The blog’s been quiet this past month, I know. Summer is my off-season in a lot of ways: it’s sticky, it’s buggy, and it’s decidedly not conducive to hat-wearing. New England summer means your hair’s bundled in a scarf and you’re farting around in your great-aunt Mildred’s housedress. There’s not a lot to take pictures of.
This year it’s more than that, though. I’m plodding slowly through a total reconstruction of my style. A year and a half ago I purged everything that wasn’t vintage or handmade; these past few months, I’ve been winnowing further still. There are some ’50s dresses I can’t bear to part with, ever, but for the most part, I’ve committed to a solid Art Deco/early ’40s aesthetic. I’ve traded waist pleats for bias cuts, a pillbox for a cloche.
Now, you see my problem, of course. This is the worst possible time to fall in love with the ’30s and ’40s. A few years ago the market was too saturated to sell, and now it’s too competitive to buy. I wrote about this a few months ago, and it’s even truer today. Deco dresses – let alone Deco dresses with a 30″ waist – are harder and harder to come by. This is proving a far more difficult curatorial effort than filling my closet with ’50s ever was.
Silver lining? I feel that much truer to the period. Gatsby parties aside, the Deco era was largely one of privation. Scrimping and saving for a few really stellar pieces is exactly what my forebears would do.
Instagram followers remember that I won this dress on my birthday back in May. I actually set an alarm so I could bite my nails and refresh the page compulsively, because holy hell did I want it. Somehow I emerged victorious for only $49. I still have no idea how this gorgeously cut dress (100% silk!) didn’t shoot into the hundreds. But it’s mine, and it’s already in heavier rotation than a dress so old should be. This is the real reason I need more ’30s and ’40s pieces: to lift the burden from the ones I already have!
Dress: ’40s, eBay
Hat: ’30s, The Vintage Hat Shop
Gloves: Mainly Vintage
Everything else: thrifted