Just for fun, I tried on the vintage crinoline with this dress. It's very cute, but is it wearable outside of a theme party? I am not one of those amazing vintage ladies who can rock victory curls, ruby lips and still look contemporary with their reproduced looks, like the great Gertie. But I tried anyway:
I don't feel like a Peggy or a Betty, despite the pearls and the crinoline. I think it's cute, but it looks off to me. And I realized why. Not to be too racially over-deterministic, but while there were plenty of people of color around in the 1950s, I associate strong midcentury looks with white-Americans. I know that plenty of people all over the world wore these styles, but somehow anything before the late 1960s/early 1970s feels a bit off on me (except hippie and some mod stuff, which I think has been mainstreamed a lot). With laws like the Oriental Exclusion Act of 1924, there weren't loads of folks who looked like me here in the states, until the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. For some reason, 1940s styles don't make me feel this way, but that is probably because of the 1940s revivals in the 1970s.
But this is just an impression I have, and it doesn't reflect empirical evidence. There were thriving Chinatowns, significant populations of Japanese, Filipino, and other Asian American communities in the United in the midcentury.
Hope you have a lovely Friday!
Edit: Thanks to Liz of Scholar Style Guide for the heads up on this threadbared post, which deals with this issue much more succinctly!
Dress: handmade vintage, via Etsy
Shoes: BC Footwear, via Nordstrom Rack, and Tahari, via Ebay
Pearls: vintage, via etsy
Cardigan: Limited, thrifted