March 31, 2015

Vintage Link Love for March 2015

Oh March, what can I say about you this time around, as we reach your final day, toes teetering on the edge of April. It seemed to be one of those months that was long and stressful, where few things went as planned (including the weather - though, really, that can only ever be hoped for), and nothing happened as quickly as desired. 

Still, of course, there were perks and positives, including the official start of spring, an antiques auction that yielded a couple of small lots (the contents of which will land in my Etsy shop a little later this year), and, certainly most poignantly to me personally, the 11th anniversary of the day that Tony and I first met back in 2004, which we celebrated - coincidentally - on the very first day of spring: March 20th (if that isn't an auspicious start to the season, I don't know what was!).

I think that March very represented the end of winter and the rebirth of a new season, beyond the fact that it literally is as much. By that I mean, it had some strong parting words, a trying labour, and plenty of early growing pains to contend with - all backed by a near constant slate grey sky and plethora of raindrops. Yet, lest you think I'm bemoaning March, even with the massive headache that was suddenly having to do my business taxes at the speed of light, I'm not.

There were subtle signs of the new season, no snow (here in Penticton) all month, a gradual hibernation of certain winter garments, the very first new produce of spring in our local markets, and - gloriously - the return of local garage sales, all of which conspired to ensure that my mood stayed chipper and my hopes high.

In the midst of this long, busy month, as always I was cheered further, as well as inspired, entertained, and informed by many of my fellow bloggers and today I'm pleased as springtime punch to bring you another edition of Vintage Link Love, complete with twelve exciting stories that I hope will help wrap up this month on an extra enjoyable note for all of us.

photo VintagelinkloveblogpostheaderforChronicallyVintage_zps551f30c8.png

How to pose for photos for blogs: Unless you're a natural born model (and even then!) few amongst us nail posing for photos right out of the gate of even after years of experience. This thorough, image filled, marvelous post from CiCi will help you navigate these choppy waters and provide scores of smart, practical to try ideas for looking more natural and at ease in your blog photos.

A guide to making a vintage style whimsy: Have you ever seen those charming 1950s/1960s all (or nearly all) net "hats" and wondered what they were called and what their history was? They're called whimsies and my good friend - and mind-blowingly talented milliner - Tanith Rowan is on a mission to educate and inspire all of us about whimsies through a series of posts and a campaign to bring them back, including this great entry that will show you how to make your very own whimsy.

Vintage images of 1940s Canadian war brides: Fellow Canadian vintage loving lady Liz never fails to deliver when it comes to penning fantastic history filled posts and one her latest, a look Canadian war brides (English women who married Canadian soldiers and returned with them to live in Canada following WW2) is a touching, important reminder of this slice of our country's - and UK's - past.

A Shock of Schiaparelli: The Surreal Provocateur Who Forever Altered Fashion: Whether you're a fan of her designs or not, there's no denying the Elsa Schiaparelli knew how to shock, awe, and delight her legions of fans around the world. A fierce rival of Chanel's, Schiaparelli was bold, creative, and never one to shy away from an OTT look, all points that are touched on in this engrossing look from Collector's Weekly at the designer and her work.

What it's really like to be a full-time fashion blogger: I love, and found myself frequently, zealously nodding in an agreement with many of the points this terrific post from Catherine Summers of the great fashion blog Not Dressed as a Lamb, which delves into some of the down-to-earth realities that full-time/professional fashion bloggers often encounter.

10 style lessons from Marilyn Monroe: Arguably more iconic than any other woman of the 1950s, if not the entire 20th century, Marilyn Monroe's had a look that - especially once she started to to really hit it big professionally - was calculated, chic, and gorgeous. So much so, that many folks still turn to it for serious style inspiration to this day. Brittany's wonderfully fun post will help guide you through 10 important style lessons that will help you nail MM-esque signature style to a tee.

A Cool Trick To Hull Strawberries: I love, love, love strawberries and eat them in copious quantities all year round, but especially when they're in season during the spring and summer. Bethany from the The Glamorous Housewife is a huge fan too and recently shared this delightfully easy how-to that will enable you to haul them in a flash with a basic item that we almost all have on hand at anytime.

5 typography tips for bloggers: I'm a huge believer in continually looking for ways to better and/or jazz up your blog and the use of a good font or combination of fonts - be it for your design, your posts, social media graphics, you name it! - is one often overlooked way to do just that, as this great post from The Boyer Family Singers highlights.

Young, black, and Victorian: Wonderful photographs of Victorian women of colour: Discovered via my dear friend Jessica's awesome blog, Zella Maybe, this roundup of antique photos of women of colour - many of whom, sadly, have had their names lost to history - is too inspiring, beautiful, and important not to spend some time visiting.

How to make a 130s style handkerchief style halter top: With the warmer half of the year starting to slowly shift into gear again, this excellent tutorial from The Dreamstress blog that guides you through the steps involved with making a 1930s style handkerchief halter top couldn't be more seasonally appropriate.

How Did Edwardian Ladies Become Frivolous Flappers In Just 1 Decade?: Mary from We Heart Vintage delves into this fascinating topic and examines some of the many (many!) reasons how and why the old guard, so to speak, of the Victorian and Edwardian eras gave way to the modernity of the 1920s and the more liberated women, such as those who identified as flappers, that we now associate with this decade.

A Guide To All Things Lipstick: Natalie has knocked it out of the ballpark again with another thorough, image filled, in-depth look at an engaging topic that most of us are bound to enjoy: the ins and outs, history, and appeal of lipstick throughout the decades.

{All images throughout the list of links above come by way of the post that they are displayed directly beneath the write up of here. Please follow the links provided to learn more about these images.}

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April is up next and with it comes plenty of reasons to smile! Soon, I hope, we'll have warm, sublimely sun-kissed weather again and that alone is enough to have us all floating on cloud nine. It also houses Easter and my mom's birthday (in just two days!), as well as plenty of seasonal fun and fashions that can't get here quickly enough for me.

On the blogging front, there's oodles that I'm looking forward to as well, next month, including a post about my signature (wardrobe) colour, Chronically Vintage's sixth blogging anniversary, and an exciting giveaway from The Best Vintage Clothing right near the end of the month that I'm sure will appeal to scores of you.

Here's to the first full month of spring and all the loveliness and promises of warmer days, lighter fashions, and fabulous foods that it houses!

March 28, 2015

A quick, delicious recipe for vintage Easter Sunday Pie

As you may have gathered over the years, if you're a long time Chronically Vintage reader, I have such a thing for cute and/or uber festive vintage recipes. This love extends just beyond my menu however, and I absolutely adore celebrating these special occasions in general, too.

I'm not alone here in the slightest and know that the same rings true for many of you as well. As vintage fans, I think we're especially well attuned to the importance of celebrating the positive events in life. We honour and celebrate the past with our wardrobe, decor, vehicle, music, etc choices and we usually take time to appreciate traditions, customs, and other elements that go hand-in-hand with holidays and special occasions.

Easter, falling on Sunday April 5th this year, is certainly one of the highlights of spring and well worth celebrating through and through! If you don't want to or can't celebrate Easter for whatever reason, than simply use this day as the perfect excuse to welcome spring back into your life with the most open of arms!

This day helps us to usher in spring after winter's seemingly endless visit, reminds of the power of rebirth and new life, and is chocked full of countless beautiful - and delicious - things from daffodils to Easter bonnets, chocolate eggs to the all that sublimely lovely fresh produce that is hitting the grocery store and farmer's market's displays again.

Naturally, being a holiday associated with sweetness - which I can't help but think stands as a very apt representation of how very sweet springtime itself is - Easter lends itself particularly well to sugary desserts and today's vintage recipe for Easter Sunday Pie is certainly no exception (plus, you've got to love the bonus Butterscotch Jewel Parfait and Coconut Party Pudding recipes that are included on this charming 1951 recipe ad that originally hailed from pages of Good Housekeeping Magazine).

{Crunchy coconut, lush vanilla pudding, and splendidly sweet candies combine in this quick, fun and very pretty Easter dessert that is sure to have guests asking for seconds and the recipe! Image source.}

This recipe is uber simple and relatively budge-friendly. You can use either a store bought or homemade 9-inch pie crust for the base, whichever you fancy. Alternatively a graham cracker crust would be really nice here and if I went that route, I might make this a frozen pie to help the crust and pudding filling stay put all the better.

For my fellow gluten-free friends, in terms of store bought gluten-free pie crusts, I've had the most luck so far over the years with Glutino's Perfect Pie Crust. There is a bit of prep and chill time involved (so I'd suggest making the crust a day or two in advance of when you plan to assemble the pie), but it creates very, very good pie crust that I've used for everything from pumpkin to strawberry to pudding pieces with zero troubles to date.

As this classic mid-century vintage pie recipe is so straightforward and includes a mere handful of ingredients, I wouldn't be apt to tweak it too much (aside from assuming it was GF, if I was going to have a slice). That said, if coconut is not your cup of tea, I would imagine that sliced toasted almonds would work fabulously here as well (if I went that route, I'd probably use pistachio, white chocolate, or milk chocolate pudding instead). You could also swap out the Easter candies used on top for any that you and/or your guests would like. Festively shaped and coloured gummy candies, jujubes or chocolates would be super lovely atop this fun 1950s dish.

Though Easter may no longer mean rooting around the house for foil covered eggs and checking to see if the Easter bunny nibbled the carrots we left out for him (he always did - thank you for that, mom! :)), it still fills me with excitement and joy and is a special day that I can't wait to celebrate with my wardrobe, home decor, and vintage recipe choices each spring.

Join me, won't you, in whipping up this easy-as-pie (pun intended), wonderfully tasty coconut and pudding dessert for a sweet treat that is sure to bring joy to everyone who gathers 'round your table to honour the gorgeous return of spring and all the grand things that this season brings back in our lives once more.

March 26, 2015

Super stylish UK vintage gal CiCi kicks off CV's new blogger interview series!

There are certain people whose blogs you encounter and instantly mesh with. You see in the person behind them and the blog itself something of yourself and a kindred spirit element emerges. That is precisely how I've felt since day one with my lovely friend, and fellow vintage adoring gal, CiCi's seriously marvelous blog CiCi Marie.

Not only is CiCi a terrific blogger and one heck of a gifted fashionistas, but this UK based lass has a fantastic, compassionate heart, is smart as a whip, loves to chat about a wide range of topics, and never, ever fails to inspire me. The fact that we've become online friends is the icing on the (vintage) cake and I truly love that today I have the great pleasure of brining you a one-on-one interview with CiCi that kicks off Chronically Vintage's new blogger interview series.

The response to my post last month about this series was completely positive, with dozens of folks getting in touch regarding wanting to take part and be interviewed. I've already booked such posts until the end of 2016 (yes, seriously, the end of next year) and I really hope that more vintage bloggers will continue to let me know if they've like to be interviewed here so that we can hopefully keep this great new series going for many years.

Thank you deeply, CiCi, for being the first person to respond to my call for posts and for this awesome interview. I loved getting to know you even better and am sure my readers will as well.

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Right off the bat, what would you like readers to know about you and your blog?

I’m a twenty-something girl living in the UK who blogs largely about the ways that vintage style inspires my own, being especially fond of the fashions of the 50s.

What lead you to launch your blog?

In a word: coercion! When the blog launched it had two authors, which is why it was called CiCi & Marie, not just CiCi Marie - ‘Marie’ is my offline friend who persuaded me to blog in the first place. I’d followed a few vintage fashion blogs for years by this point, but had no intention of starting my own - I was terrified of the idea of sharing so much of myself in such a public domain! Once I’d been convinced to contribute we worked together on the content for the first year, when she handed the reins over to me (her heart wasn't really in it) and I transformed the site into the vintage style blog I wanted it to be. I am so grateful, now, that I was talked into it! It felt much less daunting starting out with a friend and was definitely the push I needed to get into blogging.

Can you sum up your personal style in a line or two for us?

The easiest/briefest way to describe it is ‘vintage inspired’. Rather than being faithful to particular eras, I pick and choose elements of vintage fashions that work for me and mix modern, repro and vintage pieces that nod to the past when put together, in varying degrees of subtlety.

You have a phenomenal eye for fashion and knack for putting together outfits that blend modern with vintage and/or classic styles. How long have you sported old school influenced looks and how has your personal style changed (if so) over the course of that period?

As I touched on in a recent post (so apologies for boring anyone with the same story!), it all started with the humble pencil skirt, when I was grappling with how to look more professional and adult for my first job post university. I was hugely inspired by Marilyn Monroe (who I had a bit of an obsession with back then), along with what bloggers I liked were wearing and just found that wiggle shapes really worked for my figure.

As part of me has always desired to look a bit different and has been largely switched off by current fashion trends, building my look for my work wear wardrobe went hand in hand with developing my weekend one. For a while, I wore pencil skirts most of the time regardless of the situation! Over the years I’ve definitely branched out and moved away from this slightly unforgiving and somewhat formal form-fitting style and these days I experiment much more with more flared shapes and pieces inspired by eras other than the 50s. 50s looks are still my favourite though, I just think they’re so endlessly feminine and flattering!

Are there certain colour and/or colour combos that you're continually drawn towards and do you put them to work in your outfits?

I can never seem to get enough of leopard print! I think what I love about it is how even though it's a pattern, it actually works great as a neutral because of the beiges and browns - it’s so easy to put with so many other colours. It also immediately screams old school glamour and, these days, rockabilly - which I can’t deny I kind of like! Apart from that, I’m always drawn to red accessories - shoes in particular; red shoes have the power to make most outfits that bit more exciting, to my mind. Often, however, being drawn towards colours is a seasonal thing and this spring, I can feel a pull towards mint green...

Inspiration can be found just about anywhere and I think that those of us who are bloggers are especially tuned into our environments and the things in that influence/touch us. What have been some your biggest sources of inspiration so far in the course of your vintage/fashion blogging journey?

I’ve kind of touched on this above, but to elaborate, my biggest source of inspiration (apart from a slight obsession with Marilyn Monroe that will never really die) has definitely been other bloggers. The first blog I ever read routinely was Ulrika’s- she is one effortlessly stylish woman and I was in awe of how she worked vintage looks into her everyday wardrobe, not to mention how diverse her style is - one day she's in a full-length 30s floral dress, the next she's in a 60s shift with a beehive! Now, years later, I read so many blogs and take inspiration from them all in one way or another. I love this blog because no one can top your colour co-ordination, Jessica! Nor your glove or hat collection, come to think of it. I often feel like my style is a bit of a melting pot of all the looks of other bloggers I’ve seen and enjoyed!

Is there much in the way of a vintage scene (community) in Cambridge, UK, where you live?

Not that I know of, but it’s worth pointing out I’m a bit of a hermit so I might not notice it even if it’s on my doorstep doing a jive! I know there’s a swing dance group locally and the odd vintage shop, but compared to a lot of cities I’ve explored, I’d say the scene in Cambridge is small in comparison - or certainly more tucked away. I certainly get odd looks more here than in London and don’t tend to see anyone looking particularly ‘vintage’ when I’m out and about...

How about vintage and/or repro centered shops?

There’s a vintage shop at the end of my road which is amazing, but other than that while we’ve got a lot of charity shops, not that I’ve noticed… I tend to buy more repro than vintage though, so I would be more likely to stumble on vintage shops than going looking for them - and to be honest, I've always done the majority of my clothes shopping online, vintage or otherwise. Something that does happen fairly regularly is we get vintage ‘fairs’ pop up that have lots of stalls for vintage vendors. I did check one of these out recently, but it wasn’t really for me - mind you, when I shop I tend to go looking for something in particular which isn't especially helpful for vintage ;)

What are some items that you prefer to buy in vintage and/or repro form (e.g., circle skirts) and what are some that you generally opt to purchase new?

Most of what I buy is either repro or new - and when I do buy vintage it’s much more often accessories. I just feel more comfortable with the fit and fabrics of modern materials and have a tendency to feel frumpy and awkward in a head-to-toe vintage outfit. Vintage can’t really be beaten for glasses though - no modern frames are as beautiful of those of old, in my eyes! The quality is also vastly superior. I love a good vintage handbag too. Otherwise, I find new best for simple pieces in classic shapes like Bardot neck tops or pencil skirts, whereas repro tends to be better for more specific unique pieces that high street shops don’t sell that often like retro outerwear (Hell Bunny and Collectif have had some amazing coats lately) and novelty print circle skirts.

Like myself, you're 5'2" (love that!) and are passionate, as I am, about dressing so as to make the most each precious inch of your height. I think you do a smashing job on that front! Could you please share a couple (or more) of your favourite fashion tips for petite lasses?

My main tip is: don’t swamp yourself! If you want to wear a midi skirt you can, but find the length that is most flattering for your height and get anything longer altered so you’re wearing the skirt and not the other way round! Tops can often be too long or loose for smaller frames too - but not if they’re tucked in and perhaps shaped with a waist-belt; that’s one of my favourite tricks! Other than that, I’d say it’s wise for petite ladies to be careful of what they put on their feet - a shoe that shows off as much of your foot as possible will have the effect of lengthening your leg e.g. ballet bumps and court shoes with low vamps. Shoe-boots or brogues (particularly flat ones) will make your legs look shorter.

Five garments and/or accessories that you currently can't live without?

Top of the list is definitely my berets! Such a simple way to add some class to any outfit and my growing collection now boasts five colours (including leopard print, of course!). A very close second is a pair of tan lace-up heeled boots from BAIT that cost me a fortune in shipping and are technically too small, but I still love them anyway because they seem to literally go with everything!

Number 3 has to be my new Rebel Kate jeans from Collectif, because a lot of the time at the weekends I’m milling around the house and they’re perfect for that, while still adding some ‘retro’ to outfits with their high waist. I can’t go a week without wearing my fairly new cat’s eye glasses that are a perfect blend of vintage and modern and last but not least, as we're emerging from the cold weather, fleece-lined tights!! Couldn’t have made it through this winter without them...

Your hair is seriously gorgeous and always styled so cutely/beautifully. Any hair care and/or styling tips that you'd like to pass along?

That you can make your hair do almost anything with some gentle backcombing for volume and several kirby grips (bobby pins) that match your hair colour! Most of my styles are the result of pinning bits of hair where I want them to lay and don’t require much more skill than that. I am absolutely hopeless at curling my hair, so I basically avoid what I can’t do, rather than doing a poor job! If I want to achieve a particular up-do I’ll watch various YouTube videos and then borrow bits probably from several of them to create the look I want (which is usually a simpler version, because I’m quite lazy and impatient!).

In your beauty arsenal at present, what are some of your favourite products?

I've recently discovered the joy of face powder - a bit late to the game, but this is now an essential tool in the battle to keep my oily face matte! I use Mac's Studio Fix and I love the way the subtle colour smooths out small flaws in my skin. It also sets my foundation so that it doesn't crease on my eyelids, which is a great bonus. This won’t be news to most of the female population who have been using powders for years..! I'm also a recent convert to Benefit's Cha Cha Benetint - their pink shades are a bit too cool toned for me, but this one goes on bright orange and somehow miraculously dries to a pinky coral and works wonders with my colouring. It also stays on all day, which is a bonus!

Any beauty cheapies that you can't recommend highly enough?

I've got a post ready to go on exactly this subject in the very near future and will reveal more there!:)

Your blog does a wonderful job of covering various fashion, beauty and lifestyle topics. What are your favourite kinds of posts (in general) to pen? If there anything you'd like to write about, or about more frequently, but that you haven't yet?

At the moment I still find simple outfit posts the most rewarding - they're the most time-consuming too, but the finished posts can be so satisfying because of this, when they finally come together. Generally I don't think I've experimented that much with different types of content - so my feeling is there's probably lots of topics out there I haven't tackled yet that I'd enjoy, but I just don’t know it yet! I haven't written about home decor before, but would like to once I feel more comfortable I know what I'm doing - and I'm hoping to buy my first home this year, so this will work better when I've got my own place to put my stamp on. :)

Do you have any long term goals for your blog that you can share with us?

My main goal is to see what happens - in the past six months I've seen a big increase in my following and I'm honestly so thrilled that the hard work is paying off and readers seem to like what I’m doing. I’d love to work with more brands - which is something I’ve only started doing this year and has been great so far. Other than that, although it can be kind of taboo for bloggers to admit to, I do hope one day to generate some sort of income from it. I'm under no illusion I'll be eating caviar in the Maldives any day soon, but if it could help supplement my shopping habit I'd be delighted!

When not working or blogging, what might we find you doing?

Well, vast amounts of online clothes shopping is probably almost a given, so aside from that one of my main hobbies is reading, which is pretty much what led me to a day-job in book publishing - I've got a particular fondness for dystopian fiction (think A Brave New World etc), which probably makes me quite morbid in my spare time! And although I’m currently renting my house, I've begun buying bits and pieces I can take with me to a new home - I’m enjoying hunting down and adding mid-century modern style homeware to my living room and dining room currently.

Can you tell us what your perfect day pertaining to vintage might look like?

It would definitely involve dancing! I would absolutely love to learn how to jive. A little while ago I interviewed on another blog and mentioned that one of my secret passions is the Just Dance video games - but really, this is just an extension of a love of dance generally that I’d love to build on properly some day (I’ve done various lessons through the years, but not very consistently due to long commutes). 

So, I’d probably learn how to do a jive routine and work up an appetite that could only be satisfied by a huge cheeseburger and a strawberry milkshake in a 50s-style diner… And then I’d drive around in an open top Mustang while the sun beats down on me, probably to the nearest drive-in… At this point I realize I’m describing the day in the life of a character from Grease - but that wouldn't be so bad (as long as I’m not expected to join in a chorus of Summer Lovin’ as I can’t sing to save my life)!

(Jessica's note) You can also connect with Cici on the following social media sites:

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Thank you again immensely for this great interview, CiCi, and for being the lovely, engaging, beautiful person (inside and out) that you are. It was an honour and pleasure getting to interview you this month.

For the second post in this new series, which will appear here in April, we'll be interviewing another awesome lady from the UK - but that's the only hint you'll get from me. You will just have to tune in for that post to see who I sit down and chat with next! :)

March 24, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Win the Born Bad Betty pair of shoes of your choice

Goodness me, gals, do I have one seriously swell - and very generous - giveaway for all of you here today. As you may recall from this outfit post a couple of weeks ago, I recently had the pleasure of receiving a complimentary pair of fabulously cute strawberry adored heels from UK shoe retailed Born Bad Betty.

In that post I promised to share with you more about this exciting relative newcomer on the vintage inspired/pinup perfect footwear front and today I'm going to do just that. An independent ladies shoes and accessories company with a penchant for marrying feminine touches with sizzling hot panache, the brand currently stocks a range of charming, very wearable heels and flats, as well as a seriously swoon-worthy newly launched line of mid-century perfect handbags.

The brand sprang to life after the founder discovered a massive passion for the curve hugging styles of the 1950s following the birth of her two darling children. While clothing wasn't too hard to come by, she just wasn't hitting on many pairs of well made, attractive, comfortable vintage or vintage style shoes that jazzed with her own aesthetic. And thus after months of experimentation with different styles, fabrics and embellishments, Born Bad Betty shoes came to be, with the website hopping online in the summer of 2013.

In 2014, BBB had the distinction of making it all the way to the finals in the Breakthrough Business category of the National Vintage Awards. Currently you can find Born Bad Betty's offerings in various boutiques throughout the UK and Europe, with worldwide shipping from the site's official shop. The brand’s offerings are in full (no half sizes at present) modern ladies sizes and span a spectrum of different style that are sure to find favour with fans of numerous decades.

Fun, fresh, beautiful and more than a little bit stylish, Born Bad Betty's shoes - which marry sweetness with glamour and plenty of pinup girl-ness allure - are a great way to add pizzazz and a pop of old school style to your wardrobe. I've dotted photos of some of their glamorous and very wearable offerings throughout this post to help give you a sense of what this line carries, but you'll definitely want to click through to BBB's website and checkout the full range for yourself.

Giveaway details:

In order to gain entry in this giveaway, the fine folks at Born Bad Betty have kindly asked that you please signup for their newsletter, the Betty's Bugle, which will keep you in the up-to-the-minute know all the exciting things that this brand has in the works for 2015 and beyond.

If you would like to gain up seven addition entries for this giveaway, please do as many of the following eight things in total as you'd like, making sure to please leave a separate comment on this post letting me know about each one that you completed so as to better increase your odds of winning.

1. Sign up for the Betty's Bugle newsletter on Born Bad Betty's homepage

2. Like Born Bad Betty on Facebook and post (on FB) about the giveaway

3. Follow Born Bad Betty on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway

4. Like Born Bad Betty on Pinterest

5. Pin any of the products from Born Bad Betty's website to any Pinterest board of your choice (limit of one Pinterest entry per person for this giveaway).

6. Follow Born Bad Betty on Instagram

7. Follow Chronically Vintage on Instagram

8. Blog about this giveaway on your own site, including a link back to both this post and Born Bad Betty’s website in your post

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to readers worldwide. The lucky winner will receive one pair of Born Bad Betty Shoes of her choice (you can pick any pair from the brand’s current offerings), including the cost of shipping to your location. Exchanges from the company will only be excepted in the United Kingdom.

The giveaway will run from today's date until Tuesday March 31, 2015, with the winner being drawn using a random number generator and announced on Facebook and/or Twitter, as well as contacted directly via email, if such can be found publicly, shortly thereafter. If you have any questions about this giveaway, please don't hesitate to email me anytime.

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A new pair of shoes and spring go hand in hand like the Easter bunny and carrots in my books. It's time to set your feet free from the doldrums of winter and let them shine once more - sans risk of frostbite - and what more charmingly stylish way to do that than in a pair of Born Bad Betty's awesome vintage inspired offerings?

I know that I'll definitely be putting a lot of miles on my strawberry stunners this spring and summer, and would be willing to wager that the winner of today's Born Bad Betty giveaway will be enjoying their new pair of heels or flats a great deal, too, in the coming sun-kissed months.

Thank you very much to Born Bad Betty for so kindly offering one of my awesome Chronically Vintage readers the chance to win any pair of your gorgeous vintage inspired shoes of their choice, and to all those who take part in this fun giveaway.

Fingers and - rather fittingly in this case :) - toes crossed that you win!

March 22, 2015

Flickr Favourites: March 22, 2015

{1945 Louis Philippe ad ~ Totally Mystified}

{Easter holiday eggs ~ Alvaro Dorsey}

{1944 jewelry ~ File Photo Digital Archive}

{Broadway Fashions 1947 ~ Classic Film}

{Cover of Judge magazine May 17, 1924 ~ Linda}

{Funny Easter Bunny ~ indria sari}

{Red Star Line postcard ~ Totally Mystified}

{Tableau in Green and Red ~ Tom Levold}

{1952 Avondale Fabrics ad ~ Totally Mystified}

{Cover of Woman And Home, August 1951 ~ Totally Mystified}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on its title to be taken to its respective Flickr page.} 

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The beginning of spring, awash as it generally is in a sea of gentle greens, delicate browns, mild pastels, crisp whites, and cheerful blues (as in the sky and representative of rain), isn't exactly a time of the year that we generally associate with the colour red, and yet there are plenty of things popping back to life these days that feature this very hue.

Flowers - spanning the garden spectrum from carnations to roses to pansies - are but one, strawberries and raspberries a little later on, are two more. You'll also find red on rubber boots used to splash in puddles, traditional Ukrainian pysanky Easter eggs, blossoms on various trees, and red skinned spuds, to name but a few a more sources of springtime red.

A colour of vibrancy, passion, vitality, and immense beauty, red suits spring's mighty return well, for it helps to convey the sense of power from which the world wakes up from its icy slumber and is once again cloaked in a rainbow shades, weather conditions and possible vintage wardrobe choices. I often personally associate red with change as well, which is certainly something that's underway as we gleefully wave buh-bye to Old Man Winter and welcome Mother Nature, in her youthful maiden form, back into our lives again.

So don't pack all the red away with your Christmas or Valentine's Day decorations or save it for the sweltering dog days of summer. Instead slip into a ruby sundress, sport a garnet hued Easter bonnet, let your feet frolic around in a pair of cranberry coloured peep-toe sandals (and paint your toe nails cherry to match), or bring a massive bouquet of your favourite warm weather red blooms into the house.

You'll feel all the more energized, happy, and ready to embrace spring's rocky starts and stops, thunder storms, and ultimately beautiful return because of it!

March 19, 2015

25 fabulous 1950s spring fashions to inspire your wardrobe this season

It is with no small amount of giddiness that I gear up to welcome spring's arrival tomorrow (if only on the calendar - actual spring weather commencing is always up to chance and luck!). Though there were a few major snow days, objectively this wasn't an overly brutal winter. It was however, like just about all those experienced here in this northerly country, a long one that is still in play in may parts of of the nation.

Soon enough - thank goodness! - though, winter will vanish like an icicle in the returning sun and we can embrace spring's fashion head on. One of the most appealing things about spring attire - and a point that serves it especially well because of how it ends up working out for those on both half of the equator - is that it shares much in common with autumn garb.

Now, of course, there will often be different hues at play and perhaps more layers (and the use of tights and boots) come fall, but overall the two are quite similar and sandwich the sweltering days of summer with a sort of elegance and chicness that can be tricky to obtained when the mercury is bubbling away like an active volcano.

Spring always screams 1950s fashion to me (I know I'm not alone in associating certain decades with each of the seasons; the warmer months often being more 50-ish for me, the colder, more 40s; though of course I do sport looks from each during both halves of the year) and so as I dash to towards winter's finishing line, I thought it would be oodles of fun to round up 25 of the loveliest 1950s spring looks that I've come across in recent months (I did the same thing last year and you'll definitely want to check out this post for 20 more great 1950s spring fashion ideas).

Which of the following looks are calling your name? I'm especially fond of the first, second and third, but really, there isn't a single one here that doesn't speak to my vintage fashion loving soul on multiple levels.

1. This is a terrific ensemble for the early days of spring, when there may still be snow on the ground and/or rain shower in the forecast. The white and black (snow) leopard print accessory trio at work in this 1951 ensemble is pretty much giving me a 1950s fashion inducing heart attack - it's that jaw-droppingly awesome.

2. Come spring, I pretty much want to pull up a hammock or sleeping bag and live in a garden. Not practical (especially when I don't even have a backyard!), but appealing for sure. Thankfully we can all avail of Mother Nature's blooms with colours and accessories that capture their timeless spirit, like those in this immensely feminine pink outfit from the pages of a 1957 edition of Vogue.

3. I rock novelty print fabrics all year 'round, but they generally come out to play most often during spring and summer, when they're an especially lighthearted mood to fashion. I know most of us would practically swim across an ocean for the 1950s beauties in this swoon inducing ad!

4. Sweater weather still out in full force? Fear not, you can always take a page from these stylish mid-1950s ladies and merge the two seasons care of soft hued separates that have the warmth needed for winter and the happiness inducing colours of spring.

5. Wicker and straw accessories are an absolute must for me from March through to the end of September. Here a sweet little wicker handbag teams up with a full skirted striped dress, lilac hued dress, and cream (likely straw) hat for a spring/summer fifties look that's as pretty as pretty can be.

6. Pastels are a perpetually natural choice for spring, as they're the antithesis of the dark, somber hues many of us have been decked out in for the last few months - plus they help keep you extra cool when the dog days of summer return. Here the primary colours get the pastel treatment in two gorgeous 1950s pleated sundresses.

7. If someone asked me out of the blue which season I most associate the wearing of yellow with, my blink answer would be spring (by a mile!). Though it sees play in summer, fall and even winter (usually in the form of golden tones for that season), it is spring - fresh and alive with daffodils, baby chicks, and sunlight itself that seems to suit the wearing of yellow, especially pale and medium shades, best. This great early 1950s swing coat and hat, partnered with an oversized flower and white gloves would be so wonderful for Easter or any day before, or after, that calls for a topper still.

8. Though dark blue and green may seem better suited to fall and winter, when put to work on a short sleeve shirtwaist dress in the form of a polka dot pattern, they take on a warm weather perfect sense of fun that elevates them to a great spring choice, especially for work.

9. Peach is such a splendidly pretty - and very uplifting - colour for spring and summer. It's reminiscent of everything from the fruit it is named after to the sand on a tropic beach to pastel sherbet. As seen in this charming 1959 matching mother and daughter look, it really shines when combined with hits of crisp white. I also love peach with yellow (as in this outfit), aqua, grey, chocolate brown, navy, and for an unexpected pairing, pine green.

10. Water colour inspired hues and blooms are timelessly gorgeous and as right for spring as a clear blue sky. Dust off of your favourite floral fashions and give them oodles of love this chipper season.

11. Far from being drab, a palette of different shades of cream and/or ivory feels fresh and alive after the dark, heavy tones of winter. Team up your soft hued threads with pearl jewelry, as this endlessly elegant look from 1950 does and you'll be sure garner compliments by the wheelbarrow full.

12. Though heavy wool, velvet and tweed versions are best brought out with the Christmas decor, capes and caplets can work for spring and summer, too, provided they're lightweight and easy to jauntily throw over your shoulders as you would a cardigan or sweater.

13. Elevate capri pants from being merely comfy and casual to cutting edge (in a vintage context at least) chic when you combine them with a figure flattering wrap top and pearl jewelry. Extra bonus points for a floppy 1950s sun hat and generous use of seashell pink.

14. There's that aforementioned springtime yellow at work again, along with sweet, gorgeous shades of mauvey-lavender in two timelessly elegant suit looks from 1951 that instantly call to mind the sophisticated stylings of my dear friend, Joanna from the blog Dividing Vintage Moments. Note the collar placement of the brooch worn on the purple suit - that is such an great little spot to tuck a beloved vintage pin.

15. Floral themed cardigans and and sweaters are a fantastic way to inject a hefty dose of springtime style in your vintage wardrobe. I own a few - some vintage, some 21st century - and can hardly wait to slip them on again this season.

16. Bold stripes and neutral hued bottoms make for an unexpected pairing that feels starkly contemporary, yet has very classic roots. If you like to blend old and new together in the same outfit, this look may be of particular interest to you.

17. White accessories are a springtime must that will see you through in classic style until (at least!) Labour Day. Think gloves, hats, handbags, shoes, jewelry, scarves, and belts to compliment just about every other piece in your wardrobe during the coming roasty-toasty months.

18. Darling details and spring go together like bunny rabbits and Easter. This outfit featuring a sleeveless striped dress abounds with sweet touches. From the bow and ruffles of the frock itself to her dangling charm bracelet to her lovely little blue earrings, it's a well coordinated, happy-go-lucky look that sings with the spirit of spring.

19. Here's an outfit that most mid-century vintage wearers are bound to love - and easily be able to put together. Combine a classic, solid coloured dress, a vibrant belt (and optional scarf), wide brimmed hat, and an arm full of bangles for a stylish ensemble that will stand the test of time.

20. Gingham is an immensely natural choice for sun-kissed months, but why not up the ante and pin a sprig of fresh (or faux) blooms to your bodice, collar, waist, shoulder, hat - you name it - for a spring/summer accessory choice that couldn't possibly suit the season any better.

21. I fully acknowledge that this eye-catching red and white polka dot look from 1950 with its lace front bodice and wide shoulders might be a touch OTT for some folks, but remember that you don't have to interpret these styles literally. Instead, why not be reminded of how fun dotted styles are for the warmer months and then, if you're feeling ambitious, try to track down a fabulous spotted umbrella like the one our whimsically attired model is holding.

22. If you're digging yellow for spring by now - or feeling your existing love for it multiplying - but aren't quite sure what to style it with, let this handy page of 1950s accessories offer up some top-notch suggestions.

23. Though it resembles a vest, I think that this is a shawl draped across her shoulders, which helps to keep one warm, especially in a halter style top like this beautiful orchid hued example with its marvelous bow neckline. Shawls are one of my favourite warm weather accessories and are great for events like picnics, evenings at the beach, and even just taking a stroll around the neighbourhood after the sun has set.

24. To my mind, spring is a season that suits being very coordinated from head-to-toe particularly well. Doing so creates a clean, appealing look that's snappy, elegant and lovely, much like this season itself. If you really want to gild the lily, look for matching (or very similar) shoes to coordinate with your favourite springtime fifties frocks.

25. Okay, technically this is eight looks, not one, so it could be argued that the title of this post should be "36 fabulous 1950s spring fashions", not 25, but as they're all contained on one page, I think we can let that point slide and instead focus on enjoying these wonderful, classic 1950s warm weather looks featuring shorts, capris and peddle pushers. If they don't make you yearn for a day at the beach, I don't know what will! :)

{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source, where applicable.}

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Each of these looks is fun, fashionable, becoming, inspiring and worth taking a serious inspiration cue from. Again, as with autumn, spring tends to be fairly short lived - winter and summer dominating the calendar, as they're prone to in many parts of the world. Thus it really pays to take advantage of these days, with their longer hours of daylight, mild to gently warm temperatures, suddenly-green-again landscapes, and lighter garments that can be donned and enjoyed without having to worry about the risk of frostbite.

Spring won't last forever, but we're fortunate to be at the very cusp of it this week and to be able to garner inspiration from past decades of looks from this very season to help us get the most out of our mild weather wardrobe in the coming months.

I don't know about you, but that point makes me an even more happy (vintage) camper who will be sporting breezy sundresses, flower bedecked Easter bonnets, and lightweight layers with gusto and glee all season long!