Today’s post is a little different and marks the start of something you’ll probably be seeing a little more regularly… true vintage.
I’ve always been a reproduction girl. The ease of washing, the modern fabrics and sizing and the ability to just buy it online has always made wearing repro easy. Those factors alongside not ever having much luck in the vintage shops in New Zealand and the fact that wearing a precious vintage dress to work (I’m a hairdresser by day) seeming a little risky has meant that my vintage buying has been very limited.
However, in the last few months I’ve got better about knowing where to buy vintage online, what to look for and have had some great successes! A lot of it I saved to wear to Viva Las Vegas but I also wanted to shoot in some- like this gorgeous specimen. The thing that makes me sad about buying these beautiful vintage pieces is that they will only be able to be worn on weekends or days at work when I have no colour-work booked in as the risk is just too high.
But, I thought it would be great to feature some of my finds here on the blog! Styling outfits for a photoshoot is always such fun and this one made me feel as cute as pie.
I found this dress from the treasure trove that is the Ooh La La! Vintage Swap and Sell Group on Facebook. There is over 19,000 members and you’ve got to get in quick to nab anything you like. Somehow, I managed to be first in line for this beauty and for only US$80, I couldn’t resist.
Now, I’m no expert when it comes to dating vintage- of course I can usually tell what era they are from by the style but my knowledge of fabrics is limited. There are some very knowledgeable people who can tell which era a item is from by the fabrics, zips, even colour palette.
This dress was described in the sale post as being 30s/40s and further inspection from expert and dressmaker Linda McCarthy (who I asked to give it a once over and mend a few seams that looked like the integrity was compromised) confirmed that the type of slightly coarse rayon crepe and the hue was typical of early 1940s, even possibly late 1930s.
With it’s shoulder pads, self-covered buttons and matching belt, this dress is what my dreams are made of. But my favourite parts are definitely the embroidered daisies and the 1940s neckline. It fits perfectly and has a little bit of stretch to the fabric which helps.
There is a little bit of fading towards the bottom of the skirt which initially made me hesitate but upon requesting more photos from the seller, I decided that it was minimal enough and it’s barely even noticeable in person.
For this shoot at Highwic with Elizabeth J Photography, I styled this dress with sheer vintage gloves and handbag from Tock Tick Vintage, my Miss L Fire Betty Heels which are a 1940s replica, straw hat I found thrift shopping and my beautiful Reid Bicycle!
This dress has instantly become one of my more treasured items in my closet and it’s success has given me greater confidence with buying more vintage pieces online. The only problem now is the danger to my bank account!