Dark green snood: eBay seller tina.g-2008
Faux pearl stud earrings: eBay
Circa 1950s maple leaf scatter pins: Antique store in Vernon
1940s style Tea Dress Denim Dark Blue: Vivien of Holloway
Green vintage Bakelite bangles: Carved = wonderful gift & thin marble spacer = thrifted
Camel hued faux leather cross body purse: eBay
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
Brown leather peep toe wedges: Yard sale
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Tony Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥
...They're inevitably part of 1940s ensemble.
As I couldn't track down The Most Interesting Man in The World from the Dos Equis beer commercials - he was probably off teaching hippos how to hang glide while knitting an afghan, learning to speak Mongolian, and juggling ten mini potted cactuses at the same time or something equally OTT and amazing - to do a sound bite for that title and opening line, you'll just have to read it in his voice in your head. :D
And for that matter, it's rather rare for me to wear dresses or shirts that don't reach past my elbows out in public, but sometimes one hits upon a garment that is so sublime, so well tailored, so expertly crafted and terrifically flattering on them that their usual fashion rules go out the window faster TMMITW could do a triple back flip. The next thing you know, you're standing in front of a camera in your brand new Vivien of Holloway Dark Denim Blue Dress, complete with shoulder pads and above-the-elbow sleeves and wondering how on earth your wardrobe ever got by without this timeless workhorse of a frock.
I'm very fortunate to have received this beautiful denim dress as a review gift from Vivien of Holloway (thank you so much for it!), who I will be collaborating with on at least two posts this year, plus you can see me wearing this very dress in one of my latest YouTube videos as well (and no doubt others to follow in the future). For this first outfit, the fine folks at VOH asked me to style it in a casual sort of way that would be redolent of both the 1940s and a good example of how busy ladies on the go these days could sport it (the second outfit post featuring this dress, to appear here next month, will take this same vintage reproduction frock in a bit more of a dressed up direction).
I flat out love the fashions of the war years, which relied so heavily on ingenuity, a make do and mend mentality, becoming tailoring, and stylish accessories to help pull an outfit all together, and it was those things that I kept in mind as styling my own ensemble here.
A classic snood, trio of vintage scatter brooches, Bakelite (and newer plastic, in the case of the white one) bangles, nude seamed stockings, brown leather wedge sandals, and a timeless cross body camel hued purse are all it takes to jazz up this lovely tea dress, as Vivien of Holloway describes this style, which really, objectively, is sensational all on its own.
Usually, as started in the title, I don't wear shoulder pages. I have small, sloping shoulders and find that they generally do my petite height and hourglass figure zero favours, but these ones - which could easily be removed if so desired, as they're not sandwiched between layers of fabric or otherwise tricky to do away with - are fairly modest size and in the over all context of this dress, even on my figure, they work. For the time being, I've left them in place and in fact, I rather like them and the way that they add a very important (further) note of 1940s appropriate style to this vintage reproduction garment.
Sure, I could have tossed a cardigan or jacket over top, but when you're doing a photo shoot and the temperature is about 36C/97F with little breeze and an arid desert-like landscape around you, one tends not to go running for layers - and, thanks actually, I believe to those aforementioned shoulder pads, I don't mind the sleeve length here at all and have been sporting this dress without anything atop it every few days since it arrived.
Made of quality, soft denim fabric that I'd describe as being of a flexible medium weight with a little hint of stretch to it, this dress is so incredibly comfortable. Like, wear it on a plane if you were flying from Canada to Australia kind of comfortable (which I'm not planning to in the near future, but if I ever do...). Don it for work, to pick up the kids, to run errand in, on a road trip, on a leisurely nature walk, to play golf in, while gardening, you name it! This dress is designed with practical daytime wear in mind, but it can also be - as I'll be showing in my second post featuring it in September - guised up a bit too, if you need/want to take it in a slightly more formal/office appropriate direction.
I love the perky row of good sized white plastic buttons, too. They're sweet and fun and make accessorizing a cinch, as white and denim both go with darn near every colour under the sun. I like to pull to colours from my garments for my accessories a lot of the time, so in this case, I brought white into the picture again via one of my vintage bangle bracelets and also care of my pearl earrings (themselves as timeless as the day is long).
For some other styling options when it comes to Vivien of Holloway's terrific day dresses (seriously, I can't, and as always I say this without a lick of bias, praise these classic 1940s style dress highly enough), here are some images from the company themselves of the Tea Dress in different colours, as well as their similar, casual styles the Kitty (some versions of which are currently on sale), Run Around Sue, and Anna Sundresses, respectively (please click on an image to be taken to its VOH page).
While Vivien of Holloway asked me to put together two outfit posts featuring this great dark denim tea dress, I'm so madly in love with it and its ability to instantly set the tone for an early to mid-1940s ensemble, that I'm sure you'll see it many a time again in the months and years to come, both here on my blog and on YouTube. It's my new favourite repro day dress and the first garment in a very, very long time to get me excited about wearing shoulder pads - which, I promise you, is no small feat! :)