This suit was one of my best purchases of 2017. Flashy rayon dresses are great, obviously, but a black suit is something my wardrobe had been missing for years. This one fills that niche with aplomb. The details are a dream all their own: the peplum, the buttons, the luscious dolman sleeves. It’s the more sedate, more adult side of midcentury, which I’m leaning toward lately. Art Deco is still my happy place, but I’m finding that a few ’50s notes are not unwelcome.
Over Christmas I dug my old knitting bag out of my parents’ attic. I hadn’t knit in at least seven years, but muscles don’t forget. I’ve been knitting like mad ever since, and one of the results is this little neck wrap. I’m still pinching myself that I found a yarn to match my hat and gloves exactly. Pantone be damned; burgundy is definitely my color of the year.
My beloved carpetbag has finally given up the ghost. I repaired it one too many times; the material simply disintegrated. I’ve rebounded with a new one from Wish.com, which is actually pretty well made for $28. The color goes with everything, and I really like the shape. I’m fond of medical bags and more masculine caryalls generally; this one has lovely echoes of that.
Finally, my second article for Racked went up this week: “1860s Hipsters Loved Old-Timey Clothes Too“. The cyclical nature of history is one of my favorite things to write about, and I really enjoyed covering the aesthetic dress movement. I’ve got another article in the hopper for next month, too. Racked is a joy to work for.
Suit: ’50s, eBay
Hat: ’30s, eBay
Stole: made by me
Brooch & gloves: gifted
All I’ve got to say, folks, is what a banner bloody year it was.
Yes, I follow the news. We’re all watching the same dumpster fire. But the personal isn’t always political; I’m proof positive of that. 2017 was formative for me in so many ways. Personally, professionally, academically, creatively — I got that much closer to my final form. This year I started museum school and finished my first semester with a perfect 4.0. I wrote my first article for Racked (which was touted in the New York Times!). I taught historical sewing at the Heritage Winooski Mill Museum and was featured in my local paper for it. I drafted a Belle Epoque walking suit and wore it to lecture at the Springfield Steampunk Festival. I got engaged!
This year was filled with feathers and rayons and fabulous brooches. With museums and Manhattans and the cutest ring you’ve ever seen. I’m hoping, in 2018, for more of the same and then some. Without further ado, here are my top ten outfits of the past year.
me-made may: gatsby’s garden | antiquarian’s creed
been a while (crocodile) | matching bricks & deco drama
red in suit and claw | pajaminated
the medieval museologist | springing forward, sliding back
oatmeal, burgundy, & life lately | mary poppins & platonic ideals
I shot these photos at least three weeks ago, with every intention of pairing them with some vaguely holiday-ish copy. And then my intentions just sort of…withered. I’ve mentioned this before, and I find it holds truer every year: Christmas is a private affair. Halloween is all effusion all the time, holiday cheer bursting from every cranny. Totus floreo, say those randy Romans. Christmas not so much. Christmas is floating in a dream of brandy while you double-fist cookies by the fire. Christmas is not performative. At least not for me. I had a wonderful holiday with my nearest and dearest, and I was happy to check out of the blogosphere.
Here’s the latest, and perhaps loudest, member of my ’40s rayon family. Olive isn’t usually my color, but those sleeves and that peplum more than won me over. Next time I’ll blog it without the collar and show off the neckline details, because oof. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.
I spent New Year’s with friends down in Boston. City driving notwithstanding, I love traveling on December 31st. I love waking up in a new place on the first day of the year. If I’m superstitious, and I’m decidedly superstitious, then it’s a nice way to start things off. If the rest of the year is a dumpster fire, at least I’ll have the memories.
Dress: ’40s, eBay
Collar & coat: ’50s, The Getup Vintage
Brooch: The Vault Collective
Everything else: thrifted