April 2, 2012

Sporting the palette of early spring

Though the area of B.C. that we now call home is renowned for its sublime weather (for most of the year, at least), spring has been a bit late in arriving this year. Snow appeared well into March and few buds, flowers, or signs of greenery (save for pussy willows and the occasional crocus) have yet to even attempt to reappear. That said, as we all know, spring always returns, back from the other side of the world, to grace us with its sweet, elegant warmth and sense of renewal.

Recently however, while things were still on the washed out, grey, subtly wintry side, I donned one of my favourite 1950s dresses and partnered it with hues that made it fairly easy to camouflage in with last week's end of March colour scheme.

Outfit details:
Brown velvet Frank Palma vintage hat: etsy seller Nostalgia Vintage
Pearl necklace: Birthday gift from my husband ♥
1950s Mocha and maroon floral print dress: etsy seller The Vintage Studio
Olive green cotton cardigan: a little mall boutique in Scarborough, ON, that’s no longer in business
Creamy ivory hued lace hemmed crinoline: Pettiskirt Style
Vintage maroon gloves with buttons: etsy seller Antiqueelegance
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
Nude seamed stockings: eBay
1950s corduroy bucket purse: etsy seller Rue 23 Vintage Clothing
Straw hued heels: Anne Klein
Lip colour: MAC Diva

Photography by Antonio Cangiano 

My hair - bone straight, ultra fine, thin creature that it is - has never, not for one single day of my life, taken well to being heat set in any way. After dozens of attempts during my high school years in which I'd spend sixty, sometimes even ninety minutes trying to coax my hair into conforming to the shape a curling iron barrel (getting frustrated at the results to the point of tears), I accepted the fact that I'm just not one of those people who can get beautiful, bouncy, totally 1980s worthy curls from a heated source. No, I need to start with damp hair, curl tightly (be it with rags, curls, foam rollers, etc), and wait several hours for my hair to dry naturally (as I don't have a bonnet dryer).

That said, however, some days I still bust out the hot rollers and let the (subtle) waves fall where they may. The morning of these shots were taken was one such day. While not curly or even super wavy, I do like the sense of body and movement that hot rollers impart to my hair, as well as how easy it is to get a nice swooping piece to drape over across my forehead.

I knew I was going to add a cute little cocoa brown hued hat to my outfit, so I was fine with the causal, gamine feel of my hair. It's nice to have made peace some years back with the fact that my hair will likely never fully curl with a curling iron or hot rollers. It will get gently wavy, tousled, and feminine however - and creates a look that my husband fancies, so we both end up being happy campers.

An interesting titbit of information relating to this dress. One day my mother was looking at my vintage frocks and I asked her which one she'd pick if she wanted to wear one for a day of running errands or having a causal get together at home. After a bit of consideration, out of all of my dresses, she selected this one, which instantly endeared it to my heart even more. Naturally, it's hers to borrow should she ever want to give a vintage look a spin.

Before we know it, spring proper will show up and one's wardrobe palette - as well as mother nature's attire - will naturally shift back towards lighter, fresh, brighter hues. There's something to be said for the muted tones of the colder months, too, though - especially for those with red hair and/or fair colouring, for whom some of the bolder, punchier hues can sometimes wash us out.

Luckily though, we can always sport such shades in the form of embellishments and accessories, much like the (beloved) vintage crimsony-maroon gloves - with their darling little buttons - in this ensemble.
Happy start of April wishes, sweet friends - here's to the riot of chipper hues that will soon fill our worlds once more.


  1. Good lord woman!! You have the most luminous skin I have ever seen, and frankly Im jealous. The outfit is gorgeous too of course :)

  2. Another stunning outfit... wow! You have an eye for detail and colour combination, everything is flawless :). Oh and your hair is so pretty and the colour so vibrant, I love it!! :)

  3. Woohoo! You look fabulous! I love your dress and gloves especially, but truly, your whole outfit is spectacular. And i love your hair. It is indeed gorgeous! We actually have sunshine in Oregon today. Hard to believe, but i'm SO grateful. It's almost time to plant! :) Have a splendid week, and i love your posts! Keep 'em coming when you can..


  4. I cannot get over how lovely your skin is! It looks incredible with your red hair. Sooo pretty. That's sweet about the dress and your mom.


  5. I love the color palette here, especially with your hair. How sweet about your mom choosing out that dress particularly... that would make it more special to me, too! :) Lovely outfit.

  6. You looked lovely in it too :) I LOVE that petticoat!

  7. You look lovely. I especially love the pettiskirt.

  8. I think you hair looks gorgeous, it's really grown to how I picture you in my head from previous posts if that makes sense?

    Those gloves are lovely what a brilliant touch of colour they make the outfit.

  9. ....Actually, Im really curious as to weather your skincare routine is vintage as well as the rest of you life!?? Cold cream and the like or modern potions? :p

  10. What an lovely outfit from head to toe! That dress is simply gorgeous, I just love the color combo of the maroon and brown and those buttons just make it perfect :) What a find! The hat and every other accessory you're sporting are fabulous as well!

  11. I don't know which I love more – the gloves, your hair or your hat. But suffice to say the overall effect is fabulous and you look simply stunning, my dear! Beautiful close ups of you, too. Did Antonio take these photos? Wonderful job! Looking forward to more. xo – g

  12. Thanks for popping by and for your lovely comment! Your outfit is just divine! I'm in love with your gloves. And those shoes are darling!

    x Aliya

  13. Wow you are beautiful! Great outfit and love the blog.


  14. You look so beautiful!!! There isn't a single part of this outfit I don't love! Those gloves are just divine and work so well with the dress :)

  15. Wow, you look awesome. I love posts like this they inspire me and other ladies. Thank you.

  16. You look absolutely lovely. Red hair becomes you so well. When I start working in August, I have every intention of dying my hair a brilliant red again. The only sad thing is that it washes out so quickly. (But I do so love red hair.)

  17. You look WONDERFUL Jessica!!! You look so well, so fit, so healthy and amazing. Your skin is GLOWING! I am so GLAD.

    And the outfit is amazing. I do believe that I am very jealous of those red gloves. Tiny details really do make an outfit.

    Hugs to you dear -- we'll catch up soon. I mean it this time!

  18. That dress is gorgeous - I love the pattern on the fabric and the buttons and the whole thing. And you've styled it absolutely beautifully. You look fabulous!

  19. I love those gloves- such a pretty color and the hat such a rich, warm brown; brown and red are two colors I adore – red is exciting and brown is soothing. So sweet how you had your mother help you choose which dress to wear.

    Your hair looks lovey and attractive with your beautiful, smooth, creamy complication.

    I curl my hair everyday with heat rollers. Some days it holds well, other days not so well. However, when I was younger, in my teens and even my early years of marriage, I always used foam rollers because that was all I had. It takes much more effort and planning to have curls that way. I used to get back up after my husband went to sleep to put in my rollers because I did not want him to have to see me with them, so unglamorous. That continued through the first five years of our marriage. Occasionally, such as when camping, I will use foam rollers, and after being married for 26 years, I still attempt to keep him from seeing them. I roll my hair in the dark… Yes, it is difficult to get the end in that way. What lengths we women will go to for beauty!

    Around 1979, when I was fifteen, I was in the library restroom and overheard two girls chatting, saying that NOBODY sets their hair anymore. I was tempted to call out and say, “I do!” Even at that age, I preferred the styles of the 1940s and 50s to the current times. (Late 1960s and all of the 1970s are my least favorite fashion years.)

    :) Hope