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Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger

Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger

Retrospective, red polka-dot dress! This one came from Moon Zoom in Santa Cruz and it was a birthday gift from my lovely Mum.

Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger
Jennell of California Langeree 1950s

We were out shopping together, a rare thing, she hates shopping. I've worn it often, including for various photo shoots. It fits well and boasts some impeccable bits of tailoring.

Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger

I usually pair it with white, but it could go with off white or red as well. Matchign reds though, is always an issue.

Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger

Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger
Veruschka wears Haute Couture Spring_Sumer 1967. Photographed by Franco Rubartelli
Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger
1970 long hostess dress; Valentino 1987 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Of course I love that 1970s look with the little tie at the top. Perfectly ladylike. Some retro takes on the vintage look.

Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan

For some of us, Fashionable Reader, it is finally winter. I don't know about you but in my neck of the woods it is still bright and sunny but has come over quite cold. For me this means . . . sweaters!

As a rule, because of the Rack, I don't wear button ups, but I do think it is possible to find a nice cardigan that works with a chest, either because the knit has enough give, or because the shape is flattering. That said, I do have a number of cardies that are only button ups by show, not in actuality, because I have sewn them all the way up the front. But that is for another post, this post is about . . . the red cardy.

Here's mine:

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan

Mine is a vintage late 1940s, all wool, with a little uplift at the shoulders. Being very warm and wool, I always layer it over a pussycat bow shirt or some other long sleeve blouse. I am afraid it's packed at the moment so I can't tell you the maker, but I paid aroudn $20 for it from a vintage store and what pulled me in was the fact that it had no moth holes (and the color, me and my love of red). That is, of course, they key with vintage knitwear, make certain you check it over thoroughly for holes. My cardy is pretty basic, here are a few other vintage versions that might work for the well endowed.

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan
A 1950s sweater via 1stdibs

Note the little dogs are placed above and below the chest area, but not on it? Brilliant. Also, see how very close together the buttons are? That keeps the cardigan from doing that awful "boob gap" thing. Winner!

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan

Beautiful detailing around the neckline draws the eyes upward and away from the Rack. If in possession, I might add a couple hooks and eyes in between the three buttons over the chest, to prevent gaping.

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan

Short sleeves and cabling add interest to an otherwise basic pattern. I also love a V neck. I'm not certain about the location and width of the cables, I'd have to try it on for certain, but I think they would work OK with a Rack.

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan

A cardigan is not for you here is a knitted blazer from 1942.

Lastly, red cardigans aren't all that popular in the Victorian era, so I gave you this as a good alternative for Alexia, the red overdress.

Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red Cardigan
1884-1886 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

I'm off to New Orleans and Baton Rouge this weekend, Fashionable Reader. The rumor is that it's hot, humid, and could thunder shower. So I scoured the closet for the most light weight candidates. Here is the winner for Friday . . .

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

I adore this cotton dress. I bought it from JC Penny (of all places) some three or four years ago. Back then they had a whole spate of size 8 dresses with tops that managed to still accommodate my size 10 bust. (I haven't been back in a while, but I'm hoping they still follow this policy.) I probably paid about $30 for it. It's only flaw is the sash ties in a big bow in the back which makes it uncomfortable for driving or flying.

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red DressGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress
On the left we have one of my fashion icons, Sophia Loren, rocking the perfect red dress, and on the right a 1950s dress via Timeless Vixen Vintage.

I remember reading once that colors send different messages, and that red implies power. I always rather liked this idea. I suppose whether it's true or not, I feel powerful in a red dress!

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress
Moschino Fall 2011.

I have ~ lemme count ~ 5 red dresses in my closet (not to mention shoes, tops, and a pencil skirt), but this is the only one with a full skirt. Here is a similar little number from J Peterman.

Gail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

Look for photos next week to find out what I wore it with, and whether it was the right choice for New Orleans!

I'll be at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, (June 25 - 26, 2011). Speaking at the YA Luncheon on Saturday at noon. On the Science, Fantasy & Information Science Program Saturday, 4 ~ 5 pm.  Signing at the ALA Hachette booth Sunday, 11 am ~ 12 pm. And signing at Books A Million in Baton Rouge at 3 pm on Sunday (there is a Facebook events page). All that and I still intend to eat my own body weight in crayfish!
Red Polka-Dot Dress Love By Gail Carriger Gail Carriger's Winter Tales: The Red CardiganGail Carriger in New Orleans in a Red Dress

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