Tag Archive | vintage

Back to Basics: Your Guide for Channelling the 1950’s

In order to achieve the perfect 1950s fashion look, you need to know and understand the fashion trends of the era. I have done some research over time and here is what I have found are the key pieces:

  1. Swing dresses
  2. Petticoats for fullness
  3. Slim sheath dresses
4. Tailored suits 5. Pencil / poodle Skirts6. Cape 7. Circle skirts 8. Capri / cigarette pants 9. High waisted jeans 10. Crew Neck cardigan 11. Peter pan collar blouses 12. Bolero 13. Twin set cardigan sweaters 14. Swing coats in winter 15. Neck scarf 16. Kitten heels, saddle shoes, stiletto heels 17. Small hats, headscarves, hair flowers18. Pearls, brooches, sweater clips 19. Gloves, belt, handbag 20. Buttlet bra, girdle, backseam stockings

I hope this has helped you gain more of an understanding of the fashion trends of the 1950s, to help you achieve your look.

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Ridiculously Retro Xx

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Woodstock 1969

Three days of Peace and Music

An advertisement for Woodstock 1969
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On the 50th anniversary of Woodstock it seemed only fitting to write about it… I have been watching so many documentaries and interviews recently of stories from people that attended!

Woodstock was held at a dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York and ran from 15th August to 18th August 1969. It was organised by four men all in their 20s. The idea behind the event was to make enough money to build a recording studio near the arty New York town of Woodstock, and it is now known as the most famous and most talked about concert throughout history.

Michael Lang, one of the guys who organised Woodstock
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There were over 500,000 people who attended the three day concert. The tickets were originally sold for $18 in advance and $24 at the gate, but the fence was so flimsy it was knocked down and hundreds of thousands more people attended for free. They ran out of food on the Friday night and resorted to concession workers from Food for Love. The army had to air lift in the supplies and the performers. One thing we can learn from this event and the hippy generation is that with 500,000 concert goers there was no violence that occurred – just peace ✌️

The audience at Woodstock
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The line up of artists was incredible and included:

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • The Who
  • Janis Joplin
  • Grateful Dead
  • Joe Cocker
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  • Joan Baez
  • Santana
  • Richie Havens
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears
  • and so many others
Janis Joplin at Woodstock
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The Who at Woodstock
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Wow… how impressive!!

There was a lot of nudity, music, love making, drugs, yoga in the fields, fun and games, dancing, and a whole lot more love making and drugs. In interviews they described themselves as “spawning in the water like fish”, swimming and bathing in the same water. There were other stories of babies being born in the fields but no evidence is available.

Audience at Woodstock
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The concert ended with Jimi Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
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It would have been a life changing experience to have attended Woodstock. This 3-day festival has changed the world, becoming a cultural touchstone and paving the way for rock festivals and outdoor concerts we attend today.

DIY Retro Oven Mitt and Hot Pad

If you have been wanting to replace your old oven mitt and hot pad then why not make your own! I am going to help you through an easy step by step guide to making an oven mitt and hot pad in your favourite retro fabric to suit your retro kitchen. It is an easy project and takes very little time to make. You can use left over fabric and the only cost may be the heat proof insulated wadding, which you will need 1/2 a metre of, depending on its width.

What You Will Need:

  1. Insulated wadding
  2. Retro fabric
  3. Matching Ribbon
  4. Matching cotton
  5. Sewing machine
  6. Paper & pen
  7. Scissors

Mitt

1. To begin with, trace around your hand on a piece of paper. Do an over exaggerated trace as I have done in the picture below. This allows for any size hand to use the glove and also ease to pull on and off.

Cut around the trace.

2. Use this as your pattern for cutting out your fabric piece. You will need 4 pieces of your retro fabric for the glove, cutting it to the pattern shape. I used 4 pieces of fabric as I prefer the inside of the glove to be fabric rather than wadding as I do not like the feel of wadding on my hand.

3. Next, cut out all your wadding. You will need 4 pieces of your wadding for the glove, cutting it to the pattern shape. This will give you extra padding from the heat.

4. Now grab two pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of your wadding and pin together matching up all sides evenly and having the correct side of fabric on the outside and wadding on the inside. Sew close to the edges on all sides leaving no openings.

5. Do the same with the remaining two pieces of fabric and two pieces of wadding. Once again, pinning together, matching up all sides evenly and sewing close to the edges.

6. Now you can pin the two sewn pieces together leaving the bottom piece open, as this allows your hand to enter. On one side before you get to the end of the seam add a ribbon loop along the seam (do the loop on the inside as we will be turning the glove through so the seams are on the inside & the hoop will then be on the outside ) This loop will allow you to hang your mitt, see picture below.

Once sewn turn the glove inside out so the seams are on the inside (not showing)

7. Now you can hem the bottom or use the remaining ribbon to hem, like I have done below.

Hot Pad

This is a really easy process:

1. Cut out fabric 2 squares & 2 wadding squares. It is usually recommended that you do a square 17.5cm x 17.5cm, but it is really up to you.

2. Place fabric pieces right sides together and wadding on the outside, then sew all sides together leaving a 5cm gap to pull it through to the right side

3. When you have pulled it completely through to the right side. Use a knitting needle or something similar to push the corners to check they are through completely. Then you can finish sewing the seam closed. As you sew the seam closed you can use ribbon to make a loop for easy hanging.

4. To tidy it up, I like to stitch around the edges.

Your kitchen mitt and hot pad is now complete

Let me know how you go, I would love to see your finished product!

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Style Me Vintage

If you were looking for some step-by-step instructions or some inspiration on how to recreate and achieve vintage looks in clothing, makeup, hair or accessories then I suggest Style Me Vintage! Style Me Vintage are an excellent range of books to guide and teach you how to achieve some great looks. There are also editions focused on recreating a vintage home and hosting a vintage tea party or wedding.

 

There are a variety of Style Me Vintage books to choose from:

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Inside each book you will find so many wonderful ideas! Here are my favourite examples from the five books that I have purchased:

1. Style Me Vintage Accessories…

If you need help to achieve your final polished authentically vintage look, this is the book for you! It provides a guide on how to correctly identify items to attain your look, in terms of sunglasses, jewellery, hats, gloves, scarves, bags and shoes. The book provides looks ranging from the 1920s right through to the 1980s.

 

2. Style Me Vintage Home…

This book is a fantastic guide to help you achieve the vintage home that you desire. It will guide you from the 1920s to the 1970s on what was the classic look of each era.

 

3. Style Me Vintage Clothes

This book has plenty of information on specific details of vintage clothing, from the 1920s to the 1980s, and how to recognise vintage labels. There is also some handy tips on how to repair and maintain vintage clothing, and some great tips on developing your own unique vintage style!

4. Style Me Vintage Hair

This book has some useful step-by-step easy guides on hair styles such as: finger waves, pin curls, 1940s waves, victory rolls, the poodle, and beehives. There are also great guides on how to incorporate accessories, such as headscarves.

5. Style Me Vintage Make-up

This book is FULL of fabulous tips to help you achieve your classic makeup look. It gives you the tools and step-by-step guides for all the classic makeup looks from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Whatever is your vintage style, I am sure that you will find the collection of Style Me Vintage books exceptionally useful as they are full of handy tips and information to guide you through. Let me know which Style Me Vintage books have helped you. I would love to hear!

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Ridiculously Retro Xx

1950’s Ladies Gloves

In the early 1950’s, ladies were required to wear gloves as etiquette and as part of fashion. They wore gloves that match their shoes or their outfit, while some ladies wore traditional white gloves. Fashionable ladies would wear striped gloves or patterned with matching scarves. Not only fashionable, gloves were also worn to warm hands.

1950s Glove advertisement

The 1950’s glove etiquette for ladies was that gloves had to be worn in most public places, including the streets of cities and large towns, at church, to a luncheon or dinner, reception, a dance, theatre, restaurant, wedding and any official function. Smart ladies wore gloves on trains, buses and trams.

When wearing formal wear, ladies needed to wear elbow-length gloves. This made a person look fashionable and glamorous.

Everyday gloves were not fancy or piped or in contrasting colours. Ladies kept everyday gloves very simple, like all the basics in their wardrobe.

Brides had to keep their hands covered. A bride wearing short sleeves had to wear long gloves but had to slip her hand out easily for the wedding ring.

Bracelets could be worn over gloves but never rings.

Marilyn wearing bracelets over her gloves

Some ladies wore leather gloves. They could be deerskin or cowhide. For warmth some wore theirs lined with sheepskin but this meant the gloves looked bulkier.

Ladies wearing their gloves

A lady only removed her gloves before eating, drinking, smoking, playing cards or putting on makeup. Long gloves remained on at all times at dances. Gloves even remained on when shaking someones hands. At a restaurant, a lady removed her coat, then was seated and could only then remove her gloves.

To me, I think gloves are very stylish and I love to wear them at formal outings to match my vintage outfit. What do you think of gloves? Stylish or not? Let me know your thoughts.

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Ridiculously Retro Xx

1950s Lessons On Poise and Personality

According to books from the 1950s, a woman’s deportment and posture are complimentary to a woman’s over-all look. Some ideas are quite questionable in today’s society.

Firstly, you should always stand with feet together and back straight. Breathe in, tuck in your arms and make sure no elbows stick out. This will make you look younger and more attractive. You can practice with books on your head.

Always walk with a bright, springy walk, like a ballerina. Don’t thump your feet.

The way you hold your handbag can put years on your age. Don’t hang it on your arm like a waiters napkin. Always carry it swinging by the handle in your hand.

When sitting, keep legs together with feet placed nicely side by side. Crossed legs are permissible nowadays if your skirt does not ride up. Keep hands restful on your lap, with your tummy in and shoulders straight. Now you look trim, alert and ladylike. Don’t flop into a chair, feel the seat with the back of your legs then slowly sit down and never moan even if your feet hurt. On rising, your hands should remain in front of you and step springily forward. Always smiling.

The tone of your voice and the manner in which you express yourself will be impressionable on those you meet. Mispronunciation of words or ignorance of the more complex rules of grammatical expressions need to be remedied immediately. You should be knowledgeable but never argue your opinions. Examine your voice for defects by taping it and listen to it back, then work on the necessary pitch, tone and improve your speech. Speak slowly and try to remove any slang.

In social situations you must always be interesting but also be a good listener. Never be a bore. It is noted that unless you are a raving beauty, strangers are not at all interested in you, unless you can prove that you are an interesting person (haha wow)!

Some of the above suggestions are quite questionable in today’s society and you certainly wouldn’t want to teach your daughter all these out-of-date guidelines but the 50s society was different than today. What do you think of these guidelines? I would love to hear.

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Ridiculously Retro Xx

Chromefest 2018

On the last weekend of October, I attended Chromefest, held over 3 days at the Entrance.

On the Friday the Chromefest starts with the arrival of all the classic cars. There was over 400 show cars to admire and take photos. On Sunday there were also retro caravans displayed. Below are some of the photos that I took:

There was a retro market with a lot of stalls to make special purchases including: Blue Belle Vintage Clothing, Rainbows n Fairies, Plus Size Pin Up, Koolcarz T-shirt’s, Leo’s Vintage, Bread and Butter Vintage, to name a few. I made some cool purchases too!

Then there was the entertainment featured on two stages: DJ Jimmy D, Matchbox, The Hitmakers, Mr James Band, Midnight Drifters, The Hellcats 3, The Rattlesnakes, Jumpin’ Juke Box, The Lincoln’s, The Class of ’58, Itchy Fingers and Elvis tribute artists. There was also the Sydney Swing Katz performing the Charleston, Swing, Lindy Hop and Rock’n’Roll. They were enthusiastic and so professional!

There was a kids zone for kids to enjoy.

Vintage glam workshops were being held. A vintage glamour fashion parade was held that anyone could enter.

instagram.com/pinupdollaustralia

There was also the annual Pin Up Australia Competition Finals.

Pinup Doll Finalists

This is a national pinup competition run by pinups for pinups. The pinups compete in 3 sections ‘Pinup by Beach’ celebrating The Entrance, ‘Pinup by Hotrod’ celebrating hot rods and ‘Pinup Star’ celebrating pinups through history. They also work for three months raising funds for ‘Share the Dignity’. ‘Share the Dignity’ gives sanitary products to homeless women and fights for domestic violence victims. Both are very worthwhile causes!

The whole Chromefest experience is really enjoyable and well worth attending. My husband and I absolutely loved the whole experience!

Have you been to Chromefest? Let me know what you thought, I would love to hear! I found it to be a fantastic weekend and I will be back next year. If you haven’t been then try to get to Chromefest 2019. Check it out at http://www.chromefest.org or Facebook.com/chromefest

Back soon……

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Tiki Safari

On Saturday, my friends and I went to the Tiki Safari held by Barfly Promotions, the makers of the Sydney Rock ‘n’ Roll & Alternative Market

at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville.

The Factory Theatre Marrickville

It was a fantastic afternoon and night! The event is held annually at the Factory Theatre, however it was my first time. What a great place to hold an event, with three levels and an outdoor area!

At the Tiki Safari

There was some fantastic stalls, including Blue Belle Vintage Clothing, Heart Shaped House Vintage, Bred and Butter Vintage, Beyond the Sea Swimwear, Shramek Art and a Tiki mug stand.

I purchased some great items too: leopard capris, green ‘Dolores’ top, retro salt and pepper shaker, tribal doll and a few hair accessories.

And food stands, including Bovine and Swine Barbecue Co, which was delicious, or a chicken and chips stall.

Bovine & Swine Barbeque Co

There was fantastic performers, including DJ Andy Travers, Los Monaros, Hellcat III, Pacific Dreamz Polynesian Dancers, DJ Rod Almighty, Pat Capocci, DJ Jay Katz , Rosa Maria and Thurston Howlers…. and you could not resist dancing along! It was fantastic live entertainment!!

Hellcat III

Pacific Dreamz Polynesian Dancers

Roda Maria

Thurston Howlers

There was a Tiki Fashion Parade too, full of gorgeous retro tiki outfits.

Source credit: https://instagram.com/heartshapedhousevintage?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=1cs0xz7aox1my

It was a fantastic event, and we will definitely be back next year. Can’t wait!! Have you ever been to the Tiki Safari or something similar? Let me know about you experience.

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Ridiculously Retro xx

The Secret to Women’s Exercise Routine in the 1950’s

You don’t need big bucks to get fit! Women in the 1950’s proved this. Women did not strive to go to the gym to stay fit like we do today, as they walked the kids to school, walked to supermarkets, carried heavy vacuums and other household appliances and many other manual tasks. With our modern technology, women in the 1950’s spent a lot more time on their feet compared to us. All these strenuous duties was one way to get fit!

A 50s woman working hard

Research actually suggests that the average 50’s woman would burn 1000 calories a day, where as the modern woman only burns on average, around 556.

Exercise in the 1950s

In 1953, the first televised program for women’s exercise began. It was nationally televised in 1959, called the Jack LaLanne Show. It mainly consisted of calisthenics.

The Jack LaLanne Exercise Show

In the 50’s a work out consisted of calisthenics, hula hooping, yoga, bike riding or dancing.

  1. Calisthenics

In the early 50’s, calisthenic exercises were published in books. Women would practice these exercises in their homes, often during the day, when alone. Later, classes began so women could attend them and meet friends. They became more popular due to Jack LaLanne’s TV Show.

In modern times, calisthenics is similar to what we call aerobics or pilates. Locate your closest gym and give an aerobics or pilates class a try. It is fun, energetic and a great socialising experience!

Calisthenics became popular in the 50s

2. Hula hooping is a great ab work out, and is really fun. Why not just pick up your kids hula hoop and give it a go, you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is!

Hula Hooping

3. Yoga is seen as a form of relaxation, toning the body, and increasing metabolism. Once control of the body has been completely mastered, the mind is ready for meditation. It was practiced at home, guided by a book.

Nowadays there a plenty of yoga studios you could try, and plenty of online yoga YouTube videos!

Yoga

4. Bike riding is great for exercising and is great for socialising! You could purchase a bicycle to ride around your town. Many councils have installed bicycle tracks around local communities. Alternatively, you could purchase an indoors exercise bike, or use one at your local gym. Exercise bikes still achieve great results, and are convenient in the comfort of your own home!

Bike Riding

5. Dancing in the 50’s was also great exercise… Be it rock ‘n’roll, swing, jitterbug, boogie-woogie or bop! All dancing is a great exercise and a great form of socialising. There are many schools today, that teach 50s dancing:

https://swingpatrol.com/

https://www.swingdancedownunder.org/schools/

https://www.allaboutswing.com.au/

http://simplyswing.com.au/

Try it out, you will love it! I have enrolled in classes to commence soon. I am so excited! I will tell you how I go.

Dancing in the 50s

Maybe we should take a few of these ideas from the 1950’s women and put them into practice in our modern busy lives. I love bike riding, yoga and I am about to learn some rock’n’roll dancing! More of that in my later blogs…

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro xx

Reference:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2176971/1950s-housewives-kept-slim-burning-calories-housework.html

Images: Reference photo, Cleaning image, yoga image from Woman’s World – M.A. White

Spring Cleaning – the 50s way

In the 1950’s, it was expected for a housewife to keep her house spotlessly clean and well managed.

She was also expected to keep the family well organised and cook meals at set times. It was her mission in life for the household to be well organised and everything cleaned regularly!

The cleaning routine would usually begin as soon the kids walked off to school.

Although expectations of women in society have changed (thank god!), some of their cleaning tips could still be relevant today…

To start spring cleaning here are some tips:

Firstly, put on your favourite 50’s music, a 50’s spring dress, an apron and begin!

1. Cleaning mirrors or windows –

  • Collect supplies in your cleaning caddy to easily move from window to window
  • Use a lint-free cloth to save heavy scrubbing
  • Moisten the cloth with methylated spirits in water
  • Use lengthwise strokes outside and crosswise strokes inside to see if you missed a spot
  • Polish with a dry duster

2. Washing curtains –

  • Simply wash in the washing machine
  • Hang out to dry in the sun

3. Cleaning blinds –

  • Hang blinds out on the clothesline
  • Wash with a hose, scrubbing at the same time
  • Leave them in the sun to dry

4. Cleaning the stove –

  • Newspaper is ideal for cleaning tops of stoves
  • Inside stove, remove all removable parts and clean in warm soapy water

5. Cleaning the refrigerator –

  • Defrost with a bowl of hot water placed in the fridge. Replace it each time it starts to get cold.
  • Clean the inside
  • Wipe over the exterior of the fridge with a cloth smeared in vanilla essence

6. Cleaning the sinks –

  • Clean with methylated spirits or warm flour for an added lustre
  • Wash your wooden cutting boards with hot water and vinegar to eliminate rawness
  • Use baking soda to unblock drains

7. Cleaning kitchen cupboards –

  • Remove all the items
  • Wash the inside and outside of the cupboard
  • Hang dried lavender in the kitchen to help make it smell lovely
  • Combine lemon juice and borax to remove rust from porcelain and ceramics
  • To remove rust and stains from stainless steel utensils, use a fine grain sand paper,  then rub with a slice of onion and rinse in hot water
  • Once the cupboard is dry, tidily place back all the utensils

8. Cleaning the shower curtain –

  • Take the shower curtain on to the lawn and scrub with a nail brush and warm soapy water
  • Hose it well
  • Allow the shower curtain to dry on the clothesline

9. Cleaning the toilet –

  • Wash with borax and water, then flush well. You can scrub any stains with lemon juice and borax

10. Cleaning the bath –

  • Smear wet soap powder over the bath, leave overnight and rinse well the next day
  • Vinegar or salt and lemon can remove stains
  • Wrap a bunch of eucalyptus around your shower head to keep shower head and bathroom smelling fresh

11. Cleaning the tiles –

  • Clean with methylated spirits or kerosene

12.  Cleaning brushes and combs –

  • Remove hair from brushes and combs
  • Soak in water with a few drops of ammonia

13. Cleaning the floors –

  • Remove all items and furniture
  • Mop bathroom and kitchen floors
  • Steel wool can be used for marks on lino floors

14. Polishing furniture –

  • Pour olive oil on a clean cloth and rub wooden furniture
  • Polish lightly with a dry lint-free cloth
  • Wicker furniture can be rubbed with vegetable oil to protect from cracking
  • For water rings, put a dry cloth over it and warm iron
  • If your books smell musty, sprinkle a little baking soda over it and leave to dry
  • Rub vanilla extract on light globes for a sweet swelling room

15. Cleaning the carpet –

  • Remove all items of the room & thoroughly vacuum
  • Stains can be removed with baking soda mixed in water

16. Cleaning the walls –

  • Remove all pictures and hangings and clean them
  • Clean walls with a duster
  • To remove mould from walls, spray area with undiluted white vinegar

17. Cleaning winter manchester –

  • Manchester must be washed and hung out to dry thoroughly
  • Fold in linen cupboard with a few drop of vanilla essence on a piece of fabric on each shelf

Featured image

All images from Woman’s World-  M.A. White

Home remedies can sometimes produce even better results than store-bought products! Hope you have a fun time trying these tips, and let me know how it all goes!

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx