zondag 29 maart 2015

Tea time: outfit & inspiration

 Yesterday I had a 'high tea' at a wonderfull location in Amsterdam: the teapot museum. The room was filled with all kinds op teapots and other kinds of antiques.  I was with a group of stylish vintage loving ladies so all the more reason to wear as fabulous as possible an outfit.
So what do you wear at tea time? I took my inspiration from some 1930's magazines and the spread above struck me as very appropriate as it features some ladies having tea. You can see they are wearing outfits that are quite dressy.
Another page from a magazine shows dresses  and a hat for 'het thee-uurtje' (the tea hour), a fixed time at the end of the afternoon. In books from the period they have even made drinking tea into the verb 'teaen', which would translate a tea-ing.
The dress I choose for tea-ing yesterday is a long time favorite: a late 1930's plum dress made of lace. A lace dress seemed appropriate for having tea as  several of the pictures above feature lace dresses.
I bought it in a vintage shop in Antwerp about 5 years ago.
I wore a pale pink silk slipdress underneath because it shows off the pattern of the lace and the way the dress is contstructed. The fabric is quite unusual, not a traditional lace fabric.
Below are some more pictures from vintage magazines, featureing lace dresses, that inspired me:

In the last picture one of the women is carying a fox over her arm. You often see fox fur used as an accessoiry like that. Foxes were not really worn for warmth in the 1930's they were more of a status symbol, that could easily be combined with a thin summer dress. Most of the time I wear mine over one  or two shoulders. This time I wore it over my arm, the most impractical way ever.....but hey everything for the right look. 
I bought the fox at the Waterlooplein flea market in Amsterdam. It has all its four legs and is lined with crêpe fabric.   

So then there is the hat, hats were not worn at home but when visiting or going out it was common (although young women could go out barehead for less formal occasions). Hats got rather quirky in the mid 1930's. The hat I wore is a shining example of thos. It matches my fox as it has a piece of fox fur attached to it. I'm not 100% sure I wore it the right way. As there is no label or other indication of what is front or back I tried it in several ways, this seemed to work best.

Next to the fox fur the hat has a big felt bow. The side has two horizontal slashes that are reattached with decorative stitching. A very quirky hat indeed. I found it on 'Markplaats' (the Dutch equivalent of Ebay, sort of) and had to have it.

Another favorite piece of this outfit is the leather purse. It has an eveloppe shape and has to be carried in your hand. Together with carrying around a fox you can hardly do anything else as you don't have a free arm left. Si perfect for pretending to be a lady of leasure with nothing to do but go and have tea...(do note the pretending, keeping up appearances is key ;))

The purse looks very simple and rather timelessly modern but also very Art Deco.

I always love matching little purses!

Gloves of white kid leather, only for show, as soon as you eat or drink you should take them off (they did not really eat with covered fingers even then...)
One last impression of the entire look. Here the curls were more or less intact.... as it was raining outside they did not stay as perfect as I would have liked.

Lets hope for Sunny days!

zondag 22 maart 2015

A new wardrobe favorite: blue baret hat

Last week I bought several 1930's/1940's hats at an 'at home fair' with friends. The great thing about this is the combination of socializing, shopping and making sure the stuff you don't wear anymore goes to a loving home. And as you are among friends everybodies prices are very friendly indeed.  From the 4 (!) hats I ended up taking home this is the one I have already worn several times this week.

It probably has everyting to do with the fact that it can be worn in a rather casual way AND is easy to attach to my hair. It only looks like a beret but it is more than that because of the shape and the fact that it stands up around your head.

It is made from wool fabric (not felt), that looks a bit like suede leather from a distance. The only decoration is a grosgrain ribbon hanging from the back giving it a young girly flair.

The soft fabric is lined with a mesh fabric. The mesh was treated with something to make it stiff. This has unfortunately made it quite breakable, so I have to take care when I put it on.
I would not be surprized if this hat was home made as it has no label and this fabric would be far more easy to stitch than felt.
In a magazine from 1938  I found a pattern of a hat that has a similar shape (even more simple actually). In the same band of magazines I found many pictures of beret style hats. They are combined with casual as well as dressy outfits. Here are just a few examples:

The pictures were taken on Monday when I wore it with a blue 1940's dress with a white lace trim. This hat will go with many more outfits and I think it is a new favorite in my hat collection as it is so wearable in windy, cycling-minded Holland.

vrijdag 13 maart 2015

A last farewell to winter: fur trimmed coat & vintage magazine inspiration

Winter is nearly over and last weekend temperatures were rising well above 10 degrees C. As they were down again this week it was time to give my wintercoats a last spin.
The recently bought the coat in the picture at  my favorite stall at the Waterlooplein fleamarket in Amsterdam. It is made of heavy wool and has an extra layer of wadding in the chest area. The shoulderline is widenened by the collar that is trimmed with black fox fur. The hems of the side pannels have been trimmed with the same material giving this coat a stunning silhouet. The coat probably dates form the 1940's (pre new look given its length) combining an hourglass shape with pronounced shoulders.
I was so glad to find this coat in such a feminine shape and that stunning trim. A fur trim makes an outfit ever so sophisticated and expensive looking. A good look to go for ;)
Fur trims were and are very popular (lets not get into the ethics of this). The pictures below are from a Dutch magazine called 'Het Rijk der Vrouw' (the empire of the woman)  from the years 1937 through 1940. I've been looking at some of the fab fur trims in this for years so they were a real inspiration for wanting a coat like this.


I think my coat looks most like the coats in the three pictures above




So many different trims make we wish for many coats to find :), but that is for the next winter season.
The bordeaux red hat I'm wearing has a  pre-WWII label from 'De Bijenkorf' a big Dutch department store chain that still exists today. The hat may still be carried on into my spring wardrobe the coat however will return to my closet for colder days to come.
Now let spring come as I have some great coats  in store for that as well!