hat

The Comfort of a Good Tried and True Outfit

Feature. The comfort of a tried and true outfit, the artyologist

When one is wearing a 1960’s outfit, one must pretend to be a Vogue cover model of the era, and pose appropriately.

I love to play dress up with my wardrobe and come up with new outfit combinations.  It’s always so much fun to pair items with something I haven’t before, and come up with new ideas on how to wear the garments I have. I especially love to do this whenever I get something new in my wardrobe. Before I buy a garment, I always try to picture it with the things I already have- how will it fit in with what I already own? What do I have that I could pair it with? And then, as soon as I bring it home, I try pairing it with as many things in my wardrobe as possible. That way, the next time I go to get dressed I already have an idea of what sorts of garments work together well, but I have the freedom to experiment and add accessories that haven’t been out to play for a while . . . or to choose something unexpected altogether. However, as much as I love to experiment, sometimes you just need the comfort of an old friend.

Enter, the tried and true outfit. This is an outfit that just “goes” together, and every time you wear it, you love it as much as you did the last time.

I have a few “uniforms” in my wardrobe, but this is definitely one of my favourites. You can actually read more about this coat in this post from back in March. Today’s outfit is identical to that one, with only the addition of a new-to-me vintage hat. I have worn this outfit, with the exact same dress, coat, and shoes several times since I found this coat a few years ago – and every time I wear it, I still love it just as much as the first time.

I only wear this dress paired with this coat, because it is a tunic, that I turned into a dress (but is impossible to alter so it is more fitted, as it has to be pulled on over the head.) The dress is rather baggy, and so it isn’t very flattering on its own, but when worn under this coat, it suddenly looks like a 1960’s shift (and so it is worth keeping in my wardrobe, even if I only wear it a couple of times a year!) Adding my trusty old low navy peep-toes, furthers the 1960’s theme, and when you are wearing a 1960’s inspired outfit, you have to pair it with a ridiculous feathered pillbox, right? I don’t know why, because they are rather silly, but I just love 1960’s hats. I picked this one up in the spring, just in time to pack it away for summer, so this was it’s official debut. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this hat while I was wearing it; it almost seems too tall and narrow. However, there is a benefit to taking pictures for your blog- you can look objectively at things later when you go through the photos! After looking at the hat in this pictures, I actually think it’s grown on me a bit, but what do you think? I’m still trying to decide if it is a yes or a no.

comfort of a tried and true outfit, the artyologist, hat

So, there you go, even though I have worn this exact thing before, I enjoyed wearing it all over again. That’s the magic of a Tried and True! The only sad thing about this lovely coat, is that it is wool, but only lined with a lightweight satin, and so it isn’t warm at all. I only get to pull it out a few times each Spring and Fall, but I do love wearing it while the weather permits!

Do you have a Tried and True outfit you love to wear? Or do you like to experiment and wear something different each time you get dressed?

Outfit details:

Actually now that I think about it, every piece in this outfit, except for the sunglasses and earrings, was a hand-me-down, was thrifted or bought at a vintage store. That’s cool, as that doesn’t usually happen! 🙂

1960's Peggy French coat, the artyologist

hat detail, the artyologist, the comfort of a tried and true outfit

black and white 1960's hat, the comfort of a tried and true, the artyologist

Chronically Vintage Guest Post Today

Chronically Vintage Guest Post Today, the artyologist

Hello everyone, as I mentioned on Friday, I am guest posting today for Jessica of Chronically Vintage, while she is on holidays (in my own delightful province of Alberta!) I have been following Jessica’s wonderful blog for a few years now, so I was very excited when she asked to do write a guest post for her. Today, I am sharing a before and after, of how I made this ugly little felt hat I picked up back in April, into a Philip Treacy inspired flower topped hat. So, hop on over to Chronically Vintage to see more pictures, a tutorial for how I made this chiffon flower, and inspiration for embellishing your own thrift finds! (And take a look through her blog while you are at if, if you don’t follow her already!) 🙂

Fresh as a Daisy in Retrolicious Vintage Repro

retrolicious nostalgia dress fresh as a daisy the artyologist

At first, brown, mustard yellow and cream do not seem to be a summer colour palette, but then I looked out into my garden and saw a patch of daisies blooming. It turns out that it is a summer palette after all! 🙂

This is the new dress that I mentioned last week, and it is my first vintage reproduction dress! Living in Alberta, which isn’t exactly a major centre for vintage style boutiques, I had never come across a shop that sold vintage reproduction. I have never had much luck shopping online either, and for things like dresses, which need to fit well, it was always just too much of a gamble. Then, a few weeks ago, while shopping on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue, I discovered this little shop called Rowena. Rowena is a “clothing, accessory & household item store specializing in pinup, rockabilly, psychobilly, tattoo and alternative cultures.” As soon as I walked in the door, I was in heaven. Seriously, my mom and sister who were with me, can attest that I was like a kid in a candy store. Never have I ever seen such a large and fabulous selection of vintage reproduction in one place. All of the items they have in store, are available in their amazing online store Retro Glam, if you would like to check it out. Anyways. I did find a few lovely items, and actually it is amazing that I came home with my bank account intact! I’ll be back for sure, though.

retrolicious dress daisy the artyologist

I was so excited to wear this dress; I wore it the very next Sunday. It is the Nostalgia dress by Retrolicious. I had never heard of Retrolicious before: it is a sub brand of Folter clothing “made in the USA”.

I can’t really attest to the quality of the dress, as I have only had it for a couple of weeks, and I haven’t washed it yet or anything, but I love it so far. When we were in a different shop that same day, the salesperson told me that the dresses they were selling were “couture dressmaker’s fabrics, not just regular old cottons”. When I looked at the tag, they were 57% polyester/ 43% cotton blends. I’ll take the cotton please.  Thus, I love that this dress is 100% cotton, and cut on the bias, which gives it a comfortable amount of stretch without containing any spandex/polyester/nylon.  I don’t know about you, but I just hate synthetic fabrics. I mean, sometimes they are fine for certain garments, and I do own some myself, but I just hate the fact that there is such an abundance of synthetics in every piece of clothing you find, it seems. Maybe this is just an irrational fear I have of synthetics, tracing back to the time when I was a child and my mother told me that nylon melts. I was scared to wear my nylon pants for years. Anyways, that was a bit of an aside. . . where were we. . .

The dress! It is lovely, comfortable and breathable (it was a hot day, when I wore it) and it has pockets too; I never think to put pockets in my dresses, but really they are the best! Basically this dress is a winner, it is my new favourite, and now that I know where Rowena is, and I know what size I am in several other repro brands, I may never have any money ever again. . .

(PS: After I had finished dressing, I realized that the accessories in this outfit are exactly what I paired with my outfit for Easter Sunday- the straw purse, brown sandals, and cream coloured hat. Even the pearls are the same. What can I say? If you’ve got a good thing going. . . )

(PPS: Another quick note: I do know that cotton, unless it is organic, contains a whole host of other environmental problems, 🙁 but as it is difficult to find organic cotton material and clothing, when faced with a choice, I will choose cotton, as it is still a natural and biodegradable fibre, rather than a man made fibre.)

Outfit Details:

Dress- Retrolicious, Nostalgia Dress (not available any more it seems, but they have many others!)

Purse: Vintage from a thrift store

Hat: Vintage from an antique sale

Shoes: Franco Sarto from a few years ago

Earrings: Joe Fresh from a few years ago

Necklace: Pearls; a gift from my parents!

retrolicious dress the artyologist

daisies the artyologist

retrolicious by folter nostalgia dress the artyologist

retrolicious nostalgia dress by folter fresh as a daisy the artyologist

retrolicious dress folter clothing the artyologist

An Almost Vintage Skirt of Recycled Fabric

an almost recycled skirt of vintage fabric the artyologist

This could also be titled as “The World’s Easiest Skirt Pattern”. 🙂 When I sewed up my dutch wax print skirt, and refashioned my black floral, I realized just how much I love pleated skirts. After completing Me Made May, I decided that I needed more of these skirts in my life as they are so easy to wear, and are comfortable and practical for everyday. When I was deciding what fabric to use, I remembered this vintage sheet I picked up a a flea market a couple of months ago, so I decided to recycle the fabric into a skirt. I absolutely love the pattern on the fabric- is it just me or were vintage linens so much nicer than today’s?

skirt construction the artyologist

I used the same easy method as the other skirts, which pretty much involves creating a curved waistband to fit your waist measurement, plus seam allowances. I have found that a slightly curved band is better than a straight rectangle, as bodies are typically not straight, so if it is curved in, the waistband will not gape on you. I didn’t use a pattern for this, I seriously just “eyeballed” the curve for this band and traced to create a mirror image for both sides. To this, I cut a front and back rectangle, and pleated it into the waist circumference (no real math at play, just pleating and fiddling until it fit!) To create something different, so all of the garments in my wardrobe are not exactly the same, I decided to add ties to the waistband this time. I think they give a bit of a fun twist. I sewed the two ties separately, and then inserted them between the zipper (which I had saved off another garment, hence the title of this post) and the waistband when sewing them together. Thus, the raw edges were encased, and the ties wrap around to the front. The skirt took me only about 4 hours start to finish. Well, not including the time that it took to cut the material, I guess. When I went to lay out the fabric, I discovered that somewhere along the way someone had used this sheet as a dropcloth or something, and there was orange paint splattered across it! I had to do some strategic measuring and cutting to avoid all the splatters- but it was successful, as none of the paint shows on the final garment! The joys of vintage material I guess. 😉 I actually love projects like this as they recycle something that would otherwise be discarded. The skirt turned out nicely and qualifies as a Make do and Mend garment, I think, as well as almost being vintage, as the materials to make it were. . .

waistband detail the recycled skirt the artyologist

So, onto the outfit! The skirts debut, the very next day, was for an afternoon of shopping on Edmonton’s Whyte Ave. My best friend came for a visit (as I already mentioned before), so we took the opportunity to go shopping, and Whyte Ave is a pretty fun place filled with lots of lovely little shops and restaurants. (I also found the best little store called Rowena, which carries a whole host of vintage reproduction brands I’ve never been able to find in a brick-and-mortar store! I was like a kid in a candy shop- and I have an outfit post with the dress I bought, next week!)

the entirely recycled fabric skirt the artyologist

the entirely recycled skirt the artyologist

We had a lovely time shopping, but I didn’t get any outfit photos while we were there, which is too bad as there are so many historical brick buildings that would’ve served as a nice backdrop. I was too busy catching up with my friend, though, to stop for pictures, so we got these pictures later. I paired the skirt with a modern ruffled blouse, and my lovely vintage straw boater I got at an antique sale a few years ago. The lining in this hat is so shredded I can barely pick out any of the label, the only words left read “Knox New York”. I did a google search and came up with this article about the Knox hat company, but as it appears they made men’s hats, I’m not sure of the history of this piece.  It is lovely though, and in very good shape too, despite the label being in disrepair. I would’ve liked to have paired this outfit with my cognac kiltie loafers, but as they are not broken in yet, I thought an afternoon spent walking would be better suited to my tried and true brown flats. Sometimes style must be sacrificed for comfort, as much as I hate to admit it 🙁

Anyways, I’ve already worn this skirt several times since I made it, and it is quickly becoming a favourite in my wardrobe. Do you ever find yourself gravitating towards sewing or wearing the same things over and over again?

Outfit details:

Hat- vintage from an antique sale

Shirt- secondhand

Skirt- made by me out of a sheet from a flea market

Earrings- Joe Fresh from a year ago

Shoes- Josef Seibel

Purse- bought in England

vintage knox straw boater the artyologist

the entirely recycled fabric skirt the artyologist

an almost recycled skirt of vintage fabric the artyologist

vintage straw boater the artyologist

vintage knox boater the artyologist