Outfit Post: Sophisticated Purple and Jade

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:

400px-Mccall3543

 

And here’s how it turned out:

IMG_4765

 

IMG_4768

 

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.

IMG_4757

 

I tried to take a picture where you could actually see the bodice better but I feel like my iPhone was not cooperating.

IMG_4769

 

IMG_4768

 

IMG_4759

 

I was also wearing some new Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner I got and jade earrings I bought in China. I love them.

IMG_4760

 

And my cute barrette!

IMG_4764

 

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!

Outfit Post: Lady In Red & My New Vintage Hairbrush!

The pilot for Today Is History is shooting next weekend and I needed to buy a brightly-colored dress – my director requested yellow or cranberry. I went to Jet Rag, the only LA vintage store where I have ever actually found things I like – LA vintage stores seem very catered towards a hippie/hipster aesthetic with a lot of non-vintage clothes mixed in. And really high prices. I tried on a bunch of dresses and here’s the winner:

IMG_3206

I think it’s hilarious how miserable I look in that picture. That’s in their dressing room! I wore the dress the next day to make sure I wouldn’t hate it:

IMG_3207

IMG_3208

It’s a pink/red 1970s shirtwaist dress with two pockets on the chest and button-up 3/4 sleeves.

IMG_3209

I look weird in this picture but I wanted to show you the length.

All in all my verdict is – it’s not necessarily what I would think of as “my style,” as it’s a bit more modern-looking than I prefer, but it was $22, it fits the bill for the show, and I like that it’s very easy to wear. I think it’s a perfect dress for a day when you don’t really have the energy to get all dolled up or wear anything constricting. I also love the length – it is SO hard to find a modern dress that length, everything is above-the-knee (which is generally too short in my opinion) or a maxi dress to the floor. And this dress swishes around so nicely that it makes you feel pretty and I think would be awesome to dance in.

It also matches my new hairbrush and comb:

IMG_3178

They’re deadstock from the 60s – I bought them on Etsy and she has two sets left! And best of all they only cost $5 with $2 shipping.

IMG_3175

I needed a new brush anyways and I just can’t buy something modern when I have the option of buying something vintage. It’s so much more fun.

IMG_3176

IMG_3177

It has cute instructions on how to brush your hair 100 times a day. Which I have probably been doing just because I want to use my new hairbrush. Do you try and buy vintage items besides clothing? What about the stuff that you use every day, like my hairbrush?

Hollywood Costume Warehouses: A Vintage Girl’s Playground!

Yesterday I visited a couple costume warehouses to get wardrobe for my show Today Is History – our pilot is shooting in a couple weeks and we needed to get lots of 1880’s clothes and some Ancient Egyptian costumes. Costume warehouses are where a lot of movies and TV shows get their wardrobe that isn’t custom-made – they have everything, and it’s all categorized down to the decade. 1880s, 1890s, 1900s – and so on. It’s super cool. Nothing is exactly cheap to rent – $50 for a dress, $100-150 for an 1800s suit – but a lot of it is authentic and the staff there have an encyclopedic knowledge of their giant inventory. I won’t mention which ones specifically we went to because I’m not sure that I was supposed to be taking pictures, but I did. But I will say that one of the warehouses has a reserved parking spot out front for Janie Bryant, the costume designer for Mad Men. 😀

I wore my gray suit:

IMG_3183

 

Isn’t it gorgeous? You’ve seen the skirt before but not the whole thing together. I know it’s fifties but I don’t know more than that – the tag says W.J. Richards & Son, Braintree, Essex – unfortunately, it’s not on the Vintage Fashion Guild label guide.

IMG_3184

 

I did have people ask me why I was so dressed up. I kind of did my hair, too, but you can’t see it.

50s Suit – Etsy

70s Shirt – Jet Rag

Tights – Target (I wouldn’t buy these Merona brand ribbed tights again – I’ve only worn them a few times and they have multiple runs already)

Shoes – Naturalizer

The shoes were a hand-me-down, but I don’t really like them. Here’s why:

IMG_3166

 

I can’t get on board with that type of sole. It’s on a lot of modern shoes and I hate the way it looks. Why would you want to ruin a pretty shoe with an ugly sole that looks like it’s made out of tires? But I don’t have a lot of shoes right now so I guess I have to wear shoes I don’t like until I find ones I do.

But anyhow, let’s get back to the WAREHOUSES FULL OF VINTAGE CLOTHES!

IMG_3158

 

IMG_3163

 

Tons of shoes!

IMG_3160

 

30’s shoes.

IMG_3159

 

I tried on a bunch of shoes. It’s funny that the farther back you go, the larger of a size you need. I’m a size 8 in modern shoes, an 8 1/2 in 50’s-60’s shoes, and a 9 in anything earlier. But try finding a size 9 in 1930’s shoes – good luck. It’s amazing to me how much larger people have gotten in under a century. We’re taller, our feet are bigger – can we chalk it all up to better medical care? Freakish GMOs? I don’t know.

IMG_3161

 

These shoes are super cool.

IMG_3162

 

Lovely Spectators…

IMG_3164

 

In pretty rough shape.

There were also tubs and tubs of hats. 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, divided by color, mourning hats with veils, bonnets. I tried on several from the “pink 50’s hats” tub.

IMG_3165

 

Love this one. It’s actually very wearable, don’t you think?

IMG_3167

 

I had to hold this one on my head in lieu of hat pins. Pretty fucking cool, though.

IMG_3169

 

You can’t quite see how long the feather was on this, but it was super long.

IMG_3172

 

In case you can’t tell, I’m in mourning in this picture. I wonder if anyone actually wore this hat while mourning? 😦

IMG_3173

 

I thought this huge aisle of Native American costumes was amazing. We have to do a Native American themed episode so we can rent some of these! I want to wear one!

IMG_3174

 

There’s my director after squeezing around this ladder – the huge ladders take up the whole aisle and you just have to squeeze around them.

 

And one last picture:

65148_10101981079467761_364233866_n

 

That’s a weird candid photo of me at my friend’s birthday last night – I was doing an improv show afterwards so I changed to pants and added the hat and scarf. Pretty overdressed for the world I live in but that’s okay with me.

I Need More Clothes

You guys jealous of my closet?

Okay, it’s a little sparse. I counted my clothes today:

Sweaters/cardigans/thin sweater-like things (I have several of these, apparently)/anything you can wear as a jacket that’s not a coat : 13

Pants: 3 (good job, Erika!) (this includes a pair of jeggings. Gross)

Short-sleeve shirts: 16

Long-sleeve shirts/button-downs: 17

Dresses: 7 (4 vintage, 3 non)

Skirts: 1

Suits: 1

Try not to seethe with jealousy! Especially when I tell you that I’ve owned a lot of those shirts since high school, and many of them are Star Wars or Transformers themed! And with two exceptions all my long-sleeve shirts are Merona (Target brand) undershirts. Not that I want to shit on Star Wars, Transformers, or Target. They’ve all steered me well. But I hate all my pants. Fuck my pants.

So I really need to freshen up my wardrobe since my recent realization that I’m not in high school anymore and I don’t have to dress like a boy. It’s okay if I stand out or look like I am trying to look nice. It’s okay to want to look nice. I also have to accept the body I have. A big reason I have so few clothes that fit me is for years and years I have only bought clothes when I was skinny, then felt horribly guilty when I gained weight not only about gaining weight, but also about wasting money on buying clothes I couldn’t fit into anymore. So I’d wait it out and try and lose weight. And sometimes it worked, but never for long. But all that said, I’m going to get this body back, right?

Ehh… I still have some clothes from when I was that size that I can’t bear to get rid of. But that’s not me right now.

That’s me!

That’s me.

That’s me.

Instead of feeling like my body is not my body, I need to accept that it’s always my body. Skinny me was me, and this is me now. And me now needs clothes. And if my weight changes later, I will sell these clothes and buy new ones, because clothes are supposed to fit your body and not the other way around. And I’ve learned that I love vintage clothes, they make me feel good, so I want to wear vintage as much as I can.

Right now I’m in dire need of:

  • Pants. Yeah, the goddamn pants thing.
  • Shoes. I only own heels and tennis shoes but I walk a lot and since I’ve started dressing nicer I need a nice-looking shoe that I can walk long distances in. I’d love a flat, cute Mary Jane or T-strap but I cannot for the life of me find one.
  • Underwear. I hate all my underwear because they’re all low-rise bullshit that look terrible with a higher waistline on your clothes. And thongs? In this decade? No, thank you.

And then things I’d like to have but are not an emergency:

  • A 40s dress. I love the 40s but 50s and 60s clothes are much easier to find and cheaper, so I don’t own anything 40s. Two of my dresses are 50s, one is 60s, and one is 70s. I mean if we’re getting wishlisty, more than one forties dress? A thirties dress? Reach for the stars, right?
  • Gloves. Elbow-length gloves. Orange or yellow elbow-length gloves.
  • More shoes? I probably need black and brown. Maybe navy.
  • I love the turtleneck/maxi skirt look of the 70s. So I want those.
  • A circle skirt would be nice. More skirts in general, really.
  • Some nice blouses.
  • Clothes good for cold weather – I can be a real pansy in the cold.

Eventually I’d like to be able to phase out the clothes I own that I don’t like so well and really have a wardrobe of vintage clothes I love that I can wear every day and feel pretty and confident every day. I mean we’re shooting for the moon, right?

My First Dress

Since I was 15 I have generally refused to go shopping because I didn’t like how I looked and I assumed it would eventually change. I’d lose some weight, buy some clothes, gain some weight, not have anything to wear and refuse to buy anything new until my mom forced me to because I only wore sweatpants, etc. A couple months ago I decided to rehaul my wardrobe because I’m 23 years old and I’m not ready to accept defeat and just be ugly yet. Here’s the first dress I bought!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/92960118/vintage-dead-stock-mustard-dress-gold?ref=usr_faveitems

It’s a dead stock mustard-colored dress with a bit of a drop waist and gold-colored buttons on one shoulder. It has a 50’s-60’s union tag, a metal zipper, a hand-sewn hem, and it’s made with Orlon acrylic so I think it’s from right around 1960. Though I could be wrong, as I often am. I’ve worn the dress a bunch of times since I bought it and I love it – I always feel pretty and I get a lot of nice compliments. Only one person has asked if I was wearing a costume, and when I said no he felt terrible. Which is great. So much power!

Image

With a sweater, a big gold rope necklace, and some crazy (80’s?) clip-on earrings I inherited from my grandmother.

Image

Sorry i don’t take good pictures of myself. actually i’m not sorry. let’s all chill out, guys. stop flipping out about my bad photos! cut it out!

Image

More clip-on earrings. These ones are pretty rad. Too bad my grandma’s dead so I can’t ask her where/when she got them.

Image

Yeah i liked how I did my hair.

So there you go. Buy a new dress, it’ll change your life.