vintage clothing

Vintage Fashion | Glove Etiquette for Beginners

Vintage Fashion | Glove Etiquette for Beginners

I admit, I have a bit of a thing for gloves.

Specifically vintage gloves that are small enough for my stubby hands. They look smart, come in a trillion styles and colours and make you feel like a lady. They are also the one part of my wardrobe that gets consistently noticed.

But since our mothers were freed from the social expectation of hats and gloves, we’ve forgotten how to wear them! Gloves were an integral part of dressing for many eras, but the majority of questions I receive are from lovers of 1940’s – 1960’s fashion. So here, my darlings, is a beginners playbook for the wearing of gloves – information courtesy of several 1950’s fashion etiquette brochures.

When to wear gloves

Gloves should be worn on the streets of cities and large towns.
They should be worn when driving or travelling on trains, planes or other public conveyances.
Gloves should be worn for church and formal occasions including weddings, luncheons, dinners, garden parties or receptions.
The hostess should also wear gloves while she is receiving guests at these functions.

When not to wear gloves

Please remove your gloves to eat, smoke, apply makeup or play cards.

Glove Etiquette

  •  If you are lunching in a restaurant remove your coat on entering but retain your hat and gloves. Removeyour gloves when you are seated at the table.
  •  When attending a party with food or hors d’oeuvres turn your gloves back at the wrist or remove one while eating. ( This is where those gloves with wrist buttons come into play )
  •  When attending an informal event, remove your gloves on arrival and leave them with your coat.
  •  Always remove your gloves completely when seated for a meal. Try to do so discreetly, a lady does not make a spectacle of removing her gloves.
  • Gloves are left on while shaking hands.
  • Bracelets are the only jewellery that should be worn over your gloves.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeColette walks us through the basic rules for wearing gloves, the perfect vintage fashion accessory.

Which gloves do I wear?

Day Gloves 

  • Short gloves in cotton or nylon come in lovely styles. Consider bright polka dot prints for the races, and embroidered or lace-trimmed gloves for summer parties.
  • Black kid leather is appropriate for city sightseeing and theater in metropolitan settings.
  • Crotchet or string gloves for casual garden parties and fairs in the country, or at the beach.
  • Leather gloves are wonderful in winter, especially for shopping and also driving.

Evening Gloves 

  • The appropriate length of glove can be chosen according to the length of your sleeves – the shorter your sleeves, the longer your gloves.
  • White and off white, including ivory, beige and taupe, are the traditional colors for opera gloves. these pale colours are appropriate for virtually any occasion on which opera gloves are worn.
  • Black Opera Gloves should not be worn with light-colored dresses, but can be worn with black, dark-colored or bright-colored clothing.
  • Black gloves are also considered the most elegant with evening dress.
  • Long coloured gloves should really be worn only with dresses of a coordinating colour scheme.
  • Opera gloves should not be put on in public but should be put on in the privacy of your own home. If they must be removed in public please do so discreetly. ( I can only imagine this was included in 1954’s brochure as the sight of a woman peeling off an opera glove could drive a man crazy.)

Lilli Ann inspired gold and black floral ladies suit. Made and worn with vintage hat and gloves and modern back seam stockings and leather heels.

Of course, these are the fashion rules from the era our beloved gloves are from. Modern women have the freedom to disobey or obey them as they please. Personally I find the subtle nuances of wearing vintage clothing part of the experience, so I  hope these guidelines will help you confidently don your gloves like the retro beauty you are! Have fun and be bold!

With Style & Sass

    Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments
Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

A weekend getaway to windy Wellington requires a practical, yet stylish wardrobe. Something suitable for sunshine with blustery arctic breezes, waterfront strolls and eating waaaaay to much. I’m not one for wearing exercise gear when I’m not, well, exercising, so I opted for the clean lines and practical fabrics of 1940’s swing pants and a button down blouse.

* I wasn’t paid, sponsored or cajoled into writing the following post, just so ya know. However If you would like to sponsor, cajole or otherwise encourage me to review your product or service, please contact me here*

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

I gotta tell you, these trousers are something special. I’m short in the legs, long in the torso and there’s a large disparity between my waist and hip measurements. But the Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers don’t care.

Apart from being 4cm too long – like every pair of pants ever – they fit beautifully! I’ll be shortening them and widening the cuff in the process, but for this look I was happy to wear a comfortable heel.
Based on a WWII era pattern these swing trousers are ACTUALLY high waisted. As in they go well above my belly button. The wide waistband is firm and doesn’t fold down or scrunch up ( woooohoo!) and front patch pocket is cute, if not overly useful. But what really sold me is the side button closure. Leaving a smooth panel over the stomach, it’s both classic and far more flattering than a bulky front zip.
( Can you tell I’m not a fan of front zips? Why are 90% of pants determined to make one’s tummy look bigger!?)

Pairing these green trousers with navy, off white and chocolate brown felt so right for a brisk oceanfront walk. I’m loving how the emerald green and deep blues reflect the water.

Oh and did I mention the pants are pretty easy care? I’ve just been chucking mine through the washing machine and line drying them. The fabric is durable enough for everyday wear without worrying about damage from pets or rough surfaces, which is great if you’ve got an energetic dog like mine! Wide leg trousers are such a versatile style. Wear them casual with a knit top, or dress them up with a sophisticated blouse and jewellery.

Outfit Details

Trousers | Vivien of Holloway 1940’s Swing Trousers
Blouse | Collectif Clothing – Mona Shirt
Houndstooth Coat | Vintage
Gloves, Hat & Enamel Brooch | Vintage, Tock Tick Vintage
Two Tone Shoes | Remix Shoes – Sydney Heel 

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Things you might want to know about Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers…

  • In my experience the poly cotton fabric doesn’t stretch much, so choose your sizing carefully.
  • I’m 5.3″ and these are 4cm too long if I’m wearing flat shoes.
  • I’m wearing the VOH size 10 which nicely defines my 26″ waist. For comparison I normally wear an NZ 6-8 in pants, or an XS in Collectif.
  • The fabric was a bit… crispy? Possibly to hold the front creases while packed? I washed them before wearing to remove the extra starch so they’d hang well.
  • Vivien of Holloway makes swing trousers in at least four fabrics and around a dozen colours, most of which I’d love to add to my wardrobe! Especially the Teal and Ocean colourways.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments
Tui | A Bespoke 1950’s Cocktail Dress

Tui | A Bespoke 1950’s Cocktail Dress

This outfit didn’t make the cut.
The cut for my Miss Pinup entry video that is. I wear the heck out of it every where else!

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The Outfit

We shot the Tui dress as part of my glove styling video, but technical issues meant it didn’t make the cut! I absolutely love this formal pinup look though and I think you will too.

Like Tui feathers gleaming in the sun, this iridescent fabric makes for a next level little black dress. It was left over from my bridesmaids dresses seven years ago, so in true make-do style I designed a dress to fit the yardage I had left!  Based on a 1950’s wedding dress, the boned bodice features horizontal pleats reminiscent of lorica sementata ( who else loves the concept of an armoured evening dress?). Floral lace froths over the sweetheart shelf bust, hand stitched on for perfect placement. For the most economical use of fabric the skirt is a gathered rectangle – I’d prefer a gathered circle skirt but there just wasn’t enough fabric!

To complement the fabric’s pink highlights I accessorised with vintage white and magenta costume jewellery. The glamorous necklace and earrings set are especially sentimental to me, an anniversary gift from my ever patient husband. Matching magenta orchids and my favourite vintage satin gloves finish the outfit with a pretty elegance.

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Photos | James Beck
Tui vintage style dress | Velvet DeCollete
Hair flowers | Made With Love NZ
Vintage Gloves | I’ve had them so long I can’t remember!
Vintage Costume Jewellery | Tock Tick Vintage
Leather shoes | Alonso Andretti – thrifted

PS: I wore this dress at a Pinup Honey’s event before adding the lace, check it out!

With style & sass,

                   Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Jilted Brides and Moldy Cake | Miss Havisham’s Day Out

Jilted Brides and Moldy Cake | Miss Havisham’s Day Out

What do you call a group of jilted brides? A Flock? A Murder?
Let’s go with a Murder, because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Last weekend a murder of brides descended upon Newmarket’s historic Highwic House for Miss Havisham’s Day Out. Part of the Til Death Do Us Part exhibition currently housed at Highwic,  it was a day of cobwebby cakes, vintage games and wedding gowns themed around the eccentric spinster from Great Expectations!

Dressed in wedding gowns from all eras guests competed in ring finger races and White Wedding lipsyncs ( yes that’s me jamming air guitar in the middle, any excuse really! ), created centrepieces and sand saucers before dining on sandwiches, scones and an incredibly moldy, spider infested wedding cake created by Miss Charlotte Cake. ( I can vouch for it being as delicious as it was spooky!)

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

Clementine joined me to model the most feminine of lace foundation garments from House of Satin. Strolling around the manicured grounds in lingerie has never been more glamorous! They’re even giving away a glorious set of lingerie, so visit the exhibition before it closes this weekend to be in the draw!

I had quite a conundrum over which wedding dress to wear ( I have four vintage gowns, plus the gown I was actually married in!) but finally settled on this Edwardian inspired lacy number. Made in the late 60’s or early 70’s this confection of swiss dot tulle and satin was just begging to be worn with a dramatically long veil. The rumpled satin flowers in my hair are made from off cuts of bridal gowns I’ve made and altered over the years.

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

An enormous thanks to Rose and Glory Days for putting such a wonderful afternoon of high jinks! All the vintage gowns on display at Til Death Us Do Part are available in a silent auction ending this Sunday, with proceeds going to The Aunties, a group supporting victims of domestic violence. Make sure you hop online here, place a bid and hopefully take home a beautiful piece of history while supporting a more than worthy cause.

Photos by
David Watson
Peter Jennings
Charlotte Cake
 Velvet DeCollete
 Sarah Tallentire

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

Golden Age Glamour

Golden Age Glamour: An evocative phrase, bringing to mind diamantes and satin gloves, fluffy boudoir mules and furs. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous.

Golden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeCollete

Golden Age Glamour | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

Bra + Suspender Belt | Pip & Pantalaimon
Knickers | The Warehouse – unsure of brand as I always cut the tags out!
Gloves + Fur | Vintage
Earrings | Diva
Stockings | Undercover back-seam stockings by Voodoo
Boudoir Mules | Thrifted

A side note on bras | This bra was too big in the band for me, but I also found the cups just weren’t the right shape for augmented breasts! Any recommendations for vintage style bras that work for ladies that have had some help?

Photos | Froger
Model + Styling | Velvet DeCollete

With style and sass,

               Velvet

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
1960’s Lavender Sleepwear | A Lingerie Addict’s Diary

1960’s Lavender Sleepwear | A Lingerie Addict’s Diary

Aside from black (my one true love), green and purple hold my affection above all other colours.
Lilac, lavendar, aubergine, olive, emerald and chartruese, any shade will do! These colours suit my pale olive complexion tone and green eyes, and I love them more for their rarity in modern fashion.

I love them so much that when this lavender sleep set appeared during my obsessive trademe trawling I pounced on it at once. I knew it was too big, I just didn’t care. I wear it anyway.

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Made in New Zealand by ‘Lesley Lingerie’ I’d say this sleep smock and robe date from the mid 1960’s.
Why? let me tell you…

 The style

Simple and voluminous this is quintessential 60’s lingerie. The peter pan collar and lace placement are typical of designer sleepwear and home sewing patterns of the era.

The label

A printed fabric label without fabric content or care instructions places this garment prior to 1972 (when permanently attached care labels became mandatory). It was produced after embroidered labels became less popular but before all tags were made of stiff or plasticy materials.

The Fabric

Some careful testing tells me the lining is a polyester cotton blend, while the outer layer and robe are nylon ‘chiffon’. Lingerie designers went crazy for these fabrics in the 60’s!

The Construction

Serging or overlocking is used on these garments. While serging was used in the 1950’s and earlier, it wasn’t overly common until the 1960’s.

Regardless of age, this baby doll nightie is unashamedly feminine and takes me one step closer to owning a rainbow of vintage lingerie. Now to get my hands on something green…

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A humongous snuggly thank you to La Vonne at Tock Tick Vintage for letting me prance around her absolutely adorable pastel kitchen! It’s actually the cutest place ever.

Photos | Clementine
Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete

With style and sass,

                 Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment

Monday Style Tip No.33

enhance curves with ruffles

Fashion is like magic, you can create an illusion of something that’s not really there! Wear ruffles or frills around your bust, hips or bum to create a curvier silhouette or balance out your heavier areas.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.32

nude-heels lengthen legs

Nude heels really can give the illusion of longer legs. Personally I feel drab in nude, so I go for a fun texture like these glitter heels or a two tone style to make my nude shoes feel a bit more glam.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments
Lemon Souffle Sleepwear

Lemon Souffle Sleepwear

Soft, sweet and a little bit tart.  This 1960s sleepwear set is lemon souffle incarnate. Frothy layers of pale yellow nylon garnished with white lace are a pastel lovers dream, and enough to put any man ( or woman ) into a sugar coma!

I actually have three pieces of identically lemony goodness, a thigh grazing nightie, a floaty babydoll and a completely sheer robe. Made in Bri Nylon by Canterbury NZ they sport all the usual 1960’s toppings – glossy embroidered rosebuds, lace and ruffles.

Lemon Souffle Vintage Sleepwear | Velvet DecolleteThe robe
 Sheer, short and everything a 60’s robe should be. Lace and ruffles match the jacket to both negligees without overpowering the simplicity of design that gives this robe its fresh youthful appeal.

The babydoll
Your classic 1960’s boudoir piece, this lined babydoll falls in tiny soft gathers from a simple neckline. There’s thin white lace along the hem and neckline and a rosebud in the center front. Honestly I don’t wear it much because it makes me feel a bit boxy.

The nightie
 This is what I usually wear with the robe. A wide underbust yoke and tie shoulders make for a very flattering bust line that fits almost any cup size, especially with the elasticated smocked back panel.
While the babydoll falls in gathers from the neckline I prefer this yoked style as it defines the narrow area under my bust, making me feel more like a babein hourglass than a pastel coloured jellyfish.

( I’m totally down with being a jellyfish, just not in the bedroom ).

Lemon Souffle Vintage Sleepwear | Velvet DecolleteLemon Souffle Vintage Sleepwear | Velvet Decollete

I wore the nightie and robe for this homage to John Willie’s Sweet Gwendoline. You can just see the pale yellow Rose & Thorne nana knickers I matched to the set for modesty!

Lemon Souffle Vintage Sleepwear | Velvet Decollete

Lemon Souffle Vintage Sleepwear | Velvet Decollete

 

 Sweet Gwendoline Photos |Froger ft. Ruby Von Rifle
Model, Hair, MUA and garment photos | Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
Very Vintage Day Out 2016 | Photo Safari & Outfit of the Day

Very Vintage Day Out 2016 | Photo Safari & Outfit of the Day

Apologies on the delayed VVDO post, I’ve been focused so completely on producing the Blue Moon Ball everything else just slipped away. So here, delayed but not forgotten, is a brief outfit review and photo safari images…

In true VVDO tradition the photo safari was organised chaos! Photographers and models vied for unobstructed backgrounds and cars that matched their outfits. There were giggles and goofs as huge petticoats invaded photos and photographers backed into each other – but in the end there were wonderful photographs and killer vintage fashion.

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

The Outfit

When choosing this years ensemble I wanted a contrast to last year’s dark dress and makeup. A glorious blue lurex dress hanging in Tock Tick Vintage answered the call. Ensnared by its sparkle and texture I tried it on and immediately fell in love with how the modest cut balanced the showiness of the fabric. La Vonne found a pillbox hat close enough in colour to match so both came home with me!

Inspired by the clean, coordinated style of Jackie Onassis I chose white accessories to keep the blue dress in the limelight, and pantihose over stockings as a nod to their huge popularity upon commercial release in the early 1960’s.

Outfit Breakdown

Dress, hat + brooch | All Vintage from Tock Tick Vintage 
Petticoat + Glomesh bag | Vintage op shop finds
Shoes + vintage gloves  | Borrowed from my mother
Belt | Forever New
Sunglasses + vintage earrings | Gifted
Columbine Pantihose | Farmers

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | Shifting Light Photography

The Authentic Vintage category finals of the Best Dressed competition ( photos by Norrie Montgomery) were so much fun. Every year NZ pin ups pull out some simply amazing outfits from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. I’m in awe of Natalie Louise’s sorbet coloured ensemble you can see in the background!

I had such an awful morning with contact lens and eyeliner horrors my makeup could have been better, I’m just glad I managed to get myself together in time! Do any other pinups struggle with the glasses vs contact lenses debate? My daily glasses aren’t retro styled and my milk bottle lenses are far too expensive to buy an extra pair for pinup . As a result I feel obliged to wear contact lenses that irritate my eyes something awful.

The highlight of my day was (as always) the food. Miss Charlotte Cake had the most scrumptious little cakes that looked every bit as delightful as they tasted, while The Tea Ladies put on a much needed cuppa in the afternoon. While there was quite a delay in the high tea service, these things happen and cannot be predicted no matter how hard you work! Overall a lovely way to spend a day!

vintage style VVDO 16 | Velvet Decollete

If you’d like to see more of the Very Vintage Day Out, you find my posts on the 2015 event here and here!

With style & sass,

             Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 3 comments