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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger


Every one of us hates swimsuit shopping, Fashionable Reader.

I don't know a single curvy girl who enjoys it.

It's the worst of bra shopping, meets the worst of size matching (no, actually my bottom is a medium and my top is a large), meets the great fear of Cellulite in Public.

Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger

I go on holy grail hunts for companies that do bra-sized tops with bottoms I can buy separately. That's if I dare risk a bikini, which I mostly don't. Plus, I know I'm out $80 for a bikini that fits well, but it still won't fit perfectly.

 I have one tankini with a zipper front but it's so very sporty-looking zipped (and so very not sporty-looking unzipped) that it rarely gets an airing.

Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
Wearing a reto leopard tankini top (from Target) as a top.


I came to a realization (odd it took so long for a girl who wears so much retro off the beach) that perhaps I should try vintage bathing costumes. Why not? The past produced dresses better for curvy girls, why not swimsuits? One good part being that, without chlorine and with different fabrics, vintage swimsuits seem to last longer than modern ones. Also, they have such interesting patterns and necklines.


I started the hunt some eight years ago and have ammassed a collection of suits since then, perhaps not of the colors and patterns I might wish, but I'm willing to take a color risk in order to wear a good, supportive, nicely-shaped suit.

Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger

I will admit, I was afraid they might look a little, well, granny-like. However, vintage suits seem to be all over the fashion blogs and runways for summer this year. So what do you know? I'm on trend for a change.


Vintage suits seem to dictate a specific look ~ full make-up, heels on the beach, matched robes or little jackets.

Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail CarrigerSwimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
(left ~ yellow form the 1960s, right ~ Carolyn Schnurer bathing suit ca. 1952 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

However, I think you can go beach chic with a vintage suit and not have to go all the way retro. Here are my three paired as possible outfits.

Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
 (Maxine of Hollywood suit thrifted $20 a long time ago, gold ballroom Very Fine dance shoes from It's a Wrap in LA $10, sailor shorts from Crossroads in San Francisco $12)
Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
 (Labelless suit from Bon Mar Thrift store in Sonoma $5, Union Bay cargo shorts thrifted a while ago $15, Miz Mooz sandals recent score from Crossroads in SF $25, silver cuff probubly around $10 can't remember source)
Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
 (Roxanne turquoise tie-side skirt suit from Bon Mar Thrift store in Sonoma $5, H&M shorts $25, thrifted Apepazza flats probably from Buffalo Exchange around $20)

So there you have it, why not give a vintage suit (or a vintage inspired retro suit) a try?

Here are a bunch of retro suits on Amazon. They can get expensive. 

Please do check your vintage and thrift stores because suits do sometimes turn up. Often they are in the lingerie section.

You'll stand out in the right way. And I believe such suits provide the kind of support and coverage that gives a curvy girl those most necessary of feelings when wearing a swimsuit ~ confidence and courage!

Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger


Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
(Claire McCardell bathing suit ca. 1957 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)


Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.


Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail Carriger

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's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


Its happened again, but this time with feeling. Time for a closet purge.

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

My darling Fashionable Reader, can you believe it's been 10 years?

Well not in this exact blog but pretty much I've been talking about retro fashion and my love of it here on the interwebs for a decade.

And something has happened. I've changed shape.

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


I not going to shilly-shally around the point, I'm not precisely happy about this. However, I cannot expect to stay the same size that I was at university. I've become settled and I'm content with my life. But the life of being an author and is largely a stationary existence. I'm not tromping around the Andean Highlands anymore.

And I do love the occasional cream puff.

Perhaps more than occasional.

All these things have added up to a widening in certain areas. Not to mention the fact that I got a breast reduction several years ago. My shape, such as it is, has changed.

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


I am not going to substantially alter my lifestyle anytime soon. And even if I were, I am a believer in:

 never keeping clothing in one's wardrobe that doesn't fit


Quite apart from everything else, losing weight is an excuse to go shopping. And sometimes that makes it a motivation. Keeping too small clothing, on the other hand, is just depressing.

So accepting all these truths as self evident, I went through my closet recently and took a good long look at those dresses that really don't fit me anymore. Without too much surprise most of them are pencil dresses with no stretch to them.

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

Which leads me onto the next point:

I am also at a stage in my life where I want to change my style slightly. 


So I am shifting away from bodycon, tight, bombshell outfits towards things that are a little bit more relaxed and comfortable and that travel well.

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


I've been doing fewer events over the last couple of years, in an effort to protect my sanity and improve my production, but when I do travel it does tend to be greater distances which means the clothing that I have for events needs to pack well, not wrinkle, and pack small.

With all these restrictions in mind, here are a few of the items that I'm going to be getting rid of...

Black Velvet Jacket 1980s (1930s revival) CLAIMED


Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

You have never seen me in this jacket because I've never worn it.

What? 
Beautiful black silk velvet swing jacket, with feather cuffs, 2 large velvet buttons at the top only.
Why?
It still fits. But it's still isn't right over the boobs. I thought if they were smaller it would look better, but it just isn't suitable for someone the my rack, the next owner needs to be less endowed and probubly taller too.

Has gone to a new home.

Grey Check Pencil Skirt (modern) CLAIMED


Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old LovesGail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

What?
Windowpane plaid, grey with teal stripe, fish tale kick pleats. BCBG size 4. (I originally owned 3 of this skirt in different patterns, this is the last one.) Modern materials, lines, has stretch.
Why?
Too tight in waist and hips, doesn't photo well, just never seem to wear it.

Claimed to a new home by my lovely Z.

Red & White Suit 1980s


Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

What? 
Two piece cherry red suit with white birds, peplum top with button front, pleated fitted skirt, silk.
Why?
Too tight at waist, shirt is really for someone with a short waist and smaller boobs. Doesn't pack well.

Red Dotty Dress 1950s


Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old LovesGail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves
1958 Red Pencild Button Front Dress

What?
Fitted and pleated red pencil dress with tan spots, silk, wonderful vintage seaming in neck and sleeves, matched belt. Satin wash poplin, no stretch.
Why? 
Too tight at hips, doesn't pack well.

Black & White Check Suit 1960s CLAIMED


Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old LovesGail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

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.

Claimed to a new home by my lovely Z. 

The Pink Floral Maxi 1960s


Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


What? 
Maxi dress with chiffon top with tiny pink bows and train, linen skirt with hand painted flowers. Probably bridesmaid. No stretch.
Why? 
Too tight in torso, requires assistance to get into, linen doesn't travel.

The Marigold Cocktail 1950s

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old LovesGail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves

What? 
Dupioni cocktail dress in a marigold color, low neckline, bra strap keeper, very flattering cut and seaming. No stretch.
Why? 
Too tight in shoulders and hips and sleeves, bit too long, needs someone taller than me with less broad shoulders.

I'm checking with local friends to see if they want 'em. If not then I'll probably consign them.

If you're super interested in buying any of them, you can ping me via my website calling card and Kelly and I will see what we can do for you. The usual warning about these being vintage.

I am sorry but it's too complicated to ship clothing overseas, given manifold troubles with customs and the high expense of postage, not to mention Kelly's time standing in line at the Post Office.

Be aware most of these are a size 2-4 and I'm 5'7" in flats and almost always wearing high heels.

Gail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old Loves


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 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard


For the second day of San Diego Comic Con I wore my coolest outfit (literally and figuratively). For this one I went pure pin up.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

I like red and leopard together, but then I love red, so... Leopard is so very versatile.

Here is another way to do Leopard, although, not in Canada. (One gets mistaken for local comedic talent, as it turns out.)

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

And here is the last time I wore red and leopard together, on the Sword & Laser podcast & video.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

Right, now where was I? Oh yes... Comic Con.

Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

Outfit Breakdown

  • Turban style hat. I've gotten really into these lately and am planning on buying more (I already have red, white, and leopard). They come in quite a range of colors, styles, fabrics, and prices, this one is $8. I want to try one of the ones with a bow next.
  • I paired it with a leopard flower hair clip (similar $8).
  • Steampunk earrings (similar $17).
  • Red sunnies $9 (they seem out of the red, but the red and black are killer). 
  • I'm wearing the Bumbersnoot necklace from Badali jewelry that they SOLD OUT at Comic Con. There are more on their website, $23-48 depending on material. (I'm currently giving one away to a lucky winner via my newsletter, The Chirrup.)
Gail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and Leopard

Next up, more from Comic Con!

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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Things I'm Picking Up for Prime Day


So I keep a long list of items that interest me, Fashionable Reader, but that I'm not sure if they are worth it or not. Prime day, for me, is an excuse to try out some stuff at a lower price point.

So here is what I am picking up...


Gail Carriger Things I'm Picking Up for Prime Day

Angerella Vintage Retro Pin Up Halter One Piece Swimsuit Monokinis for $9.99 comes in four different patterns, sizes are kind of restricted. I'm trying the L & XL (6 & 8) respectively. (I know, right?)

Gail Carriger Things I'm Picking Up for Prime Day

Pretty Polly Womens Nylon Backseam Tights for $14. Like all other denizens of the nude with black back seam (who can't wear Leg Avenue), I used to buy American Apparel. They discontinued their version years ago. I've been hunting for a replacement since. We shall see how these fit.



Things on sale that I have, love, and recommend...



Gail Carriger Things I'm Picking Up for Prime Day


Life's perfect silk head scarf for $13 There is something about this scarf, the colors just seem to always go with everything in my wardrobe and its thick enough to be full cover, but still light-weight, and it's the right size to tie in pretty ways without too much excess.

Gail Carriger Things I'm Picking Up for Prime Day



Life's perfect sleep mask $9.99. Super-smooth with the all important Two Straps.
Retro Rack is also on Facebook and Pinterest where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas


For the first two stops of my Imprudence Book tour I wore my new red trumpet skirt. I know, the same skirt, 2x in a row! But you see, Fashionable Reader, 10 stops in 10 days, carry-on only, will limit even my choices of outfit, especially with the impossible heat.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
Sorry I didn't note the source, but I think it was on Instagram.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
with Valerie & Shannon (via Valerie on FB)

For both Texas events I wore my new red Power Broker- 30s Vintage Style Retro Double Button Skirt $30 (also comes in black). I own the size small (and I run size 4-6 on my lower half). It fits beautifully. This was its first major outing and it was GREAT. It travels like a dream, hardly any wrinkles (taking it into the steamy bathroom while I showered dealt with those). It also washed well out the other side (cold water delicate and a line dry and it looked as good as new).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

For both events I paired it with a tiny red bow headband (modern, dying, can't find a good replacement but I'm thinking of something like this), red beaded necklace set (one is vintage the other modern, similar single strand $13, similar earrings $8, similar set $24), obligatory pen necklace (modern replica, $18), and a pair of Via Spiga suede sandals that I got about 10 years ago (no longer available, similar pumps $20-50).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

In Houston I paired it with a stretch velvet 1940s style sleeveless top. This was originally a dress from Ross but I cannibalized it into a blouse and I wear it all the time. I adore it. It looks better in person.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas

In Austin I wore the red skirt with my cherry top. I got this one overseas, I want to say Germany or France, although I think it's a UK brand. Paid too much for it but I've certainly got my money's worth. Here's something in the same pattern if not cut, $34.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in TexasGail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in Texas
 via Elizabeth on Facebook (thank you!)


More tour outfits to come!

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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Is there anything more classic than black and white?  I do love it so. And it's been all over the runways for fall. Today, Fashionable Reader, a collection of lust worthy black and white outfits that I hope will inspire you to try this combination.

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White
Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White
 1912-1913 Jean-Philippe Worth  Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur, og Design

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

And now something for the various characters!

Rue, who is often dressed by her adopted father, has a predilection for Worth gowns. Here's something he might insist she were of an evening. She does like long coats, like her blood father, for similar reasons.

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White




 1900 Evening Coat  Jean-Philippe Worth  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And to go underneath.
Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White
 1900s  The Minnesota Historical Society

Something for Primrose. Who patronizes various fashion houses, and likes a few more frills.

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White
1900-1905  Visiting Dress  Jacques Doucet, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


And, as Halloween is just aroudn the corner, here's a option for a fun black and white outfit.

Gail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.
Swimsuits: Come to the Retro Side, We Have Support from Gail CarrigerGail Carriger's Great Closet Purge of 2018: In Which Gail Lets Go of Old LovesGail Carriger in 1950s Retro Red Pedal Pushers and LeopardGail Carriger Things I'm Picking Up for Prime DayGail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ Red Trumpet Skirt in TexasThe Care and Feeding of Vintage Dresses with Gail CarrigerOccasional FAQ ~ Gail Carriger Interviewed about Vintage FashionGail Carriger's Top Ten Fashion BloggersThen & Now ~ Cream LaceGail Carriger Lust Objects ~ Black & White

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