I Tried It So You Don’t Have To

Teddy Girl Style

I have long been obsessed with Teddy Girl style.   Teddy Girls emerged in the 1950’s as girl “gangs” in England.  For the first time, teenagers were developing their own sense of style instead of dressing like miniature adults.  Teddy boys and girls were a mix of punk, prep, and victorian with a twist.  The best part about their style was how effortless it was – the women took menswear pieces and added them to feminine items in their wardrobe to produce a completely unique aesthetic.

14e204cfbe6dbdab42e37ed569db01fb 61e2c95a48f3e6816d0e283bde4efe5c 349882 enhanced-buzz-wide-28467-1375124043-50 enhanced-buzz-wide-13683-1374813782-9 enhanced-buzz-wide-29067-1375124447-36 tedd girl 2 teddy-girl (1)

Teddy Girl style is a great way to adopt a retro look without having to shop for a whole new wardrobe!

How to get the Teddy Girl look

  • Blouses.  You can get this style with any kind of blouse really – button down or plain.  BUT you don’t want too much pattern going on.  You’ll notice that most of their tops are very simple and sans pattern.
  • Men’s or boy’s crewneck sweater.  You don’t want it to be too baggy, so a boy’s size sweater is usually a good fit.
  • Blazers.  Teddy girl style is ALL ABOUT the blazers and jackets.  A blazer in any cut or style will work, but look for men’s, boy’s, or menswear inspired if you want to stay authentic.  You want the blazer to be a little longer.
  • Jeans, cuffed up several times.  “Boyfriend” cut jeans are perfect for this.
  • Plain flats or loafers.  Again, menswear inspired is great for this.
  • Teddy Girl style is ALL about the accessories.  A ribbon tied under your collar with a broach at your throat is a great touch.  Even better, knot a scarf at your throat!
  • Add other menswear accessories such as suspenders or a newsboy cap.

So, I put together my own version of a Teddy Girl look to show you how easy it can be.  The best and easiest day-to-day wear version is just a pair of high waisted jeans, a vintage blouse, suspenders, a scarf, and a blazer over it.

oat 5

As you can see, I kept it pretty simple: loafers, blazer, cuffed pants, vintage blouse.  I don’t think this is a look that would be hard to wear for people new to wearing vintage.

An alternative to cuffed jeans would be 1930’s newsboy style pants, shown below.  You definitely want to wear suspenders with this style of pants.  Not everyone feels comfortable wearing suspenders and that’s okay.  Just stick to jeans if that’s that case.

teddy style 1

You really can have a lot of fun with this look.  Try ties, bowties, cardigans, different types of trousers, loafers, slippers.  It really is a versatile look to copy and so much more forgiving than a pinup style.

teddy girl style close up 1gramps 1prep 1

Teddy Girl Style Hair and Makeup

  • Keep it simple with your makeup.  A little eyeliner and mascara and red lipstick.  I will say that red lipstick was the look du jour in the 1950’s.  I opted for a color called “True Red” by Loreal.  You can wear a darker red or one with purple undertones.  Pick a color that works with your skin tone but stick with a red in one shade or another.  I wouldn’t wear red lipstick for YEARS because I didn’t think it looked good on me.  It’s all about finding the right shade.
  • Teddy Girl hair was messy and fucking gorgeous.  I love the curls and messy buns worn by the women in that era.  I did a sort of reverse pompadour with my hair.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m lazy lazy lazy about my hair, so for me to do a style it has to be easy and quick. AND NO teasing.  I just won’t tease my hair.  I skip that part of any hair instructions.  I started by checking out a few hair tutorials and this was the easiest and best one that I found:  a great tutorial on how to get teddy girl hair.  I didn’t follow instructions completely because, well I never do.  I simply flipped my hair upside down, gathered it, and twisted it up so that the ends were on the top of my head.  I stuck some bobby pins in randomly.  When it was sorta secure (I wanted it messy so I left it pretty loose), I curled just the ends of the hair that was at the top of my head and my bangs.  Most tutorials don’t even touch on what to do with bangs, so I’m assuming they weren’t common for that style.  I just threw a few hot curlers in my bangs while I was doing my makeup and then brushed them to the side.  A little bit of hairspray and I was done.  Seriously, super easy.  Anyone can achieve this look.

IMG_3311IMG_3312-001IMG_3314-001

As you can see, loose and messy are what I went for.  It was pretty lopsided and falling out everywhere. Perfect.  See, you too can do Teddy girl hair!teddy hair back

Ready to try Teddy girl style?  Check out the shop for great vintage items for emulating this look!

charcoal 2charcoal closeoat 5prep 1velvet 5velvet 2velvet 4tweed 3tweed 1gramps 1gramps 3

Hair Flop!

Yesterday’s post was a call to action for all women to embrace and love vintage!  I mentioned that I am quite the slob about my hair.  I’m madly in love with women with perfectly coiffed hair.  It makes me ever so slightly jealous.  However, I know myself well enough to know that I’m never going to achieve hair greatness.

First of all, I’m lazy.  There! I said it.  It’s true – I really am.  I have a good strong work ethic and I’m incredibly driven when I’m interested in a project, but when it comes to personal appearance?  Capital L, lazy.  I only wash my hair once a week and I brush it about the same amount.  I’ve read reviews of women that also only wash their hair every 6-10 days.  Their hair is healthier, shinier, and thicker because of it.  I’ve got a big ole mass of hair on my head (even after losing quite a bit of it during treatment this summer).  These other women, however, are using dry shampoo and styling it in different ways and curling, blowdrying, hairspraying it.  Uh…..gosh, that sounds like a lot of work!  Me?  It’s in a ponytail, a bun, or a braid nearly every day with my bangs pinned up with bobby pins.  Bobby pins are a lazy girl’s bff!

Take this look, for instance, where I was dressed WAY up, in a civil war ballgown for a dance.  Looks like I fixed my hair and it looks elegant, sort of, right?

hair 1 hair 2

Nahhhh, not really.  My boyfriend, bemusedly watching my prep process, commented that there were hairs sticking up everywhere in the back and it was lopsided etc.  Basically, I took my hair into a ponytail, rolled and tucked it all up and stuck about 300 bobby pins into that mess.  That’s why there are no pictures of it from behind.

One of the features I’d like to start on this blog, in keeping with the average everyday woman’s take on things is an “I tried it so that you didn’t have to”  type of post.  Let’s get the ball rolling with a look at the time I tried to fix my hair in a 50’s style scarf updo.

I LOVE scarves.  I like the big fluffy ones that you wrap around your neck in winter.  I like the floaty chiffon ones for cute little neck bows.  I love all scarves and I have a ridiculously large collection of them that will be added to my shop when it goes live next week.  When I had super short hair, I wore a head scarf daily.  So, I thought, “a scarf hairstyle will be easy for me, right?”…..riiiiiiiight.

There are dozens of great youtube and pinterest tutorials out there that can teach you how to achieve these darling hairstyles.  I found a youtube tutorial and gave it a go.  Well, sort of.  I am TERRIBLE at following directions.  This is me while watching a tutorial:  you want me to TEASE my hair? Nah, I don’t need to do that.  Skipping this part.  Oh, I don’t have whatever tool that is.  Fast forward. Fast forward.  What on earth is she doing?  Skip, Skip.  Wait, what did I miss?

This is me with any instructions or directions. When I learned how to knit, I found a fantastic book called Stitch ‘n’ Bitch that I highly recommend to anyone that is wanting to learn to knit.  I used it for the basic stitches.  When it came to following patterns?  I was hopeless.  I can’t tell if it’s because I’ve spent so many years resisting authority figures or if I’m really just that stubborn or if I can’t pay attention long enough to follow directions.  I think it’s a combination of the three.  My trademark reply to commands?  “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO”.  Oy vay.  It’s a little embarrassing now that I’m older but it is still my immediate response.

So, needless to say, a tutorial was useless to me.  Even after three watches and no less than a dozen different attempts at fixing my hair, my updo looked nothing like the elegant retro style featured on the tutorial.  I ended up with a ponytail.

scarf 1 scarf 2 quiche 2

So, there you have it.  If you can follow directions better than I can, I suggest checking out this pinterest tutorial.  I also have tons of great 1940’s hairstyles on my Pinterest.  Or you can just be lazy like me and throw  your hair in a sloppy ponytail and wrap a scarf around it.