Monday, March 7, 2011

what I wore

I bought this dress yesterday at DC Big Flea, and I couldn't wait to wear it! It has the sweetest monogram, embroidered in pale blue thread that matches the dress perfectly.

With thrifted boots and tights, it's just warm enough for this time of year. I know it's premature-- especially since temperatures are supposed to dip back below forty next week-- but I've already packed away all my depths-of-winter clothes to the back of the closet, and brought out my bright-colored cotton dresses. Just looking at them makes it feel more like spring.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

why i don't wear a girdle

the 1940s-Ad for Scandale girdle and bra

So I wear a lot of vintage. I don't, however, wear the underpinnings that would give me a proper vintage shape. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is just plain luck. I happen to be blessed with a figure that's well-suited for vintage: I have narrow shoulders, an average-sized bust and a small waist. My big hips are easily hidden in the swish of a full skirt. My figure is pretty much what the New Look designers had in mind, and I don't need to alter my shape to match their ideal. If I wanted to wear '20s or '30s styles it would be a different story, but I'm pretty well built for the '50s and early '60s.

1940s FORMFIT GIRDLE vintage fasion illustration advertisement women's underwear woman

The main reason, though, is that I'm kind of uncomfortable with the the societal underpinnings of vintage underpinnings. Shapewear is restrictive, both physically and phsychologically: it's meant to constrict your body and your movement. It's meant to mold you into something that nature hasn't intended you to be, into a shape that's in keeping with whatever fashion currently dictates.

The history of shapewear, from the earliest corsets onward, is a history of women being molded to suit fashion, contorting their bodies to match one another. A woman born at the end of the Victorian era would have seen a half a dozen 'ideal' shapes come and go in her lifetime, each with its own set of underwear meant to mold her body into that new shape.

Even today, different body types come in and out of style. It's just that nowadays, if your body doesn't suit the current fashion, you just kind of resign yourself to not finding anything cute in the stores until fashion changes. I don't know that this is a better option-- in an ideal world, fashion would embrace a wider range of body types. But this obviously isn't an ideal world.

I'm not saying I judge or look down on women who *do* choose to embrace shapewear, vintage or modern. I'm just saying that I, personally, am uncomfortable with the implications of it, and choose not to wear it myself. The fact that it's a choice I can make is awesome, and one of the many reasons I'm glad to be a vintage-wearing girl in the 21st century.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

estate sale of awesome

Back from an estate sale in Alexandria, $75 poorer. But six dresses and four petticoats richer, so I think that's equitable. My original plan was to resell the petticoats and whichever dresses didn't fit, but they all fit, so now I have a bit of a dilemma. But I also have:

Two velvet dresses, one black and full-skirted, one red with a scalloped collar that makes me look super hot
Two sundresses, one blue-and-white striped, the other with woven butterflies
Two fancy dresses, one black, one navy, that are super cute

Moral of this story: I should always go to estate sales in Alexandria. Actually, I should also get to them earlier-- apparently I arrived after a lady cleaned them out of all the really old stuff.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

a debut

Starting Sunday, March 20, I'm going to be selling vintage and antique books at Eastern Market. DCistas, come visit me, and check out all the awesome stuff I'm going to have for sale! I'll remind y'all again closer to the date, but I wanted to announce it as soon as possible. I'm really excited!