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Friday, November 15, 2013

Time Traveler

"Time travel is such a magic concept." ~Matt Smith

A friend of mine is doing a project at college that requires her to study gender roles in the nuclear family of the 1960s. She and I go a ways back, and we both have an avid interest in vintage fashion, so naturally she focused some on the way the fashion of the era reflected the cultural changes that were happening at the time. The sexual revolution and civil rights movement changed life as it had been, and all the rules in fashion began to break down, too. Before that, each season there would be hard and fast rules- one example was hemline length; 'this season hemlines are up by 1.5".' And if you didn't change your hemlines (and whatever else was dictated) you were immediately identifiable as being 'out of fashion,' and thus just plain dowdy. In the 60's all that changed- there were mini skirts, maxi skirts, pants became much more acceptable, and so on. Suddenly women didn't need to wear white gloves, both men and women no longer had to wear hats. It seems to me that a sense of 'formality' ended for good.

The great thing about this rich fashion history combined with all this wonderful freedom is that we can go back and look at the fashion, makeup and hairstyles of those past eras and borrow what works for us- what works with your figure, your coloring and your aesthetic. If you're like me and have a particular era that you love (for me that would be the 1940's) you can borrow any and all of it, any way you like. Of course, it'll 'read' differently now than it would were you back in the era that you're borrowing from, but that's fine. When referencing a bygone era you really, really express a sense of confidence in your own sense of style, and you'll stand out from everyone else. 

Another idea is to only borrow only one or two things- a style of skirt, or maybe a hairstyle or way or wearing lipstick- from said bygone era that work exceptionally well for you. This way the elements you've chosen won't necessarily stand out as being from that era, rather they'll just seem like a unique and personal expression of personal style. 

You could go to Pinterest and start a board with the era you like, pin away, and when done pinning go and look at what you've collected; you may see things about your likes you might not have been aware of before.  It's all good insight. Notice if there are specific requirements to make a look work the way you want it to- maybe you really only like that 20's bob when worn with fairly heavy dramatic makeup. Maybe you like 1930's hats, but only with a certain hairstyle, and so on.  Even if it winds up leading you down an unexpected path, it's bound to be an interesting exploration.

Go on, find you inner time traveler…..

Happy Dressing!