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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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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Pinks, Reds, Harlequin, and Flower Beds

Everyone’s favorite holiday is right around the corner: Valentine’s Day! Ok, so most people actually hate it, and I used to be one of them. That is, when I didn’t have a Valentine.

Now that I’ve been with Anthony for over four years, Valentine’s Day is just another day. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting flowers and stuffed animals, but actual Valentine’s Day is so commercialized and I’d prefer a quiet night in with a home-cooked meal and warm chocolate chip cookies. I’m clearly not a high-maintenance broad.

That being said, I love holiday-themed outfits, and you’ll definitely catch me wearing one of these to work on Tuesday.

This first outfit consists of a vintage sweater that I found in this amazing shop called The Garment District. They sell second hand vintage and modern-day clothes at amazing prices. On Fridays they dump a huge pile of clothes on the warehouse floor to rummage through. Yes, I know, it sounds extremely primitive, but this sweater ended up costing me $0.25, so it was worth it.

The skirt, which is one of my favorites that I pined over for a long time, is from Pinup Girl Clothing. This Jenny Skirt in 1950s Harlequin Print goes with everything in my closet and has pockets! I will never get over the thrill of pockets.

And the shoes (yet another item I’ve longed for)! The Ione in Fairy Pink are from B.A.I.T. Footwear and if I can get my hands on every colorway I will! They definitely take some breaking in, but they’re worth every second of it.

Now on to outfit number two:

This is the Marnie Dress from Tatyana. I splurged on it last year for my birthday and have only worn it twice. Every time I see it in my closet I wonder why I bought it, until I put it on. I don’t know how I constantly become disillusioned by the beauty of this dress. It’s designed after a true 1950’s dress with a sweetheart neckline, full circle skirt, and dare I say it: pockets!

The Cropped Cardigan in White is from Pinup Girl Clothing. I have three of these in several different colors and I cannot wait to get my hands on more of them!

They are unbelievably comfortable, stretchy, and absolutely essential basics for ones wardrobe. Not to mention, they have the cutest three button detail down the front, and can even be worn alone as tops (if you don’t mind a little cleavage, that is).

I had to wear the Ione in Fairy Pink from B.A.I.T. Footwear for this outfit, as well. I mean, look at them. Could there be a more perfect shoe for Valentine’s Day-themed looks?

I hope you found some inspiration in these outfits, or at least a little joy. If anything, look at Valentine’s Day as just another occasion to dress up in red, white, and pink. As for me, I’ll be laying on the couch probably watching Food Network.

Which outfit do you prefer? I’m leaning towards the second one.

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An Antique Trolley, Modern Florals, and Pin Curls

One of the reasons I love living in Boston is the history, but you don’t have to head downtown to experience it.

I recently posted this black and white photograph to my Instagram. It’s an image from 1955 of the trolley station across from my apartment building. This trolley is still running and I take it to and from work every day.

Milton Station originally opened in 1848 under the name Milton Mills. It was a subsidiary of the Old Colony Railroad and was placed on the border of Boston and Milton. The trolley only stops at seven stations, which makes up about three miles. It’s a short ride, but it’s filled with natural and man-made beauty.

The most breathtaking part of the ride is the “Healthy Heart Bike Trail,” part of which I used as backdrop in this post. As you pass over a bridge, you see a field filled with what appears to be wheat stretching over the horizon towards the Neponset River. On the other side, you can peer into Cedar Grove Cemetery, which was established just after the Civil War (pictured here).

I can’t help but love riding to work in one of the oldest streetcars in America, and because of it’s history I wanted to ensure that I captured an equally historic look in these photos.

This dress may look vintage, but it’s anything but. This Birdie Dress in Mustard and Purple Floral from Pinup Girl Clothing has been my dream dress for years. I originally saw it on the beautiful Modern June Cleaver from Junebugs and Georgia Peaches and instantly fell in love.

Years later, I finally have my unicorn. This Birdie Dress’s mid-century housewife cut mixed with outrageously gorgeous florals made it perfect for this historic to modern-day theme.

As for my hair, well that’s another story. I’ve been trying to achieve a more authentic look, but my locks are quite thick and heavy, so the brush out can be quite a handful (get it?).

I’ve been contemplating a Femme Fatal Middy cut (and a deep, natural red color), but it would all be such a drastic change and I doubt my complexion could sustain red hair.

What do you think? Go shorter? Take a risk and go red? Or leave it as is?

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