Monday, November 9, 2015

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A Real 1920s Lady...Woman...Nun?


Can't call this a flapper dress!

Remember that part in "Chicago" where Roxy doesn't want to wear the demure dress to court because it's so frumpy? Yup, that's this dress in blue.

If it was anywhere near as itchy as this original '20s home-sewn creation, no wonder she didn't want to wear it!

I've had this dress in my closet for a few months. I bought it for a photo shoot that is yet to happen, and was excited to find an original day dress for a smashing price, in a fabulous condition.

It was cold. - Here you can see the seaming on the skirt. I think that makes all the difference in the design of this dress.
The dress is a lightweight glazed-ish wool with a lace collar. There is some interesting seaming on the front (which is the only way to tell the front from the back), and the seamstress made clever use of the fabric selvedge on the interior. She also decided the sack-like cut of the thing was too much frump for her, so she took it in at the side seams through the bodice to produce a slightly more feminine shape. (I've so done that)

In general, though, this dress is demure. I can't quite explain why I felt so elegant wearing it, especially with the itch factory, but with the whole outfit on, it just felt so right.

Except for the scratchiness. It's the hair shirt of 1920s frocks. It never lets you forget!

I wore this outfit to Starbucks, to meet my mom for a coffee chat. Now, I wear vintage clothing often, and I've worn some even older stuff into my local Sbux, but this dress on that day produced some staring. I think people genuinely thought I belonged to a religious order. I was getting side-eye, and even a few surreptitious phone pictures were taken. That's definitely a first!

Don't rain on my Old Lady parade!!
My mom said I looked like a nun that somebody had dumped a bucket of water over, due to the floppy hat. Thanks, Mom.

But you know what? I'd rather stand out than blend in! It's Old Lady Chic!

I'll just be lining the devilish thing before I wear it again. :-)

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20 comments:

  1. Did you make the hat, or were you just insanely lucky that it perfectly matches the shoes?

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    1. I made the hat - reblocked it free-form from an old cowboy hat! :-)

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  2. If it's wool, and you're okay with potentially risking the glaze, I've had fantastic results removing the itch-factor from woolens with a good soak in lanolin soap. (I have a favorite if you're interested.)

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    1. I am okay with removing that glaze. I would love your recommendation for a lanolin soap!

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  3. There isn't much occasion to wear pretty flapper dresses for events where I am. We do a lot of farm work! I love seeing and making the more everyday dresses of the 1920s and other decades. Thank you :)

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    1. They sure are comfortable and practical. Want to wear vintage but don't fancy underpinnings that day? 1920s all the way :-)

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  4. The color is lovely, I donno about the demureness, I almost like it...I think I'd switch out the lace collar for a fox fur one! ;)

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    1. That's a great idea! The collar is just tacked on, of course. I have mink collars that came off of old coats. I think I'll try it - don't think anybody will fancy me a nun if I'm wearing a fur collar!

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  5. The color is lovely, I donno about the demureness, I almost like it...I think I'd switch out the lace collar for a fox fur one! ;)

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  6. You look great, and your Starbucks story made me giggle! We go out and about in vintage (as late as 20s, but usually 19th century) in Boston pretty regularly...we've been asked what religion we are on more than one occasion :)

    A very nifty find!

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  7. Lovely dress! I especially love the cute lace collar, but I can see why it makes it look more 'religious'. In my experience, every outfit with a skirt that reaches past the knees and/or a hat will make people think you're from some strict church. Oh well, people will stare, better make it worth it ;)

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  8. I love the dress, the hat and the shoes and I'd wear this outfit in a heartbeat. People are so quick to judge anything different and, like you, I'd rather be different than follow the crowd.

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  9. Fabulous! I really need to make some 1920s day dresses in drapier fabrics. They are crazy comfy and this looks so cute!

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  10. Yay you blogged about it! It's such a gorgeous dress, I hope you figure a way to make it not itchy, I'm sure lining it would be helpful and fun. And oh man, I remember I got asked 'if I dress like that because my religion makes me' at a flea market. What was I wearing? this outfit here
    Which of course left my friend and I scratching our heads.

    Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts

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  12. I think you look smashing ;) And you wear those clochè hats so well!

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  13. I love the lace collar. You just need some long red beads and a red feather in your cap to get rid of any nun associations! They were jealous.

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  14. I am loving your 1920's style, and like you, I can't stop watching Miss Fisher lately! It makes me want to wear all the shapeless smocks I can get my hands on! I've also been wearing more vintage clothes out lately, but living in Portland, people don't even look twice at me! I love it! :)

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  15. Gorgeous dress! The navy and lace are such a charming combination together. ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  16. Red fox-collar and perhaps cuffs would make that blue tone sizzle.

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