Sunday, 29 September 2013

Vintage: My Grad Boat Cruise Outfit

I usually try to avoid social interaction with large groups of people at all costs, and the last time I went on a boat was definitely not a fun experience, so I was a little surprised to find myself buying a ticket to the first grad event of the season: the grad boat cruise. 

This is a pretty standard grad (or grade 12, if you will) event for schools in the Vancouver area. The cruises start in Coal Harbour and then go around to False Creek and back again, lasting about three hours. There's dinner, beverages, and a dance floor (which, after standing awkwardly on the sidelines for about a half hour, I actually participated in, heels and all). 

Ours was on Thursday, September 26. I honestly thought I would regret it for a few reasons (missing dance and being prone to seasickness being a couple), but I actually had a really good time (partly thanks to Gravol...). The weather couldn't have been nicer, especially since it started pouring rain early the next morning and has barely stopped since!

The event is semi-formal, and I unfortunately didn't have time to make a dress. I could have over the summer, but only decided that I was going to go a week beforehand. However, I had a couple dresses lurking in my closet that would have worked just fine, so I didn't want to buy one (especially not with such a tight deadline). To my knowledge (although my knowledge is pretty limited because I pretty much only talked to my close friends the whole evening), I was the only girl who didn't buy a new dress for the occasion, or at least wear one they'd never worn before. But honestly, I really don't see the point of buying something new for every occasion! I would way rather have a few nice dresses, and wear them lots, than buy a new $10 dress for every single event. I actually heard quite a few girls bragging about how cheap their dresses were, which makes me very sad. Most of them will probably never wear them again.

It was a close call between two dresses, but after seeing all the brand new dresses girls posted to the Facebook group for grad dresses (yes, every grad class has their own group to post pictures of their grad dress so no one buys the same one, *sigh*), I decided to be a rebel and wear vintage.


That's not a stain on the front of the skirt, the nap is just a little crushed. Keeping velveteen nice is really tricky!

This dress was given to me by my aunt, who made it in the 60's. She didn't say exactly when, but my guess is early to mid-sixties. It's velveteen, and saying that it's turquoise doesn't really describe the colour very well... it's like no turquoise I've ever seen in modern clothing! That's part of what I love about it - it's so unique. It's quite difficult to capture in photos, though! It's a little greener than it looks here.



The style is simple but very flattering, and I'm amazed at how well it fits. My mom took in the shoulders a little bit, but other than that it didn't need any alterations. I didn't take a picture of the back (and I'm not about to put it on and take pictures outside, it's been nonstop pouring since the cruise), but it's a low v. Well, maybe I shouldn't say "low" because nowadays a low v seems to mean down to your butt. No, this "low v" is pretty much down to my bra band in the back. I really love how it's high in the front, and low in the back. It shows a little skin, but in a very elegant way. 



I wanted to go for a "simple elegance" look with this dress. I paired it with simple black heels, a tiny black purse (yes, that's tiny for me. I like big bags), and a black bolero for when it cooled off later on. The heels unfortunately aren't vintage or even a vintage style. I have a pair of black heels that I think might be vintage, although I don't know much about dating shoes so I don't really know. They can be seen (sort of) here and here. I found them at a thrift store for $5.99 and LOVE them, but they need the heel strap shortened a bit and there wasn't time. The heels I wore were just fine though. My best friend wears heels quite a bit, and I think she and I were the only girls who managed to keep them on the whole night. Honestly, I don't understand why girls wear heels if they plan on taking them off. Sure, they look great for half an hour, but then walking around barefoot for the rest of the night doesn't look so great. Wouldn't it look better to wear flats or low heels and keep them on the whole night? I don't get it. 

The purse I borrowed from my mom, and I believe she bought it at a consignment store. 



The bolero (or blazer - I call it both) my mom made for me to go with this dress when I wore it to a wedding last year. I wore it in a couple of the photos in this post, and I wear it quite a bit.  I normally don't go for boxier styles but this one really suits the dress and, because it's cropped, I find it pretty flattering. I wanted something pretty specific and couldn't find an appropriate pattern, but I found Vogue V8673 (which isn't actually out of print - I made a mistake in my previous post) in a clearance bin for $5 and thought we could use it for the basic shape, and then modify it to what I wanted. I modeled it after a bolero I found in a knitting magazine dated 1965 that I found in my grandparents' house. Someday I will actually knit it, maybe once I finish what I'm working on now. It was shown with a similar style of dress, and I really liked the two shapes together.

I made a muslin in a size 6, because although I am technically a size 8, I've always found commercial patterns to be big on me (the exception being a rather disastrous pair of Burda shorts from their magazine. I figured they were a lost cause and they never made it past the muslin stage). The pattern fit me pretty well so we didn't have to make any fitting adjustments, we just changed the shape. 

We bought some black double knit for the main fabric, and a remnant of white satin with black polka dots for the  lining. The two fabrics behave very differently and probably weren't the best fabrics to use together, but if I'm careful when I lay it out flat to dry it usually works out. I actually had every intention of making this myself, but ran out of time and my mom ended up making it. I'm really happy with it though - it seems to go with just about everything.



I'm really glad I had something to wear over top that actually went with my dress. Most girls brought something, but didn't want to wear them because they didn't look good over their dresses. Although with the wind it was definitely cool enough to wear it from the start, I kept it off for photos until it really was too cold. Do I look freezing in the photo above? It was taken after dinner, when it had already cooled off. I think I ran downstairs and got my bolero right afterwards!


Okay, I realise that this is a horrible photo, but it's sadly the best one of the bolero. I roll up the sleeves to show off the polka dot lining!

Anyways, back to this outfit! For jewelry, I went with my favourite dangly pearl earrings, a pearl bracelet, and a decorative headband (which you can't really see in any of the photos). This would have looked great with a pearl necklace, but I didn't have one, and that probably would have been a pearl overload anyways. In some of the photos you can also see a pin on my bolero, too. That was also borrowed from my mom, and is probably old enough to be considered vintage by now. 




I didn't do much more than everyday makeup, just a little eyeshadow and my favourite lipstick. For hair, I conditioned it in the morning (I usually don't bother), and put in some anti-frizz serum that I had left over from my long-haired days. It was really windy, though, so I'm not sure it did much good.


On the whole, it was a really fun night and I'm glad I went. It was a great way to start grade 12!




16 comments:

  1. Your dress is stunning and you look fabulous! I have a feeling you're going to have a lot of events you'll be attending this year, so I think it's smart to limit how many new outfits you go with. My mum and I had a deal where she would buy a dress for me for an event, but then I either had to make something or re-wear an old outfit for the next. I'm not 100% sure, but I think my building is just outside the scope of your second picture!

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    1. Thank you! Most of the events I go to aren't dressy enough to merit new outfits anyways, but I still don't want to be buying a bunch of new clothes when I don't really need them. That sounds like a good plan you had with your mom. If I had my way, I would make all my dresses, but I'm not entirely sure that's realistic!

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  2. You look gorgeous - your dress is just perfect and you've styled it to perfection. It's sad how people have a compulsion to have a new dress for every event these days, I think you have a much wiser perspective. You might be interested in reading the book 'overdressed' by Elizabeth Cline if you haven't already - it details the 'fast fashion' cutlre of people today and how little we value our clothing.

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    1. Thanks! I have read the book and thought it definitely brought up some good points. Another one I've read is "Naked Fashion" by Safia Minney. It's a bit different than Overdressed in that it's a series of articles and interviews, but I still found it very interesting. It also talked about marketing, body image, and feminism, and tied it to fast fashion, which I found very interesting to read about as well.

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  3. What a beautiful dress!
    Un salut de France!

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    1. Thanks! (Or merci, I should say!)

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  4. Really pretty dress. I love the color.

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  5. Your dress was easily the best! You look gorgeous and the fit is great, good choice. Is the colour teal? it was really brave of you to go especially as you can't get off to go home early, so really glad you had a god time!

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    1. Thanks! The colour is a little more teal but just as bright as in these photos. It's difficult to describe since I've never really seen it before!

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  6. that dress is just so lovely! the fit is amazing!

    lindsey louise

    hellomrrabbitblog.com

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  7. Oh this is such a lovely dress! I love the colour of it and it fits you so well.

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  8. This dress is stunning! Your work is simply beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, although this particular one isn't my own work!

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