Monday, June 27, 2016

Fashion From War to War Part V: 1950s

I wish I could have come up with a better 1950s video for this week, but they were all so long!  The best I could do was this four minute video about making a really gross tuna fish sandwich.  I really wanted to post one about how to spot a communist, because it was hilarious, but I figured gross sandwiches would be better.

I'm going to be brief with the history lesson this week because I honestly just don't feel like getting too detailed.  Basically, the major conflicts of the 1950s were the Korean War and the Vietnam War.  And, of course, over all that was the Cold War, which started before the 50s and ended after the 50s.  There was the Red Scare and McCarthyism and evil communists.  There was also Elvis Presley and Andy Warhol and the space race.  And White Christmas, which is basically my favorite Christmas movie.

I die over Vera Ellen's plaid skirt every time!

Skirts and dresses became much fuller than in the previous decade, and they were usually paired with a petticoat or crinoline to really make it poofy.  Women also wore pencil skirts and more form fitting dresses as well.  It was now far more common to see women and girls, but especially teenagers, wearing pants and shorts.  Saddle shoes were in, as well as what we would call "ballet flats."  Hair seemed to be much shorter and closer to the head than in the 40s, with a more bouffant-like style coming in as the 60s approached.  Teenagers often wore ponytails with ribbon.  Lipstick was popular, but it was worn in many more colors than just red.

These girls know what's up.
I want the swimsuits!
What is with the weird poses they did?

When I was picking out my outfit for this post I realized that my petticoat just didn't have as much poof as I wanted it to.  It's a home-made petticoat, with yards and yards of stiff netting, which was still much cheaper to make than to buy already made (even on Ebay!).  My mom made it and I've had it for a couple years now.  Thankfully I still had some netting left over from the project so I added some gathered panels underneath the poofy layer.  When I first put it on I was disturbed by how large it was, and it made my anxiety level skyrocket.

Needless to say, I was nervous when church time rolled around, because giant petticoats kind of draw attention.  Thankfully, the only attention I got was good!  I got compliments all around, but I was especially happy that an old family friend (the one who painted the awesome mural in my room) got a very heartwarming boost: my getup reminded her of days gone by.

The dress I've had for a few years, a great investment I got from Goodwill.  It even has pockets!  It was originally an extra large and the elastic was a bit stretched out so a few months ago I did a refashion, taking the sides in and adding new elastic.  I also shortened the bodice, because I'm short-waisted, and there was a lot of fabric blousing over that I didn't like.

Ugh, the purse is backwards and I'm holding it weird.

My shoes were a recent find, and from Payless.  Can you believe brick and mortar stores still sell saddle shoes?  I remember having a pair when I was little, but I haven't seen any in a while.  I didn't realize until the night before that I had no socks to wear with them.  All my socks are either too short or too long.


Stay tuned next week for whatever I come up with next.  Sewing, vintage things, sewing vintage never know.  I may even do a post about thrifting!  Until then, happy trails!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fashion From War to War Part IV: 1940s

I love finding these old videos on Youtube.  Not only do they show the contrast of society and values now and then, but they're also hilarious.  This week might be a little short on the writing side, and a day late, but it was Father's Day weekend.  I had more important things to do (like stuff my face with ice-cream and swim in the pool.)

The 1940s were characterized by World War II in the first half of the decade, and the post-war boom in the second half.  During the war many things were rationed, which affected pretty much every aspect of life.  The war also brought new innovations, like the Colossus computer, which was used to decipher German codes.  Other things developed in the 1940s were Tupperware, microwave ovens, commercial television, and the Jeep.

Bantam BRC 40, the first Jeep.

Fashion was somewhat dictated by the war in the first half of the decade.  Rationing affected the materials used for clothing, and there were actually allotted amounts of fabric for an outfit.  Hemlines rose once again, usually hitting just below the knee, or thereabouts.  The key components of women's clothing were a strong shoulder, a cinched waist, and an A-line skirt.  During the war some women showed support by wearing victory rolls and red lipstick (though I don't know how they did the lipstick part with the rationing thing.  Hmmm.)  Makeup was simple and eyebrows were now natural (thank goodness!).  Heels and loafers were common footwear.  As women went to work in factories while the men were at war, they started to wear pants much more often.  At first they wore their husbands' pants, but by the end of the war pants for women were being sold in stores. (I don't know why this series is making me so obsessed with pants.)



Rationing made things like stocking hard to find.



Betty Grable

Gene Tierney


Pin curl setting pattern.

I actually agonized more over this weeks outfit than last week's, for multiple reasons.  I have a lot of pieces that I can use for the 40s, but I wanted to wear something different from my Nancy Drew getup a few weeks ago.  The dress I had originally planned to wear would have clashed with red lipstick, so I had to find something else.  The skirt and blouse I chose were some really great thrifting finds, especially considering the shirt is silk.  The most horrible part was my hair!  I've never had so many problems doing my hair as I did that morning, and I've done 40s hair several times already.  Thankfully I made it presentable with enough time to put on my lipstick.

Red lips!

And Victory rolls!

The full look.

I can't remember where I got this bag, but it was probably at a thrift store or a yard sale.

The same shoes I used for 1910s week.

And what is 1940s week without the 1940s pose?

I can't believe it, but next week will be the 50s already!  Time for poofy petticoats...yay!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fashion From War to War Part III: 1930s

The only thing I used to think of when the 1930s was mentioned was the Great Depression, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to make the decade feel a bit overlooked.  I'd say it's probably even the least popular decade of the 20th century.  At one point, this was the era I was dreading the most, but I ended up really liking it!

Here's a video of what people in 1939 thought we would be wearing today.  Warning: this is freaking hilarious!

While the 30s were some lean and unhappy years due to the stock market crash of 1929 (which led to the Great Depression) and the Dust Bowl, and a bunch of other awful things that happened (Hindenburg ring any bells?), like any other time period, it wasn't all bad.  This was the era when famed female aviator Amelia Earhart rose to fame, and subsequently disappeared in a flight over the Pacific Ocean.  This was also a booming time in the art world, with movements like Surrealism taking shape (especially at the hands of Salvador Dali).  The Art Deco design style was also popular during the time, exemplified by the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, both completed in the early 30s.  In my opinion, one of the most revolutionary things that happened was the release of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  It was the first full length feature animated film in sound and color.  It was predicted to be a complete failure, but it became the most successful film of 1938.
Amelia Earhart
The most notable fashion change of the 30s is that the loose, boxy garments of the previous decade disappeared.  The fitted look was back in.  The most popular silhouette was a dress with a fitted skirt that flared out at the knees, though not all dresses and skirts were flared.  The flare was achieved by either cutting the fabric on a bais (oblique to the grain of the fabric) or by goring, which was cutting several panels, or gores, and sewing them together.  The general hem length was mid-calf, or about halfway between the knees and the feet, but evening gowns were usually longer, most touching the ground.  Sleeves could be any length, but the most common was elbow length, and they could be fitted or flowy.  Trousers for women were finally beginning to emerge, but they were mostly seen as resort wear.  These wide-legged pants were worn at the beach or for lounging and were called beach pajamas.  But in the realm of everyday life, you wouldn't have seen a woman walking down the street wearing pants, and if you did, it would have been scandalous!
Look at those shooooeeeessssss!

1930s afternoon dresses
These dresses are bias cut.

This dress is gored.  The pattern makes it easier to see the gores.

Evening 'frocks.'
Beach pajamas!!!

From all the images I've seen on the internet, I've noticed that the hair and makeup of the 30s is like a transition into the 40s.  It seems to have a mix of both the 20s and the 40s.  Short hair was still in, but it lacked some details that characterized the 20s.  There were also so many different styles that it's hard to pinpoint what was so different.  Some styles were bigger and curlier, and reminded me of the 40s, while others were just longer versions of the finger-wave bobs of the 20s.  Some were curly and extremely close to the head.



For makeup, the red lip was still popular, but the cupid's bow disappeared.  Thin eyebrows were also still around, and many women completely removed their eyebrow hair and painted them on.  Eyeliner wasn't as heavy as before, and mascara was popular, though it was in cake or bar form.
A 1933 Maybelline ad.

When I first came up with the idea for this series, my biggest question mark was the 1930s.  I had no clue what to wear, and I wasn't even sure that I had anything in my closet to fit the time period.  Then I remembered this great blouse I had thrifted a few weeks ago.  It had long sleeves, so I decided it would be best to shorten them to fit with the elbow length look I liked.  Normally I would have done that part myself, but the fabric was threatening to give me nightmares, so I let my mom do it.  I had no skirts that fit the time period, but I did have a pair of black, high-waisted palazzo pants.  I added my black T-strap shoes from last week, and I found a great pair of my mom's earrings that fit the Art Deco look.

I LOVE this picture.  My mom is getting really good at this.
These earrings remind me of the top of the Chrysler Building.


My hair turned out fantastic, and numerous people thought that I had actually cut it short.  I finally found a way to curl it that got the curl closer to my head, and resulted in a bit of a finger wave effect in some places.  It actually took less time than pincurls, and less time than the other two hairstyles I've done for this series.  I really loved this look!
Next week we'll delve into wartime wear, more pants, and victory curls. On to the 40s!