Happy New Years! Well, almost. In honour of the most glamorous time of the year, I thought it was a great opportunity to share these images from the McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft, featuring some wonderful knitted and crocheted evening shawls and wraps.
Nowadays there seems to be a trend towards New Years parties where the guests are encouraged to wear pyjamas. This, Dear Readers is a tragedy. Not because pyjama parties aren’t loads of fun- they can be (although not my cup of tea), but because New Years is the most glitzy holiday of them all, and if you can’t wear a cocktail dress out on New Years, just really when are you going to wear it? So, I vote that this year, instead of continuing the trend towards casualness that our culture is embracing, if we are going out to celebrate, we instead don our most glamorous garments possible. Or, if you are staying in, your most glamorous housedress and robe 😉 To be honest, I am not going to be going anywhere on New Years Eve, so I’ll probably not be wearing anything very fancy that night. . .
Anyways, without further ado- some glamorous evening wear from the 1950’s!
I love the cape-like look to the one on the left.
This kind of looks like a table runner. . . but the rest of her outfit is glamorous, so I’ll forgive it. 🙂
Such a pretty zig zag pattern.
Which of the evening shawls and shrugs is your favourite? I personally really like the first picture, with the yellow dress and sparkly jewellery.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you have a Happy (and glamorous) New Year celebration however you spend it!
Now that it’s the Christmas season, it is time to start dressing for the occasion. (OK, it’s been the Christmas season for a while, I’m just kind of late at getting a holiday post up). But how do you dress for the holidays when when you don’t own “Christmas” clothing, or you just don’t like wearing novelty prints of Christmas trees? I’m all for a festively, kitschy holiday outfit. . . on other vintage loving gals, but it’s just not for me. However, I do love to dress for the season. So how do you dress for the season, when you don’t want to wear poinsettia dresses, red is not your best colour, or you don’t want a wardrobe full of themed items that can only be worn at certain times of the year?
My go-to solution for dressing for the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, or Family Day (wait- no- you don’t really dress up for Family Day. . . ) is to take a regular outfit, add different accessories to it, and thus turn it into a holiday outfit. For example, at Christmastime, take a whole bunch of gold bling and sparkly jewellery, and voila! With a few changes, it’s suddenly a holiday outfit!
I wore this exact same outfit last week, minus all the gold, and it looked like a regular old unholidayish dress. But taking the same basic pieces: a striped dress, a black bolero, black tights and black pumps and then restyling them with a gold belt and clutch, metallic gold nail polish, sparkly eyeshadow, and sparkly rhinestone jewellery made it suddenly seem more festive. Making those few changes made it the perfect thing to wear to the Christmas lunch at our church.
I’ve also worn this dress in the springtime, here, and the accessories I paired that time made it look the farthest thing from Christmas you could think of. Imagine if I had paired this dress with spider jewellery, a veiled hat, and a velvet jacket- suddenly it would look perfect for Halloween. Accessories really are a girl’s best friend- a few key pieces can completely change the look of your outfit to suit whichever holiday you are going for.
So, if you aren’t into outfits that scream “CHRISTMAS!!!!”, but you do want to add a bit of a festive touch, accessories are where it’s at.
Here are some more ways to add a bit of holiday cheer to your outfit:
Wear a bow in your hair. It’s like dressing up as a present. . . only more subtle. 😉
Plaid is the perfect Christmas material because it has nothing to do with Christmas, and yet it looks so festive when worn this time of year. And you can wear it any other season, and it looks lovely- I’m all for fabrics that do double duty.
Wear darker hued shades of “Christmas colours”. Instead of wearing bright red and green, try jewel tones like burgundy and emerald. Rich colours like navy blue can look very winter appropriate too, with some silver jewellery added, for example.
Christmas jewellery adds a festive touch, but is a bit more understated than a Christmas dress. And, it doesn’t take up tons of space, so collecting Christmas earrings and brooches doesn’t take up your entire wardrobe, but adds a nice festive touch.
‘Tis the season for rich and sumptuous fabrics like velvet and taffeta. They are great for both Christmas, and also New Years, and as most people don’t get the opportunity to wear them year round, it’s time to bust them out of the closet!
As I said before: gold and sparkles is where it’s at. In a society where people are more likely to have ugly sweater parties, I say- bring on the glam and the glitz! Any excuse to break out the cocktail dresses is good by me.
So, do you like going all out dressing for the season? Or do you like your Christmas outfits to be a bit more subtle? Or maybe you don’t dress for the holidays at all? Do you have any other holiday outfit tips?
ps. This is the same vintage Laura Ashley bolero from last week– and here you can see the fabric better!
The pleasant surprise I alluded to in the title of this post was not the weather when these photos were taken. If you look closely, you might see a hint of that evidenced by my red hands and nose, and less than relaxed posture. Very much unlike the morning when I got dressed and chose this outfit, by the time we took these photos later that afternoon, a very cold and piercing wind had come up, which made it quite difficult to “act natural”. It’s a bit of a trial to get photos in wintertime. . . but for the sake of the blog, warmth and comfort must come second!
No, the pleasant surprise in this outfit, is my thrifted bolero. I have talked about it many times before, but thrifting really is my favourite way to add unique garments to my wardrobe, and this bolero is no exception. I got it a few months ago at our local thrift store. That secondhand store is a bit of a hit and miss, like most thrift shops in small towns I would guess, as sometimes you come across a real gem, and the rest of the time it’s all 1980’s prom dresses and polyester cardigans. This particular time though, I found this “thrifting treasure” and I didn’t even realize that it was one until I went to wear it a couple of weeks ago. The thrift store price tag was completely covering the label, so it wasn’t until I took the tag off, that I realized that this is a vintage Laura Ashley garment, made in Great Britain! It’s made of 100% cotton, and is also fully lined with cotton. All of the seams are encased, and the edge is finished with piping- it really is a beautiful piece of garment workmanship. And, I didn’t even pay very close attention to it that day as I was a bit in a hurry, and just grabbed it and went! I guess it to be from the 1980’s, because of the style and print, and a quick comparison at labels online also puts it right in the middle of the 1980’s. It’s a bit hard to see in the photos, because black is simply impossible, but it is a floral damask print of solid black over a sparkly lighter black base. Like I said- 1980’s! Some people might not date that as “vintage”, but the majority of my vintage is from the 80’s as it was a great era of making reproductions of earlier styles. (Some good, and some very bad!) And, Laura Ashley is a company that made items that hearkened back to earlier eras, right from day one. (You can read their history here).
So, the moral of my story today is: go thrifting, because you never know what you might come across. And, second, check the labels more closely, because you might have a very pleasant surprise!
Have you ever had a pleasant surprise while thrifting? What was it you found? And do you struggle with getting photos in the cold and dark wintertime?
It is high time that I share some more treasures from the Mccall’s Treasury of Needlecraft, don’t you think? I took all these photos last year, shared some here on the blog (hats, dressy sweaters and dresses), and then forgot that I had the rest of these! They were a bit out of season, but now that we’ve got snow on the ground, or at lease chillier climes headed our way in the Northern Hemisphere, sweaters are just what are needed. So, today I am sharing a few lovely vintage pullover sweaters from the book.
Above: I love her belt over the top and also how her scarf loops through her collar- such a lovely classic look! Also, note that she has a zipper on the front of her skirt, which I think is rather unusual for that era?
Pretty vintage ski attire- if only sports attire looked as nice today. Yes, I know that it’s all about “performance” but as someone who really couldn’t care less about sports, I just want everything to look nice 😉
This is a really nice “college girl” look. Again, I love her scarf- I think I need to adopt scarves into my outfits more often!
Nothing like posing for a photo while eating an apple? But just look how wholesome this sweater is because it is in an orchard. Style-wise, I don’t really like the boxy fit. It would probably be comfortable, but not as elegant for sure.
A “simple crocheted” sweater. Love the batwing silhouette. And, the statement necklace is really interesting too- usually models wore more understated jewellery such as pearls and chains.
Which sweater is your favourite?
Well, that’s rather a small collection for today, but as it is late and I still have many things to do before the end of the day (I’m selling at a craft sale tomorrow, and there’s much to be done before then) so. . . I’ll sign off for now!