1940s/1950s dark blue velvet platter hat: 2014 Victoria Vintage Expo
C. 1930/1940s long hat pin: Unknown, had for years
Brass heart earrings: Claire's
White button front shirt: Talbots
Brass and blue stone Joy Statement Necklace in Navy: c/o Happiness Boutique
Brown tweed blazer: Thrifted (Suzy Shier tag)
1940s/1950s tawny brown gloves with leaf detailing: Unknown, had for years (probably eBay)
1950s navy blue pencil skirt: eBay
C. 1960s brown patent purse: Purchased from a fellow vintage seller
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
Brown 1940s style faux leather round toe pumps: Wal-Mart
Lip colour: MAC Party Line
Photography by Tony Cangiano
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Vintage collegiate style is amongst my favourite looks ever. It's typically a classy, fairly structured, youthful approach to dressing that one can continue to take a styling cue from long after they've graduated. At my age, I'm not passing for a college freshman any more and am certainly not trying to pretend that I am. Luckily many elements of the mid-century collegiate look - pencil skirts, tweeds, corduroy, knee socks, sweaters, twin sets, penny loafers, leather satchels, basic pearl jewelry, jaunty little caps, and numerous other elements work wonders as one advances in life, too.
Today's outfit used the gorgeous Joy Statement Necklace in Navy that I recently received as a very lovely review gift from the stellar European jewelry, accessories and clothing brand, Happiness Boutique, as its jumping off point. Made of aged brass and lustrous blue stones, this elegant necklace telegraphs the spirit of the past, but could just as easily work wonders in the context of a more contemporary ensemble, too.
I'm wild about this necklace and about Happiness Boutique (which I want to sincerely thank for this awesome review gift). Not only are many of their offerings old school appropriate, but some of their jewelry is also nickel-free. If, like myself, you happen to be allergic to this far-too-commonplace base metal, then you'll definitely know what a substantial struggle it is to find jewelry, let alone pieces other than earrings, that made from metal and actually nickel-free.
The moment I learned that many of Happiness Boutique's were/are, they had an instant fan in me. A spin around this well stocked, frequently updated website - which offers the option to shop in various currencies - only cemented my adoration for this thriving European online jewelry and fashion shop all the more.
Their prices, even when converted from Euros into Canadian, American, etc dollars, are quite reasonable in my opinion, especially for well made, stylish, trendy and/or timeless looking nickel-free jewelry and I have every intention to purchase from Happiness Boutique as time goes on (I need to grow the nickel-free necklace section of my jewelry box something fierce and their chic offerings could certainly help there!).
Now, I fully realize that such a glam necklace would not have been part of one's usual mid-century collegiate fashion look, but I wasn't going for an absolutely true to form ensemble. Instead I wanted to marry elements of that look with some that were of a more sophisticated nature as well - chiefly that stunning midnight blue 1940s/1950s platter hat and the fabulous necklace from Happiness Boutique.
I love this tweed blazer (that boasts faux leather elbow pads for an extra dose of university approved style), which was a thrift find (that originally hailed from Suzy Shier), but rarely wear it because it's a bit tight in the upper arms for me. It’s an extra small and I know that were it a small, it would fit perfectly (in the arms at least).
As much as I adore it, I think it might get the axe the next time I purge my closet, as I don't like to hang on to ill fitting garments, if I can avoid it. The main reason I haven't done so thus far is that it's my own brown tweed jacket and I as I'm a huge tweet fan, I'm rather partial to this blazer - tight sleeves and all. Maybe I'll thrift a similar piece this fall and then I'll have no qualms parting ways with this classic looking topper.
The sun was out in full force on the recent day when Tony and I captured these outfit snaps in the nearby community of Okanagan Falls. As such, I decided to try an experiment and see if I would squint less (something longtime readers will know that I'm fairly prone to doing) if I didn't smile much, but honestly, in reviewing these snaps, I see little difference and as I don't really have the sort of face that can usually pull off a solemn expression without looking sad/mad/blue/worried, I think I'll stick to smiling no matter if the sun is out or not - especially since I was a in a great mood that day, thanks in no small part to this fabulous Happiness Boutique necklace.
In fact, I was even chuckling to myself a little at one point, because it occurred to me that I might have accidentally channeled a Boy George-esque look with my fully buttoned up shirt and wide brim hat. Thankfully in reviewing these photos, I don't really see that, but it was fun to laugh about in the moment all the same.
There's no time of the year, to my mind, that suits a vintage collegiate look better than fall, no matter if one follows it to the letter or just borrows inspiration, as I did with this outfit. The textured fabrics, handy layers, sensible shoes, and warm jackets take to autumn like a duck to water and definitely work well whether one is 18, 38, 58 or beyond. This is a very good thing because at the age of 31, I find my love of this look only deepens with each passing year and I'm sure you'll see me continue to channel this classic style for many an autumn to come!