Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1940s via 1980s?

1940s via 1980s?, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

While in Chicago, C. and I popped by a vintage shop on Lincoln Ave, and of course my eye was drawn to this very red dress that my mom (and probably most mothers of people my age) had likely worn during my early childhood. Since I have a soft spot for all things that my mom wore at one point, I tried it on (it was on sale) and it fit pretty well. The waist even hit in the right spot. It's a softer polyester, and there is a little bit of staining, but it's pretty slight. This may not be obvious in the picture but the skirt is a wrap cascading style.
I was curious about this style of dress. It seemed a bit reminiscent of a 1940s style dress I've seen in vintage dress patterns (although they usually have a slightly below the knee hem). I found this pattern and it does seem to have a resemblance. I have seen a number of 1980s/late 1970s items on Etsy and Ebay that also seem to have a 1940s or 1930s style. Was this an actual trend back then? Vintage mavens, have any clue?


For some reason, I wanted to go 1950s with styling this, hence the cardigan, hair scarf and the brown oxfords. I am not teaching today, but I am going in to attend a panel discussion for a colleague's book (the same awesome colleague who gave me a positive evaluation on my teaching). Not only to support him, but also because I offered it to my students as an extra credit. (Somehow all my generosity will not stop a few cranky ratemyprofessor.com evals from popping up at the end of the semester. Eh, my recalcitrant students will appreciate my efforts after they've been working a few years).

Dress: vintage shop, Lincoln Square (Chicago)
Belt: thrifted
Oxfords: Tahari via ebay
Microfishnets: Daffy's
Scarf: swapped


  1. What a great look! The hair scarf is a stellar finishing touch, though the dress is a total winner all on its own.

  2. Oooh, I love what you've done with the dress! It's such a great color for you. I like your belt with it instead of the one that originally came with it. The belt and cardigan both make the outfit look modern and chic. Bob was right - it's very you :)

    And there will probably always be cranky people out there giving evaluations and reviews, but I'd guess it's students who aren't happy with their grade rather than actual issues with your teaching.

  3. I love this outfit!

    I hope this doesn't offend you, but I really don't like it when people offer their students extra credit to attend academic events. Why? It's not because I'm an evil prof who never gives extra credit. It's because I have seen (probably unintentionally) rude student behavior in this situation. They get up to go to the bathroom, they get up to leave early, they ask administrative assistants if they can have a bottle of water, too, they come in late and try to check in with their profs or TAs while the speaker is trying to um speak. Maybe these kinds of behaviors aren't a problem at your university, but I have seen them at both Big R1 school and the SLAC where I'm a VAP and I don't like it.

  4. No worries on double posting. I'm now doing the same. :)

    I'm glad that it seems to work in these settings, and informal events such as these are the best context for that kind of interaction. I've just wanted to throttle colleagues a few times because their students are repeat offenders.

    My students are rarely (intentionally) rude, but they do always seem to behave themselves especially well during observations. I've sometimes wondered if they think they're the ones being scrutinized....

  5. I love how you styled this! The scarf in your hair is so cute - I may have to try it one day! The skinny belt and cute oxfords just make it all so lovely!

  6. That dress was a score! Love the styling.

  7. Another score! 'Looking forward to some vintage mavens ringing in, too. . .

  8. That dress is DIVINE. Love the drape on that skirt.

  9. Why can't I ever find dresses like this??? It's amazing, I love the way it drapes in the front.

  10. Why can't I ever find dresses like this??? It's amazing, I love the way it drapes in the front.