Vintage Witch | 1970’s Inspired Outfit

It’s October now (how did that happen!?), the month where I dress like the love child of Stevie Nicks and the spirit of Halloweens gone by.

Halloween aligns with spring here in New Zealand and isn’t widely celebrated, so I dream of a spooky autumn Hallow’s Eve surrounded by pumpkins and crimson leaves. While I hope to one day spend October in the USA or Europe, for now I  make do by making my wardrobe and life even spookier than usual.

What else could you expect from someone who lives in a haunted hotel?

This vintage witch outfit is inspired by the dreamy white witches of the 1970’s, using their crystals and spells for love and healing.

THE OUTFIT

1970s romantic vintage witch outfit Velvet DeCollete

 

It’s fairly simple as my outfits go. Just a hat and a dress.
No gloves, no shoes, basic accessories.
But with a dress like this, who needs ’em?

This bewitching dress is a vintage gothic dream. Inky black satin falls in glossy folds and the cut is impeccable. Delicate latticework on the shoulders and yoke creates just the right amount of texture and definition. The double sleeves are my favourite feature, the silhouette created by that cape-like oversleeve is so dramatic!

Created by iconic New Zealand designer Annie Bonza, this gown is one of the most precious in my collection. Owning such a beautiful piece of Kiwi fashion history is a humbling experience.  Considered a pioneer of boutique fashion, Annie’s signature ‘doodle’ style consists of braiding, ribbon, beading, embroidery and hand painting clothing with Māori and Polynesia influences. You can see some of that trademark braided lattice on this dress! Her designs are held in collections at Te Papa Museum and won awards at the Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Awards in 1971 and 1989.

If you’re not familiar with Annie Bonza, I recommend you visit this New Zealand Fashion Museum page to find out more about her.

 

1970s romantic vintage witch outfit Velvet DeCollete

1970s romantic vintage witch look by Velvet DeCollete

 

I made this witch hat from an old pre-loved felt hat I had lying around. Its crown is softly pointed, in a wearable  ‘daily witch’ style. The fluttery pink flowers are two hairflowers that I clipped to the grosgrain band for a romantic, feminine finish.

(Keep scrolling to find a quick tutorial for reshaping your own hat!)

I tied a dusty pink grosgrain ribbon around my neck to carry on those soft femme vibes, threw on a few silver rings and pronounced this outfit done!

1970s vintage witch dress Velvet DeCollete

1970s romantic vintage witch dress and hat Velvet DeCollete 1

HAIR & MAKEUP

In keeping with the romantic 1970s influence I chose a simple makeup look.  A swipe of pale green eyeshadow, bold liquid eyeliner and long lashes, with white eyeliner pencil on the inner rim to create that bright eyed effect. I did apply false eyelashes to the edge of my bottom lashes for the first time! I loved the bottom lash effect, but I wish I’d blended the edge in with liner a bit more.

Cheeks and lips are dusted with subtle peachy pinks, and brows are softly defined.

I left my hair in its natural curly state, and backcombed the bottom half for fluffy volume.

 

1970s Vintage witch makeup look Velvet DeCollete

 

DIY VINTAGE WITCH HAT

1970s vintage witch hat diy

 

I don’t know about you, but  cheap plastic witch hats make me cringe. They’re not sustainable, they don’t look good and the number of them that end up in landfill every Halloween hurts my soul.

Good thing ethical witches like you can make a vintage inspired witch hat with a wave of your wand! Or at least with nothing more than a thrifted felt hat and your own two hands.

Make your own vintage style pointy witch hat

  1. Find an old felt hat. I used a thrifted one that bought a few years ago. I forgot to take a photo before I started, but it had a standard round crown, and had become a bit faded on my hat rack, which doesn’t matter if you’re making it into a vintage witch hat!
    Now stick that hat upside down in a pot or bowl of hot tap water. Make sure the whole of the crown is submerged, I plonked a bowl in mine to stop it floating back up. ( The yellow in the water is just dye from the hat, don’t panic if this happens. )
  2. Once the crown of your hat is totally soaked through and warm, you can start shaping it! Put an old towel on your bench to catch the excess water and start gently stretching and pulling the crown into it’s new shape. If it starts drying out, just pop it back in the hot water for a minute.
    I created the pointed shape by holding one side of the crown against my benchtop like in the photo, and then pulling on the top side to stretch it out. I worked my way around the crown like this, making sure I kept my fingertips where I wanted the point to be.
  3. Every now and then check your shape and use your hands or the side of a bowl or vase to smooth our any unwanted dips or bumps. You can also lightly wet the brim and reshape that if you want to!
  4.  Try on your damp hat and make sure you like the shape. Then leave it somewhere warm and sheltered to dry – I left mine in the sun on my deck.

Now your hat is reshaped trim is with ribbons and flowers, paint it, glitter it, whatever you want!

 

Reshaping a felt hat into a diy vintage witch hat

Don’t feel like you have to stick to wide brimmed hats either! I also reshaped an old felt fedora into a 1920’s influenced witch hat.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

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