Welcome to Part 2 of my feverishly anticipated “How to Wear Vintage” series! This week, I play some Spy Games. I like the idea of my vintage clothing being exotically undercover, like a shift dress version of Noor Inayat Khan. (Every fibre of my being right now wants to make a “Khaaaaaan!” joke but I’ll refrain because Ms. Khan was actually 100% incredible and amazing and unworthy of being the butt of a privileged Millennial’s nerd jokes.)
Anyway, it adds a frisson of excitement to my wardrobe to be wearing a vintage dress from the 70s- that’s in disguise as a dress from the 30s. “Am I getting away with it?” my dress wonders, heart pounding. If she’s caught, exposed for who she really is, she’ll be ripped off my body, put up against a wall, and perhaps, if she’s lucky, she’ll be granted one last cigarette to savor.
Well, I think she’s getting away with it in this smart little jade-green number. The subtly prominent shoulders, the neat row of buttons, and the straight pencil-cut of the skirt all hint at the 1940s, but the tag says otherwise. The bow at the neck is pure 70s secretary dress, which I love, but the fabric is of a much higher quality than most of the flimsy, mad-scientist-produced polyester blends of the time. Groovy. Or rather: NOT groovy.
I didn’t want to go too costume-y, so I got a little weird from the neck up. My lips are a bit Goth but the rest of my face is basically make-up free (brows excepted, duh) and my I put my hair into a boyish pompadour. This is one of those pictures I might look at in a decade and think “Girl, WHAT?” but for now, I’m feeling pretty sassy.
I love this floaty, modest floral dress. It’s masquerading as a 30s day dress, but judging from the label and the feel of the fabric, is actually from the mid-70s. It makes me feel like Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose of Cairo
, just a little sassier and less of a sad-sack. (I enjoy that movie a lot, but can’t help rolling my eyes every time she’s klutzes something up and thinking, pull it together, girl!)
I had originally put up my hair, but it ended up making the outfit look too prim ‘n proper. So I let it loose and scrubbed off most of my makeup for a casual, almost underdone look. Go ahead and blow, wind! I cried out to the elements. You’ll only make my hair look even better!
I love the delicate lace collar: it’s got that wide lapel going on that was so sadly popular in that era, but much more feminine and dainty.
I ended up wearing the same shoes and earrings with each dress: it wasn’t really on purpose but they just got on like Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff.
I almost never order clothes and shoes online (so much potential for heartbreak and return shipping) but these Modcloth oxford heels worked out totally non-disatrously. They’re vegan suede, fairly comfy, and look vintage-y but not costume-y. As for these earrings, I will ashamedly admit I got them at Target (Tarzhay for you basic bitches out there, me included) as part of a pack of 6 different silver studs. I’ve always been more of a gold lady but I’m warming up to silver, and these ones go with just about anything. The pack was only $7.99 because of, you know, Indonesian baby slaves.
Stay tuned for Part 3: as long as you survive Part 2 without getting your cover blown. Stay fab and don’t let the Ruskies get ya!