September 30, 2016

Autumn Perfect 1950s Baked Meatloaf Dumpling Recipe

Meatloaf often gets a bum rap and has been the butt of countless TV and movie jokes and zingers over the decades, yet I firmly maintain that a well made meatloaf is a thing of culinary beauty and immense deliciousness alike.

My mom made an excellent meatloaf when I was growing up (which I discussed back in this fun 2015 recipe post starring Crown 'o Gold Meatloaf) and instilled in me a love of this classic dish from a very early age.

Having already essentially covered a jazzed up traditional version in that post (as well as 2014's Vegetable Beef Loaf), instead today I thought it would be fun to take a peak at a lovely meatloaf iteration from 1950 that sees this hearty dish transformed into a dinnertime hand pie of sorts.

There's something both very classic (meat pies having been around for many centuries now) and very mid-twentieth century alike about this super easy, relatively quick recipe.

From the presentation to the near obligatory inclusion of shortening (which, as I always like to say, you can easily nix in favour of your preferred cooking fat, such as butter, margarine or coconut oil), this is straight up fifties, and yet, at the same time, it wouldn't be out of place served up at many modern restaurants today.

It might not be as common as the usual "in a pan" style of meatloaf, but chances are, it's every bit as tasty, while also being a superb dish to bring - wonderfully piping hot - to the table now that the a gentle hit of chill is returning to the air and the nights are drawing ever shorter.

{Elegant enough for a dinner party, but easy enough to serve up any night of the week, this delightful mid-century recipe for Baked Meat Loaf Dumplings is the kind of stick-to-your-ribs fare that’s always a welcome sight once the nippy days of fall roll into town again. 1950s recipe ad via Click America.}

Naturally, you can swap out the beef for any vegetarian/vegan ground meat or meat substitute of your choice. I've been unable to eat beef (or most red meats), due to medical reasons, for over fourteen years, but I haven't let that stop me one iota when it comes to enjoying meatloaf. Instead I simply reach for lean ground chicken or turkey instead.

If you're a fan of, and can eat such, you could also use ground pork, ham, veal, lamb or venison here instead, too, each of which would no doubt be delicious.

The filling here is meat and onion centered, which is of course a terrific combination, but you could easily jazz things up further by adding in diced, chopped or mashed veggies of your choice. Green peas and meatloaf go together beautifully, as to peppers and beef, and either would be a really pleasing combination here.

You could take things one step further still, come to think of it, and include classic mixed vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, carrots, etc) and some (premade) mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes for a really cool take on an the age old favourites that are cottage and shepherd's pies, respectively.

Toss in some cheese, with the fillings of your choice, and things might almost veer into calzone territory! As with many recipes, the sky is the limit when it comes to what could be done here and experimenting is certainly one of the great joys of cooking.

As this 1950s version sits now, it's relatively budget-friendly, and could easily be multiplied to feed larger groups if needed. I suspect, much like classic potpies themselves, that these charming Baked Meatloaf Dumplings would be thoroughly awesome served cold the next day, their flavours having mingled and deepened all the more by that point.

I'm thrilled that autumn is here once more and our ovens will soon be churning out dish after scrumptious dish of comfort food, holiday eats, and beautiful harvest season recipes, like this 1950s dinner table gem, that will always retain their timeless, comforting appeal.

The mere thought of such alone has me smiling as widely the jack-o-lanterns we'll soon be carving for Halloween! :)

September 28, 2016

Saying hello to autumn's return with a beautiful retro frock from Dressific

Outfit details

C. 1930s/1940s black felt and cream faux pearl hat: Unknown, had for many years
Sparkly gold ribbon bow earrings: Claire's
Vintage style Elegant Me Floral Retro: c/o Dressific
C. 1960s - 1970s Victorian revival gold tone metal and amber hued plastic bow dangle brooch: Unknown, has for years (probably thrifted from Value Village)
C. 1980s does 1950s wide woven black bet: Unknown, has for years (probably thrifted from Value Village)
C. 1950s white gloves: Unknown, had for years (possibly a gift)
Vintage style molded black plastic rose bead stretch bracelet: Thrifted (Value Village)
Gold tone metal bangle bracelet: Payless
Mid-century black faux patent leather handbag: A Vintage Revival
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style black faux suede round toe pumps: Walmart (which, yes, I was actually wearing here - the tall grass obscured them)
Lip colour: MAC Partyline

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Ooohh, you guys, am I tickled pink about today's vintage outfit post, as it is not only the very first (of several) that happened while on our recent holiday to Edmonton, but it's also the first of this autumn, and it stars one seriously charming vintage appropriate frock from Australia based online retailer Dressific.

I'm a huge fan of visiting new-to-me destinations, which Edmonton most certainly was, however one of the challenges of such can be finding locations to shoot in when you don't know much about the town/city and its layout. Add in the often very damp, cold and windy weather that accompanied us throughout our travels this time around and things got even more tricky for us on that front.

Fortunately though, in this day and age, between smart phones and GPS systems, shoot locations can be found on the fly, and the fenced field (attached to a park) that we took these photos in before it started to pour again late one windy afternoon (so hence the squinting) was just such a spot.

Earlier in the day we'd been doing a lot of exploring around town, though mostly to shops and downtown areas, few of which would have worked well, IMO, to highlight a retro style dress like this gorgeous offering from Dressific in.

I've had the pleasure of working with Dressific as a sidebar sponsor at various points over the years, but this is the first garment that I've received from them and I sincerely want to thank the fine folks at this thriving online retailer for the thoughtful review gift.

Dressific was launched by fellow vintage fashion adoring gal (and oldest of nine siblings!) Elena Sheen, who had a strong desire to combine what she saw as the best of both vintage and modern fashion, and to then deliver such in an affordable and highly accessible manner.

While Dressific's offerings are available "off the rack" in a wide range of sizes, awesomely - much like companies such as eShakti, Bow & Drape, and Black Lapel - they also provide a custom fit service, for no additional charge, on some of their special occasion dresses.

As so many of us fall between sizes or have specific areas that can be tricky to dress in the most flattering way possible, I know that I won't be alone in appreciating and applauding Dressific for offering this option to their customers.

Dressific is based out of Australia, with fulfillment centers both there and in China. Their listings are frequently updated, reasonably priced (if you signup for their email newsletter, you can ever receive a coupon code that will save you 10% off on your first order, thus making their prices even more inviting), fun and charming - plus, they have a 100% no knockoff garment guarantee, which is incredibly positive and inspiring to see these days.

I feel that Elena nailed things squarely on the head in terms of marrying old and new sartorial elements, as many of Dressific's products do indeed have the sort of yesteryear styling that instantly appeals to scores of vintage and repro wearers the world over.

I knew that my Dressific review item would be arriving around the start of the fall, so I opted to select a garment with a cut and colour palette that suited this time of the year really nicely: the Elegant Me Floral Retro Dress, which currently retails for $74.50 AUD.

It should be noted that this dress comes with a cute black faux leather and gold tone metal bow skinny belt, however I didn't feel like such was quite what I wanted for the over all scope of the outfit I created around the dress that day, so I went with a different (wider) belt of my own instead.

This dress is made from a medium weight stretch cotton that has a little bit of sheen to it. Elbow - 3/4 length sleeves (depending on the length and size of your arms), a side zipper, a becoming collar neckline, cute wooden buttons, poufy shoulders, and an eye-catchingly terrific floral pattern in tawny brown, white and black (or is it navy blue – honestly, it looks like both in different lights) add up to one seriously lovely garment.

Though I found this dress to be a little restrictive in the shoulder and underarm area (a true rarity for me, as I have tiny shoulders and usually garments have way too much excess material in that area for me), that is the only teeny point regarding that fit that arose for me.

I would note that I'm wearing a size medium here, which fits like a small (or even, these days, sometimes, an XS) in many other brands, so if you're between sizes or want a roomier garment, please keep in mind that this dress' sizing may run a little small and that you might want to size up.

Dressific provides easy to read size charts for all of their products though, so hopefully by referring to the chart for a given item, you can find the best fit for your body based on the measurements listed (personally I never give a toss about the number on a label, favouring an accurate fit a billion times over!).

I really like this dress. Its sleeve length makes it a great piece for the brief summer-into-fall weeks, whereas the fitted fabric enables you to easily layer this piece as the temperature plummets further. The fairly full skirt, inclusion of pockets, and arrestingly elegant floral print in a great autumnal colour palette all appeal to me immensely and ensure that this is a dress I'll wear many more times this year and beyond.

So while this shoot might not show you too much of Edmonton, others that follow will, and the park field here - with its lush green grass - provided a really nice neutral background against which to photograph this stylish, autumn perfect Dressific frock in. Thus making it a background location win in my books. Smile

*PS* I should mention that I'm not blogging the shoots that we did in Edmonton in 100% sequential order and that they'll also be interspersed here and there with other newer shoots, particularly those starting festive fall/Thanksgiving/Halloween related outfits. They will, however, all be blogged and I can hardly wait to keep sharing more about our travels with all of you.

September 26, 2016

Meet Karen LaPorte: Driven businesswoman, talented crafter, and big time vintage lingerie fan

Interestingly, the person - a long-time member of our online community - that I'd originally thought I'd be interviewing for September's edition of Meet a Fellow Vintage Blogger very recently opted to retire from vintage blogging and also from wearing yesteryear styles on a regular basis.

Much like the seasons themselves, people and their interest change and while I will sincerely miss this individual's presence in our midst, I'm happy that she has a clear vision of where she wants to take her wardrobe, blogging and life in general going forward from here, and wish her nothing but the best on all fronts.

It would have been a lot of fun to chat with that person, but it is every single bit as much so to sit down and have an awesome public tête-à-tête with none other than the very sweet, very talented Karen LaPorte (pictured below) from the engaging vintage blog Bobbins & Bombshells, which has been online for an impressive eight years now.

In addition to her blog, Karen also runs a beautiful Etsy shop, which she stocks not only with covetable vintage items, but also with her own line of handmade products, such as the darling hand crocheted fingerless gloves that I featured in an outfit post here last winter.

Karen is a great lady. I've had the pleasure of knowing her through her blog for many years now and, in more recent times, we've developed a lovely online friendship along the way.

Smart, motivated, creative, caring, warmhearted, and a pleasure to interact with, this terrific lady was kind enough to step in on a moment's notice and be this month's Vintage Blogger interviewee.

I'm thrilled that she was keen to do so and am equally excited that she wanted to share so much about herself and her interests here with all of you. I just know you'll adore Karen - as well as her blog and Etsy shop - as much as I do!

Read on to hear more about Karen overcame a serious injury to keep her love of crafting alive, what old school lingerie items she thinks need to make a major comeback, her passion for yoga, and so much more!

Thank you very much for chatting with us here today, Karen. For those who may not have encountered your terrific blog, Bobbins & Bombshells before, can you please tell us a bit about when it started, the story behind its name, and some of the topics that it covers?

It's my pleasure! Thanks for having me! There's a bit of history related to how I started my blog. I owned a brick and mortar boutique in Brooklyn called Ouvrez La Porte from 2003 - 2008. I sold handmade factory-free indie designer lines, including my own with the same name of the shop, and vintage items.

Prior to that I worked on Seventh Avenue. I always loved the craft of fashion and became a little discouraged when production started heavily leaving NYC and going overseas. Fashion was going in a faster direction and designers started having to compete with H&M and Forever 21 etc.

As a designer (I earned my BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons), naturally I wanted my own line, but I also wanted a place to sell to and soon became connected with other designers from around the country who were like-minded on this front. It was - and still is - a great community and I was happy to have a place where they could sell their wares.

When I closed my shop in 2008, my blog was born, as I couldn't entirely let go. Bobbins refers to Handmade or the craft of fashion and Bombshells refers to Vintage such as Hollywood starlets and pinups. I wanted to stay in that community and stay connected with slow fashion and vintage.

A whole blogging world opened up for me as I met even more creative and vintage inspiring individuals. Topics included Fashion History- which I'm still crazy about, Retro Looks in the Modern World, My Projects- where I share my sewing and knitting projects, Shop News, Inspirations, and more!

You mesh crafting with vintage and your deeply rooted passion for yesteryear underpinnings. Did this engaging mix come about organically or was there a conscious decision to make each of those elements a part of your blog?

It's very organic, I can't even imagine anything else. If I look back to my childhood I was always crafting. I grew up in Maine and spent many winter days and nights doing some sort of craft or another by the wood stove. I also grew up in hand-me-downs from my older sisters and hand knit mittens and hats that my mom would make us.

It was the 70s and my mother was very resourceful. As a teen, I discovered real vintage clothing. Both of my grandmothers passed away in my teenage years and I remember getting bits of costume jewelry and old photographs that they had owned. This had a huge impact on me. I was a very sentimental child and loved looking at what people wore or did in the past.

My mom also introduced me to old movies, she loved Hitchcock. I devoured the fashion while watching those movies with her. Me and one of my sisters would save our babysitting money and buy vintage clothing when we could. We reveled in dressing unique and having things you couldn't find at the mall.

In my designer days, after college, I was always inspired by lingerie, especially vintage lingerie. The trims, the laces, the attention to detail gets me every time. With modern manufacturing you can't recreate some of the details that were available then, at least not a price point that can come even close to affordable! So buying vintage was my ticket to not only that workmanship but also a unique piece. This really directed my style. None of this has changed for me.

On top of blogging, you also extend your love of vintage in the online world to your wonderful Etsy shop (also called Bobbins and Bombshells). What inspired you to launch B&B on Etsy?

Thank you. Yes, well it didn't start out as Bobbins and Bombshells on Etsy. At first I opened The Sparkling Cocktail in 2008. After I closed my bricks and mortar shop, I had merchandise to move from my line, which was mostly silk charmeuse and lace (see the lingerie influence!) cocktail party wear! I also sold some trims and notions, things of that nature.

As well, I started to make handmade bridal garters because I had so much lace trim and elastic left over. Bridal accessories are really fun to make and didn't take up a lot of space in my tiny NYC apartment. So that store was handmade oriented.

I also opened another Etsy shop called Femme Fatale Vintage, where I sold some vintage merchandise that I had. Even though I had a B&M store combining both, I didn't think about combining both on Etsy - as so few people did, or do, save for re-fashioners.

I had two Etsy shops, which for me was hard to run. A year later in late 2009, I had a horrible accident and injured my right hand severely. I was in occupational therapy for a year to gain the use of my hand back. Needless to say, my Etsy shops sat there for awhile.

After I recovered, I had to get a job with a salary to make up for being out of work for a year. I got a job managing a lingerie store in Manhattan and as a result Etsy and my blog became a hobby. Not having a lot of time, I put more energy into my blog.

A bit over a year ago, I got the itch to put more energy into the shop side of things again. I had already closed Femme Fatale Vintage and put some of the leftover vintage items in The Sparkling Cocktail. I then decided to change the name of the store to match the blog, because it really sums up what I'm about.

I created my website and moved the blog over from the Blogger platform so that everything would be all together. Even though I was working full time crazy hours - now as the Regional Manager at that lingerie company, I knew I had to get back to my core.

That is how Bobbins and Bombshells launched on Etsy. I'm a firm believer in not giving up and directing your energy where you want it to come back to you. You never know what that road will look like, but I'm still connected to what makes me happiest!

You are such a strong, resilient woman who has done amazingly in the face of dealing with such a challenging injury. As you’ve been there (on Etsy) for a while now, what have you found to be some of the most surprising things about being a part of a big community marketplace site like that?

I absolutely love being in this community. When I had my boutique, Etsy wasn't a "thing" yet - or it was in it's early "felt years". Now, it's filled with so much inspiration and the very thing I loved being connected to when I had my store. I've sold great things to great people.

I can also really focus on my store, as I don't have to worry about servers and too much tech stuff. It's been wonderful to see the handmade and vintage world grow! Etsy even has a wholesale division now. That would have been a dream for me when I was a Brooklyn store owner!

Looking back, is there anything you wish you would have done differently with your Etsy shop?

I wish I kept my true vision at the start and combined things like I do now in it's Bobbins and Bombshells reincarnation. But sometimes you have to try many paths to find the one you were on all along. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if I should, say, open another store just for my handmade knits, and then I tell myself to be quiet. I'd rather have one store with twenty things in it, then two with ten a piece in them.

I'd also rather have my store reflect myself. I don't only live in vintage, I love quality handmade items too. Why can't we get that in one shop? In the blogging world, it is not as divided as it can be on Etsy. Most of my vintage blogging/wearing friends sew and knit!

Any advice you’d like to share with those who may be looking to combine both handmade items and genuine vintage finds in their own online shop?

Go for it! Share your passions! The one thing I think people confuse the most is assuming that the vintage is re-worked or re-fashioned. So be clear about what you are selling. I'm not into refashioning vintage items, I don't even change a hem! I love true vintage and true handmade!

Speaking of handmade creations, please tell us more about the beautiful creations (including your awesome fingerless gloves) that you make and sell in your shop?

The two areas of handmade are the bridal accessories mentioned before (see examples in the photo above) and handmade knits.

As I start giving myself more time for my shop, I'd love to expand these categories. Handmade knits are my new love. I taught myself how to knit and crochet in 2008. I had to re-learn in 2010 while hand was recovering from my accident. I now can't stop knitting!

I started selling some fingerless gloves to keep yarn money coming in. Now, I actually am creating new items each season and sell my knits on Etsy Wholesale as well as in the shop. I currently have three series of fingerless glove styles; Lady Bows (which you so gracefully shared in a wardrobe post!), Miss Sailorettte, and the Tweed & Heather Cables.

This fall, I'm debuting a cowl and a pompom toque! They may be in the shop by the time this post is published!

Do you currently sell online only through Etsy or can folks purchase your wares (vintage and/or handmade) elsewhere, too?

Online is Etsy only at the moment. The shop link on my site directs to Etsy. This Fall, I will be starting to sell at local markets and bazaars which I am really excited about! And a selection of my handmade knits will be in a new shop in Three Oaks, MI called Goods + Heroes that is opening in November! I'm honored and thrilled!

You’re a passionate fan of yesteryear lingerie and sleepwear. What are some of your favourite types of such garments?

I love it all, but slips and nightgowns are my favorites as they fit the best! For me it's really the details that make it all so special. 1930's bias gowns, 50's and 60's peignoir sets, 20's tap pants.... bows, lace, lace it all!

Is there an old school underpinning or nighttime piece that you wish was still much more commonplace these days?

The bed jacket! I love to sit and read in bed. Who wants their shoulders to get cold? Also, we should really bring back the word peignoir. I love a floaty full length peignoir with matching nightgown worn with boudoir slippers!

Have you ever considered launching your own line of vintage reproduction (or more contemporary, as so desired) lingerie and/or sleepwear?

Great question. Having worked in lingerie industry for the past six years, I know some wonderful lingerie designers. I would love to collaborate on a vintage inspired line! Absolutely! However, I also love slow fashion and would need to find a way to balance the manufacturing process.

This is the area that makes it very difficult for designers starting out. The fashion industry has changed a lot. I must say that What Katie Did and Dita Von Teese are great collections! I'm a huge DVT lingerie fan!

Do you have a large collection of such yourself?

My lingerie collection is sizable - both modern and vintage. It's crazy addiction! Any favourite pieces you’d like to tell us about? I must say, my vintage boudoir slippers were a holy grail purchase for me! I'm a size 10 and never thought I'd find a pair my size.

Are there any – aside from your own, naturally - vintage related lingerie blogs and/or websites that you’d recommend for those who are wanting to learn more about this topic?

The Lingerie Addict is great because Cora covers everything- reviews, sales, body image, trade news, and vintage.A Slip of a Girl is a great resource for vintage lingerie. She has featured a few of my pieces and finds some great finds!

And by the same token, any books or magazines (vintage or modern) that you’re recommend for fellow vintage lingerie/sleepwear fans?

Honestly, I don't own any lingerie specific books- but that doesn't mean there aren't any great ones out there to be had. Keep an eye out for museum shows. There was a great one at FIT a couple of years ago. I also love to find vintage lingerie ads on Pinterest. They can tell you so much!

To my mind, perfume and lingerie are often highly intertwined. Do you feel this way as well and has perfume/scent played a role in your own vintage fashion journey so far?

When it comes to perfume, I'm a classic French perfume kind of girl. I wear Chanel's Coco and Coco Mademoiselle. Perfume is a huge world that I can't say I've fully entered into. But it is the second thing I put on I every morning. Lingerie, then perfume!

Do you wear vintage on a regular basis yourself?

Yes, but not head-to-toe and not everyday. My summer wardrobe is filled with vintage dresses and purses, which I love. In the winter, it's mostly beaded cardigans, vintage coats, and holiday dresses. I also wear handmade clothes, too.

I've been trying to amp up my wardrobe with my own projects. Mostly from vintage patterns which is really fun! I really admire the vintage bloggers, such as yourself, that make the time and effort to share outfits of the day! I'm lucky to get to share a handmade skirt!

How would you describe your current style? What decades are you (presently) most drawn towards when it comes to your own wardrobe?

I'm eclectic mixing modern with vintage and not dedicated to one era. I really love to mix things up and I hate rules. I would say I lean the most towards 1960s Riviera and French New Wave styles.

I have a Pinterest board that is called Le Ciné, it's filled with images of Anna Karina, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve etc. I love that look and always return to it!

Five fun, quick facts that folks online may not know about you?

1. I've been married to my husband for 5 years!

2. I got married at age 39 and couldn't be happier.

3. I have just completed my 200-hour yoga teaching training and am now a teacher!

4. I have lived exactly half my life in Maine and half in New York City. 22 years each!

5. If you follow my personal IG (@bobbinbombshell) you might know that I love to travel. I caught the travel bug when I was 12. My family went on a cross country road trip from Maine to Oregon and back. We drove in a van with my Mom, Dad, 2 Grandmothers and 2 of my 3 sisters. It was a blast!

When not crafting, blogging, sourcing and selling vintage, what might folks find you doing in your downtime?

Yoga and meditation. Enjoying a glass of wine with my friends. I also love to cook and bake!

Granted it’s only late September, but as we look ahead to 2017, do you have any new and exciting plans in the works for B&B for next year that you can share with us?

Well, I've dedicated this past summer to laying the foundation for what I hope will continue to prosper and grow!

On the blog, I will continue to have educational posts on fashion history with the Fashionable History and Label Love series. I love to share knowledge and hope it inspires young vintage collectors and designers! I will be resurrecting My Vintage Vanity series late this fall to include inquiries into my vintage loving friend's closets and furniture favorites!

I also hope to find more time to complete sewing and knitting projects for myself to share in My Projects series. I will also be sharing Tips & Tutorials and am hoping to include some free knitting patterns!

I've started a newsletter (you can signup on my About page) that will keep you updated on all my postings and events - plus it offers a discount to my Etsy shop!

In the shop, I have expanded into vintage designer clothing and accessories, too. Some current labels that I have in listings for include Valentino, Bill Blass, and Courreges - to name a few. And finally, I hope to expand my handmade offerings with new styles and reach more stores with my wholesale division.

And last, but certainly not least, what’s currently on your needles as we head into fall and winter?

I have two projects in rotation. One for a personal project- working on a sweater for myself! And the other is work- Tweed Cables for my wholesale order!

Connect with Karen on the following sites:

(3 different Instagram accounts to enjoy) Business Personal | Crafting related

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 | February 2016: Kate | March 2016: Carla | April 2016: Jessica E. | May 2016: Skye | June 2016: Kate-Em | July 2016: Janey | August 2016: Nella

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you very much for this fantastic interview, Karen. It was a joy getting to know you better and to discover more points that we have in common (from a love of bed jackets to adoring the act of meditation).

Karen really is a gem of a person and her blog is a must read for anyone with an interest in early to mid-twentieth century fashion - lingerie very much included. I highly encourage you to add Bobbins & Bombshells to your feed on the double - you'll have a blast following this charming blog.

Next up, as we embrace the return of my all-time favourite month (October), we'll be earning some more frequent flyer miles as we board Air Vintage for a lovely jaunt back to the UK.

Once there, we're sit down and talk with a highly knowledgeable vintage fashion blogger who has a particular penchant for beautiful jewelry, classic scarves, a great lipstick, and a well organized dressing table. You won't want to miss it, so be sure to watch this spot for that interview towards the end of next month.

And speaking of months wrapping up, it's hard to believe that September is nearly over. What a full and exciting month it has been on this end - in no small part because of our twelve day trip to Edmonton.

Before we wave goodbye to September entirely though, I'll be sharing a couple more posts (including the first one here with outfit snaps from Edmonton) and then we'll progress quickly into an exciting string of fall, Canadian Thanksgiving, and Halloween related entries, coupled with the usual assortment of outfit and other types of posts here.

It's going to be spooktacularily fun!!! Smile

September 23, 2016

Answering the I ♥ Fall Tag (because I epicly do!!!)

 As many of you may have gathered by now, I absolutely adore answering tags, be they here in written form or over on my (very sporadically) updated YouTube channel. I like to keep things interesting and don't post tags here all that often, but aim for at least a couple a year.

Sometimes folks will kindly tap me to answer specific tags that they're playing along with, at others I'll discover them independently myself and feel a desire to answer the questions they pose.

Though occasionally tags (such as 100 Questions to Inspire Rapid Self-Discovery) get in-depth and personal, most are just plain fun. As well, I find them to be an excellent partner for the weekend, when few of us have the time or burning desire to delve into lengthy and/or heavy posts.

{Pure, unbridled elation fills my heart and sets me to throwing my hands up in cheer the moment fall rounds the bend again!}

Today, on the very first Friday of my absolute favourite season of the whole year, I though I'd take a stab at answering the I ♥ Fall Tag, which has been floating around the web in various iterations for at least four years, if not longer.

This tag is speedy, easy, and totally enjoyable - so I highly encourage all those for whom it also resonates with to play along as well (please be sure to leave a comment with a link to your own post or video, if you do, so that I can delight in reading/hearing your replies, too).

I Fall Tag Questions

1. Favourite fall lip product? My trusty tube of MAC Diva lipstick. It's the perfect vampy, blackberry juice hued colour to compliment so many of autumn's muted and jewel toned ensembles (not to mention, all things black and mysterious looking, too!).

2. Favourite fall nail polish? There are sooo many that I love! Narrowing it down to a single choice is not easy, but if I must pick just one, I'll have to go with the wildly beloved modern day classic, Lincoln Park After Dark from OPI (which, perhaps not all that surprisingly or coincidentally, is quite similar in hue to my lipstick choice above).

3. Favourite time of the day during fall? It's a two-way tie for me between the (truly!) golden hour and dusk, when the heavens takes on the inky, marbled look of the illustrated skies in that most awesome of Halloween classics, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

4. Favourite fall candle? Back in 2014, when Target still existed in Canada, Tony and I picked up one of their Limited Edition brand Pumpkin Cheesecake candles that is so incredibly delicious scented, we not only haven't actually lit it yet, but we keep it out on a tiny shelf in our kitchen - where it gently perfumes the air - all year long. That one takes the (cheese)cake for me in this camp.
5. Favourite fall accessory? Any sort of vintage or vintage inspired autumn jewelry, especially if it stars maple leaves and/or pumpkins (such as this elegant antique amber and sterling silver brooch that is available in my Etsy shop).

6. Haunted house or fun fall hayride? Both, pretty please! But, if I could only pick one, haunted house all the way! I love experiencing safe thrills and chills comes October.

7. Favourite Halloween movie? Hands down, no questions asked, for all of time, Disney's 1993 gem of a film, Hocus Pocus. 

8. Favourite sweet treat to eat come Halloween night? Definitely handmade caramel apples, which I whip up a big batch for each All Hallows Eve (because, as we all know, calories don't count on October 31st! ;D).

9. Have you picked your Halloween costume for this year yet? I have indeed, but I'm not telling anyone (but my darling husband) what it is! :) I always save my reveal until the big night it itself and even like to surprise my parents with my costume choice.

Edit: When I penned this post recently, I thought I'd hit on my costume for this year, but now, I'm not as sure and am quite 50/50 between two (one of which I wore in a past year, but didn't share here yet). No matter what I go with, I'll be posting about it in November. 

10. What is your favourite thing about fall? Everything!!! In particular though, I adore how the season exquisitely marries light and dark in so many different ways, the stunning fall leaves, autumnal foods, and the various elements that I highlighted here back in a 2014 post called 5 things about Halloween That Make Me Disproportionately Happy.

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

There are scarcely words enough in the languages of the world to even come close to adequately describing my elation over fall's return. While I will miss summer's powerful heat (and generally very outdoor photo shoot conducive weather), this season is so entwined in my soul that I always forgive it instantly for sending its predecessor packing.

From the fact that autumn has always felt like the true new year for me (as touched on previously in posts such as this one) to the sublime colours that Mother Nature drapes herself in to my most beloved of holidays, Halloween to, yes, really and truly, pumpkin spice everything, no other time of the year makes me quite as content, gleeful as autumn does.

Naturally, this leads me to want to "blog (and wear) all the fall things", so you can bank on a fun bevy of seasonal posts here as each week and month of this fall progresses.

Such will include scrumptious harvest fare, All Hallows Eve themed entries, cold weather styling ideas, and plenty of vintage and handmade autumn perfect finds. In fact, you could say that season is going to be as rich in fall related posts as a mug of warm apple cider is in gorgeous spiced aroma!

Here's to a brilliant, beautiful, and exciting (not to mention, playfully spooky) autumn for all of us!

*PS* Have you heard? There's two times the giveaway fun going on right now!

Here on Chronically Vintage, I've teamed up with Wise Apple Vintage this week to offer one lucky winner the chance to take home a $75.00 USD store credit to their awesome online vintage decor and collectibles shop. Enter that giveaway on this post.

And over the blog of my lovely friends the Boyer Sisters, I myself am giving away a $75.00 store credit for my Etsy vintage shop, as well as offering a limited time coupon code there for 25% off on everything in my store between September 21st and October 10th. Pop on over to their blog for your chance enter and to avail of this deep discount when you shop Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

September 21, 2016

Taking part in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Vintage Dress

Outfit details

1950s cream lace platter hat: eBay
Mauve hued pearl stud earrings: Claire's
Pearl necklace: Birthday gift from Tony ♥
Vintage gold tone metal fountain pen shaped brooch: Unknown, had for years (probably thrifted or from eBay)
Mid-century leaf print dress: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress launched by Joanna from Dividing Vintage Moments
Gold tone faux leather skinny belt: eBay
Brown fitted cotton blazer: Thrifted (Value Village)
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
C. 1940s yellow-green hued gloves: Unknown, had for years
C. 1950s/1960s woven straw clutch handbag: Unknown, had for years (likely Value Village)
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style round toe brown faux leather pumps: Walmart
Lipstick: Clinique Raspberry Glace

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Several months ago now, when 2016 was a young, fresh faced new year, I had the great pleasure of taking part in Australian milliner + vintage blogger Tanith Rowan's exciting Travelling Hat project. More recently, I've equally enjoyed getting to spend some time with The Travelling Dress.

For those who may not have heard about the Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress yet, this was a similar project that my dear online friend Joanna from the blog Dividing Vintage Moments launched back in 2014.

The premise being that a genuine mid-century vintage dress would hop around the world from one vintage blogger/social media user to another before, ultimately, being part of a raffle giveaway that Joanna plans to hold for it in the near future.

It is my understanding that I'm the last participant to spend time with the dress and I must say, I feel really touched about that fact. This dress traversed the globe, visiting wearers in numerous countries on at least three continents.

Each woman put her own unique, wonderful sartorial spin on the garment, with looks spanning the more casual to the deeply sophisticated. Some ensembles suited daytime and others were ready for even the most swanky of cocktail parties.

Every one of the looks, I believe, reflected the woman beneath the dress and was a beautiful way to witness not only the participants' sense of style, but the also their personalities as well.

Just as I did with the Travelling Hat, I bonded with the Travelling Dress big time. When it reached my doorstep, it was in need of some freshening up, so (after getting Joanna's okay to do so) I gave it a gentle hand washing and air drying.

I thought long and hard about the outfit that I wanted to sculpt around it, ultimately letting both the dress itself and the current season dictate the stylistic direction that I took it in.

The photos that you see here were captured very shortly before our recent trip to Edmonton (and, indeed, were the most recent outfit snaps we grabbed before heading off on holiday). They were taken at one of just a teeny, tiny handful of publicly accessible historical houses/buildings in the Southern Okanagan: The Leir House, which is located just a stone's throw away from our home here in Penticton.

In late August, when we did this shoot, the seasons were just starting to change hands. The days were growing a little cooler (though, after the uber rainy summer that we experienced this time around, such wasn't quite as stark a change as usual) and the ability to layer clothing without melting faster than a Popsicle dropped on a hot sidewalk in July was immerging once again.

A true vintage frock like this - with its eye-catchingly pretty leaf/fan print - felt as though it needed an equally classic ensemble to go with it, so for my time with the Travelling Dress, I chose to take things in a direction that would have been nicely at home throughout much of both of the 1940s and 1950s.

Out came a mid-century stiffened lace platter hat, a vintage appropriate fitted brown blazer, a vintage straw clutch, a great pair of c. 1940s greeny-yellow hued gloves, a small assortment of jewelry, and a pair of 1940s style contemporary brown faux leather pumps.

The dress, as well as the setting itself, were the stars of the show this time around and I didn't want other elements of my look competing with them. Instead, much like the natural process of summer melding into autumn, I wanted things to be harmonious and appealing.

Pined to the collar of both the dress and the blazer, you'll notice a gold tone metal vintage brooch in the shape of a classic fountain pen. I gave particular thought to the brooch that I wanted to team with this dream, and ultimately selected this one because I felt that it was a very apt representation for the fact that I, like all those who have spent time with this dress, have had the joy of writing a chapter in the history of this garment's life.

Projects like the Travelling Hat and Joanna's beautiful Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress not only connect fellow vintage fashionistas with one another, but tie us all to the life of a given accessory or garment. We share a mutual love of style, but put our own unique stamp on an item before it moves on to keep seeing the world and adding chapters to its story along the way.

As a nostalgic soul who adores preserving the past, I can think of few things more worthwhile or important on the fashion front for anyone to be a part of.

I want to wholeheartedly thank Joanna for creating this project, enriching the lives of many vintage fans the world over in the process, and for letting the dress wrap up its jet setting tour in Penticton, before moving on to its next home.

Though I will most definitely miss this elegant vintage frock, thankfully, I too have new memories (of it) now and photos to match, and I will carry both with me in my heart for the rest of time.