Tag Archive: retro style

Baby, It’s COLD Outside!

We didn’t get hit with the snow as bad as the east coast did – as a matter of fact, we’ve had very little cold and snow this winter.  It’s been more like early spring all season for us. So weird!!  We finally got a few inches of snow and ice this week and it’s cold enough for me to pull out some of my favorite cold weather gear.  I have a small collection of vintage hats that I keep adding to every year that I will be offering in the shop soon.  These fur hats are SO stinking cute!

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I NEVER think the weather is too cold for a dress or a skirt.  I’m the queen of layering.  It’s actually far warmer than jeans once I get my fleece lined tights, thigh high wool stockings, dress, and cardigans all piled on!  However, from time to time I still like to throw on some slacks on a cold day for coziness sake.  I wanted to share this outfit to show how you can incorporate pieces from the 40’s and 50’s for a cute, casual look!

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These are slacks from the 1940’s that, frankly, looked unappealing on a hanger.  I’ve been on the lookout for some vintage slacks to style Katharine Hepburn style.  I absolutely adore Katharine’s style but I don’t have the right body type to really emulate her.  She was tall and lanky and looked amazing in slacks.  I’m…not tall and lanky haha.  I’m the complete opposite.  I do still like the style though, it’s just a matter of finding items that work with my body type as well.

She was a fierce style maven!

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A Katharine Hepburn inspired outfit can be a great choice if you have to wear business or business casual clothing to work.  It can also be a cute date night outfit!  Pair a button down blouse with a pair of high waisted slacks.  You can wear loafers or slip on shoes, you don’t have to wear with heels as I did.  Don’t have a tie neck or pussy bow blouse?  Tie a ribbon around your neck!  Super chic, easy to wear, and a great way to wear vintage on a daily basis!

I paired the slack and tie neck blouse with a dress coat that is from the early ’50’s and it was a pretty functional, lovely winter ensemble in my opinion.

 

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All of these lovelies will be added to the shop soon!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The Bad ’50’s Housewife

The year is 1954.  Betty is a housewife living in suburbia.  She’s been married for several years when her mother-in-law gives her a pamphlet titled “The Good Wife’s Guide”. Betty is shocked and offended that her mother-in-law thinks that she needs advice on how to keep a nice home and keep her husband happy!  After a quick perusal, Betty decides that she does everything that the pamphlet suggests a good housewife should do!

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Betty sets out to prove to her mother-in-law AND her husband just what a good wife she is!

Betty always keeps fresh flowers and live plants in the house.  

She wants her husband to return to a home that smelled fresh and clean every night!  She takes great care of her plants and makes sure that they receive love and attention every day.  She never forgets to water them.

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This is a part of an ongoing series that we’re working on, the “Bad ’50’s Housewife” series.  Join us every week as we share more stories of Bad Housewife Betty’s exploits!

Do you have any suggestions for future photos?  Leave them in the comment section!

Style Inspiration – Katharine Hepburn

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One of my all-time favorite style icons is Katharine Hepburn.  Not only was she smart, independent, sassy, and funny – this woman OWNED her style.  During the 40’s and 50’s women primarily wore dresses and overtly feminine clothing.  Not Katharine.  She wore men’s suits with playful little twists, button down shirts tucked into high waisted pants, and loafers.  Oh, the loafers!!  I love her look.

Not to mention, she was stunningly gorgeous.  She stayed beautiful until the end of her life.

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AND she could preach some self-love, let me tell you.  She was unabashedly, totally and completely, all about loving yourself and following your heart.

Yes, yes, and yes.

Want to copy Katharine’s look?  A white oxford shirt, high waisted slacks, and a pair of Eastland loafers are all it takes to be effortlessly cool and gorgeous.  Try to stick to classic cuts that flatter your figure, don’t be afraid to shop in the men’s section, and avoid low cut blouses. It just wasn’t her style ;).

Honey Bee True Dress

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One of my favorite things to do when I’m preparing a vintage item to sell is styling the item.  Sometimes, I style it in my mind and I don’t go as far as putting together an entire outfit around an item.  Sometimes, though, I can’t resist putting an outfit together.  There are so many great combinations that you can come up with from one item!

The Honey Bee True Dress was an item that I couldn’t resist styling.  On the hanger it looked a little baggy and frumpy.  I’m a HUGE fan of floral and patterns.  Huge.  More signs that I’m a grandma at heart.  When I saw this dress, I immediately envisioned a Pretty Woman style get together.  Pretty woman, post Rodeo Drive that is.

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Maybe I wanted an excuse to wear a big brimmed hat.  Regardless, I like how it all came together.

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Sometimes, this job can be fun!

And those lovely handpainted leather sandals from the 1940’s will be available soon.

Rock that vintage, girl!

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I’ve had numerous people remark on my style throughout the years, often expressing admiration or an inability to “wear vintage”  Often women make comments such as,  “I can’t put outfits together” or “I don’t look retro enough to wear vintage”.

Vintage is for EVERYONE.  It truly is.  Perhaps you look at some of the beautiful women that dress in pinup style with perfectly coiffed retro-styled hair and shoes, makeup, and accessories straight from another era, and you’re intimidated by the effort that goes into it or by how well put together they are.  I LOVE that style and I admire women that can pull it off…. but it’s not for everyone.  Me? I’m hopeless at hair.  Any attempt I’ve ever made at a retro hairstyle has been a hilarious flop.  I couldn’t be a pinup if i had an team working on me every day.  I’m too lazy and impatient for all of that.  I still love vintage clothing and I wear it nearly every day!

The key to wearing and loving vintage?  Don’t change your style to do so!  Make the vintage work for you!  You can update any vintage item to work with your existing wardrobe.  The most important thing to remember is to be comfortable and to only wear it if you love it!

Personally, my favorite go-to wardrobe item is a 50’s style day dress. I know that the cut fits my figure well. I can throw on a cardigan and a plain pair of flats and viola! my lazy ass doesn’t have to put any effort into matching or putting together an outfit.

Today’s outfit illustrates how you can update vintage items fairly easily and without the outfit looking old or outdated. The skirt I’m wearing is a 90’s skirt (we sure loved our floral prints in the 90’s) that I’ve had for years and years. Because I love mixing patterns, I’m wearing a striped top with it but really any plain top would work. I think this outfit looks fairly modern and you can’t really tell that I’m wearing a skirt that I bought at a thrift shop for $3 nearly 15 years ago!

Don’t be intimidated by vintage. I believe that there’s a vintage style that will look great on anyone – you just have to find your style. Don’t be afraid to mix vintage and modern. Don’t be scared of prints. And for heavens sake, don’t be discouraged because you don’t look like someone you saw in a magazine! HAVE FUN!!

Style Inspiration – Marilyn Monroe

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Today’s style inspiration is Marilyn Monroe.  It may seem like a cliche choice, but she wasn’t considered the most beautiful woman in America for no reason!

For public appearances, Marilyn was often in ultra girly dresses with high heels and her signature red lips.  The very epitome of woman.

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However, it was Marilyn’s personal style that I really love.  When Marilyn was off duty or allowed to choose her clothing, she often went for men’s dress shirts or sweaters paired with capris or hot pants.  She could take an Oxford shirt and make it look elegant and sexy all at once.

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970:  Photo of Marilyn Monroe  Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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