As you may expect, I sewed most of my Art Deco Weekend wardrobe, but one thing I really wanted to do this year was to show that it is possible to wear amazing outfits that really capture the spirit of the early ’30s even if you can’t sew, and don’t have the budget for real vintage pieces.*
So I put together a quick little ’30s inspired outfit with items from my wardrobe and thrift shops.
I looked at a number of ’30s images for reference, particularly those of backless 1930s outfits. The emphasis on the shoulders and back is such a characteristic of early-mid ’30s fashion, and it’s something you see both in beachwear and in evening wear (also, I rather like my shoulders).
I was hoping my outfit would capture both the glamour of the evening dresses, and the effortless casual elegance of the daywear.
I was also inspired by 1930’s colour: rich but muted dark pastels.
The end result?
I’m rather pleased!
The parasols are both from an oriental shop, the hat is (obviously) my Little Bit of Ribbon hat, pre-ribbon. The lemongrass yellow silk blouse is a modern halter from Nicholson. The deco salmon linen-blend skirt and bone coloured leather sandals are both thrifted 1980s numbers, which I guess technically makes them vintage (depending on how you count it), but since I paid less than $10 for each of them, and see similar items in op-shops all the time, I don’t think anyone else (in NZ at least) would have too much trouble finding their own version.
Rach is wearing her own modern 1930s outfit, inspired by later ’30s fashions, when the skirts become fuller. Thrifted cotton blouse with lace inset, skirt with deco inspired print (both recent High Street numbers), lace parasol from a Napier store, lacy ankle socks (Cotton On) and wrist length gloves (OK, those are vintage) for the slightly more formal ‘shopping day in town’ look.
Quick, simple, easy, fun to wear, and I got the best compliment of the weekend out of this outfit.
As I passed a couple on the waterfront I heard the man say to the woman – “Doesn’t she just look perfect? Like she walked straight out of a ’30s poster”. Yes! Mission accomplished!
I think I’ve definitely proved that you can look very 1930s, without looking like a bad pastiche (and I’m afraid their is rather a lot of bad pastiche at Art Deco Weekend), in easily sourced modern or recent vintage clothing, with a little effort and a bit of research.
*Also, Art Deco Weekend is a terrible place to wear vintage – it’s hot and sunny and you walk around a lot, so you sweat in them and get sunscreen on them, which is NOT GOOD. I have a very dim view of people who wear and use vintage in a way that will destroy it.