Vintage Mauve Maxi | Noelle x Kristina

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This gazebo has become my go-to “oops, I procrastinated and now it’s raining” picture taking spot.But, hey. I do not hate it. It works perfectly with the way I interpreted this lovely, vintage mauve maxi from Kristina. When I initially saw the photos of this dress I fell in love with the ethereal quality that speaks to my Pre-Raphaelite tendencies, but once I had it in hand another style came to mind.

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Kristina had already knocked it out of the sartorial park with her boho inspired outfit. The boho look is definitely authentic to the decade that birthed this dress and depending on accessories, I could see it on either an earthy hippie or a glamorous disco queen. It even reminds me of a dress my ever-stylish grandmother wore in the seventies.

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But, when you really look into the history of fashion and the different eras it becomes clear that many style associated with the later half of the 20th century, in fact, have their roots in much earlier decades. While we might associate flutter sleeves and flowing skirts with the hippies of the sixties and the dancing queens of the seventies, the look actually made its modern debut in the 1930’s-1940’s world of Hollywood glamour. As easily as this style could have been worn by Donna Summer, the great Bette Davis could have donned it, as well. The similarities exist in the draping and the pleating, the use of the lightweight, flowing fabrics, and the Grecian inspired cuts. I mean, see? The ancient Greeks even did Old Hollywood before Hollywood did.

So, while I was first drawn to the earthy quality of the dress, when it was my turn to take a crack at it, I decided to pay homage to a whole different decade. An intricate, metallic belt, t-strap shoes, flowing hair, and matte lips take this look to the allure and the romance of the silver screen.

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Sunburst | Noelle x Kristina

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As promised, here is my colorful, retro inspired interpretation of the famous horse print dress! Last time I wore the dress (which you can see here), I brought this crazy print into our century and toned it down with some edgy, black accessories to show how wearable the dress actually was. This time around I’m embracing all it’s nutso, retro vibes and crazy colors because…just look at it’s awesomeness!

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Using the dress as a jumper layered over these billowy sheer sleeves harkens back the era the dress was born in. I feel like a secretary on the later seasons of Mad Men that just decided to go hang out in a field for the fun of it. Obviously, a true to era interpretation and a sunburst color palate isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure as heck is mine!

And now I have to say farewell to the most amazing dress ever so Kristina can be reunited with it. I can’t wait to see what it’s next adventure is going to be.

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Long Sleeved Dress: Thrifted | Horse Print Dress: Kristina | Shoes: Thrifted | Brooch: Antique Store | Lips: Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Beeper as a base and LA Girl Matte Flat Velvet Lipstick in Oh, La, La on top

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Plaid Cape | Noelle x Hannah

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Why have I spent my entire adult life not owning a cape?! They’re awesome and I mean that in the old sense of the word. Not just cool. They’re awe-inducing! My favorite bit is how easy they are to wear, which totally blew my mind. You can throw them over any kind of outfit and it’s like adding style sprinkles to a cookie. This outfit is as simple as jeans and a t-shirt  and yet it is so much more than that with the cape.

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I’ve always thought that capes would be difficult to wear. Something really “out there” that would stomp me. I could appreciate them on others, but when it came to me, I just didn’t think I would be able to figure out the equation. I looked at them and only saw “x + y(cape) = chic and dramatic” and I’m just awful at math. Well, I am so grateful to this group because I was able to play with something that scared me without making a commitment. I was able to discover how absolutely easy capes are.

What I learned during my time with Emily’s cape, and now Hannah’s, is if you treat them exactly like cute coats, they are pretty much foolproof. They seem to inspire overthinking, which makes sense. They are a tad “other” in the wardrobe world. At least they are in my Northface and yoga pants obsessed corner of the world. But, they don’t need to be. If you think of it as any other coat you can easily integrate it into your rotation of clothing without having to do any sort of wardrobe algebra. Now go out and wear all the capes!

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Cape: Hannah’s | Shirt: Olan Rogers Supply | Pants: Torrid | Shoes: Torrid | Hat: Boohoo

 

Collar Necklace | Noelle x Emily

 

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Emily was gracious enough to let me borrow this lovely scalloped collar shaped necklace. I was so excited when I saw it in her closet because it was so full of sweet little details. I not much for accessories, but this is exactly the kind of accessory that I would like to add to my collection. It’s a statement piece that mimics the characteristics of a collared shirt or dress. I was even more pleased when I saw it in person because it is solid. It’s heavy and thick and I imagine it could take a beating. Much like many women I know, it’s beautifully formed with sweet, delicate details and fortified with strength and resilience. Because it takes from both the hard and the soft it’s perfect for adding to any outfit.

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I wore it to mimic a collar on my floral sweater as a nod to the collegiate quality of my plaid driendl skirt. I love mixing this skirt up in different outfits because it has a distinct preppy style with its navy color and plaid print. Yet, the primary colored lines offer a chance to play up lots of different styles and colors. The skirt can be librarian chic, 1950’s sweet, or even spunky and ecclectic with a graphic tee and statement belt. I’m going to be putting it up for swap to see what the over lovely ladies can do with it!

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Sweater: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s | Skirt: Thrifted: Shoes: Payless | Necklace: Emily’s

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Red Cape | Noelle x Emily

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The one little tidbit I can tell you about my time with this lovely red cape is, you always feel fabulous when wearing a cape. It’s impossible not to. You’re one part super hero, one part Little Red Riding hood, and one part vintage sewing pattern illustration. That adds up to a whole lot of fierce, romantic chic. Plus, you can throw it on top of anything and look instantly amazing and I’m not sure there is anything else in this world that can get the job done the same way.

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I played around with a lot of looks and even attempted to photograph several of them but something always got in the way. Whether it was bad lighting, rain, or a forgotten camera battery, something was always stopping me. Ultimately, I landed on this outfit because it reminded me of work wear featured on the previously mentioned vintage sewing pattern illustrations and it wasn’t a direction I have seen featured with the cape yet. I also found that while Emily and Kristina paired the cape with long silhouettes, I preferred short and sweet on my body as the length of the cape plays of the length of the skirt and gives the illusion that my legs are longer than they really are.

I just might have a more modern and playful look up my sleeve for later because I can’t stop myself with all these gorgeous borrowed items! But, shhhh….don’t give my unmitigated gusto away to everyone else.

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Horse Print Dress | Noelle x Kristina

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When I first discovered Shaped by Style, through Hannah’s blog, the very first post I ever read was about this dress and I was hooked. They had me at brightly colored, vintage horse print. So, I knew exactly which swap item I wanted my first post to be about!

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I was a little nervous about it fitting but I didn’t need to be, at all. This dress is a great example of how versatile clothing can be on different bodies. On Emily and Hannah it holds it shape while floating away from the body in a pleasing a-line silhouette. On me and a pregnant Kristina it hugs all the curves and baby bumps of our bodies quite nicely. The fit looks intentional on all of us and makes me believe this dress comes with a touch of magic.

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This will not be the last time you see me in this dress. Trust me. I felt a little manic when I pulled it out of the package and started wildly grabbing things out of my closet to see what it looked the best with. Did I want to go nuts with a rainbow of layers? Well, yeah. But that’s coming later. For my first attempt at styling it, I wanted to illustrate how a vintage dress with an almost ridiculous print can fit into a modern, even edgy, aesthetic. Pairing it with trendy black pieces, like ankle boots and a motorcycle jacket, updates the style in a cool, sleek way and also frames the dress allowing those great saturated colors to pop. My trusty herringbone tights provide coverage but also highlight my legs and eliminate the possibility of this dress looking too “old-fashioned.”

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Thank you so much to Kristina for being a genius thrifter and rescuing this beauty from being turned into a Halloween costume. Then continuing it’s story further and delivering it into the hands of bloggers all across the country. You are doing this dress a great service!

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Chocolate, Mint, & Red | Lyndsey x Noelle

IMG_2634I think it’s very obvious to tell when I absolutely love one of my outfits. This, is one of those. I LOVED styling Noelle’s flowy, red chevron skirt!!! I pushed myself out of my styling boundaries and decided to couple red and mint together, (which I’ve been loving on everyone else for a seriously long time), but have never made it work for me. I feel like a walking mint chocolate ice-cream cone in a red chevron wrapper. It’s gotta be awesome if it makes you feel like one of your favorite foods. ;DIMG_2445IMG_2719IMG_2484Untitled-1IMG_2640OUTFIT DETAILS:
Payless red jewel necklace
Thrifted chocolate cardigan
Citi Trends mint tank
Noelle’s chevron skirt
Walmart brown leggings
Shoe Dept in Savannah cream suede boots
Belk cross earrings
Gifted gold earrings (from Grandmother), gold rings (from hubby), gifted quilted purse from Hannah

Noelle | The Classy Junk

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With a quirky and unapologetically girly sense of style, I’m a chronic overdresser proving beauty is for everyone. I spend my days hiding in the bathroom to read, cursing at my sewing machine, and hanging out with my three children. I spend my nights blogging over at The Classy Junk about style, the joys of every day life, and what inspires me in this big, old world.
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In years past I never would have deemed myself talented enough, pretty enough, or worthy enough to flounce around taking pictures of myself. But, my passion lies in crafting a vignette with my identity. Fashion, for me, is deeply rooted in my childhood zeal for playing dress up. Building up a character in my mind, making her whole through clothes and baubles, and relishing in being the embodiment of her is a thrill that fuels me. I’ve never grown out of dramatic play and yet I let my insecurities diminish me. But, I grew tired of being a faded version of myself to please others. This is my only life and I decided to live it for me. Body shape and beauty ideals no longer constrict me because I choose not to let them matter. If I want to be pretty, I am pretty because that’s what’s inside of me. Allowing myself to have that, doing that kindness for myself, opened my eyes to the power of positivity.

That’s when I started advocating for positivity, things that exist just for simple joy, and the celebration of all people. Beautiful things fill me with life and are the tools I use to craft my happy soul and the cool thing that I discovered is happy souls like to throwing kindness around like it’s confetti on New Year’s Eve.

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My sense of style is multifaceted and I’m always finding ways to balance my quirky, colorful side with the darker, more sophisticated grown up that is emerging. Some days I want to be a little girl again in floral tea dresses and other days I want to feel like a starlet from old Hollywood in slinky, lux fabrics. But elements that will always remain constant in my style are flippy skirts, pretty prints, and things with teeny tiny little buttons.

I’m so excited to be here and start this journey with these wonderful ladies!

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Tips for Buying Vintage for Curvy Women

Today I’m sharing my tips for buying vintage and vintage inspired styles for curvy & plus size women. Like many of the other Shaped by Style members I’ve always loved hunting the thrift stores and estate sales to find that perfect vintage piece to add to my collection. The only issue is that as a plus size woman sometimes it can be hard to find a vintage piece that fits my curves! Any readers have this issue? I hear ya, I do too!

Today I’m sharing my top three tips for buying vintage for curvy women with you. I hope these tips help you find the perfect figure flattering vintage or vintage inspired piece!

I love history as much as I love vintage fashion, so first a little detour explaining why it can be hard for curvy & plus size women to find vintage styles with a that fit. As 1950’s styles are among my favorites I’m going to focus on the top three reasons why I think clothing from this era can be particularly hard for curvy women to fit:

1. Rationing ends with World War Two in 1945
With the end of WWII the American economy experienced an economic boom when supply rationing ended and men returned to work. In contrast to the simple & functional a-line styles of the 1940s (dictated by women in the workforce while men were at war & the lack of fabric/thread) garments from the 1950s were enhanced with newly available synthetic fabrics like tafetta & nylon and featured excess fabric to create details like gatherings and pleats. Not to mention an array of undergarments were created, like petticoats, corsets, girdles and cone bras, to help support the construction of 1950s style dresses and achieve the en vogue hourglass figure.

2. Rise of Conformity
Now, I don’t know why the 1950s are synonymous with conformity, but we all know that they are. There was a standard that women were expected to achieve and that standard was a small waist, shapely bust & behind with a delicate bone structure. Did you know that the industry standard for 1950’s dress making was to cut patterns with a waist 10″ smaller than the bust?

3. Changing roles for women
As men returned home from war & went back to work women returned to the home. An increased focus was placed on finding a husband and becoming the perfect homemaker. And that meant clothing served a single function: helping a woman to find the perfect husband and once he was found to keep appearances perfect. Since the ideal body type of the fifties was an hourglass clothing and undergarments were created to support this figure.

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Now where does this leave the liberal, bra burning, 6 foot tall, broad shouldered woman with muscular thighs and calves from road racing in my early 20s coupled with a love of cake that’s caused me to recently gain some weight? Well, since I also happen to love vintage fashion & 1950s styles its left me in quite a lurch.

Luckily for myself, and you- lovely Shaped by Style reader, I’ve developed some tips for buying vintage for curvy women.

Here are my top three tips for buying vintage for curvy & plus size women:
1. Look for princess seams

Princess seams are a type of dart on the inside of a piece of clothing. They are usually sewn into the bust of the garment to give extra support & definition to the figure. They act as a type of built in shape wear without being constricting like shape wear separates.  If you find a piece of clothing with princess seams there is another reason to hold onto it: princess seams are usually, but not always, indicative of  higher quality.

Here is what the princess seams on the inside of my red vintage inspired dress look like:

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vintage inspired plus size red dress
2. Favor ruching, gathering & shirring
Ruching, gathering and shirring are 3D textural effects on clothing. They do an excellent job at smoothing over and disguising any lumps & bumps. They were also commonly used during the 1950s so it isn’t too hard to find pieces from this era or vintage inspired items with these forgiving details.

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3. Look for thick fabrics and do the “quarter test”
Similar to ruching, gathering and shirring a thick fabric will drape nicely over curves and prevent clinging to areas that you are uncomfortable with. Bonus points if there is a textural overlay- like these sequins.

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plus size sequin dress
Remember your plus size vintage buying cheat sheet includes:

– princess seams
– textural details
– the “quarter test”

If you are looking for some vintage and vintage inspired plus size pieces to add to your wardrobe I recommend:
Pinup Girl Clothing– online & in select stores vintage inspired boutique with styles (and models!) from XS to 4X
Owl and the Boy Vintage– an Etsy shop ran by our very own Kristina from Eccentric Owl. She recently added a bunch of plus size vintage styles.
Bread and Roses Vintage– our own Emily from Bread and Roses Vintage has a plus size section in her Etsy shop as well

I hope this post was useful to you! Would you like to see more educational style posts like this? Any style questions you need answered?

Fuchsia and Floral | Lyndsey x Rebecca

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Rebecca’s fuchsia blouse, thrifted floral skirt, Payless gold glitter flats, JCPenney hoop earrings, Michael’s wood leaf necklace, gifted gold rings.
Hey dolls! I hope y’all had a fantastic 4th of July weekend. As soon as I saw this fuchsia blouse was up for grabs I had to have it. Fuchsia is one of my favorite colors, plus the cut, the sleeves, the lightweight fabric.. its everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a top!! Unfortunately, it was a tad too tight in the boobs, so I left the top 2 buttons undone and umm.. vavavoom!), but I couldn’t help but fall in love with it anyway. The top doesn’t match the skirt (as in, there are no identical colors in the skirt and top), and yet it matches perfectly? I think it brings the pinks/purples together to form a big monochromatic fuchsia family. I loved that about it!Fuschia & FloralFuschia & Floral
Last Tuesday I decided to get blonde highlights! I’m loving me some blonde hair at the moment- it just feels so Summery and boho. We’re going to the beach this coming week and boy am I ecstatic about it! I’m going to be wearing the most boho/Summery things I can find. Isn’t it strange how changing your hair changes everything?? ;P
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Thanks to Rebecca for letting me borrow this super cute top!! XOX

Lyndsey Signature