Monday, November 30, 2009

A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Coats

I feel that a girl can never have too many coats. Maybe this is because I own an embarrassing number of coats, but regardless, coats are just divine. They can complete your outfit or add that extra flare or give your outfit that oomph of edginess. Vintage coats are one of the simplest ways to incorporate a vintage piece into your wardrobe. Most of the time they are easy to find and there are options in almost every price range. The best thing about coats, especially vintage ones, is the classic designs they feature. Many cuts and shapes never go out of style and fashion is very reciprocal.

I bought this coat over the summer and have been waiting ever so patiently to wear it. It is more than likely a homemade or custom tailored piece, as it has no label to it or signs that there was ever one present. It probably is from the 50's because of its swing design, but somehow when I look at it, the late 30's come to mind. At any rate, I am in love with the built in scarf, which is right above the mink, tucked into the coat. I also love the single side closure, giving it an off beat feel to it.

Coat, Gloves, and Shoes: Estate Sale


The Winner Is.......

Congrats to Heidi Ann!!!! I want to thank everyone who entered my little giveaway!!! This blog is so rewarding on so many levels. I truly enjoy it and am so grateful to all my readers!!!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap and Last Day for Giveaway

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful day on Thursday and filled up on lots of yummy food!!! I was really excited for Thanksgiving this year -- I love the food my mom makes and I really enjoy helping out in the kitchen. Each year I learn more and more from my mom and I know that years down the line, when it's finally my turn to host I'll be prepared.

We normally have dinner with just our family of my parents, brother, and maternal grandmother. However, this year we had some guests over; my grandma's sister Frances and her son joined us for dinner. Like my mom, I love entertaining and it was so fun to have dinner guests this year.

While my mom was finishing up the cooking, I got to set the table with some of my vintage linens. I love that my mom lets me do this. She normally gives me the job of setting the table and always gets a kick out of what I come up with.

I decided to wear this dress I traded for at Lost and Found Vintage. I had mentioned it in a post a few months back and it has been hanging in my closet ever since. I was waiting until I found the right sweater to go with it to wear it. I found a sweater a week or so ago and was itching to wear my new pearl necklace and earrings, so Thanksgiving was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Dress: Lost and Found Vintage

Sweater: J C Penny

Lizard Heels and Pearl Necklace: Estate Sale

Pearl Earring: Halzberg Diamonds

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter into my giveaway!!! If you posted about this, don't forget to comment and send me the link. I will be drawing the winner tomorrow evening.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Film Fashion Friday: Gilda (1946)

Due to the holiday this week, Film Fashion Friday is a day late. I had planned on doing a different film for this week, but yesterday I picked up some dvds while shopping on "Black Friday" and had to make a change of plans. One of the dvds I picked up was Gilda (1946). This has been on my wish list on for a long time. Costco is currently selling it for $7.99 (I think, its under $9 for sure). I can't believe I hadn't seen this film before!!! It's a really great movie and it has some really spectacular gowns in it, all designed by Jean Louis.

Jean Louis is best know for his work in Gilda and for the gown Marilyn Monroe wore to sing happy birthday to John F. Kennedy. Louis started out his film fashion career in the mid-40's and made his last film in 1973. He also made the gowns for Loretta Young that she wore during her entrances on her show which aired in the 50's and 60's.

I really recommend checking out some of Louis's lesser known films because they show the same keen eye that is represented in Gilda. The gowns in this film are so glamourous and rightly so, since this film takes place mostly in a casino/night club. Gilda tells the story of forbidden love and has some gangster flare to it as well.
When I was looking for an image of a vintage movie poster to use in this post, I came across some of these publicity stills. I absolutely love Rita Hayworth's hair in this movie and it has convinced me not to cut my hair just yet!

Gilda is available on dvd and is an instant on Netflix.

This week's honorable mention is from 2006. Hollywoodland is a period film staring Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, and Adrian Brody. Hollywoodland is the story of the first superman, George Reeves, who starred in the television version of the classic comic. Julie Weiss did the costumes for this film and she did a wonderful job -- the costumes are very true to the period. Hollywoodland is available on dvd and Netflix.

Check back later next week for my review of the 70th anniversary Gone With the Wind box set.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Film Fashion Friday: Wife Versus Secretary (1936)

First, let me apologize for my lateness in putting out this week's film selections. I had the day off of work and took advantage of that to get a lot of errands done and stop by a few estate sales--something I don't normally get a chance to do on Fridays!! Anyways, I am so excited to share this week's films and fashion designer. The main film this week is Wife Versus Secretary (1936). Ever since I saw Public Enemies (2009) this summer, I have really gotten into the look of the '30s. This film features really awesome outfits from the mid-30's.....these outfits are just to die for!!!!

The costumes were designed by Dolly Tree. Miss Tree designed costumes and coordinated wardrobes for over 130 movies during her movie career and some of likes include several Joan Crawford favorites and a few of the movies from the Thin Man series. Miss Tree began her career in Europe in the theatre the costume department. She is created with creating Mae West's signature 1890's look in her 1920's films and is believed to be the first designer to use the strapless gown.
Tree worked for MGM and designed looks for some of the big leading ladies of the 30's; including Jean Harlow and Myrna Low, and later for Judy Garland and Rosalind Russell. I was so excited to feature a film with her designs because I am sure vintage lovers have seen a film with her costumes and just didn't know it was hers. Tree was often overshadowed by other costume designers at MGM, mainly Adrian. I really recommend checking out some more of her movies, her eye and flare for glamour are spot on.

Wife Versus Secretary stars Clark Gable as a New York business man and Mryna Loy as his wife. Jean Harlow plays Gable's secretary. There is also a small, but memorable preformance by James Stewart, as Harlow's boyfriend. As the title suggests, this becomes a love triangle of sorts, without Gable actually engaging in a romantic relationship with Harlow--it is just assumed by the general public that he has cheated on Loy, thus creating a rift between the married couple. I love this film, not only for the great costumes but also because it is a lovable screwball comedy. I just wanted to point out one really great scene, the one pictured above, because it features mostly extras dressed in everyday leisure clothing indicative of the 30's. They are on an ice skating rink, so they have on winter type clothing--prefect to copy now that colder weather has arrived!!!
This week's honorable mention is one of my favorite period films, The War Bride (2001). This movie is the story about a war bride and her trials and successes as she tries to fit in with her husband's family while he is away at war. This is truly a lovely film in every sense of the word. The costumes/accessories are very right on and true to the era, as well as the make-up and hair styling. Some of the costumes remind me a little bit of the ones in The Edge of Love (2008). I highly recommend this movie, and it along with all of the others mentioned in this post are available on DVD and Netflix. Public Enemies will be coming out on DVD in December!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

100th Post GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe I have reached 100 posts!!! It's very exciting; especially since I only started this blog because I was bored one night and thought it would be fun to photoshop a banner for a vintage blog. That crazy idea has morphed into a part of my life I can't imagine not having. I can't tell you all how nice it is to be a member of the vintage blogging community. You all inspire me so much!!!

So, in honor of this milestone, I am hosting a giveaway. I know it's still a little more than a month away, but I wanted the giveaway to be Christmas themed. If you are the lucky winner you will receive a vintage half apron, a vintage milk glass bubble bowl, a set of vintage caroler candle holders (still in the box!!), two vintage Christmas greeting cards, and a pair of earring/shoe clips. To enter just leave a comment on this post and for an extra entry, blog about this post and use the button I have posted on the sidebar that links back to this post. If you do an extra entry, just leave another comment with a link to that post. I will ship to anywhere, so international bloggers are welcome!!!


EDIT:::I forgot to post what day I will do the drawing. The giveaway is open until next Saturday (28th) and I will randomly select a winner on Sunday, the 29th.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snoods and Hair Nets

As I mentioned in my review of Hot Sticks in my previous post, the setting lasted for two days--much like a cold set. On the second day after doing a cold set, I like to wear my hair in a snood or hair net. The curls from the Hot Sticks setting looked very similar on day two to a cold set, so I was able to style my hair with a hair net. I was in a bit of a rush (I wanted to get to Mother Fletchers before they closed) so my hair doesn't look as refined as the lovely girl in the photo; which I found off the same website as the one I mentioned in this post. Mother Fletchers had a few new dresses out on the floor and I found one that came home with me; a really pretty late 40's rayon blend with a nice printed floral pattern on it. I am planning on wearing it on Thanksgiving. I also found the greatest pink hat I have ever seen in my life. Once I form an outfit around it, I will post some pictures.

Hope you all are having a marvelous Monday!!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweater Season and a Product Review

This past weekend I saw two movies I had been dying to see; Pirate Radio and Coco Before Chanel. Pirate Radio was spectacular!!! If you love 60's music and 60's British fashion, I highly suggest you check out that movie. It was super funny and tells a great story. I was less satisfied with Coco Before Chanel. I definitely prefer the Shirley MacLaine's version. I felt that version was a bit more entertaining and showed more of the fashion side to Chanel's life than Coco Before Chanel. However, if you are interested in Coco Chanel I would go see it, the french countryside cinematography was quite beautiful.

I saw Pirate Radio on Friday night and it inspired my Saturday evening look. I got this sweater over the summer at an estate sale for $3 and I have been patiently waiting until colder weather to wear it out.

Saturday I also tried out my Hot Sticks for the second time -- the first time did not go so well. After seeing this video and this video I decided I needed to purchase these and try them out for myself. I got mine through for only $15 (and that's the link if you click on hot sticks above). I did the site to store and it was really nice, and I do recommend that process if you don't need the item ASAP. My second attempt at using them went better, and I probably will get better over time. I did find that they can be a bit difficult to roll your hair on. I think this is because they are so small in diameter and don't really have any groves to help grip the hair and possibly because the rollers get pretty hot in the centers. I also found that my hair got much more frizzy with the Hot Sticks than they do with a wet set. The set I have is a 14 count and does work well, but I would probably recommend the larger 20 count set for girls with longer or really thick hair. The set that I did the second time around lasted over night and into the second day -- which I was really impressed with; especially for a hot roller setting. I think it lasted longer because I sprayed some Lotta Body setting lotion into my hair before drying it and used a little bit of hair spray on each section before rolling. Overall, I give Hot Sticks a thumbs up!! If you use Hot Sticks, leave a comment for any tips or tricks to using them!!


Sweater and Earrings: Estate Sale

Jeans and Shoes: JC Penny

Tank Tops: Target

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tutorial: Vintage Postcard Card Wallet

I saw this tutorial in an old issue of Country Living (September 2007) and I just knew I had to try it out!! After trying it, I knew I had to share this with all my lovely readers. This gift card/money holder is just in time for the holiday season. They are so easy and quick to whip up and will sure make a big impression on the recipient. Here's the steps:
Step One: The magazine calls for regular vinyl to be stitched on but I wanted this to be a super quick project so I used iron on vinyl with a matte finish. The result was amazing. Cut the vinyl about 1 cm bigger than the post card.
Step Two: Iron on the vinyl on a lower heat. I set my iron to the setting for synthetic material and use a press cloth. Once the front is ironed on, flip the card over and fold over the excess and iron that down. I did the folding method rather than cut off the excess.
Step Three: Fold the postcard in half and decide what side to be your front.
Step Four: Stitch down the three sides, leaving the top part open. I choose a decorative stitch, but you can use whatever you like.
Here's the finished product. The magazine called for a half moon shape to be cut out of the top to make it easier to access the card or money, but I chose to leave mine just the way it was because I really liked the gold border. I also used denim thread and that worked out very well. The magazine also suggested you could use a fancy embroidery stitch, like a blanket stitch to close up the sides; making this project easy to make even if you don't have a sewing machine.
I have a PDF version of the article in the magazine and if anyone would like it, please email me and I will send it to you. Hope you enjoy and I would love to see your finished product!!!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Film Fashion Friday: Black Widow (1954)

Welcome to another edition of Film Fashion Friday. I really lack in the blogging department this week. There were so many things I wanted to blog about, hopefully I will get to all of them next week!! Anyways, this week's film is Black Widow from 1954, directed by Nunnally Johnson. This film has an all star cast and also features costume designs from Travilla. When I picked out this film, I forgot he did the costume designs, but I am not surprised. Many wonderful 50's films feature his designs. The wardrobe director was Charles Le Maire. La Maire worked on a few other 50's film noirs and countless other classics such as Niagara, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Miracle on 34th Street. He worked on many of Marilyn Monroe's films and won three Academy Awards.
Black Widow stars two great leading ladies; Ginger Rogers and Gene Tierney. Rogers has a bit more screen time and has excellent costumes -- always extremely well put together. Both always have matching hats and gloves to complete their outfits or coats.

The opening scene is a spectacular cocktail party and even the extras are dressed to the nines. What's so great about this film is that it was filmed in CinemaScope (widescreen) allowing the viewer to see more in a shot.

This film is a murder mystery of sorts and features a young girl who just moved to New York. She is an excellent example of young woman's fashion in the mid 50's. I just adore the above outfit and I might need to attempt to recreate it this summer.

Black Widow is on DVD and available on Netflix. I highly recommend it, not just for the fashion, but for being one of the few film noirs in color.
This week's honorable mention is Married Life from 2007. This period film really nails postwar fashion to a T. It was hard to find mistakes in the wardrobe and hair and make-up, making it a really stellar example of what a period film should look like. If you haven't seen this film should!!!! The acting is pretty good and the plot is also pretty decent as well. Married Life is available on DVD and is an instant on Netflix.

Hope you enjoy these suggestions, and as always, requests are always welcome!!


Monday, November 9, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

I was surfing around on YouTube and came across this old clip of Linda Darnell on What's My Line and thought it was very cute and humorous. I just love Linda Darnell, she is one of my all time favorite actresses. So, for your Sunday evening viewing pleasure, I leave you with Linda Darnell. Hope you all had wonderful weekends!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Film Fashion Friday: Mr. Imperium (1951)

I was so excited to feature this film this week!! Not only is it a really great movie featuring Lana Turner, it also features a fabulous costume designer, Walter Plunkett. Plunkett is known for his designs in Gone With the Wind and Singin' in the Rain, among numerous other hollywood classics. He shares an Oscar with Orry-Kelly and Irene for their collaboration on American in Paris. Since Plunkett was apart of so many iconic fashionable films, I really wanted to feature a film of his that is lesser know but still has a keen eye for style.
Mr. Imperium (1951) stars Lana Turner as a traveling showgirl that captures the heart of a prince in hiding. The two begin a whirlwind romance that comes to halt when the prince's father becomes ill. One of my favorite parts of the film is a brief montage of Lana and the Prince enjoying the French rivera. During this, Lana is shown wearing some great casual looks, including the classic 40's dungarees and button up shirts. A definite inspiration for a vintage gal's casual option for a daily look.

Lana is also seen wearing a few different coats throughout the film, which I thought would be a great inspiration for the up coming colder season. My favorite combination is the red coat and turban paired with the pale yellow dress. I love the red and yellow color combo and just may have to try that out myself this spring!! Overall, this is a great Plunkett film that may not be as well known as his other pictures, but it still holds up to his reputation for magnificent style. The film is available on dvd and is on Netflix but it appears they don't have the dvd yet, however you can save it to your queue.

The honorable mentions for this week are Madame X, another great Lana Turner film, and Coco Chanel, starring Shirley MacLaine.

I remember seeing Madame X as a young girl and was totally captivated by it. It receives an honorable mention for a lovely green gown worn during a party scene and the wonderful mid-60's fashions.

Coco Chanel just recently came out on DVD and I highly recommend that everyone see this movie. It is great on so many levels. The plot is structured through flashbacks, making for a very engaging narrative. The costumes are simply amazing and feature really great designs from the turn of the century to the mid-50's. I know this film didn't really receive great reviews, but I think vintage lovers will be able to appreciate the fab costumes. Plus the actor that plays Boy is quite the hunk!!

I am approaching my 100th post and I think I am going to do a giveaway tied into Film Fashion Friday. Look for more info as I get closer to my 100th post!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Parisian Ballerinas

I can't even begin to explain how excited I am about this new blouse. It came in the mail on Monday and I couldn't wait to wear it to class today. I won it off eBay and couldn't believe the deal I got on it, considering it is a novelty print and all. I loved the print...what can be better than ballerinas and the Eiffel Tower? Oh and can you see those fantastic vintage rhinestone and lucite buttons??

Up until graduating from high school, I used to dance. I did studio dance for about 12 or 13 years and was on my high school's dance team all four years of school. I really miss dancing and have been looking for a studio that has classes for older girls. It's hard to find these type of classes, typically they go up age 18 and that's the cut off. Finding this shirt reminded my of all my wonderful years spent dancing and I truly enjoyed wearing it today!

I was kind of going for a 60's casual look...I don't know how well I achieved it. The top is really blousy and I wanted to offset that by wearing slim pants...ergo trying to obtain a more 60's aesthetic. But, whatever era I ended up channeling, I was really pleased with this outfit and plan on wearing it again soon. I just loooooove this blouse!!!!!


Sweater: American Eagle (ages ago)

Blouse: Vintage 50's via eBay

Jeans: JC Penny

Navy Blue Leather Bag: eBay

Silver Flats: Target

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Perfect Watch

I have ended a year long quest to find the prefect vintage "everyday" watch. This past Friday after work, I decided to take a trip over to the craft and antique mall that I used to have my booth at. I hadn't been there in ages...really the last time was there was when I closed my booth months ago. I was looking for a vintage casserole dish in a larger size and instead I found this watch. I normally always look in the cases that are in the different really never know what can be found in there; dealers always keep different things in their cases. This watch caught my eye and I asked the lady to see it. It was marked $15 and said it was running. I make a quick check for size and working condition and quickly told the lady I would take it. I feel in love with the beautiful stainless steel stretchable wrist and the scratch free crystal. It was really exactly the watch I had been searching for. I wanted a really nice casual vintage watch for everyday purposes. I have a lovely white gold vintage watch from my mother, complete with three small diamonds. It's kind of dressy for every day and I tend to only wear it on special occasions. I have a few modern watches, which I love, but I wanted a casual vintage option for day to day use. Now that I have the stretch kind, all I need to find is the prefect watch with a black cord bracelet.

Oh...did I mention along with coats, watches are another one of my weaknesses??