Shark Week: Hawaiian sundress by Hearts & Found!

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Not too long ago, my friend Jessica recommended the retro designs of Hearts & Found, an Etsy company offering a vast array of pretty vintage styles in pretty prints. While perusing the shop, I found a lovely Hawaiian sundress (similar to a Shaheen design) with shoulder ties and a full skirt. Even better, it was pictured in a soft black-and-white cotton fabric featuring great white sharks! While not exactly a shark fan, I found the art charming and the color scheme bold and attractive – perfect to combine with colorful cropped cardigans and bakelite jewelry!

Hearts and Found Shark Dress

My boyfriend purchased the dress for me for my birthday. We chose the standard XL size because it was close to my current measurements, and it ended up being the right choice. That said, you don’t have to settle for the standard sizes. In general, the options offered seem limitless. You can get custom sizing. You can choose to combine elements of more than one standard dress design. You can pick any fabric listed at the storefront (and there are dozens of options to choose from!). Best of all, the prices are reasonable and their labor practices are fair. Continue reading “Shark Week: Hawaiian sundress by Hearts & Found!”

Disney Bound? NerdBound!

Haunted Mansion Skirt

I don’t consider myself much of a “Disney bounder,” but I do love me some Disney theme park and I especially love 1. the Haunted Mansion attraction at both American Disney resorts and 2. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. I plan to attend my second “MNSSHP” this coming September, and will be wearing NerdBound’s Haunted Mansion Ghost-ess skirt when I go!

NerdBound is a unique Etsy shop run by my friend Gretchen Burneko, offering “bounding” basics for any fandom in virtually all sizes. While Disney-inspired gathered skirts are Gretchen’s bread-and-butter, she can custom make just about anything in any size. Her prices are more than reasonable and her pieces are well-made, comfortable, and look great! My favorite piece is this Ghost-ess skirt, inspired by the dark green costumes worn by female Haunted Mansion cast member, but I own and love her Tarzan’s Jane Porter-inspired skirt, as well. Continue reading “Disney Bound? NerdBound!”

End-of-summer vintage

Here are a couple of lovely vintage cotton non-frocks from the 1950s!

The first comes from Anna at LeDressingdeMabel on Etsy. It’s a lovely drop-waist dress with tabbed shoulders and a gorgeous purple butterfly print. It’s crisp and cute, perfect for hot weather.

Papillon dress.
Papillon dress.

The second is another crisp summer beauty from Sascha at LaBelleVIntage. It’s a comfy fiesta dress in my favorite midcentury color combination, green and blue!

Fiesta dress!
Fiesta dress!

Marilyn Monroe’s Grauman’s Handprint Ceremony Dress by Morningstar84

Summer’s almost over, so I’m working hard to clear my warm-weather posts from the blog queue. I promised a review of another wonderful custom reproduction by Esther of Morningstar84, this beautiful version of Marilyn Monroe’s eyelet halter dress from 1953.

Marilyn Monroe’s Grauman’s dress.

Continue reading “Marilyn Monroe’s Grauman’s Handprint Ceremony Dress by Morningstar84”

Suddenly Last Summer: Style with Morningstar84 and Elizabeth Taylor

Liz Taylor original.

Earlier this year, my friend Jasmine reviewed an Elizabeth Taylor-inspired sundress presented by retro fashion company 20th Century Foxy. Based in part on the gorgeous green circle dress worn by Taylor as Catherine Holly in the 1959 film classic Suddenly Last Summer, the piece inspired me to get my own version of the costume. Mine is by Esther of Morningstar84, the same talented seamstress who made my Mad Men-inspired Joan dress in blue linen.

Esther’s version is a faithful reproduction of the movie dress, right down to the skirt seaming. As a custom piece, the quality and fit are hard to match. The slightly-sweetheart bodice is fully structured and the belt is removable. I chose a kelly green linen, but a forest green twill – which is probably closer to the original – is also available. Continue reading “Suddenly Last Summer: Style with Morningstar84 and Elizabeth Taylor”

The parade of Spring vintage continues with low-backed dresses!

Margaret Koehler vintage dress.

Now that the semester is almost over, I have a bit of time to catch up on the stuff that really matters in life. CLOTHES. I have several new vintage pieces (“new vintage”…there’s an oxymoron for ya) that I’ve previewed on Instacrap but never got around to properly sharing. The two I’m showing you here have one main thing in common: they’re both fairly low-backed, which means they can be tricky to wear.

The first is an amazingly well constructed custom piece that’s perfect for a garden tea circa the early 1960s. The people from whom I purchased this pretty blue and white dress dug up the provenance. Apparently, it came from Margaret Koehler, a tony ladies’ shop in Manhattan.

Vintage chiffon cocktail dress.

Certainly, this thing is well made. French seams, pinked edges, a built-in petticoat…every construction detail is couture, and the fit is extraordinary, right down to the scooped frock back (true frocks have buttons down the back).

Vintage fit tip: I wear longline strapless bras with scooped/low back fashions. In addition to accommodating the low-backed look, these¬† keep your waist lump-free and won’t complicate the outfit with straps. I’m wearing the Dominique 6377 here, which is available many places, including Pinup Girl Clothing.

Continue reading “The parade of Spring vintage continues with low-backed dresses!”

Outfits of the Season: Blue and white wiggles!

Custom Mad Men dress by Morningstar84.

While not as comfortable in super-hot weather as their swing-skirted cousins, wiggle dresses can still look sharp in summer colors!

My current favorite is this stunning version of the blue and white linen dress worn by Christina Hendricks as Mad Men‘s Joan Harris, created for me by Esther of Morningstar84 on Etsy: Continue reading “Outfits of the Season: Blue and white wiggles!”