Musings of a Woman Exploring the Vintage Magic in our Lives

January 28, 2011

How To Get a Modern Day Louise Brooks/Flapper/1920's Look

In anticipation of my Louise Brooks hairdo (the cut with a new hairstylist..yikes...., next Friday) I've decided to share with you how to get the Louise Brooks/Flapper Look from  Enjoy!

How to get a modern day Louise Brooks/Flapper/1920's Look,
Louise Brooks at the height of her fame.

You may not know her name, but you should recognize her photo. Louise Brooks is most known today for her innovative style. Though she was not the first to wear the bob hairstyle, she was the first to popularize it. In fact, Louise Brooks is listed as one of the top 10 hairstyle trendsetters of all time.. Louise Brooks is and was the quintessential flapper of the raging 20's

  1.  The most important part of the flapper look is your hair. Flappers were known for shearing off their long locks and wearing bobbed hair - thus showing disdain for acceptable behavior and showing their own new sense of freedom. So, you need to decide what to do about your hair. 

    Just remember that many flappers had bangs or fringe because the forehead was considered not sexy. To modernize it, you could add some side swept bangs or longer bangs - most bangs in the 1920's were cut at just above the eyebrow so you could modernize it by wearing bangs that hit below the eyebrow. 

    Do you have long hair - are you unwilling to cut it? Don't worry, you can get the look easily. You have a couple choices. You could try a wig. There are many wigs out there that are natural looking that are made to look similar to flapper hair. Or you could try a faux-bob. It's really easy to achieve! Just use a large barrel curling iron to make large waves in your hair - try curling the sections in alternating directions so they don't all blend together. Then, decide what you want the length to be - jawline to mid-neck is the most universally flattering. Grab a bunch of bobby pins and start tucking the hair under and pinning it. Tada!

    Are you thinking about cutting your hair short? Many women are going shorter these days. Short hair is so much easier to take care of and you can easily look more modern and put-together. And despite many opinions, you can actually do more things with short hair than with long hair. You may not be able to pull it into your old stand-by, the ponytail, but you can easily have a different look each day of the week. For a flapper look, you'll want to keep hair between the earlobe and mid-neck length. Anything longer than mid-neck won't be able to qualify as even modern day flapper. Bangs are also something to think about - most young women of the day had bangs. To modernize the look, you could wear them swept to the side or long and blunt cut. You could even try choppy or wispy fringe.

    Whatever you decide, remember to keep hair at least mid-neck length or shorter!
  2. 2
    How lipstick was applied in the 1920's.
    How lipstick was applied in the 1920's.
    The next step to the modern flapper look is makeup. In the 1920's, a lot of makeup didn't exist and there were only a few colors available. Even though this is a more modern look that we're going for, you don't want to stray too far from the color choices or you'll miss the flapper look altogether. Most flappers were characterized by their pale, flawless skin; their dark lips; and their smoldering eyes. Some girls wore rouge (now called blush) on their cheeks - but only on the apples, not swept up to the temples like we wear it now. The only shades available were: red lipsticks (usually cherry scented), pink blush, black mascara (which was wax based and applied with a stick), ivory colored powder, and kohl eye makeup (no eyeshadows or other colors). Many women also shaved off their eyebrows and penciled them back on in the fashion of the era - it was considered fashionable to have very thin, downward sloping eyebrows.

    To modernize the look, start by cleansing and moisturizing your face. If you have uneven skin tone or lots of blemishes, you will need to apply a full coverage foundation that matches your skin. If you don't have uneven tone or lots of blemishes, you can probably get by with a tinted moisturizer. Then, use a concealer that matches your skin to cover up any blemishes that weren't covered by foundation. Brush on a translucent powder to set the look. If you must wear blush, try to go for a pink or pale peach. Put it on lightly, on the apples of your cheeks. If you're going somewhere special, a red or wine colored lip is mandatory. If you're going to work or it's daytime, try a berry colored lip instead. In the '20's, they applied lipstick to the cupid's bow area only - leaving the corners of lips bare. They also extended the lipstick past the line of the lips slightly to more define the cupid's bow - the final product were lips that looked like hearts. (See the added image!). To achieve a similar look in a more modern fashion, apply your lipstick with a brush making sure to define the cupid's bow. Start in the center of the lips and go outward - don't apply hardly any lipstick to the outer corners. You want the center of the lips to be the darkest and have more color than the outer corners. For the eyes, you'll want a volumizing and lengthening mascara. Curl lashes slightly and apply several coats until your lashes are super thick. If you're going out, you could also use black eyeliner to create a cat eye effect.
  3. 3
    Fashion ideas
    Fashion ideas
    And finally, you need to figure out what to wear. If you're going for a retro vibe, you could shop at vintage stores and flea markets to find clothing from the 20's. If you're trying to be more modern, just wear your normal, everyday fashions. To mix the two together, try simple shift dresses that don't have a lot of shape to them paired with more modern footwear. You could even throw in a few cloche hats into your everyday wardrobe - they make straw ones for summer and wool ones for winter (try!). You can throw on a couple long necklaces to add a little retro flare. The best thing to do to figure out what works best for you is to do a google image search for "1920's fashion" and look at the photos to see what you like. Then, try to find similar pieces and incorporate them into your wardrobe. Chances are, you probably have many similar items. For example, t-strap maryjane's were popular in the mid to late 1920's - and they're popular today as well! You either have a pair or you can find a pair at almost any shoe store. Long strands of pearls were popular back then and long necklaces are popular now. Chances are you can easily find a vintage inspired one at your local Target. Also, try the menswear trend out a little bit. In the 20's, many women were just starting to wear pants and trousers for the first time. Many women were experiencing freedom for the first time - finally, no more restrictive hair, corsets, or long dresses! You could also try a vintage inspired headband - Etsy has lots! Look under the 'handmade' section. Good luck!
I found this article fascinating. The women of the 20s were indeed the first feminists and they did it in style. Stay tune for next Friday's post when I will hopefully morph into Louise Brooks albeit with a 'witchy' edge.!

January 23, 2011

The Witchery Vintage Sunday Shop Update

I've been busy this weekend searching out the most amazing vintage finds for you! Here's what coming up this week at the Witchery Vintage!
1950s Mad Men cocktail dresses in satin brocade!

1960s Aqua chiffon babydolls
                                                              1960s Paris in the Spring mod trench coat
                                                                       with unique brass closures
**In the shop this week!

January 21, 2011

A Desiree for Spring!

As we are deadlocked in a cold snap with a -20C windchill, it is hard not to think of spring! Vintage clothing in the spring is like seeing the first tulips or crocuses of the year. Everything looks fresh and new even if you haven't seen your favourite vintage spring items put away since fall. I cannot help but be drawn to dresses from fab Etsy sellers who can't help but evoke signs of spring! Art DecoDame just seems to have that spring savoir faire. I recently received my new dress and just had to channel a bit of Audrey Hepburn while I tried it on and dreamed of spring!
Thank you Desiree for putting a bit of 'spring' in my step as I shovel snow once again!
Dress~1950s Floral Pleated Dress with muted brown with flowers splashing vibrant colors of aqua,turquoise and chartreuse from ArtDecoDame
Hat~my own hat collection
Clock~in need of batteries!

January 18, 2011

What I Found Today!

Sometimes us vintage gals can't help but share what wonderful finds we have procured! Today, on a whim, I dropped by the local Sally Ann only to be astounded to find both a gorgeous vintage brown beret and then to wander down the coat aisle to find a beautiful terracotta rust colour coat with a fox collar and belt! Some days just feel like you've won the vintage lottery!

Today's Vintage Romance♥

Today's Vintage Romance from The Witchery Vintage~

1950s baby pink cardi
1960s white lace bombshell slip
1960s white criss cross beaded handbag
~coming soon to the shop
*click on each photo to fully zoom in and see the lovely textures and details of these fine items

January 17, 2011

What I Wore Today

Today is apparently known as the 'saddest day' of the year for people. Well with people receiving their credit card bills in the mail, days upon days without sunshine and sub zero weather for most of us up here in the northern hemisphere, January has all the ingredients for one to get a case of the blahs! This doesn't have to be the case though! Fashion can get you out of the depressed state and change the way you see the world. Today I surprised everyone with a vintage colour block dress in vibrant royal purple and fuschia pink. My colleagues at work were all mostly wearing black but I definitely stood out! For my students who must live among a daily dose of green and black coloured uniforms, pink and purple was the definitely the 80s blast from the past everyone needed to brighten their day!

1980s Color Block Dress~coming soon to the Witchery Vintage
Hat and Belt~my own closet

January 15, 2011

Gothic Romance

"Catherine's face was just like the landscape--shadows and sunshine flitting over it in rapid succession; but the shadows rested longer, and the sunshine was more transient..."
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Ch. 27

 femme fatale (pronounced /ˌfɛm fəˈtæl/ or /ˌfɛm fəˈtɑːl/; French: [fam faˈtal], with all [a]'s) is a mysterious and seductive woman[1] whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. She is an archetype or stock character of literature and art. Her ability to entrance and hypnotize her victim was in the earliest stories seen as being literally supernatural, hence the most prosaic femme fatale today is still described as having a power akin to an enchantress, vampire, female monster or demon.

Here the tragically beautiful
And the beautifully tragic
Drift through this night
In a last quest for magic~

Valentine's Day is coming to The Witchery Vintage~
Lindsay is modelling a full length vintage 1980s black velvet and satin ballgown with opulent ruffle sleeves, perfect for your own gothic romance~

January 1, 2011

New Year's Eve Glam

The one thing I notice about people now is the concerted effort seemingly put on not dressing up. It doesn't mean that everyone should wear a dress or suit and tie to the mall..although many of us vintage gals do just that complete with a hat and gloves. Nevertheless, New Year's Eve gives us all a little excuse to glam it up a bit even if it's going out to dinner or to a friend's house for some cheer and good times.
This year I was fortunate enough to find a fabulous vintage gown from Vogue Vintage in Vancouver, B.C..
It is a late 60s/early 70s silver black glittery lurex fabric maxi dress with a matte slipper satin sailor collar with a plunging neckline and filigree jewel piece. I love this because I didn't require any other accessories other than a fun faux diamond bracelet.
Going out for dinner was fun because Dean and I were about the youngest couple there and most were dressed quite casually. I couldn't help but wonder if they had dressed up with a hat and gloves when they were young and it was actually the look!
Happy New Year to everyone !!!

Can't forget out the red lipstick and eyeliner! I discovered the perfect eyeliner pen that creates that Cat's Eye sweep too!
Dress~Vogue Vintage