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In Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail Carriger


Here is another little ode to lost closet items, Fashionable Reader.

I shall miss this one particularly because of its extreme versatility. I took it to Europe many years ago and managed to get many outfits out of a two piece sheath and jacket.

In Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail CarrigerIn Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail CarrigerIn Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail Carriger

You can see one of its main issues is that it wrinkles rather badly. Now, I did iron this before I put it on, but the act of sitting on several panels in a row caused wrinkling in the skirt.

Still it was great fun to mix and match...


In Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail CarrigerIn Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail Carriger


In Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail CarrigerIn Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail Carriger

Here I am mixing it up with various different accessories, separating jacket from sheath and so forth. In the end, however, I've passed it on to a new home.

In Conclusion 


In Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail CarrigerIn Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail Carriger



What? 
Check sheath dress with matched crop jacket, skirt above the knee, flattering cut, bit of stretch.
Why? 
Too tight at hips and waist, too short for my taste.

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

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Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

So recently, Fashionable reader, there was a little gathering in Hayward at the Golden Tea Garden with members of The Book Shop round the corner. I chose one of the dresses I purchased for Comic Con but didn't end of wearing, a brown gingham.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

As you can see, others were also dressed for the occasion. This dress is similar to my brown plaid, but different enough in cut and fabric that I decided it was worth having two dresses both in the same color pallet and check family.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown GinghamGail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

One of my favorite things about this dress is the bow detail at the neck. You can't see it in the photo above because it was off the dress while I made some repairs. But trust me, it's cute.

Often vintage dresses have bow details at the waist.

Which I must say I also adore, but it's always fun to find a dress that has some kind of neck line interest, I feel it detracts from the Rack and draws the eyes up to the face.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham
Geoffrey Beene, 1960s  Augusta Auctions

This particular dress is back to my old standard of pencil dresses.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

I always try to wear pencil dresses with heels but my ankle is still not mended. (I hate being old!) So I am confined to flats. I am inordinately upset about this. I'm loosing the beautiful summer months and my lovely lovely collection of heeled sandals is languishing because of this stupid ankle. I might have to do a bit of an Ode to the Unworn post soon, just to stay sane. So for this tea, I had to wear my oxfords, again. Ho hum. I seem to be living in these shoes these days. Thank goodness I have six pairs, a color for every possible outfit.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

Back to the tea. The company was charming, the tea admirable, and the food tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

I selected an English Breakfast, because I have no imagination when it comes to tea and every time I sally forth into another blend I'm disappointed. And of the nibbles the roast beef and horse radish was my favorite by far.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

After chattering away about books and writing and such I signed really quickly and then scuttled off back into the night, or whatever.

Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown Gingham

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

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

Gingham always seems to have a bit of a retro feel to me, no matter what you do with it. It says homey country kitchen, apple pie, picnics.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a wonderful feeling,
Gingham is coming my way.

Sorry, getting a little carried away there. Where was I? Oh yes, gingham. A member of the check family, I believe. Most often seen in black and white, red and white, or blue and white.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham


But I really came around to gingham when I spotted this adorable tennis dress in a local vintage shop. It was muslin and looked very cool and light, and something that woudl pair with flats. All top concerns for my wardrobe and upcoming Comic Con.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red GinghamGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

 It was labeled 1970s but I think it might be more late 1960s.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

It's actually meant to be tighter and shorter on someone a bit larger than me, but I liked it so much as a more 1920's loose feel (and this way it fit the Rack). I walked away from it the first time and then went back after contemplating it for a couple weeks, luckily it was still waiting for me.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

I wore it with cream accessories and cream flats. I made a silly little hat out of a knitted pettit four that a reader gave to me in Portland. (More on that in a separate DIY blog to come.)

As I said, gingham as been around forever. Here's a little retrospective . . .

Before the turn of the century:


Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham
 1840-1845  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Next up, silly DIY hat. I leave you with self much appreciating a lovely cup of tea at Comic Con mid day. Small pleasures make all the difference.
Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

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

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.

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

I wore my old favorite checked suit to Eastercon 2012. I was only there the ones day. I paired it with white accessories, and a headband instead of a hat. Hat's just don't pack or travel all that well.

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

I didn't take all the above items, of course. But I did have most of them, flats for day, waterproof heals for evening.

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012 Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

You all have seen this suit many times before. Unlike Hollywood types, I do wear my outfits more than once. In fact, I wore a variation on it today for tea at Tum Tums.

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012
So how about a little bit of black and white?

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012
Jean Harlow
Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012 Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012
Vercashe
Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012 Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012
1980s Thierry Mugler suit via 1stdibs; 1968 Yves Saint Laurent  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Packing for Germany I had to keep things small as I was spending 5 days traveling after my Frankfurt work events. So I tried to make it for my three days at the book fair with only two formal outfits and lost of modular action.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Frankfurt has no fashion, just suits. Although our hotel was very swanky.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

All the hotels I stayed at had this odd thing where the only bedding you get is a duvet. And duvet is a terribly dignified term for the item in questions. The AB and I took to referring to them as people tablecloths, since that was about what they covered.


But you don't care about beds in Germany, Fashionable Reader, you care about clothes in Germany!

I took my favorite vintage check suit, which is comprised of a sheath dress and a cropped fitted three quarter sleeve jacket. I can't remember where I got this suit, it's one of the first vintage pieces I ever bought, which makes me thing it probably came from Santa Cruz, most of my earliest stuff did, for about $40.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

I also took my Jessica Wiggle red dress, which is retro knock off but made a nice thick stretch material that travels really well.


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
I paid full price for this dress, $96 from 23 Skidio in downtown Campbell, CA. I remember the price exactly because . . . well . . . ouch, but who doesn't need a knock out red dress in their wardrobe?

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

To break up the two I also packed my black cardigan with beaded detail that I picked up years ago at Ross for about $15.

Because I was trying to travel light I only allowed myself two pairs of shoes, the Red Miz Mooz that I love so well, comfortable and close-toe (which was good, because it rained in Frankfurt and we walked everywhere) and my black and white wingtips, for everything else.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of TwoIn Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
Miz Mooz from Haight Street boutique, full price, $70, and Black & White Oxford wingtip spectator dance shoes, resoled for walking, $30.

Because it was so cold I also ended up wearing my cape, my scarf, and my long black leather gloves a whole lot. I took two hats, both felt and stuffed the smaller red beret style vintage inside of the larger black cloche, which is modern.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of TwoIn Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
Vintage red hat from Bon Marche Thrift Store in Sonoma, $15, and black Cloche from Target last winter $20.

And this is what I did with the collection . . .


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

First day at the fair, for meetings with foriegn editors and high tea. The check suit jacket with the red dress, black & white shoes, and red hat. Long black leather gloves, Crossroads Trading $25, invaluable due to the cold. Vintage typewriter key earrings purchased from and Etsy vendor at a steampunk convention. Mine are the colon and semi-colon on one side, and the question mark and the slash on the other, placed onto special extra-long hooks. I wore them the entire time I was in Germany because my little calculator-like translator kept needing to be reset and the earrings worked perfectly for the tiny button.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

First evening, for visiting with the fans at the pub. Red dress with black cardy, red heals, red hat and long black gloves. I also wore these huge glittery earrings which were very heavy, gift from my sparkly friend Francesca. Story behind those earrings at the pub told only in German . . .

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Second day when I actually visited the fair, I wore the check sheath dress with the black cardy and black hat and black & white shoes ~ for meeting with editors. Paired this with the typewriter earrings, again, and a little multi-metal octopus, a gift from a fan (Sarah Brigdon) at Fencon in its first outing. 


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Because the sweater had so much beading I didn't feel it necessary to wear too much jewelry, but I do always like to octopus touch and a bit of a steampunk element. The hat wasn't the brightest idea, it really messed up my hair, cloches I think I will keep in reserve for bad hair days from here on out.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Second evening for reception with foreign editors at Mediterranean restaurant. (Very yummy.) Wearing the full check suit with red shoes, red gloves, red bauble jewelry, and the red hat at a different angle, added the cape as it started to rain. Also had my black and white polkadot umbrella.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

Here are some other ways to wear a cape and my earlier blog on the subject.

On my last day, since I was traveling shortly after lunch, and it was very cold, and I was meeting with my New York editor for the Finishing School series I just went all black with the cape and a cream scarf over everythng. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture, bur it wasn't very interesting anyway.

After Frankfurt I mainly descended into traveler's gear, which I my case was long jersey maxi skirt, jeans, jersey tops, my favorite BCBG plaid jacket, and other easy foldable and comfortable layers.I pretty proud of myself as I wore everything I brought, except the two tank tops and the shorts (but they were needed in case it got hot) and some of the socks and tights. 

I did keep my eye out for fashionable finds. For example, this hat on a wax soldier at the museum in the fortress at Koblenz. Wouldn't it just look smashing on me!

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two
Kidding of course.

I also formed a love affaire with these boots but unfortunately no shops are open in Koblenz on Sunday so when I went back to try them on, I could not. Trust me, they were beauties. Here they are, taunting me with their cuteness from behind impenetrable glass.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

However, I did end up with a cute pair of steampunky gloves from T.K. Maxx for $25.


In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

And during the course of our travels I investigated not one, not two, but four second hand shops! One in Wiesbaden (Courage Second Hand Boutique) and three in Koblenz (none in Frankfurt, see note above, nothing in Frankfurt but suits).

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

All in all a wonderful trip.

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

In Fashion Memoriam: 1960s Black & White Check Suit by Gail CarrigerGil Carriger on More eShakti & A WarningGail Carriger in Mesa Arizona in Red Check at LepreCon ~ Gail Fail 2014Gail Carriger in Hayward in Brown GinghamGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red GinghamGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger Outfit Report ~ Eastercon 2012 In Which Gail Carriger Gets Four Outfits Out of Two

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