dinsdag 3 januari 2017

Holiday outfits & wardrobe resolutions


So the holidays are over and I'm suffering from an after-december blues. I took down all the decorations today, couldn't bear to look at them. Maybe a bit childish and sentimental but I really dislike the beginning of January when a bleak reality check hits me.... December represents a kind of escapism from winter and normal responsabilities, a limbo where all that matters is family, friends, presents, food and everything else comes to a standstill. When it is over it is a few more months until spring and there is that nagging feeling you have to do 'somehting' (useful that is). Horrible...but enough of my rantings, that's not what this blog is about ;)

Time to look back one last time a and then forward into the new year.

Holiday outfits etc.
On the 21st of December I organised a midwinter party for my friends at my place. Above is the outfit I wore: a late 30's evening dress. It is one of my most precious garments but I'd never really worn it (only used it for exhibitions). The dress reminds me of Schiaparelli designs of the late 30's, and I love La Schiap. The bolero is faux and actually attached to the dress, it features an unexpected back cleavage.
Because the style  of the dress is rather mature I opted for a half up hairdo and more make-up than I usually wear.


Eventhough it wasn't a sit-down dinner party kind of evening I decorated the table like it was. My inspiration was this picture from a 1937 magazine: a pineapple surrounded by fruits as a centrepiece.

Turned out that pineapples are a thing at the moment, so I could even get paper plates in the right shape.

A pineapple must have been a luxury in 1937, now it is rather cheap deco ;)

The day before I made lots of food like little meatballs, filled eggs and stewed pears.

There are many 'party' photo's of me and my  more than 15 guests but I'll spare you most of them, you get the idea...

Just a few decent ones then:


The day after I had much cleaning to do and had to travel to my parents in the evening:
I decided on my red coat for Christmas and my burgundy hat. I've worn it often lately.

What I wore the next day to do some last grocery shopping. I started a bad cold, thank god for make-up and filters.

My Christmas eve outfit. You can tell I was crying my eyes out because the cold got worse but I rather like the print combo of the dress and apron. I usually do all the cooking for Christmas so I had to spend a large part of the day in the kitchen preparing, snotty head and all.

My Christmas day outfit. The tule dress I bought at the 'Verzamelaarsjaarbeurs' a while ago with a green slipdress and belt with matching buckle I made especially for Christmas.


I also got some presents:
The best is probably this 1924 electric Singer sewing machine. It needs some finetuning but works just fine!

Some more presents :)

And another apron.

On boxing day/second Christmas day I wore loungewear: satin pj pants and a new jumper. I bought the same one for my mother and gave them as a present.

I'm wearing it the wrong way round because I like it better on me that way. The cleavage at the front was a bit too much.

In the evening I slipped into a velvet dress I've worn almost every Christmas since I made it.

It is very difficult to capture when worn but this gives a good idea.

I repeated the pineapple theme that evening.

I didn't get to wear my most Christmassy outfit until the day after because it had been very warm. It is a matching set of knitwear combined with a white fur hat. I went for a long walk with my father like almost every year so finally some pictures taken outside.
Again the red coat.

Part of the route are old railwaytracks. It is a nature conservation area now. 


The day after I travelled back to Amsterdam, only to leave again the next day, that living out of a suitcase feeling ;)
On the international train: Same hat different coat bacause it was colder.
I went to stay with friends in Germany for a couple of days for New Years Eve celebrations and had a wonderful time.
On NYE we wore evening dresses. I wore my newest also found at the Verzamelaarsjaarbeurs. It was really nice to be able to dress up for NYE, and not be the only one!

I don't do new years resolutions really, I think it is a bit silly and makes the beginning of January even worse ;) But because this blog is about clothes here are some resolutions in relation to my wardrobe:

1 Wear everything I own
The fact that I had never worn that lovely evening dress says it all, such a shame!
2 Wear more hats and evening dresses
I'm on the right way with this I think, but must keep up the good work.
3 Buy less, hmmm yeah right
Well this is the kind of resolution you know will be impossible to keep, but I do have so many clothes already.
4 Let go
Among the clothes I never wear are also some things that just don't work. The things that are unflattering, not me and may be better on someone else. No use holding on to them, though letting go is hard, it will feel far better, in the end...
5 Go out of my comfort zone
Trying something new from time to time is refreshing (and on the other hand often confirms your set tastes and ways and makes you appreciate them more).

So that was it, below what I plan on wearing  to brighten up bleak January after wearing so many reds and dark colors.


Will be back soon,
Birthe

maandag 19 december 2016

It's the season: Sinterklaas, (pre-)Christmas decorations & outfits

With only a few more days until Christmas I'm quite busy with preparations. Like every year I'll do the Christmas dinner cooking for my family and I'm throwing my own little midwinter-party for friends on Wednesday. So now it is down to grocery shopping and wrapping gifts.
But other preparations have been going on for a while longer.

Sinterklaas:
In the Netherlands we traditionally give and receive gifts on the 5th of December instead of Christmas. Saint Nicolas (Sinterklaas) has been celebrated in our country for centuries, long before his younger brother Santaclaus was invented.
I celebrated it with my friends from Club Interbellum.

What I wore:
The week before I had found this amazing dress at the Waterlooplein flea-market at my favorite stall.
I think it is great for the festive season with the ruby red velvet trimmings.


Though the dress looks stunning it has been well loved, moth holes have been carefully darned and patched under the armpits have been preplaced. It has a strange construstion that suggests I might have been made out of something else. The fabric feels a bit like that of a thin coat too.
The woman who wore it can't have been very tall, if I were an inch taller it would have been too short.

It pairs well with burgundy accessoiries, especially the hat that has a velvet decoration at the back.

We celebrated Sinterklaas with Paul and Marjolein in their new home in Deventer. Steve dressed up as Sinterklaas like last year. Thanks to all three of them for making the day!

Here are the gifts I got from Sinterklaas & Marjolein: 30's/40's straw summerhat, old newspaper, mirror, plaid shawl, girls books, a very good cook book from 1938 with lots of 'how to' pictures and some candles for the tree.

I love decorating for Christmas so I have a real tree for which the couch has to move out fo the living room.
I have very colorful bulbs that I've collected since I was about four. My grandfather painted a bulb for me every year with my name, the year and some scene. These might be a bit crude but they are so very dear to me. Most decorations have a story or are souvenirs.
This is the tree with the Nativity and two fully fashioned stockings on the wall ;)

Just some of the 'girls' in my tree:
The girl from the 'Nutcracker', one of the first ornaments I bought after moving out at 18

This cutie was bought in Prague this year.

A victorian lady I bought when visiting a Dickens fair when I was 16

In my Nativity Mary has twins ;). I got the statues from my maternal grandmother who did not have a place for them after moving to a home for elderly people. They are probably 40's or 50's. The second baby Jesus belonged my paternal grandmother and was given to me after she bought a prettier one in Rome.

So on to some outfits from the last week, lots of reds:
A very simple 30's/40's dress with a white collar.

Such a cute 40's dress. I feel a bit to grown up for it but I want to keep wearing it. The embroidery was done by hand and has it's faults which is somehow endearing.

A practical plaid skirt that goes well with the scarf I got at Sinterklaas. The cardigan belongs to a set. I'll wear it with the skirt on Christmas proper.

Same cardigan paired with one of my favorite 1940's rayon print dresses. Love the defined shoulders.

Like every year I also helped decorate the tree at my parent's.
Their livingroom is quite high so the tree is about 3 metres. How can I resist an opportunity to decorate a real tree that big?

They only have silver bulbs, collected since the 70's when they got married.

After putting the tree up these are the three stages of decorating ;)

My father took some pictures of me and the tree in a pretty dress.
He got the crazy idea to make me stand on a kind of pedestal.... well at least you get a good view of the dress that way.

I bought it togheter with the one I wore at Sinterklaas. It is from the late 30's made out of thin silk crêpe with a bakelite clasp and a delicate lace frontpiece.

I wore a little bow in my hair (it looks short because I did not brush out my spongeroller curls)
There's also a Nativity at my parent's on a rather larger scale.

Now I'm really looking forward to hosting my party in two days.
More on that in a next post :)

Merry Christmas
Birthe