Improv, Vintage Style

Improv is the passion of my life right now – I don’t think I’ve gone two days without seeing or being in a show since I started two years ago unless I was out of town. But vintage dressing and improv don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. In general, you’re not supposed to wear dresses and skirts while you do improv. You’re supposed to be free to do anything – lay on the ground, turn a cartwheel, act like a dog. Improv is also male-dominated, so it can be tempting to try and dress like a guy to fit in and be taken seriously. That’s definitely what I used to do:


But now, I do improv pretty much every day. This week I have seven shows in six days. I don’t want to dress like a boy all the time. And you know what? Most of the time I don’t turn a cartwheel or act like a dog. You can still make choices you’re comfortable with, regardless of the situation. Although I’ve still had to fall down on the ground a few times but that just comes with the territory.

I had a couple shows last week that took pictures, so I thought I’d show you some pictures of me doing improv in pretty vintage outfits!


This is my most improv-friendly vintage outfit. 70’s jeans, 70’s shirt (from my mom’s elementary school), and a beret to give it flavor.


Here’s me wearing my new pink 60’s matching suit and shirt with my 50s sweater over it. Flyyy.


This is that amazing brown dress I keep posting grainy pictures of. Isn’t it THE MOST DIVINE?


I guess you can do improv in pincurls, a 40’s dress, stockings, and two-inch heels. Because even though I take part in probably the most casual art form, I can’t stop being my fancy self.

I Went Swing Dancing!



I put on my red dress and went swing dancing last night! I went to an event in Pasadena where they have a 30-minute lesson at the beginning and then a live band for the rest of the evening. My friend went with me and we had plenty of lady-on-lady swing dancing, as it was mostly couples. We were also definitely the youngest people there.



I put my hair in two braids, pinned them up, and wore a leopard print scarf to keep my hair in place.



I think this angle in my kitchen probably has the best lighting in my apartment. And that’s not saying much, seeing as it’s all dark and orange. My inability to take good outfit photos has been driving me CRAZY! I don’t have anyone else to take pictures of me and the lighting in my apartment is atrocious. Here are a couple great outfits I’ve worn lately and not devoted a post to because of the terrible photos –



I still haven’t been able to take a good photo of this dress, even though it’s probably my favorite dress I own right now. I’ll try again, I swear.



I wore this green brocade jacket with the gray skirt from my 50’s suit.



I’ll figure it out someday.

I’ll leave you with some relatively good pictures I took at the beach this week!





And what I look like at the beach –



Long sleeves, a hat, and a ton of sunscreen. Sexy.


I Learned a New Skill!

Brief post ahead! I’ve been working like crazy this week and last night I was so tired that I decided not to do my hair – I figured I haven’t seen my natural hair texture for a while, so why not let it out to play? But when I woke up this morning I missed my pin curls so I did a dry set! I can’t help myself!





And here I am looking extremely cool in sunglasses that just happen to match my sweater! I’m also wearing my great-great-grandmother’s pocket watch on a chain. I’ll have to do a whole post about it.

Also this week…



I learned how to knit! I went to a knitting meetup and a really nice woman named Carine spent over an hour teaching me how to knit. It was so incredibly nice of her. Obviously I’m a long way from actually making anything but I find knitting really fun and I want to keep doing it.

And I know it’s not even February yet, but –



We put up our Valentine’s tree! OK i just took the Christmas ornaments off and put Valentine’s ones on. We’ve decided we’re going to the THAT house that leaves their decorations up all year long. Every day is special!

Outfit Post: Lady in Black

You guys have to see one of the dresses I got for Christmas. It’s one of the three late thirties/early forties (my guess – if you have further insight, please let me know) dresses I found in Lawrence, Kansas that cost me $28 each.


Here I am wearing it on my birthday (along with my new birthday shoes, which I’m going to post about later).


Here I styled it with a belt – it can be such a fancy-looking dress that I wanted to dress it down a bit and I think the belt did that well.


Look at that detailing on the hip and the pleated satiny fabric on that side. It’s amazing.


It has more detailing on the left side above the bust. It’s gorgeous. Sorry for how washed out I am – it’s really hard to take good timer pictures of myself and my skin is crazy white.


I put my hair up in Tasha’s back roll with a scarf. It’s a very fancy dress but I don’t really believe in special occasions so I’m going to wear it anyway! I didn’t take a photo of it, but when I went out in the afternoon I wore a pink jacket over it that also served to make the dress more day-appropriate. I just don’t like the idea of saving clothes for nice occasions – I don’t have a lot of those occasions, and when I do that’s exciting enough without the addition of a fancy outfit. I’d rather wear my nice clothes regularly and have every day feel special.

I Got a Haircut! Eek!

I got a haircut! I’d been frustrated by my bangs and I wanted them thicker and get a trim. When I got to the hairdresser, she said my ends were damaged and she needed to cut them off. My hair grows pretty quickly, so I wasn’t that worried about cutting it shorter than I wanted because it’ll grow back.

I told her I wanted Louise Brooks bangs:



And the shape of Rita Hayworth’s haircut, with the U-shape in the back.




It might be a weird combination, but I love having thick, blunt bangs and feel very myself with them. They’re not very forties (my preferred aesthetic) but I figure that I always style myself how I want, even if it doesn’t go along with current fashions, so if I lived in the 40s I’m pretty sure I’d have been the same way.

So I went from this:





To this:



This is the shortest my hair has ever been since it grew out originally. Eek.



It looks pretty short in the front. (P.S. I took these pictures before putting my lipstick on and I can’t stop thinking how weird I look without it)



But I guess when I see it from the back it really isn’t all that short.



And I can’t stop getting compliments over it. It’s definitely easier to brush (and I’m going to start taking better care of my hair – putting anti-breakage serum on the ends, brushing more carefully) and really bouncy and fun.



It’ll take some getting used to. Ideally I think I’d like it to be a couple inches longer, but I’m sure if I give it a few months it’ll get there. I am looking forward to trying new setting patterns and hairstyles and seeing just what this new shorter cut can do. I’LL KEEP YA POSTED.

New Years and Some Serious Hair

Happy New Year!



Here’s my roommate and me!



And some pals. We look drunk, even though I am stone cold sober.



And the party we went to! I¬†wore my 70s red shirtdress and my new espadrilles – perfect for dancing and I didn’t want to wear anything too nice to get that sweaty in. A ton of people told me that red is my color, so that was exciting.



And one of my only pictures from my birthday (the night before, actually). I’m not a drinker so I had one and a half and then I was done. I probably have five drinks a year and that is quite enough.

It’s taken me four days into the new year to write a new post because I’m having trouble taking pictures during the daytime! I’m not what you would call an early riser and now that the sun goes down at four fucking thirty in the afternoon, I have precious few daylight hours. So please forgive me that all my photos are taken in the dark, as I didn’t get ready for my evening until it was dark out.



When I got ready last night I realized I had a pretty “severe” look – pulled-back hair, buttoned up shirt, strong brows, strong eyeliner, bold lips. But I really like a severe look on myself, it’s a bit more fun to me than looking soft and feminine (which is also fun sometimes. I’m indecisive).





I think it’s funny you can see my iPhone in this picture. The hair was very easy and took about ten minutes. I made a strong side part and brushed out my pincurls. Started twisting from the front of my hair, adding hair as I went and trying to keep it tight but not close to my head – twists can be very subtle and I wanted this to be a stronger look. I inserted bobby pins along the length horizontally – you open it up and hold it perpendicular to your scalp, push back a bit, and then push forward.



I then twisted my hair at the back so I’d be able to form it into a perfect bun, then pinned it to my head with bobby pins all around (try and get hair on your scalp and hair in the bun).



I have an antique pocket watch my grandma gave me – I’ve never worn it before and keep it in a box for safekeeping but I realized I really wanted to be able to wear it and enjoy it. I’m going to take it to a watch repair shop today to have it cleaned.



I love cat-eye liner on myself. I also applied my lipstick with a brush, which makes it stay on longer. And when I was doing Today Is History, my makeup artist did my eyebrows with brown shadow first and then black on top. It was such a strong look (and kind of made me more “ethnic” looking – all of a sudden everyone was asking me if I was Italian) so I’ve been doing it on myself. My natural hair color is pretty close to black anyhow. All in all, it was a look I really liked. The only thing I’d change if I could is I was wearing my flowery jeans and I’d really like to have a pair of more classic jeans (like Freddie’s – ugh I might have to splurge and buy some).

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s and I’ll send you off with a few pictures of myself with my siblings and our donkey, Luke.