Category Archives: Trends

Wearing Animals 2 – Horses!

This is the second of my series on wearing animal prints.  As I mentioned in my last post, butterflies and horses are the this season’s darlings.  Last time I  talked about wearing butterflies so next up: horses!

Wearing horse prints is a little trickier.  If you want to hit upon the real trend of today you will want to wear patterns that feature horses for horses sake alone.  What do I mean by this?  Avoid all themes that have to do with people using horses for the most part.  I.e. cowboy related prints, equestrian prints , carriages, and also those where horses are intertwined with leather belts, gold chains and jewels… you know what I’m talking about! While these are fun looks in their own right, this is not what we are going for here. As well, unicorns don’t count, although they are obviously awesome in other ways ;).  I’ve done a little searching and this is not easy to do in vintage but here are few fun options available on Etsy, mostly from the 70s and 80s:

Skirts & dresses:

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Sweaters:

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Shirts:

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Accessories are a great way to get the vibe too, and there are lots of lovely pieces that you can find on Etsy particularly scarves, purses, pins and belt buckles!

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If you like to be a little different from the rest… go for donkeys!  They are rarely featured I found out… so you might want to grab this amazing skirt!

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And finally… in the end, I could not resist a few unicorns… wear these as you ride off into the sunset over spring time rainbows!

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Wearing Animals 1 – Butterflies!

One of my favorite trends these days is animal motifs which takes “animal print” to a whole new and delightful level.  This of course appeals to me as a biologist and serious animal lover!  I find it sort of funny the way different animals seem to be in style each season or year, because to me, they are all pretty awesome.  Previously birds and cats were all the rage (both of which appear to maintain some appeal), and for this season butterflies and horses seem to be the latest thing.

This post is the first in a series and I’ll start with butterflies for those of you who want to be at the forefront of the latest trends 😉  plus it puts me in the mood for spring!

Butterflies

Butterflies are easy.  They are actually a recurrent staple though most of the last few decades and it is a snap to find gorgeous vintage prints.  The best thing about going vintage for the butterfly trend is that you can get very unique pieces made from high quality and artistic patterned fabric.  You can get skirts, dresses and tops quite easily.

Here are a few beautiful options on Etsy:

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For something a little different but so beautiful and organic, look for butterfly wing prints:

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& try going for large butterflies for a truly striking look:

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* get 10% off this dress ⬆ or any other items at jdbok with this code: JDBOK10  !!

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Finally, there is always the quintessential sequined butterfly top of the 70s to 80s.  There are so many of these available on Etsy, you can find them in any colour!  These things are all the rage and have been selling like hotcakes these days at La Gaillard.  Be sure to get a vintage one… there are many newer versions out there and the quality does not compare.  Look for ones made of silk and in India. Here are a couple to show you what I am talking about:

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I have listed a few more clohing finds in an Etsy Treasury: Butterfly prints!

Last but never least, butterfly accessories are also tons of fun.  Pins for example allow you to go butterfly with anything that you already have… I suggest wearing a couple at once for an instant flock!

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And etcetera!  I coud go on forever but I’ll stop after these 🙂

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The Ultimate Princes Coat – Historical Pieces

For my last post, I had searched far and wide to locate the perfect quintessential princess coat with fur trim all around, but I had a lot of trouble finding one.  I figured it was because they had recently been in high demand for Christmas and winter, but it is true that they are somewhat rare as well.  I forgot, though, to look at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, silly me!  I stumbled upon this piece of theirs on Pinterest, and thought I would post it here so that we could all revel in it’s beauty. It is perhaps unwearable but still worth adoring!

Circa 1968, i.e. approaching the decade of the princess coat and was designed by Shannon Rodgers.

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They also have a few other princess coats in their collection that are  lot of fun to look at as well.  Voila:

Circa 1955, Traina-Norell

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Circa 1970, George Caplan

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Circa 1970, Norman Norell

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Circa 1967, Oscar de la Renta

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Circa 1970, Arnold Scaasi

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Circa 1972

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Circa 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent

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Circa 1968-69

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Filed under Fashion History, How to wear vintage, Trends

The Detachable Peplum Revealed!

Before I move on from peplums for quite a while, here is just one last post.  While I am on the subject of peplums, and on the subject of detachable fashion items, I figure I can’t move on until I talk about the detachable peplum!  Unlike detachable collars, these are not trending right now.  However, In my opinion they should be.  I found one in a vintage shop a few years ago and I am converted.

Historically, like the detachable collar, a detacheable peplum was included in some patterns so that you could make to spice up your secretary skirt or day dress.   Similar to the detachable collar, these added versatility to one’s wardrobe and stemmed from the economy in the 30s to 50s, lending variety with less fabric. Similar to other accessories, you could match your detachable peplum to the colour of your dress to make it appear attached, or you could contrast it with another colour or texture1.  Various fabrics were used including fancier materiel such as lace, organza, velvet or taffeta which would dress up one’s outfit as well1.

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Today of course I would recommend a funkier way to wear one of these than shown in these old patterns, particularly that apron-like one.  Especially never wear one like a cape! That kind of modesty is not likely to make a come back any time soon.

Though I’m advocating giving the detachable peplum a new life in this post I actually found one amazing set from the 60s in the style of the patterns above on Etsy, and there is always a place for beautiful classics in your wardrobe such as this one!

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You can still match or miss-match them to your outfit, but I like a more casual use for the detachable peplum and I particularly love it paired with jeans.  If you match it to what you are wearing, then you will have an instant peplum top or dress and can mimic that look really well.  If you don’t then it will look more like an accessory, and will be really original.   Here are a few ideas of how to go about the latter.

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Vintage detachable peplums are really hard to find. I have found a few on Etsy listed below all of which are from the 80s, many of which are made to go with a matching dress, which I hadn’t realized was “a thing” during this decade too.  These would be fun pieces to get because you could wear them together, or take the peplum only and wear it mismatched as in the pics above. If you are interested in keeping an eye out for them, search for “peplum belt” as well.

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Luckily, I am not the only one who thinks detachable peplums are the cat’s meow and there are several hand-made pieces on Etsy.  These are some of my favourites:

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You could really get a fun little DIY project going to make one of these.  When I have a little more time, I’ll blog  one, so stay tuned!

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References:

1. Sewing Made Easy; New Revised Edition.  By Marie Lynch & Dorothy Sara. Garden City Books, ~1955. USA.

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The Detachable Collar Demystified

Most trends these days are recycled.  The fun thing about that is that you can look for vintage pieces that fit right in. Of course, you will also then be more unique and the quality will be incomparable.  It is true though, that sometimes the original pieces are downright weird… you must be selective (but never be shy to select hilarity if you love it!).

There are a few of these trends out there right now and the one that I am going to write about today is the detachable collar.  You have probably seen these by now, they seem to have hit the mainstream this season.

Though you  may never have heard of such a thing, these are also borrowed from times past.  Originally, the purpose of detachable collars, was versatility.  Add a fancy crochet or lace collar to a day dress or sweater, and you can wear it for an evening out, and appear as though you have put on a whole other outfit!  This was useful when times were tough, and appearances mattered.

In fact, many patterns were designed with detachable pieces, and you could make several versions of them to alter the look of your outfit with less fabric. Of course, it was not recommended to wear matching collar and cuffs at the same time, because they would “divide the interest” and make your outfit appear “spotty”1.  You could make all kinds of these out of a wide range of fabrics such fancier ones like piqué, organdie and eyelet embroidered1.  Otherwise solid coloured or printed silk, rayon crepe, taffeta or linen may also have been used; gingham and plaids being favorites for the patterns1.  In every case, the collar was made to fit the neckline perfectly, so that it appeared to be part of the top1.  Another way to achieve the same idea was to wear a dickey1, but sorry folks, that will never be in style again!

Today, the detachable collar has a different use.  Really, it is worn as a necklace of sorts, and has become an accessory rather than a necessity.  And so, the wearer need not worry about its fitting perfectly around the collar of their shirt, but may revel in its stark detachability!

How to go vintage for this trend?  I recommend the gorgeous beaded pieces from mid last century.  These can be found in vintage shops if you are lucky, but there are loads available on Etsy for very reasonable prices ranging from 15-45$.  The fun thing about these beaded collars is that they hit another current trend, the small rounded vintage-style collar.  To be quite precise, these are known as “peter pan” collars1.  To get the look, use your detachable collar in a more traditional fashion; you’ll need a high crew-neck shirt.

Here are some of my favourites from Etsy:

Crochet collars can also be really beautiful.  Here though, you’ve got to be extra careful not to make it look granny.  I suggest wearing it as a necklace again, with a low cut shirt so that it doesn’t overlap.  Here are some lovely vintage ones on Etsy:

There are loads of hand made ones on Etsy too, often in more wearable styles with a  wider variety of colours. Just search “crochet collar”! They may not be recycled, but they are hand made, and thats also good for the environment.  I’m sure you could find some made from recycled wool too if you’re looking to be die hard, or, make one yourself if you know how.

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References:

1. Sewing Made Easy; New Revised Edition.  By Marie Lynch & Dorothy Sara. Garden City Books, ~1955. USA. Pgs. 349-351.

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Next week’s topic?  The peplum.

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