This blouse is, without a doubt, the most beautiful blouse I have ever thrifted. Lately I have been pushing myself to find classic pieces; items I can mix and match into several outfits, things that are solid colors or subtle patterns. I have such a plethora of patterns in my closet and, while I will always adore a print, I have been craving solid pieces of late. One element of midcentury style is cohesiveness. Simple tops that allowed well-designed skirts to shine, coordinating accessories, repeated themes throughout an outfit.
Because of my proclivity for patterns, I have very few items that can take an outfit from modern interpretation into vintage perfection.
So more often than not, where my trips to Goodwill used to take me straight to the most kaleidoscopic dresses or skirts, I now gravitate to the solid separates. And don’t get me wrong, I still feel a strong pull toward the patterns. But as my style evolves, so does my thrifting plan. I now walk into the thrift store with a plan, where before it was just “go and see what I find.”
Redefining the Modern
Another thing I have been working on with my wardrobe is assessing whether my modern pieces work well in a vintage context. This skirt has been troubling me; it should work well as a vintage look piece, but somehow it always translates as modern to me. I don’t know if it’s the fabric of the skirt, or the size of the dots, or the structure of the belt, but something is always just a little bit off when I attempt to create a vintage look.
That’s not to say I don’t love the skirt, and I will keep trying! Today’s outfit is, I think, the best and closest I have gotten to styling it vintage. I love the way the pearls in the top mimic the dots on the skirt, and the playfulness of the pattern in the heels that pick up the kick of huge polka dots.
These heels, as well, have been sitting patiently in my closet as I’m never quite sure if they will work with a vintage outfit. But after watching a few old movies and noticing how many of the gorgeous shoes had bows, I have decided I should rotate these more often! It surprises me how much easier it is to recreate a vintage shoe than I had imagined. I shared my style inspiration for my last blog post on Instagram last night, and you can see that even my heels, though totally modern, are very much similar to the 1940’s style worn in the vintage photo.
Refining my aesthetic brings out my inner history nerd. I always wondered if my love for specific bits of history (Celts and Saxons, Victorian eras, midcentury) would come into play other than in my writing, and here it is! I spend an inordinate amount of time researching vintage style to recreate and mimic a perfect 1950’s outfit, and the more I research the more obsessed I become. This lovely woman is still my ultimate goal. I think once I’ve recreated her outfit, the metamorphosis will be complete.