Monday, November 10, 2008

Retro party girls!

My good friend Niks and her (clearly stylish and enlightened) co-workers have decided to have a retro-themed holiday party this year. Niks is fatally styling, and I have no doubt that she and her colleagues can tease out a great theme of their own. But if you’ll indulge me, I’ve done a little fantasizing…and online vintage shopping…on their behalf

Theme 1: Noel in Paree (circa 1920s)

This a wild, sparkly, chandelier-lit soiree at le Ritz Paris in the golden age of Coco Chanel (before the sweater-suit). Josephine Baker is on stage in her coconut shell bikini and grass skirt singing “J’ai deux amours” while you sip champagne and nibble canapés and trade witticisms avec tous tes amis.


  • Sparkle (beaded embellishment, jet-black beaded jewellery, beaded headbands)
  • Silk, silk, silk
  • Egyptian and Asian motifs
  • Fringe and feathers (please, no hot pink boas though)
  • Stockings, garters and t-strap pumps
  • Loose and short dresses
  • Bobs, bangs, and pincurls
  • Cloche hats and wide-brimmed hats
  • Heavy black eyes and a simple red mouth


From Posh Girl

(NOTE FROM AUTHOR: You are the most gorgeous purple cloche hat of all time. If you were mine, I would worship and wear you forever. If I had $260 to spare, you WOULD BE MINE and we would never, ever part.

I need you. I need you utterly.)

(You are very very pretty too...)

From Robin Clayton Vintage

From Hemlock

From Vintage Violet

From Past Perfect Vintage

As they ask on the site: belt or necklace? The decision is yours. Either way, it's a bead-iful authentic 20s accessory.

From Vintage Textile

From Unique Vintage
Note...these are reproductions of "flapper dresses." Some of them are pretty. However, I resent how they have changed the lines of the dresses to be more modern or, as I see it, more tarty. The whole point of flapper dresses was the loose fit. Women were free. Women were swingy. Women did not look like extras from Dancing With the Stars. Women did not wear their hair in strange topknots. But I include these for your consideration nonetheless, since they can be quite lovely.

Please just try to ignore the racy gal with the confusing hairdo.

Theme 2: Merry Vampmas (circa 1930s-1940s)

This is Old Hollywood glamour, babies. You are Marlene Dietrich. You wear satin trousers. You aren’t afraid of (faux ?) fur. You have pencil-thin eyebrows and you know how to use them.


  • Flowing satin trousers and man-styled shirts
  • Chunky wedge-style shoes
  • Satin, satin, satin
  • Dramatic jewellery
  • Soft wavy hair OR slicked-back, masculine, side-parted with a chignon
  • Plummeting necklines
  • Exposed backs and/or midriff cutouts


From Posh Girl

From Vintage Textile

This is from the 1970s, but has a very 30s feel to it...

(You are fabulous too!)

Theme 3: Christmas at Tiffany’s (circa late 1950s/early 1960s)

It's the original martini party. Check out Breakfast at Tiffany’s—especially the scene where Holly hosts a little get-together in her teensy apartment, which gets wonderfully out of hand.


  • Hourglass-shaped wiggle dresses and cute pumps
  • Bright pinks, blues, mustards, and—of course—the LBD
  • Original earrings
  • Opera-length gloves
  • Cute little boxy clutches
  • False lashes and black-lined eyelids with soft pink or beige lipstick


From Vintage Textile

These earrings are too cool...they hook onto your ears!

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Fall 08 - Time for coats!

Time for the fall vintage coat roundup!

Now, I know the weather has been unseasonably warm in northeastern North America this week. But that will abate once God and the Universe finish celebrating the Obama victory by raining warmth and happiness down upon us. Winter, ladies, is as inevitable as wrinkles and...wait...I forgot about global warming. Okay, well, wrinkles are still inevitable.

Let's see what our vintage purveyors have on offer...

This red leather belted hooded coat isn't normally something I would warm to, although I did buy a $40 red leather coat at the local vintage fair last year with full intentions to get the collar tailored--of course, I was pregnant and hormonal beyond your wildest imagination at the time--it's hanging in the basement at the moment, untailored and forlorn. Still, don't you find that with vintage leather coats it's all about colour and fit? If you find something in a really gorgeous colour, like this one from Posh Girl--especially when it's belted, which means it's easy to make the fit work for your body--then it's relatively easy to get the costumey period details (like big lapels) chopped down to a more manageable modern size.

Consider, also, this lovely peacoatish 60s cape in a gorgeous coral/crimson...It would be divine with opera-length gloves in light tan, charcoal, or soft dove gray.

Now I know what you're thinking...all this jean jacket is missing is patchwork bell bottoms and a Lee Majors tee. But it's the fit of this Posh Girl jean jacket that makes it intriguing. Check out the measurements. If they work for you, you just might have found yourself the best-fitting jean jacket of your life. All you'd need to do is, again, get the collar tailored and--if you aren't big on magical sparkly rainbows--take it to a t-shirt place to either get the rainbow removed or cover it with something less...happy. we're moving along to the GORGEOUSNESS portion of this blog entry. This rose velvet 50s beaut from Fashion Dig is pretty stunning. The collar! So unique! So feminine! If you feel you can handle the power of its uber-femininity, wiggle your little hips on over to Fashion Dig.

Here's another lovely wrap, in a safer colour, a Donna Karan from the 80s. The pushed-up sleeves are very au courant. This coat would also be interesting shortened to a car-coat length.

It's hard to resist these pretty 50s dress coats. Sure it's s a little over the top, but IT'S SO PRETTY. Aren't collar bows the bomb?...The grey tweed makes this coat kind of timeless. From Vintageous.

Vintageous is really rocking the coat department. This 40s coat with military-influenced stylings is truly cool, and the silhouette will never go out of style (at least, it hasn't in 60 years).

Plaid is big this year. Here's a unique twist on what amounts to a lot of black and red 80s-wannabe plaid floating around out there...This one comes in pretty cream and navy. From Vintageous.

Don't you love the look of a pretty embroidered coat worn with a dress that matches? So Jackie O. Wouldn't this be lovely with a simple green or yellow or beige wool shift underneath? Some people think matching hem lengths are passe, but I think it's ultimately chic to have your coat and dress hem length match.

Another 50s coat from Vintageous. This creamy delight would be really sophisticated with a modern belt--a skinny belt in dark grey or brown patent leather, perhaps?

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