Sunday, June 30, 2013

Then & Now ~ Black Lace


1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Then & Now ~ Tiered Wedding Dresses


1874 Wedding Dress  The Cincinnati Art Museum


Lace Tulle Band Cream Layer Cocktail Dress

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gail Carriger's French Outfits: Black Jacket

Since the weather was largely inclement while I was in France, by far the most ubiquitous item of clothing I wore was my raincoat. My mother bought this jacket for me many years ago over the holidays when we were in Calistoga.

 Black bubble jacket c. $100 no longer avaable

It has a kind of bubble bottom of which I was mainly suspicious until I tried it on. I found I really like the 1950s feel of the length and cut, in France I basically lived in it.

1955 swimsuit, via pinterest

It's the main alternative to my black rain cape.

Because of the bubble bottom I can carry my cross body back underneath the jacket without really upsetting the lines which makes it nice and secure for urban travel.

Mustache Scarf TJ Max $15

The other thing I wore all the time was my mustache scarf. I got mine from Marshalls or TJ Max but it's also online for $13 from Amazon. I love it, nice and big and nice and warm. Not sure the locals appreciated the irony, but I found my choice of accessory hilarious.

This exact coat is no longer available but here are a few alternatives I found online:

In other news I'm on the bra hunt again. I'm an exciting 30J-K (30H UK) which basically just means life sucks, there are only 3 major manufacturers open to me (Panache, Fantasie, Freya), I can't find a brick & mortar anywhere that stocks my size, and I'm getting very familiar with ordering online and returning. I hate this part. And before you mention Figleaves, I will never shop there again. I've also had a bad time with Breakout Bras. So I'm down the Herroom and a few others with nasty return policies. Nash.

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gail Carriger's French Outfits: Black & Blush 20's Dress Variation

For the longest time I hated pink. And I am leery of blush because it is so close to my skin color. But recently, Fashionable Reader, I decided to fully embrace my girly side.

I've also blogged at length on my concerns with the 1920s frock and the curvy top heavy figure. So no one was more surprised than I when I bought this dress.

My dress! I love it so.

It's not vintage, but modern and I shelled out about $40 for it at Nordstrom Rack last spring. I have worn it non-stop since then. During the winter over tights, and in the summer with a big straw hat and sandals. It's just so easy, and sweet, and girly and ballet. It's the little girl dress I never worn as a little girl.

Eugénie haute couture 1948-1949, Willy Maywald photography

Blush because very popular last spring and has persisted since then. Like most soft reduced colors it can be challenging to wear, particularly for us brunettes.

But it's so sublimely romantic, I just can't let it go. Neither, it seems, can the designers.

Ulyana Sergeenko S/S 2013

For the trip to France I paired my blush dress with black for a more edgy grown up look. I wore it in the evening for a fancy dinner with knee-highs and heels. And then paired it during the day with a turban and flats.

 Evening outfit and the inspiration.

 With black and layers for the daytime. 

The turban is because my hair just refused to behave that day. After almost two weeks of styling constantly it finally gave up, and I needed a break from the morning routine.

Some ladylike blush looks from the runways...

Badgley Mischka via S/S 2013; Bottega Veneta 2013

 Chanel Couture 2012; Badgley Mischka via

Some amazing blush accessories...

Vintage pieces...

 1906  Whitaker Auctions; 1924 Coco Chanel,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 1925 Coco Chanel, Museum at FIT; 1927 Madeleine Vionnet, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1927-1928 Coco Chanel; 1929 both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 1937 Madeleine Vionnet ; 1945 Charles James both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For the characters!

Lord Akeldama:

18th century  Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur, og Design

For Felicity:

1876  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 For Prudence:

1881 Girl’s Dress  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

For Primrose:

1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And the cape to go with it:

1897 Cape  Jeanne Paquin  The Museum at FIT

You don't have to take my word for it, top fashion blogger Keiko Lynn wears blush and black better than I ever could. And here's someone decorating with blush.

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

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gail Carriger's French Outfits: Brown Gingham Pencil Dress Variation

So the other pencil dress I took to France with me was my brown gingham. I love this dress. It just fits beautifully and the fabric is this great easy cotton. (By comparison: looking back over the photos of the flowered pencil and I think I'm going to get rid of that one, it just isn't flattering over the Rack.)

 Paolo & I at St. Malo

I wore it layered over white with cream and peach accessories for St. Malo, and with balck at Epinal.

 With and without the sweater at Epinal

I am not one of those who thinks black and brown must be separated. I will also wear gold and silver together on occasion. Although that is more vintage regulation. To stay lookign very period I shoudl avoid black with this dress, but for packing reasons, black came out. I think the layering looked pretty cute, in the end.

I actually packed this dress because it is such a  nice light cotton it's great in heat. Silly me, I thought it might be warm. Here's what it looks like on a hot day.

Tea in Hayward

This is not a particularly popular color-pattern combination, I hunted about for some options for you without much success. Most of what I found was on etsy.

Vintage Options:

Modern Options:

Nina Ricci $1590; the Peggy Olsen dress it reminds me of

Something, perhaps for Sophronia's mother before the Finishing School Books:

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