By the Sea: Vintage Bathing Suits

Grab your swim cap and towel and let’s go!

Summer is upon us again!  Whether your itinerary includes a beach side vacation or lounging by the pool you’ll need a stylish ensemble.  Check out these fun vintage inspired options for your next adventure.

Girls in swimsuits sip from a water fountain in New York, July 1948.

Check out the retro inspired swimwear from UK company For Luna Swimwear.

I love the pink stripes with navy sash of this swimsuit from Shabby Apple.  Also available in an several other color combinations.

Or if a two piece is more your speed check out this flirty black and white number with oversize bow top.

Unique Vintage has a fun selection of bathing suits and accessories including this adorable nautical inspired one-piece.

And if you want to really have a vintage experience, channel Esther Williams in a floral swim cap.

Finally add a little fun with some retro patterns from ModCloth.

Do you have a favorite?  Any other sites you recommend for vintage swimwear?

 

National Geographic, April 1930

Vintage Style: 1950s Inspired Bridesmaid Dresses

Apologies for the long absence.  It seems like life went into hyper-drive in December and still hasn’t slowed down.  For instance, my wonderful big sister is getting married this month so it’s been a whirlwind of wedding planning and bridesmaid duties recently.  However planning weddings is one of my dream jobs and when they involve vintage touches so much the better. 

My sister chose a stunning vintage ivory brocade dress from the 1950s for her wedding dress.  With that in mind I had been scouring the internet for 50s style dresses that would be bridesmaid appropriate.  Thought I’d share some of the options and websites that stood out.

eShakti

This is a really cool site to check out if you haven’t already.  In addition to having sizes up to 36W they allow you to customize various elements of most of their dresses.  So if you prefer a cap sleeve or a shorter hem you can get that.  Perfect for a wedding with a diverse group of bridesmaids.  

Fifties Colorblock Dress

Havana Dress in Spring Green

Virginia Dress

Modcloth

Great selection of vintage inspired clothes and accessories.  They even have some true vintage pieces if you can snag them.

Lady Love Song dress

Reception to Follow Dress

Project Runway does flappers and new Gatsby trailer

This was a big week for fans of the 1920s.  A new trailer was released for Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” and Project Runway: All Stars challenge of the week was 1920s inspired.  Vintage fans rejoice!

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”

Really looking forward to this adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” coming out in May 2013.  Baz Luhrmann has proven he can do literary adaptations in an amazing way with 1996s “Romeo + Juliet“, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Then there is “Moulin Rouge!“, the heart breaking musical set in turn of the century Paris.  Just those two films make me confident that this will be a great movie and respectful movie adaptation of what has been called “the great American novel.” 

Make it work!

This week’s challenge on Project Runway: All Stars was to create a 1920s inspired look for the modern woman.  The remaining six designers were paired off and given an event to design for in a fashion face-off.  Overall I think they did a good job of capturing the spirit of 1920s fashion and it was fun to see them celebrating the decade that kicked off the modern fashion era.

What did you all think of the designer’s looks?  Would you wear any of these 1920s inspired outfits?

 

 

Garden Party – Emilio vs. Joshua

Emilio’s 1920s Look: Tea length dress with lace detail

Joshua’s 1920s look:  Purple and grey drop waist dress

Social Soiree – Laura Kathleen vs. Uli

Laura Kathleen’s 1920s look: Pant suit with beaded top & fur vest

Uli’s 1920s look:  Beaded and fringed white dress with wrap

After Hours Speak Easy – Ivy vs. Anthony Ryan

Ivy’s 1920s look: Beaded chevron pattern dress with feathers

Anthony Ryan’s 1920’s look: Fringe dress with feather capelet

Countdown to Downton: Dress Like Part of the Downton Abbey World

36 days until Downton Abbey season 3 premiers!

The guests for your dinner party arrive and as you all shuffle into the richly appointed dining hall, the entire crowd is a shifting mass of fine wool tuxedos and silk, velvet, and beaded lace dresses… Kiss, kiss… Oh! Pardon me. Did my diamond and feather hairpiece muss your created-by-a-personal-maid-in-2-and-a-half-hours chignon? Let me get you a crystal flute of champagne…

Oh, yeah. We’ve all had it. The “Downton Abbey Dinner Party Dream.” It’s like our own lives – except totally different. Who knew such pomp, tradition, and ceremony could occur in one single event? In fact, most of us Americans watching it don’t even perceive the complete extent of the ceremony involved. But, it is easy to perceive THE CLOTHING. The attire. The adornment. Somehow, I fear the English language lacks an appropriate adjective to properly convey the sumptuousness and splendor of the Downton Abbeycostumes. And, I also fear that it is nearly impossible for a woman to watch all of that delicious beauty and not feel slightly weak in the knees or at least a tickle in your heart.
Thankfully, clothiers have agreed to give us a smackerel of that loveliness…

What to wear, what to wear, what to wear?

The 1910s were an odd time for clothing. Tight corsets, ornate clothing that covered neck to floor, and generally “fluffiness” were on their way out (think the Dowager Countess). Instead, women’s clothing became less body conscious and more angular, livable, and trim – with a slightly exotic, artistic edge. Your skirt may have still covered your ankles, but it was not yet showing your knees (ok, or even your calves). Waists had not yet dropped to the low of the Flapper 1920s, but there certainly was a lot more draping and ease to the fit of a gown. However, some of the artistic element had crept into fashion brining with it a certain avant garde angularity (think Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse). This left clothing that was easier to wear than high Victorian/Edwardian, but still had a lot of style and femininity. How modern! Obviously, we’re not the only ones who think that this styling is quite apropros for a modern woman. Take a look at some of the 1910s-Downton-inspired fashion that you can buy – right now. (BTW – Never, ever, ever strapless! So, mid-20th century!)

Black by Komarov V-Neck Tiered Gown
JS Boutique Draped Jersey Gown

 

J Kara Embellished Chiffon Gown
Velvet Gown from Talbots

Or if you have plenty of extra money, Ralph Lauren has a lovely lace blouse.

Lace Tabby Blouse

The lace blouse paired with a nude camisole and this long skirt would be heavenly.
Velvet Sharon Skirt

Hats, headwraps, and hair ornaments

Back in the day, a woman was not considered properly dressed unless her head was in some way covered/adorned/embellished. Downton seasons 1 and 2 take place 1914-1918. At that time women were no longer quite as obsessed with the big, fluffy Gibson girl Victorian updo but, they were not quite to the Flapper bob – yet. So, hair was often a compromise between the two. Up, but tighter, or low and contained, maybe a chignon. And hats were not the ornate bird, ribbon, netting, and flower festooned concoctions that the Victorians/Edwardians were so proud of. Instead, they progressed toward more streamlined, and sometimes functional, hats. Think boater, upturned-brim sunhat, and modified cloche. Oh! And, don’t forget my favorite, the feather hair ornament!

Given the fabulous – and fabulously affordable – series of cloches that Target featured this spring/summer (which are no longer available, but, see above), it’s no coincidence that some of their fall/winter offerings are equally fabulous.

The headwrap that Sybil wears with her risque harem pants! Must I say more…? At Nordstrom.
Cara Accessories ‘Beautifully Amazing’ Head Wrap

Feathers just seem luxurious. No wonder they make refined hair accessories. Also at Nordstrom.
Tasha ‘Poison Feather’ Hair Clip

Seriously? I live in the 21st century!

If dressing likethe Downton girls is just too much, but you just love it all too much not to take part in some way… This may be the solution. The collective genius at a catalog called Signals has the best collection of Abbey Addict t-shirts seen so far.

     

Vintage Style: 1930s Party Outfit

Welcome to the second installment in our vintage inspired party looks seriesToday we look at the 1930s.

The 1930s were an interesting decade.  Despite the dire financial situation of the time there was a return to ladylike style and glamour in the evening wear of this decade.  Hemlines came down from the flapper style seen in the 20s.  Metallic fabrics and bead work were the rage.  The art deco trend started in the decade prior remains a key design inspiration for jewelry, clothing, art and home decor.

One inspiration for the party looks below came from George Cukor’s The Women (1939).  This film provides such an interesting look into women’s role in society and their relationships with each other during that time.  The fashions alone make it worth a watch.  Look at the range of fabulous styles in these publicity shots.

 
Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell
Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell in The Women 

Cast of The Women on set, 1939

Elegant 1930’s inspired party outfit

1930s party outfit