vintage fashion inspiration

Strictly Stripes | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Strictly Stripes | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Vintage designers took stripes to places they had never been before, and have rarely been since.

Once the cloth of madmen and deviants, striped fabrics have risen to fashionable heights at the hands of Renaissance dandies, Versailles Courtiers, Chanel and Gaultier. Found among the earliest examples of woven fabrics, stripe varieties are endless (pinstripes, chalk stripes, the always chic Breton stripe) and versatile. No other pattern transfers so easily from boardwalk to boardroom.

Unsurprisingly, while Heraldic stripes and Victorian summer dresses are wonderful, we’re going to look at fashions of the 1930’s to 1960’s. Designers were inventive and playful with their stripes. Horizontal, vertical or cut on the bias, stripes appeared in bold and sophisticated combinations.

Beachwear and Sundresses

Fun and flirty, daywear displays the light side of stripes. The 50’s saw vertical and horizontal stripes combined in sundresses and swimsuits to great graphic effect. Have you ever seen a swimsuit as elegant as that long sleeved, off the shoulder number in a nautical stripe?

Accessories weren’t exempt. Beach pajamas, which are excellent on their own, could be found with matching parasols, and coordinating bags accompanied dresses. ( As we discussed in Spotlight on Spots, they were’t afraid of matchy-matchy outfits back then. Which makes me happy because I love a good matchy-matchy outfit.)

Striped from Day to Night

In case you needed convincing, here’s proof that stripes really can go from boardwalk to boardroom to bar!

Here we see stripes used to perfection in hostess sets and dresses that could walk from garden party to cocktail bar without breaking a sweat. And as for that suit? Check out those diagonal pockets and carefully placed buttons for some beautifully thoughtful design details. I’d happily wear that to every cool weather event for the rest of my life.

Evening wear that Draws the Line

We have arrived at my favourite section!

A Marie Calvet gown photographed in 1935 uses stripes to create chevrons and striking diamond patterns on the sleeves. Serpentine panels wind around a 1940’s dress, while a Dior gown utilizes bold stripes in contrast with delicate flowers at the bust.

Once again striped are laid diagonally, horizontally and vertically in the same garment to accentuate or visually reshape the body.

Accessories and Outerwear 

Not quite ready for full blown stripey glory? Add a dash of drama to your outfit with striped accessories. Pussy bows and structured cravats gave a playful touch to tailored suits and dresses ( while drawing attention to the face).

Striped, gloves and geometric garment linings all added an unexpected element of quirk to sophisticated outfits – an elegant nod to the dandies of the past.

 

We all need more stripes in our wardrobes, so get your fashion fix over on my Pinterest board for all things linear!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

Strictly Stripes! Inventive vintage fashion striped like you've never seen it before.
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Tickled Pink | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Four years ago I would never have worn pink.

I saw pink as overly ‘girly’, a symbol of the expectations and restrictions placed on women by society. A colour worn because it appealed to boys.

Now I wear pink to celebrate the power of fierce femininity, my pride in being a woman and our potential to overcome those restrictions. I wear pink aggressively and intentionally to challenge it’s reputation as a soft, submissive colour.

With that in mind, this dose of vintage fashion inspiration pays tribute to the versatility of pink!

 

Suzy Parker Sunny Harnett and Dovima in promotional shoot for film Funny Face

 

Pretty & Practical

Pink was immensely popular in the nineteen fifties and sixties, for everything. Pink furniture, pink wallpaper, pink kitchens and of course pink clothes. Pink wasn’t just for parties, it was for everyday.

While it’s hard to imagine wearing a pink suit to a contemporary office, those two women in lush pink coats are an advert for “Working Women in Pink” – featured in a 1953 issue of Glamour Magazine.

Make pinks practical with cotton or wool fabrics. Shell pink capris and knitwear the colour of turkish delight were casual wardrobe basics, often paired with the prerequisite matching hat. (Those pale trousers are a disaster waiting to happen in my house, my dog is far too keen on muddy cuddles. But they do look incredibly chic!)

All those infinitely practical shirt dresses have me swooning. I want one in every style – apron fronted, long sleeve, sleeveless… I can’t be the only one attracted to the simplicity of looking crisply put-together while only having to pick one garment in the morning!

 

Playful & Bold

I’ll take my pink fearless, sassy and occasionally bordering on the ridiculous thanks.

You see that raspberry ensemble by Jean Patou? I’m obsessed. OBSESSED I TELL YOU. I really, really want to recreate that suit and coat, only not lined with a cute Southeast Asian mammal.

And those red and pink contrasting colour combos? Diviiiiiiiiiiiine. Picking the wrong shades makes pink with red look like a four year old’s Valentine drawing, or painfully tacky lingerie. Somehow these bold choices just work though – maybe it’s the slightly purple tinged pinks?

Whether it’s a harlequin print or giant roses on your head, being adventurous with pink will ensure you’re seen, even if you’re not heard.

 

Glamorous & Romantic

Ahhh, the traditional lady in pink. Soft, sensual and elegant these gowns are all strawberry marshmallows and rose tinted visions. Bare shoulders and nipped waists prove that pink isn’t just for little girls.

Shirley Maclaine wearing Edith Head had to be included, because while it’s a costume, her pink sheath, candyfloss hair and enormous fur coat are simultaneously OTT and insanely glam.

While I feel that evening wear is a predictable choice for pink, these vintage designs are gloriously feminine.  That dusky blush bridal ensemble would look in vogue walking down the aisle today!

 

 

For even more vintage outfit inspiration in every shade of pink, visit my dedicated pink Pinterest board! A candy shop of garments and fashion photographs I couldn’t include awaits you, and I just know you’ll be inspired!

If you love nineteen forties, fifties and sixties fashion you might like this post, exploring spots and dots in vintage fashion design.

 

Polka dots and spots were immensely popular in fashion from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950's. Let's take a look at how sophisticated and sexy polka dot clothes can really be!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

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Roman Holiday | A 1940’s Summer Outfit

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It’s 6 degrees Celsius and I’m tottering around Hamilton Gardens, filming my Miss Pin Up NZ entry video and freezing my butt off. Gaggles of tourists point and take supposedly sneaky photos of me. But can you blame them? This 1940’s sundress is gorgeous!

Photographed in the perfectly dreamy Italian Garden  this summer outfit is what I’d wear on an idyllic Italian holiday. The kind where I stroll around iconic sites in chic vintage clothes ( a pinup can dream right? ).  I chose 1940’s inspired victory rolls and a chignon for my hairstyle, as updo’s are elegant pinup perfection and having my hair down makes me far too hot and sticky in the summer!

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The Outfit

The dusty mauve dress features a floral pattern in black, white and blue, with a self covered belt.  The most darling strap & button detail adorns the upper arm. I’m not going to lie, when I saw that shoulder detail at Rose’s Decadia Vintage clothing sale I snatched it right off the rack, even if it is a little too big! Like my mama always says ” you’ll grow into it one day”.
To complete my dream Roman holiday outfit I accessorized with a black vintage Yvette Tresor straw hat, 1950s crotchet gloves, Pretty Polly backseam nylon stockings and Alonso Andretti leather shoes. Apart from the hosiery all my accessories were thrifted by myself or my mother, an undisputed op shop queen and my first stop for shoot accessories!

Fashion fact: Milliner Yvette Tresor was based in Christchurch from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Collections of her hats are owned by the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Te Papa Museum!

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Photos courtesy of James Beck

with style & sass

        Velvet x

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