Saturday, November 04, 2017

Back in Black


 I wore so much black in my youth that I've made an effort to avoid it in later years. To be completely honest, I don't know what to do with it. My younger self would go for pearls or silver, perhaps a nice scarf but 2017 me? Oh hell, I haven't got a clue.

The selling point for this vintage 50's dress was the buttons-I mean, my god, look at 'em! That, and it cost me $7.99. I have a hard time passing up pristine vintage when I can grab it for a song. That day, Hand-Me-Ups had a cache of vintage dresses that the lovely saleswoman pointed out (they know me too well!). I ended up buying four black dresses and one pink-ish silver silk number from the early 60's. I do not require four black 50's dresses, though one is at present too snug to be worn comfortably. For someone that never wears black, I found myself unable to resist the perfectly cared for clothes. I'll find a new home for the too-small one, but I'm going to consider it a challenge finding ways to wear the rest of them.
 The bust is a good 40 inches on this one, and the waist a very snug 27 inches. I'm guessing the extra room up top is to accommodate the pointy bras that were in fashion, and I'm sure with correct foundations this dress would look a lot racier than it does on me. I look like I'm headed to work as a saleslady at a department store.
 After trying the dress with a cropped leopard print jacket (no), a chenille pink and black jacket (definitely not) and an embroidered coat (uh uh) I finally gave up and went with this vintage late 40's swing coat. Kind of boring, but in the end I don't think I'm capable of making this black dress be anything more than a nice black dress. I though LBD's are supposed to be versatile?!
I went for the second half of my eye exam today. Everything's fine except that I have a spot (the doctor called it a "freckle") in my right eye. Well, that's news to me. We'll have to keep track of it in case it starts to grow, but I thought it was fascinating to know-I'd never heard of such a thing. My specs still aren't finished, but they expect them early next week. I'm looking forward to being able to see better (at least until I notice all the hairs sprouting from my chin or something horrible).
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage coat-Hand-Me-Ups
Belt-Goodwill
Shoes-K Mart
Tights-Dillards
Vintage bag-Goodwill
40's brooch on dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch on coat-Yard sale
Machine age bracelet-Sarpy museum sale
Earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Necklace-Sequels
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue
Lippy-Wine With Everything Revlon


Speaking of dressing outside my comfort zone...
A pair of Brazil Roxx Jeans
I had to cuff the bottoms which does lose some of the suede, but I was in no shape for towering heels today. I would never spend $389.00 on a pair of jeans, but I was happy to spend $9.99 at Hand-Me-Ups. They were NWT when I bought them. Who spends that kind of money on something and then donates it?! Anyway, I'm not really a jeans kind of woman, but these are just too beautiful to let languish in my cupboard. I wore them once when I purchased them, and then forgot them until recently. 
 As with the black dress above, I don't really have a clue how to style them. Being loose fitting, it almost seems like something form fitting (say, a polo neck) would be best to balance off the look-but really, I don't know. They sit lower on the hips than I'm used to, though that might be from being a wee bit large. I didn't want to go overboard with Western style clothing as I was afraid I'd look like a rodeo queen (not that there's anything wrong with that, it just ain't me). Going with the argument that leopard is a neutral, I gave this cardigan I picked up last weekend a first wear.
Outfit Particulars:
Brazil Roxx jeans-Hand-Meups
Cardigan-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage sparkly tee-Hand-Me-Ups
Clogs-Hand-Me-Ups
Bag-Goodwill
Earrings-Thrift World
Damsacene (technically it is Toledoware a sort of "faux Damascene) bracelet-Goodwill
Inlaid bracelet-New Life Thrift
Rings-all over
Necklace-Goodwill
Fragrance-Vintage Tigress (had to!)
So, how do you style a black dress or embellished jeans? Or do you just stay clear and stick to the tried and true? 


















9 comments:

Bibi Maizoon said...

I think you styled that 50's LBD perfectly! Love that 40's swing coat too.
Jeans are not a part of my life anymore. Those jeans are spectacular! I thought they were mariachi pants at first. Then I thought they were a Nudie Cohn masterpiece. Never heard of Brazilroxx but they do seem to be popular with the rodeo crowd and the country-western music crowd. The way you've styled them they look sort of southwestern chic, like your a Scottsdale or Paradise valley snob ;)

Polyester Princess said...

That 1950s black dress is fab, and I think the swing coat was the right chose. I'm really loving that coat. I hardly ever wear black these days as like you I wore a lot of black in my youth. Now, if I wear black it's black with a print.
$ 389 for a pair of jeans! No way! The leopard cardigan works like a dream with it, though, and I'm swooning over those clogs! xxx

Veronica Cooke said...


Yes the 50s dress is beautifully styled and the swing coat (lust, lust, lust) is just perfect. What about the shoes? Are they velvet? They look like it.

I have never heard of these jeans but what amazing jeans they are with all that embellishment! Who the heck does donate such expensive items not even worn? I don't know why and would love to know but thank you very much...

Fab leopard print cardigan; I'd have snapped that up, too.

Radostin said...

What a chameleon you are! I think you've got both outfits just right, clearly you do know what to do with these difficult pieces. Maybe another option with the dress could be a black and white print jacket or coat (zebra? houndstooth?)? I love it with the swing coat though, just trying to think of another option for you ;) How about a yellow jacket?
I think autumnal colours are probably the only ones I'd end up wearing with those jeans (by which I include what you've got going on here); I think I might consider turquoise but, on trying, reject the combination. Maybe cobalt? Hmmm...

Vix said...

I'm the same with you and black - overdid it in the 1980s and these days it seems an extraordinary amount of effort involved to wear it and not look like an Italian widow or a miserable goth.
You've done a cracking job though.
Glad the eye issue is being sorted. xxx

Beth Waltz said...

I'm admiring the "swinging" lines of that handsome bag that compliments the relaxed elegance of the swing coat! A chic LBD, comfortable shoes -- the toute ensemble deserves an outing at an exhibition of fashion in Chicago's Art Institute (with perhaps a black scarf wrapped a la Hepburn, so you keep those earrings, and long black gloves, so you keep your fingers unfrozen).

My pet combo for LBDs is a brilliant blue scarf worn on my neck or tied to my bag. What I'd really like is a black hat with blue feathers and a veil. The veil would be unwearable, 'cause I must wear glasses, but for the right hat I'd hang onto my escort's elbow. (I really do need a lorgnette.)

Mim said...

I'm a sucker for a good black dress, and that is very good. I always keep it very simple: eyecatching brooch or necklace and smart black shoes and bag, but that's probably a legacy of my goth days and natural dislike of too much fuss.

You had a good day at Hand-Me-Ups that day.

Goody said...

@Bibi
If I could wear the spectacular silk finery that you get to wear I wouldn't miss jeans at all! I'm living in the wrong place for my taste in fashion ;)

@Ann
I really think anyone spending that kind of money on jeans has "issues." Even if you could afford it...I mean, they're jeans!

@Veronica
The shoes are suede with patent leather heels.
I really did think of you when I bought the cardigan! You've inspired me to try all sorts of things I never would, including colourful trousers.

@Radostin
*snaps fingers* that's it! I have an 80's zebra print jacket with red buttons and trim. Thank you!

@Vix
I love the goth look on other people, I just can't pull it off convincingly. I like to think I have the right attitude though ;)

@Beth
I love the scarf tied to a bag idea-I'm going to steal that one, if you don't mind!

@Mim
I break out in hives at the thought of minimalism ;)
Hand Me Ups has two locations and I swear they have the best stuff I've seen in thrift stores. They're selective, and don't put out damaged cothes. The money all goes to charity so even when it is a bit more expensive.

Radostin said...

Ha! I knew you'd have something.