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The denisebrain vintage fashion shows of 2015

This past year I had the idea of asking others to post some of their favorite vintage items in categories  ranging from glasses to “gets the most looks.” These denisebrain vintage fashion shows took place on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and for the purpose I whipped up the mighty long hashtag #dbvintagefashionshow.

I started these shows because I’m curious about what other people wear, do and think with their vintage fashion. Sometimes the internet seems kind of isolating, even with people all over the world participating. These shows made me feel like I was sitting across the table at a coffee shop with friends. Interesting, unique, stylish, beautiful, colorful and thoughtful friends.

I can’t possibly thank everyone without accidentally leaving a few out, so just a very big thank you to all! See you again in 2016!



What's your era?

One of the best things about vintage clothing is that you can dress in your best era...when you would be the It Girl. You might have an emotional connection, or a physical connection, or both. 

I can see myself being a 60s mod emotionally, but physically and emotionally both I feel very connected to the mid 1940s.

Here are some Facebook readers in clothing from eras that suit them well. (This was the theme of last week’s denisebrain vintage fashion show.) This doesn’t mean they’re stuck with just that era, but they look connected to it. They wear it well.

I love many past eras, but if I had to pick one favorite it would be mid 40s. Physically, the cut is good for me because it fits me rather naturally. I love peplums so much that I swear my pulse goes up just hearing the word! I love whimsy, and details that echo throughout an outfit. The length is one that practically always works for me. 

My emotional connection to the mid 40s starts with the sense of social solidarity brought on by years of economic depression and war. The war ended, and new ideas would soon take hold, but for 1945, women still held positions of power and responsibility that they wouldn’t have before or for quite awhile after the war. 

The clothing women wore was often practical but pretty in every creative way it could be. Women wore masculine-inspired suits that looked strong yet feminine. Bakelite was a whimsical alternative to more precious materials, and rationing didn’t stop the milliners from creating some of the most interesting hats of the 20th century. Peplums and draping helped make up for any lack of extravagance in cut, and the skirt lengths and gentle flares were good for walking and biking. Women wore trousers that couldn’t have been more flattering. There were witty details such as victory Vs in necklines, jewelry, and hair. In 1945 my mother was 25, and when I see her picture from that time I feel she was at home. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to have lived then, but those are the emotional connections I feel. 

What’s your era and why? 



Our first style icons

For the denisebrain vintage fashion show last week I had the pleasure of seeing some of my Facebook readers’ beautiful mothers. The bonus was the story that came with some of these photos. 

For instance, Gloria (bottom row, center) said “my mom with a little me, November 1953. We had just come here from England, this photo was taken for a newspaper article. My dad, an American serviceman, stationed in England, was sent back to the states before I was born. She and I traveled, alone, 17 hours, in a prop jet. We settled in New Haven, CT, and into my dad’s large, Italian-American, family”

My own first style icon and mother:

This week in the denisebrain vintage fashion parade I’m looking for you in your favorite era. Is it Mod? New Look? Belle Époque? Show us your era!



Real women carry vintage handbags

Whether you go for full-out vintage looks or mix-and-match with modern, handbags are a very accessible way to get into vintage style. 

Just look at how these vintage bags enhance the looks these women have chosen for themselves! 



If you want to get dressed up, get dressed up!

Last week I posted one of my fashion shows on Facebook. This one was all about dressing up in vintage.

I posted this theme because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard women say “I love this, but I would have no place to wear it.” And I say, let’s make places to wear things that make us happy. I got a lot of agreement from others on this, and ideas.

Did you know, for instance, that there actually IS a small but growing dressing-better-to-work day with its own hashtag? #fancyfriday is the name.

Facebook reader and vintage maven Jessica shared her photo of a #fancyfriday dress (“Designed by Blauner for Bonwit Teller label, which I believe was by Evelyn Dawson, the designer for Suzy Perette.” Yes, she’s really a vintage fashion maven! Check out her blog at No Accounting for Taste.) Isn’t she a gorgeous sight? 

We have reasons to dress up, yes? Just a dozen:

1. DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) meetings, as Facebook reader Leigh Anne mentioned. The women love history and love seeing her vintage fashions.
2. Any historical society gathering: Think museum exhibits, boards, historical preservation groups.
3. “Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it.” - Lady Duff-Gordon
4. Dress for the every day theater of life like you are the leading lady.
5. All your regular clothes are dirty.
6. Go to an historic hotel for a drink.
7. “Life is a party, dress like it.” - Lilly Pulitzer
8. “It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.” - Hans F. Hansen
9. “If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack.” - Coco Chanel
10. Being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.
11. #fancyfriday
12. You will make people happy...maybe most especially yourself