Sunday, March 20, 2011

Frilly Frou-Frou Evenings on a Budget

How is it possible women in the 1930s wore these beautiful silk nighties to bed?
Surely they were tempted to wear them as dresses sometimes?
I snapped up this little cream silk and lace beauty on eBay, while in the throes of Frilly Knicker Fever.
Alas FKF shows no sign of abating.
But if I can't afford the 1930s dresses that are (understandably) becoming prohibitively expensive, I will continue to hunt down the next best thing.
Knickers and nighties.

These silken treasures are wonderful for creating looks that are intensely individual.
Vintage camisoles and PJ tops worn as blouses with structured jackets look great and of course if you want daring, you could wear your undies on the outside.
I've been dying to wear this 1920s jet beaded headpiece for ages.
I love the way it feels on my forehead and ears - tiny tickles:).
Plus it's great for a bad-hair day.
The bag is a 1920s or 30s gold-embossed leather evening clutch and I think the blood-red feather earrings add a bit of "how's your father" to the ensemble.

You can see the lace detail here - it's extremely soft and a darker shade than the silk dress.
More red with Rimmel's Alarm lippy and my leather red rose and cocktail rings.

Boobs get a bit of much-needed shaping here with the gathered bodice.
The fur cape is from the 1940s.
Sarah of Misfits Vintage had me smiling at her post about her late mother's fur that she's planning on selling and donating the proceeds to orphaned animals in Japan.
You can donate to the cause on Sarah's blog too.
I do wear vintage fur and adore it, but many think it's gross.
Perfectly understandable in these enlightened times.

Let me share a dress-fitting secret with you.
If you're planning on wearing 1930s bias-cut gowns, DON'T buy them to fit your measurements.
Buy them slightly larger as the extra couple of inches in all the right places will create a better drape.
Believe me, if you size up and go for at least 2-3 inches more in the waist and hips, the gown will fit better and be more figure-forgiving.

The shoes are vintage leather dancing shoes.

When I do my sums, I'm quite impressed with the cost of my evening outfit:
eBay headpiece: AUD$16; 
eBay dress: $12; 
eBay fur: $60; 
thrifted shoes: $4; 
thrifted clutch: $12; 
new earrings: $15.
Total: $119.
Hey not bad for evening wear and if you swap the fur for a faux or fabric cape you might get a better deal, although capes are really popular at the moment so prices are high.
I have a costume sewing pattern for capes with and without hoods - think it's time I made one and if I use thrifted or stashed fabric it'll cost next to nothing.

Desiree xoxo


  1. What a 1930's starlet bombshell you are amor.
    I love vintage lingerie too, fur cape goes so well.
    that is a bargain,your heels are so pretty.
    btw, nice bum, should show it off more often mi lady.

  2. Thanks for the tip on buying items cut on the bias! Adore photo #3.

  3. NIOCE!!!!
    I love this post!!
    I love this dress!!

    I'm not one for REAL fur.
    I prefer fake.
    BUT vintage OR antique fur is a TOTALLY different story.
    Just like with most leather.
    I prefer preowned.
    It's just better for the environment and the animals that way!!

    I love that beaded flappers head piece as well!!
    SOOOOOOO pretty!!

    Have a great weekend!!


  4. What a great outfit. And from 3 different decades (or maybe even 4 if the shoes are 1950s?)! Though I would also, absolutely, wear these vintage nightgowns as nightgowns!

  5. My dear Desiree, i love the new heading on you blog, fantastic!!!!.
    About your your nighty turn dress you are a genius.Bias are a no, no for me, big hips, hehehhe, but what a fabulous tip!!!.
    have a grand Sunday my dear friend.

  6. OOO LA LA and wolfwhistle too.It so suits you that era.I have one fur thing now sold others in past Its a fur stole with some type of creatures head is only thing I will keep now.One day will show on my blog I promise.

  7. I'm always scandalised by what people are charging for vintage these days especially in London - collecting it is now becoming something only the wealthy can afford to do.

    You look amazing in your ebay finds! Love your homage to the 20's and 30's here - soooo glamourous!

  8. Oh, you are just so fabulously glamorous! I love the new header and I adore the headpiece. You are so right accessorising with those divine feather earrings, they really add vibrancy.
    Bias cut can be very unforgiving but your tip is fantastic, that way the garment can skim rather than cling to the curves. xxx

  9. great tip about the bias! I love your headpiece and want one so much!!!

  10. What fun! Wonderful photos. Love the composition of the second shot with the jewelry and manicure. You truly are an artist.

  11. I have one almost like this one but my boobs are to small for it
    So many tiny waists a bug boobies i guess.
    You would love it

  12. A gorgeous outfit Desiree! Amazing find! It suits you so well. My feathers eep!! LOVE LOVE. They have gone to such a good home! xx

  13. Love it! I actually wore a thrifted night gown with gorgeous lace sections out at New Years :) Who cares if it's not meant to be a dress... We'll wear it like it's one anyway!

  14. You look incredible! I have a bit of an obsession with 1930s nightwear too - it has to be silk though. I am currently hunting for a perfect pair of peach silk pyjamas. I saw a pair recently, but they were very expensive. I love slips and camisoles too - they seem so sopisticated in comparison to the underwear you see today.
    I think the addition of the fur stole here is wonderfully glamorous.

  15. Oh My Goodness !
    That head-piece is to die for !!!
    You look like a star!

    i just did a mini-feature on you on my blog!!!!
    Pop over ;)

  16. you look stunning in this 30s outfit. so glamorous!

    love your new header!

  17. I ADORE the stack of bracelets!!! Isn't it Cunard (is that right) who did that early on? BRILLIANT! ANd as always, I continue to love your sidebar! It gives us girlies so many reasons to continue to love being a woman! Hugs! ~Serene

  18. I love the perfect, history-evoking shapes here -- the bias-cut silk (night)gown, the fur cape, and the beaded cap. Thanks for the tip on bias-cut gowns -- I'd have bought to measurements before, but I definitely see your point and will add some roominess if I'm ever in the market - -which is very possible, seeing your delightful find.

  19. Hey! I saw your post on the Vintage Network. This is a great find and I can't believe you put together such a great outfit with accessories at such a great price! Nice name, by the way.

  20. LOVE LOVE LOVE the glamor of days gone by. This is divine. This blog is timeless.

  21. This nighties is just divine... especially the way i t is gathered at the bust


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