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Pinup Pouf Hair Tutorial

Hello Darlings!

I’ve been making an effort to be nicer to my hair. I put it through quite a bit of abuse when it comes to styling: wet sets, backcombing, pin curls, more backcombing…So. Much. Backcombing. In order to minimize breakage, I try to only wash my hair every four to five days. By the end of that cycle, my hair is, well, nasty. Since going into hiding is a less than reasonable option, I need a quick and easy hairstyle to hide my dirty hair. The best part of this style, other than being quick and easy, is it works best on dirty hair!

Pinup Pouf

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Supplies: brush, rattail comb, hair elastic, bobby pins, hair net, hair rat, hair spray, decorative bits and pieces.

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Step 1: Brush out your nasty hair! 

*Apologies for the poor quality photos. We’re renovating and my lighting is seriously wanting.

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Step 2: Brush your hair forward into a ponytail, right where your bangs sit.

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Step 3: Divide your ponytail into two sections.

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Step 4: Backcomb like crazy!

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The goal here is to look like a Tim Burton character. I told you I do A LOT of backcombing.

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Step 5: Attach the hair rat to your hairline just above your forehead. Two bobby pins on each side should do the trick.

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Like so.

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Step 6: GENTLY brush your hair forward being careful not to brush out the nice little rat’s nest you’ve made. I use a soft bristle brush for this reason.

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Step 7: Roll the ends of your hair under and spread them out a bit.

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Step 8: pin the rolled ends of your hair under the hair rat, and secure the ends. Smooth out any lumpy bits and spray it in place. Your hair is already dirty, so go ahead and shellac that mess!

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Step 9: Stretch the hair net over your pouf. Fine mesh hair nets work best.

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Step 10: Secure the netting behind the hair elastic on top of your head.

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Step 11: Choose some decorative hair baubs to enhance your do.

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A simple bow works nicely.

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You can get as dramatic as you like. Use LOTS of flowers. The higher the pouf, the more hair baubs you can use!

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And just like that you are ready to face the world in glamorous (albeit dirty) hairstyle.

Let me know if you try this style and how it works for you.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Every Day is like Sundae…Shoes

Hello Darlings!

Pardon the bad pun in the title, but I just couldn’t resist. I’m so very excited to share with you a fun make-do-and-mend project. If you’re not familiar with “make-do-and-mend”, it’s just an old fashioned term for DIY, and I love me some DIY especially when it combines sweets and shoes!

This project comes from fellow vintage living blogger, Miss Amy May. If you’re not currently subscribed to her blog or following her on social media, I highly recommend you do so. I had never heard of Shoe Bakery until I read Amy’s post. While their shoes are adorable works of art, they’re a little over the top for my taste. I’m a “less is more” kind of gal. The shoes that I really fell in love with were the ones Amy made herself, and so I decided to take a crack at making a pair.

I don’t wan’t to reinvent the wheel, so I’m just going to link back to the original post here, plus add a few things I did differently, and share my supply list for the American crowd. So, without further adieu, I give you my version of Miss Amy May’s version of Shoe Bakery’s   Ice Cream Sundae shoes.

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I love the added texture and color from the jimmies. Maybe the next pair will have rainbow sprinkles?

 

Supplies

  • Shoes you’d like to decorate (For an ice cream cone look, you’ll want nude or tan shoes with an exposed platform)
  • Calking gun
  • White silicone calk (I used HDX brand from Home Depot)
  • Wax paper
  • Butter knife or cheese spreader (one you will not be using again)
  • “Chocolate Jimmies” clay sprinkles (I purchased mine on Etsy)
  • Cherries (you can find these at Walmart, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby)
  • Masking or electrical tape
  • Piping tips (I used the medium star shape. Again, these will not be used for food…ever)
  • Toothpick or bamboo skewer
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tip
  • Modge Podge (Gloss and Outdoor respectively)
  • Fine red glitter
  • Paint brushes with synthetic bristles

Directions Part 1:

I basically followed Amy’s tutorial with a few exceptions:

  • I used wax paper instead of news paper for my work surface.
  • Because I don’t have the most steady of hands (translation: I’m a colossal klutz), I taped off the edges of my shoes where I didn’t want the calking to get to. This made clean up much easier…and I still made a mess.
  • The Q-tips and rubbing alcohol are for clean up. If you smudge, spill, or otherwise get calking where you don’t want it, clean it up before it dries.
  • I also taped my piping tip directly to my calking tube as I was fresh out of pastry bags.
  • When the calk was still wet, I sprinkled on my jimmies and then used a bamboo skewer to gently push them into the calk for a better hold.
  • Finally, I painted over the calked bits with outdoor Mod Podge. I wanted to be sure I could wipe my shoes clean if needed and the Mod Podge helps keep my jimmies in place.

Directions Part 2:

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I love the added sparkle and pop of color the glitter adds, but a week later, and I’m still cleaning it up! Though it has stayed on my shoes remarkably well.

For this bit I followed a tutorial for glitter soles I found on Pinterest. There were a lot of them, and they all used the same method. You want to be sure your calking and Mod Podge are completely dry before doing this bit. Once glitter gets onto a wet surface, there’s no going back! I also taped off the “whipped cream” bit to keep it as clean as possible. Or, even better still, do the glitter soles first, then do the frosting part.

One thing I notice was that the glitter and Mod Podge did tend to get a bit clumpy.While I don’t mind how it turned out, next time I think I’ll just do the single coat of glitter without going over it again.

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I’m going to be designing a lot more outfits around these shoes.

And there you have it! Adorable custom shoes that will have everyone begging to know where you bought them. How gratifying will it be to say, “I didn’t buy them, I made them”?!

I’d love to see what you come up with. Tag me in your Sundae Shoes images on instagram!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

 

 

 

Corsets, and Girdles, and Garters, Oh My!

Hello Darlings!

Once upon a time my Mr. and I were week-ending in Vegas with friends. For some ridiculous reason we decided to dine at the Planet Hollywood formerly inside Caesar’s Palace. I know what you’re thinking, “with all the unbelievable restaurants in Las Vegas, how in the world did you end-up there?!” Well, let us just say, when it’s late (or early, depending on point of view), good decisions are hard to come by. At any rate, while waiting for a table, our little party wandered about eyeballing the Hollywood memorabilia, when what to my wondering eye should appear, but the loveliest little suit worn by none other than Lauren Bacall! Now friends, when I say little I mean little! I couldn’t fathom how a woman, who in my mind, was  larger than life could fit into a garment so small!

The suit in the Planet Hollywood exhibit was this Milo Anderson number Laren Bacall wore in “To Have and to Have Not”. It is frequently confused with the houndstooth suit she wore in The Big Sleep. This suit, however, has a much more exaggerated New Look waistline. 

The answer, one word, shape-wear… or is that two?

Now, I’m not suggesting shape-wear was the ONLY reason vintage clothes are so small. We were, generally speaking, smaller way back when. We were more active, we ate differently, and we were shorter too! And Ms. Bacall was indeed, a tiny woman. But shape-wear did play a significant roll in how clothes fit.

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Sophia Loren in the Millionaires wearing all the things!

Yes, ladies, there was once a time when women put just as much thought and care into what they wore under their clothes as the clothes themselves. Different fads in fashion called for different undergarments. And, with the introduction of Dior’s New Look, the structured female form was back in a big way! It is for this reason why so many women become frustrated by vintage shopping. Many of the really high quality dresses seem to have an impossibly exaggerated hourglass shape. Frustration comes when we look for vintage fashions with modern eyes and forget our fashion history. If you, no matter what your size, want that lovely vintage silhouette, then you’ll need to invest in some really good shape-wear. (Don’t you just love an excuse to shop?) After-all, those nipped in waists weren’t held by willpower!

The Corset

The Grand Dame of all shape-wear is the corset. No other undergarment is steeped in as much history and controversy as she. I could devote an entire diary entry (or eight) to the corset… perhaps someday I will. But, for now, I shall stick to the basics.

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What I wouldn’t give to pay $14.75 for a real steel boned corset!

To acquire real waist reduction, a quality steel boned corset is a must. Depending on the wearers body type, a reduction of two to six inches can be achieved. Corsets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and infinite style combinations. Corsetry is a true art-form, so when looking for a quality corset, be prepared to pay handsomely for it! Most are made by hand to your measurements and are extremely labor intensive. I also HIGHLY recommend going to an actual shop to be fitted in person for your first corset. Once you’re more familiar with fit and wear, you can go crazy shopping on-line. Sure, you can get a cheaper corset with flimsy plastic bones from a mass production lingerie dealer at the mall, but with a little research , you can find quality corsets for close to the same price.

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As attitudes towards fashion began to change (thanks to the likes of designers like Coco Chanel), so too did the attitudes towards undergarments. The rigid form of the corset began to morph into the more flexible corselette thanks to new innovations like “lastex”. Seriously?! $1.98?! I need a Delorean and a Flux Capacitor.

The Girdle

A little less drastic, but no less alluring than the corset is the girdle. “Egads! Did she say girdle?” Yes, honey, I did! I realize the name sounds decidedly unsexy (kind of like “granny panties”), but the girdle, especially the open bottom variety, oozes with sex appeal and pin-up charm. The girdle comes in as many styles and sizes as the women who wear them—full body corselettes, or open bottom half girdles, girdle panties, with or without garters—the options are endless! Most girdles use mesh or power net and spandex and/or rubber to slim and smooth the figure. The corselette has a built-in bra to aide in the enhancing of the bust while eliminating any bulges in the mid section. The girdle is by far the best way to hold up those fully fashioned stockings as it will not move or sag no matter how active you are!

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Jantzen today is mostly known for their swimwear, but they were also makers of lingerie. The two aren’t so very different.

The Garter Belt

If the girdle is a bit much for you and you want something a bit more diminutive to keep those stockings in check, then a garter belt is for you. Those flimsy little things one finds in standard lingerie retail shops will not do the job! Those are for the boudoir, not for galavanting around the city streets. In no time at all that poor excuse for a slingshot will start to fall and you’ll be stuck with sagging stockings… not sexy! Instead, opt for a garter belt made specifically for holding up fully fashioned stockings. They are just as (if not more) lovely than their scant counterparts and a whole lot more effective!

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I love vintage advertisements. They are a window into a world long gone.

The Bullet Bra

No feature on shape-wear would be complete without mentioning the holy grail of vintage lingerie… the Bullet Bra! The mere mention of it invokes the memories of Bettie Paige and scandalous B movies like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Kitten with a Whip. Paired with a waist cincher, the bullet bra creates dynamite curves—protruding bust, nipped in waist, full bottom—the thought just curls my toes! Now, you may not believe me when I say this, but the bullet bra can actually minimize the larger bust, sometimes even a whole cup size. Because it pushes out rather than up, a slightly subduing effect can occur. So, for all you busty dames out there, it’s best to go up a cup size and down a band size if you can. For the same reasons stated above, the bullet bra will enhance the smaller bust. No matter what size you boozums, you’ll want to use bullet bra pads to fill in the ends of the bra cups. This will keep your sweater from mashing in your bits!

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Look closely and you will see the spiral stitching on the bra cups. This is the hallmark of a true bullet bra. Also, can we just take a moment to admire the alligator’s terrific form and turnout?

If a bullet bra is a bit too extreme for your tastes, look for bras with a three seam cup (my go to bra). They give a perkier and more pointed shape keeping in-line with a vintage look without poking anyone’s eyes out. Avoid molded cups. A round bust is a decidedly modern silhouette.

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A corset I had custom made years ago, still very much in fantastic condition. This one was used for a fetish shoot, so I requested to have the modesty panel left out. 

Well, there you have it, dearies. I trust you’ve enjoyed our little tete-a-tete on shape-wear. I do hope you find fabulous pieces to spice up your wardrobe and your life! Hang the recession! Go shopping, you deserve it! I leave you with a few of my favorite places to shop for shape-wear.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Now for some of my favorite places to shop:

What Katie Did – The Morticia corset is on my wishlist (Blast you, spending freeze!).

LoriAnn Costume Design – from gothic to steam punk & everything in-between (my pictured corset was made by Lori Ann).

Melon Sweet Cheeks – Hand made (super cute) lingerie… LOVE her bullet bras!

Dottie’s Delights – If you crave vintage inspired couture, Dottie’s Delights is for you… oh how I wish I lived in Chicago!

Secrets in Lace – Not only do they have a magnificent section of shape-wear, but a wonderful stocking selection as well!

 

Orchard Corset – A new favorite of mine. Beautiful and functional steel boned corsets at unbelievable prices (that sounds a bit car salesmany, but it is nonetheless true). 

 

Stockings: The Daintiest of the Dainties Part Two

Hello Darlings!

As promised, I bring to you the second installment of my stockings series. Part three will be a fun little make do and mend project, so be sure to subscribe to my diary so you don’t miss a thing! We’ve already discussed the who’-its and what’s-its of stockings, now it’s time to discuss wear and care. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the questions an feedback I’ve gotten here and on social media. If you have a question or a topic you’d like to see me cover, drop me a line!

Wear

Now, I’m not one for hard-line fashion rules such as “no white after Labor Day, shoes and purse must match” and all that, but I will agree that most “rules” do have a purpose. While taking fashion risks can be fun and exciting, one must always beware of how small detail can affect the overall look of an outfit. So, here are my “Top Five Rules”, if you will, in regard to the wearing of stockings:

Rule #1: When wearing seamed stockings, your skirt’s hemline should fall below the knee (mid-calf is best). A seam traveling up the back of your stems draws the eye in the same direction. There is enough suggestion and sex appeal in that alone to set the world on fire! Adding a miniskirt to the equation cheapens the look. *The exception is in the case of a flirty costume… think French Maid or Cigarette Girl.

Showing just enough leg & seam without showing one’s girlie bits!

Rule #2: Opaque toes are appropriate for closed toe shoes, sheer toes for open style shoes. Opaque, as in can’t see your toes and the color of your polish through the material. Stockings with a reinforced toe sheer enough to see the toes through the material are perfectly appropriate for open toe shoes or even strappy sandal types. Some exceptions can be brightly colored opaque tights with contrasting open toe shoes. Use your best judgment and pay attention to the overall look.

Rule #3: Don’t wear flats with your seamed stockings. Rarely have I ever seen flats and seams worn together well. Remember, the idea of a seam is to draw the eye up, elongating the leg. Flats do the opposite of this. It doesn’t take much of a heel to give your seams the boost they need. A one inch kitten heel can be just enough to do the job.

Rule #4: Be era appropriate. Now, I’m not suggesting you must be historically accurate. It’s just that some of the best pieces in your wardrobe won’t always work together. If you are wearing a 60s inspired scooter dress, then choose stockings without a seam or  better yet, coordinating tights. 

Rule #5: When wearing fully fashioned stockings, pay attention to fit. Stockings too large will sag, and too small with be uncomfortable and run easily. It is also worth noting that even the best fitting full fashioned stockings will being to sag at some point. Because they are sans elastic, wear will stretch them out. If you’re going to wear stockings all day, either opt for reproduction stockings with a mock seam (and lots of stretch) or bring a fresh pair to change into when your first pair loses their shape.

Getting Them On

Because FF stockings have virtually NO stretch, putting them on requires a bit of extra care. To accomplish this, without tearing them to shreds, roll the stocking down evenly from welt to toe and then unroll them over your (slightly bent) getaway sticks. Be sure to check that the seams are straight. If they are not, roll the stocking down and start anew. Do not, for heaven’s sake, try to pull them straight while wearing them! You’ll put your thumb right through, especially with vintage stockings! Attach your garters (or suspenders, depending on what side of the pond you reside) not more than halfway down the welt. Fasten the garters where they fall naturally when not holding your stockings. If they are clasped too far forward or back they will twist the stockings (making for a crooked seam) or ruin them all together. We’ll talk more about garter/suspender belts in an upcoming post.

 

Care

Now that you know how to wear your stockings, let’s chat about how to care for them. No matter how advanced your washing machine is, your stockings will NEVER survive the ravages of said machine… not even in a lingerie bag. You must ALWAYS wash your dainties in a delicate lingerie bath.

To prepare a lingerie bath, fill your sink with hot water and a gentile lingerie detergent. Dip your stockings repeatedly until the water cools. Bear in mind that most vintage stockings will bleed dye for the first couple of washes, so be careful to only wash like colors together. Once the water cools, drain the old water and refill the sink with fresh hot water. Gently rub the stockings on the foot area only, frequently dunking them in the fresh water. Then, rinse them under cool water.

*Important Note: Before washing your stockings, remove any jewelry and be sure your nails are filed and your polish is free of chips. Nothing is worse than shelling out mucho dinero for stockings only to have them ruined by a hangnail!

I personally take my stockings into the bath with me. A bubble bath makes a lovely lingerie wash, and stockings in the tub is oh so girlie! After your stockings are rinsed, gently manipulate them back into their original shape (this keeps them wrinkle-free) and wrap them in a towel to dry.

Now, this final step is completely optional, if not a little OCD, but I so love the look of stockings fresh from their vintage packaging that I re-board them after washing. To re board your stockings, you’ll need a steam iron with a silk setting, a towel, and a hard surface to work on.

 Lay out your slightly damp stocking on a towel and carefully smooth out any wrinkles.
Be sure the seam runs up the back without any overlap which would result in unsightly creases.
Fold the towel over the stocking.
DO NOT place the iron directly on the stocking unless you want melted stockings!
Iron the stocking through the towel (on the silk setting).
I know, I’m wearing a bracelet. I should follow my own advice!
Once your stockings are pressed (one at a time), fold them in thirds around their cardboard form  and wrap them in tissue paper or slip them into a satin lingerie pouch.
I always keep the original packaging from my stockings.
Not only are they fabulous storage, but I love the vintage artwork!

And there you have it. Our next and final installment of my stockings series will feature a bit of DIY fun. Now I leave you with a few more places to shop for stockings and other lovely foundation pieces.

Calendar Art by Alberto Vargas
Moi, preparing for an evening with my Mr.

Shopping!

Just Figures (formally Girdle Bound) has a great selection of new fully fashioned stockings and shape-wear!

 

Secrets in Lace is one of my all time favorite place to find vintage repro lingerie and stockings!

 

Ho-hose is my new favorite place for vintage FF stockings! Be sure to read the Pretty Polly articles on fully fashioned stockings… really fabulous information like don’t smoke while putting on your stockings!

 

What Katie Did  Stockings, corsets, and all things soft and sexy! I LOVE this shop. If you’re ever in Hollywood, put WKD on your list of places to shop.

 

Etsy and eBay are a great place to find vintage stockings for less funds than a traditional vintage shop, but buyer beware! Not every seller knows their product and you may end up with less than you paid for.

xoxo

Dolly Marlowe

Stockings: The Daintiest of the Dainties (part 1)

Hello Darlings!

Nothing compares to the feeling of fully fashioned stockings stretched over freshly shaved gams. If you’ve not had the pleasure, please read on!

Somehow efficiency beat out romance in the hosiery department. Lovely, sheer, soft seamed stockings fell out of production to make room for crumpled pantyhose mashed inside plastic eggs (or more recently, inside cardboard boxes akin to the mini milk cartons we were served in kindergarten). Because of this, there are entire generations of women who don’t know how to wear stockings!

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Seriously, who was the marketing genius behind this?! 

These next few posts will be devoted entirely to ladies hosiery (more specifically, fully fashioned stockings)…

The image of delightfully seamed stockings peeking from beneath a full skirt and frothing petty-coat conjures up ideas of the femme fatal masquerading as the girl next door… irresistible, no? It is sexy and mysterious without being vulgar.

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But before we get into the do’s & don’ts of stockings, let us first learn what’s what. I’ve whipped up a little glossary of terms just for you.

*This glossary is by no means exhaustive. The world of ladies hosiery is a complicated one, indeed! This is just enough to get you started.

Let the education begin!

Dolly Marlowe’s Stocking Glossary, por vous!

Hosiery: A term referring to anything that is meant to cover the leg ie: stockings, pantyhose, tights, socks, and the like.

Pantyhose aka All the way ups: A one piece hosiery contraption that involves 2 sheer stockings attached to a panty and waistband. These should only be worn out of costume necessity and NOT as everyday wear!

Tights: Essentially the same construction as pantyhose with the major difference being  a heavier denier and gauge, opaque, and available in a large variety of colors and patterns. These are acceptable for daily wear, usually in colder weather.

Stockings: Sheer hosiery meant to be worn individually and secured with garters. These little treats come in a bevy of styles and are a staple in my everyday wardrobe.

Holdups: Stockings that function without the use of garters (not much fun in that!). They hold-up on their-own by little silicone strips under the (usually lace) welt.

Fully Fashioned Stockings aka Flat Knit Stockings: My absolute, can not live without, if I were stranded on a deserted island what would I bring, favorite wardrobe item! Fully fashioned stockings (vintage or vintage reproduction) are produced on the original flat knit machines. The stockings were knitted flat, cut to size, and stitched up the back (yes, that seam does have a function). True FF stockings have a welt of doubled over fabric and a finishing or key hole. FF stockings have very limited stretch, so pay special attention to sizing.

 

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Berkshire Knitting Mills, once the largest  factory producing full-fashioned stockings in the world.

Mock seams: These stockings are the modern version of the FF stocking. They are produced on circular machines and then given a decorative seam. While they have all the benefits of technology: sheerness, durability, stretch to fit sizes, and more economical prices, they are not nearly as fun as their vintage counterparts! These work well for costuming and as a reliable back-up stocking. Most major lingerie dealers cary mock seamed stockings.

Welt: The top portion of the stocking made up of a heavier fiber where the garters are to be attached. In FF stockings, the fabric of the welt is doubled over and stitched with a finishing hole.

Under Welt or Shadow Welt: The area just below the welt made up of decorative stitching, logo, or design unique to the manufacturer or stocking style.

Finishing Hole or Key Hole: In FF stockings, this small opening is where the welt was folded over and secured. The finishing hole also gives the welt a little extra stretch for ease of movement and comfort. The finishing hole is the hallmark of the fully fashioned stocking.

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Lace Top: Stockings with a lace top rather than a traditional welt. These are commonly offered in the hold-up style.

Denier: The unit of measure relating to the weight of the yarn. Now, depending on the type of fibers used (nylon, silk, lycra…), the denier tells you how sheer your stockings will be. Without getting too technical, lets just say the lower the number, the sheerer the stocking. A 15 denier is quite sheer & pretty much the standard. There is a formula of weight per unit length, but that information is hardly necessary for shopping!

Gauge: Another unit of measure given to us by our British friends. It relates to the fineness and amount of needles used in the knitting process. All you really need to know is that 51g & 60g are the most common gauges used. The 60g stockings are more refined, while the 51g were still quite smooth, but more moderately priced.

Cuban Heel: Quite possibly the most popular foot style in seamed stockings, the Cuban Heel is a rectangular reinforced heel.

Havana Heel: Similar to the Cuban Heel, but wider on the heel and more narrow on the foot making it a nice choice for d’Orsay heels.

French or Euro Heel: Less common in vintage stockings than the Cuban heel, the French heel (or Euro Heel) is a pointed reinforced heel.

Manhattan Heel or Deco Heel: A personal favorite of mine, the Manhattan Heel features a nifty little Art Deco detail over the heel.

stocking Heels

Reinforced: Sections of the hosiery that have been strengthened by double knitting resulting in a darker or more opaque area, thus resulting in a design feature. Necessity is truly the mother of invention!

RHT: Reinforced Heel & Toe. This style came to popularity in the 1960s after the advent of circular knit machines… also marking the demise of the fully fashioned stocking. A sad day indeed!

Sandal Foot or Sandal Toe: Also known as a sheer toe. Pretty self explanatory.

Opera Length: A longer length stocking made for the taller gal or one with a heavier leg. These usually require shorter garter straps.

Boarding: When hosiery is still damp from the dying process, it is pulled over a leg-shaped form and pressed. This is what gives FF stockings their delightful presentation. I love the look so much that I board my stockings after washing!

Now that you’ve become acquainted with some terminology, let’s talk fit. There are 3 main kinds of fit out there: American, UK, and another that escapes my memory (for lack of use). For time purposes, I’ll demonstrate American sizing. Fear not my European friends, I’ve not abandoned you! Because stocking sizes are based on shoe sizes, the conversion process is the same as American to UK shoe sizing and vice versa. So, American sizing is as follows:

Shoe Size    Stocking Size

5-6                    8 1/2

6 1/2                 9

7                       9 1/2

7 1/2                10

8                      10 1/2

8 1/2 – 9           11

9 1/2                11 1/2

10 – 10 1/2       12

There is another number one must be aware of when selecting FF stockings: Length. The length is the measurement in inches from the heel to the top of the welt. This is not how long the stocking will be when worn. You will likely loose 2 to 4 inches depending on the fullness of your leg. If you happen to be a shorter gal with curvy stems, I would suggest going up a size or two depending on your leg shape. If you are a leggy creature (lucky you), or if you enjoy a longer fit, then opera length is for you.

Now you’ve enough information to get out there & shop, but before you do, let me share a few of my favorite stores.

Where to Buy:

Secrets in Lace –   This is where you will find Licensed Dita Von Teese & Bettie Paige Stockings.

What Katie Did Modern made FF stockings on vintage machines and mock seam stockings as well.

If you’re into real vintage ebay & etsy are always great resources!

Stay tuned, soon I will delve into how to wear & care for your new stockings. Until then, enjoy!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

A Return to Glamour… or The New Sexual Revolution

Hello Darlings!

Pardon me for sounding too Provincial, but I think the sexual revolution of the 1960’s was the great downfall of the feminine mystique. Now, understand I am talking about fashion, not politics (though it’s amazing how the two are connected). So, before I get a slew of angry e-mails from the Gloria Steinem fan club, allow me to just say I abhor  misogyny, I support equality, women’s suffrage, and all that jazz. But, I assert that women burned more than just their bras during that revolt. I believe we burned our fashion identities!

Case in point: I took in a movie the other night with my sweetheart. Whilst standing in line for overpriced stale popcorn, I noticed a woman standing in front of me wearing ratty fuzzy slippers. As my eyes wandered up this poor creature’s frame, I was horrified to behold her fashion choices (yes, I said “fashion choices” for I doubt anyone held a gun to her head as she dressed). In addition to her bedroom slippers, she wore baggy cotton pajama pants so faded I could hardly make-out their pastel plaid pattern topped by, what I assumed once was, a white spaghetti strap camisole and bright blue bra. Her sandy blonde locks were thrown together in some sort of bun held together by a scunci so stained by make-up the original color had been lost completely!

Sadly my friends, the fashion atrocities did not end with this woman. As I looked around the theater lobby, I saw ladies of all ages and shapes dripping in terry-cloth and flannel. There were exposed muffin-tops and whale-tails galore! Flip-flops, short-shorts with slogans on the seat, skinny jeans slung so low that it looked as if a major accident had taken place (I’m talkin’ #2 here!), and  lest we not forget, leggings as pants. As far as the eye could see, one fashion crisis after the other.

 

 

muffin top

One does not “have” a muffin top. Muffin tops are made by wearing ill-fitting clothes. Do your body a service by draping her in flattering fabrics and shapes. The top  image is yours truly wearing dungarees a size too small. Yes, I can get them on, but I think we can all agree they’re none too flattering.  The bottom image is a pair of slacks that fit just right. In fact, that funny seam down the middle was from me experimenting different ways to take in a waistband and seat. 

 

Please know I’m not trying to be catty or rude. I loathe the “petty woman” stereotype! My heart genuinely goes out to these gals because the way one dresses is a reflection of how one sees oneself. Is this really the price we must pay for equality, or are we just being lazy? As the incredibly fashionable Dita Von Teese wrote in her book Burlesque/Fetish and the Art of the Teese, “… modernity has removed breathtaking costumes from our closets to make room for sweatpants and ‘sensible’ threads.” Like Ms. Von Teese, I too find sweatpants spiritually chafing.

nudee dudee

Nothing is as easy to wear as a cotton sundress. This one from Nudee Dudee is an absolute summertime favorite of mine (and it has pockets!). Wedge heels are a comfortable way to wear “all day heels” and not have your feet hate you in the morning. Pop on a few simple accessories and you’re ready. Effortless style without resorting to yoga pants.

When I think of all those bullet bras and corselettes burning in the fires of change, it makes me want to cry! This is why I say to you, Ladies, NO MORE! We can stand on equal level with men without being men! All of that satin and lace is what makes the female of the species so wonderful. Why ruin it?

This begins a series of educational diary entries. I will discuss not just fashion on a superficial level, but the passion and romance behind women’s clothing. If you’ve ever wanted to dress like a pin-up or just want to spice up the old wardrobe… or perchance, you are the gal at the movie theater (at least metaphorically), do not miss this series! You don’t have to “dress vintage” to get something out of this series either. You can be an impeccably dressed modern lady savvy enough to avoid some common pitfalls of modern dress. I will also be introducing you to some of my favorite style bloggers, ladies from whom I draw great inspiration.

Disney blog

My best gal Pal Elley Darling and I in the fashion pages of the Disney Parks Blog. We spent an entire day at the parks (husband and child in tow) without the “aid” of athletic wear or trainers. Cute and comfort can be friends!

This is a call to arms, darlings! The New Sexual Revolution is upon us. Let us return to glamour. Viva la Revolution… and stockings!