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renaissancemedici
01-17-2012, 03:11 AM
I can't really choose an era. The 30s and 40s are in my heart, but it's entirely unrealistic for me to dress like that. It's not practical, and, most importantly, I don't really look good in those styles! Unless I dress like Marlene or like an aviatrix or something.

On the other hand, the 60s are great on me, the hair, the clothes, everything. Not to mention that it's easier for me to actually dress like that in public AND sew the clothes myself.

I already had planned a mini wardrobe to sew based on the 40s (and with the advice of some great ladies here!), but now I think I should change to 60s. I know one can mix, but to tell you the truth it's just easier and more becoming.

Are you faithful to an era, and if you are how did you choose? Heart or what suits you most?

wahine
01-17-2012, 03:18 AM
I totally understand your confusion. My heart is with the 50s, but then I prefer 40s hair and shoes, and 60s stuff is easier to get and easier to wear. Plus, I don't despise new retro-look pieces as well. So I try to mix, stick to some classic pieces that could do in all decades and combine them with not-so-flexible pieces to create sort of a decade look. I try to concentrate on the 50s, though.
Although it would be great to stick straight to one style, I think it's okay (and so much easier) to mix.

Juliet
01-17-2012, 03:38 AM
Actually, I think in those times, women who followed fashion exactly, were a rather minor fraction. I'm sure a lot of women stuck with a hairstyle for longer than a fashion period, or wore dresses that were their mother's. Or disapproved of the new trends.


LizzieMaine would give good advice on this, I think.

Caroline H
01-17-2012, 03:59 AM
My mother wore her hair in basically the same style from the 40's to probably the late 70's or early 80's when she went with a shorter cut. She liked it and it looked good on her so she never saw a reason to change it!

LizzieMaine
01-17-2012, 06:00 AM
My grandmother and mother both fall in the same category -- my grandmother wore her hair the same way from the late thirties until she died in 1981, and my mother wears her hair today the same way she has since the early sixties. Neither style was "period definitive" -- my grandmother didn't wear her hair like Ginger Rogers, and my mother doesn't wear hers like Jackie Kennedy -- rather, they both wore their hair in sort of all-purpose styles which were influenced by the period when they were adopted, but weren't stereotypical demonstrations of it.

The mix of clothing you'd see on the street in any period was exactly that -- a mix. Some people would be right on the edge of style, others would be wearing whatever they bought four or five or ten years ago, and other people -- maybe even most people -- would be wearing a mix of whatever they bought last week and whatever they'd had for years. I have a reel of home movies shot in my hometown in the early fifties, showing ordinary people from all walks of life in action, and you'll see very little in it that would lead you to pinpoint the year as 1952. Most people are wearing bland, ordinary-looking clothes that look they've been worn for a long time -- there are women who stroll by in coats and hats that are clearly pre-war. Housewives show up in the same shirtwaist dresses and cotton aprons and serviceable oxfords that they'd have been wearing on V-E Day. Very few women have elaborately-styled hair -- the most common style is a simple shoulder-length wave, with the top brushed back into a low pompadour or roll that probably took two minutes to fix up, and would have drawn no comment at all if worn on the same street in 1939.

You would have seen different on Fifth Avenue, of course. But most people didn't live in New York or London or Paris -- most lived in small towns or small cities where the closest they got to high fashion was leafing thru a two-year-old copy of Harpers Bazaar at the Pink Poodle Beauty Parlor.

And yes, there were plenty of women who held their noses at whatever new trend was coming out -- there was an organized movement against the New Look in 1947, with millions of women rising up against the idea of heavier, longer, more impractical skirts. "Little Below The Knee Clubs" were formed all over the country to protest against Monsieur Dior's excesses.

AmateisGal
01-17-2012, 09:28 AM
My grandmother and mother both fall in the same category -- my grandmother wore her hair the same way from the late thirties until she died in 1981, and my mother wears her hair today the same way she has since the early sixties. Neither style was "period definitive" -- my grandmother didn't wear her hair like Ginger Rogers, and my mother doesn't wear hers like Jackie Kennedy -- rather, they both wore their hair in sort of all-purpose styles which were influenced by the period when they were adopted, but weren't stereotypical demonstrations of it.

The mix of clothing you'd see on the street in any period was exactly that -- a mix. Some people would be right on the edge of style, others would be wearing whatever they bought four or five or ten years ago, and other people -- maybe even most people -- would be wearing a mix of whatever they bought last week and whatever they'd had for years. I have a reel of home movies shot in my hometown in the early fifties, showing ordinary people from all walks of life in action, and you'll see very little in it that would lead you to pinpoint the year as 1952. Most people are wearing bland, ordinary-looking clothes that look they've been worn for a long time -- there are women who stroll by in coats and hats that are clearly pre-war. Housewives show up in the same shirtwaist dresses and cotton aprons and serviceable oxfords that they'd have been wearing on V-E Day. Very few women have elaborately-styled hair -- the most common style is a simple shoulder-length wave, with the top brushed back into a low pompadour or roll that probably took two minutes to fix up, and would have drawn no comment at all if worn on the same street in 1939.

You would have seen different on Fifth Avenue, of course. But most people didn't live in New York or London or Paris -- most lived in small towns or small cities where the closest they got to high fashion was leafing thru a two-year-old copy of Harpers Bazaar at the Pink Poodle Beauty Parlor.

And yes, there were plenty of women who held their noses at whatever new trend was coming out -- there was an organized movement against the New Look in 1947, with millions of women rising up against the idea of heavier, longer, more impractical skirts. "Little Below The Knee Clubs" were formed all over the country to protest against Monsieur Dior's excesses.

Lizzie, you are such a wealth of information and you write in such a way that makes it entertaining and humorous.

You should write a book. :)

LizzieMaine
01-17-2012, 09:45 AM
Thanx for the kind compliments. The Pink Poodle, by the way, was a real place (http://www.waldo.megenweb.org/LifeinBelfast.htm) -- a childhood memory, in fact. "Open Evenings For The Working Girl!"

(Link was not written by me, but it's a pretty accurate recollection of things I knew growing up.)

AmateisGal
01-17-2012, 10:07 AM
In today's world, where we're longing for simpler times (some of us, anyway), I think a memoir/commentary by you would really sell well.

Juliet
01-17-2012, 03:28 PM
Lizzie, you are such a wealth of information and you write in such a way that makes it entertaining and humorous.

You should write a book. :)

I absolutely agree.

Isis
01-18-2012, 12:57 AM
I'm in the process of building a 1940's wardrobe, but in doing so I don't mind some late 30's stuff- after all, as have been pointed out above, people didn't throw out their whole wardrobe just because a new fashion came in. :) I think it's important to dress in a way you feel comfortable and pretty in, more than to follow a particular fashion to a T. Unless that is what you feel best in, of course.

Flicka
01-18-2012, 01:45 AM
What Isis said.

Me, I mix. My heart is with late 30s/early 40s but I have 50s days as well. It's all about what I feel like to me - I'm not a museum piece. Also, I need to be able to wear stuff that works for my dayjob.

Amy Jeanne
01-18-2012, 05:53 AM
I follow my heart. Luckily for me, I love late 30s/pre-War 40s the most and they happen to look the best on me, too. I don't dress vintage-y everyday, though, and what I do wear I make myself from real patterns (can't stand real vintage clothing, sorry lol)

Early 30s skirts make me look like a sack of potatoes lol and I'm not interested in the New Look at all, even though some New Look suits my figure best. I just feel like I'm going to the playhouse in New Look fashions and therefore I don't really carry it off.

kamikat
01-18-2012, 06:39 AM
I think the best thing about vintage style is that as modern girls, we get to pick and choose from 100 years of fashion what we want to wear. If I was living in 1935, I'd only have shops full of 1935 styles to choose from. My closet has everything in it from a 1931 dress and bolero to a mid-60's mod mini dress, all made by me from vintage patterns. I love wearing my hair in fingerwaves and pincurls but I also like wearing Victory rolls and bouffants. The majority of my wardrobe is early 40s but that's because in years of sewing vintage, I found a great jumper/pinafore and blouse pattern that suits my figure and works for my lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom. I love mid-1930s suits, but I don't live a suit lifestyle. If I had an office job, perhaps my wardrobe would be filled with 30's suits.

kymeratale
01-18-2012, 11:06 PM
I do a combination of what styles look good on me and what eras I love. I have the prototype New Look figure and earlier 40s is pretty good for me. I prefer 40s styles over 50s, but I wear both since the 50s stuff looks so good on me and I do like it. Just not as much as 40s. I adore 20s styles, but with my curves they look like hell on me. I have resigned myself to admiring 20s and early 30s, but not trying to wear it. Except the hats of course. I look good in a cloche!

LinaSofia
01-19-2012, 12:12 PM
Like most people here I do a combination as well. I basically go for A-line or straight skirts or dresses and they can be late 30s, 40s or early 50s. I've slowly been getting rid of my 50s circle dresses since I realised they make me look huge lol

Miss Golightly
01-19-2012, 12:24 PM
I've slowly been getting rid of my 50s circle dresses since I realised they make me look huge lol

I've been doing the same as I just don't think they do anything for me - I much prefer 60's sheaths/shifts for my shape - suits me much better!

Miss sofia
01-19-2012, 12:25 PM
I love and can luckily wear most styles from the late thirties to the fifties. I do also love the early sixties aesthetic as well. Although i would say i tend to wear mostly late forties and fifties clothing on a daily basis. I adore early twentieth century clothing, but sadly it does nothing for me. I have tried time and time again with twenties clothes, Cloches and headbands look appalling on me as i have a square face and the clothes do nothing for my petite but curvy frame. They make my hips and bum look huge!

Jo Larke
01-21-2012, 03:53 PM
I don't think I really go by a set decade or era-- my hair is usually very 1940s, my clothes tend to be closer to the 1950s, and my jewelry usually looks 1930s. I just say it's all vintage and leave it at that! Whatever looks good will do, and if it all happens to be from a particular era, that's lucky :)

tuppencehapenny
01-21-2012, 05:55 PM
I totally agree with what the other posters have said - there's no need to limit yourself to an era. Although I mainly love recreating the look of the early 40s, I'll happily wear my hair in victory rolls with an early 60s dress.

xx Charlotte

renaissancemedici
01-22-2012, 02:58 AM
It seems I am in good company here, it's like listening to myself! Thanks ladies. I guess I'll stick to the 50s-60s style that suits me, and it's easy, with a dress here and there from the 30s, 40s...

I guess being a presentable, well groomed lady is the mostly vintage part of... dressing vintage. It's the common factor, rather than choosing and sticking to one particular style or decade. Which is a sad fact for the low, looooooowwwww standards of today...

Miss Stella
01-22-2012, 02:58 PM
It seems I am in good company here, it's like listening to myself! Thanks ladies. I guess I'll stick to the 50s-60s style that suits me, and it's easy, with a dress here and there from the 30s, 40s...

I guess being a presentable, well groomed lady is the mostly vintage part of... dressing vintage. It's the common factor, rather than choosing and sticking to one particular style or decade. Which is a sad fact for the low, looooooowwwww standards of today...

You said it perfectly!

Tenuki
01-23-2012, 11:38 PM
I don't have anything to add to the advice already given. I wanted to say I love browsing through the threadsand find the question and answers to the very problem I've been mulling over for the past couple of months.