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Retro Rack

Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink Dress

I've been wanting to wear this dress for a while. It's a bit vavavoom for book events, in a Marilyn Munroe on the beach kind of way. But it is very light, cool, and pink, so it was the first one I chose for the New Orleans trip. I'll be wearing it Sunday for a signing at the ALA Hachette booth from 11 AM ~ noon and for my Books A Million in Baton Rouge event at 3 PM (Facebook event page).

Gail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink Dress

This 1950s dress is very lightweight cotton with a faux wrap look to the bottom that ties to one side. I purchased it at Bon Mar Thriftstore for $5. I added the lace to the spaghetti straps to hide bra straps, as I am not one of those girls who can go anywhere without a bra. Before you ask, no one over a certain size can wear a strapless bra, period. They simply don't work. Even if I managed, through some miracle, to find one in 30H, and it managed to stay up, I'd spend the whole day selfconsciously tugging because I'd feel like it shouldn't!

Gail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink DressGail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink DressGail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink Dress
1950s dresses via Timeless Vixen Vintage

That said, I do have a nice corset I could wear under it, but who buys a beach dress and wears it with a corset? I haven't seen any dresses of this type on the runway or in urban snapshots, but that won't stop me from wearing it this summer. Perhaps I will do a blog on how to make it street chic.

Look at it this way, Fashionable Reader, at least we aren't confined to wearing something like this in this in the summer heat!

Gail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink DressGail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink Dress
Left 1878-1880 English & right 1880-1882, both summer day dresses

Nevertheless, I am curious. What's your solution to the bra problem paired with lightweight summer clothing? Do you end up widening all your straps like me, or opt primarily for short sleeves? How about the fated white muslin peasant top? Or do you sweat it out with a cardigan?

Gail Carriger in LA in a 1960s Maxi Dress with Tulips





Who: Gail Carriger

What:
1960s maxi dress by Lorrie Deb San Francisco. Possibly a bride's maid's or prom dress. Bright pink chiffon overlay top with bow details at the waist and on the back with a mini train. Linen skirt with hand painted tulips in increasing size.

When:
Purchased March 2011

Where:
Bon Mar Thift Store in Sonoma, CA. Required minor repairs to the snaps. Total cost $15.

Why:
To wear to a tea, reading, and book signing in Pasadena, CA. April 2011.

To What Degree: Added a vintage 1960's white straw hat of the topper style, crocheted gloves, pearl button earrings, gold pen necklace, new Alfani cream bow peep toe stilettos, vintage cream bag, and cream parasol. More pictures from the event are here, from Pixie Vision Productions.

What Works: Dark color on top, lighter color on the bottom balances out the bust. Also wide boat neck draws attention up towards shoulders and face. Top is tightly fitted, skirt billows out slightly, also balancing. Here is a slightly similar coctail number from Mod Cloth.



A Manifesto: Being the Photo Diary of a Curvy Girl

My dear Gentle Readers!

This blog is intended as an ode to my love affair with vintage fashion, thrifting, and modification of clothing. This is an affair of long standing that began some time in the early 1990s when it became evident that mine was a shape better suited to the 1950s, or even, the 1850s than anything the modern world might provide.

A Manifesto: Being the Photo Diary of a Curvy Girl

This affair has persisted to the current day, partly because I adore the styles themselves, and partly because my figure has only continued a ~ shall we call it? ~ exaggeration of form.

Hence the title of the blog, Retro Rack.

My intent is to provide photos from various of my public events as an Author Beast, but also to show some of what retro was, as well as some for what retro can be with a modern twist. (This post is probably the wordiest I shall ever be on this blog.)

I do hope you enjoy.

You can also follow my Yelp Account for reviews of vintage shops (be warned I also review eateries and hotels.) If you are interested in a blog with sewing focus for ladies of a more statuesque proportion than myself, you can do no better than New Vintage Lady.


A Small Note On The Subject Of Racks

I love style. I follow many fashion blogs, but sadly very few of them are run by women who are ~ shall we say? ~ blessed. Mine is a rack that has been the bane of my existence since university. Every button down shirt in my closest has the mid buttons sewn together. I rate my blouses by the magic notion of "minimization." A new bra is a quest of nigh epic proportions. I am not ashamed of my size, but I have struggled with it.

A Manifesto: Being the Photo Diary of a Curvy Girl

I am hoping this blog provides inspiration and perhaps hope, to those of you frustrated by a contemporary world and a visual environment that forgets those of us with ~ what my less endowed friends once described as ~ aggressive boobage.

This is not a place for leering or lewd commentary or snide remarks, so please refrain. I am trying to take the stigma out of being large chested in a safe fashionable environment, without trivializing the matter.

To that end, here are my measurements:
  • 38 ~ 28 ~ 38
  • height ~ 5'6"
  • bra size ~ 32G ~ 30H (yes, H)
  • hat size ~ small
  • modern dress size 6 ~ 8
  • vintage dress size 12 ~ 16
  • modern top size 6 ~ 10, med ~ large
  • modern bottom size 4 ~ 6, small ~ med
  • shoe size 7.5 ~ 8
  • age ~ over 30 (you can't expect me to admit to everything, now can you?)
Gail Carriger New Orleans in a Pink DressGail Carriger in LA in a 1960s Maxi Dress with TulipsA Manifesto: Being the Photo Diary of a Curvy Girl

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