Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Noble Idea." Or the Gold Crepe Dress

Many of you will recall last year's spring photo contest here on my blog. Today's post is about one of the outfits I created as part of that contest. (I WILL be hosting another photo contest later this year, don't you worry!)

Below is part of the newspaper article that I used as a the basis for that first photo contest. It talks about the latest colors and color combinations for spring in 1939. At the time I read the article it was the dead of winter and here in New England we were buried under several feet of snow so anything spring-related was most welcome. Today, although we are lacking in snow, I find myself craving spring big time! Is anyone else looking forward to warmer weather?

"Color Recipes Compiled from Fashion Shows. Dominating Note of Style Can Be Used in Many Combinations. By Alma Cunningham.
    Color is everywhere. It's the dominating note of fashion. And it's used in new ways, new combinations. If you've never a doubt about what color to wear with what for that much desired chic, turn the page. Our color recipes, taken from outstanding ensembles of recent style shows, are for the likes of us who sometimes like to dabble in unusual color, who sometimes astound natives with our color consciousness, who always want to wear a color accent that is effective.
    Assuming that your first purchases for spring will be a pair of shoes, a bag and hat to snatch your winter wardrobe from boredom, our color recipes start with at least one of these items already on hand."

Reading the descriptions of the article and going through my vintage clothing and accessories was so much fun! And in doing so I learned a number of things. It really made me think about colors and the many ways to mix and match to make the most of your wardrobe. I put together a couple outfits based on the article last spring (you can see them here). While I did share photos of this yellow dress, I didn't post about it with these particular accessories.

I really can't say why exactly, but I have a weakness for mustard yellow. It does not seem to matter what time period either. (I have a lovely worsted wool in my stash waiting to be made into an 18th century gown and I'm looking for silk of the same color.) Last year I made a 1940s suit in a very similar color. (See it here.) It's such a wonderful color and one that I don't see on many people. It can be difficult to wear for sure but I've found it to be very versatile.

This particular dress is probably late 1930s or very early 1940s and is made of rayon crepe. Sadly, the dress didn't fit as well as I would liked so it went to my Etsy shop. It was too snug in the waist and across the back to feel like I could wear it comfortably all day. Darn it! When it comes to wearing true vintage, you win some and loose some. But oh I do adore that color!

Here is the quote from the article that this outfit is based on.

"Noble Idea.
Because of the popularity of some colors, there will be some who will wear a less popular color in order to be individual. Thus brown is literally and figuratively a dark horse for spring. ... (3) Or a gold crepe dress, a natural straw hat with a bright blue ribbon trim, and bright blue gloves."

I paired the dress with brown alligator shoes, a brown alligator or lizard clutch, blue gloves, and a hat that I reshaped and trimmed with vintage ribbon. The hat was actually made for a doll but it's a perfect representation of those adorable little tilt hats that were so fashionable in the late 1930s. I've been meaning to put together a tutorial on how I reshaped and trimmed it. Any interest?

How neat are these gloves!?

Outfit details
Dress - Facebook swap group
Hat -  My own creation
Shoes and Clutch - Brimfield Flea Market
Necklace - Was my grandmother's
Gloves - Thrifted
Stockings - Bobby's Warehouse

And just for fun, a quick look at the same dress worn three different ways. See, versatile! This color can be paired with red, blue, green or brown! :) The possibilities are endless.


  1. That yellow crepe dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you, Emily. For yellow being such a versatile color, it looks great on you. Yellow is the in-season color for this spring.

  2. So LOVELY! And yes, yes, yes to the hat tutorial--what a great idea to use a doll hat!!!

  3. I am such a huge fan of yellow right now, and it can be accessorized so many ways! Great ensemble, I adore your beautiful gauntlet gloves here, so fun!

  4. The yellow dress is a real stand-out! :)

  5. I love the yellow and blue combination! I wish I could wear yellow, but it washes me out badly. You look great in it, though, so sunny and fresh.

  6. Love how you've styled such a standout dress with different accessories and created a fresh new look each time! It's really such a pretty colour, and does great with each accent shade that you picked. ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill


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