A handful of the most commonly asked questions I receive regarding this blog, my interest in early and mid-twentieth century history, myself, and my vintage wardrobe.
Chronically Vintage related
When did you start this blog? April 17, 2009.
Why did you name your blog ‘Chronically Vintage’? This name came about as my way of combating – if only to my own mind – the fact that I’m chronically ill, which means that my health is constantly, ceaselessly at the center of my daily life. However, my health is certainly not all that I am, and so the name Chronically Vintage pays homage to the fact that, 24/7, I’m also a person who loves and celebrates all things vintage.
What are some of your favourite topics to blog about? Generally speaking, just about any topic that ties into mid-twentieth century history is fair game, and over the years I've enjoyed writing about hundreds of different subjects here. Some of my most favourite topics are history centered articles, my thoughts about vintage real world photographs, vintage fashion (as well as my own daily vintage outfits), and yesteryear recipes.
Do you find it challenging to maintain a frequently updated blog while battling multiple chronic illnesses? Yes, sometimes. I’d be lying if I said otherwise, but by the same token, since day one Chronically Vintage has a source of much needed joy and catharsis in my life, and something which very often helps to take my mind off of my health. I’m so grateful for the days when I’m well enough to write and do research for my posts here, and have always felt to blessed to have understanding, wonderful readers who know that occasionally I may be MIA for a little while due to my medical problems.
Your site is on the first page of Google when you search for “vintage blog”, how can I get my blog to be popular, too? This is a question I get asked frequently, and the honest answer is that creating a popular blog that ranks well within Google’s search results requires work and patience.
Whole books (such Technical Blogging: Turn Your Expertise into a Remarkable Online Presence, by my husband, Antonio Cangiano) have been written on the subject of what it takes to create a popular, successful site, but my elevator pitch sized set of tips on this subject would be:
-Pick a blog name that includes one or more of the keywords you’re going to be blogging about (for example, this blog includes the word “vintage” in its name), and if at all possible, register (and use) the domain for that name.
-Write about a diverse range of topics that tie into your general niche. Do not be afraid to use keywords for the purpose of SEO (search engine optimization), just do so in a way that is organic and enjoyable for your readers.
-Post with some degree of frequency and regularity. It’s better to post just once a week on Mondays, than to sporadically toss up a new post once in a blue moon. Your readers will come to expect and look forward your regular Monday posts after a while, so if you’re going to change your posting schedule, be sure to let them know.
-Reply (when possible) to the blog comments that you receive. Do so either within the comment section of your own posts, or by visiting the blogs of those who left comments for you. Be thoughtful and appreciative of all positive comments and let your readers know how much you value them.
-Be honest and open, but don’t over share to an extreme. If you’re talking about yourself and your personal life to any degree on your blog, don’t be afraid to show your audience who you are. Let them in on some of the highs and lows of your life, and weave stories from your own life into the various topics you blog about.
-Include one or more images in every blog post you create. Humans love visuals and your blogging audience is no exception. A picture can make or break a blog post in terms of its popularity, so do not overlook this important step.
For more of my tips on blogging, see:
30 tips that will help you succeed as a new blogger
10 harsh truths that will make you a better blogger
32 ways to grow your blogging audience
You've been blogging here for over six years; I’m just getting started/feel like I’m in a slump, do you have any tips on how to keep my blogging mojo going? Absolutely, I wrote all about that very topic in this post from January 2012.
What’s the name of the font used in the current header (“Chronically Vintage”) of this site? That font is called Honey Script and you download it for free from various websites, including this one.
Where do you find the vintage images (photos, illustrations) that you use in your posts? No matter where I go online, I always keep my eyes peeled for vintage images that I could potentially use in my blog posts. That said, the vast majority of them come from Flickr's treasure trove of photos and illustrations. Google searches, Pinterest, and Life magazine’s archives are amongst the other sources I turn to periodically.
Who takes your vintage outfit and portrait photos? Most are taken by immensely talented husband, Tony.
Your photos look so polished, professional and put together. Can you please tell me more about the process behind them? You bet! Here's a detailed post on that very topic.
I feel like I always shoot my outfit photos in the same couple of spots. Do you have any suggestions for creative places to take blog photos in? I do indeed! Check out my post 52 awesome (vintage) outfit photo shoot locations for tons of ideas on that front.
Hair and beauty
In the photos where you still had your natural hair, before you started wearing a wig, what brand/colour of hair dye to you use? Intense Medium Red Copper 564 from the Garnier Nutrisse Cream collection. I blogged all about my (old) hair colour here.
Is it true that you wear a wig full time to due to chronic hair loss? Yes, towards the end of 2012, due to half a lifetime (14 years at that point) of ongoing hair loss, I made the decision to shave what remained of my natural hair and start wearing a wig full time. You can read a lot more about this topic, including what a challenge it can be to find 1940s and 50s appropriate wigs, in my post New hair for the New Year.
I'm experiencing hair loss myself and/or am interested in wearing a vintage appropriate wig, can I ask you ask you questions about these topics? Absolutely! I'm learning as I go when it comes to sourcing, buying, wearing and styling wigs, but I'd be happy to try and help answer any questions on this topic that you my have. Please email me anytime if you'd like to chat about hair loss and/or wigs.
What’s your skincare routine like? Generally speaking, I like to keep my skincare routine simple, affordable, and effective (while always being mindful of my sensitive, often dry, skin). You can read about many of my favourite skincare products in this post.
What colour lipstick do you use? My go-to, always within reach lipstick of choice is MAC’s Russian Red. I wear this shade at least 75% of the time, but sometimes I’ll mix things up and wear various shades of pink, coral, or wine/burgundy, too (in the case of the later, I adore MAC’s Diva) and lately I've been crazy about MAC's Party Line as well, which is a beautiful dark rose pink colour. For more on some of my favourite lipsticks, see this post.
What are your go-to products for a 1940s or 50s make-up look? A great make-up primer, black liquid eyeliner (the finer the point on the applicator, the better), black or dark brown mascara, finely milled face powder that matches your skin beautifully, red lipstick (there truly is a shade for everyone, it’s just a matter of determining if you look best in blue or orange based reds), and a subtly glossy red nail polish.
How do you curl your hair? For a tight curl, I turn to pin curls, rag curls, or foam rollers, which I put in my hair while it’s still damp and then sleep on (or leave in for several hours until my hair is dry). For a loser wave (my ultra fine, bone straight hair doesn't obtain a strong curl with heat sets, only wet sets), I use a set of Remington Pearl Hot Rollers on dry (or virtually dry) hair.
When did you start wearing vintage clothes? I've been wearing vintage inspired looks since I was at least six years old and even as a child I tried to convince my parents to buy me clothes that I thought looked old-fashioned (you can read more about my very early years as a vintage lover in my post To parents of little girls who like wearing poodle skirts).
As I got older and hit my teen years I began shopping at local thrift and second hand stores, picking up items like vintage plaid skirts, classic white 50s blouses, and elegant 40s slips for next to nothing (sadly, the days of that kind of selection – or those prices! – are long gone in this neck of the woods), and wearing vintage or vintage appropriate fashions a good percentage of the time.
Later as I started living on my own – and ever since – and felt free to dress as I pleased, I've been wearing vintage/reproduction/vintage appropriate fashions the vast majority of the time ever since ever since – and look forward to doing so for the rest of my life.
For more about my lifelong love affair with wearing vintage be sure to check out various interviews I've done with other websites, such as those discussed in this post, as well as this one.
What are some of the “must have” items in your wardrobe? A rainbow of fitted cardigans; pencil, a-line, and circle skirts; neutral hued blouses, a dark hued two piece skirt suit, vintage style high waisted jeans and/or trousers, crinolines/petticoats, scores of feminine 1940s and 50s dresses, oodles of bangle bracelets, pearl stud earrings and a classic pearl necklace, basic black pumps (court shoes), saddle shoes, beautiful fashion scarves, and my ever-larger collection of vintage hats. (I also talked about some of the wardrobe items I wear most often in my post about vintage clothes for chronically ill and special needs individuals.)
Do you only where vintage clothes? No, but the bulk of the pieces in my wardrobe – from stockings to coats – are vintage, reproduction, or vintage appropriate. I’m not opposed to fashions from other eras and styles, and certainly own a few modern pieces, too. The guiding characteristic for any just about any piece to endear itself to me, no matter when it was made, is for it to be feminine in style, cut, and/or colour. I’m a massive girly-girl, and make no bones about that fact.
Where do you source your vintage/vintage appropriate clothing from? In recent years the vast majority of my vintage clothing has come from Etsy (where I have a vintage shop myself), followed by eBay. Occasionally a piece has come from a real world vintage or antique shop, but again, more often than not, I buy my vintage clothing online.
I shop for vintage reproduction and vintage inspired styles from a number of sources, including (but not limited to) Freddies of Pinewood, Heyday Vintage, Hell Bunny, Voodoo Vixen, and Blue Velvet Vintage.
I buy my vintage appropriate pieces at all kinds of places, from online retailers to thrift stores (they'e a great place to find lovely cardigans for a steal!), department stores to charming little boutiques. I always keep my eyes peeled no matter where I am for pieces that have that distinctly vintage look and which I think would work well in my wardrobe.
If you're looking for more information about sourcing vintage appropriate clothes, be sure to read my Beginner's Guide to Buying and Wearing Vintage Appropriate Clothes as well as Where to Source Great Vintage Appropriate Clothes in Canada.
Do you think that anyone can wear vintage? Beyond a shadow of a doubt, yes. I think that there is a vintage era (or eras) for everyone and that anybody who wants to can definitely wear vintage clothing.
I want to wear vintage, but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions? Delving into the world of vintage fashion can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but don’t fret. I think that it’s best to start with really practical, versatile pieces (think neutral hued sweaters, skirts, shoes, hats, etc) and a few fun vintage accessories, perhaps mixing them in with your modern wardrobe, before progressing onto converting over to “all vintage, all the time”.
Get a feel for the pieces, styles, and decades you like, before splashing out hundreds or thousands of dollars on a wardrobe that might not actually be the best representation of your personal style. Once you're comfortable with (and in) the pieces you own, branch out and keep gradually expanding your vintage wardrobe. Before long you'll have a closet any classic Hollywood starlet would be proud to call her own! :)
What are some budget-friendly vintage items that a beginner can start out with? I've had a lot of luck finding vintage appropriate (by which I mean pieces that while modern, have the timeless look of an actual vintage garment, even though they weren't intentionally designed as a vintage reproduction piece) cardigans, skirts, blouses, sweaters, and tops at both thrift/second hand and big box stores for mere dollars. Trendy mall stores such as Forever 21, H&M, and Old Navy can also yield relatively budget friend pieces that have an appealing vintage/classic look to them.
Accessories – think hair flowers, earrings, bangles, belts, fascinators, snoods, etc – can also be picked up second hand, from mall shops, big box retailers, yard sales, and various online sources for real bargains. Many of my most beloved and frequently worn vintage appropriate accessories have come from Claire’s and Ardene, and I highly doubt I paid more than $12 max for any of them.
If you're into crafts and DIY projects, there’s always the option of making (sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc) your own garments and accessories, too. Doing so can both help you save money (sometimes) and be a fantastic way to get precisely the item of clothing you’re searching for.
For more tips on wallet friendly vintage styling, see my post How to Build a Vintage Wardrobe on a Budget.
Aside from your site, where can I find vintage wardrobe inspiration? Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook, vintage books and magazines, vintage movies and TV shoes, old family photos, history books, and the plethora of other vintage blogs (many of which you can find listed on my links page) are among my top sources for vintage wardrobe (and hair and make-up) inspiration. Also be sure to check out my post Seven Unexpected Places To Source Vintage Inspiration From.
Do you wear vintage undergarments Often, yes. Most of my undergarments are either vintage of vintage appropriate and have been sourced from everywhere from second hand stores to eBay. My standard underpinnings of choice include a garter belt and stockings, comfortable vintage appropriate knickers, a bullet or long line bra, and a slip and/or petticoat/crinoline (depending on what I’m wearing).
Where do you source your seamed/Cuban heel stockings from? Most of my seamed stockings are modern vintage appropriate ones that I've purchased new from eBay (head over there and try searching for keywords like “seamed stockings” or “Cuban heel stockings” to find plenty of sources).
What are some of your favourite vintage accessories? Hair flowers, snoods, dainty necklaces, anything with classically coloured (cream, white, peach, pink, grey, etc) pearls, bangle bracelets, brooches, scarves, handbags, gloves, and more vintage chapeaus than you can shake a hat pin at!
Can you share some of your tips for a successful thrift/second hand/garage sale/vintage shopping trip? Absolutely, check out this post, as well as this one for some of the tips I employ myself when I’m out second hand shopping.
How old are you? I’m currently 32 years old (my birthday is July 10th).
Are you married? I am indeed, to the love of my life, Antonio (Tony). We’re been married for eleven wonderful years.
Do you have any pets? You bet! I absolutely adore animals and currently have a darling grey tabby cat, Stella, and a super cute American Bullador named Annie. They are the fury lights of our lives.
I love your glasses, what brand and model are your frames? My frames are Venus Eye Design V-12. You can read more about my history as a spectacle sporter in the post Celebrating six years of wearing glasses.
What’s your favourite colour? My all-time favourite colour is pink (particularly dusty rose), but I adore most colours and am especially fond of burgundy, turquoise, teal, navy blue, pine green, mustard yellow, red, grey, cocoa brown, navy blue, and black, too.
Do you also incorporate vintage into other elements of your life (aside from fashion)? Yes, absolutely. I have an ever-expanding collection of vintage magazines (primarily women’s lifestyle and fashion related), books (especially cookbooks), Christmas decorations, cute kitsch items (such as decorative figurines), records, and sewing patterns.
Like many who love vintage, I’m drawn to anything old (or which looks old) and enjoy incorporating such items into my home decor and craft projects, too.
Aside from vintage, what are some of your other interests? Do you have a week to spare? :) But seriously, I've always been the sort of person with more interests then there are hours in the day, so it can be tricky to shortlist my passions. That said, as I've gotten older, I have found it somewhat easier to streamline my interests and would say that some of the key ones are photography, reading, traveling, scrapbooking and card making, cross stitching, jewelry making, cooking, genealogy, and of course spending time with my husband and out cat.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Pawing through the racks at a vintage clothing store or hitting the Saturday morning garage sales with my sweet mom.
For about the vintage loving lady behind this blog, be sure to check out my About page.