July 31, 2015

Vintage Link Love for July 2015

Perhaps it comes as no surprise to most folks, but July whizzed by at the speed of light! I know that I begin many Vintage Link Love posts with similar sentiments about the pace at which the month that we just enjoyed whipped past at, but at perhaps no other time of the year does time seem to vanish more quickly than during the summer.

Though I'm in no rush to see the glorious warm weather disappear, the passing of time does mean that it won't be too long (the first week of September, to be exact) until Tony gets home from working in the States this summer, and that's certainly something that we're both massively looking forward to.

{This early twentieth century beach photo sums up July so well for me this year. Full speed ahead, with a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and sand underfoot - at least once or twice!}

This month I was a seriously busy little bee! Between my birthday celebration, listing over 190 brand new antique and vintage items in the shop (including oodles of adorable vintage novelty brooches), returning to YouTube after a nearly eleven month (unplanned!) break there, thrifting up a storm (I've got a video in the works with some of my exciting recent thrift finds, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that), penning plenty of blog posts, and - no word of a lie - already beginning to think heavily about Halloween (giant shocker to those who know me, I'm sure! :D), plus all the other usual bits and bobs of life, I've been on my toes nearly none stop this month.

Ooohhh, plus, in the last few days of July, Chronically Vintage's Facebook page hit a new milestone: over 4,000 likes - thank you so much to everyone for your support there!

In amidst of burning the candle at both ends, I still found time to read many of my favourite blogs and websites. Amongst them I gleaned the following selection of twelve posts that captured my attention for one reason or another. I hope that you'll enjoy and/or be inspired by all of them as well!

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42 glamorous wedding dresses from the 1920s and 30s: Though I don't know anyone tying the knot here locally this summer, wedding season has been out in full force for a while now and this selection of more than 40 photos of vintage gowns more than helps to make up for the lack of nuptials I've been attending lately. Prepare to swoon!!!

What to know when getting your hair bobbed: Recently the always marvelously stylish Jenny Frances chopped over several inches of hair and is now sporting a very becoming bob. To help those who might want the skinny on what to know if you're considering this classic haircut, too, she put together a stellar, image filled post all about the ins and outs of getting a bob (that's definitely worth bookmarking even if you have no plans to chop your hair anytime soon - you just never know when a great post like this might come in handy).

Crinolinemania: the sexy fashion trend that killed 3,000 women: The heart of this story from Mashable/Retronaut may not come as shocking news to those who study historical fashions, but the concept that so many people perished as the result of an elaborate undergarment is still more than enough to give anyone reason to pause and think.

21 post ideas for bloggers: I've thought about penning a similar post to this one myself many times before, but haven't yet had the chance, so in the meantime, I thought that I would share this lovely, helpful list of twenty-one blog post ideas from, fittingly, the fun contemporary fashion, travel, and lifestyle blog N°.20 - because, really, who amongst us bloggers can't use a little post prompt help every now and then?

DIY Miriam Haskell Necklace: My good friend and fellow vintage blogger Bianca from The Closet Historian is not only a lovely writer, but an incredible talented milliner, seamstress, and jewelry maker. It is the latter skill that comes to foreground in this recent how-to post of hers in which she takes us through the easy to follow steps involved with make a show stoppingly gorgeous vintage looking, Miriam Haskell inspired statement necklace. Believe me, you'll want to reach for your round nose pliers, pronto!

The Great British Heatwave In 32 Photos: 1911-1976 (WARNING: MAY NOT BE SAFE FOR WORK OR SENSITIVE ENVIRONMENTS/VIEWERS DUE TO NUDITY): Heat waves are anything but new, however the act of capturing them on camera has obviously only been possible since the invention of this world changing device. This recent post from the site Flashback rounds up over 30 photos taken in the UK during the early to mid-twentieth century during various heatwaves. Anyone who has ever experienced this common summer occurrence will be able to instantly relate to these memorable photos.

How to pack a trunk in 1870: I find the topic of vintage travel and how people packed for it in the days of ocean liners, long railway journeys, and even the early days of aviation to be wildly interesting, so when Aimee shared this post about how to pack one's trunks for a voyage Victorian style, I couldn’t lap up each word quickly enough!

Nine myths about dressing vintage: From fellow Canadian vintage fan, wearer, and blogger Kirstie, comes this spot on post that delves deeper, IMO, than many similar entries I've seen over the years and dispels some of the persistent myths that exist regarding the wearing of vintage.

Decked Out-Nautical Fashion through the Ages: Whether you live a stone's through from the ocean or hundreds of miles away from the nearest seashore, summertime calls for nautical inspired fashions in spades and it's always fun to see examples of them from decades past, such as the lovely roundup in this recent post from Blue Velvet Vintage's delightful blog.

What do you want to be when you grow up?: This post from Gemma's always engaging blog Retro Chick spoke to me a great deal.  I constantly find areas of my life, very much including the running of my blog, where my own assorted childhood career aspirations come to the surface and are realized, at least some of the time, through the work that I actually do for a living these days, much as Gemma finds that to be true for her as well.

29 of the most delicious things you can do with zucchini: With zuc season upon us again, the fine folks at BuzzFeed have rounded some thoroughly scrumptious looking recipes that make good use of the vegetable, which frequently grows in copious quantities for those who plant it and which always seems to be easy to come by in spades during mid-summer (no matter if you have a garden or not). The Pizza Boats, Chocolate Muffins, and Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream in particular really jumped out me. Which zucchini recipes there call your name the most?

Remembering the Apollo 11 Moon Landing With the Woman Who Made It Happen: July 20th marked the 46th anniversary since Neil Armstrong famously took his first steps on the moon, but as this intriguing Time Life piece details, such may not have been possible were it not for the pioneering software development work of Margaret Hamilton (pictured below).

{To learn more a specific image used in this post, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

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August, the eight month of the year and final full month of the summer, is a unique one. The dog days of summer are often behind us (or very nearly so), but autumn's chill hasn't yet returned. The beaches are full still, but at the same time, the first Halloween decorations are starting to grace the shelves of various shops (Walmart, Michaels, Hallmark, and Marshalls are usually amongst the first to bring in seasonal decor here in our neck of the woods).

Those who enjoy the summer are usually still flushed and happy about the heat and spirits are high in general. However, I think that many of our minds are already starting to look ahead to fall and the changes that it brings back into our lives, be it a fresh school year, unpacking our cold weather threads, or coaxing our ovens out of hibernation when comfort food season strikes once more.

{August is a fascinating month. We often bound into it in a bathing suit and leave sporting trousers and cardigans again - or at least starting to think about introducing them into our closets and daily ensembles once more. It's fun, sunny, and usually over far too quickly - much like this July was!}

I think that August, just as with early September, is a wonderful transition filled time between the two chapters of the year and I love that it lets us enjoy summer proper for a little while longer.

In the coming weeks, I plan to continue thrifting and yard saling up a storm, cooking and baking (peach pies made with local fruit, you guys, oh my gosh, I can't even - they're always sensational!) with local produce, enjoying the fact that the sun still sets fairly late in the day, and yet at the same time, thinking more and more about autumn and all my ideas and blog posts for that season.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you each a sunny, fun filled, awesome August and hope that it will be a terrific month for all of us!

July 29, 2015

Meet two fellow bloggers: Vintage power couple Laurence & Sylvain from Lost in the 50s

Every interview that is a part of this delightful ongoing monthly series is equally near and dear to my heart, but I'd be lying if I said that there aren't certain bloggers in particular whom I secretly hoped would volunteer to take part in it, simply because I'd admire and have been inspired by them so incredibly much for years now.

Absolutely, bar none, hands down one - or, I should say, two - of those people are none other than the dynamic European vintage loving couple that is Laurence and Sylvain. Chances are, if you've been a part of the vintage blogging scene for any length of time, you will have discovered their fantastic vintage fashion filled blog, Lost in the 50s and have come to know these two friendly, stylish, travel loving people who call France home.

Not only are Laurence and her husband Sylvain incredible dressers and passionate fans of the vintage lifestyle, but one has only to spend a little time watching them (online) to instantly recognize just how truly in love and devoted to one another they are. As a lifelong romantic, this has always made me adore the two of them all the more and was part of the reason why I was so keen to involve them in this interview series.

Recently I chatted via email with Laurence, who answered the slew of questions (it was tricky not to ask her and Sylvain dozens more, as I find them to be such immensely interesting people!) on behalf of her and husband. Though the answers are all hers, she speaks of Sylvain's tastes, interests, wardrobe, etc often throughout this exciting interview and one really senses both of their presence in these awesome answers.

If, like me, you've always wanted to know more about Laurence and Sylvain - or if you're meeting them for the first time here today - settle into a cozy seat and read on. I promise you, you'll be as enthralled with the details of their huge wardrobe, their time warp home, their vintage cars, and their joie de vivre as I am!

You guys are arguably the best know vintage lifestyle couple on the planet and it is a sincere honour to chat with both of you today. For those who may not yet have discovered your wonderful blog and social media accounts, could you please share a bit about yourselves?

I'm Laurence, a French woman in her mid-thirties. I’ve been a vintage addict for 15 years  now and am married to an other crazy addict, Sylvain. We live in France a few miles from Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany, where we live a mid-century retro life in the heart of Europe.

What drew you to vintage fashions?

We have always loved vintage movies and old music. Perhaps it also came from our childhoods, when I was a huge fan of Back to Future and Sylvain never missed an episode Happy Days on TV. When I met my husband, he already had a vintage car, and we started going together to flea markets in our area. One day I found a box full of vintage ELLE magazines from the 50’s and really fell in love with all those glamorous models! I bought my first vintage dress a week after that and I was hooked. Sylvain followed me immediately in the quest for more vintage treasures!

In particular, what are some of the elements of the decade(s) that you each prefer that really adhere you those years and their wonderful fashions?

1945-1955 is my favorite era. I like most of the things from this time period: clothes, music, cars, decoration, movies. That was a joyful era just after the war. I’m a huge fan of Dior’s New Look, when women really dressed like women, complete with hats, petticoats, nice accessories, and great make-up! I also like the 30’s, but art deco era fashion doesn’t suit my curvy body.

My husband really likes to wear 1930s styles though and he can switch easily from a 30’s suit to a early 60’s Hawaiian shirt. Ultimately, he is a crazy vintage car lover at heart, preferring US cars from the late 50’s.

How has the vintage lifestyle scene changed since you both began taking part in it?

When we started dressing in the old fashioned way, we didn’t even know what the word "vintage" meant. I didn’t have any friends or relatives who liked old stuff and the internet was not what it is today. There was no social networks, almost no blogs yet, and so we had to learn for ourselves how to be able to recognized original items of clothing, as well as furniture, home decor pieces, dishware, etc.

In the beginning, I bought all the vintage clothes that I could find in thrift stores from the era that I love, even if they weren’t actually my size.  A few months later I discovered eBay and as if you imagine it, back then a lot of auctions still didn’t have photos!

The vintage scene didn’t exist either where we lived, but the rock’n roll scene had been around since the late 70’s, so some events like Hemsby, the Rockabilly Rave, or Rhythm Riot in England were already popular. Our first vintage event was the Rhythm Riot in 2003, what a nice souvenir!!!

Kustom culture quickly became more and more popular, with a lot of pin-up girls, a lot of tattoos and custom cars emerging. It’s not the style that I personally like, but a lot of new events were created because of that and so I can certainly appreciate it all the more because of that fact.

I can honestly say that it’s easier to dress in a vintage wear now than it was twenty years ago, as there are a lot of repro brands out there these days, and with the internet, it’s so easy to buy vintage from all around the world at the click of a mouse!

What have some of the biggest perks and/or highlights of living a vintage filled life been for you?

I think that it’s the fact that you can choose the best parts of the era you like. Some people ask me if I would want to live in the 50’s. No, it’s great to live now and having the best of a modern life and the best of the 50’s.

I’m well aware that life back then was not always a bed of roses. There were bad conditions still for many women, racism, poverty, and many other serious social concerns. Today we can live now a 50’s life, but with the advantages of a modern world. I think it’s important to be aware of history in order to have a better life in the present (Jessica’s note: I agree with you completely!).

It must be incredible to each be married to someone who is as in love with vintage as you are! Do you have any advice for new couples who are both into vintage and just starting out their life together?

It’s really nice to share the same interests. I cannot imagine living with someone who didn’t like vintage. We discovered so many things together and I love that fact. Even in the context of vintage, you can have your own interests. For example, we usually don’t buy the same things as one another at flea markets.

My husband became interested in vintage clothes because of me and I in turn bought a 50’s car because of him. It gives you a great deal of motivation to have a fellow vintage lover right there with you as you go through life. I’m sure that we would have never have come far on our own.

In addition to wearing vintage, you also live in a mid-century vintage filled home and drive vintage cars, which is awesome! Are there certain areas of your life that you've intentionally chosen to keep modern and others that you couldn't fathom not being vintage?

Yes, our house is fully furnished with vintage items and we own four vintage American cars from the 50s. I'm not personally fond of repro/modern clothes (except for some shoes and a few accessories), as I find that I'm always disappointed with quality, cut or fabric, so for me vintage cannot be compared to modern designs. But of course we use some actual commodities like computers and a modern car.

We cannot drive all year long with a vintage car due to our cold snowy/rainy winter and the price of gasoline. Moreover, I really cannot live without internet! But those kinds of items where there is not a big difference between vintage and modern (one being far superior to the other, I mean), we turn to the vintage choice with great pleasure. Some of these things include dishes, lamps, small appliances, for example.

You each have wardrobes that are flat out incredible! What are some of the main sources that you acquire your vintage fashions (and household items) from?

We have 3 main sources:

-Internet: chiefly sites like Etsy or eBay.

-Flea markets: where we mostly find accessories, as vintage clothes from the 40’s-50’s are quite rare at most European flea markets.

-Vintage shops: we like to travel a lot and we always visit some vintage stores in the main cities that we’re staying in.

How large, roughly, would you say that your wardrobe is at this point?

It’s a big problem, when you are addicted (to vintage), you cannot stop buying more! :) It’s becoming harder and harder to store our collection of vintage clothes. I believe that at this point, I would be able to dress for a full year without wearing the the same outfit twice. My wardrobe in about 5 times bigger than than Sylvain’s!

Do you ever sell or giveaway pieces that you don't wear/don't like/don't fit you well anymore?

Yes, we try to sell on our Facebook page at least twice a year, but it’s a lot of work because I want to take nice pictures to present each item at its best. I try to sell at the price I paid for items myself. I have a few suitcases full of clothes (men and women) for sale, just ready and waiting for my next sale.

Have you two ever thought about opening up a vintage shop of your own?

An online shop, I would say yes, but not a real shop because you need to live in a large city to be able to open such a business in Europe. But it’s so much work and as pre-60s vintage is so hard to find in Europe, I would want to 80’s stuff just in order to keep my business going. I think that I like to work outside of vintage and be able to enjoy it all the more on weekends and vacations because its not my day job.

You've travelled for the sake of vintage many times, including to Viva Las Vegas in America. What has been your favourite vintage related trip so far?

About all our travels were related to vintage… not only for vintage, but if we are planning a trip in a city, we always search for flea markets or vintage shops before we leave. It's also a good way to discover a city, and meet local people – plus in looking for those shops, you can discoverer some non-touristy areas, which is one of the best sides to traveling!

For vintage, the best destination is of course the USA, the heaven for all vintage addicts! A lot of shops are way cheaper than  here in Europe and as such we make a point to go to the US at least once a year. My best memory of our trips there so far has been when we were part of two different vintage style weddings in California a few years ago. But I also remember those road trips we made with our ’59 Cadillac to England for events like the Rockabilly Rave or the Rhythm Riot, which were a lot of fun as well.

Our next trip will be to Bavaria, Austria, and Hungary… vintage is not our main goal for this road trip, but of course we’ve already looked into all the flea markets and vintage shops there!

Are there any cool vintage related events that you'd like to attend, anywhere in the whole wide world, that you haven't been to yet?

I would like to England for the GOODWOOD Revival. The best vintage events take place in the UK for sure and I think this one is quite unique, even there. Sylvain would love to be able to go with one of his cars to the Power Big Meet in Sweden for the biggest US classic car show in the world!

Two other destinations that I would really like to visit one day are Japan and Australia.

Do you enjoy cooking vintage recipes as well? And if so, do you collect vintage cookbooks and recipe booklets?

My husband collects vintage cookbooks, even if he doesn’t know how to cook! :) I must say though, that he loves to collect almost anything from his favourite decades. For me, I can cook some nice French recipes, but never from vintage books. If you are reading a few vintage recipes, they can sometimes be quite funny. For example, I read one a few days ago about how to make a MONSTER egg with 16 classic eggs.

You are both master accessorizers, do you have any styling tips to share when it comes to adding those perfect finishing (or in some cases, starting) touches to an outfit?

For me colors are really important in an outfit. So I choose my accessories mainly because of their colors and also perhaps their era. I would not wear a 40’s hat with a 50’s dress.

For jewels, I usually wear a watch, earrings and bracelets. I love to wear brooches, but most of the time no necklace. If you are wearing both, I think it’s too much. I don’t know why but I feel naked without anything on my head: snood, flowers, hats, scarves.

My husband is sometimes more bold and mixes unexpected colors! For him, the border between very good taste and bad taste is really thin and he wants to get close as possible to it without cross over to the other side.

What are your very favourite kinds of accessories?

My husband would definitely say 1940s ties and vintage tie bars for him, whereas with me, it’s more complicated. I LOVE accessories: hats, purses, shoes, jewels, umbrellas, gloves, eyeglasses. I think that even with more basic outfits, you can look like a real princess if you chose the perfect accessories! So if I must pick, I would say brooches and purses.

When I first start wearing vintage, I was focused on clothes and I was often disappointed with some outfits, than I came to understand the importance of accessories! Moreover, they have a huge advantage compared to vintage clothes: they always fit!!! (Except for shoes, of course.)

With such great wardrobes, successful storage must come into play for you guys. Do you have any great tips for storing large vintage collections?

Of course having a dedicated room for your clothes is a must have, but it’s hard for us to give advice because storage is really one of our biggest problem. I would say that you will have three enemies when you are collecting vintage clothes: light, dust, and moths!!! So you must protect your wardrobe from all of them as much as you possibly can.

Do you have any so-called holy grail/unicorn vintage items that you've been hunting for now for many years, but haven't yet found?

Hard to say! What is good about the hunt for vintage is that you never know what you will find next. In many cases, you don’t even know that an item ever existed until you find it in a local flea market for next to nothing and it become like a real treasure to you. Really, again, you never know with vintage hunting and that’s where so much of its appeal lies.

Are there elements, even if you don't usually wear them yourselves, that you like of modern fashion?

The only advantage of modern clothes for me is their ease of care. You can usually wash them without worrying about if they’ll hold up in washing machine, and thus you don’t fear if something gets a stain or if laundering them will damage them, as you need to keep in mind with vintage. Some are more comfortable for sure, but that’s it. Modern clothes are not our cup of tea!

I'm sure that the safe answer to this question, would be a resounding "yes", but do you see yourself wearing vintage and living a vintage filled life for the rest of your lives?

I would say "yes", but we never know. I have seen so many people (friends, bloggers…) leaving the world of vintage lately, even if they wore vintage clothes on an everyday basis previously. I feel quite sad about that, but life changes: a new baby, a divorce, a new job, a change of interests… you cannot be sure of what life will be made of!

What are some things aside from vintage that you're both passionate about?

I would say animals. We don’t have pets anymore because of our full time jobs and the fact that we travel a lot. But I would love to adopt a puppy! In particular, I would like a cute “wiener” dog one day. We are not big cat people, but we do love various types of rodents cats but we are also fan of rodents, from guinea pigs to capybaras!

What inspired you to launch your fantastic blog, Lost in the 50s?

A lot of people asked me but why don’t share your unusual everyday vintage life with others? We were interviewed for a French vintage car magazine called POWERGLIDE (where we now write two articles for each issue) and the article was called “Lost in the 50’s”. The feedback that get received from it was really amazing and it was clear that people were keen to learn more about Sylvain and I.

So as I was already following a few blogs I said to myself, ‘You know, why not?” Moreover, I wanted to have more contact with people from all around the world in our vintage scene, and that’s why I chose to write the blog in English, even if it’s not my mother tongue. I also wanted be able to help people who were just entering the vintage world first time, while also creating a diary of our daily lives.

You're active on social media. What is your favourite social media site and why (is it such)?

My favorite social media site to stay in touch with my friends from all around the world is Facebook, but for being in touch with the vintage scene in genereal, I prefer Instagram. I have a page for the blog on Facebook but I don’t like their policies, they want you to pay for everything there.

I discovered Instagram less than a year ago and I feel that it's the future, as it’s so mush easier to use than a blog. In only a few seconds you can share what you like with thousands people. Unfortunately, I think that because of the rise of social media, less and less people are taking the time to read blogs any more. 

What are some things that you wish your readers and fans knew about you, that they likely don't already?

There is one thing that I have almost never spoken about my blog and that’s our jobs, which are not vintage related. Sylvain is a real estate seller and I'm engineer. Nothing glamorous in that, but it helps us to make our dream life come true!

And last, but certainly not least, where do you guys see the future of the vintage lifestyle community and the wearing of vintage going?

I think that less and less people will wear true vintage (as in pre-70’s styles) as time goes on.  It’s becoming harder to find and much more expensive when you do. In the last 15 years, prices have more than double. In addition, as repro is so easy to find and a lot easier to care for usually, a lot of people choose to wear vintage inspired clothes instead of genuine vintage - even if repro is sometimes more expensive than the real thing.

Often young people are more interested with 80’s funky clothes than girly 50’s fashion. Soon looks from the 90’s will become vintage. I think that designers will always be inspired by the past and as such vintage will never be outdated. The 50’s were themselves inspired by the XIXth century, the 70’s had a 30’s touch, the 80’s highlighted the 50’s, and so things will likely continue in much the same way as time goes on.

Connect with Laurence and Sylvain:

Their blog: Lost in the 50s

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you so very, very much for your marvelous, thorough, informative answers, Laurence, and for speaking on behalf of both you and Sylvain. It was truly an honour to chat with you and to have the chance to share so much about you guys with my lovely readers.

You are unequivocally one of the best known and most inspiring vintage lifestyle couples of all time and I am certain that there are countless old school fans around the planet who look up to, and delight in knowing, you (through your blog and social media).

Next up for August's exciting vintage blogger post, we'll be waltzing our way back to North America to talk with a stylish vintage and rockabilly loving makeup artist from the Eastern shores of the good old USA of A, who has lead, and continues to lead, a full life that will touch and inspire big time. I can hardly wait to chat with her!

July 27, 2015

Of rainbows, my new Tate Millinery hat, and the pairing of black + brown

Outfit details

Black straw 1940s style platter tilt hat: Tate Millinery
Brown plastic hair barrette: Goody
Gold tone and rhinestone earrings: Either Payless or Claire's
Brown button front shirt: Banana Republic
Vintage style gold tone and rhinestone floral brooch: eBay
Black quadruple brass buckle bet: Forever 21
C. 1950s black pencil skirt: Unknown, had for ages (possibly thrifted)
C. 1960s brown patent faux leather bag: Purchased from a fellow vintage seller
Gold tone metal bangle bracelet: Payless
1950s/60s black gloves with bows: Chameleon CMC
Nude stockings with black seams: eBay
Brown 1940s style round toe pumps: Walmart (via a consignment store)
Lip colour: MAC Party Line (this is a new lippy for me and I love it to bits!)
Nail colour (seen in rainbow photo): Sally Hansen Mauve Over

Photography by Tony Cangiano

(This is the first time I've ever posed with a rainbow for my blog. I was a very happy camper to get this shot!)

Sometimes, in the midst of all of summer's more free flowing, airy, casual ensembles, one starts craving the hard hitting glamour that so often accompanies the chillier half of the year. When that mood has struck me lately, I've reached instantly for this beguilingly chic 1940s style straw tilt hat, which I was recently sent as a wonderful review gift from the German brand Tate Millinery.

My favourite styles of hat in the whole wide world are tilt and platter, so when the two have the chance to come together in a singular topper like this, I start floating around merrily on the fashion accessory version of cloud nine.

Tate Millinery is helmed by designer Karen Cavallaro and each of her products is lovingly and skillfully made by hand. Today is actually Kate's birthday, so it seemed like an absolutely perfect time to debut this wonderful hat from her line.

Kate very sweetly let me pick any of her hats that my heart desired to receive as a review gift, as the moment I laid eyes on the black and sandy-pale gold coloured 1940s style gem, I was hooked instantly and knew that was the Tate Millinery chapeau for me (thank you so much for it, Karen!).

Classic, ladylike and very versatile, this black straw hat can be worn on the side, top or back of the head; is feather light, and looks the mid-century part to a tee. It's also very airy, comfortable, and well made, thus making it a perfect choice for summer and year round wear in general.

I was honoured to receive this gorgeous hat, which you can purchase from Tate Millinery's online shop for €79.90 (Euros), and knew the moment it arrived, that I was going to style it with the colour palette that you see here in these photos.

Much like I discussed regarding the pairing of black and navy blue together (in this post), one of the oldest and most oft repeated fashion myths is that black and brown can't play nicely and shouldn't be worn in the same outfit.

Balderdash, I say! Not only do the two look wildly sophisticated together, but pairing them can be a great way to breath new life into pieces that you own in both colours. The combination is also handy because while black or brown on its own might not look awesome near your face (depending on your personal colouring), chances are that one of the two will and you can sport that up top, as I've done here with brown, which is more flattering to my skin tone than black, and then the other down on the bottom and/or as accent pieces throughout.

Given the refined design of the hat and the powerful mid-century vibe it telegraphs, I opted for an understated ensemble that I thought would play well with both of those points.

On the day when these photos were taken - which included a gorgeous rainbow over Okanagan Lake, that we were able to quickly pull over on the side of the highway and a snap with, before continuing on to our intended photo shoot location in town, the end of the River Channel Parkway down by Skaha Lake - I reached for one of my all-time favourite button front shirts, a classic brown number from Banana Republic, along with a black vintage pencil skirt, and various accessories in both black and brown.

A somewhat more subdued colour palette than I often sport, I actually truly loved how black and brown brought visual interest to each other and am glad that I refrained from introducing other hues (save for a little bit of brass and gold care of my accessories) into the mix.

Summer is often two warm for a skirt suit outdoors (especially if it's not silk or linen), but a skirt and blouse or button front shirt can look nearly as dressy, yet spare you from wilting faster than a lettuce leaf under the broiler. Thus this is the kind of look I'd reach for if I had a work related meeting, important appointment, wedding, funeral, or other more formal event to attend, but (again) didn't want to bake under the weight of a suit - especially since the beautiful tilt hat helps to more than makeup for the lack of a jacket in terms of elegance here.

I've been wanting to do an outfit post to show how nicely black and brown can get along for ages upon ages now, and am delighted that this gorgeous straw hat from Tate Millinery gave me the opportunity to do so. This is my first product from the brand - who offers a wide range of handmade vintage inspired hats and fascinators - and I love it to no end.

Believe me when I say, this is a hat that I will reach for time and time again, month after month, year after year. It's both beautiful and fun, weighs next to nothing and can be styled in anywhere from a 1930s to an early 1960s direction, just depending on what you partner it with. You don't have to opt for black and brown, but given how splendidly it works with this dark colour duet, why wouldn't you want to do so at least every now and then. I know I'll certainly be continuing to, especially once we get into autumn again.

For now though, thankfully, that point is still a couple of months away and I'm going to keep on enjoying this enchantingly pretty 1940s style Tate Millinery hat with everything from office worthy attire to cocktail frocks to circle skirt, and adore that its neutral colour means that it will play nicely with - if you'll permit a bit of an intentional pun/reference - a rainbow of colours all year round! :)

July 25, 2015

25 Awesome Watermelon Recipes for Summer

As soon as July loomed into sight again and I began planning out this month's posts, the first thing that sprang to mind for the recipe post was something pertaining to the succulent summertime classic that is watermelon.

I've only met a couple of people (interestingly, one of my grandpas was amongst them) who didn’t madly adore watermelon. Hit on a truly ripe, juicy specimen and it is arguably amongst the most delicious, satisfying, enjoyable foods ever (not to mention that it's healthy for you too!).

{Really, is there any more iconic or appealing summertime staple on the fruit front than watermelon? We've been tucking into it for centuries now and likely will for many more to come. Vintage image source.}

Like many folks, I have plenty of happy memories of eating watermelon throughout my life and though it is hard for some of my medical conditions to handle it in bigger quantities, I still indulge in a slice or two anytime we have one in the house. It is too perfect and too tasty a food to back away from unless it really is a matter of life and death for a person, if you ask me (assuming you're a fan to begin with that is!).

While I have no doubt that there were various watermelon recipes back in the day that went beyond just "cut and serve (salt or sugar optional)" for watermelon - in fact, I've seen some in old school cookbooks over the years - a whole evening spent searching online did not turn up any vintage ads or recipes pages for any of them, aside from this one for Watermelon Salad that I blogged about two summers ago and a few newspaper style clippings for watermelon rind pickles.

So instead of throwing in the towel on my plans for a (second) watermelon recipe post, I decided that I'd try something I don't usually do here and instead roundup of a selection of absolutely fantastic sounding watermelon recipes from across the web and share them all here with you today.

After all, it the final Saturday in what is often the hottest month of the year in the Western Hemisphere and if that doesn't call for an array of tongue pleasing watermelon recipes that, for the most part, are a snap to throw together even on the most roasty-toasty of days, I don't know what does!

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{All photos are care of their respective sources, which can be reached by clicking on the recipe link below each image. Unlike vintage images which are often much more in the public domain and for which the reproduction and sharing of is more liberally tolerated, I fully understand that some food bloggers do not like to have their photos shared on other blogs, even when a link back to their site is provided. If such is the case and your photo appears here, please let me know by email and I'll happily take it down or credit it in a different way that you're happy with. Thank you!}

Yummmmm!!! Which of these watermelon culinary masterpieces and simple stunners appeals to you most of us? I'm really, really digging the froyo pops and watermelon "cake", but think they all sound seriously fantastic!

As I do like to generally keep the recipes that I share here either vintage or classics from my own family (which are usually vintage at this point themselves), I don't foresee taking this approach all that often with recipe posts, but it could be fun for a nice chance of pace every now and then. If you like this style of recipe roundup post, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments, I'd love to get your feedback on it.

{Run, don't walk, to the nearest grocery store, produce shop, or farmer's market and snap up a prize watermelon on the double. Your taste buds and core temperature will both thank you! Vintage image source.}

Do yourself a delicious favour and rush out to the store (or to the fridge or garden, if you already have a melon to hand) and pick yourself up a big, ripe, gorgeous verdant coloured watermelon to tuck into this weekend. 

With the mercury still throw the roof, believe me when I say you'll be glad that you did! :)