Thursday, November 8, 2018

In Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit


Here is another little ode to lost closet items, Fashionable Reader.

I shall miss this one particularly because of its extreme versatility. I took it to Europe many years ago and managed to get many outfits out of a two piece sheath and jacket.


You can see one of its main issues is that it wrinkles rather badly. Now, I did iron this before I put it on, but the act of sitting on several panels in a row caused wrinkling in the skirt.

Still it was great fun to mix and match...





Here I am mixing it up with various different accessories, separating jacket from sheath and so forth. In the end, however, I've passed it on to a new home.

In Conclusion 





What? 
Check sheath dress with matched crop jacket, skirt above the knee, flattering cut, bit of stretch.
Why? 
Too tight at hips and waist, too short for my taste.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

In Memoriam: 1960s Pink Floral Maxi Dress


I enjoy writing little odes to my long lost closet items, Fashionable Reader.



It is a way of remembering them, and chronicling my relationship with them. But it also reminds me why I got rid of them. Since occasionally I will get into a mode where I think back on on outfit with too much affection, and wonder why was so silly as to get rid of it.

Since I did a major closet purge recently, I'll be blogging a few of these outfits and dresses forthwith.

Today I'm looking with affection on this outrageous

1960s Floral Pink Maxi Dress


I believe this dress started life as a bridesmaid dress. I can't imagine any other reason for this specific design with the train. It's just not quite right to be a prom dress or something along those lines.

I do love this particular style of evening gown from the 1960s, and I managed to find a few images of similar dresses.

Pink: Hubert de Givenchy, 1965  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; B&W: 1960s via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Here is Audrey Hepburn wearing one of the style of dress.
1962 Portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Luc Fournol, 1962  (Source- theredlist.com)

This particular style with the body is a completely different color from the skirt part of the dress is very indicative of the early to mid-1960s. I find it particularly flattering, because the darker top and busy or lighter colored skirt is flattering on those of us who are top-heavy.


Also the plates at the waist line and the slightly poof out of the skirt, disguises all manner of sins in terms of the girl tum.

So it is with great sadness that I been this pretty goodbye, but we have had fun times together.


What? 
Maxi dress with chiffon top with tiny pink bows and train, linen skirt with hand painted flowers. Probably bridesmaid.
Why? 
Too tight in torso, requires assistance to get into, linen doesn't travel.

Something for Felicity from the Parasol Protectorate Series?


1886-1887 Evening Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth, The Philadelphia Museum of Art


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

In Memoriam: 1980s Red & White Suit


In here is another little ode to a long lost closet items Fashionable Reader.

I will admit, when I bought this suit I imagined I would wear it more because it has versatility in it's favor.



It just really looks like my kind of thing. The color is very much the perfect ride for me, and I like the clean white pattern. I think of it as birds, or maybe bird feet, but I think its leaves of some kind.


It is wonderful and very light weight. I did take it to Europe with me, and I didn't wear it. But as you can see the top never really did fit properly. After my breast reduction, I thought it would fit better. But it doesn't.



Trying it on again only made me realize how much I love the color and hate the fit. I thought perhaps that I might keep the skirt part, but even it doesn't really fit my hips well anymore since it is raw silk it has almost no stretch to it so both of them are going the way of the dodo.



What? 
Two piece cherry red suit with white birds, peplum top with button front, pleated fitted skirt, silk.
Why?
Too tight at waist, shirt is really for someone with a short waist, and smaller boobs. Doesn't pack well.


Something similar for Prudence in the Custard Protocol Books...


1896 Ensemble  The FIDM Museum
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

In Memoriam: 1950s Marigold Cocktail Dress


In here is another little ode to a long lost closet items Fashionable Reader.


I've worn this several time, mostly for evenings at WorldCons over the years and only 2 years ago I was lamenting to my BFF that it might be time to get rid of it. She persuaded me to keep it, but I haven't worn it since. So it's time...


I still have the gloves, cape and hat, but t he shoes and glasses have also long since perished.



What? 
Dupioni cocktail dress in a marigold color, low neckline, bra strap keeper, very flattering cut and seaming.
Why? 
Too tight in shoulders and hips and sleeves, bit too long, needs someone taller than me with less broad shoulders.

Something for Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series 


Reception Dress  1895-1896  Augusta Auctions

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


Its happened again, but this time with feeling. Time for a closet purge.


My darling Fashionable Reader, can you believe it's been 10 years?

Well not in this exact blog but pretty much I've been talking about retro fashion and my love of it here on the interwebs for a decade.

And something has happened. I've changed shape.



I not going to shilly-shally around the point, I'm not precisely happy about this. However, I cannot expect to stay the same size that I was at university. I've become settled and I'm content with my life. But the life of being an author and is largely a stationary existence. I'm not tromping around the Andean Highlands anymore.

And I do love the occasional cream puff.

Perhaps more than occasional.

All these things have added up to a widening in certain areas. Not to mention the fact that I got a breast reduction several years ago. My shape, such as it is, has changed.



I am not going to substantially alter my lifestyle anytime soon. And even if I were, I am a believer in:

 never keeping clothing in one's wardrobe that doesn't fit


Quite apart from everything else, losing weight is an excuse to go shopping. And sometimes that makes it a motivation. Keeping too small clothing, on the other hand, is just depressing.

So accepting all these truths as self evident, I went through my closet recently and took a good long look at those dresses that really don't fit me anymore. Without too much surprise most of them are pencil dresses with no stretch to them.


Which leads me onto the next point:

I am also at a stage in my life where I want to change my style slightly. 


So I am shifting away from bodycon, tight, bombshell outfits towards things that are a little bit more relaxed and comfortable and that travel well.



I've been doing fewer events over the last couple of years, in an effort to protect my sanity and improve my production, but when I do travel it does tend to be greater distances which means the clothing that I have for events needs to pack well, not wrinkle, and pack small.

With all these restrictions in mind, here are a few of the items that I'm going to be getting rid of...

Black Velvet Jacket 1980s (1930s revival) CLAIMED



You have never seen me in this jacket because I've never worn it.

What? 
Beautiful black silk velvet swing jacket, with feather cuffs, 2 large velvet buttons at the top only.
Why?
It still fits. But it's still isn't right over the boobs. I thought if they were smaller it would look better, but it just isn't suitable for someone the my rack, the next owner needs to be less endowed and probubly taller too.

Has gone to a new home.

Grey Check Pencil Skirt (modern) CLAIMED



What?
Windowpane plaid, grey with teal stripe, fish tale kick pleats. BCBG size 4. (I originally owned 3 of this skirt in different patterns, this is the last one.) Modern materials, lines, has stretch.
Why?
Too tight in waist and hips, doesn't photo well, just never seem to wear it.

Claimed to a new home by my lovely Z.

Red & White Suit 1980s



What? 
Two piece cherry red suit with white birds, peplum top with button front, pleated fitted skirt, silk.
Why?
Too tight at waist, shirt is really for someone with a short waist and smaller boobs. Doesn't pack well.

Red Dotty Dress 1950s



1958 Red Pencild Button Front Dress

What?
Fitted and pleated red pencil dress with tan spots, silk, wonderful vintage seaming in neck and sleeves, matched belt. Satin wash poplin, no stretch.
Why? 
Too tight at hips, doesn't pack well.

Black & White Check Suit 1960s CLAIMED



What? 
Check sheath dress with matched crop jacket, skirt above the knee, flattering cut, bit of stretch.
Why? 
Too tight at hips and waist, too short for my taste.

Claimed to a new home by my lovely Z. 

The Pink Floral Maxi 1960s




What? 
Maxi dress with chiffon top with tiny pink bows and train, linen skirt with hand painted flowers. Probably bridesmaid. No stretch.
Why? 
Too tight in torso, requires assistance to get into, linen doesn't travel.

The Marigold Cocktail 1950s


What? 
Dupioni cocktail dress in a marigold color, low neckline, bra strap keeper, very flattering cut and seaming. No stretch.
Why? 
Too tight in shoulders and hips and sleeves, bit too long, needs someone taller than me with less broad shoulders.

I'm checking with local friends to see if they want 'em. If not then I'll probably consign them.

If you're super interested in buying any of them, you can ping me via my website calling card and Kelly and I will see what we can do for you. The usual warning about these being vintage.

I am sorry but it's too complicated to ship clothing overseas, given manifold troubles with customs and the high expense of postage, not to mention Kelly's time standing in line at the Post Office.

Be aware most of these are a size 2-4 and I'm 5'7" in flats and almost always wearing high heels.



Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Black With Pink Print Maxi 1930's Style Dress from eShakti


So I have worn this dress 3 times, Fashionable Reader, but each time I forgot to take a photo. So this time I dragged the AB into the backyard to get one before I even LEFT for the event.


Outfit Breakdown

  • Vintage hat (blog post about changing the color to black here)
  • Flower, gift from a reader. 
  • Glasses mirrored cat eyes, purchased in Ashland. Similar $8
  • Necklace, gold chandelier with pink stones, thrifted. Similar but a jellyfish, similar but pearls.
  • Chiffon eShakti maxi dress customized with added sleeves. Black with pink ballerinas (I like that they looked like fans) this dress no longer available but here is a lovely blue version. (Which I have ordered with elbow sleeves because I have no will power).
  • Black flats, I'm wearing simple pointed toe ones.



Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Vintage Shape with a Modern Bra (Blog Post By Request)


One of the questions I get a lot is where to find and buy a new bra (with modern measurements) but that will give the conical pointed shape of the 1950s.

Well darling fashionable reader, I am here for you.

Getting a Vintage Shape With a Modern Bra


First there is a vintage bra re-creation company out there called What Katie Did. Their bullet bras run small (I've never managed to fit one so gave up) and have little to no stretch to them. But they even have a circle stitch one for $64. Their return policy is draconian. Try at your own risk.



Second, one of my personal favorites is the Freya Dotty Nursing Bra ($72 30D-40G). Yes I know, it's a nursing bra, but the design means that it's a good shape for vintage. However, the band is a little narrow and unsupportive, so it can cut in at the ribs. But this is the single biggest range bra for those of use with tiny rib cages and want a retro shape.



However, if you are going to buy one vintage style bra for multiple purposes it should probubly be a neutral color. Plus $72 is pretty steep for a show bra.

So I went on a tear recently looking for a good one and here are a few options I found and tried out. (Keep in mind I run at about a 32DDD - 34DD these days) which means large boobs and small ribs...

Exquisite Form Fully Women's Original Full Support Bra #5100532 





This puppy is only $15 (in my size) and honestly it is the most like an actual vintage bra that I have found made modern from material to design. For $15 it's obviously not very well made but it will certainly do the trick for light use. For me it ran a whole size too big in both band and cup, and unfortunately it doesn't come in a 32. I now have the 34 D to wear on the tightest band setting and that's OK. But still sizing is kind of a pain with this one.

The vintage shape once you get the fit though? That is spot on.

$9-28 Comes in white, black, and light beige. 34B - 48DD Cup sizes only go up to DDD. But like a said, runs large.

Playtex Women's 18 Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra #4693


Great support and good shape but the lace edging is HELLA sharp. Seam line is rather prominent, but really hard to beat this kind of support PLUS a good vintage shape. Also a silky material is nice, things don't cling to it. I ended up keeping it as a fall back, despite the lace. Mostly because in my size it was only $18. Oh yeah it ran true to size. 

 $11-95 Comes in multiple colors. 34D - 54DDD Cup sizes up to G. 

Carnival Women's Full Figure Longline Camisole Strap Soft Cup Wire Free Bra (no lace)


This one is VERY vintage but the cup sizes run larger. I found it more comfortable than the lace version (see next) and so I returned this one for the smaller size cup. Because it is a long line it is a bit warm. The support is great though. This is the first bra I've owned in a long time that really doesn't rely on straps AT ALL. In fact, this could easily be a strapless on me.

$25-112 (I paid $42) Comes in white, black, and champagne. 34B - 48DDD Cup sizes only go up to DDD.

Carnival Women's Full Figure Longline Padded-Strap Soft-Cup Wire-Free Bra (Lace)



Oddly enough, this one, while the same company and size as the previous long line, ran exactly true to size on me. I like it and it looks lovely on, BUT the lace is a bit sharp. Also the support isn't awesome, so if you need a lot of help, this bra isn't for you. Finally I had to wear the straps on the very shortest setting, rare for me. So if your boobs are high, this may not have short enough straps for you. Although the shoulder padding is nice.

I gotta say this bra does one thing REALLY well, it gives GREAT sweater.



So if "sweater girl" is the look you are after, hard to do worse than this. Very little over-boob seam line showing on my lightest weight knit top.

$25-112 (I paid $41) Comes in white, black, and blush. 34B - 48DDD Cup sizes only go up to DDD.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.