One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock…..

For today’s vintage style fashion pick I have selected a Rockabilly style theme. 

From http://www.wagtailsdancewear.co.uk.

Retro style 1950s fully circular skirt with fabric covered elastic waistband and rolled hem. Yellow with white polkadot – 100% cotton poplin fabric. Price from £22.50 to £29.50.

Also from  www.wagtailsdancewear.co.uk.

Sam’s Style 835 and Malco Style 835 40 Yard White 1950s Soft Chiffon Rock n Roll Petticoat with 3″ Ruffling. Price £53.00.

2 inch wide slide adjustable British manufactured elastic belt made by Wagtails. Price £8.49 to £9.99. 

Matching neckerchiefs are available priced at £3.50.

From http://www.vivienofholloway.com.

Slash Neck Top White Jersey. Price £35.00.

From http://www.inkedboutique.com.

Tempt 35 Strap 4 1/2″ Heel 1/2″ Concealed Platform in White Patent Leather by Bordello – Mary Jane pump. Price US$47.95. (£38.50 – but sadly ships only to US addresses). 

Total outfit cost £160 to £170.

Cx.

Welcome to Rations2Rock’n’Roll and thank you for following.

I am truly grateful for every follower of @Rations2R_n_R and especially for their  unwavering enthusiasm for retweets and likes of my content.

In a society where social media gives us easy access into the lives of complete strangers it also allows us as easily to turn our backs on them if the going gets tough, or if our views or opinions diverge. 

For those that have followed me on my journey from the beginning I say “thank you”. For those that have recently stepped on board I say “thank you and welcome”. I say this with an “old-fashioned” sincerity from someone who loves social media but yearns for the respect and manners of past times. 

Times have changed. Of course since the 1940s and 1950s, on which I report, but also since late December last year when I tentatively put the charabanc into first gear and set off on our magical mystery tour.

Thank you for travelling with me. However the tour guide is required to announce that since our departure the driver has decided upon a small, yet significant, detour on our journey. 

It goes without saying that like many of my twitter friends I have a love of vintage. 

My appreciation stretches from the arts, in the form of Hollywood films of a golden era, to bygone fashion. It is the latter that I truly appreciate and on which I intend to henceforth largely focus. It’s elegance and it’s glamour! From foundation garments to pretty circle dresses. From nylon stockings to waist cinching belts. 

It should not be overlooked that guys possessed a masculine elegance and sophistication at this time; although our attention will be solely on women’s fashion, and specifically items that I would like in my closet. 

So this is our confirmed destination. Finding the elegance and glamour of the 1940s and the 1950s fashion in film, in advertising and through modern day vintage style reproductions. In fact anywhere! 

We trust that you will stay on board. It’s going to be exciting.
Cx.

Seamed hosiery. The perfect choice for a vintage style ensemble.

In the northern hemisphere the month of March signals the arrival of spring, with carpets of colourful flowering bulbs, and the obvious lengthening of daylight. Despite its close proximity to a most pleasant of months February however often provides a last reminder of the harshness of winter. 

Regardless of the influence that the seasons have on fashion choices hosiery is not always a choice for many of us even in the chilly depths of winter.

In contrast during the golden decades of the 1940s and 1950s hosiery, and specifically stockings, were essential items without which an outfit would be incomplete. 

We are all aware that during the Second World War the shortage of “nylons” led to the women of the time mimicking the wearing of stockings. Stockings were often simulated using cosmetics, or even gravy browning, and seams drawn on the back of the legs with an eyebrow pencil. 

When recreating a vintage style outfit from the 1940s or 1950s it is therefore accurate to include stockings as part of the ensemble.
I have chosen three pairs of hosiery to compliment a retro outfit and each one for a specific reason. 

“Nude” (for light skin tones) point heel fully fashioned plain colour stockings available from http://www.touchable.co.uk. 

These stockings are 100% nylon and as our mothers or grandmothers would have worn. They do not stretch so reference to the size chart on the website is important to make sure that they are the correct size as is the choice of a reliable suspender belt. 

Beige Secrets In Lace Dita Von Teese Daytime Glamour Stockings available from http://www.heelsandtoes.ca. 

Unlike fully fashioned stockings these stretch and provide a traditional look whilst being an easier fit, and some may suggest a more comfortable fit, than non stretch seamed “nylons”. The Dita Daytime Glamour has a black welt and black faux seam in the back. An ideal choice as a introduction to seamed stockings.

Some will wish to recreate the seamed look but prefer not to wear stockings and I have selected.

Retro Contrast Seamed Tights (15 denier) available from http://www.whatkatiedid.com.

Inspired by 1950s seamed stockings these combine the comfort of today with the glamour of yesteryear. Perfect for those that do not wish to step out in stockings.

I hope that this blog post provides a small amount of advice.

Thanks for reading.

Christine x

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!

Think Marilyn Monroe! Think Jayne Mansfield! Immediately images of the curvy hourglass figures of the 1950s spring to mind. 

In fact the women of the day were actively encouraged to replicate the voluptuous Hollywood silhouette. 

However one icon of both the Silver Screen and fashion bucked the trend. Audrey Hepburn was not curvaceous and was often seen with a cropped hair style.


Although her style and figure had boyish elements about them there is no question that Audrey was one of the most feminine and glamorous of actresses to grace the movie screen. 

Perhaps a little known fact is that Audrey Hepburn was ranked third (behind movie legends Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis) in the American Film Institute list of the greatest Female screen legends.

Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston in Belgium in 1929 she was inducted into the International Best Dressed list Hall of Fame in 1961. 

Her first starring roll was alongside Gregory Peck in the 1953 romantic comedy film Roman Holiday; going on to be recognised through many accolades including Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards, and devoting much of her later life to UNICEF working in some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America and Asia.

It is Hepburn’s iconic and unique style on which we shall focus. 

For many her place as an iconic fashion role model was cemented in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and a Givenchy gown. 

Her relationship with Hubert de Givenchy began in 1953 when she travelled to Paris to source her own wardrobe for the 1954 movie Sabrina and the two were introduced. He would go on to design many of her personal ensembles as well as many outfits worn in her film roles.
Sabrina gave us a neckline previously known as the bateau (or boat) neckline but subsequently renamed after the character. Favoured by Hepburn because it hid her skinny collarbone but emphasized her good shoulders.

The silhouettes considered synonymous with Hepburn were not boundary breaking but the fashions of the times. “Capri pants, the full skirt, the sweater with the hankerchief around her neck. 

So how do we recreate her look nowadays? 

We shall be using Roman Holiday as the basis of a Hepburn look to recreate. 

Firstly hair and the pixie cut that was revealed by Hepburn in Roman Holiday. An enduring image and very much associated with her.

A white button-down shirt; fitted and with an open v-neck collar that shows off a glimpse of décolletage.

From http://www.vivienofholloway.com Raglan Blouse White (£39.00). 

The circle skirt; mid-calf in length, and cinched at the waist with a belt to create a demure yet alluring look. 

Also to be found at http://www.vivienofholloway Circle Skirt White Sateen (£49.00).

To complete the a casual yet sophisticated look  strappy, gladiatorish sandals.

From http://m.ebay.com/itm/370847234527?_mwBanner=1 Flat Gladiator Sandals for Women in White Ivory Leather and Handmade in Italy (US$97.00). 

Thanks for reading and Happy Shopping.

Cx.

Retro, Faux Vintage, Vintage and Vintage Style 

Retro, Faux Vintage, Vintage and Vintage Style are all terminology regularly used by businesses when advertising their “historical fashion” garments.

Is there a difference between these phrases or do they have the same meaning? In a brief blog post I hope to answer this question. 

Retro, with its roots in 1960s France is an abbreviation of retrograde (rétrograde), and imitative of a style or fashion from the past. The crucial word is “imitative”. In other words it copies the style or fashion as a modern representation. The garment itself is not old and not from the era that it attempts to represent.


On the other hand we have vintage. Vintage denotes an item from the past. Vintage garments are items that were actually manufactured in the era that they represent as opposed to being imitative of it. 

(Vintage item from the 1950s)

With Faux Retro the crucial word is “Faux” meaning “made in imitation, artificial, not genuine, fake or false”. 
With Vintage Style the word “Style” indicates that the item has a vintage appearance and is styled in a vintage manner but again is a modern reproduction. 

So Vintage equals old whilst Retro, Faux Retro and Vintage Style equals new.

Happy shopping. 

Cx.

The circle skirt swings around the dance floor.

The hourglass figure was a dominant feature of the 1950s; the desired silhouette enhanced by the fashion of the time.

Skirts were tight at the natural waist, and fitted as such to promote the female waistline; a prominent feature of the 1950s. 

The style flattered the figure; with the fullness of the circle skirt disguising the hips, and making the waist look smaller. 

The fuller the skirt the greater the appearance of slimming the waistline; with the addition of a belt to cinch the waist enhancing the effect. 

Circle skirts were simple to make and as such often home sewn; being cut from a single piece of fabric in the shape of a doughnut. The inner circle was measured to fit the waist with the outer circle creating its fullness. When sitting the skirt would form the shape of a perfect circle.


The garment was popular with teenage dancers; providing lots of fun when twirling around the dance floor with its potential for swing movement.

Quite rightly many will consider the circle skirt as an essential garment to include in a retro/vintage wardrobe. I have heard it intimated that’s its popularity amongst teenagers of the 1950s suggests that the wearing of a circle skirt by the more mature amongst us may be a modern misrepresentation. 

Whether this is a conclusive argument or not I would prefer to consider that a lover of retro/vintage fashion is free to make her own choice and as she would with any item of clothing.

Thank you for finding the time to read this blog post.

Cx.

From the Flappers to the Fifties; a tale of trousers in women’s fashion.

Many items of clothing may be traced back to ancient history, and indeed the same is true with trousers; being shown on women as early as two and a half thousand years back.

The late 1800s saw women wear trousers for industrial work but, generally, pre-20th Century Western culture dictated that trousers were considered as exclusive to men.

It was not until the early part of the 20th Century that trousers were started to be regularly worn by women although, at first, still only by those whose jobs necessitated it for practicality. This was particularly true during the World War One years; in factories and on farms, where women replaced men who had been called to military service.

The 1920s, and the dawn of the Flapper, heralded a boyish more masculine look and loose “sailor-style” leisurewear trousers emerged to be worn at home and on the beach. 

Although made more popular by 1930s fashion icons such as Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn trousers were still not generally regarded as being acceptable attire for women. 

Katherine Hepburn.

The actress Adrienne Ames is quoted as saying, ” I am not ashamed of being a woman. I intend to keep on looking like one. Trousers on women are quite hideous. You will never; I repeat never, see a woman wearing trousers on Park Avenue!”

Actress Carole Lombard was not a fan either. ” I have never seen a single woman who looked well in trousers”.

The 1940s saw World War Two and trousers again worn for practicality in war work. 

The “Make Do and Mend” campaign encouraged people to make their existing supplies of clothes last longer. 

In a bid to conserve clothing coupons women picked up their needle and thread and adjusted their husband’s trousers to fit themselves. As such they would hardly have been figure-flattering but, at a time of true hardship, “needs must”. 

After the Second World War the wearing of trousers by women became more socially acceptable as more began wearing trousers for leisure activities.

Film stars like Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, and Audrey Hepburn had made wearing trousers seem cool and sexy.

Audrey Hepburn.

The fifties was the first decade where many women were able to enjoy the freedom and comfortability of choosing trousers; styled for the female form, as an acceptable item of clothing. 

In conclusion it seems apparent that an item of clothing that is nowadays as much a part of every woman’s wardrobe, as it is a part of every mans, did not always hold this position.

Historically trousers were either worn for practicality in the workplace or as rebellious statement against convention.

As said by the Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin in 1985:

“Sisters are doin’ it for themselves. 

Standin’ on their own two feet. 

And ringin’ on their own bells. 

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.…”

Thank you for reading our latest blog post.

Cx