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: Summer Hats

This week I participated in a style challenge! The theme was summer hats. My hat of choice? A fancy, Melbourne Cup / Kentucky Derby style hat in bold orange, with orange and crème colored feathers.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I paired it with my newest Bettie Page dress – it’s aqua with orange accents, and printed with Eiffel Towers and fleur de lis. And I love the fun detail in the back!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Alas, the weather in San Francisco in the past couple of days has been less-than-summery, so I had to add a cardigan. (The eternal story of SF “summer”!) But with the bright colors, I’m bringing in my own summer sun!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Hat: Hats from Oz
Dress: If Eiffel in Love Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Necklace: Kate Spade
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Cardigan: Grace via Ideeli
Shoes: Wishing and Taupe-ing Heels, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth

[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
Rebecca of Thirty-Five Inch Inseam
Adiel of It’s Because I Think Too Much
Angie of The Hotness Your Momma Warned You About
Amanda of Fashionablee Me
Carlina of Allergic to Vanilla
Jade of Peachy Keen
Nicole of Manners & Moxie

Winter Wear in San Francisco

Today was “Grub & Garb” day at work. Grub & Garb is once a month, with a potluck and outfit theme. This month was chili for the grub and hats & scarves for the garb. I *think* the intention was that the hats & scarves be winter wear… something to do with chili for chilly days, maybe?… but I felt like wearing something a little more fabulous. And besides, since I’m in San Francisco now, I don’t need to get all bundled up for freezing weather! Best. Thing. Ever.

Not-so-chilly winter wear
Not-so-chilly winter wear

The hat is from Hats from Oz, an Australian company specializing in Melbourne Cup (our equivalent: Kentucky Derby) hats. I had bought one of their hats at a boutique in Townsville, Australia when I was there for my honeymoon. Then, a couple of years ago, a friend (who’s originally from Kentucky) and I decided to throw a Kentucky Derby party… but she needed a hat. Turns out that those style hats are insanely expensive in the U.S. I remembered that my Australian hat was much more reasonably priced, so I googled the brand & found the Hats from Oz website. The best part? Since Australian seasons are reversed from ours, they have a good selection of warm weather hats on sale just as we’re entering summer! I found this hat when my friend was looking for hers and just had to have it.

My hat & scarf

Also, I have to show off my new purse. It’s Cole Haan, but I got it for $129 from Rue La La! I was looking for a basic black shoulder bag to replace my well-loved Un Après Midi de Chien bag – something that looks nice, fits a large camera, and can be packed for travel. This one fits the bill perfectly – I’m so pleased I found it!

Cole Haan purse - a fab find on Rue La La!
Cole Haan purse – a fab find on Rue La La!

And as you can see above, Rocky was kind enough to model with me again. I happened to find a super cute scarf in the employee exchange rack today and it turned out to be perfect for Rocky. So even he participated in Grub & Garb day! (Though he probably would have been happier had I allowed him to eat some grub instead…)

Rocky models his scarf
Rocky models his scarf

Giving Rocky well-deserved attention
Giving Rocky well-deserved attention

All together, I was going for something of a modern take on Dior’s “New Look”. What do you think?

A modern take on Dior's New Look

Hat: Hats from Oz
Shirt: Lush via ModCloth
Skirt: Essential Elegance Skirt, Moon Collection via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet

Photos by Santina of Style by Santina.

1950s Shark Attack

Didn’t I tell you that I adore 1950s dresses? I love how flattering they are, particularly their cinched waists. This dress is actually an original vintage dress from the 1950s, which means I occasionally have to repair seams. In fact, I had to do a quick sewing job this morning – turns out that thread weakens after 60+ years. But it’s worth it – this dress has an awesome sharkskin fabric, and really, who could resist wide collars like these? So very I Love Lucy.

Teal and red is such a fantastic color combination, and I love how the red detail at the color makes it so easy to pair red accessories with this dress.

The shoes are Re-Mix d’Orsay heels from ModCloth. They’re beautifully made with fabulous retro styling. More 1940s than 1950s, but there’s nothing wrong with mixing fashion eras!

A year or two ago, I finally got up my nerve to try cat eyeliner. It’s not so difficult once you get the hang of it. I found a pin on Pinterest that shows an easy technique, here.

Fascinator: Fashion Fractal Hat by Ophelie Hats, via ModCloth
Dress: vintage 1950s sharkskin dress
Shoes: D’Orsay at the d’Orsay Heel by Re-Mix, via ModCloth

Curtains: Flora and Fauna and Fabulous Curtain, via ModCloth

Photos by me!