Fashion Icon: Judy Garland


Sunday evening I watched one of my most favorite musicals…Easter Parade.  I always look for it to be on TV around Easter, and was happy to find it once again!  While it does deal loosely with Easter, the majority of it surrounds dancing duo Judy Garland and Fred Astaire as they work to make it big.  Of course the whole film capitulates with the yearly Easter Parade, where women don the most extravagant hats and stroll around town.  Lovely!

So I am clearly still on a Judy Garland high and felt that a special post was in order.  Now there is a large amount of research, articles, and books written on Miss Garland, and this is in no way another one.  Instead, I thought I would find a few photos of the talented actress in a few lovely outfits and share them with all of you!

So here we go!

I adore this blouse and skirt combo.  The skirt appears to consist of several gores that meet at the waist.  Adorable!


Not only does the fun ooze from this picture, so does the sweetness of the outfit.  From the gloves to the hat, this ensemble is perfect.  I really like how the bottom of the jacket turns up to expose the lining that matches the revers collar.


This might be my most favorite picture of her ever!  A soft blonde in the most amazing shade of rose I have ever seen!  Whether this has been altered after the fact, or if it truly was the shade she was wearing, it doesn’t matter.  I adore it!


A unique outfit as it goes all the way to the floor, this dress is only made sweeter by the addition of the scarf around the head.  And of course, Shirley Temple looks adorable too!


Taken in the late 1950’s, this suit features a long jacket over a skirt.  A very popular look at the time.


If all this fashion has put you in the mood to watch some Judy Garland movies, may I recommend a few of my favorites:

The Clock


The Pirate


The Harvey Girls


Happy Watching!


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The Charm of Dress: Accessories


“Of course, you know the woman who dresses like every other women?  You remember her in sort of a collective sense, and it is not a a very pleasing sense either.  She is a duplicate that makes no distinct impression on your mind.  She lacks personality.  She simply goes along.

Perhaps it is her manner which is devoid of character.  Perhaps it is her dress which is without individual charm.  But whatever the reason of the defect, there must be a remedy for it.

Since there are dress talks, let us consider the responsibility of dress in achieving distinctiveness, always remembering that when dress reaches its perfection a perfect manner attends it.


If all women dressed alike, no matter how rich the fabric or how chic and clever the cut, their dress would be accepted without being noticed.  A uniform has its greatest distinction either when it has never been seen except on one person alone, and thus the sense of uniformity is entirely eliminated, or when it is worn by a number of persons acting together, because then it gives the impression of an individual charm.

Charm in dress is hard to define, yet all are swift to recognize it.  There is always an unexpected quality in it. It piques and holds the attention throughout a variation which is an improvement of the usual.


And this unexpected quality is most often the expression of individual taste, introduced into the costume by different smart little accessories.  These give the touch of life to dress which saves it from monotony.

Of course, the wearing has much to do with it.  To each woman who wishes always to look her best, the accessory is often a saving grace.

Style and fashion are the features of the dress, but accessories are its expression.  The dress which lacks accessories – touches of individual taste – is like the dress on a form in the shop.  It is dumb.  The dress which is vibrant with impressions is the dress which reveals the life of the wearer.  It is distinctive, because its accessories make it so. They sound the personal note.


An accessory may be a very humble detail of dress and yet give tone to the whole costume.  In selecting accessories for different costumes, it is important that the right accessory be used with the right costume.  In an attractive face, you know, the features and the expression match.  Together they make what charms.

The young woman, or the older woman for that matter, who has tried and found becoming some special accessory, should wear it so often that it is associated with her.  She should make it her own.

Wealth may buy these things, or thrift may make them; but it is taste that must put them on.  Taste, then, is the one thing needful.  Without it, a woman is clad; with it, a woman is dressed.




The Magic of Dress: by Grace Margaret Gould.  1911

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What a Difference a Collar Can Make!

collar cover

Have an old dress that could use an update?  Your latest sewing experiment didn’t turn out so well?  Can’t find just the right necklace to complete an outfit?  

Have you tried a collar?  

Take a look at these examples of 1930’s gowns that feature collars in various forms.





The beauty of a collar, whether ruffly or simple, is it’s ability to dress-up an outfit with very little effort.  

Want to create a collar that is very similar to the last picture?  

Well, click the picture below to be taken to a tutorial I created a few months ago!

1930's Scarf


Accessories, and especially collars, can truly make an outfit!  



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The Fun of Summer Hats

Hats are those amazing articles of clothing that serve a multitude of functions including: beauty, protection, warmth, and, of course, outfit completion. They are also one of the few places where we decorate our clothing to match the seasons. Flowers in the spring, fruit in the summer, and leaves and fur in the fall and winter.

Nothing feels more like you are enjoying the warm rays of the sun than the perfect wide-brim straw hat. It is the one type of hat that I actually think I look good in and one that instantaneously says “summer fun!” While the size of the summer hat may alter over the years, it is so interesting to see that the materials composing these hats haven’t changed too much.

So whether you are at the beach, working in the garden, enjoying afternoon tea outside, or strolling along a little side street doing some window shopping, let your hat enjoy the fun as well!


summer hats

To see more lovely options, please feel free to visit my Pinterest Page.

Finding the Right Perfume….

I love smelling good.  A basic, perhaps obvious statement, that nonetheless is true.  You may often see me oddly smelling my arm, if the lotion I used that day has a particularly delicious scent.  Or perhaps you might observe me gently wafting the tips of my hair under my nose from where those very tips got in the way of my perfume bottle.  Which reminds me…I love the beautiful shapes of perfume bottles.   I love the gentle clink the glass makes as you pull off the topper and the instant feeling of being clean and fresh as the gentle mists clings to your skin.  I even have preferred scents for the seasons.  The warmer the weather, the lighter the scent and vice versa.

Perfume can also bring us instantly back to a place, a memory, or a person.  Those heavier scents that perhaps a grandmother wore as she leaned over you to tuck your hair back behind your ear. Or the light scent of the first bottle you received for Christmas and which you, perhaps in earnest, put on too much.  Or the scent that helped you catch an old flame…maybe you have kept it or maybe it went in the trash for good reason.  Regardless, perfume can be as much a part of you as your own signature.

Yet when did the numerous bottles of perfume become a common appearance on the proper lady’s vanity table?  I think this little excerpt from the turn of the century expresses it best:

“Next time you pass a toilet goods counter, sniffing the delicious odors of lavender and jasmine and a host of flower fragrances, and your hand instinctively reaches for your purse and then draws back in a Puritanical prejudice against perfumes, just remember that, in addition to being no longer in ill-repute, they are even considered medicinal.”

As society opened up on their view of makeup and perfume, these two became such an integral part of a woman’s identity and her ability to express her personal self-worth.  Nothing evokes more confidence and respect than a woman who cares for herself, and a beautiful scent is such an important part.

Looking for some suggestions on choosing the right scent?  Read on to learn the guidelines from a 1920’s beauty specialist:

Perfume Choice

So go ahead and splurge on that special scent you have been eyeing at the perfume counter and join your sweet-smelling sisters…no matter in what year they lived!



The Magic Of Dress by Grace Margaret Gould, 1911

Fashion Service: Fragrances for My Lady Fair by Barbara Ellison, 1927

The Beauty of Hair Combs

A child of the eighties, I always had something in my hair.  A barrette, headband, scrunchie, or those strange banana hair clips that turned the back of your head into some strange cascade of curls, were all used at some point in my life.  While I thought of myself as something special with my ribbon barrettes clipped into my pigtails, I am sure I was not nearly as sophisticated as those women who adorn their carefully constructed coifs with hair combs such as these.

The hair comb has seen itself reimagined and used in all cultures of the world, and it is no wonder, as these small little dainties add such beauty.  While my favorites are bedecked with cameos or jewels, there are so many varieties to satisfy any taste or hair length that the possibilities are endless.

So whether small or large, bone or shell, jeweled or painted, hair combs are a wonderful way to add extra beauty to your hair.

may hair comb

To see more styles and looks, please visit my Pinterest page.


The Beauty of Letter Writing

I thoroughly enjoy sending letters and cards.  Not that I do it all that often, but when I do, it is a delightful process which requires my best handwriting, prettiest stationary, and the inevitable search in the catch-all drawer for stamps.  To some, letter writing is outdated, to others, it only happens on certain occasions, and to a few, it is apart of their daily connection with friends and family.  Whatever your fancy, letter writing is a centuries old tradition with as many rules and regulations as one could imagine.

Below are a few selected excerpts on the proper behaviour of letter writing for women.

The Writing Materials

“The selection of the paper ought to always to be in the keeping with the person, age, sex, and circumstances of the correspondents….It is extremely impolite to write upon a single leaf of paper, even it it is a billet; it should always be double, even though we write only two or three lines.”  

Spacing the Letter

“If we are writing to a superior, we should leave large spaces between the lines.  In writing a familiar letter, it is as well to begin near the top of the sheet, and write compactly, but legibly, leaving a small margin, or none if preferred.”

Folding and Sealing

” Every letter to a superior ought to be folded in an envelope.  It shows a want of respect to seal with a wafer; we must use sealing wax.  Men usually select red; but young ladies use gilt, rose, and other colors.  Both use black wax when they are in mourning….If a friend takes charge of a letter as a favor, it would be quite impolite to put more than one seal upon it.  If the letter should be folded in such a manner that, by opening it at the end, its contents may be read, it would be equally regardless of delicate propriety to put a little wax upon the edges.  This precaution is only to be used when the letter is sent by post, or an untried domestic.”

Proper Arrangement of what is to be written:

“When you write upon any subject, consider it fully before putting upon paper, and treat of each topic in order, that you may not be obliged to recur to anyone again, after having spoken of another thing, as it confuses the mind.  If you have many subjects to treat of in the same letter, commence with the most important; for if the person to whom you write is interrupted while reading it, he will be the more impatient to resume the reading, however little interesting he may find it.”


This particular author also included several examples of letters for a variety of occasions.  Here are two in regards to an engagement announcement and bride’s maid inquiry.  What a beautiful, if not loquacious, way of sharing the news!

may letter 1

may letter 2

So whether you say it by phone or say it by letter, say it beautifully!



The Ladies Guide to Perfect Gentility by Emily Thornwell (1856)

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1930’s Inspired Scarf Tutorials

A toss here, a gentle tug there and any outfit can go from simply thrown together to a complete ensemble.  But what is this magic piece of the puzzle?  A scarf, of course!  One of the long standing pieces in a woman’s closet, scarves can offer a multitude of styles for a very reasonable price.

Here are a few tutorials I put together for the vintage loving female!  Based off of 1930’s looks, I hope they add to your wardrobe creations both modern and historical!


scarf 2

scarf 3

scarf 4

Enjoy and play away!!