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Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

I stick to a couple of hard and fast rules when shopping for patterned tops, whether knitted or not.

Generally speaking, smaller uniform patterns are better. Do make certain they do not stretch over the rack so much they distort and thus emphasize that area, both a color pattern and a texture pattern (like cables or open-work crochet) can do this. I prefer geometric over flowers and flat pattern to a textured one.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Don't be afraid of stripes. As with color blocking, you can actually use the stripe, or any pattern for that matter, as you would a bright color ~ to draw attention away form your larger areas. For example if you are self conscious about your chect or stomach, pick something that emphasizes your arms and face.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

You can achieve something similar to the above with a patterned blouse and solid colored vest or knitted sweater-vest (that sexy librarian look). Also, please note that the knit in both the above examples is stretching over the chest in a "white" way.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Here I am making that very grave mistake. Solution ~ with colors darker than your skin tone, wear a matched undershirt, in this case I should have worn red. In cases where the top is lighter than your skin tone wear a nude top that matches it. Also make certain you don't just look at yourself inside. Natural light and flash photography can cause "rack reveal" issues.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Here are two of my favorite modern sweaters, the stripes about the shoulders and the details at the neck draw the attention upwards. (Sorry about the wrinkles, haven't worn them recently as it's too hot.)

For heaven's sake, just don't op for the following version of stripes and solids!


Draws attention to exactly the wrong area, is also bulky and too long. Looks great on her, but then I'm not shaped like her. That said, for those of my readership who have the opposite problem from me, (taller, smaller chested types) this is a great look!

 Here's another example of a vintage piece and a retro version of the same 1950's style pattern blocked knit top that be great on a fuller figure.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack
From Diary of a Vintage Girl Blog

This second version is better for she of the broader shoulders.

You can also reverse it, as white tends to widen and put a darker smaller pattern over the bust.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Things that break up the the eye and torso will tend to divert attention, so something like this lovely check number would also work.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Please note that, as usual, I'm opting for sweaters that finish right about the waist. These are hard to find in the modern age, a great sadness to me, so I tend to shop for vintage tops whenever possible. Given my wool allergy and the general destructive nature of moths vintage sweaters are hard to find. That said, since sweaters have stretch, sometimes I've been able to buy retro and get a nice cotton or acrylic from a discount store.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack
These two came from Ross and Kohls, respectively, probably around $15 each. Junior's larges, both of them. 

I've yet to successfully shorten a sweater, I know it can be done but as a seamstress I have issues with stretch and I don't knit so it frightens me.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack
Cold Comfort Farm

That said, you can find a longer finely patterned sweater and belt it. I suggest using my "safety pin at the seam" trick to kep it from riding around. A nice skinny belt gives a very vintage look, a wider belt is more modern.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack

Here's another great way to block a pattern. This is one whole piece. Binding the cardigan to the front panel allows you to do as she has done, curve the cardy inwards over the rack, something that never naturally occurs and thus makes you look smaller. Also that long block of one straight line, particularly if it is a lighter color, makes you look long and lean. There's a DIY project in here with a thrifted cardy and a knit vest and someone (not me) who can mod knitwear.

Lastly, if you are still afraid of pattern remember you can pair a small neutral colored pattern like a faint window-pain plaid, check, houndstooth, or tweed with a nice bright pencil or full skirt, and this will definitely de-emphasize the rack. But if you still don't like that idea, you could try color blocking your knits instead.

Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack
Note the buttons at the neck, again drawing attention to the face. Nice detail.

Please if you have images of yourself in knitwear, or want to tackle the aforementioned DIY project, feel free to share on the Retro Rack Facebook Page.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
Photographed by the incomparably wonderful Vanessa Applegate

Saffron, Marigold, Yellow Gold, Bright Mustard, whatever you wish to call it this is a dress that only 5 or so years ago I would never have purchased. I was very much against yellow and orange, but particularly yellow. For no good reason, Fashionable Reader, I just was. I have a rather sallow complexion and I tend to feel that yellow makes me look jaundiced. In fact, this particular shade tends to make me a little on the pink side. Shocking in a freckled individual who can not blush.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
Deanna Hoak, Eddie Schneider, Gail Carriger at the REno WorldCon Parties

Don't tell, but possibly the most shocking thing about this dress as that due to the nature of the scoop neckline, I cannot wear a bra with it. But the bodice is well lined, stiff, and structured, so I like to hope you can't tell. Initially I am very self conscious in such a condition, with a Rack like mine, braless is a near sacrilegious term. But it works.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

This dress has become one of my very favorite. It's one of those on the long list of "save if from fire!" I can't remember where I bought it or how much I paid (knowing me, no ore that $50) and it has no label, but my guess would be late 1950s early 60s from the silhouette and pleating. However, the length of the skirt might push it back in time.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Of course, I have discussed gold previously, but this dress is such a different tone and style from the Flobért. Here is a little retrospective on the this color . . .


Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
A dress for Alexia 1880 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1939 Valentina dress via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1950s dress via Timeless Vixen Vintage
Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
1956 Norman Norell ensemble via The Indianapolis Museum of Art

I like to pair mine with cream, and a little faus fur cape I picked up from H&M for $15 a few years back.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Here I am boosing it up at Reno (and a suggested scent for the occasion, Manderine Tea Perfume). It was Saturday party night so I went a little eccentric and paired the dress with my orange plaid glasses, yes, you read that right, and a velvet shell decorated evening hat my mother purchased for me from an auction for my birthday last year.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
The label is very difficult to read but it think it says, Ínarthe 12, Rue de la Paix, Paris.

The peachy orange velvet is not a color that I have in my wardrobe, but it went well enough and I wanted to wear something a little outrageous for the big party night. Back to the cape. Adding it gives the dress a particularly reto feel.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
Knit cape from 1964, and 1950s dress via Timeless Vixen Vintage

 Especially as, right now, this kind of cut (only shorter) is considered quite modern and the color is very on trend.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011



So, what to read with the marigold dress?

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Sharon Green's Hellhound Magic, is the second book in her Far Side of Forever series. Sadly, the series was never finished (so far as I can tell) but this book has a satisfactory ending. It is written from the first person perspective of Laciel, one of the most powerful sorceress in existence, who is a bit of an unreliable narrator. Like many of Green's books the complex fantasy world (or, in this case, worlds) is interwoven with an equally complex love affair. It can get frustrating – if the two only communicated once in a while! – but I can't help but adore Rik and root for this shape-changer to win over his stubborn all-powerful love. You all know I have a weakness for big gruff shape-changers and the stubborn women they adore. I'm not saying my adoration of this trope is sourced in Green, but she certainly colored my formative High School years.

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Red Skirt at Reno WorldCon 2011

One of things I love about this skirt is that it not only works for retro but it is on trend for Fall 2011. Well, to be fair, bright pants are the real trend, but why wear pants when you can don a cute pencil skirt instead?

Gail Carriger in a Red Skirt  at Reno WorldCon 2011

So the hat is a vintage piece (more on felt hats to come), but everything else in this outfit is actually modern. Well, reasonably modern, as in a few years old. I believe both the skirt and top are Ross scores, and the shoes are my favorite Miz Mooz. I'm actually not hugely happy with the fit of this shirt but I'm too lazy to tailor it and it is, I believe, one of only three button up shirts I own that I actually didn't have to sew the buttons closed over the Rack. A rare thing indeed. What do I love most about it? The cherry print.

I love wearing cherries. It's almost as much fun as wearing bows. I have no idea why. I suppose I am obsessed with food, and fruit in particular. I even like to smell like food, so why not wear it? And, before you ask, yes that certainly does influence my descriptions of Ivy Hisselpenny's hats.

The difficult thing about a red skirt, and mine in particular, is that they can leak into sex-pot easily. That's fine if you are shooting for a vah-vah-voom look, but, most of the time, I'm not. When one has the Rack of a stripper one should try to avoid dressing like a stripper, least people start throwing money at you. Wait a moment . . . I may be going about this the wrong way.

My inclination is to go for a less sexy but still retro look by pairing a red skirt with something slightly prim and librarian ~ a button down shirt, pussycat bow shirt, or a knit sweater top.

The cool thing about the red skirt right now? It's a great transition piece. It'll go from summer to fall and back again with no issues at all.

The other good thing about a red this intense is, if you don't like reds for your skin tone, this skirt is far away from your face and can work with black tights, so you don't have to concern yourself with complexion issues. Come to think on it, that holds true for any brightly colored skirt. This trend means you can add an intense pop of color to your outfit for fall without fear! That said, a bright will draw attention to your bottom half, so if that is your problem area best to put your brights on your top or as accessories.


A Quick Word On Black Tights

TIGHTS, mind you, NEVER leggings. Shudder. Leggings. Ugh. Give me a moment. OK, I'm better.

I do love me a nice pair of opaque black tights, and they are very slimming. I shell out good money to get mine from dance stores ($20-30). They tend to have better quality, more comfortable fits, and last for years. Look for tights that have a seam that goes all the way up the back of the legs and stays divided over the but (that is, one seam over each cheek, not to be crass). I don't know why but it is a sign of a much more comfortable fit.

And what to read in your red pencil skirt? I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest my recently launched first ever self-published short story. I know, I know, but this is my blog. I can shill sometimes, can't I?

Gail Carriger in a Red Skirt  at Reno WorldCon 2011


Cover Copy:  
The warrior Mithra must repel a Roman legion alone and armed only with a very peculiar weapon. To protect her lands and her tribe, Mithra comes up with a sticky solution to an impossible problem. 
Written in 1998, this short story was New York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger’s first professional sale.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Oh so many times, Fashionable Reader, I have discussed my love of red.


Generally speaking at least one day at a convention will see me in a red dress, and one other with red accessories. I can't help it, I'm a brunette with green eyes, a sallow complexion, a full figure, and attitude. It's practically a recipe for falling deeply in love with red.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
The incomparable Sophia Loren, another lover of red.

So, for my first full day at WorldCon in Reno I opted for one of my favorite red dresses.

The dress on the hanger, you can see the slight cross over double breasted detailing. 
It's a Sue Leslie of California probably around 1952. This designer seems to specialize in sun dresses and cocktail dresses.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
At BEA in 2009 launching the ARCs of Soulless, paired the dress with cream. And in Reno, pairs with white.

Why do I love this dress so? Well, it's not only the color. It's light weight, a day dress, it has 3/4 sleeves, it fits like a dream, and, best of all, is a pencil dress. I adore pencil dresses.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

I tend to wear my red with cream or white. I think it gives a more vintage feel. However, it also works with black and gold for evenings, although I have another, wiggle dress, I usually wear under those circumstances. I don't usually do it with brown, unless I'm going for a modern street feel. I'm not one for all red either, it's tricky, but also very vintage.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

For one thing, it's really difficult to match reds, there are so many different tones.
The classic red pencil dress has been around since the 1930s, in some version or another. What's not to love about it?

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

I happen to like mine paired with a little counter-color belt. I think it sets of the narrowness of the cut better.


I don't think you need be scared of the color either. Different shades of red are out there and there is generally a tone or a print to suit everyone's needs, even if you are a red head or a pale blonde. You could go for cream or white with a red dot, or black with a red flower, a muted knit or tweedy red. Options, options!

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

I happen to like fire-engine, cherry, bright, and true reds. But I know they aren't for everyone.

Just please, avoid something like this? Us curvy girls just aren't allowed to go too modern, it doesn't work.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

And now for a pallet cleanser.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011
Helen Mirren rocking it, baby.

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!

I know it's the middle of summer, and if there is any fabric that is a winter fabric, it's tweed! However, I'm going over old WorldCons and one of the skirts that turns up more often than not is my tweed. Probably because it packs and travels well.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
Here I've paired it with red for WorldCon in 2008 with Amy, Prannish, & Paul at the Tor party.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
Mine is modern, not vintage (fortunately this means it doesn't smell). It's a Liz Claybourne from Marshalls, I probably paid about $30 for it. It's lined and not wool, contributing factors to me buying it. Vintage tweed is almost always wool, which I can't wear to my sadness.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
1940's stylish tweedy ladies

Tweed has a very 1940's feel to me, but it's been particularly popular from 1930s on. It has a definite reputation in England for being associated with the gentry (or countrified aristocracy). It was worn for hunting and riding and other sporting pursuits. "Getting into the tweed" is a colloquialism for getting ready for a country jaunt. Also it's irreparably linked to both a boy's public school education (for the yanks this means private school ~ don't ask) and the House of Lords.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
The ladies of Gosford park, in the tweed zone.

I tend to pair mine with a knit bow top.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!

Or a pussycat bow (see future blog). As we have discussed before I love red, so most of the time this outfit ends up with red accessories, as discussed in a previous blog. But sometimes I pair it with brown for a more fall look.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
Photo by Lori Nyx

Here I am doing a reading in the skirt on the Blameless book tour. I'm wearing a little fur and velvet net hat which I adore (affectionately referred to as the tarantula hat) and some brown shoes.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
 Hat from Decades of Fashion on Haight Street. $30
Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
T-strap pumps by Soft from Nordsrtom Rack $25, and peep toes by Aerosoles from source $35. 

Both shoes started life pink and have been dyed brown. I seem to always end up dying shoes brown because I can't find a pair I like in the shade I want.

In adition to the skirt I have two jackets in tweed as well. Or rather one coat and one jacket.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
Coat from Banana Republic outlet mall $60, American Eagle check jacket from thrift store $10.

I've had the winter white coat for ages, it seems terribly impractical but I can't seem to get rid of it. Every time I think, I have too many coats, this is the one I end up reaching for when it's cold and I don't want black. The jacket, sadly, doesn't quite fit the rack and is wool, although lined with a lovely red pinstripe, so it has been (rather aptly) retired to the countryside (AKA my mother's). It's a tweedy fabric, but with a brown hounds-tooth check. It's very equestrian, and I LOVE equestrian so I haven't been able to completely get rid of it.

But where was I? Oh yes, tweed! Like the black pencil skirt the tweed skirt often shows up on the fall winter runways. Here are some examples from both future and past.

I think you can dress tweed modern, as in the last two pictures above, but it will still have a vintage look to it. Particularly if you are wearing a pencil skirt form. I suspect this, combined with the country equestrian nature, is why I love it so very much.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!
Joan on Madmen sporting tweed, and a 1940's tweed suit paired with what? Oh yes, red!

So what book do I suggest with the tweed?

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!

Patricia C. Wrede's The Raven Ring. Set in Lyra (a world in which Wrede has written many books) this one stands entirely alone. It features a tough mountain lass, who just happens to be a bad ass fighter, and is basically a murder mystery with magic. Eleret must figure out who murdered her mother and what that has to to with the magical Raven Ring that is her only inheritance. It also features two marvelous love interests and a fun ending.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black Dress

This was one of those dresses I bought on a whim with absolutely no reason or purpose, Fashionable Reader.

This usually bites me in the proverbial bottom. I have a suit and two dresses in my closet right now I can count from memory that I bought on just such a whim and have never worn. I purchased this dress because I loved it and if fit like a dream and despite being black and a cut I would never normally go for, it managed to minimize the boobs.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black Dress
Black poly dress with a teared skirt. No Label. 
From Held Over on Height Street in San Francisco, c. $50.

I think the dress is from the 1970s, from the condition and the fabric type, but it has a 1930s feel to it.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black Dress
Left to Right: 1932 Coco Chanel dress via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; 
1935 Paris fashion plate; 1930s teared skirt dress

When I was nominated for the Campbell Award in 2010 I was almost as excited by the opportunity to wear this dress as I was with the excuse to visit Australia.

After the awards, photo by Joxer

I think I love this dress so much because it has a pussycat bow a detail drawing interest up to the face, and away from the rack. It nips in at the waist with a diamante belt tight enough to require no tailoring. And the multiple tears at the bottom balance me out (I tend to be top heavy).

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black Dress
I know, I know silly face, several glasses of champagne in at the Hugo Losers Party. I'm trying to show you the bow.

So I wore it to the Hugo Award Ceremony in Melbourne in 2010 (I didn't win the Campbell but I was in a wonderful dress, and that's what counts, in my world). I paired it with gold accessories because of the dress's built-in belt.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black Dress
Gold Gloves from Piedmonts on Haight Street, San Francisco $15, and designer earrings, a gift.

Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black DressGail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black Dress
Gold ballroom dancing sandals by Very Fine, from It's a Wrap in Burbank, CA $10, and 
little leather embossed bag inherited from my grandmother, probably 1930s.

One of my biggest tips as a high-heel aficionado to those more cautious with their feet, is to try dancing shoes. They can run very expensive but they break easily to mold to your foot. I have a lovely Shoe Guy I visit regularly who not only puts on walking soles and makes repairs but dies shoes for me at a very reasonable rate ($5 ~ $10).  I figure if I am going to get more wear out of the shoe with some adjustments it is worth the money.

Here are some fashion ideas to get a more modern look out of a long dress or skirt like mine. Maxi dresses and skirts are all over the street and the runway both for summer and fall, alas not exactly of this style.

I do think this dress would make for a great wedding dress style for a larger chested lady. But that is a whole other discussion.

Gail Carriger Announces the Winnah of the Heartless Fashion and Tea Give Away

Sorry this blog is a tad delayed, Fashionable Reader. I had to turn in some important notes to New York before 2 pm today which rather derailed the normal synchronicity of my online day, I'm sure you understand.

I was reading your comments for the contest and I actually said out loud into the empty room "You are all so cute!"

Thank you so much both for your positive encouragement and for your thoughts. I have taken them all under advisement. Some of the suggestions were for blogs I already have in the works (I often wait until enough good imagery has come my way before posting). Some will be applied as twists to future blogs (more on accessorizing, for example). Still others are entirely new fodder (plus size vintage has already occurred).


However, while I get all my leopards in a row (not just for this blog but for major edits on Finishing School and preparations for Reno WorldCon) I have prepped a six blog retrospectives on past WorldCons that I hope you will enjoy.

Gail Carriger Announces the Winnah of the Heartless Fashion and Tea Give Away

I'm going delve a little further into the matter of accessories (as per requests) as well as the dresses themselves. I hope you enjoy this series.

Gail Carriger Announces the Winnah of the Heartless Fashion and Tea Give Away

Rest assured that in the background I am conducting other DIY projects. Before Reno's WorldCon, for example, I must repair three hats, add veils to two, and turn plain oxfords into spectators (not to mention, you know, that crazy writing thang). I also want to finish my new steampunk outfit for the Girl Genius Ball. I'm documenting it all for you!

Gail Carriger Announces the Winnah of the Heartless Fashion and Tea Give Away

 And now, as you have waded patiently through the blog I give you . . . the winnah!

MissSnarkerson!

If the lovely Miss would please email me at gail at gailcarriger dot com with snail mail details or drop me a calling card I'll pop the books in the mail post haste!

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line

In which Gail goes of on a bit of a fashion rant . . . you have been warned.

So, Fashionable Reader, Banana Republic announced recently that they were coming out with a Mad Men inspired RTW line. I went in to their San Francisco flagship store to inquire and the salesman seemed to think the earliest we could expect it to hit shops is next Spring, but I'd be shocked if they weren't shooting for the holiday season.

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line

 Here's my main question: Banana Republic, why would I buy a faux-vintage line? It's not going to fit those of use with real vintage curves because you're still using your flat-chested butt-less size models. It doesn't have any of the basics we like ~ hello, sleeves? It's clearly not tailored for anything substantial up top or down bellow. The model doesn't have very much yet it isn't fitting even her tiny little Bs properly.

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men LineGail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line

The lengths aren't quite long enough, and the colors are, frankly boring.

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men LineGail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line
It's not tailored to the natural waist, a hallmark of 1950s fashion. Instead it's coming in about the ribs. Put my rack in there and it'd practically be a baby-doll.

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line

I bet the fabrics are synthetic, the seams sewn only once, and half the stuff isn't lined property. I'll take real vintage any day, at half the price. Of course, I'll probably still go and investigate the outlet mall in a few months, just to be sure. But I lay good money that not a single thing will fit this retro rack better than any one of my $15 thrifted real 1950s dresses, that's for darn sure.

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line

So am I annoyed? Yes, Fashionable Reader, I do believe I am. And I'm not anti-Banana Republic as a general rule. I happen to own and love one of their winter white overcoats from several years ago. However, the only BR tops I've ever managed to squeeze into were stretch jersey (and I prefer tailored and structured fabrics).

I suppose, in the end, I feel like they are basically poaching a vintage look without giving me what I want from vintage clothing ~ proper fit.

I can guarantee you one of the people this Banana Republic Mad Man line won't fit . . . Christina Hendricks.

Gail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line
Knitted Tops with Gail Carriger: Part 2, Patterns and the Rack Gail Carriger in a Marigold Cocktail Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Skirt  at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: Tweed Skirt!Gail Carriger WorldCon 2010 Retrospective: 1930s Long Black DressGail Carriger Announces the Winnah of the Heartless Fashion and Tea Give AwayGail Carriger Has FEELS and Thoughts on Banana Republic's Mad Men Line

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