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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger Wears Silver Sparkle 1950s Cocktail Dress at Phoenix Comic Con 2018


This is one of my very favorite dresses, Gentle Reader, and a marker of why I love real vintage so much. The details and the design.

Gail Carriger Wears Silver Sparkle 1950s Cocktail Dress at Phoenix Comic Con 2018

I love a sparkle cocktail dress. Just love it. I can't remember what vintage shop I bought this from, but is sure is a winner. It is a bit low in the front, even after reduction, so that's why I have the silver flower pin at the decolletage.

Outfit Details!


Silver Turban: $7
Vintage 1950s cocktail dress: Vintage shop
Silver flat sandals: Aerosoles, no longer available, similar
Stacked fake pearl necklace, similar $10
My new bright pink lippy.
(I don't like with the silver. I'm going back to the wine.)
Teapot purse: $69+ etsy
Platform sandals, by Sofft, no longer available.

Gail Carriger Wears Silver Sparkle 1950s Cocktail Dress at Phoenix Comic Con 2018

Teapot purse was a grand discovery! There are other colors!

Gail Carriger Wears Silver Sparkle 1950s Cocktail Dress at Phoenix Comic Con 2018

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018


Most of the evening dresses I brought with me to Phoenix did not require proper foundation garments (although they look better with corsetry, of course, everything does).  Turns out I likely would have been OK, as inside the convention center in Phoenix it wasn't really hot at all.

Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018

I wore this in the evening so the photos are kinda dark. I've wore this dress before but this is the first time with the silver belt and I REALLY like it so much better with the belt.

Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018

Somehow it looks more ruffly and vintage with the belt. (Yes they did wear belts like this at the time, and no this dress isn't vintage.)

Outfit Details!

Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018

Silver Turban: $7 (I love both the metallic and the waffle style from these people)
Silver shrug: Consignment shop, similar $16
Silver Belt: elastic, comes with a gold version for $12
Grey/gray not-vintage 1930s ruffle gown: Consignment shop
Silver flat sandals: Aerosoles, no longer available, similar
Jewelry (likely going to give this set away to the Chirrup soon, the earring are too long for me).

Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018

I'm wearing my new bright pink lippy with this dress and I don't like with the grey. I'm going back to the wine for this pallet.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger


Thank you so much for joining me on my belt retrospective, Fashionable Reader! We have talked about decorative belts, matched belts, sash belts, and the Swiss Waist. I've touched on a few others as well.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger
1908 Jacket  Jeanne Paquin, 1908  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger
1966 Yves Saint Laurent, 1966  Kerry Taylor Auctions

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger
2014 Alberta-Ferretti
Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger
1906-1908  Museo del Traje

Now I'm going to take this last post to blog a bit about my own relationship with belts.

As a girl with a 10 inch or more waist to hip to Rack ratio the belt is often not an option, otherwise I would have no waist at all! On the other hand it can cinch in such a way as to make the top and bottom bulge out in a most egregious manner. Here is a bit of a retrospective on my own relationship with the belt. You can plainly seem my bent is in favor of skinny belts, as a rule.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

Cream belt with green dress, same belt with red dress, red dress with different white slim belt. Note how the same belt looks different with different cut and color of dress? And how the same dress with a different thickness of belt has a slightly different silhouette?

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

 Decorative belt that is also matched to my long maxi dress.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

 Tan belt with pencil dresses: patterned and plain.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

White belt in a layered look with a tailored turquoise shirt; same belt with a navy dot dress (that has a matched belt); the same navy dress with red belt.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

 Three matched belts: the silver, the red dot, and the bow flowered.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

Black bow stretch belts worn with two more blowsy dresses. Notice, slightly frumpy in the Rack area?

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

Same black bow belt with two different blush pink dresses. On a day dress with a fitted top the other a more 1920s dress that I used the belt to cinch in.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

Two examples of a belt with a skirt top combo. (Note how good Kate looks in that wide belt? She's taller and slimmer than me. Sigh.) That same black belt again, and the ubiquitous white. I do have other belts but I didn't realize how often I wear these two and the cream. Particularly for travel I usually have white (rainy snowy = my only non-leather water resistant pumps are white); cream (my most useful bag is cream and some of my more comfortable shoes); black (because hey, it almost always goes with everything) and red (again the bag is good and pumps are comfy). I am so neglecting brown and tan, leopard, and gold. And I have such good belts for those! I also have other cream ones (wider) white ones (a bow) and leopard ones (waist cinch) but I just don't wear them as much.

Ah, belts, such a complicated relationship.


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger


I can't remember when I first heard about the Swiss Waist, Fashionable Reader.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
From my personal collection
Popular in the 1860s this was a boned belt, with at least one peak (either up or down). It usually laced like a corset, only up the front, sometimes is was exactly corset-like with a busk up the front and laces up the back. The Swiss Waist was worn in addition to the foundation corset. It is, so far as I can determine historically, the only corset-like garment that was worn on the outside of a dress.

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
Daguerreotype from my personal collection
Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
 1860s  The Victoria & Albert Museum Swiss Waist; my own version from Dark Garden

Here is a retrospective on the idea of the Swiss Waist. They aren't necessarily exactly this article of clothing, but they all suggest the peaks that I associate with this garment.


Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1829  Kerry Taylor Auctions
Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1872 Godeys Sept 1872 Dicky
Described as: "Overwaist of blue silk, trimmed with black lace; it is to be worn over a black silk dress, and is very dressy and pretty."

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
Tea Gown  1875-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
[stage costume] Leonora of Mantua (1873), Valentine Cameron Prinsep via British Paintings tumblr

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1880 Striped Princess Bodice

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1889 Evening Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
 1890-1895  The Goldstein Museum of Design; Liberty & Co. dress, 1893-94  From the Victoria & Albert Museum

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1895 Golf Ensemble   The Kyoto Costume Institute

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
 1896-1899; 1900 Ball Gown  Driscoll both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1900 Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1900s Gustave Beer, Antique Dress

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1901 Ball Gown  Jeanne Paquin,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
 1900s  theoryphotoart tumblr; on our merry way tumblr vintage-impressions- Portrait, ca. 1906

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1906-1908 Evening Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1940s Dress I. Magnin, Kerry Taylor Auctions

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
v-isfor-vintage tumblr 1950s style sass

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage blue

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
1950s Carrier airconditioning advertisement. via theniftyfifties tumblr
And now for the modern age...

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
 2013 Aigner Fall 2013 collection via nymag.com; 2013 Ralph LaurenSpring-2103

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
2013 Nidhi Sunil in Jimmy Choo Over The Knee Boots. Vogue India, 10.2013 via Booted Up

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger
2013 Willow cutout waist belt at theOutnet.com

(A quick note, I had a whole piece prepped for today on wide belts and why they do and don't work on us curvy ladies, but blogspot ate it. I was particularly proud of it, but one keystroke and it's gone, no recovery. Note to self, do not use keyboard shortcuts in blogger! Argh. Anyway, I am hugely overworked theses days and have neither the time nor inclination to rewrite it. So we skip wide belts entirely, sorry....)

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.
Gail Carriger Wears Silver Sparkle 1950s Cocktail Dress at Phoenix Comic Con 2018 Gail Carriegr Wears a Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress at Phoenix 2018Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions in 2014Then & Now ~ White Lace Black BeltBelts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 3 The Sash by Gail Carriger Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 2 Matched by Gail Carriger Then & Now ~ Double BeltBelts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 1 Decorative by Gail Carriger

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