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

1954 Meets 1994

 

The neon trend this summer totally reminded me of growing up in the 1990s, and particularly of TV shows like Saved by the Bell and movies like Clueless. (Confession time: Clueless is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s way existential.)

But I felt like mixing in more of a mid-century vibe, because, well, that’s what I do. So I took a neon yellow-green shirt and paired it with a polka-dot skirt and cherry red accessories.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I kept to gold-toned accessories, and picked up a neon woven chain bracelet from H&M to bring it all together.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And because I can never have enough color, I dragged my husband out to a neighborhood garden to take photos among the flowers. :)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: modified from a ModCloth dress
Shirt: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Right Under Your Nose Necklace via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelets: Victorian mourning bracelet, H&M black bangles, and H&M neon woven chain bracelet
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth

All photos by Pat Zimmerman

 

Amidst the Greenery

Ah, summer in San Francisco. While the rest of the country faces a heat wave, it was foggy and in the high 50s/low 60s this evening.

This outfit, which I wore to a dinner party at a friend’s house, is pretty representative of what I tend to wear during the summer – something a bit more substantial than the usual sundresses, like this evergreen B. Jones Style skirt from ModCloth.

Sporting beige and green. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Sporting beige and green. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Last time I styled the B. Jones Style skirt, the weather was even cooler and I incorporated tights and a wool coat. This time, to lighten things up, I paired it with a sheer beige blouse and nude patent heels.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And this statement ring – which I was lucky enough to nab from ModCloth’s employee exchange rack! – was the just the right finishing touch!

Cocktail ring, wine, and lights. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Cocktail ring, wine, and lights. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

It seems that only in San Francisco would I be able to (read: be forced to) wear something this heavy in the summer. Oh well – at least I’ve got pockets!

Pockets! One of the greatest things about this skirt. :) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Pockets! One of the greatest things about this skirt. :) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Skirt: B. Jones Style Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Blouse: Sheer Perfection Top, Knitted Dove via ModCloth
Shoes: Wishing and Taupe-ing Heels, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth
Ring: From ModCloth’s employee exchange rack

[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]

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

Seafoam and Coral

It rarely gets very warm in San Francisco. In the winter it’s usually in the 50s and 60s — which is wonderful for someone who dealt with chilly Pennsylvanian winters for most of her life! But in late spring and summer it’s usually in the 60s and low 70s, and layers are always required.

Except for every once in awhile when the weather warms up a little, and I rejoice by wearing a sundress!

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I love the retro styling of this coral Bettie Page dress, which is actually based on a 1950s Elvgren painting: “That Low-Down Feeling (Who, Me?)”. This dress was one of a series that Bettie Page did last year, all based on Elvgren pin-up paintings. The series was fantastic and I’m hoping Bettie Page does something like it again!

"That Low-Down Feeling (Who, Me?)" by Elvgren, 1957

“That Low-Down Feeling (Who, Me?)” by Elvgren, 1957

I paired the sundress with seafoam green accessories and nails:

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And added nude-colored patent-leather heels. And my dog, Jasper – isn’t he a great accessory? :)

Nude patent leather heels by Jessica Simpson. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Nude patent leather heels by Jessica Simpson. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Then Rocky joined for a photo too!

Yay for totally cheesy smiles. ;) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Yay for totally cheesy smiles. ;) Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

What’s your favorite warm-weather wear?

Dress: Sweet Coral-ine Dress, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Purse: Nordstrom
Bracelet: From a clothing exchange
Earrings: A gift
Shoes: Wishing and Taupe-ing Heels, Jessica Simpson via ModCloth

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]