Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fashion Flip

How beautiful were the fashions of the 50s?  A time when women really cared about their appearance and put some effort into their outfit, even if they were just home looking after the kids or cleaning the kitchen.  Somewhere along the way this pride in our appearance has got a little lost.  I don't mean everyone here, although sometimes I wonder....especially when I saw that woman in the supermarket IN HER PYJAMAS!!!  What on earth was that!?!  Women who need to trot off to work everyday dress up...wear a skirt or tailored pants, and almost always wear makeup, but for the rest of us...those who are at home with the children and doing the cooking, cleaning and general running around... well...um....we tend to fall off the clothing wagon and start wearing tatty jeans, tracksuit pants (sweat pants) and a sloppy jumper with food all down the front.  I am guilty of this..several of my pairs of jeans have holes in the knees, and my usual uniform of check shirt and cowgirl boots has got a little boring...not to mention unattractive.  Don't get me wrong, I still head out like this when the occasion calls for it, like last week I went out hunting a couple of times, and there is the horse riding and general sheep work at the farm that needs to be done...minus the kitten heels, but over the last couple of weeks I have done a 180 on the dressing front, and taken a leaf out of our 1950s sister's hand embroidered notebooks and started to doll up a bit.
Most days have seen me bravely wear a skirt...(I add the brave in here because we have been undergoing what the meteorologists are calling a weather 'vortex' and a super cold pocket of air has been drifting up from Antarctica....no kidding!!)..and I've had very cold knees!  One thing I've also noticed, despite the cold tushy and finding the need to wear pantyhose, is that skirts are sooooo comfortable!  Who would have thunk it!  They also hold so much more of your ex-baby padding in and it is so much more flattering for a real female figure. 
I've noticed, in my usual travels, such as doing the food shop and running the kids around, that women just don't wear skirts nowadays.  I mean they're out there, but I seriously have seen hardly any.  I know it's not really happy skirt wearing weather, and perhaps I shall notice more in the spring and summer months, but it's quite an eye opener to see that so many women...stay at home mums in particular...just throw on a pair of daks and away they go.  This nonchalant form of dressing also applies to hair and makeup.  Mostly it's missing too.  Understandably women today are under a lot of pressure to be and do everything.  Have the career.  Be a mum.  Be a super wife....which all of this leaves little time to yourself to pay any attention to getting dressed in the morning.  It's a shame that mums just let themselves go, and whether it happens slowly (which is usually the case), most don't notice the change and then one day look in the mirror and think "where did I go?"  That snappy dresser and sassy woman... pre-husband and babies...has all but faded away.
 
For me I have realised that I just don't want to be all of it.  I don't want to try and do everything.  It's exhausting.  When you do try and take on a career, husband and kids you start to spread yourself too thin and this is not healthy.  Yes, I'm stepping back to be old fashioned but I am finding that I really like it.  It's so less stressful.
So...I am dressing up.  By this I don't mean silks and satins (how bizarre for the everyday!) but putting on a skirt and teaming it with a nice top.  I'm also doing something a little more interesting with my hair...which is a challenge because I'm terrible at doing hair...(something to work on)..and...shock horror (!)...I'm even putting makeup on.  A toned down version of a 1950s look, but makeup none the less.  I am also conscious of making an effort for my husband too.  When we stop caring about how we look it is like we aren't caring about what our partner thinks...that he should just settle for the frumpy bored housewife.  By looking nice I feel better about myself and he comes home to a wife in a good mood and in a pretty skirt or dress.  And I do know that he likes it....if the amount of times I've had my bottom pinched lately has anything to do with it!
 
So...here I am, updating my wardrobe a little..and having fun doing it (!)..having discovered lovely online shopping experiences such as ModCloth and Unique Vintage...both in the US..and also Wild Kitty Clothing in Australia.  The other day I had this arrive due to a bit of eBay shopping...
..and it's the most flattering little top.  I love the 3/4 sleeves.  I promptly went and ordered another one in white.  They weren't dear...eBay can be great like that...and it arrived within a few days.  I'm being selective about colours and things..making sure that everything matches so I have complete outfits, rather than just random clothes that I like, but don't go together. 
 
Wearing nice clothes like this makes me think of my Mum.  She always dresses nicely.  When I was little she always went up the street wearing a skirt or dress AND heels and full makeup.  That was just how she dressed.  Even now she's still full makeup, and although she doesn't wear skirts as much, she's always in tailored pants.  Actually it kind of freaks me out on the rare occasions she wears jeans, which you'd only ever see her wear around the garden at home.  She's the Audrey Hepburn of Gippsland!  There was something my older sister once said too, about women who went out in sloppy clothes.  It was a comment she made to my mum, about why would women bother going out looking like they've been dragged through a bush backwards when there are so many beautiful clothes to wear.  She's so right.  I have some lovely 'for best' clothes in my wardrobe, but because all I ever really do is the mundane day to day stuff, they never see the light of day.  Such a shame.  What you see in the photo above (the navy top and the red and blue skirt) is what I am wearing now typing this, and I am more comfortable than what I would be if I was in my normal jeans.  No restrictive waistband around my middle and the baby padding trying to escape the confines of my shirt.  All good!

I have also started dressing my little girl up more too.  She has lots of summer dresses, which with a long sleeve top underneath, can be worn throughout the colder days.  Yesterday she went out looking super sweet in a pale blue, pink and white dress with a little pale pink cardigan and tights, and she looked adorable.  While I'm still in control of her wardrobe, (I'm going to make the most of it!) I will have her looking pretty and girly and enjoying being able to look this way.
 
I will not, however, do this to her...
..and make her wear an outfit to match mine!  I remember being dressed up in matching clothes as my older sister (same dress different colour) and even as a child it made me squirm!

What is your usual daily dressing style?









16 comments:

  1. Oh I love this post and all those gorgeous pictures! I collect vintage sewing patterns which I plan to make sometime.
    When I was growing up, my Mum wore very boring, masculine clothing and no makeup. It had a big effect on me. I have always made an effort with my appearance and wear makeup everyday. It's important. I love that you're making an effort with yourself. It really does make you feel fantastic. X

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    1. Thanks! It is interesting that you've gone the opposite of your Mum. I agree, it is nice to put in the effort, and it does make you feel good! x

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  2. I swear I was born in the wrong era. I wish I could have worn all the poofy dresses and perfectly curl hair styles. It wasn't just appearance they cared about, it was self respect. Soooo many woman lack any sense of that these days. /:

    Love your top. I have a similar pink one I wear in the colder months. In fact, I kind of miss it. (;

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    1. I'm listening to 1940s Big Band jazz at the moment, while I type this...yes I think I was born in the wrong era. I've decided that I'm going to wear this type of thing anyway, whether any one else does or not. Maybe one of the benefits of being middle aged..you just don't care any more!! I agree about your comment on self respect. It's such a shame. Yes...I love this blue top. Waiting for my white one to show up in the mail!! xx

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  3. I love 3/4 sleeves! They are so flattering :)

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com

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  4. I agree with Kiki, I think I too was born in the wrong era. I'd love nothing more than to wear big twirly dresses and petticoats every day. x

    http://ditsysprinkles.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Do it regardless!! I'm having lots of fun! Just cut out a pattern today to make circle skirts. I'm not a sewer, I do have a machine, so I'm going to learn to sew. This skirt will be super easy, but hopefully I'll improve!
      Amber x

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  5. I love women's styles from that era, but I seriously don;t know how they did it all. How they could get all dressed & dolled up each day, whilst cooking/cleaning/looking after children or husbands etc. I certainly wouldn't be able to do it plus I love the fact that I have my own career on the side even if it's part time as I can be independent x

    Beauty with charm | Zoeva Giveaway

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    1. I'm lucky like you where I have a writing and photography career on the side. It balances out everything perfectly! It's nice to be able to step away from home and the usual daily stuff and go out and interview people for articles and take photos for the magazine. x

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  6. P.S. Forgot to mention that I've tagged you to do the love/hate tag HERE.

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    1. Ooo..thanks! I've read some of these. I'll get on to it.

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  7. I lovvvved this style! I wish women still dressed like this. It's so classy. I've been in between jobs, and I literally didn't change out of my pajamas today (I didn't leave my house once today), and sometimes I get disgusted with myself. For the most part I do get ready each day, even when I don't leave the house, but some days I'm like, "Whyyyyyy, no one is going to see me!" Haha. But, getting ready does at least make me feel a little better!
    xx
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

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    1. I've had days like these. The occasional pyjama day is kind of fun...I get back into bed and put some classic old movies on! You are right, however, it definitely makes you feel much better getting ready to at least 'look' like you're heading out somewhere! x

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  8. I LOVE MODCLOTH. They're clothes is too expensive for me to be able to buy without trying on first, but a girl can DREAM!! You wrote this so well, about women pressured to be "everything" and maybe it's not all that necessary. I think it's nice to put in the effort, but I notice now that I'm working from home and taking care of the house that those makeup and dresses get put on the back burner. I'm doing everything in my power to start better habits now so that when I have kids I'm not trying so hard to still put in the effort... Hopefully that makes sense.

    I think it's awesome that you take advantage of being in charge of Imogen's wardrobe. That's certainly something I'm looking forward to for a kid. There are no body-image expectations set for young en's and it just seems to me so much easier to dress them without judgement (rather than dressing yourself and constantly picking at your flaws!??).... Personally I can beat myself up A LOT, but no body image "requirements" feels like a golden ticket in the fashion world!

    I'm still trying to develop my usual "street" style. My "not-leaving-home" style is leggings and a t-shirt in the summer, sweater in the winter. Street style is long black skinny jeans (occasionally my dark denim skinnies) with a no-logo top/sweater (got rid of most of my logo/cartoon-T's) and I've recently been going out in only heels or high-end flats. I just recently bought these awesome dusty pink leather loafers for a "dressed up casual"... LOL WOW LONG POST....

    MUCH LOVE!

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    1. I like your street style. It is so effortless. It's so easy to fall in a fashion type slump once kids arrive, particularly because your body is so bizarre afterwards! I struggle with the whole 1950s silhouette because I'm pretty thick around the waist now...ie. 38 bust, 36 waist....so a normal size 14 (which is the Australian size)..will fit this bust normally but this is too small in the waist. I'm going to give sewing a try and see if I can make my own things. I am starting with a circle skirt, just cut out the pattern today, but I think following a dress pattern is going to be interesting and difficult because I will have to adjust it. Will need to ask my Mum!!! xxx

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