1930s feather adorned black velvet hat: eBay
Edwardian inspired earrings: Dollar Store in Kelowna
1980s does 1940s purple floral print dress: etsy seller Jenstyle Chic Vintage
Grey 1940s princess coat: Couture Allure
Vintage black velvet handbag: Thrifted (from Value Village)
Dark green c. 1950s gloves: Thrifted (from Value Village)
Black plastic rose bead stretch bracelet: Thrifted (from Value Village)
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
Black faux suede round toe pumps: Wal-Mart
Lip colour: MAC Diva
Nail colour: Revlon Plum Attraction
Photography by Tony Cangiano
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How's that for a detailed title? Lengthy as it may be, it's an accurate one because that is precisely what this timelessly lovely floral print frock featuring shades dark purple, black, blue and green did. Hailing from one of Chronically Vintage's most recent blog sponsors, wonderful etsy shop Jenstyle Chic Vintage, this dress is one of those distinctly lovely pieces that is apt to catch the eye of those with a passion for multiple decades in time.
It is, like numerous beloved dresses in my closet, a piece that hails from the 1980s yet distinctly channels the spirit of the 1940s. And yet, there's more to this time frame chameleon, too. Subtle elements that speak of other decades as well. The double pleated detail directly below the collar, for example has a charming 1920s feel, and the somewhat blouse-y sleeves (as well as the wee little black velvet purse) call to mind the fabulously fashionable Edwardian era.
This decade jumps out all the more here when the dress waltzes with the splendid 1930s feather adored velvet hat (that could easily pass for an Edwardian chapeau) and a perpetually feminine grey 1940s princess coat - my favourite winter wear style of all time. The t-strap heels, naturally, call to mind the 20s and 30s, but are a truly classic style that has come into play during every decade from the 1920s right on to today.
So struck was I by the notes of earlier decades in this ensemble in fact, that for the first time ever, while editing these photos (as mentioned in this post last fall, Tony takes all of my photos, then I in turn happily do the post-processing/editing work with them) I finally took the plunge and converted some of them to black and white. It's a something I've been wanting to do for quite some time, but always felt compelled to wait for the right outfit to partner with this most vintage of photography palettes. I knew the moment I saw these photos, this was the one. Viewed in black and white, I cannot help but even feel a little bit like I've gone back in time entirely.
In many many ways this outfit is a lot like not only my wardrobe as a whole and my personal approach to wearing vintage (influenced as it is by a deeply rooted love of multiple eras), but like the etsy shop that the dress itself hails from.
Helmed by a lovely lady named - as you may have guess from her shop's moniker - Jen who spends her days as a teacher and librarian, and her evenings as an online vintage seller, Jenstyle Chic Vintage brings shoppers a diverse blend of fashions (both men's and women's, as well as a selection for children), jewelry, accessories and other assorted yesteryear goodies that span the spectrum of several decades.
Brought to life by Jen's longstanding love of the past, which stretches back to a childhood that was peppered with trips to antique stores with her parents (both yesteryear fans and collectors themselves) and other powerfully influential early experiences with history, her etsy shop is a companion to a 1967 Fan trailer that transformed into a traveling vintage shop from which she hosts pop up vintage shops in various parts of the US.
Jennifer Lorenz's passion for vintage, history, and bringing her customers fantastic pieces at reasonable prices is clear the moment you visit her etsy shop, and I'm thrilled to welcome this delightful lady (for more on Jen, her family and the fact that she believe, just as I do, that she was born with the collector's gene, be sure to check out her splendidly engaging etsy About page, where you'll see - and smile over the fact that - she has dubbed her darling dog Mazie as the shop's curator).
In addition to connecting with Jensyle Vintage Chic on etsy, which houses some seriously cool vintage items such as two gorgeous 1950s Spanish flamenco dance costume dresses, including the vibrant red and white one pictured here below, you can stay abreast of what's going with the shop and in Jen's world on Facebook and Twitter.
Little did we know when Tony and I took these photos last Thursday down at Okanagan Lake here in Penticton that we'd be in for another serious snowfall in the coming days. Though it was mighty nippy and windy that afternoon (so hence the red nose and cheeks in many of these snaps), and some remaining snow from previous falls lingered about here and there, within 24 hours Penticton would once again look like it could have been the landscape needed to paint the perfect Christmas card scene from.
At present, there's several inches of the white stuff piled up everywhere and even the rather gorgeous sunshine we got yesterday isn't enough to chase it off again yet or usher in the first telltale signs of the spring. Those will come in due time, but for now one still needs to hunker down under plenty of toasty layers, like this fabulous forties princess coat, which came into my wardrobe by way of a helpful blog commenter back in 2011.
At the time I posted about how I was on the prowl for a new vintage winter coat (ideally a princess one), as the treasured one that I'd previously been using for many years (since I was 18, to be exact) was beyond on its last legs. A very helpful blog reader spotted one that sounded like what I was after on the terrific vintage seller Couture Allure, and before I knew it, this gorgeous $300 investment piece was winging its way through the mail and into my closet (received as an awesome gift, I should add, from my darling husband).
This is the first time I've featured it in a blog post, but certainly not the first that I've worn it. In fact, about 80% of the time when I wear a dress or skirt during the fall, winter and very early spring, this is the vintage topper that I reach for. It's fabulously warm (its length helps there big time), hugs my curves to no end, and is holding up superbly.
I highly suspect that it will be with me for many more freezing cold Canadian winters to come, just as this beautiful dress from her etsy shop, which I sincerely appreciate that Jen sent me a gift, will be a much loved part of my wardrobe for ages (while also happening to be a stellar start to this year's plan to add more purple to my wardrobe).
I look at this outfit and I smile. Yes, the forties jump out at me when I view it, but there are elements of various other decades to, as I mentioned above, that all work in harmony though the colour palette, lines, choice of accessories and coat, and the prevailing sense of femininity that swirl though it. This look, comprised of stylish components of, and items dating from, numerous decades is me to a tee and is a perfect snapshot, quite literally, of what my personal vintage style is all about.
*PS* Jenstyle Chic Vintage is very generously offering Chronically Vintage readers the chance to save 25% off on all purchases (with no minimum order required) at their etsy shop when you use coupon code Jessica between now and March 31st, 2014.