Thursday 18 October 2012

Accessories for work

Bought at Lisa Loot

Thank you for all the pep and suggestions in yesterday's post. I feel slightly better about it now. There is another nice thing about the uniform- it actually fit me. Shirts are hard on me as I have a narrow back and shoulders, but not a very narrow front... So it was a nice surpise to find that it fitted quite well. several of you suggested jewelry, which I honestly hadn't thought about. I'm good at putting my clothes out the day before, but not not jewelry. Unfortunately I don't think I can wear pins and brooches and bangles drives me crazy, but nice earrings are an excellent option.
Bought at Majean Vintage

Despite having a workmate insisting that I look like a horse when I wear them, I really like my hairnets from Arthelia's Attic. The black one would go well with the uniform, but a grey or a green one would do as well.

I also really like the quality of the hair flowers from Belle Blossoms. I have found that I rarely reach for the very large ones, and wearing one behind my ear just tickles, but smaller ones on a comb are quite useful. And they do have a lot of nice ones
The combs are really excellent, usually such items just slip out of my hair, but these are called Grip-Truth and the stay were you put them. It is also possible to buy them plain and glue whatever decorations you want on them.

Aris Allen All Black 1940s Suede Sole Mary Jane Wingtip
Dance Store has many nice shoes I want- I have mentioned them before. And I think any of these could be worn at work to perk up my day.

Aris Allen 1930s Black & Silver Faux Ostrich Heeled Oxford

Aris Allen 1940s Black Faux Suede 3 Buckle Heeled

I also have a huge collection of stockings. A couple of years ago I shopped at Calezza any time I felt for candy. Undoubtely good for my figure, but now I have two drawers fills with stockings and one of those are solely unopened! Partly because my taste have changed a bit. I used to go for patterend stocking, now I usually wear plain ones with back seams. With a plain black skirt I think I could use up my patterned ones. Most of my stockings are out of stock now, but here are a few examples from my stocking-wardrobe.

Hair grips from the 40's or 50's. Bought at Vintage Curves

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Be smart in uniform?

I’m currently in a complete clothes-funk so I need cheering up. Come January it will be mandatory at my workplace to wear uniforms. That would be great if that meant well-tailored elegance. Something like this perhaps.
Air stewardess
But that is not to be. For me it will mean a shirt, black straight skirt and a little striped scarf. I worry about getting cold at my air-conditioned workplace. There is a heavy sweater and wind-proofed jacket to the uniform, which is designed for people working outside, but will be far too heavy to wear inside. I hope that it will be possible for me to wear a black cardigan for warmth- especially as I’m looked into room all day and never, ever meet any passengers (I work for a train company).
 Of course, that could be smart, but I suspect it is the hat that makes it...

Girl pilots, 1943

Girl pilots, 1943
 The best I can say about this uniform is that it’s neutral and it will make my ordinary wardrobe last longer. The boring thing for me is that I’m not a social butterfly- I usually work and then go home, so work is basically the place I dress up for. I like dressing nicely, it makes me feel good about myself and I think its fun.
I think she looks like Pimpinett!
Navy Nurse With Hospital Ship - John Philip Falter
 So I have kind of lost my inspiration when it comes to sewing clothes and I need to find my mojo again. I can’t do much to spruce up my future uniform, but there are no rules on what kind of stockings to wear and none of the design of shoes, except that they are to be black. I have a lot of stockings, so I can take this as an opportunity to wear the more fancy ones I never get around to use. And IO can buy me a pair of really smart black high heels. And I guess I can spend a bit more time in the morning son my hair and makeup when I always know what I will wear at work.
Off-duty uniform, WWII
 I could also notch up my social interactions. The last two years I have been ill so much that I haven’t had much energy for fun, but hopefully that is now under control and with more energy, I could have more fun.
WWII uniforms
 Then there is the matter of coats and jackets. I don’t have to be in uniform when I commute to work and even if I wear the shirt and skirt I can wear my ordinary outerwear. So perhaps a bit more focus on that will make me feel better. I’m almost finished with a raincoat with checkered wool lining and then Mrs. Depew posted a few 30’s coat patterns recently that I want, every one of them.

1930's side-buttoned coat
I have heavy black wool at home. And white faux mink. And a black coat with fur collar on my wardrobe list. Perhaps with a little matching fur hat?
1930's bouffant sleeve coat
I guess this jacket would look better with the matching dress.
1935 dress and coat

1933 autumn coat

Monday 15 October 2012

Beauty patches anno 1948

I’m currently doing research for a post on Madame Isis' Toilette on the history on beauty patches for and I came across this little gem that I thought would interest you here. Beauty patches as fashion assessor in 1948.

Found in LIFE, 2 February 1948
The romantic looks get a boost from still another old custom

Tiny adhesive pieces of black silk are pasted on girls’ skin to direct maximum male attention to their best features. Backs, eyes or lips.
In their concerted drive toward studied femininity, U.S. high fashion leaders have revived full, frilly petticoats, long, swirling skirts and tiny waist-pinchers. Reaching once more into the past, they have come up with still another proved artifice in the crusade for ultrafeminity: the beauty patch. The U.S. has seen spots on the face twice before: in the late 18th Century and briefly in the 1920s. In England, besides being an adjunct to beauty, they were worn by politically conscious ladies to signify whether they were Tory or Wig. In Imperial Rome, where the patches had their beginning, they were used to satisfy artificially a superstitious interest in moles and blemishes. The new patches, neither superstitious nor political, are pure vanity- designed to accent a fair complexion and highlight a woman’s most beautiful feature, whether it’s her lips, eyes or back (above).

[Picture of woman in day dress and hat with a heart-shaped patch near here mouth. The text says: WORN WITH HAT at recent Lilly Daché fashion preview, beauty patch was an essential part of costume. Patch will ordinarily worn with evening dress.]

BOX OF PATCHES sells for $2. Each assortment of 100 silk spots has eight shapes, including hearts, circles, diamonds, stars, half-moon and squares.

Friday 12 October 2012

Make your own hats

A lot of people find the idea of hat making completely daunting, but in reality it isn't so hard. True, some models demand a hat block, but it is also possible to construct hats with the help of wire, sewing them from a pattern or crochet. At the  University of Wisconsin Digital Collections website I found several books on millinery, ready to be read and learned from. My absolute favourite is this little gem; How to make and trim your own hats by Vee Walker Powell, published in 1944. It's not overly in depth, but it gives a clear overview with lots of helpful suggestions and diagrams. And the illustrations are just darling!

The content:

 And I love that on the subjects of what hat that fits you, the book tells us; "No rules, just common sense"!

If you want more, then complement Your Millinery by Winifred Reiser, 1949, a much denser volume with a lot of instructions and explanations!

As I know many of you are interested in other epoques as well, the website also contain these books on millinery:

The Art of Millinery: A Complete Series of Practical Lessons For the Artiste and the Amateur by Anna Ben Yûsuf, 1909

Millinery as A Trade For Women by Lorinda Perry, 1916

Make Your Own Hats by Mrs. Gene Allen Martin, 1921

Millinery by Charlotte Rankin Aiken, 1922

Straw Hats, Their History and Manufacture by Harry Inwards, 1922

Practical Millinery by Florence Anslow, 1922

A century of hats and the hats of the century by Edward Mott Wooley, 1923

Millinery by Jane Loewen, 1925

How To Make Hats; A Method of Self-instruction Using Job Sheets by Rosalind Weiss, 1931
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