September 4, 2014

A beloved vintage shirtwaist dress for those in between seasons days




Outfit details

1950s floral print scarf: Not sure, had for years (possibly a gift or thrifted)
Floral metal and faux pearl earrings: Save On Foods
Teal-cerulean blue 1980s does 1950s shirtwaist dress: eBay
Vintage gold tone metal and rhinestone floral brooch: eBay (similar style available in my Etsy shop)
Skinny light blue belt: eBay
Gold toned metal bangle bracelets: Payless
Vintage woven raffia handbag: Yard sale find
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
White pumps: Payless
Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace
Nail colour: Sally Hansen Rogue Rush over Essie Pink Diamond


Photography by Tony Cangiano













































Of all the shirtwaist dresses in my closet, this cheerful 1980s does 1950s teal meets cerulean blue number gets the most amount of wear, bar none. It's seen me through road trips, attended lengthy antiques auctions, been guised up for the holidays, worn for walks at the beach, visited hundreds of yard sales, done more hours of housework in than I can begin to count, hugged plenty of relatives at family get-togethers, and is a frequent first choice when running errands or bopping around seeing the local sites (and indeed, it appeared here over two years in a post on that very topic called The Intrepid Urban Explorer).

It is also an extremely useful piece to have on hand as one season starts to shift into the next, be it spring into summer or summer into fall, as is the case now that we've celebrated Labour Day and are heading, mighty quickly, towards the return of my favourite time of the year: autumn.

More so this year than for any other in recent memory, I'm keen to hold onto summer. To savour and indulge in each glistening moment of warmth and amber hued sunshine. As August wound down, I felt much like a little kid again, trying, ultimately unsuccessfully, to hold onto the heat of summer and make it last all the that much longer. Time waits for no one though and can't be harnessed on a whim - for better or worse - so I've made peace with the fact that all too soon, the days of beaches and fresh peaches, the ability to comfortably go bear foot, and the need to consume copious amounts of ice cream to stay adequately refreshed will be behind us again.

We're not quite there, but I can sense the heat draining from the days like like the last ounce of toothpaste being squeezed from the tube. Before it does though, you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll find me, and my trusty turquoise shirtwaist dress out and about, posing with flowers (as I did with this delightful cart that is parked out front of our local Art Knapp's nursery), sitting in the sun (with sunscreen and a hat on, of course), savoring all the local fruit and veg I possibly can, and reflecting back on what has been, hands down, one of the busiest and most action packed summers I've enjoyed in a very long time.

From adding clothing and handbags to my Etsy shop to launching my YouTube channel, trying my hand at selling vintage in person, traversing the Okanagan from top to bottom, spending time with family, celebrating birthdays (including my 30th back on July 10th) and anniversaries, my second ever blogger meet-up, and oodles more, this summer has been a constant go-go-go for me! And you know what, knackered as I was at times, and hard as such a demanding pace can be on my health, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I love what I've accomplished, set into motion, and have begun planning for the remainder of the year and beyond.

After all, one can always top their most frequently worn shirtwaist dress with a chunky cardigan and put their feet up - for a few minutes at least - once Old Man Winter is here again and we're up to our bumper bangs in bone chilling snow. For the moment though, I'm going to keep on reveling in summer, gearing up for fall, and being thankful for what an awesome, fun filled, productive season this one has been for me.

54 comments:

  1. Esse vestido é um encanto... sempre muito linda.
    beijos

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  2. I love the color of this dress! It's so cheerful! Compared to the older pictures of the same dress, I like it better when the buttons aren't all closed!

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    1. Very observant spotting, dear gal! You know, I prefer it (and most of my shirtwaist dresses, come to think of it) that way, too.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  3. Lovely. What I like most about your dressing up is that you create a true image of times gone by that goes beyond merely wearing old styles. You inhabit earlier periods. I believe that comes from your commitment to vintage and how you get even the smallest details right.

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  4. So simple yet so lovely, loving the gold accessories with it!

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  5. I love the comment that your lovely shirt dress has hugged plenty of relatives:) So sweet You certainly have accomplished a lot this year and there is still a few more months to go! I love seeing your photographs. Tony does such an excellent job of bring together wonderful images for your blog. You two are quite a team:)

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    1. Thank you very much, dearest Joanna. It warms my heart to know that that line jumped out at me. It's so true, there aren't many close family members who haven't seen, and been hugged by, me in this classic shirtwaist dress at one point or another. I can't help but think, on reflecting about that, how true the same must be for many vintage garments throughout their venerable lives.

      That sincerely means a great deal to both of us. Thank you so much! We really are an awesome pair together and I count my blessings everyday to walk through with the wonderful husband that I do.

      Huge hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  6. As always, you look both flawless and effortless, both chic and breezy. It always really blows my mind! Such balance in fashion takes major skill (and confidence, and creativity, and a bunch of other stuff).

    Also: your little line of diamond studs trailing up your helix piercings is the sweetest detail! It adds just the perfect touch of glamorous, punky sensibility. ;)

    -Cammila
    http://dresseduplikealady.com

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  7. I so love your 80s does 50s pieces, and I agree that a shirtdress is such a great transitional piece. I have one on my sewing table I'm eager to work on, though it's more autumnal than summer-ish.

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  8. I adore this color on you! And I absolutely love how you pulled the goldtone/mustard and floral motif from the scarf into your accessories! It's such a brilliant, well put together outfit!

    Like you, I have a few of those 80s does 50s that have seen their share of action, especially on road trips too!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    1. Thank you very much, darling gal! It's one of my favourite (and, if I may humbly say, most flattering) colours, which I think is why this dress gets sported so often. Also, I swear, teal-turquoise blue like this is a quasi-neutral. I've worn it with everything from tangerine to grape, red to grey, pink, silver, gold (as here), the list goes on and on.

      These kinds of dresses are the best for road trips! If I'm not wearing pants or capris when we travel, than this dress or one akin to it is what I'm sporting. I haven't planned my outfit for the drive to Vancouver Island yet, but this would be a serious contender as the dress at the heart of it.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  9. The dress is such a lovely color on you. I can definitely see why that's a go-to piece for you - it looks like the sort of easy, comfortable, but still stylish piece that everyone needs to have in their wardrobe. I think a long sleeved shirt dress is something every vintage woman should have on hand.
    I hope that the rest of the year is just as exciting for you as the summer has been, albeit a little bit easier on your health! I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us.
    Cheers,
    Jessica, cakesandcakesvintage.blogspot.com

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  10. Much as I love wearing new finds, it makes sense to have some reliable favourites that can be pulled together because you already know what does, and doesn't work with it. I did that for a recent road-trip as well, and when you're worrying about everything else, knowing you have something to wear out the door is really great. That said, my "go-to" dress isn't nearly as pretty as yours! Oh I love that colour, and with your hair it is just perfect.

    The 80's dresses are great in the ease of cleaning/wear compared to the 50's -and I don't know about you, but I don't bring an iron on holiday ;)

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  11. shirtwaist dresses are the best! and yours has such a fabulous color!
    you look soooo cuuute with that headscarf!!!!!!
    today i took i big sunbath - charging the battery for winter :-)
    enjoy your "altweibersommer" (old women summer - from the spider filaments flying in the golden light like white long hair)
    tons of hugs!

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Beate!!! I wore headscarves, come to think of it, more in 2012 and '13 than this year. I've been on more of a chiffon/nylon scarf (as a headband) and snood kick, but as the weather cools down and the warmth that wearing scarves in this style brings becomes very handy again, I bet they'll be appearing here again more often.

      Awwww, that sounds absolutely lovely!!! I need to get and properly soak up the sun before it vanishes for good here again very soon (on the weekend, I hope).

      Oodles of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  12. You are wearing this season, and this dress so well. For me, this is the toughest season to dress. Its too chilly for dresses with out tights, but too early in the season for thick tight or leggings. I've worn my high-waist, wide leg jeans for the last 4 days and this morning felt so uninspired while trying to get dresses. It's sad to feel so uninspired while dressing, its usually an area of my life that is very inspiring. I think maybe I need to find a few wool skirts. Thank you for sharing your inspirations with us. You are seriously the best at accessorizing, I can't decide which piece is my favorite, the are all little gems and work so well together.

    She Knits in Pearls

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    1. What a glowingly lovely compliment, my sweet friend. Thank you so much!!! I've been wearing my Freddies side button jeans a lot lately - pants really come in handy during seasonal transition periods (save perhaps for spring into summer, depending on the temps). In fact, I've worn the same outfit four times in the last two weeks, because it works so well - and yet, haven't photographed it once (too busy/too sick/too husband not home to take pics :D).

      Thank you again very much - your words really brightened my day!

      ♥ Jessica

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  13. I love the shirtwaist dress style, but it's one of those where I have to get a really good fit for it to be flattering on me--when they're too loose or long, I look like a kid playing dress up in my mom's clothes... :P

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  14. this dress is really lovely on you. the colour suits you perectly.

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  15. The blue is stunning Jessica! I love the jewellery so elegant, chic and classic!
    http://balearaitzart.blogspot.com.au/

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  16. Aaaah, you can't beat a good go-anywhere dress. I have to remind myself that sometimes - cocktail dresses may be glamorous, but everyday vintage is worth its weight in gold. That's a really super colour, too, it looks great with your colouring.

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  17. Sometimes I wonder if there's a garment or color that does NOT fit you. But there truly isn't: you wear everything with so much verve and style. A true inspiration.

    xxx

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    1. That is a compliment of the highest magnitude, dear Lindsay, thank you deeply.

      I can assure you that there are both plenty of styles and some colours which look atrocious on me, but I've learned and studied what they are over the years and go to great lengths to avoid them (even if I love a certain style or colour - for examples, most 20s and 30s styles look like train wrecks on me, as do some shades of orange, yellow, purple, and dark pink - all beautiful unto themselves, but rarely on me), so as to present the most becoming version of myself that I usually can. I don't always get it right though (there was an outfit I posted here a few months back involving a somewhat-too-large-for-me black shirtwaist dress that didn't work well for me and I only posted about to illustrate the point that no one, no matter who they are or what their fashion background is, nails every outfit).

      Thank you again immensely - I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me.

      ♥ Jessica

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  18. Love, love, love a shirtwaist dress. So timeless and ladylike. And that color looks great on you. I especially love the way your wrapped the scarf on your head. Am definitely going to try that! Of course your matching skills are exemplary as usual :)

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Theresa. Though not as much this year as in some past (I've been on more of a chiffon/nylon scarf and snood kick lately), I've often wore scarves like this, especially when the temperatures are sizzling hot and you don't want your hair to be on your neck, and really can't recommend it highly enough (it's also perfect for bad hair days or those awkward "growing out" weeks between hair lengths that you're switching between).

      ♥ Jessica

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  19. Oh Jessica, you did it again..posted ANOTHER lovely outfit. So pretty :) Shirtwaist dresses are a favorite of mine and I own..several. They are so versatile, easy to dress up, dress down and never mind totally comfortable. Someone knew what they were doing when they invented them.

    Congrats on all your wonderful milestones and activities and enjoy your upcoming trip too!

    Liz

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  20. Another totally stunning outfit! I love how the scarf and earing compliment eachother, you have such a an eye for detail. We are having a last gasp of summer hear with record heat and I did an outfit post today with a summer outfit. Time is just passing so so fast

    retro rover

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  21. What a versatile dress! I only wish we were getting cooler days. It's just hot, hot, hot here. That color looks great on you too:)

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  22. Such a lovely piece. I love how you styled it!

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  23. i'm the exact same about summer but i'm lucky it's still in full swing where i am right now (new york). i just need to try and strech it out until the end of october and then i'm heading back home to sydney for another summer, which was my plan all along of course!

    and i love shirt dresses, they're so comfortable and easy to wear and they always look great. i picked up a lovely mustard yellow shirt dress with a circle skirt from a vintage shop the other day and i was so happy when i found it!

    little henry lee

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    1. Oooh, how fabulously wonderful!!! I added a c. 1980s does 40s/50s short sleeve mustard yellow dress to my wardrobe a couple of years ago and wear it nearly as often as this teal blue charmer - especially in the fall, which we're just starting to head into here. If you're a fan of grey, partner it with your new frock, the two colours marry sublimely.

      ♥ Jessica

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  24. I can see why that dress would be a winner for all seasons. That color has to be my absolute favorite shade of blue (based on my childhood love for that color crayon) and it's one that suits you beautifully! ♥

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  25. I am currently planning to sew my shirtwaist dress. I love Yours, the colour really looks great with Your eyes and hair <3

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  26. what a beautiful dress! it really suits you a lot!! it definatley is perfect for cooler days which is great from the UK haha.

    Melissa x
    http://melissazia.co.uk

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  27. I love that blue on you! And I love how you accessorized it!! That bag is just the cutest thing.

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    1. Thank you very much, darling gal!!! That vintage straw purse was a yard sale find a couple of summers ago - I think I paid $0.50 or $1.00 for it - and it's been my most frequently used warm weather bag ever since. It's still holding up great at the end of this one and will no doubt appear here next year again.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  28. This dress is a glorious colour, it really suits you. It looks great in front of those lovely flowers. I really like the print on the headscarf too. I found a fabulous one this week in autumnal colours like changing leaves, looking forward to wearing it!

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    1. Thank you very much, darling gal! Congrats on your fabulous new scarf find. I have a royal blue, mustard yellow, and green floral one that I tend to start wearing once fall starts and I phase my more spring and summery ones out of the fold (or at least wear them less often). I recently thrifted a 80s houndstooth one in July that I'm really looking forward to wearing in the fall and winter, too.

      ♥ Jessica

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    2. They both sound fabulous, I look forward to seeing them!

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  29. I understand why you love that shirt dress - it is such a lovely and happy colour. :) And you are right about cardigans, they are your best friend when seasons are changing. I think I have about 60,000. ;) Pashminas and shawls are also good season chaning friends in your closet. Here in Denmark it has been autumn since the middle of August, so I am more than ready, although I miss summer. It is like saying goodbye to a good friend knowing there will go many months before you see her again.

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Sanne. Oh my, your 60,000 trumps my 40+ big time! :D Agreed entirely, I was just thinking two nights ago about how I want to wear my little shawl collection more this fall. A friend gave me a great white vintage knit one for my birthday that I can't wait to swaddle myself in as the mercury drops.

      Here's to a great, cozy autumn ahead for both of us!

      ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you very much, dear gal! It's one of my very favourites as well - not to mention being a quasi-neutral. Orange, grape, fuschia, lime green, grey, gold, red, and brown are just some of the many hues I adore sporting with this very dress.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  31. You look amazing! Love that colour on you too :)

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    1. Thank you very much, darling gal! I bet this shade of tropical ocean/teal blue would look stellar on you as well.

      ♥ Jessica

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  32. That is a beautiful colour on you. There's many an 80's gem to be had!
    xx

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    1. Thank you very much, dear gal. That there most certainly is! While I do like various elements of the 1980s fashion scene as the cool/chic/fun/etc pieces that they were, I generally look for ones like this that channel an early, mid-century vibe and then style them in such a direction. One of my favourite elements to such pieces is that fact that they're often quite durable and can easily be machine washed, meaning I'm much more apt to wear them in settings when genuine vintage might get damaged/stained (say, like at the dog park).

      Many thanks for your lovely comment ,
      ♥ Jessica

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  33. I love this post, everything about that dress is perfect on you :)

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  34. I think I have a dress quite like this, though I need to work harder to get back into it, which is also blue. I love to wear it with a many various accessories and hair do's that give the dress a different look each time.

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    1. Same here - that's so much of the awesomeness of shirtwaist dresses in solid colours or small, unassuming patterns. You can pretty much treat them like the stylish blank canvasses that they are. :)

      Big hugs & tons of thanks for each and every one of your great blog comments yesterday,
      ♥ Jessica

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  35. That is such a beautiful dress and the perfect color for you! Shirtwaist dresses are one of the things I'm still needing to add to my vintage wardrobe. I have many saved on my Pinterest wardrobe wish list!

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    1. They're such a handy garment - to the point, in the case of my life and wardrobe needs, of being something of a godsend even. I love that they're comfortable, easy to dress up or down, and can be worn on those days when (for medical reasons) I don't want anything constricting on my waist (skip the belt), yet still want to look well put together. I hope you're able to find (or sew, if you're a sewer) so that you absolutely adore, dear gal.

      ♥ Jessica

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