Saturday, 5 February 2011

A trip to 1940

So a few weeks ago I went to the first in a series of 1940's set events. I had enormous fun preparing for this one, as although I already owned a number of forties items that I wear with pleasure, this was my first time at a full event spent in that era.

I was keen to recreate the look as authentically as possible, which meant getting the underwear, make-up and hair right as well as the clothes on top. In the end I used a combination of original items, authentic reproductions, and modern fashion items to get the right look.

My long time favourite 1940's dress had been this black peplum day dress. It has a lovely pattern in the wave of the fabric which is hard to make out in photographs, and lovely delicate little cream lace around the neckline. It's a little big for me so I used a slim white belt to pull it in, and added a cute little cream cardigan with crochet detail found very cheap in H&M to keep me warm on a very chilly January weekend!

But making it get the right shape, and more importantly feel authentic to wear, required the right underwear. I am something of an obsessive about vintage underwear, and already owned original camibockers and french knickers,  and a 1930's/40's peach pinstripe effect coreselet that I brought from Annie's in Islington a while ago. Whilst I did wear these during the weekend, I wanted a full set of underwear that I could wear all weekend. So I headed to the What Katy Did boutique in Portabello Market. I had long drooled over their underwear on their website ( ) but this was the first time I had been to the shop. It is a quite lovely place, and the staff were enormously helpful. Even better, they had a sale on! I came away with a bullet bra ( ), corselet, knickers, and two pairs of proper stockings for the price I had expected to pay for just the bra and a pair of stockings. I was a very happy girl.

I also made a skirt from the Vintage Vogue pattern v2885 ( ). It was a bit of a rush job, so didn't come out perfectly, but it is a lovely pattern and I highly recommend it. The only thing is that, being an American pattern I think, the skirt comes out probably a little bit long for what most Brits would be looking for in a WW2 skirt. It was worn with a simple blouse and the cream cardigan.

I will write about the other dresses I wore later, as they deserve a bit of attention to themselves, and the hair and make up another time, as sadly I didn't get any good photographs of the end result.

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