1940’s vintage dress, backseam hose, and fur trim booties

A Colorful Past | eyreeffect.comA Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

A Colorful Past

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the 1940’s, I think of subdued colors, of wasp-waist skirt-suits, of velvet details and tweed fabrics. It’s funny how our perception of the past is influenced by the photos we most often see. And, of course, more often than not photos of the midcentury, and especially the forties, are black-and-white. And indeed, on Etsy you will most likely come across 1940’s dresses in subtle blues, toned-down purples, textured grays, and faded florals.

But then this dress entered my life. With its powerful amaranth color, the unique Bakelite rose, gem, and stud detail on the collar, the textured fabric, and the bold buttons, this dress is everything I’ve ever wanted, and the perfect example of how colorful the past really was.

A Colorful Past | eyreeffect.comA Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

My goal is to perfectly blend in with my Tumblr blog.

I haven’t posted there in a little while, but I spend intermittent spurts of time going through and reblogging every midcentury style post I can find. Tumblr is basically my place to curate a board of the style I want to emulate. Pinterest works too, but somehow I find Tumblr more aesthetically pleasing to browse through. The waterfall of images and the ability to focus solely on one thing just clicks better in my brain.

As well, I’ve been following vintage blogs more and more lately;  My Kingdom for a Hat(whom I have followed for years), Nora Finds, Miss Lark Bahar, The Dressed Aesthetic, and more that I can’t recall at the moment. Seeing true vintage looks has been inspiring me so much lately! Sure, it takes a bit longer to put together a look from head to toe, hair done and all, but it’s worth it.

A Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

My next goal is to acquire the perfect petticoat. I think I may go the vintage route, as I have tested a more popular Malco Modes petti and found it to be a little too full and short for my liking (though I know they carry many styles and another might be better), and an Amazon petticoat that might be long enough, but is admittedly a bit cheap and rides up and down and all over the place. I crave a petticoat that is long enough for my just-below-the-knee dresses, that has more of a bell shape than a triangle shape, that isn’t going to emphasize my already emphatic posterior, and won’t add so much volume that I feel like I’m in a costume.

I think something like this or this or this might be perfect. These types, which seem vastly more popular in the pinup and vintage world, tend to give me a comical shape instead of the gentle flare I’m looking for.

A Colorful Past | eyreeffect.comA Colorful Past | eyreeffect.comA Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

The proper base sets the look.

Of course, I’m not out to buy a bullet bra, but the ever-popular Rago Longline bra is on my radar. And possibly Spanx, for the first time in my life. Acquiring that smooth, nipped-waist look is an art that requires many little secrets! My Orchard Corset black satin corset also helps when I feel like I want to look extra vixen-y, but I’ll admit I often forego the corset in preference of comfort. I haven’t quite broken it in, so it isn’t to the stage where I can wear it all day. Though, it’s comfortable for quite a while, so I don’t doubt that someday perhaps I’ll be in a corset all day without a second thought!

A Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

I think having kids really set me on the path to true vintage, corsets and spanx and all. After you get a bit squidgy in certain areas, having some good support and sucking-in is ideal. Someday I would love to do a comparison post of corset vs Rago bra vs spanx and regular bra and all of the other undergarment options I’m hoping to try. I love seeing how things look with different base garments underneath. Today, I’m not wearing any constrictive undergarments and while I still feel fantastic and love how the dress looks, I think having some smoothing underthings would make it look even better.

Vintage dresses were constructed with shaping in mind, and so are enhanced with the proper base. And being a slight nerd in the “get it historically accurate” department, I’m on a mission to have the correct base for every outfit! A Colorful Past | eyreeffect.comA Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

And of course I wouldn’t mind shaving a few inches off here and there in the process. Ha!

If you wear shaping garments, what are your favorites? I admit, I haven’t bought a new bra since well before Evie was born, and I’m in dire need of some new underthings! Tell me all of your vintagewear secrets!

Dress, Lotty Dotty Vintage | belt, hat, and bag, vintage/thrifted | heels, thrifted but can be found in several places online | backseam tights, Amazon  | earrings, vintageA Colorful Past | eyreeffect.com

Support my blog with Patreon

Save

Save

Save

A plaid vintage housedress, tall boots, and a headscarf

A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.comA Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com

A Vintage Housedress

This dress only has one pocket. So far as I have understood, generally dresses with a single pocket from the midcentury were meant to be house dresses, not really worn in public. I laughed when I realized that this dress is probably meant for cleaning and cooking and home-bound things, as we’ve recently seen an upswing of people in their pajamas at the store due to the cold snap of the last few weeks! Ah, how the standards of appropriate public attire have changed! A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.comA Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com

Of course, I’m not going to judge what anyone wears to the grocery store. As a mother of two whose time to get ready during the weekday is very limited, I absolutely understand those days when you just can’t be bothered to get properly dressed. My stained yoga pants and ripped tees have been thrown on for the public far more often than I care to admit.

Lately, though, I have been trying to make more of an effort. After the closet clean-out and refill, I have so many more options of garments that fit and even if my hair is unwashed and I have no makeup on, I throw on a pretty dress and instantly feel better. A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com

I think it’s important to wear what makes you feel good.

Many times when I am asked why I started a fashion blog, I struggle to find a deeper answer. I want to come up with some great logic that has more “umph” to it than just “because I want to.” Not that this is a bad excuse to fashion blog at all, and the truth is, I mainly blog for that exact reason.

But I also blog because I want to encourage people, especially women, and especially moms, that it is okay and it is possible to be a mother of young children, to weigh a little more than you would like, and still dress in a way that you like.  I think it’s important to put that out there, because motherhood seems so daunting. You give up so much when you become a mom, and in some ways, the public’s expectations of you change sort of negatively.

A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com People are always surprised if I go out looking like this and then they discover I have two kids. Especially soon-to-be mothers; the expectation is that you have kids and become a bit schlubby. That you will no longer have time for yourself, to look nice because you want to look nice, to look nice for your husband, to look nice for whatever reason; that it’s selfish to take a little time in the day to spruce up; that it’s stupid, or vain, or shallow, or whatever other things I have heard.

And I have fallen into all of these thoughts myself. Sometimes, it does feel stupid to wear nice clothes when I’m just going to be at home with my kids. Sometimes it feels vain or shallow. Sometimes it feels useless.

A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.comA Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com

But then I remind myself of the benefits.

If I get dressed up in a pretty outfit, I work harder throughout the day. My house gets cleaner, I am more creative, I feel more energized, I’m less likely to do the least amount of work required of me that day. If I get dressed up, my mood changes. I’m happier, and by turn my kids are happier (because a happy mama means a happy home!). And if I get dressed nicely, my marriage benefits too. I feel prettier, my husband appreciates it, and I’m more likely to want to go out and do things at the end of the day. A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.comA Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com A Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com

Getting dressed isn’t just about looking good, but also feeling good and preparing myself mentally for the day. It’s not just beneficial to me, but to my family.

Of course, some days it totally is just about the pretty dress. But essentially… I fashion blog because it’s an important part of who I am in the flurry of also being a wife and a mother, and it’s a part of my outreach to other young wives and mothers who might feel a bit bogged down and stuck in a wardrobe they don’t care for. Or anyone, really, who wants to get out of that hard little spot of not feeling “good enough” for pretty clothes.

It’s always a good time to get dressed. You’re always good enough. Get dressed. 😉

Dress, Lotty Dotty Vintage | Boots, Amazon | Tights, Target | Cardigan and belt, thrifted | headscarf and brooch, vintageA Vintage Housedress | eyreeffect.com

Save

Save

Save

Vintage Plaid Dress, vintage apron, and housewife vibes

My Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.comMy Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.com My Grandmother’s Pie

Happy Thanksgiving, my American friends! I wore this outfit to celebrate early with my in-laws, and was reminiscing on Thanksgivings past as I baked pies and took outfit photos.

This pie dish belonged to my grandma, who was around my age in the 1950’s. Below, she is on the left at 24 years old in 1949, standing with a friend of her mother’s. My grandma and I are not blood related, as she adopted my dad. But I’ve always felt a strong kinship with her; more so than just a grandmother-granddaughter relationship. We were both born on April 27, and thus share the middle name Elizabeth. I was her first granddaughter to be born, from her oldest son. We shared a love for writing letters, and making house, and she was the kindest woman I knew. It wasn’t until after she passed away that I discovered how stylish she was in her youth.

I had never had a style icon until I found these young photos of her!

My Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.comMy Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.com

This dress is one of my new-to-me acquisitions. It was originally handmade by a woman in the 1950’s, and when I saw it online it was love at first sight. It comes from the shop Retro Red Rocket on Etsy, and I just have to mention what a sweet package this was. Upon opening it, not only did she include my items, but also an extra pair of earrings and a beautiful blue scarf, both of which I will definitely be using soon! I love it when Etsy shop owners do those little extras. Anything from pretty packaging — her mailing envelope was rose-printed — to nice tissue, to fun little items inside. The personal touches make it that much more special. My Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.com

Time To Be Thankful

I really love Thanksgiving; it’s such a great time to remember what you’re thankful for, and to appreciate what you have that much more. Often in the day to day rush, I forget to stop and just remind myself of what we have. How we are blessed by the people who surround us. How we are taken care of with food on the table and a roof over our heads. How we are able to work solid jobs or stay home to take care of our kids. I forget sometimes, because there are so many things I wish we DID have. We have so much to be thankful for. My Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.comcollage-3

So even though today may turn out to be a bit different from what we had hoped, with family sick and out of town, it’s still a wonderful day to be thankful.

I’m thankful for a great landlord to rent from, for this lovely little house we live in, for all of the technology that allows me the friendships I’ve made from blogging. I’m thankful for future opportunities that are cropping up (that I am so excited for but have to stay mum for now!). I’m thankful for my beautiful little family; my sweet cuddly Evie and silly energetic Asa, and my hardworking husband. I’m thankful to be able to stay at home with my kids, and have my job be motherhood and keeping house. My Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.com

I’m thankful for my extended family and my in laws, for all of our friends who don’t care if my house is perfectly clean (ha!), and the community we have of support and friendship and love. I’m even thankful for the gloomy Washington weather, which is rainy and glum more often than not. My Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.comMy Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.comMy Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.com

I’m thankful for this blog. For all of you. I have made so many amazing friends through blogging and I cannot express how much love I feel right now. You are all wonderful. I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, if you’re celebrating, and just a fantastic day if not.

What are you thankful for?

Dress, Retro Red Rocket on Etsy | shoes and belt, thrifted | apron and earrings, vintage/thrifted | brooch, gift from Hannah | tights, Target | pie pan, vintage, grandma’sMy Grandmother's Pie | eyreeffect.com

Support my blog with Patreon

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Trailer Park Flamingo Vintage dress, tall boots, and a headscarf

Heads up! I have recently cleared out my closet of a massive amount of things that no longer fit me or my evolving style. It’s all posted right over here. Anything you purchase goes to help pay for my blog: the hosting, the wardrobe, the time it takes to write and photograph and style everything, the gas to get to locations, and eventually probably a new computer. 😉 So thank you for looking! And if you have any questions, definitely feel free to ask!The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.comThe Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

 The Dress of Dreams

I am fairly certain that nearly everyone in the vintage and reproduction world has something called a “DISO”. This term was not something I was familiar with until I joined a Buy, Sell, Trade group on Facebook, and slowly I was immersed into the acronyms of that particular group – DISO, BST, BUMP, ISO, NWT, EUC, and so many others. When I first noticed the trend of “help me find my DISO!” I was not quite sure what this meant. ISO means “in search of” but DISO? Eventually, I learned that it meant “desperately in search of” and was the equivalent of your dream item. That pair of shoes you’ve been hunting for ages. The novelty print dress that was discontinued years ago. The hopes and dreams of a particular garment that might just turn up in reproduction BST groups.

But I could never quite figure out if I had one. What was my dream dress? Sure, 1940’s windowpane prints make me weak in the knees, and I leap at any opportunity to buy a full-skirted plaid shirtwaist from the 50’s. I’ve recently filled my closet with a plethora of midcentury button down housewife dresses, and the sight of my closet now makes me squeal with glee. Yet, I had never had one particular dress in mind. Nothing I was so desperate for that I would buy on sight.

The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.comThe Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

And then, as I browsed Etsy for full-skirted gems in to add to my Christmas wishlist, I saw this dress.

Its colorful skirt, headscarf-esque print, flowers, and full skirt spoke to me like very few dresses have. I had to have it. I itched to snatch it up right away, but was in the process of listing items from my closet to sell, and did not realistically have the funds. I had just bought several 40’s and 50’s dresses (that have arrived and do not disappoint!) and had told myself no more purchases until I made a few sales and let the dust settle. But this dress. This dress was the DISO item I never knew I needed.

A long day passed, and I made a sale. Enough to cover half of the dress’s cost. I messaged the seller, asking if she might let me purchase it on layaway, and she agreed. Anxiously, I waited an entire night for her to send me an invoice. I fretted that the dress might get snatched up in the meantime. Like none other, this dress had me wanting to jump the gun and buy it on the spot. But then, miraculously, another sale poured in and I had the funds.

The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com And in the space of two days, I made the purchase. I rarely snap up items this quickly; I had a dreamy strawberry embellished purse on my wishlist for more than six months before I finally decided to buy it (at only $14). I leave items in my online cart for weeks before I make purchases. The only time I snag garments quickly, now, is in the BST group when I know a particular seller is posting and her glorious hoard of dresses might get bought within a few seconds’ time.

And even then, I have let gorgeous items pass to the next buyer, and limit myself as to what I buy.   In person, this dress did not disappoint.The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.comThe Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.comWhile my bust line fills it out a bit more than I had expected, I’m willing to bet that it will fit like a dream post breastfeeding, and it will be worth the wait. For now, I have to disguise a slightly awkward neckline with scarves, fur collars, and safety pins.

The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

Having purged my closet of many items that don’t fit, I am feeling excited to get dressed again.

After having had two kids in 19 months time, and then breastfeeding for a total of 22 months so far, it’s been hard to work around the restrictions of pregnancy and nursing. I gained about 50 pounds after having Evie, and while it is shedding slowly, it’s a VERY slow process. So, many items have lingered in my closet for a while until finally I was done. My style has changed in the last 14 months, as has my body. I may lose all of the weight gained, but my shape is not likely to go back to what it was before kids.

And the more I hung on to old clothes that didn’t fit, the more I felt myself dragged down by a closet full of wishes. The “I wish I was that size again” clothes; “I wish I had a 27″ waist again”, “I wish I knew what to do with this new body”, “I wish I could just squeeze a bit smaller.” The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

I am still attempting to convince myself to let go of the last few beloved things; skirts that were already a tad hard to wear when I was at my thinnest, that likely I’ll never be able to fit into again. The beloved plaid wool skirts sit in a basket, waiting. I hold onto hope that I might wear them someday. But for now, I’m reveling in a plethora of new dresses that fit me perfectly. That aren’t a snug fit. That make me look exactly how I want to look and don’t remind me of the body I had before.  The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

For some, hanging on to garments that don’t fit is motivation. For me, it has the opposite effect. I stare at too-small dresses and think “how will I ever fit that again?” and then shove chocolate into my mouth because reaching that goal seems impossible.  It’s a ridiculous way to react, I know, but it’s just how I’m wired. Owning things that fit and make me feel pretty is far better motivation than things that don’t fit and make me feel lumpy.

And this dress was step one in that direction. This dress made me excited to get dressed; it made me want to put in the effort for a trip to the grocery store. And it was worth it! Aside from feeling great, it also creates conversations. People ask if I’m doing a photoshoot, or why I dress like this, or where I get my clothes. I love creating conversations about those things; about the fact that I love to dress like this, that yes I do know it’s vintage (ha!), and that I dress like this because why not.

The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.comThe Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

Why not dress in a way that makes you happy? You don’t have to wait for a magic number on the scale, or special permission from someone in your life: just go for it. If you haven’t seen it yet, I talk about this in a feature on Miss Semi Sweet’s Vintage Style Sunday. I didn’t realize it, really, until I filmed that feature, but I am very passionate about encouraging people to dress how they want to dress. I talk about how I used to feel that I wasn’t worth it, or that I couldn’t wear pretty things because I was the chubby girl. And that is so silly!

I hope you’ll watch it and enjoy! I’ve been a bit off in filming my outfit videos lately, but I’m excited to get back into it with my next post, as well as filming a clothing haul.

And that brings me to one last little thing: for a long time, I have wanted to make this blog and my YouTube channel a reliable place of income. As a mom, I really want to be able to stay home with my kids, but still provide some sort of consistent income to pay for this blogging space and help cover our bills. While I do earn a little from affiliate linking, it’s not reliable and doesn’t pay for a lot.

So after a lot of thought, I’ve created a Patreon. This means if you pledge to donate a monthly amount, even a dollar, you’re helping me do the things I love: stay at home to raise my kids, be a housewife, and also run this blog and my channel. And you get stuff in return! If enough support is raised, I’ll be able to start a retro sewing series, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and start more hair and makeup tutorials and reviews! (You get more than that, though: you could be the one to get a full retro/vintage outfit chosen and styled by me! But otherwise, you get outtakes, blog post previews, “how to style” videos, and much more that will only be seen for those who support this blog!)

If this sounds like something you want to do, then please do check out my page. If not, rest assured just your comments and clicks give me so much support and I’m so thankful for all of you and everything you do to encourage me!

Dress, Trailer Park Flamingo Vintage on Etsy | vintage fur collar, gift | ladybug brooch, gift from Lotty Dotty vintage | Belt, belonged to another dress | purse, vintage/thrifted | boots, Amazon | tights, Target | wearing my Orchard Corset corset beneath for support (c/o item)The Dress of Dreams | eyreeffect.com

Save

Save

Magical Ribbons: Cheshire Cat, The Mad Hatter, and the Rose Bush

magical-ribbons-1picmonkey-collage

Magical Ribbons

Last month, one of my friends internet-introduced me to Hayley, who creates the most darling flower crowns, hair bows, and bow ties that are Disney themed. After we chatted about what I might do with them, Hayley made us Alice in Wonderland themed items: Evie with a Cheshire Cat inspired hairbow, Asa with a Mad Hatter bow tie, and me with a Painting The Roses Red headband. I desperately wanted to feature them before Halloween and do a much more elaborate post, but as life would have it, everyone got sick and then it rained for two or three weeks almost straight through.

So today, finally I get to share these incredibly fun things with you, and some Wonderland-inspired outfits. magical-ribbons-2magical-ribbons-5

The Cheshire Cat Bow

Evie has always been nicknamed “kitty baby” by us, so it seemed only fitting that she would be the Cheshire Cat!   I actually found her shirt this week at Goodwill, and was excited to see that it matched the bow perfectly. Its cute little “LOL are you kitten me?” pun has me giggling every time. Her skirt, I had my mom make from tulle I found (also at Goodwill), and her shoes were an impulse buy from Target. magical-ribbons-3collage-2 And even though she’s only 14 months old, she loves the hairbow as much as I do! She constantly finds it and brings it to me, holding it out with a cute little grunt and “asking” me to put it in her hair. Originally, I was going to attach it to a stretchy hairband. But she has just enough hair these days to clip bows into, which makes me happy!

magical-ribbons-14magical-ribbons-16

The Mad Hatter Bow Tie

For Asa, I had a bit of a harder time figuring out what to put him in. I LOVE the colors Hayley chose for this bow tie, but all of his cute dress clothes are getting too small for him! These clothes he is in may or may not be 24m and 2T. I am hoping nobody notices just how short those sleeves are on him. Haha!

The Mad Hatter was a perfect character for Asa, as he is constantly grabbing and wearing this particular hat. For some reason, out of all of the hats we’ve ever put him in, this one stuck. He wears his bowler everywhere, and gets quite miffed when Evie steals it. In the Wonderland world, he would most definitely be a hat-obsessed and slightly zany character.

magical-ribbons-17collage-3magical-ribbons-15

The only way I was able to coax him to sit still or pose for photos was to play “the monster’s coming!” He is obsessed with running away from monsters, and tried to find new places behind trees or under bushes to hide the entire time I shot. He only sat in his chair because I offered him a sucker in return. Ha! magical-ribbons-22collage-4

Painting The Roses Red Flower Crown

For myself, I’ve done the Red Queen before and while this look was still very inspired by her with the doll-like makeup, I wanted to match the roses on my skirt. So Hayley made me this beautiful flower crown with half-painted roses and the cutest heart-lace trimmed mouse ears!

I really love how it turned out, and really want to wear it to a party. Mouse ears are totally appropriate for holidays, right? Sure they are! This flower headband is so sturdy and comfortable to wear. Hayley took care to add felt on the underside to soften any spots where flowers or wires were attached, and I really could wear it all day!

magical-ribbons-24 For some reason, I felt like the life-incarnation of the rosebush should be very doll-like, so to amp up the doll effect I wore my ever-faithful Orchard Corsets corset, which is forming to my body better and better every time I wear it. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until later that it had come untied during these pictures. But I love how this whole look turned out even then!

Someday I would love to do an even more elaborate costume for each of us, when Evie is old enough for me to paint her face and when Asa gets a bit more patient for photographs. I think it would be so fun to actually transform into a rosebush, and wear this crown, and have a few cards made into little men holding paintbrushes that hang from my roses. The vision is strong.

For now, though, I love how everything turned out!

magical-ribbons-4magical-ribbons-23

Be sure to visit Magical Ribbons online, and go follow her on Facebook and Instagram! She has so many incredible bows and crowns, and is constantly amazing me with what she makes!magical-ribbons-26

On me: Flower crown c/o Magical Ribbons | skirt, top (Dress), and heels, thrifted | corset c/o Orchard Corset
On Evie: hair bow c/o Magical Ribbons | shirt, thrifted | skirt, handmade from thrifted fabric | tights, c/o Schoola | shoes, Target
On Asa: bow-tie c/o Magical Ribbons | shirt and pants, hand-me-down | vest, handmade | hat, gift | shoes, thrifted

collage-5magical-ribbons-7

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save