I didn’t have anywhere to go yesterday but I reached my sweatpants limit and got dressed just to clean my room and read half of the internet.
You’ve seen the dress before but not the scarf and I tell ya, I felt like a genius when I stumbled upon this combination.
I called this jetset pink and green because a cute scarf around the neck reminds me of 60′s flight attendants. And look at my nails! They’re painted, but NOT red! I’m branching out! And I have on PINK lipstick (which I think I’ve only done once on the blog so far, hated, and apologized for).
Love dat scarf. I also tried something different with my makeup which I ended up really liking. You may or may not know that I am very into the Titanic and other early 20th century maritime history – you probably don’t know, seeing as I haven’t told you – but I wanted to try a makeup look inspired by the early 1900′s – flushed, rosy, glowy, yet natural. I mixed a highlighter in with my foundation, put on powder and blush, then on my eyes I just put a little bit of champagne eyeshadow all over and some rose colored blush near the lashline. Topped off with mascara and rose-colored lipstick and it’s an extremely light makeup look but I really felt beautiful.
Oh and that bracelet snagged my dress. Go to hell, bracelet.
I have something I simply MUST share with you. Do you watch Mad Men? Well, you should. But regardless, you should read the costume analysis on Tom and Lorenzo. They go through essentially every outfit on the show and analyze it based off of what it says about the character (in general and in the moment) and give them some historical context. It’s totally fascinating and I’ve spent hours catching up on the archives. Watching fashion change from the late 50′s to the point where you can see the 70′s around the corner is absolutely fascinating and if you care about historical fashion at all, you must read it. I can tell from their analysis, though, how little of a “modern” eye I have for fashion. They’ll talk about the clothes that still look good today versus those that were stylish in the 60s but appear dated now and I always seem to love those outfits. Whatever, it’s cool. Somebody’s gotta be your grandma, might as well be me.
Today I get to show you one of the dresses I had made in China! I had one other dress and a couple made that I’ll try and remember to take photos of soon. I showed the tailors this photo:
And here’s how it turned out:
I had to add the belt because the dress looked pretty undefined without it – they didn’t get the hip right at all and really underdid the ruching in the bust (and I think didn’t measure my bust right, as it pretty much has the effect of erasing the ruching almost altogether). That said, I think it’s still a pretty dress and it will be good for the times when I want to dress vintage without endangering one of my actual vintage dresses.
I tried to take a picture where you could actually see the bodice better but I feel like my iPhone was not cooperating.
I was also wearing some new Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner I got and jade earrings I bought in China. I love them.
And my cute barrette!
And a friend of mine put up a picture on Instagram from an improv show I did. It’s funny, I think you can kind of tell how much curlier my hair gets through the day if I’m not brushing it every 20 minutes.
All in all, getting clothes made was a mixed experience. I think I wouldn’t get a dress made again because it’s easy enough to find great dresses without spending a lot of money (although repro is expensive, pretty much as a rule). I’ll check back in with the other dress and the blouses soon and let you know what I thought of those!
I’m back from China! And boy do I have a lot to talk about – new clothing purchases, thoughts and feelings – so I think you’ll be hearing from me quite a bit in the next couple weeks. But first I wanted to just write a quick post about something that made me really happy yesterday – I went through my change jar and found a 1910 wheat penny! I wanted to go through my change and divide into nickels/dimes which I can use for parking meters and pennies, which I’m going to take to Coinstar and turn into an Amazon gift card (did you know if you turn your coins into a gift card there’s no fee? If you turn them into cash it’s about 10%). I omitted quarters because I have no quarters. Such is the life of someone who pays for laundry with quarters, it’s a real hassle. Stores won’t even give you quarters for cash because everyone in LA is short on quarters and I bank with USAA, which is purely online with no real-life locations. Sigh.
Anyhow, I was going through my coins and looking at the dates to see how old some of my coins were and keeping an eye out for wheat pennies – they were minted from 1909 to 1958. And I found two almost right at the outer corners of that realm! I also found a Canadian penny from 1939. How cool!
How did this get in with my change? I guess it’s had quite a while to migrate south.
Here’s the typical wheat penny back.
My 1958 coin, last year of the wheat penny.
And my 1910 penny! The second year of the Lincoln (and wheat) penny.
I’m not a coin or money collector – though I’ve always enjoyed collecting coins from countries I’ve traveled to and I have an awesome $10 Confederate bill that my mom bought for me at Gettysburg – and I don’t care about the values of them and all that. But there is something absolutely thrilling to me about holding something in my hand that’s a century old. Older than my great-grandmother, older than women’s suffrage in the United States, minted two years before the sinking of the Titanic. The fact that it has been in circulation for 102 years and somehow was given to me and landed in my change jar is absolutely fascinating. If you have a big jar of change, go pilfer through and just check the backs for wheat pennies and maybe you’ll find one. They’re a little piece of history, inconspicuously still in use right under our noses.
Big news, everyone – I’m going to China! I’ll be gone for almost 3 weeks! So please don’t think I’ve just forgotten my blog and my lovely readers. I’m going to Beijing, Xi’An, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau.
I won’t be bringing any vintage clothes on my trip because I like to travel cheap and dirty – I’m actually having to dig into my very small collection of non-vintage clothes I have but don’t ever wear anymore! But I do have one vintage goal in China – I want to buy a custom-made qipao (cheongsam). These gorgeous silk dresses were popular in the 30s and 40s but are still worn for some formal occasions. The qipao goes back to the 1600s in a baggy form (brought in by the Manchus and forced upon the Han Chinese, actually) but the qipao as we now know it was designed in the 20s as a fashion statement. They faded in popularity in the 50s as a result of the Communist revolution and a need for more practical work clothes. Some airlines and luxury restaurants require qipao as their uniform but mostly they’re worn on rare occasions. Qipao are close-fitting and the way to go is to get one custom-made, with multiple fittings. And then I will wear it all the time, formality be darned.
So in honor of my China trip, here are some photos and paintings of gorgeous vintage Chinese women!
In this advertisement from the 30s you can see the typical high collar, short sleeves, and long length of the qipao.
In the Mood for Love features tons of gorgeous 60′s qipaos.
The Flowers of War has really, really gorgeous qipaos and fantastic 40s fashion but I would not watch it just for that reason (it’s a really devastating movie about the rape of Nanking. Important stuff, but terrifying and sad).
I’ll see you in three weeks and hopefully I’ll have a beautiful custom-made vintage-style qipao of my own to show you!
I have a gorgeous 1960s green brocade sheath dress that I never have the occasion to wear because it is 1) very fancy, and 2) very tight. As in too tight to drive in or pick up anything off the ground. I had a big Sadie Hawkin’s themed party at my house on Saturday and it seemed the perfect occasion to wear it!
A big messy updo and fake eyelashes added to the look. I did my hair by putting about half of it up in a high ponytail, and then bobby pinning hair around so you couldn’t really tell what was happening, and then put on the headband. I was convinced I’d either look crazy or super hot but I think it turned out more on the super hot side.
I actually think this is probably the “sexiest” I’ve ever looked. It was kind of fun. Definitely feels like playing pretend.
My friend directed me to do some “sexy” poses.
That’s me laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of doing sexy poses.
If I could wear fake eyelashes every day I would, but I think it’s a bit too much for everyday life.
There’s my roommates and me! And apparently the only picture in which you can see my bad-ass shoes.
Happy Sadie Hawkins, everyone!
I have a new standup video from a show last week. It’s not exactly suitable for listening around children as I do say a couple words you might not utter in polite company, but it’s worth it. I mostly talk about OKCupid and online dating, which I signed up for a few weeks ago.
Also, I’m wearing a cute vintage outfit!
40s black crepe dress, Wild Man vintage store in Lawrence, KS
belt, Jet Rag
Aris Allen dance shoes
50s cashmere sweater, Wild Man
I hope you like it!