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.
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!
Fiesta dress!
Fiesta dress!

Backyard Adventures!

I’ve managed to make my little back yard a little more livable this year! I’ve added oleander and bark to the back fence area and some new plants!

Bougainvillea and fountain!
Bougainvillea and fountain!
Crepe myrtle, oleander, and pink flamingos!
Crepe myrtle, oleander, and pink flamingos!

Continue reading “Backyard Adventures!”

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.

Morningstar84 Marilyn Dress
Marilyn Monroe’s Grauman’s dress.

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

I Love Turquoise: Trashy Diva Maria and Deb dresses

You know that color theory people throw out there – the one that involves gravitating toward colors that look good on you? Yeah, well, I like turquoise, and apparently, turquoise likes me. I’m also a big fan of Trashy Diva and cute mid century repro, so it was just a matter of time before the 1940s-inspired Deb dress in pastel turquoise faille and the Maria dress in turquoise floral were MINE MINE MINE (cue Daffy duck in “Ali Baba Bunny”).

Trashy Diva Maria dress in turquoise floral
Trashy Diva Maria dress in turquoise floral.

Since I missed out on the embroidered Maria last year, I’ve been pining for another shot at a pretty one, and boy is this turquoise floral print PRETTY. It’s a little greener in person, but it still photographs beautifully. The rich yellow, purples, and pinks really POP against it, and the rayon crepe has just enough texture to make the fabric feel really vintage. In fact, with the separate belt and decorative buttons down the front, this one looks like it’s straight out of the 1940s. I busted out the Remix Rita repro slingbacks and my Bakelite and the effect is pretty authentic. Continue reading “I Love Turquoise: Trashy Diva Maria and Deb dresses”

Like the Birdies Sing: DailySparkle’s Tiki Room felt circle skirt

If I’m anything, I’m an oldschool Disneyland nerd. I was born twelve years to the day after Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room opened in 1963, which I fully credit for my obsession with all things tiki, tropical, and Disney! So, when I saw DailySparkle’s adorable Jose the Tiki Bird-inspired felt circle skirt on Etsy, I knew I had to have it!

DailySparkle Tiki Room skirt
My DailySparkle Tiki Room skirt, featuring Jose the Tiki Bird. My top is the “Voodoo Vixen” by Deadly Dames. The wicker purse is by Pinup Couture.

Continue reading “Like the Birdies Sing: DailySparkle’s Tiki Room felt circle skirt”

Suddenly Last Summer: Style with Morningstar84 and Elizabeth Taylor

Liz Taylor original
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”

Summer Pinup: Lush Kittens “All Things Cute” Issue

I’m in Lush Kittens this month! Known for its fun themes and features, this pinup magazine is definitely worth a look! You can purchase the “All Things Cute” issue now, in digital or paper form.

Kali in Lush Kittens, by Miss Missy Photography
Kali in Lush Kittens, by Miss Missy Photography.

Here’s a preview of my layout, featuring the makeup, hair, and photography talents of Miss Missy Photography. I’m wearing my vintage brown label Alfred Shaheen dress. The tiki mug on the side table next to me originally came from Stockton’s famous Islander restaurant, a San Joaquin County tiki bar staple from 1963 to 1982. It was a Christmas gift from my awesome brother!

Outfits of the Season: Retired Trashy Diva dresses

Trashy Diva Obi dress
Trashy Diva Obi dress.

I love Trashy Diva. I love Trashy Diva most of all when I can get the designs I want on sale. Usually, getting exactly what you want at a really amazing price means walking a very fine line. Sometimes, your size sells out before it hits the discount rack. Other times, a decent sale presents itself, but you wonder if you might save more money if you wait until Black Friday, or end-of-season clearance sales…and the same thing happens. Last year, I waited too long on two great Trashy Diva styles, and thought I’d never be able to find them in my size again. Turns out I was wrong! I was able to get the Obi dress in a beautiful orchid silk and the adorable gingham Norma Jean dress without having to buy secondhand. And, I got them both on GOOD sale!

Trashy Diva Norma Jean dress
Trashy Diva Norma Jean dress with bakelite jewelry.

Since I live in sunny California, I tend heavily toward sun dresses. Last Spring, Norma Jean was one of dozens of warm-weather pieces I wanted, but ended up back-burnering in favor of other dresses. By the time I had the cash to buy this black-and-white gingham beauty, it was sold out in my size…and ONLY my size. Talk about disappointment!

It never restocked, and soon it became pretty clear that the dress wouldn’t be back. Fast-forward to November, and Rowena of Edmonton (also known as Retroglam.com online) was advertising a fabulous Black Friday sale (with great shipping terms for U.S. customers). Turns out they had two great Pinup Couture Heidi dresses I was after (red rose and the Canada-exclusive black polka dot print) and…NORMA JEAN…IN MY SIZE. In fact, the only Norma Jean they had was in my size, so I took it as a sign. Continue reading “Outfits of the Season: Retired Trashy Diva dresses”