Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Mayor's Charity Ball, Dress Option #2 - The 80's Ballerina Dress

My second vintage dress option for the Mayor's Charity Ball is a lovely navy blue taffeta dress by the House of Bianchi.  This dress is sweet ballerina styling which is uber trendy thanks to the Black Swan.  I think this dress was made in the 80's and since Bianchi is known for wedding and special occasion dresses it may have started its life as a bridesmaids dress.  The base lining of this dress is a beautiful plum satin and the blue taffeta overlay helps to create a lovely iridescence which is most notable with movement, making it a perfect dress for dancing.  The dress falls mid-calf and is flouncy and fun and ideal for a spring ball.  It looks great with the nude peep toe shoes below and I would add a wonderful gold contemporary wrap from my closet.  I still haven't decided completely on jewelry, but am leaning heavily towards the vintage Oscar de la Renta set below.

Blue Taffeta Dress by House of Bianchi

Reversible Gold, Blue, Turquoise Wrap - New

Vintage 1980's White & Blue Rhinestone Suite by Oscar de la Renta

Option #2 Pros & Cons

1.) It's a perfect dress, trendy with understated elegance.
2.) Matches my husbands tie and cummerbund which is now a colorful Madras Plaid set from Just Madras,
3.) It's safe.

1.) It might be a little young for me.
2.) Since I purchased it at a local thrift store it could be slightly embarrassing if someone recognizes it as their bridesmaid dress.
3.) The usual, its a bit snug but I can breathe.            
4.) It's safe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mayor's Charity Ball - Dress Option #1, The 50's Style Ball Gown

Having a wonderful collection of vintage evening dresses I thought it would be fun to actually wear one of them to the Mayor's Charity Ball next week.  However, as I began to pick through my dresses I quickly realized that choosing a dress was going to be far more complicated than I originally thought.  You see, as a collector and seller of vintage clothing I don't always buy items that fit me or are in season.  Most of my dresses are heavily beaded and really more appropriate for a winter formal.  I promised this week I would share my options with you, but I have to admit right now I'm utterly panicked and none of my vintage options are looking all that promising. Therefore as a safeguard I've sent my always reliable simple black dress to the cleaners.

Option #1 - The Fifties Ball Gown

I'd like to wear something colorful and a bit frilly to this event.  I found this beautiful dress by Alyce Designs at  Gotta Go Vintage on Etsy.  The dress is a lovely coral color and the boned bodice is completely beaded in small silver tube and seed beads.  The skirt is amazing with a double crinoline, a layer of coral satin, and two layers of coral tulle.  Since the beadwork really carries this dress,  jewelry can be kept to a simple pair of long white rhinestone or pearl earrings.  Silver sandals and a small silver bag would complete the outfit.  

Pros  - The dress is beautiful, would be perfect for a spring ball and no one else would have one like it.  

Con's - It doesn't fit.  When buying vintage one has to be very careful with sizing.  Vintage fabrics do not have any give to them and measurements must be taken literally, a  28" waist will not stretch to accommodate a 29" or 30" waist.  It could be argued that women in the 50's were smaller than women of today, but they also wore foundation garments to help those 29" waists fit into a 28" dress.  Even with the proper foundation garment I think I am beyond getting into this dress in less the two weeks, and since I want to eat, dance, laugh and breathe, this dress unfortunately is out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Mayor's Charity Ball

My husband and I will be attending our first charity ball in many, many years.  We used to attend a couple of black tie events a year, but found we preferred to spend our time and money supporting events that forced us to get wet, sweaty and dirty.  Yes, we are drawn to triathlons, marathons, half marathons or any athletic event that allows us to compete against each other for a good cause. So when my neighbor asked if we would attend the Mayor's Charity Ball with them, I didn't hesitate to say "yes".  It would be fun to go out in something other than moisture wicking spandex.  But what would I wear? I mean, what do people wear to charity balls in 2011?  Especially, a charity ball being held in a tent, in May, on the town green, in the suburbs?  My neighbor wants to wear light and flouncy, I want to avoid looking like I'm reliving my prom, and we both agree we are not ready to accept the role of "Matron of the Arts".  The ball is two weeks away and I can divulge the following; I will be wearing vintage, I will be competing against my husband's choice of tie and cummerbund which is now trending a light green golf motif (ugh!) by Vineyard Vines, and I have already picked out my shoes.

I found these neutral Nine West patent leather peep toe sling-backs at Marshalls.  They have a slight platform making the higher heel very comfortable for dancing and I love the way the nude color elongates the leg. In addition this color goes with four of the five dresses I am considering, and best of all - they were inexpensive!  I have narrowed down my choice of dresses to three from my own collection of vintage. All are knee or tea length,  two are from the 80's and the other is from the 70's.   I have also ordered two dresses from fellow Etsy vintage sellers, one is an iconic dress from the 80's and the other is a ball gown from the 50's. Stay tuned this week as I share my options with you and make my ultimate choice.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's Hot! Vintage Orange

Want the hottest color of the season, Get it vintage!

This tent dress from the 1970's is sure to brighten up your day.

Accessorize it with a lovely vintage necklace of yellow and orange fruit.

Or perhaps these whimsical rhinestone and faux coral earrings are more your style.

This contemporary handmade beaded necklace is another good way to add at touch of orange to your wardrobe.

You can't go wrong with a colorful straw handbag.

All the above available at Duncan Loves Tess on Etsy

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lighten Up For Spring!

It has been a long cold winter in the Northeast (with the exception of the Connecticut Huskies & Kemba Walker bringing heat to the NCAA Tournament - Congratulations to the Huskies!!!) but now its time to turn our thoughts to spring.  Put away those serious heavy leather handbags and lighten up!

Every purse collector should own one Enid Collins Jeweled Bag just for the sheer joy of looking at it! The ultimate 60's bag this one is known as "Summer Time"

My own attempt at being creative!
Embellished Paolo Masi Italian Handbag

You can't go wrong with a vintage wicker handbag from Hong Kong!
This one for Sylecraft of Miami

You can be a practical slave to fashion with this hot pink Italian Jelly Bag
 a perfect tote for spring showers!

These lightweight canvas bags are fun, colorful and many are reversible! 
Plus, they look great with this season's beige trench coats

The ultimate golf tote!
One of four colorful canvas bags being sold at the 2011 Masters

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"V" Is For Victory or Vintage! Go UConn Men & Women, Final Four!!!

A Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 Handbag

A Vintage Vendome Pink & Green Glass Necklace & Earrings 

A Victor Vasarely Print

Duke With His Connecticut Visor
Go Huskies!!!