Monday, November 19, 2012

Gail Carriger Fall Essentials ~ Retro Rack Style ~ Then & Now Coats

<--------------- Poll still going, although I forgot about the Book Inspired Outfit posts. I hope you guys like those because they are probably going to continue.

With winter here, I'm still plugging away on these posts I prepared on Fall Essentials. So put the custard in the trifle, my dear Fashionable Reader, because you're getting them regardless of the poll results.

You will find a fashionable coat this year if it's the last thing I do! My recommendations are mostly from Modcloth, I really liked their selection this year. I wish I could comment more on their fit, but I've only gotten accessories from them. So if any of you do decide to buy from Modcloth, or have in the past, would you please let me know how they handle the Rack?

First of all, what is the one coat can't you can't wear with a Rack? Puffy.

 Good, now that we've got that out the way. Here we go . . .

If you like the idea of a slim black frock coat that emphasizes the waist, you can pair it with retro looks ranging from the 1930s to the 1960s. And black really is quite sensible. Just remember you made need a nice colorful scarf near your face as black isn't kind to most complexions.

1930  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1940 Elsa Schiaparelli  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York  Christian Dior, 1950-1951  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This jacket is my pick:

If you want to mix it up and not go with black, blue is a good alternative. I avoid navy, I'm just not a big fan but soft grey-blues are very vintage looking.

1939  The Meadow Brook Hall Historic Costume Collection

“Handsome Is” Elizabeth Hawes, 1948  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

That said, my choice is this amazing intense royal blue colored coat. It still has a nice vintage shape but the color is more modern, and it's one that looks good on almost anyone. Less harsh than black.

Cream is another good option. I always think it very brave to wear cream, it's so easy to get dirty. But it certainly stands out against the sea of black at most events.

I love the one above, but it is a very daring option. So far as the Rack is concerned, the short puffed sleeves draw attention away and down to the wrists, normally the most slender parts of any female form. The details at the hem also draws attention down, and there is a nice belt to emphasize the waist, and a complex collar to put some focus on the face. It actually is a really good design for the top heavy. However, unless you are a very gregarious person, I'd say this is more a second fun coat if you have the extra funds, not the daily wear beastie.

If you are tired of blue, green is also a great option. I happen to adore green.

This coat design is particularly good if you are quite top heavy like me. I run 8-10 on top and 4-6 on the bottom, so a coat like this balances me out but pulling all the volume down low.

But if you are after a neutral colored coat and black is too harsh while cream is too easy to get dirty, I always suggest grey. I feel like I never see enough grey around. It comes in so many lovely shades and variations that suit basically any complexion. It's very vintage too!

Pauline Trigère, 1960s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

Norman Norell, 1955  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here are two lovely options if grey is your thing, both from Modcloth.

A floaty light weight number with sash belt, and a tweedy heavier coat with multiple close together buttons, yes! We with the Rack salute you!

And now, something for the characters!

For Prudence in the Parasol Protectorate Abroad series:

1894 Coat, Evening, House of Worth

And for Primrose:

1895-1900 Embroidered velvet coat Marshall & Snelgrove Ltd

And for someone with a bit more daring, perhaps the Queen of the Wimbledon Hive.

Evening coat by Worth Paris, Shelburne Museum

And, from the upcoming Etiquette & Espionage we have the first appearance of an oufit for Bumbersnoot to wear!

1920  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

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