Bespoke 1930s style purple felt and lace hat inspired by the movie The Women: c/o Tanith Rowan Designs
c. 1930s black plastic tipped hatpin: Unknown, hat for years
Creamy white hued plastic rose stud earrings: Claire's
1950s style Petal Vintage Floral Swing Dress in Blue: c/o Dolly & Dotty
Purple cardigan: Thrifted (Lands' End label)
Peachy-pink plastic beaded stretch bracelets: (I think) Forever 21
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
1950s/1960s pink handbag: Unknown (had for years)
1950s style blue floral print fabric headband: c/o Dolly & Dotty
1950s white wrist length gloves: Unknown, possibly a gift (had for years)
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
Burgundy faux suede pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Partyline
Photography by Tony Cangiano
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Sunshine, as you may recall from some of my more recent posts (such as this one), has been about as rare as hen's teeth around these parts for the past nearly three months (in fact, we had rain - and on one occasion a fabulous thunderstorm - for six of the first eight days of summer).
Thus, when it decided to grace us with its presence on a recent weekend afternoon, we beelined it across the street to the beautiful walking path that runs along the stream and tall hill there, to take some outfit photos in the lush green foliage that all of this recent precipitation has generated.
A day this bright and lovely (though not staggeringly warm), called for an ensemble that celebrated the very best elements of the tail end of spring/start of summer. A colour palette of vibrant, feminine hues. A garden's worth of blooms, and a chapeau that would keep the sun - now that it was out - from getting too overzealous and burning one's face.
Were I going to a garden party, a tea party, a bridal or baby shower, a Mother's Day fete, an alfresco dinner party, a birthday bash, or perhaps even a wedding, I would wear this outfit in a heartbeat. Alas, none of those were on the agenda, but that was okay, because the return of sunshine was worth toasting every bit as much as any of those special occasions.
This ensemble starts, quite literally, with the most enchantingly beautiful of vintage style hats, which is a bespoke piece that my dear friend - and one of the most talented milliners in the whole wide world - Tanith Rowan - recently created for me.
Tanith, who many of you may know from her terrific vintage blog, Tanith Rowan Design, as well as two past occasions where I've had the great honour of wearing her stunning creations here on my blog (most recent of which was the fun spot of time that I spent with her beautiful blue and black hued Traveling Hat).
For this exciting collaboration, I spoke with Tanith and conveyed to her my love for, and desire to own a similar hat to, one that appeared in a scene from that most breathtaking - from a fashion standpoint at least - of 1930s movies: The Women (see image below).
Tanith instantly understood my vision and we set to work zipping emails back and forth with design and colour ideas. As I've been - and continue to be - very enamoured with all things purple lately, and as I own so few hats in this colour, two shades of this spring and summertime perfect shade were hit upon, as was the design itself.
Working with Tanith is a joy of the highest magnitude. She is sweet, professional, considerate, creative and understanding - she also goes the extra mile and then some for her customers, including, in this instance, have the very lace you see custom made for this hat.
So not only do I have the joy of owning a new one-of-a-kind hat, but also the honour of sporting some beautiful purple bespoke lace on it in the process (a detail that I hugely appreciate Tanith doing).
We wanted to make sure that the bow element, seen on the original hat in The Women, was included here, too. Various ideas were bounced back and forth before Tanith came up with the wonderful concept of a separate piece (of matching purple lace) in the shape of a bow with a loop of elastic on the back, that could instantly be slipped onto the "tails" of the lace on the hat to create a full, fabulous bow beneath one's chin (such a brilliant and innovative solution!).
This chapeau is big, bold and unlike anything else in my millinery wardrobe. It looks the mid-century part exceptionally well (as all of Tanith's vintage inspired pieces do), fits me like a glove, and is so beautiful, I can still scarcely believe that it's me wearing this hat in the photos shared here today. It is not the sort of topper one is apt to slip on any ol' day. But that's not only fine - it's exactly what I wanted in a hat this grand that was inspired by one of the most glamorous movies of all time.
It's important to have incredible looking pieces that we save for festive events, parties and holidays, or for when we want to brighten up our everyday lives with something so amazing looking, it might just stop traffic.
This magnificent late 1930s inspired purple felt and lace hat does that impeccably and is a testament to Tanith's unbelievable talent and ingenuity. I cannot thank her enough for the gift of this enchanting chapeau and know that anytime I need a major dose of purple, I have only to reach for this off-the-charts awesome millinery creation.
The question as to what one partners for a first wearing of such a glorious hat was something that I pondered long and hard. Various ideas swirled through my head, including some of my vintage suits, however, on a day bathed in gentle sunshine and when standing in the midst of nature’s verdant palette, such just seemed too stuffy and out-of-place to me.
Much to my delight, the answer to this question revealed itself to me in the form of one of the beautiful garments from UK vintage inspired clothing seller Dolly & Dotty that I recently selected to showcase here for you guys this summer in my roll as a brand ambassador for this wonderful company.
Called the Petal Vintage Floral Swing Dress in Blue, this elegant frock is the sort of flower print garment that turns my knees to Jell-o and which I can never, ever get enough of.
In particular, I was drawn to this gorgeous 1950s style dress because of the blue background - which isn't overly common on vintage reproduction/style garments - and the incredibly attractive rose pattern that it boasts from top to bottom.
Made from a very comfortable cotton and elastin blend, this light weight (fully lined) dress is the perfect thickness of fabric for the sunny months. It sizzles with a classic v-neck, a matching fabric covered belt, a hidden zipper, a full skirt (which one could most definitely place a crinoline underneath of), and a very becoming silhouette.
I would note that, like some of the other pieces that I have very kindly received from Dolly & Dotty, this dress runs on the smaller side (and one may wish to size up, especially if you're between two different sizes).
Here I'm wearing a UK size 10 (my usual size for British garments), which is roughly equivalent to a modern US/Canadian size 6 and I would say it fits closer to a UK size 8/US size 4. However, the use of stretch in the fabric helps a great deal there and I had absolutely no problem comfortably wearing this beguilingly sweet floral print dress for many hours on the day we took these photos.
With a hat and dress this vivacious unto themselves, little was needed in terms of further embellishments here with this outfit.
Some classic jewelry, an equally timeless pair of vintage gloves, a charming purple cardigan, my much adored peachy-pink hued mid-century handbag, a matching 1950s style blue floral print fabric headband from Dolly and Dotty (tied around the handles of my purse),and some burgundy pumps round off the outfit and help the frock and topper to shine all the more in their radiant splendor.
It's hard to believe that this is the last outfit post that I'll share with you during my 31st year of life. My birthday rounds the bend again in just four days time and with it a whole new year of exciting vintage outfits lie ahead.
If one wanted to round off a year of their life with a serious bang from a fashion perspective, this outfit most definitely delivers big time on that front - and you know, it strikes me now, maybe that makes the day we took these photos quite a celebration unto itself after all.
Fitting, wouldn't you say, for one's birthday week and the return - I truly hope - of, at long last, some proper summertime weather, which should help make taking upcoming outfit shoots, once I've turned thirty-two, all the more enjoyable!