Friday, 16 March 2012

Creating an outfit for a vintage blouse, and analyzing it

This isn't, technically, a daily outfit post, because I only wore this for the photos (although I left the scarf and shoes on afterwards).

(Kaksi assisted. So I included her in the photos.)

But it's an Outfit post; it's a post that proves what outfit photos are good for.
I can see the outfits and what they do to me much more clearly than in a mirror. Mirror distorts. That's a fact.

I was rather scared when I saw myself in these photos. They proved that the outfit is not a sum of its parts. Let's see... Silk scarf: yummy. Vintage blouse: does not fit me quite the best, but I still nearly squeeled in delight when I first saw it, and still squeel in delight inwardly. Necklace: made by me exactly as I wanted it. Skirt: I'm very fond of. White stockings: ditto. Thrifted brown shoes: had to have, lucky that they fit.

And what I see in the photos? An old lady scarf, an old fashioned blouse, a squabby bottom. (The skirt is actually a most delightful flowy chiffon, if artificial.)

It's slightly better when I pose differently, but the skirt still hits me at the most unfortunate part of my legs: the widest part of my calves, making them look fat, no matter how I stand. (They're not. They're just muscular. No, I'm not deceiving myself.)

I call this photo "Channeling my inner old lady", which about sums up all the problems of this outfit...
Another scary thing: in spite of the skirt's interesting cut, this outfit loses my waist definition. And THAT is quite a big deal to achieve.

It is, I think, in part because the blouse is definitely Edwardian-inspired, and requires a high-waisted bottom. None of my bottoms are high-waisted. Even those that might hit the natural waist for someone else usually sit lower on me.

It is marginally better from this angle.


Add a sweater and everything changes.

The proportions are suddenly less off; I have a waist definition again, the brown sweater ties together the shoes and the scarf (and my hair) and draws the attention away from the skirt and its unfortunate length.

It was a most illuminative experience.

Scarf and shoes: thrifted

Necklace and bracelet: made by me (I made the bracelet later, from the remaining large red beads)

Belt: found at home

Skirt: second-hand from a friend

Stockings: some Czech brand or other, bought in a shop in Brno

Sweater: C&A, second-hand from a friend

Blouse: Alice Stuart, second-hand from my friend's mother - its age is uknown, but according to oral family tradition, it could be from the late 1930s or from 1940s. Maybe. More about the blouse to come on some later date.


  1. Hana, I have to say that when I saw the gathered skirt, the colors of black, red and white, and the kerchief, I thought "eastern European"; I thought you might be wearing a costume, esp. in the 1st photo where you're holding the kitty. The brown sweater makes everything look great, like you say! Very interesting.

  2. Amazing!! I love that blouse too but agree, not with that outfit and the brown jersey does indeed save the day!!

  3. Wow. What a heroic brown jersey indeed... Though I'd be tempted to wear the old lady outfit anyway. I do like a pretty old lady outfit...

    Have you tried it with a slimmer skirt? Or a shorter one? Or... Sometimes I enjoy wearing an old lady look with pretty pinned up hair and makeup? :) But I like it the way it is anyway...

    1. I got a bright blue slimmer A-line skirt to go with it from my friend's mother - the very bright (electric? cobalt? something along those lines) blue spices up the old lady-ness, but it's not high-waisted on me either, so it waits to be altered...
      I'm going to try it with the blueberry skirt next... We'll see; I'll definitely make it work one day!

      I think what bugs me most about the "old lady outfit" really is the fact that it loses my waist definition. If I was made to have a small waist and wide hips, then so be it! Like that. :-) Which is why I'm rather drawn to 50s fashions recently...