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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired ~ Day Dresses

So, Fashionable Reader, I sacrificed my longed for vintage cream day dress on the alter of a cute retro blush-colored 1920s flapper dress instead. Still, I could not resist the sway of the day dress and turned my attention to patterns.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

With ComicCon coming up, I felt I was justified in investing in one for such an august occasion. After all, what's a girl to wear to stand out at ComicCon but adorable vintage dresses? ( I watched the new Morgan Spurlock documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, it is fantastic, and insightful, and preparatory!) Something cool that packed well, with a nice full skirt.

I was shopping on Haight Street (where I found the blush dress) and I happened upon this newly opened shop: Relic Vintage. Sweetheart of an owner, knows his stock extremely well. We got to talking, I told him my Rack Woes, and he suggested this dress:

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

So cute! A light packable rayon, little sleeves, full skirt, matched belt and even better . . .

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Comes with a jacket! You know how I feel about matched dress suits. I love them. I love them son. This one fit me beautifully so it came along home.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
1950s Day Dress Relic Vintage $75

It cost a little more than I like to spend on a dress but it ticked so many boxes . . . of course, had I known what was to come, I might have passed on it. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet, you'll have to wait for the ComicCon photos, I think. We shall see, I might take it down for the Sunnyvale Library Event.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
 1902  Whitaker Auctions; dress made of china

Later that same week, I was visiting a newly opened shop in Alameda, Juniper Tree Vintage Fashion, and what did I find? Another rayon, packable, perfectly fitting 1950s day dress! In shades of cream, brown, and blue. With neck pleating and a bow belt! Sigh. Of course I bought it. I have no will power.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
Juniper Tree Vintage Fashion 1950s $85

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Just look at the belt, how cute is that?

This dress reminded me of all those beautiful soft colored flowered tea dresses of yore.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
 Norman Norell, 1954  Augusta Auctions; the lovely Charlotte of Tuppence Ha'penny

This one is lined, so it's a little warmer than I'd like, but lining always helps for durability and indicates a higher quality, plus the pack-ability and ease of wearing really sold me on it. It's the kind of dress you can pop on without thinking about it. Great for weddings and picnics and any other daytime occasion. Easy to dance in, too. I liked it so much I wore it for an outing to the Alameda Vintage Fair that very Friday.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

And then, because it was muslin, light as air, and (you guessed it) red, I also picked up this adorable check tennis dress. The label said 1970s, I think it could be a little earlier, late 60s. It's so cute with flats for the beach or a very hot day.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
1970s Red Check Jumper from Juniper Tree Vintage Fashion $38

I do love me some check.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

 Retro shoes; 1942 add

I feel a little like I planned to buy a full skirt and ended up with yes, two full skirts, but also two sort of 1920s cuts. Which normally I avoid. There must be something wrong with me.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Next up, Fashionable Reader,  I'll shall report on the wonderful Alameda Vintage Fair, a blast was had by all. There are silly pictures. And I may have bought something Parasol Protectorate related!

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
*enter obligatory Monty Python god-speak here*

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

DIY with Gail Carriger ~ Making a Blue Shirt from a Blue Dress

DIY with Gail Carriger ~ Making a Blue Shirt from a Blue Dress

So I bought this dress for about $5 from the Bon Marche thrift store in Sonoma. I never wore it, there was just something slightly too 80's about it. But I still loved the color and brocade fabric, so I decided to try to make it into a shirt.

And with some cutting and snipping and a little hemming, voila.


I added small vintage buttons to sleeve and front waist.

DIY with Gail Carriger ~ Making a Blue Shirt from a Blue Dress

Here's some good articles on DIY from thrift store items. And a similar project on New Dress a Day. I haven't worn this shirt yet, I'll let you know when I do.

DIY with Gail Carriger ~ Making a Blue Shirt from a Blue Dress

And here's one for Alexia . . .

DIY with Gail Carriger ~ Making a Blue Shirt from a Blue Dress
1885 via The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress

I found this patterned blue asymmetrical rayon dress on one of my perennial thrifting jaunts. I think this one came from Moon Zoom in Santa Cruz, probably for around $40. It's a dark not-quite-navy with and off white chrysanthemum pattern.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress
It's difficult to see in any of my pictures (sorry I have no full standing shot) but it has three little ruffles off to one side that give it a very 1940's look. However, I'm thrown by the length which is more 1950s, so it could be very late 40s or even a 1980's retro piece, rather than vintage.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress
Adrian 1942 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 
Madeleine Vionnet dress 1938 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The rayon has enough stretch to fit the rack quite comfortabley which makes me reach for this dress for many an occasion.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress

Here I am at the tweet-up in the bar at Melbourne world con. I always pair it with cream accessories, such as those in the previous blog post.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress

Here is a pattern dress in a similar style on ModCloth. Dresses of a similar take are all over the street style blogs right now, so I leave you with some ideas on how to modernize a vintage dress like this one.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress
Runway is Kronkron Reykjavik Fashion Festival 2011
Then & Now ~ Blue SwirlsGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesDIY with Gail Carriger ~ Making a Blue Shirt from a Blue DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Blue Pattern 1940s Day Dress

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