May 30, 2009

In the company of loved ones

Good evening, dear readers, how are you on this lovely last weekend of May? I hope that all is well on your end.

I just wanted to post a quick note to apologize for being slightly MIA for the past couple of days (and for the lack of a "Pretty Link Roundup" post this week). I'm in the midst of having an awesome visit with my mom and step-dad, who flew in from across the country on Thursday. It's the first time in almost two and a half years we've been together and each day spent with one another is nothing short of a wonderful gift. We're trying to cram in both as much activity and as much one-on-one, good old fashioned conversation time as possible while they are here, and as such I haven't been online much for the past three days.

{My parents rented a car which means we can finally explore Toronto sans public transit! I love being a tourist in my own town, just as I enjoy discovering vintage TO photos such as this image that hails from a blog devoted just to old Toronto postcards.}

Knowing that my free/internet time would be limited for a few days I wrote some articles (such as Friday's Doing your banking in vintage style) to help cover the duration of parents' stay in advance of their arrival. However, please forgive me if I've not been as on top of comments (thank you so much for each of them!) and visiting your own marvelous blogs as I normally am. I should be back in full vintage blogging force in a few days!

I miss you all and hope that you're having a fantastic weekend!

May 29, 2009

Doing your banking in vintage style

There is, in no uncertain terms, nothing glamorous about the current economic crisis that much of the world is in at the moment. As this crippling recession continue to dig its claws into society, it’s becoming harder and harder to avoid being affected by its merciless wrath. However, matter how much you wish to avoid thinking about this grim situation, there is little getting around the fact that on a smaller scale each of us still needs to tend to daily or weekly banking and financial matters.

In these modern days of online banking, ATMS on more street corners than Starbucks, and handy-dandy debit cards, it can be easy to forgot that just a few decades ago none of this instant financial technology existed. It would seem akin to something from The Jetsons for a person who lived in the fifties to imagine having an bank account that’s accessible from a computer and from which they can pay for goods at an online auction. In the past most people made frequent trips to the bank, dealt mainly with cash or cheques ("checks" to my lovely US readers), and in place of plastic credit cards may have had a charge card or charge account with a local merchant or department store.

Since the advent of bank statements delivered via the mail (and email), online banking and the use of “statement” books that are updated when you present them to a teller at your bank, a lot less people have a need to actually balance their cheque books each month, but that doesn’t mean cheques aren’t still used, people don’t head to the bank in person, or cash isn’t used (not yet at least!).

While the world’s economic state may be far from beautiful right now, I definitely think that on a personal level we can all do things to make the daily task (or chore, depending on how you view it) of banking more fun, thanks to vintage items geared towards money management. The following are a selection of such pieces, each of which would have me opening my wallet today in the hopes of saving more money in the long run :)

{Part rockabilly, part retro bombshell, this charming little tattooed leopard print clutch style purse – which is retailing on Amazon for $19.99S – can easily serve as a stylish and sexy wallet.}

{To me there is something so wonderfully old fashion about the act of opening and closing a metal top coin purse. Doing so seems to invoke visions of grandmas handing coins to their grandkids to go buy sweets with, or a housewife counting out coins to pay the newspaper boy on collection day. Sporting a lovely cream, pink and green rose pattern, this sweet little coin purse – which is available for $15US – from etsy seller Lace House would be exactly the kind of coin holder I’d pick up if I was in the market for one.}

{Tired of hauling around important financial paperwork to the tax or accountant’s office in plain folders or cardboard boxes? Instead add an instant hit of class and beauty to your wardrobe and paperwork with this handcrafted satchel style briefcase from etsy seller Cambridge Satchel. At 15 inches wide and 10 inches high this classically stylish leather bag – which sells for $110US – could easily accommodate a small to medium sized laptop or many pages of paperwork.}

{While they might not be as commonplace in your everyday life as they once were (when was the last time you used one to pay for something in a store?), cheques are definitely still in use. Why not make the job of signing over your hard earned money a little more fun with this darling 1950s inspired pink cheque book cover from etsy artist BreeLeeD? It’s currently on sale in her shop for $7.50US.}

{No reason your cheque book cover should be the only awesome vintage inspired piece in your bill paying arsenal! Wouldn't it be fun to send out personal cheques with the eternally beautiful Marilyn Monroe herself on them? A box of 150 single cheques sells for $17.95US, and should you like, a coordinating leather cheque book cover featuring Marilyn can be purchased for $19.95US.}

{Channel your inner Joan Holloway as you write out cheques or sign documents at the bank while looking fashionably beautiful in a classic, secretarial style gold toned pen necklace – all for a mere $20US! How’s that for a budget-friendly deal?}

{For the past few months my husband and I have been really serious about tracking every penny that comes in or goes out. At home we use an online program to track our expenses, but while on the go I like to record my purchases in a handy little notebook so that I can be certain not to forgot about them later on. At 4.5x6 inches this pretty pin-up bedecked, 80 ruled page notebook from etsy crafter Timeless Totes would easily slip into a medium or large purse or over-sized clutch, and can be yours for $7.00US.}

{Standing in long lines at banks really calls for sensible, comfortable shoes. So leave those mile-high stilettos at home and opt for something timelessly lovely like this pair of beige leather pumps from the 1950s, which etsy seller RevampVintage describes as being ten inches long at the insole. At the bargain price of $16.99US, it’s probably a good thing these pretty shoes aren’t in my size, I’d be very tempted to get them if they were!}

{Tuck your pocket change and loose coins away for a rainy day in a vintage bank such as this absolutely adorable pink, blue and yellow pipe smoking piggy, which is available for $20.00US from etsy seller ebielli.}

While I can’t guarantee that rocking any of these wonderful vintage pieces will help you to save more or become even better at managing your money, they’re definitely the type of playful, gorgeous pieces I’d bank on style-wise any day!

May 27, 2009

Five extremely helpful vintage related YouTube channels worth following

Over the last few weeks of spring I’ve probably watched more YouTube videos than I did in the past year combined. What spurred on my clip viewing frenzy, you might ask? A desire to better hone my vintage hair and make-up abilities. While I don’t feel like the novice that I did as the lone vintage wearing teenager in my high school, I have no problem admitting that I have more confidence in my “modern look” make-up and hair skills than my forties and fifties ones.

While I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach the level of mastery that some of the deeply talented ladies on YouTube (and within the vintage community as a whole) have, I definitely feel that through watching clips from the five channels below, I’ve both learned a lot and improved some of my skills.

I’ve highlighted one video from each stream and also linked to the video creators’ respective channels. Should, like myself, you be looking to improve, brush or beginning learn from scratch the secrets, tips and techniques of gorgeous vintage make-up and hair experts, I can’t recommend these channels highly enough!

{The vintage hair and make-up looks Casey produces in her extremely easy to follow, detailed videos are every inch as lovely as her vintage blog – which I also recommend you rush over and check out!}

{Sweet as a button and wonderfully skilled at reproducing classic hairstyles (and make-up looks) from everyday life and movies alike, Aya of Strawberry Koi is a huge vintage inspiration of mine.}

{A whiz at forties and fifties hairstyles, Ashley’s video stream (LisaFreemontStreet) is a treasure trove full of fantastic vintage hair styling tutorials.}

{With her beautiful voice and excellent instruction giving ability, Super Kawaii Momma is a joy to watch. Not only is she a masterful vintage blogger and dresser, but she’s an expert on achieving old school hairstyles.}

{Iris of the romantically titled ilovegerardo channel knows more than a little about hairstyles of kinds, but it’s her stellar series of Pinup tutorials that really have me hooked on her helpful videos!}

I want to take a moment and extend my heartfelt thanks to each of these five amazing women. You’ve each helped to boast my confidence on the beauty front and provided me with oodles of inspiration. I hope, dear readers, that they’ll be able to do the same thing for you!

May 26, 2009

Inspired by pin-up model Duh Manda's beautiful look

One of my favourite daily (or thereabouts) emails that I receive from a website is that of Several times a week the site’s creator (known affectionately as “Irish”) posts modern day pin-up photos that highlight a selection of well known models, up and comers, and photographers with a passion for this craft (from time-to-time there are also entries devoted to pin-up artists who are churning out some very titillating drawings).

A few days ago one of PinupPost’s entries in particular caught my eye. There was something ravishing, playful and drop-dead gorgeous about the way the model was styled that I just couldn’t get over. Too pretty to simply keep for my own viewing pleasure, I wanted to share one of the loveliest modern day pinup photos I can recall seeing with you all!

I realize that the fuchsia lipstick may be slightly more modern than the rest of the 50s aesthetic in this shot (or not, period make-up experts please let me know if this shade was around during the mid-twentieth century, too), but it’s the rhododendron hue of her lips paired with those bouncy, up-swept curls and charming pink jewelry that all seem to jive together so uniquely well. I feel the look of this shoot was excellently styled and certainly works, packing a wallop of inspiration for those who enjoy sporting bombshell or pinup looks. In the hair and make-up department that certainly includes yours truly, so I’m sure that once I find a suitable match for that vibrant shade of lippy, I’ll be trying a variation of that face on myself.

Without further ado, care of photographer Cathy Settle’s submission to PinupPost, I present the stunning Duh Manada to you!

Are you as captivated as I am by all of the elements in this photo? Would you have changed anything about it? Would you rock a similar look yourself?

May 25, 2009

Monday Muses {May 25th}

Rarely does a week goes by when a particular colour (or combination of hues) isn’t on my mind, inspiring and enriching my life (and sometimes my wardrobe) in one or another. I’ve always been deeply wild for the rainbow, crazy about the colour wheel and positively giddy when staring at a wall of paint chips. As we’ve now passed the less-than-a-month-until-summer mark, I can’t help thinking about a wonderful – one might say luxurious – colour that has once again returned, via the marvel that is sunlight, to my world: gold!

From the pricey metal in bar form to bottle of nail polish in this rich hue, warm gold and golden sunlight are my Muses on this last Monday in May.

It almost goes without saying that gold can conjure up thoughts of the rich and famous, of opulence and grandeur, yet it can also sweetly simple and understated. Think of a plain gold wedding band, a pair of gold hoops adorning a child’s ears as her first earrings, the wrapper inside a chocolate bar.

The colour (as opposed to the metal) gold fades in and out of vogue continually. One has only to think of the “harvest gold” kitchens of the past or the way this shimmery shade ruled discos everywhere to be reminded of gold's trend-ability. Yet gold is also timeless. Worn tastefully it works as well today as it ever has – perhaps even more so given the wide range of gold toned fashions on the market these days.

Where once wearing the colour gold was reserved more for evenings out, fancy events or dancing alla Studio 54, over the past few years metallic colours have become considerably more mainstream. Gold bags, shoes, shirts, make-up and certainly accessories seem to have become a fixture in many clothing shops. Style experts like Stacey and Clinton from What Not To Wear have even said that it’s perfectly alright to mix metallic tones within the same outfit (thus lending gold even more versatility).

I can never pick a favourite metallic shade. One day I feel that silver looks the best against my pale skin, the next gold seems to bring out the green in my eyes more vibrantly, and yet the next I’ll love the way bronze highlights the red in my hair. For those days when I’m in a golden mood though, I definitely want to embrace this gorgeous colour in such a way as to seem timeless/vintage, as opposed to like I have disco fever or am trying imitate a Renaissance monarch.

Luckily gold spun its way into numerous looks from the 1940s, 50s and early 60s, all eras that I strive to dress like. As a fabric colour gold blends excellently with cream, ivory, brown, fawn, dark and sage greens, deep blues, royal purples, pumpkin, and many shades of red, amongst other hues. With these same colours and certainly others, gold can also make for a sophisticated and timelessly pretty accent throughout your home, such as in the mid-century dresser below.

{Practical and pleasing to the eye, this hand painted vintage dresser from etsy seller Decor8 Renov8 is available for $400US (which includes free shipping within the continental US), and would make a lovely and functional piece for a bedroom, guest room, craft room or anywhere else you need storage and a glimmer of gold.}

Whether in astoundingly high priced designs or the more affordable realm of costume pieces, gold is most definitely at home in the world of jewelry. I don’t own much real gold, but I do have a few gold toned and gold plated items such as earrings, which I certainly put on when I want a subtle twinkle near my face. As gold has been such a popular medium for centuries, most certainly including the twentieth, jewelry collectors can easily find pieces from any decade of the last century to suit their budget and tastes.

{Isn’t this gold toned, cat-eye glasses pin too cute for words? If this pin – which is available from Viva Vintage Clothing for $15 – was mine I’d be tempted to wear it with just about every button front cardigan I own, especially when heading to the library! :)}

Gold is certainly not reserved for jewelry alone though, it can take pride-of-place in a dress, glisten subtly via metallic threading in a skirt or be used as the stitching colour in a pair of jeans, for example. Gold goes well with most skin and hair tones and can easily be worn by people of any age. When I think of gold hued clothing from the past, I always think of graceful, well dressed women with their hair up serving guests at a dinner party or attending a fĂȘte someplace lavish and lovely.

{One look at this sublime, embroidered vintage dress and your eyes can’t help but light up. The pairing of gold and a gorgeous emerald meets turquoise hue is down-right enchanting. At $58US, this reasonably priced frock from etsy seller Beta Boutique will make for an absolutely gorgeous buy for one lucky gal.}

{Should you be looking for more of a subtle spark of gold, why not slip into a fantastic pair of dancing shoes such as these 1940s black velvet and gold heels that UK vintage seller Candy Says currently has a pair of for £60 (UK pounds).}

Like most members of the yellow family, gold is a cheerful, slightly energizing colour. Its natural luster and adaptability as a metal, and a hue, make it suited to the fashions of any era, the not the least of which is mid-twentieth century - as evident by this delightful selection of gold infused images from Flickr.

{Vintage Midas Touch}

1. Nancy Tang 054, 2. West Bend Harvest Gold Salt and Pepper Shakers, 3. 04-20-2009, 4. Gold laurel vintage nut dishes, 5. gold brocade, 6. Vintage Gold, 7. Vintage Glass 24K Gold Jar 03, 8. fancy lady vintage gold cocktail bag., 9. Avon puffed leaf solid perfume pin, 10. locket, 11. vintage gold + grey, 12. Golden Slumbers Vintage Button Pin, 13. Everything gets a little better with Salvatore Ferragamo {Click on a link to see a larger version of a particular image and/or for photographer information}

I hope this post has spread some golden sunshine (and vintage inspiration!) to your day – putting it together has certainly done so for mine.

May 24, 2009

Dress like an Egyptian

Few places in the world conjure up the allure of mystery rooted in history that Egypt does. Dotted with incredible feats of engineering such as the pyramids and Great Synx, divided by a great serpentine river and boasting one of the most impressive and technologically advanced civilizations of the ancient world, it’s little wonder that this desert land has been inspiring travelers and world culture lovers for centuries.

Just as the sands, monuments and places of Egypt have been beckoning people to it for ages, so too have people strove to adorn their homes and/or bodies in Egyptian inspired looks. In the early 1920s when archaeologists unearthed the tomb of legendary pharaoh Tutankhamen, it seemed as though overnight the world was swept up with Egyptian fever. In fashions of the era one can clearly see the influence of Egyptian style in pieces bedecked with, or shaped to look like, such symbols as lotuses, mummies, scarab beetles, pyramids, ankh crosses, and beading and stitchery that invoked a distinctly Egyptian feel. If you’d like to read more on how Egypt influenced clothing styles of the 1920s, I highly recommend a detailed article entitled Old World, New World: Fashion is King.

{Beautiful hand-coloured vintage photo featuring four women in Egyptian style costumes from the early twentieth century, discovered via Inspiration Resource.}

As the century progressed the hype around the discovery of King Tut died down, but Egyptian influences still continued to touch the fashion world, especially the use of dark kohl eyeliner, something that both men and women on this ancient culture had been particularly fond of. In 1963 Elizabeth Taylor’s striking performance of Cleopatra in the Joseph Mankiewicz film of the same title saw Egyptian eye make-up taken to the extreme, yet even then it remained sophisticated and beautiful. (If you want to learn more about authentic Egyptian make-up, including how to apply kohl liner the really, really old school way, be sure to check out the article Ancient Egyptian Eye Makeup by Judith Illes.)

{Colour movie still of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, complete with ravishing eye make-up, via}

In the mid-twentieth century misses and ladies wear – particularly skirts and dresses – sometimes featured wonderfully whimsical patterns of the sort that you’d be hard pressed to find on a newly produced garment (think large pineapples, Scottie dogs, and Parisan street scenes to name but a few). Recently while browsing etsy I came across an absolutely charming cotton summer dress featuring a fabulous Egyptian motif around the bust and at the bottom of the hem, that would be a sublime way of adding a jolt of Nile style to your vintage look!

{This cheerfully fun Egyptian print summer dress with full skirt can be yours for $89.00US from etsy seller Virginia Who.}

The title of this post is a play on the 1980s Bangles hit song “Walk Like An Egyptian”, which I thought might be a fun means by which to highlight some of the ways that Egyptian culture has touched peoples’ closets over the years. If you’d like to incorporate more elements of Egyptian style into your wardrobe this can be achieved with the use of certain colours (think gold, brass, turquoise, saturated jewel tones, onyx, cobalt blue, and creamy white), lightweight fabrics such as linen and hemp, and (reproduction) Egyptian style jewelry.

Whether you go for an Egyptian inspired look from head to toe such (such as the dress above) or prefer to stick with thick black eyeliner, there is no denying that this fascinating culture has helped to shape not only the development of human history but also the world of twentieth century fashion.

May 23, 2009

Pretty Link Roundup {May 23rd}

The last weekend in May – and a long one for my lucky US readers, to boot – a time for shoreline frolicking, evening walks in the fading, glistening dusk sunlight, and a return to (at least in my Canadian mind) the reality that winter really and truly is behind at us at long last.

{Summer weather, you luscious creature, you, it’s about time you returned! Sun bathing beauty from a 1954 Vogue spread, found via myvintagevogue’s Flickr stream.}

This week I’ve gathered together a diverse assortment of vintage related links spanning everything from budget friendly shopping to bloomers made from vintage bed linen, which I really hope you’ll enjoy.

* The psychology of vintage: What drives one’s love of, and desire to dress in, vintage? Queens of Vintage probes these interesting questions and more (and you don’t have to pay $400 an hour or lay on a couch to root out the answers :D).

* How to shop for vintage (affordably): With the poor, mangled economy in the shape it is, and many people looking for ways to trim their spending costs, this article from Vixen Vintage couldn’t be more timely or handy. The very same sentiments apply equally to a terrific, photo-filled post on Student Charade entitled How to do 1950s style on a budget.

* Collecting Vintage Greeting Cards: Prefer your Hallmark moments to be vintage ones? Love the charming illustrations that graced greetings of the past? Enjoy gathering old school paper goods? If so, definitely check out the handy tips in this article.

* Lovely Lady of the week (Ava Gardner): Undeniably one of the most famous actresses of her time, Ava Gardner posses a graceful, naturally flirtatious beauty that came through strikingly well in photographs, such as those amassed in this pretty post.

* Bombshell Boudoirs and Decorating: From the pages of a delightfully beautiful blog I just discovered this past week called Red and Blonde, comes a photo post of some utterly drop-dead gorgeous bedrooms, that I could see both myself and many a silver-screen starlet in.

* You heard rumors about my bloomers: I love it when people take one item, weave some creative magic, and turn it into something entirely different. Case in point, a pair of wonderfully sweet bloomers fashioned from a handmade vintage sheet.

* Very early Angelica Houston: I’ve always thought that Angelica Houston was attractive, in a bold, naturally assertive, timelessly memorable sort of way, and this photo of her early on her career (sporting a fully mod look) makes an open and shut case when it comes to her stunning aesthetic.

* Stunning Vintage Ferrari brings $12.1 Million: Hmmm, what to do with that extra dozen or so million clams I’ve got kicking around? World’s largest etsy shopping spree? Small tropical island to call my own? A lifetime supply of high-end make-up? Hmmmm, all tempting, but not quite the ticket. I know, I’ll buy a $12.1 million dollar vintage Ferrari! Well, ok, I won’t, but one fabulously wealthy soul recently did and this photo filled article shares the details on this exceedingly pricey set of (albeit down-right amazing!) set of wheels. (Many thanks to my doll of a husband, who brought this story to my attention.)

Love the sometimes dramatic, sometimes reserved but always femininely pretty look of 1930s make-up? If so you’ll definitely dig this helpful step-by-step tutorial by Natasha Rae which shows you how to nail a glamorous, dark eyed 30s inspired face wonderfully well.

{1930s Make-up Tutorial}

What do you have planned this weekend, vintage dears? After a delish Italian summer out with darling hubby last night, I’m putting my shoulder to the wheel in preparation for upcoming company and taking care of a flurry of errands and chores (from giving the fridge a good scrubbing to sorting and organizing the last few months worth of magazines we’ve accumulated). But I don’t mind, housework and I actually get along quite swimmingly, and besides it’ll help burn off the yesterday evening’s pizza ;)

{Cherub adorned vintage postcard, discovered through riptheskull’s Flickr stream.}

To my US friends, happiest wishes for an excellent Memorial Day, and to my readers everywhere, I hope you each have a marvelous and sunny weekend!

May 22, 2009

Babygirl Boutique 20% off Memorial Day sale on now

Good morning, dearest vintage lovers, I just had to run over and tell you that Babygirl Boutique, online sellers of some awesome vintage and bombshell inspired looks, has a 20% off sale on all their merchandise going on right now through May 25th. In order to take advantage of this sale you'll need to enter the coupon code Memorial-09 into the check-out when you're ready to pay.

Babygirl’s inventory tends to run the retro gambit from full-on rockabilly to pinup to sweetly 1950s girl-next-door, meaning that among their wares, chances are most people could find an item – or twenty! – that really catches their eye.

If life was like a game of Monopoly and I could get $200 for passing Go every now and then, I’d definitely be tempted take advantage of this terrific sale and splurge on some of Babygirl’s delightful pieces, such as the beautiful ones below (please note all prices are in US dollars).

{“Life is a picnic” red and white gingham print wrap dress, $115.00}

{Pinup sailor girl peep toe pumps with 5” heel, $46.95}

{Pinup girl swimsuit with red anchor embroidery, $96.00}

{Red and white polka dotted stretch peasant top, $32.00}

{Linen cotton 1950s print swing dress, $145.00}

If you’re looking to add some new additions to your summer (or year round, depending on the piece, and whereabouts in the world you live) wardrobe, be sure to pop by Babygirl’s site and have a gander at the items there. If you find anything that makes your heart flutter, I’d love to hear about it! :)

May 21, 2009

Ten summery vintage dresses to inspire you right now

The eternally beautiful dress, in my mind there is no more wonderful garment in existence. In fact to this extent, when I was a grade school student, I tried to rally my female friends and peers into forming a group devoted to the act of wearing dresses to school every day. On a jungle-gym and rope swing bedecked playground though, my dress loving movement didn’t gain the momentum I’d been hoping for, and I, for a time at least, carried on the act of donning a dress each day by myself. While I do wear pants – and absolutely adore skirts – dresses will forever hold a sweet and special spot in my heart.

Come the smouldering heat of summer there is no other item of clothing I’d rather put on morning, noon or night than a light weight, vintage (or vintage inspired) dress. It can be dressed up or down to your hearts’ content and instantly makes you feel a little glamorous in the midst of a sweltering heat wave (which as many of us know firsthand, is a time when you tend to feel more like a melted pool of crayon wax than the gorgeous bombshell you are).

With June – the month that heralds the arrival of summer – just days away I’ve gathered up ten absolutely fantastic vintage dresses that I hope will leave you as excited for summer frocks as I am (keep in mind that many of these pieces are sold by vintage sellers who are likely to only have one dress in a particular size in stock, so be sure to check the links for detailed sizing and availability information). Who knows, maybe they’ll even inspire you to start your own dress lovers club!

{Equal parts sweet and sexy, this red and white gingham print sundress from Pinup Girl Clothing would become an instant staple in my wardrobe if I owned it. I’d pair it with a cut little black, red or white cardigan at night to keep warm, and nothing but cat’s eye shades when the sun was out in full force. This dress is available in sizes XS through to 2X and is priced at $72US.}

{What would summer be without trips to the beach or at least the wearing of clothes that invoke a nautical vibe? This charming blue and white, 1950s, sailor inspired dress with two rows of lovely white buttons seems positively made for a day at beach or a backyard poolside party. It’s currently available from Viva Vintage Clothing for $85US.}

{One look at this gorgeous accordion pleat, cotton blend dress and I instantly want to slip on a pair of vintage wrist-length gloves and take a stroll around a beautiful summer garden. Something about the swaying movement of the full skirt’s pleats invokes the feeling of petals swaying happily in the breeze. If you can also see yourself in this dress, it can be yours for the very reasonable price of $32US from etsy seller Retro Renegade Vintage.}

{Sporting a breezy, almost peasant inspired white top and full, delightfully fun navy blue polka dot skirt, this short sleeved dress would be the perfect look in which to dance any summer night away. This reproduction frock from Unique Vintage can currently be pre-ordered in sized XS to 2X for $98US, to be shipped out to you in early June.}

{This sophisticated multicoloured, notched neckline silk dress from the 1950s seems right on trend with the current revival of soft, watercolour like floral prints that were all over the spring and summer runways. It’s available from Viva Vintage Clothing for $70US, and I think it would work wonderfully well for an evening cocktail party, dinner party or other event where you want to dress up a little.}

{I love grey, it’s a wonderful neutral and fantastic alternative to black during the dog days of summer. If you also dig this hue, why not check out this lovely hater dress with pink polka dots from Dandelion Vintage, where it’s selling for $65.00US}

{Celebrate Independence Day, Canada Day, Labour Day or any other day of the summer you please in this fun, red trimmed frock complete with full circle skirt. This vintage dress can be yours for $85 from etsy seller Allen Company Inc.}

{With its full skirt, short sleeves, soft ivory colours and incredibly cute stitched strawberry print, don’t you just want to eat this gorgeous summer dress right up? If like me, you do, you can help yourself to a vintage serving for $80US from clothing seller Vintageous.}

{Selling for the bargain price of $26US, this bright, joyfully floral print dress from etsy seller Turquoise Heaven is from the 1980s, but the cut definitely has a distinct fifties feel that could made even more vintage looking with the right summer shoes and hairstyle.}

{While the final dress on our list comes in with the highest price tag ($155US), it is also one of the most striking and whimsically lovely vintage frocks you could hope to encounter. Graced with a lovely rose poking up beyond the neckline, this gem of a summery frock, from Planet Claire Vintage on etsy, would be perfect the perfect thing to wear to a garden party!}

Both stunning and functional (who wants to wear pants and long sleeves in August?), all these elegant dresses have a positively timeless quality to them that will see you through summer after happy summer in vintage style.

May 20, 2009

The essence of pure elegance

There are certain things which instantly and undeniably convey grace, charm, beauty and sophistication. Time honoured ingredients that entice, allure, soothe and inspire. An unfathomably well tailored evening dress, slickly crimson hued nails, the unmistakable glint of diamonds, a signature perfume weaving its dazzling scent across your skin, perfectly coiffed hair, a stemware glass of something wildly chic to sip slowly over the course of an evening, your date – looking strikingly like Dean Martin – in the background waiting to take your hand and twirl you across the dance floor.

In the photograph below of model Jean Patchett sporting a Jacques Fath frock, one finds each of these ravishingly lovely elements and is struck by the desire to embody elegance the way it used to be. It’s the sort of style that somehow, perhaps only in the land of daydreams and mile high wardrobe budgets, I strive to achieve on some level a little every day.

1. Jean Patchett, 2. A TOUCH OF SHALIMAR, 3. Nail polish / red, 4. The warming {Click on a link to see a larger version of a particular image and/or for photographer information}

Who are your muses of vintage grace and beauty? What components translate into unconditional elegance for you?

May 19, 2009

Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

From MissRedLips to Fleur from Diary of a Vintage Girl, the vintage fashion blogsphere is abuzz over the fact that there’s an incredibly pretty sundress created by etsy artist LooseTeeth to be won. And never has a contest been simpler or more enjoyable to enter, all you have to do is whip up an entry on your blog or site that links back to the original Grossgrain post about this fantastically lovely giveaway. Seriously, it’s easy as pie!

I swooned the moment I saw the awesome dress that’s up for grabs. It’s charming as can be, decked out in a soft, perfectly summery hued plaid, complete with a gorgeous cotton eyelet underskirt that ups the darling factor of this frock by about a million percent.

This is the sort of stylishly timeless summer piece that I wish my closest was spilling over with. One look at it and I instantly want to run and pack a picnic, tie a silk scarf over my curls, hop in a convertible and head off to some perfectly secluded spot for two and share a basket full of salads, fruit, and French bread. At the same time I could just as easily envision myself whipping up cookies around the house or running errands, a pair of vintage wedge heels on my feet, as I bop about town in the sizzling July heat.

Be sure to swing by Grosgrain (from which both images in this post hail from) to check out the post that vintage lovers and fashion fantatics across the web are excited about Loose Teeth Vintage Inspired Sundress with Petticoat GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!, for your chance to be the winner of this fantastic summer sundress.

Best of luck, everyone!