My Vintage Style- 50s Seashell Print Skirt + Historic House by the Sea


On a recent day trip my husband, Andrew,  and I visited Beauport, the magnificent Sleeper-McCann house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  I love to tour historic buildings and Beauport is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Literally built out onto the rocks, it was originally the summer residence of Henry Davis Sleeper, a well known interior designer.  Henry, along with architect Halfden Hansen, began building in 1907. Throughout his life, Mr. Sleeper expanded Beauport, ending up with 56 rooms at the time of his death.

Then in 1935 the McCann family purchased it. And except for minors changes, they pretty much kept the house exactly the way Henry left it.

In a brilliant article about this magical place, author and historian, Howard Mansfield describes it perfectly.   “Beauport is a dream that a house might have if it dreamed.

A maze of rooms, each decorated around a different theme. Both whimsical and dramatic. Shadows and light, revealing and secretive.  It is elegance with a twist.

There are many windows within that are retrofitted to display Mr. Sleeper’s collections of colored glassware. The light shining through them makes for a stunning impact when entering a room. There are also endless interesting architectural details, many of which were dismantled from other buildings and repurposed.

Around every corner there is something to surprise and delight. There are nooks and crannies and hidden stairways.   It’s reminds me of a grownup’s playhouse! I couldn’t help but think what a great place it would be to have a party, especially on Halloween.  And apparently Mr. Sleeper entertained there quite a bit and was known for his costume parties.

I opted to wear my 1950s seashell print skirt which I thought was befitting for a day spent at an ocean side estate!

theresa-at-beauport-2I paired the skirt with a cotton knit sleeveless aqua top and pale yellow cardigan, both thrifted years ago.

50s-seashell-print-skirtMy comfy Aerosoles ballet flats were just right for traipsing around the gardens and climbing all those narrow stairways!  You can find similar ones here.

theresa-at-beauport-5Topped off the outfit with some cute aqua beaded 50s clip on earrings that are surrounded by rhinestones, turquoise tassel tote (similar) and my trusty vintage RayBan tortoise shell cat eye sunglasses.


And here is my little slideshow featuring some pix of the Beaufort grounds and interior.  But there is so much to see there, I couldn’t possibly get pictures of all of it and I did the three hour tour!  It’s one of those places you could visit time and again and still discover something different.


Have a glamorous day !

theresa-signature copy

Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday, Jess at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish for Turning Heads Tuesday,  Cherie at Style Nudge for My Refined Style











By | 2016-09-01T11:27:23-04:00 August 29th, 2016|My Vintage Style, Travel|14 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell September 12, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Thanks Shellie! It really is a magical place 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Shellie @ The FABulous Journey September 11, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    What a gorgeous place for a fashion shoot and your circle skirt is really cute. Thanks for adding your style flair to the My Refined Style Linkup!


  3. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell September 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you Jacqui. And thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Jacqui September 1, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Amazing, such a charming house, lovely outfits as well. x Jacqui

  5. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell September 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks Liz! It is a very cool house. I could have stayed in there for days if they had only let me 🙂

  6. Avatar
    liz September 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

    What a cool house! And you look fantastic in that fab skirt (I really love it). Thanks for introducing us to this building.

    Liz 🙂

  7. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell September 1, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Oh yes Jessica. That would be soooo much fun. I just went back and checked your post. That skirt is amazing. Let me know if you ever want to sell it!

  8. Avatar
    Jessica Cangiano August 31, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    This is such a fun, fabulous sunny weather look, dear Theresa. I’m wild for ocean themed prints, too, and have a fun fifties skirt in one myself as well (that I wore, and later blogged about, on the ferry ride home from Vancouver Island two years ago). I wish we lived nearby and could get together in our sea approved skirts for a fun outfit twinsies post. That would be so cool!

    Big hugs & happy tail end of summer wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  9. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell August 30, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I know, Vix. Everywhere you turn in this place there is something fabulous to look at. Thanks for the compliment on the skirt. Vintage novelty prints are the best 🙂

  10. Avatar
    Vix August 30, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    What a fabulous home, I could spend hours drooling at the architectural details. I love your outfit, the skirt is wonderful. x

  11. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell August 30, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Thanks Suzanne. And Mr Sleeper built that window to slide down into the wall so his guests could dine with an unobstructed ocean view!

  12. Avatar
    Suzanne August 29, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I also enjoy visiting historic houses. I love the window seats for eating.

    The pattern on that skirt is sublime.


  13. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell August 29, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks Patti! I love any kind of print with sealife on it. As far as Beauport, if you ever come back up to visit New England you’ll have to check it out. It is so amazing. My pics don’t do it justice. And they have all kinds of fun events in the summer as well. Really cool place.

  14. Avatar
    Patti August 29, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I lived in Beverly and Manchester Mass for many years, and never made to to this marvelous structure! Beautiful pics and what a fabulous skirt. Thanks for sharing, xo


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