- Dress - Made by me! (See below)
- Handbag - Vintage
- Headband - Modcloth
- Necklace - Gift, from Magnolia
- Vintage Gloves - Modern Millie Vintage
- Shoes - Delicious
Recreate the look with Kara's dress tutorial:
How would you describe your style?
I call my style Vintage Modernism. Fit and Flare for the Dramatic. Floaty. Feminine. Donna Reid meets one of those Bond Girls with an evening gown under her wetsuit.
What's your favourite piece in your wardrobe?
Oh that’s like asking me to choose amongst my favorite breaths of air! If I were forced to choose (and we’re talking at gunpoint here), I recall browsing on Etsy years back came across a page that was listing a ton of vintage pieces – not a lot of clothing but an assortment of vintage knick-knacks and homewares. I came to realize that the seller had been tasked with liquidating his grandmother’s house, who had recently passed. He was listing beautiful items for a song, clearly just wanting to be done with it all. I clicked onto a beautiful, buttercup yellow Pat Premo dress, spotless and perfect and in my size. I nearly fainted at the $20 price tag, and immediately scooped her up.
I think perhaps it’s one of my favorite finds, not because of the ridiculously low price tag, but because, like me, the woman who owned her before me would have known her true worth and I felt connected to her simply by appreciating what her grandson couldn’t see. By giving her another home and another dance floor to twirl around in. I think people live on in the garments they leave behind – and somehow live on more poignantly when those things are loved and cherished in the way that they themselves would have cherished them.
Who are your style icons?
That's actually a really hard question for me to answer. I love Chanel for her simplicity. Audrey Hepburn for her classic, timeless silhouettes. But truthfully, I get less inspired by someone's particular style and more inspired by their vibe - even if someone's style is completely different from mine, I'm inspired by women I pass every day who are clearly dressing to please themselves and feeling amazing. I love unexpected combinations and unabashed style choices. Unapologetic women (and men) who are just "doing them" and shining from within.
Maybe deep down I don't really believe in icons because I would never be confident emulating someone else's style - it's all about finding my own aesthetic. Fulfilling my own expectations. If you love jeans and t-shirts, wear the most amazing ones you can find. If you love gingham dresses and motorcycle boots, I’ll be the first to tell you that you look fabulous when you walk past. If you love vintage dresses, seek them out and spend your days twirling in the streets. If you have a passion for body art, vintage updos, kitsch cat figurines – hunt them down and display them proudly and make yourself happy every day by embracing them. To me - it's more the attitude than personal style that makes someone an Icon and it's that air of being completely comfortable in your own skin that's something to aspire to.
Do you have any favourite designers?
Oh God yes. My vintage heart belongs to Suzy Perette. Gigi Young. Emma Domb. Pat Premo. Jonathan Logan. L’Aiglon. Minx Modes. R&K Originals. Kay Selig. Alix of Miami. They created the silhouettes of the past that are still very much a piece of my present.
Where are your favourite places to shop for new clothes?
Given my love of vintage, I don’t buy a ton of new clothes (but they are new to me!). I spend a lot of time on Etsy, or frequenting local vintage shops and flea markets (I feature a lot of my favorite Etsy shops on my bog so keep an eye out!). I actually love the variety and the hunt the most – discovering a new Etsy shop or a vintage store in the city that just opened. For vintage inspired clothing, I love Modcloth, Unique Vintage, Bernie Dexter, Pinup Girl Clothing, & Anthropologie and also find quite a few gems at ASOS.
Do you make or customise your outfits?
One of the best interests I ever followed through on was learning how to sew. I do a lot of sewing (as you can tell from this post), but more than anything I would say I tailor and repair. It's empowering to be able to make your own clothes and to make the clothes you buy fit perfectly. I tend to make a beeline for the $10 pile in an op shop that are full of beauties that need a zip replaced or torn seams repaired – they no longer seem disposable, but full of opportunities to make like new again. It also changes the way you view your body - it's no longer about changing yourself to fit the clothes, but changing the CLOTHES you fit you.
Do you have any great tips for mixing up and personalising an outfit?
Personalization always starts with a good foundation – Whether you love dresses and skirts or denim and heels, the key is and will forever be fit. So, start with a garment that fits you well and that you feel fabulous in. For me, the best kind of silhouette is a fit and flare style – the love a cinched waist and a flared skirt. Though I stray from this occasionally, we’re in a committed relationship and I’m nothing if not loyal. Then, accessorizing my look generally always includes some measure these four things: color (either all over color or a pop color somewhere), texture & pattern (to give visual interest), and shine (cause a gal needs her bling). Truthfully, the most important element of any outfit is going to be your confidence – Rock the body you have, rock the style you want. Because feeling good in what you’re wearing is the best accessory there is.
Which other fashion blogs do you love to read?
Ohhh I have way too many too name. Seriously. Blogging has always felt like this publically-private, wonderful world where we share in the joy that fashion and self-expression gives. And everyone is so unique and amazing in their own way - Some I dip into daily (like Have Clothes, Will Travel, Pinup Persuasion, or Miss Amy May) and some I find on a particular day, right when I need them most (like Eccentric Owl or My Kingdom for a Hat). Some I read because they are amazing at things I’m not (like the baking skills of Curls & Cakes) and some I read for solidarity (like fellow scientist Annika at The Pineneedle Collective). But, I have an ever-growing Blogroll (http://www.thedressedaesthetic.com/blog-list/) of the amazing blogs I read regularly and hope you find as much inspiration in those ladies that I do!
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