Tuesday, 10 February 2009

In your shoes

Right missy, I have these shoes:

and this dress, minus the white shirt part:

and I want to wear them together for a wedding next month. Think 40s style. Find me some accessories - I'm stumped as to what colour stockings to wear.

Wow - those shoes are gorgeous. Sadly they are unavailable now (Agent Provocateur doesn't have a footwear collection at the moment), but there's a size 8 pair on ebay at the moment. The dress is absolutely classic, too - and will suit Sarah who is slender but also has a fantastic hourglass figure. What it's also important to know is that Sarah has alabaster-pale skin, and lovely dark wavy hair.

Let's look at stockings first. There are two types of stocking: those which are 'fully fashioned', and those which are not. Fully fashioned stockings are made the old fashioned way on specialist machinery, and the cuban/pointed heel, and seam are a result of the stocking being sewn together from a piece of shaped silk or nylon. They are obviously more expensive, and not suitable for larger than a UK dress size 14-16. You can get unopened packs of vintage stockings on ebay, for that real authentic touch.

The problem with these is that vintage stockings, and those made in the vintage style, are often black or tan only. For this outfit, Sarah needs to match her stockings to her shoes. Footwear should never be lighter in shade than your hosiery if you're going for classic elegance. So Sarah might end up with modern stockings, where the seam is stitched on after the stockings have been made as a tube. Modern type stockings are cheaper, but I'm still really pleased to have found some fully fashioned stockings in ivory. You wouldn't want ivory in a thicker denier - we're not looking to create the 'cream tights' look - but these are in effect just fleshtone for paler skins. The ivory seam is elegant too. It's fine to look gorgeous at a wedding, but turning down the sex appeal just a shade is probably wise for most people. There are many makes of seamed stocking which are nude with a brown or black seam (or even red or blue!) but it is more femme fatale than class personified.

If it weren't a wedding, black seams would be a way of visually tieing the black dress to the pale shoes. So we'll need to do that another way. Instead, we're going to use the dark, brick red which outlines the detail on the shoes. I already know Sarah looks gorgeous with dark red lips, and she needs to work that shade through the rest of her outfit. Opinions are divided on the classiness of red nails, but a brick red, worn on short nails will look gorgeous. Bring this colour through to the hair with a comb, clip or fascinator, securing one side of the hair back for a Rita Hayworth-style cascade on the other - try ebay for a huge collection made by home crafters... and feathers for an authentic 40s look.

I'd keep jewellery small and subtle for the most part although I'd make an exception for these perfect earrings, £8.99. The dress needs something to break up the black, so I'd look for a gorgeous vintage brooch - ebay again, for bargains like this, currently £4.99. Other accessories I'd keep black - an overdone accent colour can be a little jarring.

Of course, other readers might just be coveting the frock, in which case similar dresses can be found - although not identical. For the slim, try this sleeveless frock from M&S for £25, or more forgiving to a fuller figure herald the return of the flutter dress from Dotty Perkins, £25.

Edit - apparently, modom wants a belt, and a bag big enough for a dslr (hefty camera). OK - the belt is easy peasy: House of Fraser, Linea - lizard effect belt. Slimmer by far than for a fifties look, but not so insubstantial as to be unflattering for her hourglass curves. Comes in black or red. I'm erring toward black. £19.

Come back for the bag... I'm working on it.

Ok - A frame bag should sort out your camera issues - although check the dimensions. My favourite is a thing of utter beauty. Leather, with a patent croc effect, you'd want to hide away the silver Jasper Conran tag, because it detracts from the clean lines. Not cheap - £75 - but look after it and it's an investment piece. A little cheaper, and slightly less retro is this by Betty Jackson £60. Perhaps a little paler than the shoes, but they won't be next to each other.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting - always nice to know I'm not talking to myself...