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Our selection of articles covering period fashion from the 1920s to the 1970s, fashion and designer history, style tips for putting together vintage looks.

Preppy Meets Pinup-A Peek at Our Nautical Themed Fashion Shoot

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preppy-meets-pinup

Lucky for me my husband is a captain of a private yacht that is docked at a very nice marina in town.  It was the perfect setting for a nautical inspired fashion shoot featuring some of our dresses.  Frankly, not sure why I never thought of doing this before!  This seaside spot offers so many great photo ops!

Since these dresses have such a classic look to them, which is the cornerstone of the the preppy fashion aesthetic, combined with red, white and blue colors and the femininity of 50s ladylike silhouettes, I couldn’t help but envision a vintage inspired polished prep meets pinup summer look. And what better place than a marina full of yachts as a backdrop for them?

So Liv Sala, my photographer, and model Joanna Moccia packed everything up and headed out to our dockside destination.  And with the help of my DH, who was so nice to let Joanna use one of the yacht’s staterooms for changing her outfits and fixing her hair and makeup, we were ready for a fun day on deck!

 

Classic Dame navy Coquette halter dress with polka dot collar

Classic Dame navy Coquette halter dress with polka dot collar

Our navy cotton sateen Coquette halter dress has a cute navy and white contrast polka dot collar trimming the sweetheart bodice. The pleated bust is decorated with three red buttons and a red and white polka dot bow. I added a red patent leather belt, a vintage  red, white and blue Vera Neumann scarf, red and white polka dot peep toes heels and a cute red, white and blue woven straw drawstring bag.

Classic Dame red and white polka dot Coquette halter dress

Classic Dame red and white polka dot Coquette halter dress

I accessorized our red and white polka dot Coquette halter dress with a white grosgrain ribbon belt tied in a bow with a vintage navy blue and white enamel brooch pinned on it.  A white wide brimmed hat and denim wedge platform mules completes Joanna’s feminine 50s inpired summer look.

Classic Dame navy and white polka dot Monroe dress.

Classic Dame navy and white polka dot Monroe dress.

Our Classic Dame Monroe dress was inspired by a famous Sam Shaw photo of Marilyn posing in a beautiful country setting in Amagansett NY in 1957.  I loved how she embodied both innocence and sex appeal wearing a similar sundress of light blue with tiny white dots.  And this classic navy and white version gives it a bit of a preppy vibe. Looks adorable worn with ballet flats!

Hope these photos inspire you to get decked out in nautical style this summer.

Have a glamorous day.

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What They Wore- Spring & Summer Fashion Trends of 1957

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Here’s a look at spring and summer fashions from Vogue Magazine in 1957.   The most popular trends for that season were  classic  shirtwaist style dresses, many of which were made in chiffon or organdy fabrics for a  dressier look, checks and polka dots, ribbons and bows accenting clothing and accessories, and also worn in the hair,  cropped jackets worn over dresses, cute casual cotton separates,  floral print hats, and of course pearls, pearls and more pearls!

For more formal occasions, there is also a photo of a magnificent French lace dress with rose accents that I could very easily picture on a bride, a polka dot mermaid gown by Estevez and a rose print full skirt gown by Galanos.

So take a peek into the fashion wonderland  of ’57!

I love all of these looks and would not hesitate to wear any one of them today because the styles are classy and timeless.

How about you? Do you have a favorite?

Our selection of articles covering period fashion from the 1920s to the 1970s, fashion and designer history, style tips for putting together vintage looks.

Have a glamorous day!

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Vintage Mother Daughter Dress Alike Fashion Photos

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Back in the day children were often dressed like miniature versions of their parents. And  mother and daughter matching outfits were a strong trend in the late 40s,  50 and early 60s.  The fad went by the wayside with the advent of the youth centric fashion revolution of the late 1960s. By that time young people were rebelling against the establishment, which included their folks. So dressing like them was definitely not an option if you wanted to be considered cool by your friends. The more different you were than your parents, the better.

But since Mother’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d post some photos of mother and daughter fashions back when girls were thrilled to be their mom’s Mini-Me’s!

Our selection of articles covering period fashion from the 1920s to the 1970s, fashion and designer history, style tips for putting together vintage looks.

 

Did your mom ever dress you in an outfit that matched hers?

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50’s Inspired Hawaiian Dresses Perfect for Summer Parties

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I’ve always been a huge fan of vintage Aloha wear and pretty much anything Hawaiian or tiki related. I even had a Hawaiian themed wedding at my home and my Dad built me a very cool tiki bar for the event. It goes great with my 50s rattan furniture!

I also have my own collection of Hawaiian dresses from the 50s that I absolutely love and wear every chance I get! Hawaiian fashion actually started to become popular in the 1930s when tourists returned from vacations with  brightly printed “Aloha shirts”  that were made in Hawaii.  And after WW2  the trend became more widespread as many GI’s brought home “Aloha attire” from when they were stationed in the Pacific.

Hollywood also had a hand in fueling the tropical trend with movies such as Waikiki Wedding,  South Pacific and From Here to Eternity.  Though men enjoyed wearing  Hawaiian print shirts, dresses for ladies were a big hit as well. And anyone who loves and collects vintage Hawaiian dresses knows the best labels from the 40s and 50s, like Shaheen, Surfriders, Kahala and Kamehameha are very scarce and the prices reflect their rarity.

Because the authentic versions  are not easy to come by we offer 50s inspired Hawaiian print dresses from our Classic Dame line so you can still get the look.  Below are three of our newest prints.

You can click on the images for more information. They run Size Small-XL and are priced at$155.00. The prints are limited. The cotton fabric is beautiful. The bodice is lined and has boning for support. The full circle skirt has side seam pockets. And, as with all our dresses, has a metal zipper in back,  just like the true vintage ones! And they are made right here in Florida.

Ivory Hawaiian print halter dress

Ivory Hawaiian print halter dress

Blue Hawaiian print halter dress

Blue Hawaiian print halter dress

Black Hawaiian print Coquette halter dress

Black Hawaiian print Coquette halter dress

So if you’ve been searching for a standout look for a beach wedding, poolside party, luau or just something fab to wear out to dinner this summer then consider one of these 50s style tropical floral frocks.  And if you’re a dancer, these hold up very well and are cool and comfortable to dance in.  As an avid swing dancer I know first hand!

Have a glamorous day!

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Why a Good Seamstress is your Wardrobe’s Secret Weapon

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seamstress

Ask any couturier about the importance of a proper fit and they will all agree that it is absolutely essential. No matter how expensive the fabric or beautiful the design, without proper fit neither the garment, nor your figure,  will ever be presented in their best light .

On the other hand it doesn’t take a couture garment to make a woman look her best. Even off the rack clothing can be transformed with a bit of strategic alteration. The importance of flattering fit is absolute for the red carpet crowd and high society, right down to their jeans. After all, the paparazzi is ever present and it only takes one unflattering photo to get tongues wagging!

There was a time when the benefit of proper fit was understood by all walks of society.  But in our era of stretch fabrics and cheap throw away clothing it has become less important for the average person. Vintage clothing, on the other hand, was usually made of woven fabric, made to last and designed to enhance the figure, something that many of today’s fabrics do NOT do for most of us. And women back in the day were very aware of how much more flattering an outfit could be if it was tailored properly.

As a former dressmaker and current vintage dealer it frustrates me when I see a woman pass on a vintage garment she loves over fitting issues that could be easily resolved with a bit of expert alteration. A sagging shoulder line or an unaligned bust point can make a dress look frumpy. Yet a skilled seamstress can adjust these seams to create a more alluring line. She will also have an eye for the best hem length to suit your proportions or your best sleeve length. The majority of figures have different “size zones”…  shoulder width, bust, waist, hip.

In  many cases there is no need to give up on a garment you love just because one area is not fitting when the rest does. A decent dressmaker will be able to tell you what can and cannot be done. Many vintage garments often have enough seam allowance to let out bust, waist or hips and nipping in is almost always possible. Sometimes the fix is so easy you won’t believe it. Magic can happen just by moving buttons or tucking a strap. A customer I once had was utterly smitten with a vintage gown but when she came out of the fitting room she was nearly in tears. The color looked gorgeous on her, the waist and hips fit perfectly, even the length was right,  but the bodice drooped awkwardly. Since the gown had spaghetti straps all I had to do was pull them up a couple of inches and the bodice moved right into place. The alteration was simple but it made all the difference.

Below is a before and after of a dress that was originally a couple of sizes too large for the customer, and was altered smaller to fit her. You can see how a garment can be totally transformed in the hands of a good alteration specialist.

dress altered

So,  if you love authentic vintage, or even retro fashions,  and you want to wear it well,  I highly recommend you take the time to find a good dressmaker or seamstress. Recommendation by word of mouth is usually best.  But you can also call the alterations department at a better department store or bridal salon and ask there.

Here are three helpful tips for when you are having alterations done

1. There should be no guesswork involved. Your seamstress should have you in front of a mirror with the dress on as she pins you on BOTH sides. A proper pinning will give you a good idea of the results. If the garment needs to be let out she should measure how much. If the alteration is complicated a good seamstress knows to baste first which will require more than one fitting.

2. Dress hems should always be measured and marked all around not just in one spot. This will assure an even hemline. If your seamstress does not do this I would go elsewhere.

3. If you are having a garment let out, ask your seamstress if the old seam lines will be inconspicuous. You can’t always prevent all traces but you can usually minimize them enough so they are not obvious. Different fabrics are more forgiving than others and there are tricks of the trade to help. She should have some idea what to expect.

Of course, alterations add to the cost of the garment. But if you find a talented seamstress she can transform your clothes so they look more expensive and enhance your figure in ways you never dreamed possible.  Excellent reasons that certainly make it a worthy investment!

 

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