October 12, 2016

All roads lead to vintage fall fashion

Outfit details

Camel coloured felt beret: eBay
Gold tone metal and orange enamel earrings: Birthday gift from a dear online friend ♥
Vintage style black cotton capelet: c/o Dolly & Dotty
1950s striped cotton day dress: Stutterin' Mama
1940s style pumpkin dangle brooch: Summer Blue Jewelry
C. 1980s does 1950s tan brown leather belt: (Probably) Thrifted
C. 1950s ruched black gloves: Unknown, had for years (probably eBay or Etsy)
Canvas and faux leather handbag: Tabi
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style black faux suede pumps: Walmart
Lip Colour: MAC Partyline

Photography by Tony Cangiano

...Or at least they do for me personally. :)

Like many of us, I acquire new items for my wardrobe (and periodically part ways with others) all throughout the year, but no matter the season, when I'm shopping for clothing, accessories or jewelry, I'm thinking about autumn time.

My favourite season by a wide margin (though I do genuinely adore, appreciate, and delight in each of them), fall calls to my heart and soul. It is the short-lived middle ground between sweltering and freezing, and here in Canada such is often (at best) a matter of weeks. The notion of a long, mild fall that spans September to early December is virtually unheard of in these northern lands.

Still, even if we're handing out Halloween candy to kids sporting snow suits, I still like to wear autumn coloured, themed and inspired looks for that duration and make a point to try and have at least a few new pieces that fit the bill to the tee on hand well before September rolls into town again.

One such garment, which I picked up earlier this year from Stutterin' Mama is this very classic, very sweet black, tawny brown and white striped 1950s dress (which I mentioned in passing here a few weeks ago). I'd been wanting to add a striped vintage dress to my closet for ages and this charmer was a case of love at first sight for me.

It has elbow length sleeves, a midi hem, a flattering cut, a cute little folded collar, and a colour palette that doesn't just sing with the spirit of fall, it belts it out like Pavarotti!

As I knew the seasons would be changing hands big time while we were in Edmonton, I made sure to pack not only this dress, but a beautiful recently acquired vintage style black cotton capelet (called the Sabrina Glamorous 50s Style Cape Shrug) that I received from Dolly & Dotty, with me on our travels (thank you so much, D&D, for this awesome gift).

On the particular day that these photos were taken, Tony and I had just spent a couple of hours visiting the absolutely delightful Fort Edmonton Park (it's so big and engaging that we didn't get to see it all in that time frame and will definitely aim to return on a future visit to Edmonton), which we both adored.

It was fun, too, as I've encountered here and there at other historical parks over the years, to see fellow park visitors wondering/thinking that I worked there due to my vintage attire.

As a general rule, capelets (aka, short capes) are not something that I wear often, simply because they tend to make my (naturally small) shoulders and upper torso look a lot, lot wider/bigger than it really is. I adore them as a garment though and was willing to take the gamble, so to speak, when Dolly & Dotty inquired as to if I'd like to try out one of their elegant versions.

Given that I don't presently own a black cotton capelet, I decided to take the plunge and am more than a little bit thrilled that I did. Yes, I do see some of that bulk factor happening, but objectively that's rather the nature of capelets, capes and poncho shaped garments in general.

This cape is sweet, well made and endlessly classic. I love how well it partners with longer length gloves, too. Being on holiday, I didn't have my whole glove wardrobe with me, but I did of course pack a few pairs, of which I felt these ruched black ones worked best in the context of this outfit (I don't own a caramel coloured longer length pair, but if I did, I think such would have rocked here, too).

Interestingly, in a way, despite my general reservations when it comes to capelets, of the beautiful garments I've received from Dolly & Dotty this year, I actually think I'll sport this capelet most often of all (as it's so versatile, lightweight and perfect for layering from fall clear on through to spring). Proof positive, if you ask me, that it always pays to revisit styles that you like, but think might not work well for you personally.

We grabbed these peaceful photos at the John Janzen Nature Centre Park that was directly beside Fort Edmonton. The leaves were beginning to turn the colour of Bartlett pears and a definite nip was in the air, so I was grateful to have this capelet over my shoulders as I stood on that small foot traffic bridge.

To the surprise of no one who knows me, I'm sure, I was shopping for (further) new fall appropriate items while on our trip and am happy to say that I found some, including a fabulous Halloween themed Hell Bunny skirt that I picked up at Rowena (which I'm really hoping will appear here on the blog this year - if not, in the future for sure!).

Fall's colours and the imagery - from pumpkins, such as those in the beautiful Summer Blue Jewelry vintage inspired brooch that I'm sporting here, to leaves to apples and scarecrows – are “me” through and through.

They bring me joy in all forms, very much including the wearable type, and I love that a season I plan, shop for, and dream about all year is here again. Especially when I have fun new-to-me pieces to wear like many of those featured into today's seasonal ensemble.

Are you a fan of fall's colour palette and/or iconic imagery for your own wardrobe as well? Do you find yourself shopping for any one season more than the others?


  1. I adore this you look so beautiful and so fall! I love the cape in particular

  2. Looking beautiful as ever Jessica. I love the capelet with the gloves, it really reminds me of my little black jacket I wear with my ruched winter gloves and is a perfect autumnal look.

    I wonder of the Halloween themed skirt is the same I have on my Amazon wish list? Can't wait to see!


  3. Cute as a button! Or should that be an acorn, given the season? What a setting too, you have some beautiful spots in Canada. On a much more majestic scale than anything in Wales! The sweet little capelet is a fabulous finishing touch to this darling outfit. How much you love Autumn certainly is apparent x

  4. The cape is like the cherry on top for this look and as usual you showcase the most beautiful locations in Canada, the green backgrounds are always a delight.

  5. lovely outfit Jessica and great pics

  6. Swooning so much over this look! <3 Everything is so perfect! The pumpkin brooch and pumpkin looking earrings are an especially great touch. <3 How fun that you got to make a stop at Rowena! I forget that their shop is in Edmonton! <3

  7. All year round I find myself thinking "That will look nice in the Autumn..." I seem to do this particularly with scarves. Autumn colours and especially leaf prints are so hard to resist. I love that capelet paired with the elbow-length gloves, looks so elegant. Sam x

  8. I love Autumn, too. This is the most perfect Fall outfit. I love that you actually have a glove wardrobe. XXXOO

  9. PS What a lovely backdrop! The bright trees and the bridge make a perfect frame.

  10. A perfect dress for October! The cape looks lovely on you, your vintage wardrobe is to ~die~ for (figured this saying is appropriate for the upcoming holiday :P)!


  11. I love fall, but my wardrobe doesn't have any real leanings towards fall except some neutral cardigans that I wear all year if it is chilly. I might lean towards more jewel tones though in my outfits.


  12. I love this outfit. The capelet is gorgeous. That pumpkin pin is adorable. Thanks for sharing this post.

  13. Fall is my favorite too. I really look forward to the palette and season all year. Our weather is so weird this time of year though--it doesn't really make up its mind about whether to be summer or winter until at least December. I miss living in Minnesota where the seasons were a bit more defined!

    I love that capelet--I have narrow shoulders too, and I find capelets incredibly flattering and practical. This year I'm all about clever accessories!

  14. What a great post, I love the pumpkin jewellery, especially the cute earrings!


  15. Adorable with a capital A! I don't know what I love more, the dress, the jewelry of the capelet. You certainly know how to wear it. LOVE the pumpkin earrings and pin! I'm a big pin wearer myself!

    I've got to remember to have my fictional character wear them and for goodness sakes work in a capelet!


  16. You rock the caplet so perfectly! Such a wonderful fall outfit and a beautiful setting to match. And don't even get me started on how cute your pumpkin accessories are...too cute!!!

    Liz :)

  17. Sweet outfit, and lovely pumpkin brooch! How cool! I think caplets look great on you, and not bulky at all. Isn't it funny how we can be so self conscious about something, but other people don't notice it. Perhaps you'll find some more, or be given some more in the future. Xxx

  18. Oh that capelet! Love it, love, love it. Positively gorgeous Fall outfit, Jessica!
    I need to do some Fall fashion posts before it all too quickly turns to winter. Of course mine will be more along the lines of boots, bangles and cardigans, ha ha!

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting

  19. I love that cloak Jessica! So perfect for fall:)

  20. Ah, the trees are turning already up there! I'm so jealous! :-P Lovely pictures and cute outfit, as always!

  21. I never noticed how many piercings you have! Love those pumpkin earrings! That dress is to die for and I love every other piece of this outfit! I, for one, always shop with summer in mind haha!! Ugh, it's not necessarily a good thing lol. And thank you for your kind words on my blog! XO

  22. Lovely pictures! I love the one of you looking pensively off to the side (and of course, your full, beautiful smile!). That is a great-looking dress, and the capelet is the perfect topper. I need to wear something fall-inspired ASAP to counter the horrid outfit I wore today.

  23. That outfit is so cute and well put together, and the capelet gives it such a nice touch!

    I've always been most enamoured of purple and black for my wardrobe, though I've been getting much more into orange over the years. It doesn't surprise me that much, since bright orange is one of the signature colours of Sagittarius. I'll be getting some new Halloween jewelry and at least one scarf from a local boutique very soon.

  24. How I love outfit shoots on bridges <3 I know exactly what you mean about capelets, especially when you're short! I really love this cape but I've held off getting my hands on it for exactly the reason of fearing a blocky shape. I think, though, that the way you've paired it with a slightly full skirt helps to balance it out. It certainly looks charming on you and while I understand if you're still not 100% about the shape, I can confirm you look fantastic :)

  25. What an amazing outfit, Jessica. I'm in love with the capelet and gloves, and your pumpkin brooch and earrings are super cute! Again, the photographs are fantastic, congratulations to your talented husband. A big hug, Ann xoxo

  26. I love retro style in fall :)

    brooch is cute

  27. Swoon!
    What a treat to see this adorable ensemble. One can see that this is your go-to season, and I'm sure that you're feeling the tingling of approaching pumpkin-related holiday.
    You look fabulous!
    (my best to your photographer!)
    ...and what a fine assessors you have gotten there :)


  28. Absolutely beautiful as always, and so perfectly Autumnal! The colours are gorgeous and fit so well with the setting behind. I dream of going to new England in the Autumn one day. Oh the photos I would take!
    When I first looked at your photos I thought that the little cape was like a fashionable version of a witches cloak. How perfectly fitting is that for a lady who loves Halloween like you do? xx

  29. I love your outfit! You look lovely! The cape is adorable. I absolutely love autumns colors. Like yourself, no matter what time of the year I'm shopping for clothes and accessories fall is on my mind!

  30. Ah, that cape is just wonderful! It goes so well with the gloves and the dress, just an overall pretty outfit!


  31. Everything about your outfit is perfect! I'm glad you found a cape that you like, as they are so much fun! The setting for your photos is beautiful too, wish I was there! :)

  32. That capelet is absolutely adorable and adds drama to your already lovely ensemble. Tony has excelled himself with the photos today. xxx

  33. A CAPELET?!?! A CAPELET!!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! It looks wonderful on you ... sophisticated, yet relaxed. And you know that I love that pumpkin brooch. HAPPY FALL!

  34. Dear Jessica,

    This is a lovely outfit for Autumn...I like all of it from the bow on your shoes to the bow on your cape. :) The ruched gloves are a perfect touch.

    Really like the cropped cape/capelet...fits you well. I know what you mean with really big capes. They are long and bulky...I find they are mostly the modern ones and not vintage ones. Vintage ones are tailored and so elegant. Or, a knitted or crocheted cape is also lovely. I crocheted a cropped black cape a while ago--you make me want to dig mine out.

    Hugs & have a great week,

  35. I agree fall is my favorite season and it truly is much too short here in Canada! I love this fabulous outfit you are wearing and that capelet is so sweet with the outfit! I also adore those lovely earring and brooch! They are the icing on the cake!


  36. You're the second person in my binge blog reading who has bought something from SutterinMama, which always makes me happy, since I used to work for her!

    This outfit is perfect, and I do hope you're NOT passing out candy to kids in snowsuits. We had a similar problem, but with rain, when I was a kid in Oregon.


  37. I'm loving that capelet! This is such a sweet look for fall :)

  38. What a pretty dress and brooch. I've never worn a cape (long or short) but you've put the idea in my head. This one looks good on you.

  39. I have recently fell in love all over again with all things capes. And I think that a capelet is something that definitely needs to happen.
    These are beautiful images! Good thing you took a chance on the capelet- it looks lovely with this outfit, and I can see it pairing beautifully with so many others!
    The Artyologist

  40. Autumn really is your season!

    I knit for winter, but buy dresses for summer. :-) Winter woollen skirts are easy to come by in charity shops so I don't really need to hunt for those.

  41. Wow I'm loving this whole Autumn/fall inspired look on you! That caplet and beret really set of the rest of the outfit perfectly! Gorgeous photos too Jessica! xo

  42. I love this so much. That cape is adorable. I have real problems with capes and such like as I'm so heavy busted, I do not look good in them. I still love them though, it's such a great look on you. I like the cosy fashions that can be worn in Autumn, I have to remind myself not to go too overboard too quickly with the old winter woollens, or I don't feel the true benefit when the cold weather really gets going. Hopefully it won't be too Arctic like this year, but we will see. Great pumpkin earrings by the way xx

  43. Spring is my favorite fashion season, but I like to immerse myself in each, because when they pass, I inevitably miss them. We lived down south for the past few years, and it was the Michigan autumns I missed the most: the apple orchards, cider mills, changing leaves, and cool crisp air. And I missed dressing for the Michigan fall season as well.

    I am feeling the rustic romance of fall in your look, and I think the capelet is such a special piece. It'll be fabulous to remix for the winter holidays, too. I also appreciate that you mix pieces from so many different decades. Your look feels "vintage", of course, but it's hard to place in a specific time, making it completely unique and your own.

    <3 Liz

  44. I absolutely love that capelet! It's so sweet and the bow closure at the front is the perfect finishing touch. I'm not really one for capelets because I'm not sure when to wear them. I feel like they wouldn't be all that warm and I think if I bought one I might not get much use out of it, but the one you're wearing is really selling me on the idea!

    Also your dress is lovely and I feel like the gloves with the capelet balance really well and everything looks perfect! Hope you're still enjoying a bit more fall weather before it gets too cold! xx


  45. Lovely blog!

  46. Hi Jessica,
    I went to look at your shop for some ideas for a friend for Christmas, and I saw that your are closed due to an emergency. You have my heartfelt thoughts at this time. I hope that you are amply supported by those who love you in this time.


  47. Really fabulous outfit I 100% thought that cape was vintage! I looks for sweaters no matter what the temperature and all summer I was trying to find an affordable wood leaves necklace (had no luck) I am with you on loving fall!

  48. Dearest Jessica, as always you are stunningly beautiful. I am totally in love with the cape. I may have to get one for myself. It is so precious, just like you. I came because I had you on my mind. I can't even begin to imagine the horror of what has happened the loss of your entire world. I know you can not even go out shopping and replace your vintage wardrobe and my heart breaks for you. I have seen that everyone has been so wonderful to you and your hubby and it warms my heart. I just wanted you to know that you are on my mind and in my heart. Love, Beverly

  49. I love autumn as well, dear Jessica and winter! I can bear spring, but I confess I am not a fan of summer :) So nice that you took pictures in Edmonton and I agree with you, the capelet (or short cape :) is sooo sweet! I love midi hems, and a bit longer sleeves - you look really gorgeous! Such a beautiful outfit, what for a lovely brooch and bag! I hope you have a very nice week! Hugs and regards!

  50. Jessica, you're looking absolutely beautiful - sweet and youthful, in this lovely outfit. The scenery is (as always, also) is autumn...keep enjoying those lovely autumn clothes and the traditions of the season. Elizabeth. xx

  51. You really are made for fall! Practically perfect in every way!