April 1 Theme: Vintage

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I’ve pretty much always had a love for fashions from the 1940s. Back in high school I came across a photo portrait of my paternal grandmother as a very young woman. Her soft, glamorous hair style, feminine and well-tailored clothing, and demure beauty struck me deeply and really formed the basis for what I consider the ideal of female aesthetics. Since then, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with movies filmed in that era. Mr. Kitty and I love to sit down and enjoy the fashion, cars and even the simple, no-frills plots and film style of these movies. I’ve always tried to reflect a bit of classic Hollywood glamour in my style, but for the past couple of years have gradually gravitated more toward incorporating actual vintage (or vintage reproduction) elements into my wardrobe.

Vintage Goth - Stop Staring!

I’ve featured this Stop Staring! dress previously on the blog, but for this look I wanted to push the vintage touches a bit farther. I assembled this outfit for a matinee performance of Wicked that we attended down in Orange County with another couple. I was so delighted with the end result, and even more so with the wonderful feedback I received from other random women at the show.

Vintage Goth

I’ve also been practicing 40s-inspired hair styles. With my limited styling skills (and patience!) plus my baby-fine, super-long hair, I have some unique challenges in this area. But with the use of just a few quick pin curls and some homemade rats (I use bits of black fishnet rolled up to the ideal size) I’m pretty thrilled with what I’ve been able to create. I’ve even been wearing this hair style to work, as it’s fairly quick to do in the mornings now that I’ve had some practice.

Vintage Accessories

What I love most about this look is, while I think it captures that demure, elegant class of a bygone era, it still retains enough touches of dark aesthetic to make me still feel like “me.”

Vintage Goth - Stop Staring!

This outfit was the debut of my first pair of stockings from What Katie Did. I love these because they are the ONLY stockings I’ve found where the back seam matches the color of the hosiery. Modern back-seam stockings invariably have a black seam even on flesh-tone hosiery. While I do love that look, it really doesn’t reflect a 1940s style accurately. A black seam was absolutely unheard of back then, and I’m fairly certain would have been viewed as downright scandalous! I love the subtlety of this pair.

Vintage Hosiery

The sequin cocktail hat and embroidered gloves for today’s look are true vintage. I found them both on eBay – I scored a lot of three 1940s hats for $15. This one was the only one that was in a ready-to-wear condition; I am currently restoring the other two. The gloves came in a lot of 11 pairs for $20!! Everything else in this look is vintage reproduction.

Vintage Hat and Gloves

What is your favorite era in terms of fashion, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below or by including your own Vintage post in this month’s Linky!

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25 Comments:

  1. I love the 1940’s hat! I wish I could find some of the same style.

  2. I have immediately fallen in love with this cute hat – I’m delighted that you made a close-up on it, it’s unbelievably fantastic, that beadwork!
    Although I myself don’t like the 40s, I find it very pleasant to look at your outfit – especially the first photo, which looks for me a still from an old movie. The scenery changes in my mind into a train station and you are waiting for a steam locomotive 🙂
    Yet, as you noticed yourself, although this look is undoubtely retro, there is still something ‘gothic’ about it. Absolutely fabulous.

  3. I found a sequin cocktail hat similar to yours in the attic at home but it had gone mouldy !

  4. Your tights are so great. :).

  5. The hat is absolutely gorgeous!! The sequin embrodiery is amazing. I have a simple black one in similar shape. The benefit with hats like these is that you don’t have to destroy your hairstyle or hide your hair.
    Your outfit has a lovely early 50’s feeling. I love the style from the end of the 40’s to the first part of the 50’s , it was feminine and romantic in a classic way.
    I feature a part of my collection in my themepost and unfortunately I don’t fit these lovely dresses anymore so unfortunately no outfit posts.

  6. Rubina Scarletti

    This is an amazing outfit. I love all the accessories, they really make the difference.

  7. The look suits you wonderfully, and I love that dress. The hat and gloves are the perfect finishing touches.

  8. Swanky! And elegant as always Miss Kitty!

    My man and I watch a lot of TCM too – OLD movies are my very favorite! I’m a huge fan of fashion from the 40’s though I don’t know if I could choose a favorite era between 1900-1950’s, there were so many great looks in every decade back then. I know my least favorite fashion era – the 1970’s! EEEK! I think that is the decade that blue jeans and sneakers took over the world – and fashion died. : ( Thank you for keeping glamour alive and well – and spooky! : )

  9. WAHOO! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love the accessories and what a super score on eBay. I’ve found eBay to be hit or miss lately with the Mad Men craze in full swing, especially the hats! Sheeze, one went for $60 when only a few years ago I could have nabbed it for $10!

    I did something a little different this time … come wish my Mom a happy birthday! 😉

  10. Oh. My. God. Ms. Kitty, you look so incredibly lovely. And I’m using the word lovely instead of fantastic, awesome, killer, etc. because it’s more of a vintage word and describes your look much better than those other newfangled words. :o)

  11. What a beautiful outfit! I especially like the stockings.

  12. So I have learned something new today – that stockings with black seams are a no-no in reconstructing past fashions – good to know that, so I’ll avoid a faux pas if I ever try to dress like a lady from 30s or 50s 🙂
    And the outfit itself amazes, as usual 🙂

  13. That dress is so pretty :). My favourite vintage periods are the 50’s and the 1880’s (although that might be more antique than vintage…), and mostly because they have a similar silhouette; I’m just a sucker for poofy skirts! I don’t have the patience for wearing the correct foundation garments for either period on a daily basis, but do enjoy researching them, and even making a few for kicks.

  14. Technically, depending on the date, you wouldn’t be wearing stockings at all. If it was during the war, you would be drawing the seam up your leg because the silk or nylon would be used for the parachutes. It was only after the war did ladies have their stockings! If you look on etsy or eBay you’ll find “stocking” kits that included leg darkening cream and a seam pencil. You would either get your sister, mother or best friend to draw th line up the leg, or your would buy one of those seam helpers. The seam would never be nude and would almost always be brown or a brown-black. Just a little historical tidbit from the cultural historian, Prof Z.

  15. Mr Linky doesn’t seem to like me, so I’ll just post the link here:
    http://postapocalypseprincess.blogspot.be/2013/04/sophistique-noir-monthly-theme-vintage.html

    Sorry! 🙂

  16. I don’t see Mr. Linky, so I will just paste my assignment here: http://www.coffinkitsch.com/2013/04/sophistique-noirs-monthly-theme-vintage.html
    I’m sorry if I completely missed it!

    You look amazing!!!! Perfection!

  17. So beautiful! Reminds me of Scarlett from Gone With The Wind. I’d have to say that’s my favorite feminine image, but to be fair that movie was made in 1939 so technically, we are agreeing. ;]

  18. What a gorgeous outfit! Absolutely lovely. 😀

    I love the 40s, but I have a weakness for Dior’s “New Look” that hit in the 50s. But I love, love, love Deco (more 30s, if I recall) as well.
    I actually have some of my great-grandmother’s gloves…and they fit! Plus, I have the AntiCraft book on my shelf, and they have directions for making your own net gloves. Possibilities….

  19. Madame Mari Mortem

    Thank you once again, Mrs. Kitty, for an inspiring theme!
    With this months theme, you’ve pushed me out of my blog funk.

    You have much more patience than I when it comes to hair styling; I would’ve given up easily. Your triumph is my inspiration, though– it’s so very lovely, especially with that little cocktail hat =)

  20. You look wonderful – as always! I love your hair, especially the way the hat accents the part just so!

  21. Wow this outfit did took my heart away!
    Certainly a dark vision of the era.
    I agree that being able to get away with certain details that were non existent in the era, give us full potential on pursuing the perfect outfit today!
    The gloves are magnificent.

  22. You look so gorgeous ! I love your dress.

  23. You look like Lara Pulver’s character in Sherlock! Beautiful.

  24. Just discovered your blog from a link on Already Pretty. Your taste and outfits are lovely! I was a child in the 1940s, admiring the way grownups dressed and longing to be grown up myself so I could wear gorgeous clothes. You take me right back to that time.

    Regarding seamed stockings: It’s true that during WWII stockings were scarce or nonexistent, so leg makeup and drawn-on seams were popular. When stockings returned, and in the years before seamless stockings came to be, the seams were indeed the same color as the stockings, or only slightly darker. Black seams were available later but were considered quite daring.

    The problem with seams was that they tended to go crooked very fast. Ladies’ room gatherings always featured girls and women straightening stocking seams for one another, with quick deft circular motions up and down the leg, as an instant response to “Straighten my seams, please?”

  25. i’m far too late but did a post anyways, this is just a perfect theme and you look gorgeous as always!
    <3

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