If you’ve come here directly from the other post of today, sorry about that. Think of that one as the doctor’s office, and this one as the shiny-shiny fashion shop where every frock is *gorgeous* and every price sticker is in pence (or cents for my American chums).
And using that as an introduction, this blog is all about a frock that is, well, utterly me. I am *so* in love with this frock I’d like to spend every waking moment in it. But I’ll rein in the hyperbole and start at the beginning of this wonderful frock tale…..
May not come as that big of a surprise but I love retro frocks. There, said it, for probably the sixtieth time in these blogs. But this frock is different.
First, the basics. It’s a 1940s hostess dress from a little online shop called ‘Pretty Retro’. They don’t have a huge range but I’ve bought two of them (I’ll add a piccie at the end of the other dress, another beautiful piece of clothing) and I’m seriously tempted to grab another one of these but in a different colour – they do it in the lovely green I was wearing in these shots, yellow and red. When we chose the look for this frock I wanted a pure retro make-up and a sexy redhead look. Call be biased but I’m pretty sure we hit the target. Or going back to my old scale, not only would I do this girl, I’d ask for her hand in marriage and spend the rest of my life trying to please her. Too much?
When I saw the dress on the website I immediately fell in love with it – the cut of the dress is very flattering and conservative, I love the collar which accentuates the ‘assets’ and the buttons are 1940s stylish. Everything about this dress just shouts 1940s well-to-do woman arranging and running a party for her husband’s friends.
We actually did two shoots with this dress, one with 1940s style makeup and the other with a more modern look. The difference between the two looks is subtle but noticeable, retro Sarah has a sweet look that I want to kiss repeatedly, modern Sarah has a sweet look that I want to kiss repeatedly. Oh wait, sorry, got distracted. The retro-look had lighter lower-lids and some false eyelashes below and above the eyes, with ruby-red kissable lips. Topped off with some OTT pearls and lots of antique-y style jewellery and, wow, I so didn’t want to stop being her.
It’s hard to describe to someone who doesn’t share the thrill and love of wearing this kind of dress just how lovely and thrilling this dress was. It flowed in a way that felt, well, right.
Also, as a change, we decided to take some shots outside in an enclosed garden space. And boy, was that stressful. The garden was situated between a couple of sets of flats, and it was a warm day, so there were lots of open windows. Now, I’ve been out and about a couple of times as Sarah, but never sober, which says something about either my lack of confidence or my raging alcoholism (a little from column A, a little from column B), and sitting in a chair fully dressed and realised as Sarah Lewis, the 1940s housewife, was utterly terrifying. I was waiting for the gasp and the click of some neighbour of Cindy’s taking a picture.
But amongst the terror was a lovely feeling of completeness. When I’m Sarah there’s always a tiny bit of me that is uncomfortable, normally because I have women’s underwear trying to slice my tenderloins and sidle up the Black Hole of Calcutta, or the occasion neurone firing off and pointing out that if I’m discovered for some unknown reason (the idea of a fire alarm, someone coming to Cindy’s who I know etc etc) I have absolutely no way of shedding my Sarah skin and am therefore trapped. With this outfit and both looks it was different. This was me, and that in and of itself was a luxurious feeling of rightness.
If I ever suddenly decide that the gender I’ve put up with for the last 48 years is not the one I want to end my life in, this is how I’d dress *all* the time.
During the retro shoot we took a dinner break while Cindy regained some energy (she works like hell) and I got to spend thirty odd minutes just hanging around wearing this frock. It. Felt. Utterly. Wonderful.
So, I guess it’s becoming apparent that I *love* this dress. In fact I love it so much I brought it back from the shoot as a keeper (and left my cherished floral mandarin-collar Lindy Bop for all you Cindy-Goers). It hangs in my wardrobe, on Sarah’s side, in a place of honour.
The scary thing about all of this is that this dress went beyond being comfortable. It felt like Sarah’s skin. It felt like my skin. I think it looks like Jessica Rabbit if Jessica Rabbit was a Stepford Wife.
Which brings me onto the last piece of deliciousness. Cindy is thinking of doing the occasional ‘theme night’, where she does make-up and styling specific to a look for a number of girls, and then have activities depending on the night (fashion shows, make-up tutorials etc etc). And if she does she will be doing a Stepford Wife night. And I’m signed up already. In this outfit. With this exact look.
See you there, boys. 😉
Enough gushing, this frock is sublime and can be purchased from http://www.prettyretro.co.uk/product/pretty-40s-hostess-dress-in-emerald – I would highly recommend getting one if you are into retro, it’s such a beautiful frock.
If you get a chance to be a 1940s hostess, take it, because I can highly recommend the lifestyle. Stay well, you beautiful people.
And here’s the other frock I bought from PrettyRetro…..