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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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