel in love with at first sight, yet was slightly cautious about, as I know from experience that certain necklines don't always work on me, and high set, close fitting round necks often fall into that category. Thus I kept it sitting in my etsy favourites for a while, looking at each photo and trying to decide if I wanted to take a gamble with the neckline.
I'm very glad that I did, because as it turns out, the eye-catching pattern, double breasted buttons, and slightly offset shape of the neck (it's a tad squared on one side) help, I feel to ensure that it does indeed work on my petite, curvy figure.
Though the seller listed this dress as being from the 1950s, and it could very well be, to me it simply screams 40s - in fact, I'd be so bold as to say you could even style it, convincingly, as a late 30s piece. In fact, I was so surprised by how "unfifties" it looked (save for the single hip pocket) when I wore it for the first time (in these shots), that I just knew I was going to take it in a fairly early 40s direction, with a bit of a nod to the 30s thanks to the classic black t-strap peep-toes.
Gloves (or at least long sleeves) are pretty much a must as fall winds down, and I was delighted to partner a cheerful mustard yellow vintage pair with this tartan patterned frock. I've had the clutch for a few years, but haven't used it that often, so I was glad to bring it out for some fresh air that day (ditto for the shoes).
A dress like this doesn't need a lot of jewelry competing for attention with the vivacious pattern, so a cute kilt pin (how could I resist with so much tartan going on?) and my beloved faux pearl stretch bracelets were all the (subtle) bling this look called for.
While out and about running errands with Tony on the day these photos were snapped, I received some very sweet compliments, was brazenly hit on (with Tony standing right there beside) me by an a guy who was probably about 35 years my senior, and told by a very nice middle aged woman working at Safeway that she "wished she could dress like that, too".
As I'm sure many of you do, I encounter similar comments from “vintage curious” folks quite often when out and about, and always try to encourage the person as best I can, that if they want to, then by all means they should give wearing vintage a spin.
Is there a degree of art and skill that goes into wearing vintage fashions, hair and make-up? Absolutely, but I fully believe that the ability to successfully do so is something that just about anyone with the desire to do so can master - and at any age, I should add.
My take is, if you want to dress a certain way, than - as many a Nike ad has proclaimed over the years - just do it. It's never too early or too late to embrace wearing vintage, and I can't help but hope that maybe some day one of the people who stop and say that they wish they could, will heed my encouragement and embark on their own journey into wearing vintage fashion.
Fashion, after all, is about having fun and taking risks, a bit like I did when I ordered this dress, not quite knowing for sure if it the neckline would work. It did, I love it, and am really happy that my little gamble paid - or should I say "plaid" - off!