A few months ago, Noelle wore a gorgeous vivid cobalt dress with these amazing pleats around the bottom. It fit her beautifully, the color was glorious, and all of the little details — the lace around the neck, the pleats, the flow — were perfection. I saw that dress on her and I had this little wish that I could have a dress that amazing.
Fast forward to last month. Hannah sent me a late birthday package… that included this dress. It is the lavender twin of Noelle’s dress, literally. The same thing, just a different color. How incredible is that?! When I pulled it out of the box — actually when Hannah posted and asked if I wanted it (UM YES) — I was giddy. The color is so, so beautiful, the pleats are just as awesome as I had imagined, and everything about it is just perfect.
I had this outfit all put together with the exception of the shoes for quit some time, but kept putting off wearing it. I wasn’t sure what to do with my hair at the time — it being very long, and patchy in color, and not quite that dreamy hot pink I so loved at first — so I let the dress hang until I could figure out what I wanted to do with my head. As well, none of my shoes quite fit the bill to style with this delicate color.
And then in the same week, I chopped off my lengthly hair and dyed it black, and found these gorgeous maroon heels — unworn!!! — at Goodwill.
I didn’t make mention of why I made so drastic a change in my hair in my last post, and a few of you asked why I didn’t go back to pink. Simply, we had a wedding to shoot the next day and I didn’t want to risk anything going wrong with the color. As well, being a wedding photographer means being somewhat invisible, and hot pink hair is quite the opposite of that.
But in all reality, I love changing my hair color. While I had visions of long, dreamy hair, I just can’t keep up with that while raising babies, and the upkeep of pink hair is a bit too much right now. Someday, I’ll go back to pink. I have to. But right now I am quite enjoying this inky hair! It allows me to do so much more in terms of having retro hair, and I can now wear things like this gorgeous hat and it feels right.
And of course, every vintage girl has to try Bettie Page bangs once in her life, especially if her hair is this dark. It took me far, far too long to get these bangs to stay; one side of my hair always rolls looser than the other side, no matter what I do, so I end up with lopsided bangs. I finally gave up getting them perfect and just cheated with pins to make it look like they were behaving.
Whenever I dress in completely vintage styles, I find that my posture has to change. I attempted a few relaxed poses that I would normally do in a more modern dress, but when I reviewed them in my camera viewfinder, I noticed that it just looked off. I find it so interesting that older garments seemed to be cut for posture. You feel so different wearing a vintage dress — so much straighter, so much more prone to keeping straight shoulders and a chin held high.
Perhaps it’s because there is not quite as much movement in an older bodice. The shape is cut to be more fitted, or to be worn with a stay and specific undergarments. Even though this dress is from the 1970’s, it has the feel of something from much earlier. And of course, the style looks very much 1940’s.
The more I posed and thought about how different expectations of a woman were in terms of dress and posture back then, the more I really wanted to find true vintage garments to wear with my vintage clothing. Give me all the stays, petticoats, slips, and bullet bras! And corsets, of course; I would gladly wear a corset daily. There’s something about wearing a garment that holds you accountable for a straight spine that just appeals to me.
I wore my grandmother’s earrings to complete the look, even though I rarely wear earrings any more. My vintage clip-on collection keeps growing and growing, and I desperately need to begin styling them all! But, these are my favorite. Whether it’s that they belonged to my grandma, or that they’re so pretty and delicate, I don’t know. But they seem to go with everything.
Along with this dress, my vintage (or perhaps antique!) veil, this vintage pastoral purse, and the gorgeous antique grapes brooch I found last year, this entire outfit is probably one of my new favorites. Sadly, the camera malfunctioned towards the end of this shoot and I wasn’t able to get a better photo of my heels, or a good picture of this purse.
Dress, vintage from Hannah | brooch, antique | hat, vintage | belt and heels, thrifted | earrings, grandma’s | purse, vintage/thrifted
I hope you are all having a good week!