Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Take One

Ok, now I said I would never be one of these bloggers that did that whole "outfit of the day" business, and well, here I am. Perhaps it may be more interesting because this really is how I dress. I often get asked, "What's the special occasion?" or "Are you in a play?" or "Why are you so dressed up?" My answer: I always tell people that I'm just simply "dressed up for life." As in, I'm celebrating life and the fun in dressing up. Life is too short to be boring and dull, make the most of everyday- and for me that involves wearing fun pieces of clothing and accessories. :)

So, with that being said, here is me today. A typical running errands (i.e. post office and hunting for clothes) outfit. The weather has been gorgeous here in San Diego, it's like Summer-  so I get to wear all of my sun tops and cotton skirts. 

So what the heck am I wearing? Well...
  • Acid washed bustier top from Urban Outfitters. This top is so well made, it's one of my favorite sun tops. It really holds me in and gives great support. It has a side hidden zipper, structural boning, and back elastic ruching. I got it on sale for $9.99 last Summer- score!
  • 1950's hand painted Mexican cotton circle skirt. I get more compliments on this skirt every time I wear it. I love the sexy couple on horseback, their both so gorgeous! And the huge cacti were a total deal-breaker as I'm obsessed with anything cactus themed. This was purchased at my old place of employment, Wear It Again Sam.
  • Charles David cork-soled and beige leather knotted top stiletto mules. I love these, they're so vintage looking. I wish I had them in every color. They have a bit of a platform, but nothing too major. Pretty easy to walk in, even for a high heel goof like myself.
  • Various vintage Native American turquoise and sterling silver jewelry pieces that I've collected over the years. The bracelet was my Nana's. It was given to her by my Papa in the 1960's. It's one of my most prized treasures.
Speaking of my vintage turquoise collection...

Oh, these old things?

I have been collecting Native American turquoise pieces for years now. Most of my pieces are signed by the artists and pre-1970's. I seriously could tell you a story about every one of my pieces. They all bring back different memories, travels, and times in my life; I love that about them.

People don't normally know this, but I am partially Native American, it coming from my Nana's side of the family. My boyfriend is very Native American, from the New Mexico Silver City region. Can you tell? ;)

(All images by our friend Noa of Feather Love Photography)

Monday, January 30, 2012

A True American Love Affair: Pendleton

 A gorgeous Pendleton ad from the 1920's. Can you imagine using one of these as a beach blanket?!

There's a clothing label that's as American as apple pie, old worn-in cowboy boots, and fireworks on the Fourth of July. That label is Pendleton. Popular with hard working men, fashion-savy hipsters, and true-blue vintage-lovers alike- Pendleton means quality, craftsmanship, and mind-blowing gorgeous color.

Here's a little background on Pendleton as a company from the VFG Label Resource:

The Pendleton Woolen Mill opened in 1909, producing blankets with Indian designs. In time, the blankets were used to make bathrobes and coats. By 1924 the company started making the famous Pendleton Man’s wool shirt, and by 1929 they were producing a full line of menswear.

In 1949, Pendleton first made women’s clothing. Most notable was their ’49er jacket – hip length, long-sleeved casual jacket with wide collar, patch pockets and large shell buttons down the front. The 49er is still being made by Pendleton today. 

For many years, Pendleton raised their own sheep and spun and wove the wool. They sold the fabric as well as the blankets and finished clothing. At one time, Pendleton used 1% of all the wool produced in the US.
Pendleton worked exclusively in wool until 1972, when they produced their first spring line. Blue Pendleton labels indicate men’s clothing, and white labels are on women’s.

Here are a few vintage Pendleton ads to take a gander at...

What I personally love about Pendletons are all of the gorgeous Native American designs in super rich, vibrant color schemes. Take these for example...

My boyfriend happens to be a full-blown Pendleton hoarder. That's him in the upper right below, and YES- he agrees with the ad. A man really can never have enough Pendletons! (Those are not his shirts pictured, though.)

And shown below is how the ladies can rock them. A few of these are from Pendleton's newer collaborative line with the label Opening Ceremony. Read more about this colorful collaboration  here.

And of course, at Butch Wax Vintage we have a fabulous 1940's Pendleton number that's currently for sale. Wear it as a dress or a light coat! It's pictured below and available here!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Epitome of the Female Form: The Classic Mermaid Dress

Every year, right around this time, numerous vintage-loving ladies from all around the globe get their wardrobe checklist trimmed down and ready for the annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender in Las Vegas, Nevada. Every year it's the same sought after pieces- who will have the best Vanity Fair leopard print ensemble? Who will have the most eye-catching Shaheen sarong dress? Who's rocking the most killer Ceeb of Miami jumpsuit? Along with throngs and throngs of Lurex in every color, bakelite bangles, Polly of California sky-high mules, and sequin-encrusted hand painted Mexican circle skirts. It really is enough to make one's head spin, the array of fabulous styles and gorgeous silhouettes. The people watching alone is more than reason to go. Well in this entry, we're going to focus on one of our most favorite highly sought-after styles to wear at Viva, the timelessly sexy and ever-so-classic curve hugging mermaid cocktail gown.

Wikipedia defines the "Mermaid Evening Gown" as: "Mermaid, as the name suggests, means that the evening gown is shaped like a mermaid. It is form-fitting at the bodice, and the skirt is designed to resemble a mermaid's tail in silhouette.The skirt may or may not be of the same colour or texture."

The mermaid gown as we know and love it first originated in the mid 1950's. This design of dress really skyrocketed in 1960 when it was made popular to little girls everywhere by the gal that we all know and love- who other than Barbie. This particular Barbie was titled "Solo in the Spotlight." What a fabulous get up, right? Lets face it, Barbie really knew how to do it up in the 1950's!

Here are a few killer examples of authentic 1950's era "mermaid" styles... I know, I know, try not to drool... Many of them had a satin under-base with silk chiffon, lace, or sequins over that. Sheer tulle or netting was very popular for the actual "mermaid hem." If we had our way, we'd go back in time and have one of each in our size, please! ;-)

 Many of these images were obtained from this fabulous page.

Here are a few vintage designs that have been for sale online recently. Many of them were found on Etsy! They usually run anywhere from $150 all the way to $500+ for a true couture design.

And lastly, here are a few fabulous styles that are either available (or were) from Butch Wax Vintage, or part of our own personal collection.

 A fabulous design from our private vintage collection... LOVE the color.

A killer fully sequined number that recently sold to a Butch Wax regular from San Francisco!

A insanely gorgeous hand beaded sea foam silk chiffon over satin mermaid number, currently for sale from Butch Wax Vintage here!