May 14, 2013

The vintage outfit that friendship built





Outfit details


Navy blue 1940s feather adorned felt hat: Gift from Tony ♥
Pearl stud earrings: Claire's
Pearl necklace: Birthday gift from Tony ♥
1950s swirling dot pattern dress: Gift from a dear vintage friend
Navy blue knit shrug: Sears
White and gold coloured leaf wreath vintage brooch: eBay
White vintage gloves: Gift from a dear vintage friends
Navy blue vintage purse: Thrifted
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
Nude on nude seemed stockings: eBay
Navy blue d'orsay peep-toe heels: Gift from a dear vintage friend
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red


Photography by Antonio Cangiano


 

 photo VintageredandnavyatOkanaganLake_5_zps75031a2c.jpg

























Over the past few months in particular I have been the recipient of a rather tremendous amount of thoughtful kindness and generosity, so much so that it has routinely moved me to tears (happy ones, of course) and made my heart feel filled to the bursting point with gratitude and sense of just how blessed I am to have so many incredibly lovely people in my life.

It wasn't until I was sorting through the photos from the shoot pictured here today that it struck me that not one, not two, but three of the key elements of this vintage ensemble came from three different, completely dear friends, all of whom I'm met online through my blog. I didn't intentionally create my look with this fact in mind, it happened organically and perfectly illustrates just how amazingly sweet and thoughtful each of these people are.

The dress, gloves and shoes were each "just because" gifts, all of which I'm still floored by, and love dearly. This is the first vintage dress I've ever received from a friend, and it fits me so well you'd think it had been tailor made for my measurements. The gloves have become my go-to white pair and are worn so often, I now keep them in one of my bangle boxes on my dresser, instead of with the rest of my glove collection.

These timelessly elegant d'orsay peep-toe heels (which, while not vintage, look the part to a tee) fill a big gap in my shoe wardrobe - a navy blue pair, which is something I'd been trying to find for ages now (almost amazingly, these beauties fit my hard-to-fit feet perfectly, which is not a common occurrence at all, let me tell you!). I had no idea they were coming my way, as a the wonderful sender shipped me a box full of surprise items from her closet that she thought I might like, and these classy heels were amongst those stellar presents.

I'm not the sort of person who forgets thoughtfulness or generosity. If I live to be a hundred years old, I will always remember and hold dear not only these three gifts, but each of the many others not pictured here that I've received lately (and throughout my life) from some truly awesome people located all over the world. The mere words "thank you" almost seem to fail to adequately express just how much I appreciate the kindness that's been bestowed on me "just because", and want each of these precious friends to know how much I treasure and am grateful them.

To round out this outfit (which was sported a few days before I went in for my recent surgery), I added my trusty navy blue knit shrug (a Sears buy years ago that has been more than worth its weight in gold to me ever since), a great 1940s feathered hat (last seen in this outfit last fall) which was also a gift, this time hailing from my darling Tony; a thrifted vintage purse, and a charming white and gold hued leave wreath brooch (as well as my go-to pearl earrings, bracelets, and necklace, the latter being another gift - a few birthdays ago - from Tony).

We shot these snaps down at a stretch of beach on Okanagan Lake here in Penticton that's located just a few hundred feet to the left of where these outfit photos were taken on a considerably colder day last winter. Warmer though it certainly was that day, we’re still a little ways away from summer and the crowds of tourists and locals alike that will swamp the beach once more as soon as the water becomes even remotely toasty enough to stick your toes into (making spring the perfect time to take photos there without throngs of swimmers and sunbathers in background).

I adore all of the garments and accessories in my closet (they wouldn't be there if I didn't), but I reserve a special place in my heart for those that I received as gifts, and by extension the outfits - like this one - that I create with them.

Thank you again, my dear friends, for your incredible presents and for making a gal feel so gosh darned loved - this truly is the vintage outfit that friendship built.

83 comments:

  1. Girl, your shoes! They're a dream in shoe form. Is there a close-up picture anyway of your hair slide? I would love to see it in a bit more detail, it looks really pretty from what I can see.

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    1. Hi sweet Helen, thank you very much! No actually, we didn't get a close up of this barrette (slide). I often pull my hair back in one for outfit snaps, but less commonly get photographed from behind, so I didn't think to zoom in on it this time. I'll try and sport it again soon (these pics were taken pre-surgery, I haven't recouped quite enough yet to take more yet) and make sure we get a detailed shot next time. Thanks for asking!

      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Or, you know...I could just pop in the powder room and take one now (*light bulb moment* :)). Sorry, I haven't slept yet tonight, I would have just thought of that point blank from the get-go if I'd been more awake. Here's a link to the Instagram snap I just took of this lovely little barrette: http://instagram.com/p/ZSsDz2mFWQ

      ♥ Jessica

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    3. Oh, I hope you're starting to feel a bit better and best wishes for a speedy recovery! x

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    4. Thank you very much, honey. Other than the fact that it's not going as fast as I'd originally estimated (admittedly, in hindsight I was a touch too optimistic in that regard), things are progressing gradually on that front, which is great.

      ♥ Jessica

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  2. You look just lovely Jessica and isn't it nice to have thoughtful gifts to wear and to add as finishing touches to an outfit. Each time I tie a chiffon scarf in my hair I automatically think of the person who was kind enough to send it my way.

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  3. Ohh that dress is divine! I hope my man would get me something as beautiful as your dress :D Lovely detailing, looks awesome :)

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  4. When I first saw this post, a smile came to my face:) This outfit is just utterly perfect for you!! You look so grand and are certainly a lady for any decade:) When I think of you, total class comes to mind from the inside out:)) You just look so cute in this outfit that I just want to make paper doll cutouts of all the great items, in fact, we should have a "Jessica Paper Doll Cut Out Book":) You always have such great bags. I need you to help find me a couple of nice ones. You have a way of finding and utilitizing bags that don't look grandma like:) This actually could be a fun future post..."How To Look Like Your Grandmother" Where you actually search out the most grandma like shoes, hat, and bag lol. The only problem is would you actually wear it more than once? I remember my grandmother loved those wicker basket purses with the shells sealed in the front lol.

    The dress looks just perfect on you and the backdrop of the lake is lovely. There is just something about water that brings peace when you are looking out to it. One of my favorite sounds is hearing the sound of waves and water moving. I hope that you can get around soon. At least you can look at it that the worst of this surgery is behind you. Wishing you well and thanks for posting such a spectular vintage outfit.

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    1. My very dear Joanna, thank you so much (underlined!) for everything. I am smitten with the idea of Jessica Paper Dolls - oh what an awesome fun notion. There should be a service that lets you upload photos of yourself in various outfits and then they make paper dolls out of them for you (I'd so pay for that!). Just think of all the fun us vintage ladies could have with something like that.

      Awww, thank you! I really need some more bags, too. Because I try to avoid as much external hardware on my bags as possible usually (due to my pesky nickel allergy), I don't have nearly as many bags as I'd like - or could - if not for this. That said, it does make me get the most out of the ones I do have, and I'm always on the prowl for more. Hopefully this year, I'd love to finally get both a grey and a white (ooohhh, a pink would be stellar, too!) vintage or vintage appropriate purse with as little metal as possible.

      That would be a fun idea for a post for sure - I bet I'd wear the items again, though perhaps not all in one go. :)

      I absolutely love the sound of waves, too - the same goes for rain gently splashing on the roof at night (that sound whisks me back to my Vancouver childhood instantly). I don't think there's any sound that can put me to sleep faster than that of rain.

      Huge thanks & endless hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. You can buy magnetic adhesive sheets at craft stores that you can stick onto the backs of your photographs, then you could cut yourself out, and voila, you would have a Jessica paper doll. Then you could interchange outfits the same way! I say you do it, mass produce them and sell them. I know I would buy one!!! =)

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    3. Awesome idea! I might just have to give that a spin sometime. Thank you very much for the fantastic suggestion, sweet friend (if I do make some, I'd happily send you one for free).

      Huge hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. You look stunning! Oh, these white vintage gloves are tremendously gorgeous! You look absolutely flawless, my dear friend!
    Tons of love!

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  6. This outfit looks so beautiful on you! My two favorite parts are, believe it or not, the hat, and the shoes! And the photography is absolutely stunning; I love where you took the photo shoot. It sort of fits just right with the outfit.

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  7. I adore this outfit! The print on the dress is so fabulous! And the length is super flattering on you.

    My grandparents live near a lake in Maine and this shoot reminds me so much of visits with them. :)

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet gal. I must humbly agree with you completely about the length. This is pretty much my ideal vintage hem length. A bit past the knee, but not quite grazing the ol' ankles yet. I think that it had your kind of talent as a seamstress and was making my own skirts and dresses, I'd aim to have most of them hit at this same length.

      How lovely that these photos remind of your grandparent's corner of Maine. I've always thought that was one of the prettiest states in America (I'd love to visit there myself one day).

      ♥ Jessica

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  8. it really is the most wonderful feeling to know that someone thought of you and cared enough to give you a "just because" present. it has nothing to do with how much they spent on it or if they just found it in the back of their cupboard and thought you might like it, those kinds of presents mean so much and they're the ones you really treasure. you're very lucky to have such lovely, generous friends. :)

    little henry lee

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  9. Lovely outfit! You look taller!
    It's so perfectly coordinated! Well done!

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Anthea. At a relatively pint sized 5'2", that's certainly not a compliment I hear everyday, thank you so much! It's these gorgeous navy blue shoes, I tell you - they do marvellous things for lengthening one's legs (or at least giving the appearance of lengthening one's legs). :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  10. I'm so glad that you cherish these gifts so much! I am always gifting clothed and accessories to friends, and it is nice to know that they are appreciated. Thoughts are headed your way for a speedy recovery!

    Christina

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  11. I often gift clothing and accessories to my friends, and it is nice to know they are appreciated! Sending thoughts your way for a speedy recovery!

    Christina

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  12. The picture where you are looking up towards the sun is my favorite. Red looks great on you :)

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet gal. I think that might just be my favourite snap of the shoot, too.

      ♥ Jessica

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  13. You look fantastic Jessica! That dress fits you perfectly. "just because" presents are the best. There is no reason behind them so it's really fun and extra special.

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  14. Oh I looooooove that dress. Just beautiful xx

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear.

      ♥ Jessica

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  15. Jessica! Just how many times can you outdo yourself, girlfriend?! :D This outfit is indeed wonderful, and made more so because, as you say, it's the outfit that friendship built. I love it all. The items individually, and the outfit as a beatiful whole. Can't pick a favorite thing, as happens so often with these posts of yours. Your dress is absolutely stunning, in color and in style! Love, love, love

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  16. Seriously-okay now this is my new fave outfit post-omg you look gorgeous!!!!!!!! What a figure you have my dear! Truly so beautiful-I am beaming from ear to ear. Makes me so happy to see and hear that you are happy! Muah!

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    1. *Blush* Thank you very much, darling Bunny, on every count. You're so sweet! I know just what you mean, it warms my heart to no end when I see a blog post (or FB update, etc) in which you're happy, too.

      Huge hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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  17. Love that dress!!! So jealous!!

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  18. I just discovered your blog and its so inspirational to me Sas I try to expand my own vintage wardrobe and start a little vintage blog.
    The old fashioned way

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  19. My goodness! That dress is absolute perfection on you! So classy and so elegant.

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  20. What a wonderful outfit, and I love these outdoor shoots you do. The settings are always just so beautiful!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Janey! We are definitely blessed to live in a corner of the world with such fantastic backdrops and stunning scenery.

      ♥ Jessica

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  21. Looking lovely !x

    fashionistainthedark.blogspot.com

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  22. I think I wrote on a previous post of yours that it was my favourite outfit you had shared. It now has competition! I love this one, everything about it is right - and I adore the sentiment you have shared too. Your hair is stunning with these colours. x

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  23. Gosh that dress is stunning and as you say looks made for you, perfect.

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  24. How dear it is to know that so many of your pieces here were given to you from friends. I have some of those items gifted to me and the gesture means more to me than anything. Because I was thought of. Everyone likes to be thought of.

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  25. You look absolutely beautiful, and that outfit is so lovely!!! I love how it holds such a dear sentiment to you because of the kindness of others. YAY for awesome people! :D

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  26. I love how your outfits are always so well thought out and not just put together, but actually "completed". The gloves, the pin, the hat, the jewelry... those are all such great add-ons that really compliment and complete the look. I don't own a lot of jewelry so most of the time I don't even think to wear any. I think that makes my outfits look like they're lacking something. It's awesome that you have amazing friends who gift you things. Isn't it great to be able to carry a little piece of them with you? I think so :)

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    1. Thank you deeply, sweet Rochelle - what a touchingly awesome compliment. I adore your outfit and have never for the teeniest of moments thought that they looked like they were lacking for anything. You have a beautiful eye for vintage fashion and always look resplendent - and so inspiring - in everything that you wear.

      Definitely - is so special and heartwarming to be able to carry a reminder of a dear friend (or friends) with you wherever you go.

      ♥ Jessica

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  27. Love love love the dress! Between the pattern, the cherry hue & the year-round-wearability, I'm quite smitten! I'm so happy to see your beautiful posts again after your short hiatus. You're always a ray of sunshine on my blog dashboard.

    -Sara

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    1. What a terrifically lovely compliment, dear Sara - I feel precisely the same way about your and your fabulous blog, too (you are, bar none, one of my biggest source of vintage fashion inspiration).

      ♥ Jessica

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  28. What a fabulous outfit! That dress is a real beauty and I think that the blue shrug and shoes set it off so nicely. I've not seen gloves like those before...and I can see why they have become one of your favourites. Sometimes items that gift their way into your wardrobe happen to become some of the best, staple pieces that you could ask for. Have a lovely day! xx Shauna

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  29. Isn't wonderful the people that come into your life from blogging? As always, you lokk so beautifully put together. Your hair looks so cute, it makes me want to cut mine again, almost!!!!

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    1. It truly is a blessing to meet new friends through blogging. Woefully shy and a total introvert (seriously, we're talking poster child for introverts everywhere), I've never been much of a social butterfly (unlike my younger brother and sister, who were both blessed with this trait), and while I've always had a few close world friends, the internet has allowed me to broad my network of friends so much and in a way that I honestly don't think would have ever happened in the real world.

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment, dear Kim,
      ♥ Jessica

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  30. What a fantastic way to say thank you for the lovely presents. I think that seeing someone wear something that you have given them or made for them is the best thing as it shows how much they really do like it. All the items together make for a very pretty outfit.

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  31. Girl, you look divine! I love that dress, the color looks fabulous on you and the length is perfect for you. You look so tall! I love your broach too! You have so many cute broaches, how many do you have in total?

    Deborah
    <a href="http://hellcat-vintage.com>Hellcat Vintage</a>

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    1. Thank you very much, darling gal. For a petite miss like me (I'm 5'2") it's a thoroughly awesome compliment to be told I look tall (I actually quite like my short stature, don't get me wrong, it's just nice sometimes to give off the impression of being a few inches closer to the clouds :)).

      That is a really good question. I can't say as though I've taken inventory recently, but I'd estimate that my brooch collection probably numbers somewhere in the range of 75 or so at this point (some, but not all, of them are genuine vintage, but just about all of them are classic enough to easily integrate into my vintage outfits - which has been intentional as I've purchased them).

      ♥ Jessica

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  32. The vintage community is full of lovely, generous people and that is why it's so nice to be involved with it. I too have ben gifted special items and had other Vintage Queens spy certain treasure they knew I would love.
    You look gorgeous dear Jessica, as always. I hope you are recovering well xx

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  33. You look great. And, from personal experience, I agree that gifts we wear have special meaning. I'm glad you have good friends, although I'm not surprised since you're so sweet.

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  34. Such a stunning frock and I love how you have accessorised it! I especially love the shot from behind - very striking!!! :)

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  35. The dress is so lovely! And so is everything else of course :)

    You have very sweet friends, and just because gifts are the best.

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  36. The dress is just a perfect vintage dress. It looks great on you, too!

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Chrissy. Your lovely comment reminded me of something that an older chap working at Wal-Mart said to me later on that very same day. He told me that my outfit reminded him of exactly how his mother used to dress and that he thought it (what I was wearing) was "just perfect". It really was one of the sweetest compliments I've ever received about one of my vintage outfits in person.

      Big hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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  37. Your outfit is gorgeous as always! I am intersted to find a great store that sells 1940s outfits.Any ideas? Thanks for the help!
    http://balearaitzart.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Lorena. Generally speaking, I think that two of our best bets for vintage 1940s clothing and accessories are eBay and etsy, both offer up scads of choices within a fairly broad range of price points. A great place to look for additional vintage sellers is the directory page of the Vintage Fashion Guild (not all of these folks sell 1940s clothing, but some certainly do): http://members.vintagefashionguild.org

      Beyond genuine vintage garments, there are oodles of great vintage reproduction shops out there (including some on etsy and eBay, too), offering up fantastic forties styles. Here's a post about ten UK vintage repro sellers that I put together last year, that's a good jumping off point for this subject: http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/2012/01/ten-of-uk-best-vintage-reproduction.html

      And should you be aiming vintage appropriate (modern) pieces, here's my guide to getting started with this category of garments: http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/2012/12/a-beginners-guide-to-buying-and-wearing.html

      I hope this helps, honey - and of course, there yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, consignment shops, vintage stores, estate sales, and swap meets are all great potential sources of 1940s clothing, too.

      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Thank you so much Jessica :) it helped a lot!

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    3. Many many thanks, It helped a lot! :)

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    4. It's my pleasure, dear Lorena. Please feel free to ask any any all other vintage fashion related questions that you may have. I'm always here to try and help.

      ♥ Jessica

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  38. Such a stunning dress, looks great on you! How are things with Annie?

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    1. Aww, thank you very much, dear gal!

      Thank you as well for asking about our Miss Annie. She's growing in leaps and bounds (she's about 23lbs already) and really is a wonderful dear (and smart as a whip). She's very hyper, rambunctious, stubborn, and sometimes thinks she rules the house indoors, but outside (like at obedience class) she's the polar opposite - super shy, a bit fearful, and quiet. Hopefully as she grows older, with our daily training and love, she'll become a merger of the two sides of her personality wherever she is. Big puppy hugs to you from Annie!

      ♥ Jessica

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  39. What a fantastic outfit to have. The dress really is magnificent and as usual you've coordinated everything perfectly. I've often wondered about wearing sheer stockings with peep toe shoes and couldn't decide if they really looked ok (or whether I'd look like a frump with stockinged toes poking out like an old Nonna). Now I see you pulling off the look with not a HINT of frump, obviously, I hope I'll be able to as well. :)

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  40. Absolutely wonderful! I hope you are being spoiled by your family and friends to regain health soon ... meanwhile, I greatly enjoy all these pics and details of your outfits, I repeat .. wonderful!

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  41. Hey girl, you sure know how to put together an outfit! Love the red and navy combo and Mac Russian Red is my fav lip color too. And I think seamed stockings with peep toe shoes look just fine and classy!

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  42. Oh goodness me! This may be a new favorite outfit! I love the hat and the dress suits you beautifully. How wonderful that you have vintage loving friends in the world that you've connected with too. ;-)
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  43. Your dress is absolutely lovely and what a pretty place to take photos!

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  44. such a lovely post and such a wonderful outfit. ...i love the stories behind all those pieces ...

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  45. Awwww this is just beautiful. ((((hugs))))

    I am another one who never forgets a thoughtful gift. Especially as so often it contrasts with things I am given by family (I am not close to my family at all). My favourite gift came from a very good friend who spends almost every day in op shops and knows my style and size very well...it is a beautiful wool pencil skirt made in Melbourne during the late 50s/early 60s. I just adore it so much.

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  46. Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Melissa.

      ♥ Jessica

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  47. You look like a film star in this dress!!

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  48. Love every detail on you. Shoes are perfect, dress too. All is so nice.

    I hope that you feel better now.

    Kisses

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  49. Love this colour on you - very flattering. I love gloves as they are a small part of one's wardrobe but they finish an outfit, taking it from casual to oh so glam :)

    Thank you for your support Jessica xox

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  50. Beautiful, I'm really happy that I found your blog :)

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  51. what a beautiful look darling! especially the dress and your hat are adorable! you got wonderful gifts from your friends, but i´m not surprised you get so great gifts as you are a wonderful and sweet person!
    kiss,mary

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  52. That dress is SO beautiful! The fabric looks so silky and luxurious, it must be a dream to wear. I love that this outfit is made up of gifts from blogging friends, that must make wearing it so special! My favorite thing about blogging is that it's given me a chance to meet so many beautiful and talented people, and although I do get a little sad that we can't all meet up and have tea together since we live on opposite ends of the world, it's just so amazing to find kindred spirits.
    For me when I read all of the posts that come up in my feed it's like a catch up with friends!

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    1. Thank you very much, sweetheart. It is a dream to wear - the texture is so light, yet sturdy at the same time, something that I find can be tricky to come by in dresses from any era. I feel so blessed to have received it as a gift - and am sure it will appear here again on the blog many times.

      I completely agree with how reading (and commenting on) blog feeds is like catching up with dear friends. I actually get excited each morning (or whenever I check my feeds) to see what's transpired in the lives of the people I know online who mean so very much to me (a camp into which you most definitely fall, honey).

      Oodles of thanks & the happiest of weekend wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  53. Hi Jessica, you are looking fabulous, hope all is well :)

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  54. This dress looks like it was made for you - the tailoring is fabulous.

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  55. Lovely outfit. Unexpected gifts are the best. :)

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  56. I hadn't heard of it before but Okanagan Lake is such a beautiful backdrop for this photo shoot. Your whole outfit is so wonderful and styled so perfectly. I love when you receive a gorgeous piece from friends or family. It always makes wearing it feel more like home.

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  57. I absolutely love your shoes, they're gorgeous :3

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