Victorian Fashion for Today

The early 1800’s represented a quintessential era in Victorian dresses and fashion. These vintage party dresses not only reflected the elegant silhouette of a women’s body but they also showed off the amount of wealth and class that particular women and her family had. The Victorian era revolved around extravagant and flashy clothing compared to years prior. During the Victorian era, a women’s place was at home, not like in previous years when women were able to help their husband’s at work or in the fields. Also during the Victorian era is when sewing machines and the ability to mass-produce clothing started booming. The booming clothing business ultimately lead to the extravagant vintage party dresses worn by females during the Victorian era.

In today’s world of fashion, the Victorian era and its fashion is totally, not dead. Victorian dresses are still worn in today’s fashion industry just in a slightly different way. One main area to look at, if you’re looking for the Victorian look in fashion, is wedding dresses. The idea of a large, white dress was actually inspired by Queen Victoria herself, the Queen of Victorian fashion. Wedding dresses today have beautiful necklines showing off the collar bones, which was a popular trend back in the 1800’s, also wedding dresses often have trains and long trails, another popular trend that owes its ancestry to the 1800’s.

The Victorian style also has its place in everyday fashion. When considering the three main elements of Victorian fashion it is important to consider:

* Lace

* Heirloom Styling

* Lush Fabrics

If a piece of clothing has at least one of these three elements, one can almost guarantee that it was Victorian inspired by the designer. Another large trend that was popular back in the Victorian era was corsets, and surely you are aware that corsets have made a huge comeback in recent years as girls strive to have the best bodies possible. Corsets are sewn right into dresses and shirts and are not often separate pieces like they were back in the 1800’s.

Next time you’re out shopping, keep your eyes peeled for some of these details that you now know were inspired over one hundred years ago back in Queen Victoria’s day! The Victorian style is not just for women dressed to the nines with lavish dresses and perfect bell-shaped bodies with feather hats, but also for everyday wear. Simple touches, such as lace or ruffles are trends inspired by the 1800’s, now isn’t that a fun fact!

Finishing School Advice The Women Of The Past Lived By

For the most part, finishing school is now considered a pretty outdated concept. Of course, there are still finishing schools situated across the UK and the wider world, but only the socially elite attend them. But, if you were to travel back in time 60 years, you’d find that the majority of women go on to attend finishing school after their formal education has been completed, wow!

The concept of finishing school is simple: to teach women how to be polite, well mannered, and socially accepted members of society. Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, if you didn’t know the importance of picking up a champagne glass from the bottom of the stem and offering desserts from the left, you were considered unforgivably rude and uneducated. Today, luckily, such customs are no longer considered to be important, phew! Just because finishing schools aren’t a popular concept in 2017, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn some things from them though. You see, the things that they taught, were things that the women of the past lived by – it wasn’t just about being a good wife (that was part of it though if you can believe it!) but also about being the best (and happiest) that you could be, ace! It sounds like we could learn a lot from the tips that the women of the past were taught in finishing school and lived by. So, here are some of the tips of social etiquette that the women from the 40’s and 50’s lived by….

Tip 1: Always look your best

One of the first things that women were taught in finishing school was to always look their best. According to a finishing school handbook this meant ensuring that their hair was neatly styled, their nails were perfectly manicured, their makeup was beautifully applied, and their outfit – day or night – was picture-perfect. Looking their best was to do with social etiquette. Part of the concept of always looking their best was about feeling confident in their appearance, as a confident woman is a happy woman, right? We might have mastered looking our best during the day with pretty hairstyles, gel manicures, and smart, stylish clothing, but what about at night? Far too many of us simple pop on an oversized t-shirt and get into bed – it might be comfy but does it make you feel good? To feel good in what you wear to bed, something pretty, like a neglige from the Vanilla night and day range, could be perfect. It’s not about looking good for anyone else; it’s about being happy in yourself and feeling good about what you’re wearing.

Tip 2: Don’t slump

For the women of the past, good posture was seen as being the key to charm, beauty and social success. Look back at old photos of women from this time period, and you will see that in each and every photo, people stand tall with their head held high. Walking along with a straight spine, squared shoulders, and your head held high gives you confidence. Don’t look down when you walk, keep your head held high – you will look better for it, as well as feeling more confident. Posture isn’t just important when walking; it’s also crucial when standing still. Instead of popping a hand on your hip and bending one knee, stand straight with your shoulders back and head held high, and place one foot slightly in front of the other. Finishing school also taught women that they looked more attractive when sitting gracefully – another thing that we can learn from today. When sat, whether at home, while out for dinner, or at a social event, always sit with a straight back, your shoulders held high and your head up, it’ll male you feel more positive and alert, and it’ll help ease backache too!

Rule 3: The E’s of beauty

The three E’s of beauty are things that women of the past swore by when it came to looking and feeling good throughout life.

Early to bed: By getting a good night’s sleep, your entire body is happier and healthier, including your skin. When you don’t sleep well, it’s visible on your face, so getting a good night’s sleep every night is pretty important.

Eat well: Eating well means eating for beauty. This means avoiding processed sugar as much as possible as processed sugar is bad for the skin and your waistline. It means eating clean, wholesome foods and drinking plenty of water.

Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly is important not only for your waistline but also for your mind – a woman who exercises regularly tends to be happier and less stressed than a woman who doesn’t. I do Yoga every day and it helps me enormously.
So, there you have it, a guide to the advice that the women of the past learned at finishing school and lived by! The overall idea of finishing schools is an old fashioned one but, we can take the best tips into our modern lives to feel better and more like we are being our best selves. How wonderful.

The Perfect 1930’s Fashion of Woody Allen’s Cafe Society

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If movies were beverages, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society would be a cool glass of smooth Champagne; sparkling and decadent. A beautifully enchanting and bittersweet film, set in 1930’s Hollywood and New York. This latest Allen offering has his usual perfectly paced wit and charm, with Jesse Eisenberg captivating in his lead role, particularly personifying a younger Allen, a modern embodiment of the man himself with his faultless delivery of the dialogue and eager awkwardness. The film has a gorgeous, subtle and easy pace alongside the scintillating quickness of the script. Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart are the fashion in this film, gah, what era is more cinematically superb than the 1930’s? This is a feast of fashion indeed.

Floaty, feminine fabrics, dainty and fragile details, the 30’s clothes in this movie are so expertly selected, with pastels and ditzy florals in abundance for day wear and jaw dropping glamour when it comes to the evening wear. We’re watching the Bette Davis era, the elegance and sophistication is magnified and each outfit creates heart-shaped eyes for the viewer. Frilled cape sleeves, floppy neck ties, slim lines and below the knee hemlines conjure up a time when fashion was neat and beautifully effeminate. On a fashion note alone, this stunning film is worth watching just for the red silk gown worn by Lively, which in my opinion easily rivals that green dress worn by Keira Knightley in the film Atonement. Oh my.

You’ll come away from this movie with the 30’s on your mind, eager to add some of that look to your wardrobe, trust me, you really will. You’ll want sherbet colours, delicate details and prim gloves, you’ll be inspired to add a bias cut to your repertoire – which is flattering for every shape – you’ll want a neat short curled bob in your hair and a beaded bag on your arm. The day wear is cute and accessible and the evening wear is pure luxury on your skin, be it crepe or silk, no gal can feel unnoticed in a 30’s gown. Scour sites like Etsy for originals and replicas, or seek out online vintage fashion stores like mine which have done the hard work for you and have found the best pieces. To wear authentic items can be a pricey affair, but these pieces are a true investment with their value constantly on the rise, they’re an excellent addition to any collection, plus if you take the time to search you can find amazing items at fair prices or you can simply invest in some accessories of the era to add to your modern look, giving a discreet nod to this perfect period.

Cafe Society is available to own on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download from 26th December 2016, courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and I defy you to watch it and not be inspired to dress and dream as though you are living in the utter delight of the decade. Swoon.

 

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You Say You Wanna Dive Into The Sixties?

It’s a biggie. The V&A’s current main exhibition; ‘You Say You Want A Revolution?’ is epic, I mean, it really is huuuuge! My Mama and I spent last Sunday in sunny Kensington and took in all the sights and sounds of this ace exhibition; a good day indeed. The V&A is always utter perfection when it comes to these giant offerings, the scale was that of the McQueen and the Hollywood *still my all time favourite exhibition* ones, you need a good couple of hours to get round it and get it all up in your face and ears, it’s worth it, it’s always worth it with that place. This show covers so much, you don’t know where to look first, and you’re handed headphones on your way in so there’s constant audio too. The numerous rooms cover the latter part of the sixties, conveying the importance and effects of this massively important era, and they present it through fashion, film, music and political activism from the time. Behold the beauty of the vintage clothes that make up part of the show, perfectly selected to give just the right amount of mixed media. I mean, this exhibition can please most people, any age. The ones who lived through it will be queuing up for a hit of sweet nostalgia, vintage fans, music lovers, people keen to learn about the history, this show has a serious pull to many. It covers loads, there’s even a piece of the actual Moon from NASA in reference to Apollo 11 off of 1969. the actual MOON! I was staring at that for a while let me tell ya! It has outfits from The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album cover, a Barbarella outfit, a jumpsuit worn by Mick Jagger and actual handwritten song lyrics from John Lennon and the like. Oooof! It’s really very cool. One room is set up as Woodstock, with fake grass and a big stage streaming footage of the event, full marks to whoever curated that neat little idea! It’s a grand show, a really thorough exhibition, lots to read, look at, listen to and watch. It was almost too much, but I guess it means a second visit is a good idea if you wanna soak it all up real good! I’d say go, do it, go dive into the 60’s for a few hours and become absorbed. Be careful with those headphones though, I took mine off at points just to focus on the visual as it’s all quite in your face. My Mum didn’t though, and her, along with some others, sporadically shouted conversation forgetting they had headphones on; ‘Your Dad wore that aftershave‘ pointing at a Brut ad. Yes, Mum, he did, but the whole of the V&A doesn’t need to hear about it. A good exhibition indeed.  

You Say You Want A Revolution? is on now at The V&A until 26th February 2017

Get The Vintage Fashion Look

Since the 1990’s women have been rockin’ various vintage and retro fashion looks, aaaw yeah they have! Vintage fashions are about waaay more than just what you’re wearing; they say a lot about the music, lifestyle, and your attitude to life. But with so many vintage looks out there, how can you get the right one that looks best on you? Well, read on to find out….

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1940’s and 1950’s

The forties look has been a pretty popular look for the last ten years or so. It all started to come into fashion around the time that the shabby chic movement began. Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that culturally people always try to look back to a better time when things get austere? Anyway, the 40’s and 50’s silhouettes like the ones shown here have been gaining popularity ever since. In fact, they are so popular now that they are even a mainstay in the wedding dress market. A sure fire sign that they are here to stay, hoooray!

The 40’s look is more about the slim dress that accentuates your curves. Look for covered buttons and pussy bows for the right details. Try stores like Vivien of Holloway or Lindy Bop for these styles. The 50’s look embraces the full skirt more. This is a great look for any shape, as its creates the illusion of a small waist. This is because skirts and dresses in this style are often fitted on the top, with a definite waist and then flared out. You can wear the dresses on their own or with a petticoat which will give you that oomph for a real rock ‘n roll flared look.

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1960’s

1960’s styles come in and out of fashion pretty regularly. The short shift dresses are effortlessly stylish and show off a great pair of legs. Last season we saw a lot of paisley print in new fashions as well as a nod to the 60’s. Remember that your vintage look, doesn’t have to be made up of purely vintage items. Mix and match new and old for a more modern and up to date take on your chosen era; modern ankle boots and a biker jacket add a great twist to a vintage look creating a bang-up-to-date fressh look just for YOU! Colours that work well for a 60’s look are schemes in greens, blues and orangey browns for that authentic feel. Pair short dresses with flat shoes for throwing some shapes and a high beehive in your hair if you want a really authentic look!

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1990’s

The 90’s look is probably the look of choice at the moment. Trawl your local vintage shops and ask your relatives if they have anything that the used to wear back in the day in their wardrobes that you can purloin. You can also get plenty of items from vintage stores and 90’s styles new pieces. Neutral minimalism and Grunge were massive iconic looks of the era. Shops like Charlotte Russe are a good bet for some reasonably priced items with a definite 90’s feel. You can get Charlotte Russe promo code online too to save you some money on your shop, which is always ace! Car boot sales and auction sites are a good bet for accessories like mini backpacks and the occasional golden find of an authentic band t-shirt. Speaking of band, t-shirts, even Primark have jumped on the trend and offer cheap Nirvana or Stones t-shirts, which can be cut to make something like this, making it extra cool! 

Pick an era, any era, mix ’em up together and with modern finds, dressing with vintage is the MOST fun ever and is by far the best way to make a look which only you will be wearing!