A Tea Dress, Orchids, and Modern Art Deco

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I’m enamored by the 1940s, but another one of my favorite eras is that in which Art Deco thrived: the 1920s through the 1930s.

Art Deco is a visually enticing style that originated in France during the 1920s and was inspired by Cubism. It was incorporated into various mediums, such as architecture, interior design, fashion, transportation, and my favorite: jewelry.

Art Deco lost it’s popularity at the end of World War II and was replaced by modernism, but today there are classic examples of this stunning style, such as this Art Deco Vintage Tea Dress from Lady V London.

The Tea Dress imitates the most iconic 1950s dress style: the “New Look” full-skirted dress with a signature fitted bodice and voluminous skirt flaring out from the waistline. The skirt is designed to come down to the knee even when wearing a petticoat- a classic staple of the conservative nature of fashion during the 50s.

The neckline of the “New Look” dress could be v-neck, sweetheart, boat-neck, or curved, such as those on Lady V London’s Tea Dresses. The back of the dress dips down into a deep v-shape and the waist can be adjusted using two straps that can be tied in a bow. But the best part about the design is that it has pockets! What is it about having pockets that automatically makes a dress infinitely more enticing?

The Tea Dress is made from stretchable cotton, so not only does it breathe, it also gives which adds to it’s comfort. It’s not lined, which I love because spring and summer can get quite hot here in Boston. Because of the material, its machine washable, on a delicate cycle, and should be air dried (how I’d love to have an actual clothing line to dry gorgeous dresses like this one on).

All of Lady V London’s Tea Dresses come in UK sizes 8-22. Each size chart provides measurements for the exact dress you’re looking at, so be sure to check even if you’ve ordered from them before.

I’m wearing a UK 12, despite normally being a UK 10. My waist is exactly between the two sizes, so I chose the larger just to be safe. Upon retrospect, I probably would have fit the UK 10 considering the way the garment stretches. Fortunately, the ties in the back allowed me to fit the waist perfectly to my body.

The Art Deco Vintage Tea Dress is priced at £50 (about $63 USD), as are all of Lady V London’s Tea Dresses, which is fabulous for the quality.  Shipping starts at £3.95 within the U.K., they ship to over 100 countries worldwide, and offer free shipping to orders over £150.

While I wouldn’t say that this is a true Art Deco print, it certainly captures the more abstract designs of that era with a modern twist, and that’s exactly what I love about it. So if you’re on the hunt for a vintage meets modern dress, look no further than the Art Deco Vintage Tea Dress from Lady V London. And if you want a similar style with a longer skirt, check out their Hepburn collection, you can catch me there staring at the Teal Cupcake print.

Dress: Tea Dress – Art Deco Vintage c/o Lady V London | Hair flower: Double Cymbidium Orchid in Deep Red and Black – Sophisticated Lady Hair Flowers | Shoes: Swing Along Heel in Noir – ModCloth
Special thanks to Georgia from Lady V London for this fantastic opportunity.

Teal, Navy, and Spring Daisies

For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the glitz and glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  The acting was over the top and the fashion was even more dramatic. The way that fabric draped over the female form was even more tantalizing than the most scandalous garments you can think of today, particularly within the 1940s. Some of the most beautiful women were present within this time: Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, and my favorite leading lady, Barbara Stanwyck.

My love for the aesthetics of this era knows no bounds, so you can only imagine my delight when I first put on the Megan Dress in Spring Daisy from Karina Dresses.

Take me back seven decades and make me Orson Welles’ leading lady because that’s how this dress makes me feel. The style is very similar to that of the 1940s working woman’s uniform dress, otherwise known as the cross-front or wrap dresses, and every detail is perfect.

Some wrap dresses wound around the entire figure, while others were only crossed in the front, just like the Megan dress. The sleeves have a slight puff at the shoulder, but slide halfway down the arm into a deep cap design, while the bodice tucks in the waist and slowly curves outward for a signature A-line skirt.

The Spring Daisy print is part of the Karina Signature line of in-house designs, along with five other equally beautiful patterns. The shade of teal used in this dress is positively radiant, and I chose to play off of the navy blue centers of each flower, and the 1940s design, with a navy fascinator hat.

Not only is this dress absolutely stunning, it’s unbelievably comfortable, as well. Made from breathable microfiber, this gown is designed for long-term wear and proves that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. The material is machine washable and resistant to wrinkles, which is perfect for us ladies who are constantly on the go.

Karina Dresses come in US sizes XS-XXL. Each size has a range of measurements, for example I’m wearing the S/M, which corresponds to a 34-38 bust and a 27-31 waist. If you’re unsure which size would work for you, try their Best Fit Size Guide!

The Megan dress is priced at $108, as are all of Karina Dresses’ fabulous garments. In my opinion, this is an absolutely fair price for such a beautiful and versatile piece. They ship for free within the U.S. for orders over $150, but for those under that price point it’s only $5. Shipping internationally will range from $20-25 depending on the location.

I simply cannot stop gushing over this dress. It’s opened a doorway to a whole new world of affordable styles from the era I love the most. It’s flattering in every sense of the word and comfortable beyond belief. So if you’re looking for a show stopping gown that makes you feel like a 1940s film star, look no further than the Megan dress from Karina Dresses. And don’t forget to check out their new Spring line filled with endless stripes, polka dots, and florals!

Dress: Megan Dress in Spring Daisy c/o Karina Dresses | Shoes: Brown Leather Lace Up Oxfords – Office | Fascinator Hat – eBay
Special thanks to Trudy from Karina Dresses for this incredible collaborative opportunity.

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A Touch of Pink, Tropical Tiki Print, and a Modern Day Pill Box Purse

It’s been vastly dreary here in Boston this week, so I thought I’d liven things up with a bit with some bright colors and tropical vibes.

I’ve had this outfit for some time now and have been dying to show it off, but I’ve always felt that something was missing from it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was until I came across Lola Von Rose.

I discovered Lola Von Rose’s gorgeous handbags through their Instagram and immediately fell in love. Their design is unique and meant to mimic mid-century pill box purses. Made out of acrylic, their handbags are lighter than their original counterparts, which were usually made from lucite. The gorgeously curved handle folds down for easy storage, and almost encourages stacking, if you’re the type to showcase your wares.

Lola Von Rose provides measurements for all of their handbags, and even though they look elegant and petite, they certainly are sturdy and spacious. The length of each bag is 9.25″ while the height (not including the handle) measures 3.25″ and the width is 4.75″.

For some perspective, I was able to fit my phone, cardholder, keys, sunglasses and lipstick inside, and the sliver latch on the front kept them securely tucked away.

These vintage inspired handbags retail for $64 and currently come in five colorways: pink, white, black, red, and lilac, each of which will compliment any outfit conceivable. For those of you who are a little more budget conscious, Lola Von Rose offers sample sale items for $29.99, on which minor scratches or glue marks may be present. Since these are bulky items, shipping costs $12 within the U.S. and $23-25 elsewhere, but the time it takes to arrive is faster than expected.

So if you’re searching for the perfect handbag for a stroll in the park or a night out on the town, be sure to check out Lola Von Rose. And be on the lookout for their newest colorway, seafoam green, coming soon! You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be stalking their site until it’s release.

Handbag: Pink Vintage Inspired Purse c/o Lola Von Rose | Top: Pinup Couture Peasant Top in Pink – Pinup Girl Clothing | Skirt: Laura Byrnes California High Waisted Pencil Skirt in Green Palm Springs Tiki – Pinup Girl Clothing | Shoes: Ione in Fairy Pink– B.A.I.T. Footwear
Special thanks to Lola Von Rose for this incredible collaborative opportunity.

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Foam Rollers, Pomade, and Middy Cuts

I’ve been talking about cutting my hair for about a month, and on Saturday I finally did it. I wasn’t taking this transformation lightly, either. I drove 45 minutes to Providence, RI for an appointment with the owner of a small, but award winning salon called Suite Tart.

Upon arriving, I knew I had picked the right place. The salon is filled with vintage clocks, photographs, luggage and furniture and the owner, Lulu Locks, is everything I hoped she’d be. Not only was she ecstatic to partake in a vintage haircut, but she knew all of the pinup happenings around New England and happily shared them with me.

Now, on to the haircut (which I could not be happier with)! Lulu and I were on the exact same page: a femme fatale middy cut with a slightly modern twist, for those days that I’m too lazy to set it. As for my set, the first one was a complete failure, but I’m quite proud of my second attempt.

I decided to go with a dry set as my first one was wet and a bit uncontrollable. I used Suavecita Grooming Spray before rolling in order to make sure that my curls actually took shape. The grooming spray smells fantastic, having the same scent as their pomade, and made my hair just wet enough to set within a few hours.

Since I have Bettie bangs, I don’t roll the crown of my head like most gals do. I simply roll along the sides of my head, tie it all up in a vintage scarf and call it a day.

When removing foam rollers, I untwist the hair instead of just pulling the roller out. This ensures that my hair stays in smooth ringlets with tamed ends. With my rollers out, I reached for my Suavecita Teasing Brush. The bristles are soft, yet firm, so they don’t hurt while teasing. I run through all of my curls, from base to tip, making sure that I achieve lots of volume.

Once I look like I’ve been electrocuted, I start applying a small amount of Suavecita Pomade (clearly I have an obsession with Suavecita). When I say a small amount, I mean the size of a pea. A little bit of this goes a long way! I use this to smooth down my hair and help shape my curls.

In order to create those iconic curls in the front, I used an old Denman paddle brush that I’ve had since high school. Yes, it’s so good that I kept it for almost a decade. Perhaps I should get a new one, though. The paddle brush has around 12 rows of bristles, but ideally you want somewhere between 7-9 for your brush out, such as this brush.

After finishing my brush out and obtaining the shape I wanted, I placed two alligator clips above each of my ears for about 20 minutes to make sure the sides  of my hair stay down.

And here we have the final look. I’m no expert, but I’m very happy with this set. If you have any questions, or tips for me, feel free to reach out! I would love to learn new techniques to perfect my middy!

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Black, White, and Vintage Bakelite

When I was 16, I wouldn’t walk out of the house without several large bangles on. As the years went by, I became less and less enticed by accessories that led me to stand out. Fast forward ten years later, and chunky bangles are back on my arm.

I’ve always found true bakelite bangles to be rather expensive. The price can range anywhere from $20 to several thousands, and you’re lucky if you find anything for under $50. But sometimes luck is on your side.

Bakelite jewelry was most popular during the Art Deco period (1910-1940s). The bangles were not meant to be expensive. They were intended as costume jewelry, giving those without expendable income the ability to own quality pieces.

The height of Bakelite’s popularity was towards the later half of the Art Deco period (1930-1940s). The pieces were available in major department stores, like Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as high-end designers, such as Chanel. It was made in several different color varieties, but green, red, white and brown were the most popular. Over time these colors have faded, particularly white, which turns into a cream or tan brown.

Since Bakelite is a form of plastic, it was used for numerous things aside from jewelry, such as toys and electronic components. In the early 1940s, however, many companies stopped using it as the demand for products designated for World War II increased. By the end of the war, Bakelite had become obsolete, but much of it has gained more value than when it was originally created.

Because of it’s current popularity, there are a lot of “bakelite” bangles that are actually “fakelite.” Fortunately, there’s a way to test if your jewelry is true bakelite plastic. Because real bakelite cannot melt or burn, placing a match up to the plastic will indicate whether it’s real (has no sign of damage) or fake (melts or burns).

Truth be told, I’m too nervous to test mine. I’d rather live under the illusion that these are true bakelite, than find out they’re actually fakelite. So if you’re fortunate enough to find bakelite for a reasonable price, such as most of the beauties from Brighter Bakelite, don’t hesitate to grab it and flaunt it.

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Fairy Pink, Roses & Polka Dots, and the Return of Winter

I’ve apparently been lulled into a false sense of spring, so much so that I pulled my favorite floral frock from the back of my closet, only to have to put away again.

The Emma 1950s Dress from Hell Bunny is a robust mid-century housewife reproduction. The eye-catching design features pink and yellow roses, white polka dots, and several rows of buttons down the front.

The wide collar creates the illusion that the dress wraps around the bodice and secures with the use of the buttons, when in fact, it zips up the back. With the help of the adjustable belt and full, a-line skirt, the dress creates a flatteringly small waist.

Although the skirt itself is quote voluminous, I wanted to add an extra bit of poof, so I made sure to wear a petticoat underneath.

The weather this weekend put me in such a spring-time mindset that I finally wore my Kate Spade Mother of Pearl Clip-On Earrings. I’ve had these sitting in my jewelry dish for months now, but didn’t feel inspired enough to show them off, mainly because winter is positively dreary.

Additionally, I’ve never fully trusted clip-on earrings. My ears have been pierced since I was a little girl, so I’ve never experienced anything other true earrings. I have to say, though, these babies grip your ears. After wearing them for a few hours I have no doubt that they will stay on all day long.

And once again I’m wearing my Ione in Fairy Pink from B.A.I.T. Footwear. I think I need an intervention or possibly just need to buy some more shoes, but look at how perfectly the fairy pink matches the pink roses on the Emma dress! I couldn’t pass up this pairing.

The Emma 1950s Dress is made out of 98% cotton and is machine washable, although you may want to air dry it. It’s available in US XS-XL, but I find that it runs slightly large, so check your measurements before ordering.

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A Cabbage Rose, Vintage Houndstooth, and the Beginning of Spring

It looks like winter is finally coming to an end and what could be more symbolic of the coming of spring than flowers?

My boyfriend, Anthony, bought me this jaw-dropping hair flower for Christmas from Sophisticated Lady Hair Flowers, and I can already tell its opened the door to a quick obsession with hair accessories.

That being said, I generally stay away from large accessories, as I’m a bit shy and don’t like drawing too much attention to myself (this coming from someone who dresses like she’s living in a different century is ironic, I know).

But the second I placed this cabbage rose in my hair, I was hooked.

In addition to the eye-catching rose is a white hydrangea, blue millinery berries, and a dark blue rhododendron. This unique mix of berries and flowers, some of which I had never heard of, makes this a stand-out piece that’s sure to draw attention.

This floral masterpiece sits securely in your hair with the help of a large alligator clip attached to it’s base, which only adds to the quality of Sophisticated Lady’s pieces. These are some of the most realistic hair flowers I’ve seen in production, some of which are even made with real silk.

So if you’re looking for ways to welcome in spring, look no further than Sophisticated Lady Hair Flowers. The shop contains over 100 different arrangements ranging from orchids to lilies, all of which are drop dead gorgeous.

Prices range from $7 to $22 USD and each item is shipped from Germany.

Blouse: Pinup Girl Clothing Voodoo Vixen Top in White | Skirt: Vintage 1960s Black & White Houndstooth Pencil Skirt from Coldfish Vintage | Shoes: Modcloth Swing Along Heel in Noir | Brooch: Luxulite Blue Baubles 1940s/50s Lucite Christmas Ornament Brooch

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