A Gatsby Summer Afternoon

On a warm, sunny day in September, Pat and I headed out to a picnic. But this picnic wasn’t just any old picnic; it was a step into the Gatsby-era world.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The Art Deco Society of California (which I previously mentioned in a post about their Deco Ball) hosts a “Gatsby Summer Afternoon” every year at the end of the summer season, at the historic Dunsmuir Hellmann estate in Oakland. The dress code calls for 1920s and 1930s day attire for men and women, and period-appropriate accoutrements… right down to real glasses and porcelain, wicker baskets – and even a gramophone or two!

Pat decked out in menswear to evoke the deco era.

Pat decked out in menswear to evoke the deco era.

A working gramophone at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

A working gramophone at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

And in keeping with my usual style, I decided against the straight silhouettes of the 1920s in favor of the somewhat more body conscious style of the 1930s. But finding a proper ’30s day dress isn’t easy, so I bought a vintage pattern and sewed one up myself!

My 1930s dress pattern (photo taken when I was working on the muslin mock-up).

My 1930s dress pattern (photo taken when I was working on the muslin mock-up).

The end result: decked out in a 1930s day dress.

The end result: decked out in a 1930s day dress.

Prepping for this event was almost as fun as the event itself… but nothing quite beats dancing outside on a beautiful day!

Dancing at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

Dancing at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.

For those of you in the Bay Area, I heartily recommend checking out the Art Deco Society! In addition to this event and their annual ball, they host walking tours of art deco buildings and publish information about related events put on by other organizations.

What I wore:
Dress: made by me from a vintage 1930s Simplicity pattern
Hat: ModCloth
Bracelet: vintage deco-era silver bracelet
Clutch: a gift from my husband

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Additional photos available on Flickr, here.

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Style Challenge: Ladylike

Every so often, Meghan of Voilà! posts a style challenge. This Friday, the challenge was “ladylike”. Clearly a stretch for me, since I never wear ladylike clothes! ;)

I’ve been itching to wear this Bettie Page dress ever since it arrived in the mail last week, and decided it would work for today’s challenge.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The dress might look a little familiar, because it’s the same pattern as another Bettie Page dress I previously posted about. I just loved the silhouette so much that I couldn’t resist buying the new colorway!

Anyway, to play up the ladylike theme, I paired it with black pearls and a pashmina (layers are pretty much always necessary in San Francisco).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And I added black patent leather heels… then posed in front of a mural. Nothing says “ladylike” like street art! Don’t you think?

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Dress: Sense of Tasteful Dress by Bettie Page, via ModCloth
Shawl: pashmina via Nordstrom
Necklace: black pearls (a gift from my husband)
Bracelet: vintage art deco silver bracelet (a gift from my husband)
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Check out the rest of the style challenge crew this week, and join us or follow along on Twitter: #stylechallenge :)
Meghan of Voilà!
Kellen of And So It Goes
Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About

Summer’s Last Hurrah!

Hi again! I’m coming out of my summer hibernation to announce that ModCloth’s “Summer’s Last Hurrah” sale (read: a whopping 70% off hundreds of fabulous clothes, shoes, accessories, and decor items) just started! (But I’m also working on a REAL post, I swear. *^_^* )

Here are a few of my favorite pieces on sale now. Things go insanely fast during these sales, so I suggest going on over to ModCloth ASAP. :)

Some deets about the sale: all items that are 70% off or more are final sale. A LOT of stuff sells out in the first couple of days (and those products are taken down from the sale page), but the sale should last for several days. And shipping is free in the U.S. for orders over $50. :) Of course, because of the huge number of orders, expect shipping to be delayed by a couple of days. If you have any questions, the customer care peeps @ ModCloth are great!

If you’re new to ModCloth, you can use this link for $10 off your first order. Or if you have a friend who has shopped at ModCloth, ask for their link so that they get a $10 coupon after you order too! (As an employee, I don’t get those coupons – but I can’t complain, since I get a discount. ^_^)

A Little Bit Country

When I first picked up this dress I wasn’t sure I loved it. Something about the print just didn’t feel like me – maybe it felt a little too country? The only reason I bothered trying it on was the full skirt.

But when I did try it on, I loved how it looked. And since it was $15, it was easy to go ahead and buy it. Sure, there were some stains from age – it must have been packed between cardboard or something similar that left marks. But I’ve learned that those kinds of stains generally wash out (and they did!).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Fast-forward a couple of years and this has become one of my go-to dresses. Since it’s from the early 1950s, I’ve had to take a needle & thread to it a few times – but it’s worth it! It’s super easy to wear and mix & match with accessories.

This time, I went with cheery summer brights – a pink cardigan (coming on the heels of my last post, it seems I have a thing for pink cardis!), yellow bangles, and lime green earrings.

Bright accessories add pop to a black & white print. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Bright accessories add pop to a black & white print. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Then I added some chic patent heels and did what any reasonable girl wearing a full-skirted dress should do – went for a spin!

Love spinning in full skirts! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Love spinning in full skirts! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Btw, I think sunny days make me giddy . . .

Full on cheese! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Full on cheese! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

*ahem*

(I’m a serious fashion blogger. For reals.)

Being a serious fashion blogger. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Being a serious fashion blogger. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Anyway . . . What piece in your closet has become an unexpected fave?

Dress: vintage early 1950s dress via Eons Fashion Antique in Pittsburgh, PA
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Earrings: vintage
Bracelets: vintage (yellow bangles) and a gift (silver cuff)
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

A City Statement

A cool but clear and sunny summer day called for bold colors and accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

This black maxi dress was the perfect backdrop for color blocks of blue, yellow, and pink. The neckline is quite low cut, so I started with a blue bandeau. Then I added the necklace, which I love for its bright yellows and the gold-tone hardware. And topped it off with a pink cardigan, tied rather than buttoned for a more casual, summery look.

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Statement of the Art Necklace in Yellow. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mixed in a few bracelets, in colors that echoed my cardigan and accessories.

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

A mix of blue and pink (and orange) enamel and gold bracelets. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And my laptop bag happened to fit in beautifully (These pictures were taken right after work).

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

My goal was to look as summery as possible while still keeping warm on a cool San Francisco day. Success?

Color blocking with summery colors over classic black. I even added sandals - that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Color blocking with bright colors over classic black. I even added sandals – that makes it summery, right? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: A Grecian Turn Dress, Rubber Ducky via ModCloth
Bandeau: Très Sleek Bandeau in Cobalt Blue via ModCloth
Cardigan: Charter School Cardigan in Raspberry via ModCloth
Bracelets: Nordstrom (blue bracelet), Talbots (orange and pink bracelet), and vintage (gold bangles)
Necklace: Statement of the Art Necklace in Sun via ModCloth
Laptop Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter via Nordstrom
Shoes: Faryl Robin sandals

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

Professor Salt’s Coffee Truck

Check out this totally awesome truck I found!

Awesome classic Chevrolet truck. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Awesome classic Chevrolet truck. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

My husband and I went out to Port Costa for dinner with his parents and happened across this classic Chevrolet truck. I hadn’t planned on taking outfit pics, but the photo op was just too good to pass up.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

In addition to the old-timey “Prof Salt’s Coffee Co” sign, there were chicken plushies in the passenger seat! Rather irresistable, don’t you think?

Do you see that chicken plushie in the window? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Do you see that chicken plushie in the window? (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

My dress fit in quite well, given that it’s a handsewn vintage dress from the late 1940s or early 1950s. It’s got a somewhat unusual floral pattern, with abstracted black and grey vines amongst the green leaves and purple flowers. I paired it with a green cardigan and purple handbag, plus black shoes and belt for contrast. The black lace on my cardigan helped pull it all together.

The whole ensemble, framed by Professor Salt's coffee truck. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

The whole ensemble, framed by Professor Salt’s coffee truck. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

So cheers! to Professor Salt. I don’t know what your coffee is like, but I sure do love your truck!

Dress: handsewn vintage dress, likely from the late 1940s or early 1950s
Cardigan: Game of Chance Cardigan, Darling via ModCloth
Bracelet: vintage art deco silver bracelet (a gift)
Belt: borrowed from another dress
Purse: Coach (a gift)
Shoes: Me Too (thrifted)

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman.]

Drinks on Me!

One of the many things I love about living in San Francisco is its short distance to wine country. In the summer, I like to don my summeriest of dresses and go wine tasting with my husband.

(I actually like to go wine tasting all year ’round, but, alas, I can’t always do it in my summeriest of dresses.)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I have to admit that I’ve worn this particular dress (which the writers at ModCloth aptly named the “Drinks on Me Dress”) a few times in wine country. With its classic cut and kitschy wine & cocktail glass print, it just begs to be worn wine tasting!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

For this trip, we went to Healdsburg. We stopped first at Dry Creek Vineyard and Passalacqua Winery (where these photos were taken – they’re across the street from each other), then headed to Rodney Strong. Rodney Strong, in particular, is worth the visit for its reds, but I also enjoyed the whites at Dry Creek and the sangiovese at Passalacqua. And as you can see below, Dry Creek had a lovely garden that I rather fancied!

Amidst the flowers at Dry Creek Vineyard. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Amidst the flowers at Dry Creek Vineyard. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Enjoying the sun. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Enjoying the sun. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Where do you go for summer weekend getaways?

Dress: Drinks on Me Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: from a street vendor
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]