vintage fashion

Vintage Earrings | My Collection and Favourite Styles

Vintage Earrings | My Collection and Favourite Styles

It started with one pair of vintage screws on, on an overcrowded op shop rack. Then *poof*, I had a vintage earring collection! Read on for the stories behind my favourite vintage costume earrings.

As all collections do, it started with a single pair. A single pair of screw on earrings on a crowded op shop jewellery rack. And then suddenly, *poof* my single pair turned into a collection.

There’s something so special about vintage earrings. They have history, unique designs, that special something you don’t find on a department store shelf. They feel more… personal. Like the vintage earrings you choose say more about you than the modern ones. I don’t know exactly what my favourites say about me, maybe you can tell me?

So back to that first pair I bought. An unusual crowned skull design, with flowers around the eyes. Kind of weird and creepy looking, but impossible to walk away from. I’ve been carrying these around since I was 15, long before I fell in love with the style of bygone eras.

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Next were these glorious magenta earrings from Tock Tick Vintage.

Deep pink paste jewels with glinting rhinestones and faux pearls, they came with a matching necklace. An anniversary gift from my husband, these drop earrings brim with sentimental value, and I love imagining all the special occasions they’ve adorned before ours. ( Their romantic colorway inspired the lining and embellishment of my Orchid dress! )

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The glittering trays of Tock Tick yielded these beauties too ( Maybe I have a shopping problem?). The chartreuse frosted glass glows from within, and the gold tone leaved are dotted with tiny green gems. The contrasting textures make these my go-to for subtle glamour, plus their green and gold tones bring out my eyes! See ’em in action paired with my fifties inspired suit.

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High on my list of wonderful things? Fairytale forest earrings with cute teeny toadstools and flowers!

They look like miniature Alice In Wonderland gardens bursting out of their daisy shaped beds. Made in Czechoslovakia these dead stock earrings were still clipped to their original packaging card. ( Although time has taken it’s toll, so I’m very wary of worsening those pesky hairline cracks!)

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Bigger is better right? More is more! More rhinestones that is.

Once again my green obsession comes to the fore, and I snapped these up like a magpie at Very Vintage Day Out 2016. I haven’t even worn them yet, but their graduated leafy greens make me happy. ( If you know what these would look great with, please let me know! I haven’t found the right outfit yet.)

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These pearl clusters were a ‘new town’ gift to myself. After moving house for the seventh time in 10 years and feeling pretty sorry for myself, these were a grand total of $12 at the local vintage shop!

They’re just a classic, easy to wear style that works well with fifties and sixties clothes. Bigger clip on’s always make me nervous, but these faux pearls are light enough that I don’t stress about them falling off.
I prefer ivory and tea toned pearl jewellery to bright white, how about you?

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Community hall junk sale. $4. Vintage rhinestone clip on’s.
Need I say more?

These are my most recent vintage jewellery purchase. Winged shaped earrings are so elegant, sweeping upward and sparkling against your hair without crowding your jawline. Perfection! ( In my dreams I wear these with clear, rhinestone encrusted cat eye spectacles and feel infinitely glamorous )

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I hope you enjoyed this peek into my jewellery box. Please share your favourites with me by leaving your Pinterest profile below, so I can add you to my vintage earring board!

With style and sass,

               Velvet DeCollete

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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

 

 

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Make Do & Mend | Pinup Style with Vintage Fabric

Make Do & Mend | Pinup Style with Vintage Fabric

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Make Do and Mend.

That’s what my Nana always tells me, usually as she’s unpicking old curtains, making overalls for the grandkids tearing around her garden. Vintage philosophies can be the best inspiration for vintage style, especially as a pinup on a budget!

I’m incredibly lucky to have a network of old ladies – friends of my Nana – who hand me down vintage fabric they no longer use. I design my clothes to make the most of the gifted yardage. This fifties floral two piece was cut around age stains on a length of 1950’s printed fabric.

Photographed on two different days at two locations, this post shows how lighting can change a photo from bright and crisp to soft and dreamy!

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The Outfit

Printed with rustic baskets overflowing with fruit and flowers, this fabric was made for sweet summer style. I chose a wide necked, fitted top ( which I personally find very flattering ) because there wasn’t enough fabric for sleeves! The simple silhouette displays the print nicely, so I made sure the basket motif would match up when the blouse was closed. Press studs and a tie front finish the blouse.

The circle skirt is cut in two panels and hemmed with synthetic horsehair braid for extra volume. A side zip and tap with novelty pink flower button allow for a tidy nipped in waist – my preferred silhouette for almost any occasion!

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The Styling

Matching accessories to a colour in the fabric makes choosing an outfit easy . I love the pink roses in this print, so that means all pink everything!

The sugar pink gloves have the cutest pleated trim, I think they’re from the 1950’s or 1960’s. The pink petticoat, cat eye sunglasses, hair flower and shoes are all modern made but worked so well with the colours and style of the outfit nonetheless!

Due to shooting forties style outfits on the same days, hair and makeup on both days were a mix of 1940’s and 1950’s. The half up – half down hairstyle was more successful, with fuller and better shaped rolls. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t recreate them for the updo when we re-shot! I find victory rolls in any style tricky due to my baby-fine, thin hair. There never seems to be enough of it.  ( I’m envious of all you thick haired ladies who can do multiple rolls and poodle ‘dos! )

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Top & Skirt | Velvet DeCollete
Gloves | Tock Tick Vintage
Flower | Coin Save
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Petticoat | Online through a Facebook sale page

With Style & Sass,

            Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
5 Ways to Buy the Right Vintage, Not Any Vintage.

5 Ways to Buy the Right Vintage, Not Any Vintage.

Do you love vintage clothes?

I love vintage clothes.

I love them with a magpie-ish, kid in a candy store fervor that has lead me to buying things that have never and will never fit, that are falling apart, or that I’ll just straight out never wear but I wanted them anyway.
To curb my dragonish hoarding tendencies I’ve developed a five point checklist to ensure I’m buying the right vintage garment, not every vintage garment. It really does help separate the investments from the impulse buys.

So if you have overflowing wardrobes, empty bank accounts and still nothing to wear, this might help! Shop wisely and dress well…

Velvet’s ‘The Right Vintage’ Shopping Checklisthow to buy the right vintage clothes

1.  Does the garment have any damage?

Vintage garments are generally preloved and made from different fabrics than the hardy synthetics popular today. Holding that dress up to a window or light will show you any holes or patches of thinning fabric. Perspiration is acidic so check under the arms for any discoloration and damage caused by sweat.

2. Are the fastenings intact?

Check the zips, buttons, hooks and eyes, eyelets or pop studs. Are they damaged or missing? Is the fabric tearing or fraying around them? There may be enough spare fabric in a hem to replace a covered button, but don’t buy anything with very damaged fastenings unless you know it can be fixed, or you’re happy to have it replaced with a modern equivalent.
( Check those belt loops and belts for damage while you’re at it. )

3. Does it fit?

Ignore size labels and try it on. Female proportions and sizing have changed a lot through the decades and you’ll find a 1950’s size 14 is around a modern NZ size 8. If you’re buying online make sure you check your measurements carefully.
Circa Vintage Clothing has a handy guide to the alpha sizing system used in some New Zealand and Australian vintage clothing.

4. Can you wear it right away?

Unless you’re a highly motivated seamstress with plenty of free time, damaged items and those needing large alterations will sit in your wardrobe forever. (Trust me, I have a whole drawer of things needing alts or repairs but I never have time!). Some vintage fabrics will be too delicate to withstand alterations and most seamstresses aren’t familiar with the era appropriate sewing techniques.

5. Does it suit you?

This is imperative. Put the garment on and be honest. Does it reflect your personal style? Is it flattering? Does it coordinate with things you already own? If not, it might be best to put it back on the rack.

best vintage shopping tips

With a few alterations this checklist can be applied to vintage shoes, accessories and furniture as well as clothing. While leaving that eye catching but not-quite-right piece in the store can be gut wrenching, it’s better to leave it for someone who’ll use it or restore it and keep your valuable space for things that are perfect for you!

Happy shopping x

With style and sass,

                                Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

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Monday Style Tip No.34

secure-plunging-necklines-with-fashion-tape

The key to owning that plunging neckline? Fashion tape and oodles of confidence.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.29

 

Shoe clips add versatile glamour | Monday Style Tip

I’ve also used them as dress clips, brooches and hair accessories, so don’t feel like you can only use them on shoes!

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

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Monday Style Tip No.28

one colour plus white is crisp and fresh | Monday Style tip

 

Struggle to pair colours? Try choosing just one colour and white for a quick and easy was to look fresh and chic. (for example a classic white shirt with blue jeans, a blue clutch and a blue statement necklace, or a yellow dress with a white belt, bag and shoes.)

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

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Monday Style Tip No.27

Iris Apfel dress to please you | Monday Style Tip

If it worked for Iris, it’s good enough for me.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

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Monday Style Tip No.24

Monday Style Tip petticoat

Wearing a fitted top with a full petticoat and circle skirt can make your waist seem smaller than it is. Top the look off with a wide belt for extra impact!

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Vintage Style at the Winter Garden

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Sometimes when life gives you lemons you pull out the tequila.

It was time for my yearly chop. Determined to have Miss Victory Violet work her magic on my tresses before she leaves our humble shores I trotted off to Killer Hair. Miss V snipped and sprayed and a couple of hours later my tangled curls were a few inches shorter and impeccably groomed. I sashayed down the stairs feeling a like a 1940’s dame and … enter the lemons. Lemons of the thundering rainstorms and gale winds variety. The variety that destroys manicured hair in seconds. But I wasn’t going to let some lousy weather waste a perfectly good hair day.

Froger wrapped it up in a noir novel kinda way, I’ll pass it over to him from here…

“So when one of my fave models is getting her hair done and wants to grab a few shots afterwards …well, you jump in the car and hit town don’t you?

Yeah the weather was atrocious. Torrential rain landed just as Velvet left the salon. It blew every notion I had of getting some ultra cool shot down at Silo Park so we thought fast and decided to try the Winter Garden. It’s a horrific cliche I have to admit and I have avoided that kind of place like the plague but I didn’t have any other clever idea that might have worked in the circumstances. I mean I did think a shot in front of the big red bill boards on Symonds Street would have been pretty awesome but it would have ruined the “do” and pissed off one of my go-to models.

It was dark too. Like headlights on at 4 o’clock dark.  I didn’t bring any gear except my camera and zoom lens. Honestly I thought we’d lost any opportunity of getting a shot. And damn, Velvet looked fantastic. Anyway I haven’t tried shooting like this before. It’s a combo of action camera work and a flukey bit of luck. 200mm lens, high speed auto drive, high ISO, slow as fuck lens speed, rock steady aim and having your model face the merest smidgen of light that there was (which was almost none). She did her thing and I just pressed the trigger like a stupid monkey. But I’m really liking some of the shots. And I think I managed to avoid the Winter Garden backdrop sufficiently to maintain a wee bit of photographic street cred.”

Working with the weather instead of fighting it we dashed out in the next clear patch. I was shivering in glacial winds and Froger was lying on his jacket on the wet ground. I can’t speak for him but I think it was worth it. Time pressure, cold light and windy conditions created results so different from my previous shoots; I absolutely adore these more spontaneous images.

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

Dress | Thrifted
Belt & Vintage crotchet gloves | Gifts from my Mother
Vintage fur cape and garter girdle | Tock Tick Vintage
Stockings with lace design | Fiori Hosiery

All photographs by Froger 

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