images via That Funny Feeling | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | Pillow Talk | An Affair to Remember
Pulling off pumpkin is kind of tough! There’s a shade between Halloween-orange and garish-bright that is hard to find but doing sweaters like Sandra, Audrey’s bright coats, Doris’s accessories, or Deborah’s scarf is a pretty easy formula to follow for making this October color work. **I’m insanely jealous of that handbag behind Doris Day. Doris, where did you get that? Help a purse-desperate girl out?**
I’m going to ask all my lovely readers if they would be patient with me this weekend. I’m heading out of town and won’t be in the proximity of the wonderful world of the web to update VMMV. I could of course plan out some posts and have them timed and ready to publish in my absence, but I’m so looking forward to shutting every connection down that I’ve been sustaining for oh-so-long that I’m not even going to do that. I am planning on snapping as many pictures as I can though to document my expedition and I might be convinced to do a little Instagramming, so, if you’re a follower you can see where I’m off too and if you’re not, follow me!
I’m really really looking forward to the break. It’s going to be a serious mental health vacation and I’m rather looking forward to unplugging even though lately blogging hasn’t been high enough on my priority list. dang it. After work and homework are done, I haven’t yet figured out how to keep my brain creative enough to maintain my usual blog schedule. This break I’m hoping will jumpstart me again though and also will get me closer to when I can share something so very exciting that I’ve been keeping quiet. Stay tuned! I can’t wait to share and if I wasn’t escaping I might just slip…
In the 1960 movie version of the novel, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Doris Day is a rather frustrated housewife whose once family-guy husband is quickly becoming an aloof, career man when his drama-critic job suddenly blossoms. While the now famous James Mckay (David Niven) is being seduced by actresses, celebrated at fancy cocktail parties, and heralded at posh, New York clubs, his wife Kay (Doris Day) charges ahead with their former dream of moving to the country to give their four boys a better life than stuck-in-an-apartment, city-life.
Of course, because it’s a Doris Day movie, though she has four children, a huge fluffy dog, is fixing up a run-down country house with her mother-in-law, trying to win her husband back, volunteering to sing/dance in a country show to raise money for the school…she always looks perfect. Ridiculous? yes. Unrealistic? of course. But do we love it? YES. Seeing reality reflected in films, tv, and magazines is a new phenomenon that I don’t really understand. I see reality 22 hours of the day, everyday, for the two hours I might set aside for a movie, I want somethin’ fantastically unrealistic. No one looks up to reality or strives for reality. Reality just happens. Doris Day? There’s something wonderfully unreal about her and that’s something to dress up for.
If you’re a usual reader of vmmv, you’ll probably remember my love-post about my beautiful, vintage green coat and the store that I discovered it in:
For years, I’ve been making visits to my favorite vintage store and I never fail to emerge without another piece I’ve fallen in love with and had to take home with me. This week, I finally had time to make another trip into the treasure trove that is In Your Wildest Dreams Antiques and Consignments, and do a bit more thorough photo-shoot/interview of the lovely women who share my love of all things NOT of this era. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile, and when the ladies were so receptive of my idea, I couldn’t wait to share what I found with my blog-friends. So, here it is, a little peak into another world from the past that’s no longer just in your dreams:
Living in the smallish, central California town of Bakersfield, “vintage,” “Hollywood glam,” “mod,” or “urban,” are labels that usually don’t enter your mind. Ah, but then you haven’t wandered into this hidden gem and spoken to Alissa and Alex, the vintage-experts working behind the counters of In Your Wildest Dreams who answered some questions I had for them with rather brilliant things I never even thought about!
Why would you choose a vintage piece over a new one? Alissa: “There’s more history to a vintage piece than a new one; their timeless, the material is higher quality, every piece is super unique, and it’s as if you’re wearing a story.”
How do you make a vintage outfit work in today’s world and still look up-to-date?Alex: “Wear whatever you’ve chosen with confidence.” Alissa: “That’s true, Alex picks out the ugliest, 80’s piece from the racks and she comes in the next day looking so adorable because she’s confident about her choice. Know your own style, and wear it with a sense of pride because vintage pieces are finds, you have to really look around to find good pieces.”
What should you look for when buying vintage clothing?Alissa: “Look for labels, in-tact seams, and most importantly, waists that fit you. Most vintage pieces run small since up until the 1960’s, women were wearing corsets.”(duh! why didn’t I think of that, I thought. Everytime I try on vintage things I’m always slightly horrified at how tiny the waists are…of course! I completely forgot the ladies of the past had a little extra assistance in the waist-department.)
Whose your fashion muse? Alissa: “Dita Von Teese Alex: *with a laugh* “The 80’s band, Dynasty.”
Favorite fashion era:Alissa: “The 30s to 1964, I like the corseted waist-look.” Alex: “The 80’s!”
Hardest vintage find: Alissa: “Probably pants, jeans, casual wear, or lingerie.” I commented that I always feel like I need someplace to go when I wear vintage because the pieces are so dressy. Alissa suggested the best way to do casual-vintage is to pair a 1950’s style blouse with a modern pair of jeans or cigarette pants. It’s also a great way to keep old things feeling fresh.
What made you fall in love with vintage? Alissa: “Probably when I started sewing (she makes corsets!). It’s easier to see how an older item was made because the construction was so much better, and the seaming is flawless. Plus, building a wardrobe with vintage pieces is sort of a process of self-creation, you create an image from scratch from the pieces you find instead of copying a model from an ad. And, it’s sexy!”
Men respond more to elegance rather than the current trends. If you’re doing a pin-up girl vibe, even though you’re covered up, it’s weird, but men find it way more attractive than the super short things.
I almost fell down and kissed her feet when she said that. That’s the whole reason I started my blog, I almost screamed in excitement! To show that classic femininity still has some serious power in today’s world! I settled on a vigorous nod of agreement and a huge smile as I wrote down her quote instead…no need to scare off a new kindred spirit just when you’ve made the acquaintance.
Where are the best places to shop for vintage clothing?Alex: “Bakersfield is actually one of my favorites! You wouldn’t think it’s true, but small cities are better for vintage finds. Alissa: “She’s right, in big cities like Los Angeles, vintage items are constantly being traded, worn, and resold. In smaller cities it’s easier to find pieces that have sometimes been cared for by the original owners. And if you look in non-touristy towns, you’ll also find the cheapest prices.” As she said this, Alissa showed me her beaded, vintage black cardigan she was wearing. She said it had the same owner for forty years when she found it, and she was right, it was nearly flawless and super-cute. Who would of thought? Bakersfield, or maybe I should say, In Your Wildest Dreams, is something of a vintage Mecca.
And finally, just for fun, would you ever consider buying/wearing a vintage wedding dress? Alissa: “I have!” Alex: “Definitely. Even vintage gowns that weren’t intended to be a wedding gown can look fantastic because they’re so exquisite.”
Finds from Your Wildest Dreams:
Yet again, I found some adorable pieces as I ran around snapping photos for this blog-spread: A 60’s era mod dress, some adorable scarves with great colors and vintage fabrics with nary a tear in sight, some wintery skirts I thought would be so classy to wear to a Christmas party, and even a full-length gown that could be paired with a modern, tailored jacket and heels for a seamless blend of vintage and new:
The detail and fit is what I love the most about these pieces. You couldn’t walk into a store today and find things with the beading and tailoring that these items have. And of course, I’m always a sucker for a 1950’s clutch or handbag with a snap:
When I saw this little lace coat, I instantly thought of Doris Day in the movie That Touch of Mink. She wore a green-tinted lace housecoat just like this when she goes to Bermuda with Cary Grant. I think this coat is actually meant for outdoor wear, but I would definitely wear it as a sweet little overcoat for my pajamas. It’s finds like these that keep me dreaming about the next thing I’ll find at In Your Wildest Dreams:
I’m so thankful to the ladies at the store for letting me quiz them and run around squealing and taking photos of my favorite pieces. If you’re local, I’m certain you’ll fall in love with this place, and if you’re not, take these tips to your own treasure trove. As Alissa put it best, the vintage “process of self-creation” is one you can’t get just by heading to the mall. Happy hunting!
I was working a bit of overtime this weekend. I had hoped that I would be able to show you a new idea I’m working on for The Linen Closet but the prototypes didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted so the full reveal will have to wait.
Something I can reveal though is a few recent finds from my favorite vintage store. Vintage stores can be a little scary, but combing through some seriously hideous, 70’s beaded apparel, and some 80’s suits that I don’t think will ever be vintage enough to become attractive again, is usually well worth the effort. More often than not, they are usually full of hidden gems.
This wool, plaid skirt was perfect for entering the winter months. The best part about vintage stores is the clothing from the 50’s and 60’s was made so well that you can’t even tell the skirt is decades old. I will say though, the women must have been miniatures of modern women because, goodness, the waists are so tiny! A wool skirt in perfect condition for $12.00 was quite the find.
I thought this polka-dot ascot blouse would look lovely with a black pencil skirt. Besides, there’s something about polka dots that I just can’t put back, so it came home with me.
And, at last, my fav:
I fell in love with this coat the moment I saw it. After my first round of glee was over though, I was a bit hesitant to buy it. The color is not enhanced at all, it’s really truly THAT green. I’m definitely not one for neon colors, and usually don’t buy green that often, but I couldn’t get past the tailoring of it and I had to take the plunge:
What finally convinced me was thinking of Doris Day and her film-wardrobes, always chock-full of brightly colored coats that matched almost any outfit imaginable.
When shopping for outerwear it seems silly to get anything that you can’t wear with everything. So, I usually settle on brown, black, navy blue, or grey. Sometimes though, it’s just fun to be a little outrageous.
It did actually come with a matching dress, but the zipper needs a bit of help from a tailor and (don’t worry) I definitely won’t be wearing them together. Doris Day might be able to pull it off but I’ll stick to making my statements separately.
I have lots to celebrate today. For one thing, its the first monthiversary of the blog! It seems both much longer and much sooner than a month ago that I began. Thank-you to everyone who has been reading along and commenting, its so great to hear feedback of what you’re enjoying most.
It is one of my main intentions with this blog to offer to all of you some examples of women who embody the definition of a classic woman: one who is graceful, kind, seeks to lead by example, is able to love and be loved, supports, inspires, is ambitious without being aggressive, and selflessly nurtures when called upon to do so.
Perhaps you say though that this still doesn’t prove it can be done in the modern world; that this style and way of life is archaic. That the modern world necessitates that we re-think how women dress, act, achieve, and live. You even may say that the era of golden girls like Grace and Sandra is long gone, and Mary Poppins’ lessons are fine and dandy for when you’re five years old, but what about when you grow up and its 2012? What then?
It is possible though. I am convinced because I see it acted out everyday. The muse is a real woman; in fact, she’s a modern woman, and I offer her to you as a perfect example of what it means to represent femininity at its best.
She’s my real life Grace Kelly, my Mrs. Gigglebelly, my Mary Poppins. Everything that fills my life with joy and beauty, I first learned from my mother:
I learned about Jane Austen from her copy of Pride and Prejudice, placed always on the dining room bookshelves and read so often the binding was falling to pieces. I learned that reading the entire children’s section of the Beale Memorial Library was not impossible. I learned that writing was fun; that Doris Day and Cary Grant are the best on-screen couple. I learned that the most powerful job you can have is being a wife and mother; that showing love is not measured by dollar signs but often by a handmade gift, always (willingly) showing up to every dance rehearsal, putting someone’s hair in the perfect bun, or racing home to fetch the forgotten essay. I learned that arguments are settled by conversation, and that there won’t be arguments if there is conversation. I learned that you don’t have to know what you’re doing to decorate a room, you just try it and love it or hate it and change it and have so much fun in between. I learned that being selfless makes you the most precious, that laughter is the most beautiful sound in a home, and what reliability looks like.
Most of all though, what I learned from my Mom is how to love. How to show someone that they are your whole world, that you cannot imagine a life without them, and how you never regret anything that is for them. So, thanks mom, for being a muse far better than any other woman, real or fictional, and for effortlessly acting out what it means to be a wonderful woman. Oh yes, and happy birthday.
Happy Monday. Nope, I didn’t want to get dressed today either. Committing the Wear-Pajamas-in-Public-Crime never seems quite so awful come Monday morning.
Inevitably though, my “I don’t want to take off my robe” mood always seems to clash with my “but why can’t I look like Doris Day everyday” mood:
Thus, my Monday-morning-lifesaver solution has become: Wrap dresses!
All of these beauties came from shopestyle.com. These options are a bit pricey, but I have found delightful options from New York designers “Emma and Michelle” at Ross and Marshalls for no more than $20.00!
The wrap dress is pretty much the MacGyver of fashion. A go-anywhere-travel-excellently-go-on-like-a-robe-yet-still-look-classy-dress… And trust me, the wrap dress can rise to almost any occasion. I have two such dresses gracing my closet, ready to save me from the moody Mondays, but these classic creations have also carried me through a Bachelorette wine-tasting all-day event, (where I drove for three hours and emerged with nary a wrinkle in sight!) a trip to a museum, multiple days at the office, a casual Sunday morning, and an evening graduation party to name a few.
Wear pajamas in public? It sure feels like it, but it looks divine.