close

Retro Rack | category: black suit

home

Retro Rack

Vintage Style In A Modern World

retrorack.blogspot.com

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger


So one of my most worn wardrobe pieces is a little black dupioni suit, Fashionable Reader. Here I am wearing it over the years in various different ways. It's basically a sheath dress with a little short jacket over top.

ALA in Las Vegas. 

I call this my Dior suit (and it might be, hard to tell as someone tore out all the lining at one point including labels). I'm thinking, from the cut and the length, that it's late 1950s.


Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

Here is is not on my body...

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

"Dupioni (also referred to as Douppioni or Dupion) is a plain weave crisp type of silk fabric, produced by using fine thread in the warp and uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. This creates tightly-woven yardage with a highly-lustrous surface."

~ From Wikipedia

Dupioni's biggest flaw is that it wrinkles, so this is one of those pieces I always have to plan time into my schedule to iron before wearing, and it's not for sitting still for long times.

The suit is basically a simple v-neck sheath dress...


Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

The skirt is pencil and to below the knee. It's hard to tell with black fabric, but the seaming is to die for (so flattering, that image is BEFORE reduction) especially in the bodice. This is one of those deceptively simple dresses that I really wish eShakti would get hold of and deconstruct because I would buy it in a million different colors and patterns.

I find the arm holes a little high (or perhaps that's because of my swimmers shoulders which pull the bottom of the arm hole up).

With a short jacket...


Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

It comes with this little short jacket, one big button and a very wide lapel and the much-coveted half length sleeve. (I adore this sleeve.) Also super versatile.

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

Here I am wearing the whole suit as an evening look. (I met Mercedes Lackey in this outfit!) I have a fancy hair bob in, a nice jet beaded tassel necklace ($20), peep-toe wing tip stilettos, and long red gloves ($8).

All I need to do is change the hat & gloves and this look works fine for daytime too. I love that kind of versatility.

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail CarrigerVintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

Here it is with shorter gloves and no gloves, and more casual accessories.

If I want to turn it super daytime I put a shirt on underneath it, like so...

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

See? I am even wearing it with flats. (I try to avoid flats with a pencil skirt but sometime the feet just hurt too much.)

And here is one of my favorite versions...

Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail Carriger

So there you have it, so many different outfits out of one vintage suit.

Any preferences on which one you like the best?

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 Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

<--------------- Poll still going, although I forgot abotu the Book Inspired Outfit posts. I hope you guys like those because they are probably going to continue.

Well, Fashionable Reader, I just returned from Vegas. As one might be expected I went with leopard black and gold.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

I flew Spirit Airlines (I know I hadn't heard of it either.) The seats were comfy, the clientele were Vegas-bound and excited, and they only allow one carry on. No really only one, and it has to be "personnel item sized." I was dully please to discover my last minute decision to do this trip with only one base piece allowed me to fit my leopard bag into the top of my carry-on rolly.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

And my carry on-rolly was exactly the limit size. I'd like to claim skill and forethought but that's be a lie. I got flying luck, which doesn't happen often, so it was nice I ended my travel season on an up.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Necklace, vinatge gift; dress suit Haight St. $30; steampunk bracelet, ring, and earrings, gifts from fans; belts $5 ea, scarf $2, hat $7, and shirt $5 all thrifted from Bon Marche in Sonoma; bag from Chruchmouse in Sonoma $15; tights and nylons, online $10; gloves, H&M $12; earrings Teslacon Dealer's Room $15; shoes Nordstrom Rack c. $30; glasses frames, Alameda Vintage Faire $60 + lenses.

Essentially, I took my best basic LBD suit and dressed it up with leopard accessories. Yes, I realize, I need to find some leopard flats.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & LeopardGail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & LeopardGail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
 The suit in full, the dress underneath, the teaching outfit version for the next day.

Sorry, the photos aren't so good. This last idea, of putting the pussy-cat bow shirt under a dress, is my latest big thing. I know, Gail, not all that much of a revelation, but I have been looking at my whole wardrobe with new eyes as a result.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

I love this suit, I bought it from Buffalo Exchange on Haight Street for a song years ago. It doesn't fit me as well as it used to. (That Rack of mine!) In addition to the leopard shoes and bag, I paired it for evening with a gold belt, a vintage necklace I inherited from my family, and some steampunk filigree earrings that were a gift from a reader.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard




Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

I don't have a leopard hairband for evening either, and my pork pie hat is very daytime, so I wore a little flower instead.

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

Leopard and black is such a classic combination I almost feel silly talking about it. Here's the Curvy Fashionista in an amazing modern take. Here's more ideas:

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Vogue fashion shoot.

Some retro pieces:

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
 1930s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
 1940s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

I do have a leopard bathing suit, but apart from that I don't really have the courage to wear base leopard, I strongly prefer simply to accessorize with it. So here are some picks of leopard accessories I love:

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Wide calf hair belt at jcrew.com

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Topshop leopard collar

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Valentino Rockstud leather and calf hair gloves at net-a-porter.com
Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
H&M Leopard Gloves (available in stores, these are the ones I have)

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Christian Dior, 1950  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard 

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
 Loafer Style Pump, very sexy librarian
Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
 Adorable Miz Mooz pumps that I WANT but I can't find for sale
Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard
 Stiletto pumps for a 1950s look from Stuart Weizman


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

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger

Upon occasion my characters will hijack my author blog. Today, Madame Lefoux has hijacked this blog. She hopes you enjoy it, Fashionable Reader.

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
 Right: 1828-1830  The Victoria & Albert Museum
A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
 Left: 1937  The Victoria & Albert Museum

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
 First: Evening Suit  1885  The Victoria & Albert Museum, Last: Tuxedo  Jeanne Lanvin, 1927  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger

A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
 Wedding Stock  1835  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
A Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger
 Sally Victor, 1944  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
Right photo taken by J. Daniel Sawyer

I love this suit, I found it on Haight Street in San Francisco, and it fits without any adjustments ~ yes even over the Rack! I've had to mend it over the years but it holds rand as one of the very first vintage pieces I ever put into my wardrobe. To this day I am mystified that anyone would get rid of it.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
From my very first head shot photo shoot (for Soulless) back in 2008 with Robert Andruszko Vanessa Applegate

This style came in with the New Look and hung around for years. Mine is a v neck dress with a little jacket that goes over it. I pars out the jacket on occasion.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger

Of course, the black suit for formal occasions has been around for a very long time, perhaps best attributed to Coco, who popularized the style.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
1927 Coco Chanel The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It persisted into the 30s and 40s.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
1949 Charles James “Spiral” via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

But in my world, say its hay-day with Dior's New Look in the 1950s.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
1950s dress via Timeless Vixen Vintage; 1952 Jean Dessès dress via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1959 Dior’s Spring-Summer

I've worn mine for a number of events and often bring it with me if I have the room simply because it makes a good catch all for an unexpected occasion. And, of course, basic black goes with any accessories I might have.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
With Myke Cole at World Fantasy; with Blake Charlton at SF in SF; with J. Daniel Sawyer at Balticon.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
Balenciaga and Dior

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
 Prada

One for Alexia . . .

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
1876-1877  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And what to rad in your little Dior suit? Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey.

For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger
This is the second in her Diana Tregarde series. Lackey was writing Urban Fantasy before we called it that and this is one of her best. You don't need to read the first one before it. This one introduced Andree, sexy French vampire, one of the first hot vampires to enter modern SF/F literature. The romance between him and Diana (a strong and powerful witch) is adult, complex, and deeply moving. Real romance. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Vintage 1950s Versatile Black Dupioni Suit - Daytime, Evening, Everytime Many Ways with Gail CarrigerGail Carriger NY in a Velvet Suit 2014Gail Carriger's Book Tour Outfits: Curtsies and Conspiracies Gail Carriger in a Red Wiggle Dress in San Antonio, WorldCon 2013 Outfit Report: Day 4 Then & Now ~ Crossdressing LadiesGail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & LeopardA Moment of Madame Lefoux Fashion Loves from Gail Carriger For the Love of a Black Dior Suit by Gail Carriger

Report "Retro Rack"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×