Friday, December 31, 2010

Film Fashion Friday: Bachelor Mother (1939)

Film Fashion Friday is back!! I am really excited to be sharing this movie with you all. It's a prefect watch for New Years Eve and supplies a wide range of fashion inspiration for the winter weather and holiday party season.

The Players

Ginger Rogers.....Polly Parrish
David Niven.....David Merlin
Charles Coburn.....J.B. Merlin
Frank Albertson.....Freddie Miller

Directed by Garson Kanin
Gowns by Irene

Polly Parrish works as holiday help for Merlin's Department Store. On her lunch break on her final day she sees a lady leaving a baby on a door stoop. Worried about the child, she picks him up and the agency assumes she is the mother. Polly insists that the child is not hers, that she was only concerned about him rolling off the stoop, but the agency feels Polly is making up her story to cover up being an unwed mother. The agency then approaches Polly's employer, David Merlin to give Polly her job back in order to keep the child and be able to support him. What follows is a series of events that place Polly and David together. Polly eventually becomes attached to the baby and to David. Will David be able to confess his feelings for Polly?

Fashion Review
Bachelor Mother (1939) is one of the many movies I had been patiently waiting for to be released on DVD. I remember a few years ago, watching it in parts on You Tube and falling in love with all the different outfits Ginger Rogers sports. In this role, Rogers really encompasses what many of us vintage gals try to achieve on a daily basis. She is a middle class, working gal which is embodied in her look throughout the film. One of my particularly favorite scenes is when David Niven's character sends for a gown, fur coat, and all the extras to supply a dressy look for Rogers on New Years Eve. What girl wouldn't love to have a beau who owned a department store? :)

Irene designed the gowns for this film and she no doubt selected and put together the other looks for the main female characters in the film. Irene was born in South Dakota in 1901 and went to Wolf School of Design. Although her first career choice was in the music field, her fiance quickly changed her mind and persuaded her to open a dress shop. This event would lead to Irene's influence career in Hollywood. Until she sign a contract with MGM, Irene did freelance work for Paramount, RKO, Columbia, and United Artists out of her Wilshire Costume Design Salon. After her work at MGM, Irene created Irene Inc. which was supported by 25 department stores which were given exclusive rights to Irene designs. I have yet to come across an Irene original in my vintage hunts, but still have hope that some day I might come across one!

Irene also throughout her whole career designed stars personal wardrobes, just as many other costume designers did. What I love about Irene's designs is that no matter what era you are viewing, her work is consistently good. I know that if I am watching a film with Irene deigns, I will get some great gowns and well put together head to toe looks. This idea is truly encompassed in the scene in Bachelor Mother where David has his help get all the items for Polly from stockings and hankies to a fur coat and corsage.

Fashion Grade 8/10 (Love the complete and consistently pulled together looks from scene to scene. Plus, Ginger Roger's hair is also to die for!!)

Bachelor Mother is available on DVD through the Warner Archive Collection and is available to rent through It has also been on You Tube in different segments.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Outfit Post of 2010

Two evenings ago, my family and I went out to celebrate my mom's birthday. Like always, I take any event outside the home to be an occasion to dress up. I really love this dress, but it is too big for me now and decided this to be the last time I would wear it. There is only so much one can do with a belt to hide excess. I might put it up on etsy, if anyone is interested in it, shoot me an email or comment and I can send details.

I have been suffering from an awful cold, which has given me a chance to catch up on my movie watching -- something I have so missed while school is in session. I never thought I would long for the days when I had to watch movies for homework. Reading novels is fun, but I would much rather do that in my leisure time. For me, watching movies are fun all the time! :)

I am so looking forward to 2011. I have big plans for this blog and can't wait to start blogging more. I also want to try to dress better on a daily basis. It's so easy to get caught up in wearing jeans and hoodies when you have to deal with Michigan weather. Each year I get better at making more of an effort to dress well, but I really want 2011 to be a new year, a new decade of positive changes in my life.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Years Eve!!!


Dress & Hat: eBay

Shoes: Ferndale D.I.Y.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Teddy Bear Muff for the Kiddies

Yesterday I was flipping through my collection of vintage magazines to find some articles for something I am planning for the blog for 2011 and I came across this sweet little pattern for a children's muff. I thought it would be something great to share with my readers, especially since I know quite a few of you have little ones or have one on the way.

This comes from a December 1958 edition of "Woman and Home." (Click on the images to enlarge them).

They were originally letter sized, so if you would like to print them out, they will be actual size. If anyone makes one of these, please email me or comment and let me know. I'd love to see your results!!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Wrap-Up

Hello Dear Readers! Hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday! My family and I had a very laid back Christmas this year, so no photos of a Christmas outfit since I didn't dress up at all. I am planning on getting all done up for New Years Eve and found a wonderful dress for a stellar deal and I cannot wait to share it with you all. :)

I thought I would share two of my most favorite gifts this year. Neither are vintage, but both are things I have been wanting for a LONG time!

The first is a locket from my beau. I have been wanting a locket for ages and my beau wanted me to get the one I liked, so I picked this one out. I wanted something simple and sort of timeless and also something in white gold or silver. I found this one at Sears of all places and I am really impressed with it. The locket itself is very heavy and is quite sturdy. I am sure it will last for many years and I will probably be able to pass it down in the family.

The second is from my mom, a wallet from Vera Bradley. I have been meaning to do a post on Vera Bradley products for a long time. I love their products, not only because they are super cute, but they also are washable. And, up until a few years ago, all of their products were made in the USA. I really like supporting companies that make their products here. Vera Bradley still makes many of their products here, but not all of them, which to me is better than having all of their items outsourced. Anyways, I like that many of their patterns are vintage or retro looking and are made with quality in mind. When my mom was in one of their stores last, she asked a sales lady if she could possibly give her a discount to get a new bag because some of the stitching was coming undone on her older bag. The sales lady went into the back and got her a brand new bag, telling my mom that it was company policy to stand behind their products. Love it!! I am really in love with this wallet -- it is cute, functional, and has a bit of retro flare to it. I love vintage, but I also love new products that have an old timey feel to them.

Both my parents and my beau got me lots of classic films on dvd, so expect more Film Fashion Friday posts in the new year. I can't wait to get watching!!

What was your favorite Christmas gift this year?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Do

Last week I decided very spur of the moment to get a haircut. I wanted to try something completely different from anything I had before and I wanted to do something kinda short. I ended up getting a bob and will probably be trying out some 30s hair styles soon. I bought this curling iron from Ulta to try out some faux finger waves. Once I get some decent results, I will share on the blog.

I wore this outfit to a cool little local event in Detroit, the Holiday Baar Bazaar. The Bazaar featured a night of shopping and sipping on some beer or wine. The vendors included some vintage clothing and housewares, vintage records, and crafty goods. I bought the cute little bobby pins below. I have a mild fascination with sparrows and thought these would be fun with my new haircut, plus they were only $5. The seller has an etsy shop, which can be found HERE.

50s Dress: eBay

Shoes, Owl Necklace: JC Penny

Sweater, Tights: Target

Belt: Kohls

Vintage E Pin: Estate Sale

60s Earrings: Mother Fletchers

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vintage Lobby Cards

Firstly, I would like to thank all my lovely readers for their kind comments and warm wishes on my post about my Grandma. In the future, I do plan on sharing more of the vintage photos she had given me throughout the years. Also, to answer Coedith's question: the photo I used in that post was of my Grandma's Lutheran Confirmation, so the diploma in the photo is a certificate of her work and welcoming her into the church.


One of my goals for my month long break from graduate school was to get some long awaited projects done. One of these projects was to get some frames and frame a few of my vintage lobby cards to decorate my office at school with. Graduate students are given offices at my university and we are required to hold office hours as well. This past semester I only came to my office to study, since being a lab instructor meant there were not required office hours. However, since I will be doing lectures this coming semester I will be spending much more time in there and I did not want to be surrounded by grey walls and boring office furniture.

Last week, I headed over to Joann's and picked up the frames that the cards are pictured in above for only a little over $3 each. I ended up getting all that they had in stock, which was six, and next week before Christmas, I am going to decorate with the lobby cards and some swanky swigs to hold my pens. I also have an incomplete vintage desk set of bookends and a letter holder, both in the shape of poodles, which I am also probably going to take in. Once I get it all set up, I'll post some pictures here on the blog.

I have been collecting lobby cards for a few years now and am so glad I finally have a place to display them, rather then just having them sit in an archive box. Hopefully my students will enjoy seeing a piece of film history when they visit my office.

If you work in an office or cubical, have you decked it out vintage style?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Mixing of Eras

For a recent family outing in which dressy attire was required, I decided to go monochromatic and wear all black and also mix some of my vintage pieces from different eras to create a fresh look. Besides my undergarments, my tights are the only new piece in the whole outfit -- everything else is vintage! Most of the pieces are from either the 50s or the 60s and I tried to tie the look together by doing a more of a 60s do with my hair.

I think this dress is my new favorite "little black dress." It has a high neck so it is so easy to wear almost anything over top of it, plus its sleeveless, so there aren't a bunch of layers bulking it up.

I also wore a vintage coat and gloves over the dress, but forgot to take pictures. What a good blogger I am! ;)


Dress: Lost and Found Vintage

Vintage Heels: Garage Sale

60s Earrings: Mother Fletchers

Sweater with Faux Fur Collar: Bloomfield Hills Vintage Clothing Expo

Tights: Target

Belt: Off a 40s Dress

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Will Be Missed

My Grandma at 13 at her confirmation, Spring 1933.

I felt like I needed to do a little post to explain my unexpected absence from blogging these past few weeks. On Thanksgiving, my dear Grandma passed away. It was incredibly sad, but peaceful. We are all comforted by knowing she is in a better place and not in pain anymore.

I know I have blogged about my wonderful Grandma before, sharing some of her vintage photos and I plan to continue; to remember her and honer her life. She was a huge part of my life and was my biggest vintage fan. She always loved to see the neat stuff I found at sales and thrift stores. I definitely inherited my love of a bargain and jewelry from her, thanks Grandma!