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Posts Tagged With: 1940s

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

There is no denying it, vintage inspired novelty prints are truly hit the mainstream in recent years. Sourcing vintage pieces is getting increasingly more difficult and the prices are literally skyrocketing every day. It is wonderful to see designers like Trashy Diva taking inspiration from some of the most beautiful vintage prints and recreating them in a range of designs to suit various body types. When Trashy Diva released their “Carnival” Mardi Gras themed print, everyone was going wild with excitement! With limited styles and sizes available, they sold out lightning fast. Fortunately I was able to acquire the Trashy Diva Carnival Gathered Skirt from Retroglam before it was too late.

Available in sizes 2-24 ~ MSRP $99

As I slowly amass more pieces from Trashy Diva, I find their sizing to usually be on par with the individual size charts for each style/print. Consistently I wear a size 6 (Small) in most of their designs unless the fabric is stretchy. In this case, the Carnival Gathered Skirt was rumored to be running small and had zero give in the waist so I was unsure what size to order. After chatting with the owner at Retroglam, I decided to risk ordering the size 6 knowing the larger size would have to be taken in a bit. The gamble luckily paid off, the waistband fit snuggly on my waist (27”) but it would have definitely been too small if my waist was the recommended 28” on the chart. I personally prefer skirts to be quite fitted, especially with such a wide band to create a cinched waistline silhouette. The Carnival Gathered Skirt features a curved extra wide waistband, 8 panels of gathering for a very full skirt, has hidden pockets, is completely lined and has a back invisible zipper closure. Made from a rich cotton voile, the vibrant Mardi Grad print features “Masked revelers parade through French Quarter streets in a whirl of vibrant color that embodies the true spirit of New Orleans.” At 5’-4” tall, the hemline falls a couple inches below the knees.

Trashy Diva has really built a massive cult following over the years; die hard collectors that relish in all the gorgeous one of a kind prints they release in their signature designs. As their price points are a bit more of an investment especially with the weak Canadian dollar, I have to be more selective on my purchases. Although I initially coveted the Annette Dress in the fun Carnival print, I am thrilled to have chosen the Gathered Skirt as the vibrant colours go with an endless array of tops. The wide curved waistband is unique and very flattering even for us petite ladies. This is definitely a very voluminous gathered skirt, hence why I prefer the waist to be fitted and it also prevents the band from rolling down. Since the skirt is made with voile cotton, a good pressing will be required after each wear if you are sitting for any length of time. The whimsical Mardi Gras print is sure to garner tons of attention and be a conversation piece wherever you go.

Vibrant colour schemes are the most fun to accessorize. I had a difficult time choosing the colour of top to pair with the Carnival Skirt as there were several that would match beautifully. In the end, I wanted to showcase the rich purple in the motif by pairing it with the PUG Peasant top in Plum. I completed the ensemble with a vintage green marbled Bakelite beaded necklace, multi-coloured bangles and finished off by the Jenny Pumps in green by B.A.I.T. All accessories were selected to accent the vivacious Mardi Gras print.

Trashy Diva has enchanted our hearts by capturing the whimsy of the New Orleans spirit with their Carnival novelty print. These one of a kind prints are sure to become treasured pieces for years to come just like those from the 1950’s. There is a small selection of sizes that remain online and you can also join the “Desperately Seeking Trashy Diva” group on Facebook to acquire them second hand from fellow Trashy Diva fans.

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Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fluttering From The Autumn Tree

Do you ever find yourself being drawn to certain elements or motifs that subconsciously bring back fond memories? For as long as I can remember, I always adored things which symbolized Autumn…my most favorite time of year. One of those elements is the classic maple leaf; it not only reminds me of Autumn but also an iconic symbol for us Canadians. Slowly, I have collected some lovely vintage maple leaf accessories but felt there was a void that needed to be filled when it came to my wardrobe. For ages I lusted over the Pinup Girl Clothing Butterfly Dress in Leaves Print but never took the plunge until just recently.

Available in sizes XS-4X ~ MSRP $180

img_8939Although my measurements (b36/w27-28/hips40-41) have fluctuated over the last little while, I still fall within PUG’s size Small in their dresses. The Butterfly Dress is super stretchy but it is strongly recommend to size up if you are in between sizes to not to distort the nature of the print. As an added bonus, you will receive the matching turban which previously was sold separately for $64. Thankfully the fit and sizing was right on par with the size chart, the size Small fit wonderfully. The Butterfly Dress features a flirty keyhole opening with elasticized gathered neckline, wide fluttering sleeves, a soft curve hugging and flared skirt, is fully lined in knit crepe, includes a thin black faux-leather belt and finished off with a back zipper closure. Made from a luscious silky smooth knit crepe fabric, adorned with classic autumn leaves on a rich teal background. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls several inches below the knees.

img_8932 img_8930It is refreshing to see more designers like PUG branching out into different styles and allowing us to diversify our wardrobes. Lately I find myself wandering into an earlier era and really loving the sleeker 1940s silhouettes. What kept me on the fence for so long with the Butterfly Dress was the fear that the draping would overwhelm my petite frame and look like I was wearing a sack of potatoes. Thankfully those fears quickly diminished when I finally gave it a whirl. I was more taken aback by the substantial weight of the crepe fabric, this is definitely not meant to be worn on those hot summer days. If you are looking for a little more versatility, the Butterfly Dress neckline can be worn both on and off the shoulders…all depending on the occasion. With the fabric being so clingy to the body, I do think some ladies would prefer to wear a little shapewear to help create a smooth sleek silhouette.

img_8949 img_8943Being a collector of vintage leaf print motifs, it was so much fun to accessorize the Butterfly Dress. I immediately knew my vintage maple leaf celluloid necklace would match perfectly with the colours in falling leaves print along with the Remix It Girl Heels in mustard. Of course not everyone has this necklace so an easy and inexpensive alternative are colourful plastic bangles from local thrift stores or check out Splendette and Bow & Crossbones for wonderful reproduction fakelite bangles.

img_8937 img_8936There is nothing more special than finding gorgeous designs with motifs that one holds close to their heart. The lovely Butterfly Dress also comes in solid colours and two more fabulous prints. If that isn’t enough, PUG recently released this flirty style in the Butterfly Top!

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Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Creating Magic Out of a Ball of Yarn

It has been quite a while since I became enamored with the classic vintage 1940s Knit Sweater Dresses and endlessly searching for one to fit my petite frame. Sweater dresses come in various patterns, styles and colours, yet they appear to be more rare in smaller sizes and those get snatched up quickly. What makes it even more challenging to find is that there are no reproduction clothing companies who offer knit sweater dresses, likely due to the high cost of manufacturing. Fortunately that all changed when a very talented independent artist that many of us love and admire, Alixis from Ains & Elke StyleHaus surprised us all with her take on the 1940s sweaters. Needless to say, everyone is absolutely smitten with these adorable novelty print knit sweaters and cannot get enough of them. Of course, her creativity never stops and when she shared her very first 1940s Knit Sweater Dress on Instagram…I was over the moon excited!!! Today I bring to you, the gorgeous Ains & Elke StyleHause Flight of Birds Sweater and Michelle Knitted Skirt in Green.

Available in sizes Custom Sizes/Colours ~ MSRP Sweater $135+, Skirt $75

img_9093The wonderful aspect of buying from smaller independent businesses like Ains & Elke StyleHaus, is that they offer more personalized services to their customers. They have off the rack sizes Small to Large along with custom sizing as well. I provided my measurements, bust 36″ waist 27-28″, hips 40-41″ and had both pieces custom made to fit. In addition, I requested a lovely Kelly green since it is one my favorite colours and quite rare to find in the vintage world. The anticipation immediately turned into joy when Alixis finally revealed a photo of our design collaboration …I was truly blown away! The 1940s Knit Sweater Set was even more gorgeous in person, the shade of green could not have been more perfect. Do not be intimidated by its tiny appearance…the wonderful thing about knitted clothing is that it stretches to hug all of your curves and fits like a glove. It is a dream come true to finally find a knitted 1940s inspired sweater set that fits my petite frame flawlessly. The 1940s Knitted Sweater features a lovely contrast white flight of birds pattern, with high scoop neck, short sleeves (available in 3/4 & long sleeves), designed in a vintage cropped length, accented by ribbed cuffs and waistband. The coordinating Michelle Knitted Skirt features a sleek pencil silhouette with matching ribbed waistband and tappers at the knees. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls just at the knees, customized to personal preference.

img_9114 img_9107There is no doubt about it, Ains & Elke Stylehaus has opened a whole new world with their vintage inspired 1940s sweaters…filling a much needed void in the reproduction industry. Let me start by saying, these are NOT cheap quality knitted type sweaters/cardigans that we normally see coming from overseas…these are the real deal! They are exactly like the authentic vintage knits that have lasted over 7 decades, made from quality soft acrylic yarn. As I mentioned earlier, the knit is purposely designed smaller and stretches to create a sexy hourglass silhouette. This ensemble is so unbelievably comfortable and figure flattering. The thickness of the knit hides trouble areas well and really smooths everything out giving the illusion of a flawless shape.  I was worried that the skirt would get all stretched out with wear but surprisingly it always springs back to its smaller appearance. The Flight of Birds Sweater and Michelle Knitted Skirt can be worn, together or as separates…both great staples for your wardrobe.

img_9092 img_9116Immediately I knew this was going to be a great work outfit therefore I decided to keep my look very simple and classic with my go to round toe pumps in black. For a little sparkle, I will pop on a pair of confetti earrings in green. If you want to have a more defined hourglass silhouette, I recommend pairing it with the Rago 1294 open bottom girdle.

img_9133 flightofbirdsIt has been so exciting to see Ains & Elke StyelHaus flourish over the last few years and become a household name within our vintage and pinup communities. I remember back when one of my friends Ashleeta was raving about a custom dress she had made by Ains & Elke and I had surprisingly never heard of them before. It is absolutely wonderful to see an independent business prosper all due to one person’s hard work, dedication and creativity. Make sure to follow them on Instagram as I know you won’t be disappointed by what they will create next!

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Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Frolicking In A Winter Wonderland

I often get asked how to transition dresses to be worn year round when living in such a cold climate. Well the answer is quite simple…Collectif Winter Coats! This is the second season in a row that I add more of their designs to my regular rotation of winter outerwear and I absolutely adore them. Why? They are not only beautiful, they are so incredibly cozy and warm. Now that I already own the Pearl in green and Rachel in gray, it was time to expand to some lovely warm neutrals. From the moment I saw the Collectif Frances 40s Riding Coat, I knew she had to be mine.

Available in sizes 6-22UK ~ MSRP £153.50

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Finding the proper sizing with coats can be rather tricky since you need to ensure the shoulders width is just right and also allow for enough room to layer for a great fit. I opted to stay with my usual size 10(Small), just as I had with the Rachel Coat. The Frances Riding Coat did not disappoint. It seems to run a little snugger in the waist but there was still just enough room for layering over dresses. The 40s inspired Frances Riding Coat features a double breasted button design, a rounded collar, is fully lined and has a flared princess skirt with pleated back detail. Made from a rich brown speckled polyester and wool blend fabric.

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Now here’s the trick when shopping for warm winter coats…look at the percentage of wool content. The more wool, the warmer it will be. Here is a comparison with Collectif’s most popular styles: Pearl 50%, Rachel 60%, Frances 20%. With those facts in mind, I would rate the warmth of each one to be completely in line with the ratio of wool blend. The Frances Riding Coat is still very warm but I would definitely reach for my Rachel Coat on the blistering subzero days. The simplicity of the Frances makes it a great basic coat to wear regularly and not just on those “fancy” occasions like the Pearl.

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To show how the Frances is great for layering, underneath I chose to wear a very bulky vintage wool circle skirt. As you can see, the sweep of the coat molds and drapes beautifully to the fullness of the skirt. Often times coats tend to compress and wrinkle our dresses when there’s not enough space to expand accordingly. Since we often have a lot of snow and ice, I opt to wear winter boots while outdoors and change into my nice shoes when arriving at my destination. This also helps with keeping your legs and feet warm while the Frances Coat is long enough to keep the rest of you toasty.

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After trying numerous winter coats from various vintage reproduction brands, I can say confidently that Collectif is by far the best when it comes to style, functionality and most importantly…warmth! Do not despair if you missed out on the Frances Riding Coat on Collectif’s website, there are still some available online from their wholesale partners.

PS. All our snow melted a few days before this shoot and we got hit with a massive storm only days later. Got to love old man winter right?

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Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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