I’m sort of a self-confessed ‘slave to fashion’, but I’m not locked into a particular style. In fact, one of the absolute greatest aspects of women’s fashion is exploring and experimenting with entirely new styles.
Lately I’ve been on a kick for dark blue dresses with traditional flair, like piping, peter pan collars, and double breasted bodices. So my heart skipped a few beats when I stumbled across this absolute gem at one of my local thrift stores. I’ve been looking for a traditional ‘Navy wife’ dress for a long time – the kind that’s more modest than this one. You know – mid calf length, trim but not too curvy. This is more of a ‘Navy captain’s teenage daughter flirt dress’ – the kind that military dads might say ‘Whoa – she’s growing up, and she’s gonna have a lot of fun!!’, or ‘Whooooooaaaa – time to move to a Middle East posting where there’s no chance I’m gonna have to deal with a ‘love child’.
Either way, there’s no way I could resist this dress.
Charles Dana Gibson was an illustrator in the late 19th century who created classic drawings of young, pure women with gorgeous hairstyles and bedroom eye looks on divinely beautiful faces. The women depicted were full figured and voluptuous, yet still virtuous. And always refined and feminine. I did this hairstyle myself using one of my wigs, and it took a while to do it. I added a chiffon blouse with and ornate lacy upper bodice and a high ruffled neck, coupled with a genuine vintage Gunne Sax prairie skirt. It was about as Victorian a look as I was able to muster with what I had on hand.
I recently picked up some more Victorian-style blouses, mainly because I kept my eyes peeled for them. Every time I see a Victorian-era film or T.V. show, it increases my interest in the styles. One thing I’m going to try in the not-too-distant future is adding a bustle under some of my roomier long skirts and dresses, just to see if I can pull it off…that is, pull off the look, not the dress…