February 29, 2016

The curse, and blessing, of being eclectic

The hours is late as I pen these words. Dawn has not yet broke as gossamer threads of moonlight bounce off the barren branches of our neighbour's stately tree right outside our front door. There are several posts of time sensitive nature I could be writing at the moment, but I am tired and know that they can all wait until later in the day/week, after I've nabbed a little sleep. Not this one though.

I've been blogging long enough (very nearly seven years on this blog alone, several more if we reach back further in time to sites that no longer exist) to know that sometimes when the spark of inspiration for a strikes one must set about composing immediately or risk being left with the lingering feeling that something great, important or poignant has passed you by. Like realizing you missed seeing someone you cared about for the first time in years by a matter of minutes.

I'm the sort of person who does a great deal of introspective thinking. I analyze my thoughts, my actions, my emotions, my conversations, my passions, my relationships, my dreams, my fears, and just about anything else that I experience. Not obsessively, of course, but certainly with a heavy hand and for the most part, I'm grateful that I operate this way. I think that it stems in part from being a shy, quiet introvert, but know that there are many roots of such and have always found it a comforting trait to possess.

Last year in particular, I thought very frequently about who I am at this present stage in my life, what I like, what defines me, and how I portray myself to the world. I have known since early childhood that my tastes were powerfully eclectic and am generally a-okay with that.

Having a wide array of loves, interests, and (if one can find the time) hobbies keeps life fresh and fun. It means you always have an answer at the ready for what you want to do, buy, see, experience, and even taste next. It ensures I'm never bored, can reply to the question of "what would you like for your birthday/anniversary/Christmas gift" at the speed of light, and has helped me to move with relative ease amongst numerous specific interest groups and subcultures throughout my life.

Yet being eclectic can also have its downsides in a sense. For one, because I have so many likes and interests (some of which I've never even so much as mentioned on this site), it is often easier to stick largely with one and let it define you in so many different ways.

This isn't a negative per se at all, and I don't mean to paint it has such, but rather I wish to speak to the fact that when one is so largely focused on a certain topic, it can, at times, feel like some of the others in your life fall to the wayside or, worse, get left (unintentionally) in the dust all together. It is easy to lose yourself when you are consumed by love, be that for a person, a thing, a timeframe, a place, a way of life or just about anything else.

Or, if not lose entirely, than start to appear rather one-sided. Back in the summer of 2014, on the eve of my birthday, I wrote a post called Thoughts on who I am as I turn 30. This entry has stood out for me ever sense and was a catalyst for further thoughts pertaining to who, in fact, I am, what I love, how the world sees me (online, at least), and some of the way in which I might want to change various things.

The simple truth of the matter is, once you've perceived a certain way - even when that way is wonderfully positive - it can be hard to change or to let other sides of your personality and spectrum of interests shine through, and at times it is even illogical and/or detrimental to do so.

{Being eclectic means that at almost all times, you are only able to show a portion, be it large or small, of who you are and what you love to world. There are perks and downsides to this, as touched on in today's post, but in the end, I'm grateful to have a plethora of passions and enjoy continuing to add new ones to the roster as time goes on. Vintage woman with a hand mirror photo source.}

If I could go back in time to the birth of this blog in April 2009, there are numerous things I would do differently - not the least of which is to include a wider array of my interests and hobbies as part of it. There's nothing to say I still can't, but just as one would be perplexed if they showed up at the Great Wall of China and saw Sphinx of Eiffel Tower themed souvenirs being sold, so too does one have a certain natural path to follow once they've been running a successful blog on a given topic for a long time.

Yet that is easy to say - hindsight and all that jazz. For, eclectic though I may be, I am not the same person I was nearly seven years ago. A staggering number of things, many for the better, have changed in my life since then. I'm older and bolder alike. I've grown in innumerable ways and some of the interests I had then are now just pleasant memories or things that are touched on once in a blue moon. Others are with me still, naturally, and it should go without saying that vintage and all that it encompasses is certainly one of them.

I can't fathom that I would ever stop loving vintage, antiques, history and genealogy. These are embedded passions that have been with me since my earliest days. Yet they are not all of who I am and what I love, and I often struggle with ways to let some of those other parts of my eclectic soul shine through, be it on my blog, in my wardrobe, through my decor choices, and in other areas of my world alike.

Perhaps, to a degree, many of us do. I don't claim to be alone here and am not leading this post in the direction of some great epiphany on the subject, for none has been forthcoming, no matter how much I've thought, reflected and even meditated on the topic.

The focus of this blog is, and always be, vintage, and I love that. However, at the same time, I also sincerely hope that as the years continue to roll on, I can find ways to weave more and more of my interests, my passions, my beliefs, and my soul itself into my posts here, too.

There are, as with so much in this world, pros and cons alike to being eclectic - to loving a great many things with a huge part of your heart/mind/spirit. Ultimately though, I have always felt, at the end of the day, the blessings outweigh the negatives and I think, no, I know, that having such a wide breadth of interests is a huge part of why I've been able to keep this blog going strong for the better part of seven years now.

So if that means certain sides of myself remain under wraps or aren’t overly represented here, ultimately, I have come to realize, so be it. They're still with me, still shaping my life, and who knows, perhaps some of them are even waiting just around the corner to be blogged about in the wee hours of another sleepy, moonlit night.

February 26, 2016

What I wore for Christmas Day (only, you know, two months after the fact :D)

Outfit details

C. 1930s/40s burgundy felt hat with netting: Garb-Oh Vintage
Garnet and gold toned earrings: Claire's (in late November, so they might still be in stock there)
1940s style burgundy winter coat: Thrifted (Jones New York brand)
1980s does 1940s Laura Ashley plaid dress: Lola Vintage
C. 1950s frosted clear Austrian glass berry brooch: eBay
C. 1950s white gloves: Unknown, had for ages (possibly a gift)
Gold tone bangle bracelets: Payless
C. 1950s/60s navy blue handbag: Frugal Frocks
Black seamed nude vintage style stockings: eBay
Navy blue faux patent leather pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Partyline

Photography by Tony Cangiano

The sharing of said ensemble, not the wearing, that is. :)

If you're a regular follower of this blog, then I won't head into broken record territory too much, but chances are you know that I've been computer-less this month. While I was fortunate to have several blog posts penned and ready to go live throughout February prior to that happening, only a couple of them were outfit posts and as such, I kept pushing their post dates up further and further, as one week turned into the next and I was still sans laptop.

The new one is expected to arrive any day now (yippee!), so I thought I'd take the plunge and share these fun snaps from late December with all of you here today, before we head into March and my thoughts turn far more to loveiversary (the day that Tony I first meet back in 2004) and Easter season outfits, instead of what I was sporting while jolly old St. Nicolas was still in town. :)

This past Christmas was a marvelous one for myself and my family. On the one hand, it was a lowkey event (just the way I typically like holidays of all sorts to be), but on the other, it was delightfully unique - for us at least. The reason for such was that the year before(on Christmas Day 2014, to be exact), my mom had decided, so very sweetly, that she wanted to hold an Italian Christmas feast, instead of the more traditional North American/British style one, in honour of Tony and his homeland.

Thus we both set to work shopping, cooking and baking up a storm for the meal, which saw a handful of close relatives gather around the table - heady, scrumptious scents aplenty wafting up from it - on Christmas Eve and Day alike - and dig into an Italian feast that could easily have fed over twenty. What are the holidays though, without ample food and lots of great leftovers to tuck into for days to come!

It was a fun, delicious departure from our usual winter holiday eats and one that Tony, as well as the rest of us, all enjoyed and appreciated. While we won't be going the Italian meal route each Christmas, given what a smash hit this one was, I sense we will repeat it again periodically as the years roll on.

What was on our plates might have been Italian in nature, but we didn't take the theme quite to the level of national dress or Italian flag only hues (though they are literally the same palette as Christmas, so the latter wouldn't have been too tricky to do at all). I woke up on Christmas morn, fresh snow falling atop of the thick blanket that already lay on the ground around town and felt instantly pulled towards both plaid and the colour burgundy.

Enter, this thoroughly lovely 1980s does 1940s style Laura Ashley dress that I've had for absolutely ages. Though it looks the wool part, it is not, but it is nearly as warm as though it were. This dress is incredibly comfortable and rife with classic styling (from the puffed sleeves to the matching belt to the white collar), and as it hadn't appeared here on the blog before, Christmas seemed like the ideal time to debut

Ditto for this vintage appropriate reefer style burgundy coat from the brand Jones of New York, which I thrifted for less than $10 two or three winters ago from a tiny charity run thrift shop on Main Street right here in Penticton.

To these yesteryear inspired pieces, I added my endlessly beloved 1930s/40s burgundy felt hat, a vintage navy blue purse and (modern) shoes, white mid-century gloves, and a smattering of new and old jewelry (including one of my treasured c. 1950s Austrian glass fruit brooches).

It was a fun, festive, and very cozy outfit that suited the laid back, fun filled nature of Christmas Day spend at my mom and step-dad's house (where these snaps were captured on their deck) perfectly.

Looking back now, two months and a day later, it seems both like these photos were taken just yesterday and also as though they happened eons ago.

A lot has already transpired in the first couple of months of 2016. Some good, some heartbreaking, some exciting, some stressful, and lots that simply makes up the minutia of life. Through it all, the optimism that I felt about this year as we entered into it, has scarcely wavered and I remain hopeful that the positive will far outweigh the negative when all is said and done, and I pose for next Christmas' outfit shoot.

We've got nearly ten months to go before that point however, during which time I'll soon be enjoying my new laptop and continuing to bring you scores more "what I wore" (and other types of) posts to fill the pages of this blog throughout the year. I can hardly wait, especially with springtime (and all of its gorgeous vintage fashions) just around the corner!


February 24, 2016

Meet Kate Dutcher: The stylish jazz age wearing, passionate pet mama behind the blog Retro Rover

When this month began and my laptop died on the first of the month, I feared (especially once I knew that my new one would need to be ordered online and that it wouldn't arrive until around the end of February) that my usual monthly "Meet a Fellow Vintage Blogger" interview post might not happen.

Thankfully, this month's interviewee was very understanding about the whole situation, especially since she herself is presently making due without a working computer or iPad.

Between our respective cell phones, we were able to swap questions back and forth and I'm delighted to report that even with all of the unforeseen bumps in the road this month, I was still able to carry on as planned and interview none other than Katherine (aka, Kate) Dutcher from the marvelous blog Retro Rover.

Kate is one of those highly cool people whose interests span a diverse and engaging spectrum of different areas. Not only is she a passionate 1920s - 1960s vintage wearer, but she and her husband are awesome parents to a number pets, including several adorable dogs (so hence the "rover" part of her blog's name), plus she adores classic cinema, Star Trek, kitschy collectibles, and oodles more, all while holding down a career in the highly commendable field of special needs education.

As well, Kate is an active blogger and blog commenter alike, the latter of which I always admire so much in my fellow vintage bloggers.

She's kind, sweet, passionate, loads of fun, stylish, and a supporter of my Etsy shop to boot, so it was with no small amount of joy that I posed the following selection of questions to Kate this month and then lapped up her terrific answers!

Read on to find out (p)oodles more about this fabulous vintage sporting, critter adoring, kitsch collecting lady behind Retro Rover.

Your blog is a wonderful marriage of two of the most important elements of your life: your dogs and your love of vintage. Was it a conscious decision to combine the two or did it come about more organically? 

It was definitely a conscious decision. In 2011 I started a dog blog, Urban Hounds, about my pets. As time went on and I blogged more and more, I started to like the idea of blogging about one of my other obsessions, vintage clothing. In May of 2013, I started a second blog about my love of vintage, that I originally called 'The Old Fashioned Way'. I kept up both blogs for about five months, but it was tough maintaining two blogs. In December of 2013, I decided to combine them both and I created Retro Rover. 

What are some of the elements of vintage that really draw you to it? 

I’ve always liked images, objects, and clothing with an element of whimsy and fun, most utilitarian modern clothing is totally lacking this. However, vintage clothing, as well as vintage reproductions, has it in spades. I’m also a sucker for details, like a pretty button or a bow at the neck of a dress.  I find that these sorts of flourishes are prevalent in vintage styles. 

When did you first begin wearing vintage styles? 

I’ve had elements of vintage style in my wardrobe since I attended high school in the early 1990s.  I used to love shopping in thrift stores for vintage bits and bobs that I’d work into my wardrobe.  Occasionally  I even wore full-on vintage. For example, I wore a 1940s dress to my high school graduation. When I got married at age 23, I wore a 1920s style veil and the wedding definitely had a vintage feel. In my 20s and early 30s, I continued to have vintage elements in my wardrobe, but I didn’t really embrace full on vintage until I turned 34. 

That was when I discovered vintage style blogs, including yours, plus Etsy and various repro companies. I realized there where lots of people dressing just like I had always wanted to. I decided that I wasn’t getting any younger and it was now or never. I made a vow that from them on I’d dress only to please myself and I set about creating a vintage wardrobe.

I’m nearly 38 now, quite a bit older then most vintage bloggers, but I think my age has given me the confidence I lacked when I was younger to wear more "out there" styles. For example, in my 20s and early 30s, I would have been embarrassed to wear a giant 1940s hat. It also helps that my finances are better now and I have more funds to spend on my hobby.

How has your personal fashion sense changed/evolved since then?

When I first got really into vintage I was pretty much all about the 1920s and 1930s. I was really inspired by images and films from the era. As time went on, I became more interested in the 1940s, mostly because the hats are so incredibly fabulous! Lately, I’ve been dipping into the 1950s and 60s, as well, and I’m particularly drawn to the kitschy accessories from this era such as novelty offerings. 

You're a big fan of ordering from independent seamstresses on sites like Etsy. What are some of your favorite such sources for old school style clothing?  

I have some gorgeous custom things from Sew Vintage Seamstress. I also love Swell Dame, Jitterbuggin, and Nudee Dudee who are all on Etsy. I have some things from Time Machine Vintage on Facebook, as well as Girl in a Whirl, who is on Facebook and Etsy. She makes amazing 1950s style novelty skirts! 

Any advice you wish someone would have told you about doing so before you started shopping from indie repro brands?

Of course it varies by the seller but it can take a long time to have something custom made.  I’ve waited up to 6 months for a custom dress.  So its very important to plan ahead if you need something for a special event.  Its also a good idea to make sure the seller is totally established and reputable.  I’ve been burned once by a seller who never sent my custom sweater order.  

Another huge love of yours is old movies, which also feature heavily on your blog. What are five vintage movies that you could watch over and over again a hundred times and never get tired of?  Oh my gosh its so hard for me to narrow it down to just five, but here it goes.

1)  It, 1927, with Clara Bow. I think this is a great silent movie for beginners to silent film. It's very entertaining and easy to follow and Clara lights up the screen.

2)   Dracula, 1931, with Bela Lugosi. I’m a big Lugosi fan and this is of course his best film.  

3)   It’s A Gift, 1934, with WC Fields. This is the one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and it manages to hold up wonderfully even 80 years after it was made.

4)   Top Hat, 1935, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I love all of the Astaire and Rogers films, and this is probably the definitive one. 

5)   Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan. I suppose 1982 is vintage enough. I’m a huge trekkie and this is my favorite Star Trek film.  I love that Ricardo Montalban is in it. 

Are there any points that strike you as being much better about vintage movies than modern day ones? And vice verce,  to your mind, do 21st century movies beat those from past eras on any fronts?

I’m a big science fiction, fantasy, and horror fan and one thing I notice is that while modern films have amazing special effects, it is sometimes at the expense of the story. 

I really love the ingenuity of classic science fiction in regards to special effects and make up, they made do with what they had and came up with incredible things. The best example I can think of in this regard is Boris Karlof’s iconic make up in the 1931 classic, Frankenstein. 

You also adore many different TV shows. What are some of your all-time favourites?  

My all time favorite show is definitely Star Trek.  I love all of the Trek series but my favorite is the 1960s original.  I love everything about it from the costumes and sets to the story telling and philosophy. I also love the Twilight Zones. Most of the other shows I love are from the 1990s or early 2000s, such as Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Twin Peaks, The X Files, and Futurama. 

Any series that you've discovered in the past couple of years that you've really connected with?  

Well its been on for 11 years now so its not quite new but I love Supernatural. I also like the Miss Fisher Mysteries a lot and I think the new Muppet show is wonderful, too. 

When it comes to vintage fashion, you often gravitate towards the 1920s, 30s and early 40s. Are there any particular reasons why this time frame speaks so deeply to you?  

My late dad was a huge fan of Fred Astaire so I grew up watching the Astaire and Rogers films as well as lots of other musicals and films. He also introduced me to the comic author PG Wodehouse.  Wodehouse’s stories are all set during the 1920s and 30s. So I think it was being exposed to stories and films from that era at an early age that drew me to the styles of those periods. 

Who are some of your favourite style icons from that era?

From the 1920s, I adore Clara Bow. She has such a fun, exuberant, and approachable style and she always looked comfortable with herself.  It also helps that she was born in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, which is where my husband is from. 

From the 1930s, I love Ginger Rogers. She always had amazing outfits and she wore a wide range of styles, and of course Fred Astaire always looked amazing.  Esther Williams is my favorite from the 1940s.  I think her 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter with Ricardo Montalban is one of the most stylish films ever made. 

If you could only wear the fashions of one continuous five years period (e.g., 1930 - 1935) for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?

I had to get out my 1930s Style Sourcebook to answer this question and I choose 1930-1935.  I love the day wear from this period, beach pajamas and simple bias cut dresses.  I think such looks were flattering and comfortable. 

Are you a big fan of accessorizing and if so, what are some of your favourite types of accessories (including jewelry)?

I’m definitely a huge fan of accessorizing. In fact, it is my love of hats that first really drew me to vintage. I think the right accessories absolutely make the outfit. Of course I love all types of hats and I’m a big fan of fun novelty purses. 

As far as jewelry goes, I quite like Bakelite bangles and vintage brooches. I’m a sucker for any accessory with a dog or cat on it.  One thing I have no interest in is precious jewels - I’d take Bakelite over diamonds any day!

Have you had many opportunities to interact with others in the vintage/rockabilly subculture where you live?

Unfortunately not at all. The only people I know who are into the vintage scene are people I know through social media. I am a homebody though, so I don’t go out that much and while I love to watch dancing, I don’t dance myself.

Your husband doesn't wear vintage. However, are there other other elements of the past that he particularly enjoys?

When  I first met my husband twenty years ago, I was much less into vintage then I am today, my obsession has definitely grown! We do share a mutual fondness for old movies.  For example, we named our first pet, our cat, Baby, who is now 16 years old, after the leopard in 1938’s Bringing Up Baby.

What are some of your favourite things (vintage or otherwise) to collect?

I love to collect kitschy vintage novelty purses, I have about ten now and I display them in my home, as well as use them. I have a collection books from the Victorian Era through the 1950s that I also display. 

I don’t do it often as there are not many affordable ones in my area, but I love going to thrift stores and looking for pyrex and kitschy vintage bits and bobs.  I’d love to collect more vintage Star Trek stuff, but its hard to come by and can be pricey.

For those who aren't familiar with your blog, please tell us how many pets you currently have.

We have 9! 5 dogs: Ping a 12 year old female pug, Bob an 8 year old English bulldog, Weasley a 3 year old male pug, Philip J. Fry (called Fry) a  1 year old pug, and Mr. Tuvok a 1 year old toy poodle. Our four cats are 16 year old Baby, a female, 14 year old Scooter, a male, 12 year old Ernie, and one year old Spot.

Are there any types of animals that you'd like to keep as a pet, but which you've not yet had the chance to do so?

Our current cats are all rescues or foundlings so they are American Short hairs, but I definitely plan on owning a hairless Sphynx cat one day as well as an Exotic short hair cat. I’d love an Angora rabbit, but I don’t think  I could convince my husband or the cats! 

What is your day job and does it allow you to wear vintage while at work?

I’m a high school special education teacher. I work with students with significant intellectual disabilities in a self contained classroom, which means I have the same 12 students all day long. I do wear vintage or vintage inspired looks to work every day. 

I might not wear my most elaborate hats or delicate dresses, but I regularly wear things like a simple 1930s style dress or 1940s style slacks and a sweater.  My eccentric sense of style is well known around the school and often commented on by staff and students. 

Can you share five cool things about yourself that most of your blog readers wouldn't know about you?  

This is a little hard because I’m kind of an open book but  here we go:

1) I love vintage style  but I don’t consider myself old fashioned by any means. I wouldn’t want to travel back in time to a past era and I try not to over romanticize the past. I’m pretty happy in 2016, we have our problems but they did in earlier eras, too.

2) I’ve been married for 14 years and together with my husband for 19 years - he was my first boyfriend. I’m certainly beyond lucky to have found him and have him put up with me! 

3) My blog is somewhat inspired by my late dad.  He passed away four years ago and he really instilled in me my love of vintage because of his passion for old movies.  He always encouraged all of my interests and in some ways my blog is a supplement for the conversations we used to have.

4) I’m pretty shy and not very social, and despite my "out there" vintage outfits, I don’t really like to attract attention. I’m very much a homebody and I’m often more comfortable interacting with people through social media then I am face-to-face. On Saturday night you will always find me at home on the couch with my dogs and my husband watching TV, eating pizza and drinking wine. You’ll never see me at a party.

5) I’m the most scatter brained person on earth and would easily lose my head if it wasn’t attached!

What are you looking forward to on the vintage front for 2016? 

Well I’m not planning on going to any events or anything, but I am planning on adding some things to my wardrobe.  I’m getting more into 1950s and 60s looks and I’m planning on adding some fun pieces from this era to my treasure trove.

And, last but certainly not least, what would your "holy grail" of vintage items be?  

Oh my , so many things! 1) I'd love an authentic pair of 1930s beach pajamas; I already have some reproductions.  2) Something from the 1920s Egyptian revival like a dress or jewelry. 3) A 1940s 1950s high school or college pennant sweater. 4)  A 1930s, 40s, or 50s coolie hat.  5) Something with an atomic print from the 1950s.

Connect with Kate on: 

Meet the past interviewees who have taken part in this delightful ongoing post series:

February 2015: Emileigh | March 2015: CiCi | April 2015: Helen Mae | May 2015: Esther | June 2015: Ms. Falcon |July 2015: Jessie, and Laurence & Sylvain | August 2015: Holly | September 2015: Rhia | October 2015: Franny | November 2015: Emily | December 2015: Porcelina | January 2016: Nora


Thank you very much for the great interview, Kate. I adored getting to know you - and your precious pets - even better and really appreciate that even with your own computer related issues, we were still able to make this post happen.

Delightfully, next month will see - on paper at least - the return of spring and with it will come another exciting installment in the fun Meet a Fellow Vintage Blogger post series.

Due to unexpectedly being computer-less this month, I've had to shift lot of my posts for February and March around and rejig some blogging plans, so I'm not a million percent certain yet who next month's interviewee will be, but I'm sure that they'll be be inspiring, fashionable, and a blast to chat with, too! :)

February 22, 2016

Gear up for Viva Las Vegas with these 25 fabulous vintage fashion finds

Now in its 19th year, Viva Las Vegas is a large annual multi-day get-together of vintage, rockabilly, and custom/kustom car lifestyle fans, as well as plenty of others, that features a bevy of fun events, from live musical performances to car shows to a Miss Viva Las Vegas Pageant.

For many in our circle, it's also a time to heavily socialize (something that a lot of folks get little to no chance to do with other vintage/rockabilly lovers in their own respective corners of the world, where they may literally be the only such person or couple) and also to "bring it", as they say, on the vintage, rockabilly, and pinup fashion front.

Though I've not yet had the pleasure of attending Viva myself (I'd certainly love to one day, if possible), I have greatly enjoyed reading blog posts (very much including the large array that Dolly The Rockabilly Socialite has shared on her blog over the years) and seeing photos on social media from many of my friends, fellow bloggers, and others in our community who have taken part.

{Tourists have been flocking to Nevada for many decades now, but likely never in greater droves of vintage fans than when Viva Las Vegas rolls around each year! 1950s postcard image source.}

Viva is an almost larger than life experience, from what I've been told, but by the same token, most see it as a very friendly and welcoming event that has become a cornerstone of the year for so many in the vintage (et al) world.

This year Viva Las Vegas is happening from April 14th - April 17th and promises to be a truly rockin' great time for those in attendance.

As I know that includes many of my readers, with Viva now just a hair under two months away, I thought it would be a blast to share some of the fabulous Las Vegas worthy fashions that have crossed my path online lately, as well as numerous Viva perfect pieces that are currently available in my Etsy shop.

There are no hard and fast rules by any means when it comes to what one wears to Viva and individuality is always a boon in any setting! Generally speaking however, many at Viva favour 1950s and early 60s styles, particularly those of the pinup, rockabilly, tiki culture, greaser, custom car and alternative lifestyle verity, as well as plenty of utterly gorgeous pinup and mid-century glamour girl looks, so those are the sorts of styles that I've opted to shine the spotlight on here today.

1. Anything of a tropical, Hawaiian, tiki, or Polynesian nature is always a huge hit at Viva. Why not channel the Pacific Ocean and put in a nod towards the colours of the Southwest at the same time with this delightfully pretty 1950s metal hula girl and turquoise plastic nugget charm bracelet. $42.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

2. Quite possibly the most perfect vintage inspired brooch to bring with you to Vegas EVER!!! $10.50 from Dolly Cool (also available in a coordinating necklace and pair of earrings).

3. There are few more iconic symbols of Vegas and its legendary casinos than dice, which makes these delightful mid-century aged gold tone hoop and dangle charm earrings the absolute ideal choice to pack in your jewelry roll when attending Viva. $12.50 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

4. Put your best - and most stylishly attired - foot forward when you step out in these iconic 1950s Springolator clear lucite and vinyl heels. Fits approximately a modern size 7.5 - 8 (max). $98.00 from Union Made Bride.

5. With its rich mining history and more modern abundance of casinos, gold always strikes me as being a seriously awesome choice to wear in just about any form while in Vegas. If you're looking for the perfect pair of gloves to partner with your favourite fancy outfits this Viva, may I suggest these sparklingly fabulous mid-century gold Lurex stunners! $16.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

6. Another colour that I always associate with this desert locked tourist Mecca is red. If you're looking to sport polka dots to Viva but don't want to do so in a glaring or overly generic way, why not opt for a classic looking frock like this lovely 1950s style red scoop neck dress that features teeny black spots throughout. Available in modern ladies UK sizes 8 - 24. $78.50 from 1950s Glam.

7. Both guys and gals alike enjoying dressing to the nines for Viva and it's always a joy to see photos of what people sport there each year. If you're a chap (or are buying for a fellow) who is headed to Vegas, why not jazz up your ensembles with these desert hued c. 1950s - 1960s gold tone metal hexagon cuff links that star gorgeous golden brown watermelon style rivoli rhinestones. $17.50 from Chronically Vintage.

8. Leopard print and a glittery red heart both starring in a darling hair bow, if that doesn't channel a stylish rockabilly vibe, I don't know what does! $4.75 from Cute & Creepy.

9. Given that it's located in an arid desert, Las Vegas gets mighty hot, sometimes even as early in the year as April, so short sleeves and breathable materials like those found in this beautiful 1980s does 1950s rose print dark pink cotton shirt are always a smart styling choice. Fits up to a 34" bust/34" waist. $24.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

10. Few things channel the spirit of the desert as well as a cactus, so why not serve up a stylish helping of this classic arid region plant care of this cuter-than-cute pair of vintage style plastic, resin and rhinestone dangle earrings. $30.38 from Belle Lurette Paris.

11. Those in the know have told me before that accessories are one of the best ways to stand out at Viva. Even if someone is wearing the same dress (be it vintage or repro) as you, thanks to accessories, you can most likely still have a look that lets your own fabulous sense of style radiate through. This eye-catchingly cool Southwestern inspired c. 1950s red plastic beaded waterfall style necklace would be a head-turning piece in any Viva setting, be it with a cocktail dress at night for drinks or with a playsuit while lounging near the pool (I wouldn't take it into the water though!). $28.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

12. If you're looking to turn heads at the speed of light, may I suggest this devastatingly gorgeous 1940s - 1950s style gold hued wiggle dress from The House of Foxy (that is squarely planted on my own wardrobe wishlist!). Available in modern ladies UK sizes 8 - 18. £149.00 from The House of Foxy.

13. Classic mid-century style Ricky jackets like this seriously lovely turquoise hued number are great choice for any Viva bound gent. Available in modern British men's sizes small - XXL. £130.00 from Heyday.

14. If ever there was a place to bring your accessories A game, Viva Las Vegas is it! Ensure even your handbag is accessorized when you tote around this elegantly lovely c. 1940s - 1950s black plastic bead covered handbag that comes complete with a matching black beaded coin purse (too cute!). $38.00 for the set from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

15. Sweepingly dramatic, chic as Vegas is busy, and immensely beautiful, this awesome cream and black 1950s hand painted Mexican tourist skirt is just the thing to sport while you're visiting the Southwest. Fits up to an approximately 28" - 32" waist (it's adjustable). $189.00 from Dreem Co..

16. Viva would just not be Viva to my mind without a field of hair flowers as far as the eye can see. Ensure yours stand out and look downright stunning when you opt for ones that combine lush faux blooms with tropical fruit, such as the wonderfully lifelike looking pineapple in this darling Carmen Miranda worthy hair clip/mini fascinator. $21.95 from Viva Dulce Marina.

17. Understatedly cool and immensely evocative of the era it hails from, this wonderful mid-century modern (genuine) wood brooch is the sort of wear-it-with-anything piece of jewelry that you'll be thankful you packed for Viva (as it will go with a zillion different outfits!) and equally grateful to have in your wardrobe the rest of the year, too. $12.50 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

18. Figure flattering, ideal for the heat of Vegas, and always a surefire way to look the vintage part, classic sarong dresses this beautiful 1960s Hawaiian floral print version in shades of blue, green and purple are always a smart (and highly popular!) choice for Viva. Fits up to a 36" - 38" bust/28" waist. $225.00 from Blue Velvet Vintage.

19. Dazzle them with your stellar styling skills when you enter the room (or head out onto the dance floor) sporting this timelessly beautiful multi-strand gold tone metal mid-century necklace that features rosary style beading. $25.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

20. Anytime I pack for a trip one of the very first things that goes into my bag is a classic pair of black pumps with a sensible heel and endless outfit matching potential, such as this stylish 1940s version that features rounded toes and a charming cutout design. Sole measures 9.25" inches long. $90.00 from Bobbins and Bombshells.

21. Whether you use it to stash coins in while hitting the slots, to ensure you're ready for any parking meters you encounter in Vegas, or for some of the cash you may need to purchase goods at Viva, this marvelously fun rhinestone dollar sign topped c. 1950s metal coin box (purse) is an awesome choice for any trip to Nevada! $18.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

22. Elevate your daily stack arm party - as well as your earlobes - while at Viva with this wonderful combo pack of vintage style bamboo jewelry that features four bangles (two red, two natural coloured) and one pair of natural coloured hoop earrings. $22.50 for the set from Tiki Swag.

23. Belts aren't just for your waist, they can also look sensational when sported around your wrist, too, as this chicly lovely gold tone mid-century bracelet does a great job of demonstrating. $20.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

24. Playing cards, dice, atomic star bursts, silver sparkles - this awesome vintage style jewelry set has it all and would absolutely sensational for Viva - or anytime you're in Sin City! $18.50 for the set (which is comprised of a brooch and matching pair of earrings) from The Star Brite Motel.

25. Quite literally shimmer and shine come eveningtime in this sublimely pretty full length 1960s blue and aqua green metallic thread sleeveless maxi dress, which stars a round shawl style collar, full lining, and elegant sash tail-like bow piece on the back for extra glamour. Fits up to a 34" bust/32" waist. $110.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

{To more about a specific image used in this post, please click on the link in the text immediately below it to be taken to its respective source.}

♥ ♥ ♥

Even if, like myself, you can't make it to Viva this year, you can certainly still weave any of these fabulous vintage-party-in-Nevada fashions into your old school wardrobe. They've fun, cheerful, bursting with colour and awesome for vintage and rockabilly fans the world over!

Have you been to Viva Las Vegas before? Are you headed there this year? Which of the items above would you most want to tuck into your suitcase if you were/are going to Viva 2016?