Mad Men, The Brady Bunch and Leave it to Beaver all have one thing in common; some pretty amazing housewives who keep cool under pressure (for the most part) and know how to sew, cook, etc. Sometimes I daydream about what it would be like to be transplanted into that role and era, but the thought of a table full of kids complaining about another dinner of choking down SPAM instantly snaps me back to reality.
However, I love creating retro restorations and altering vintage dresses, but I can’t sew a lick. Every time I switch up a 60’s or 70’s dress, I consider it a K~DIY (Kinda Do-It-Yourself) project. I find a dress and decide if there’s anyway to change it, then I cross my fingers and hope my affordable Bay Area seamstress, Grace at Lux Cleaners, can work her magic. These projects can be extremely inexpensive as well (total cost of the dress in this post~ $10 vintage dress at Clothes Contact, $7 dry cleaning, $20 alterations ~Total $37).
Here’s my most recent K~DIY below. I tweeted this pre-altered before pic of the shapeless bright 60’s vintage dress (right before it went under the scissors) that I’m wearing here:
Watermelon hues & bubblegum backgrounds ~ Yay! Spring is here and bright bold colors are everywhere.
My Vintage Restoration Rules~
1. Look for “in style” details. I liked the long sleeve and high neckline aspect of this dress.
2. I try to pair vintage dresses with trendy accessories. I feel like wearing an entirely vintage outfit head to toe is a little much. I went with these silver metallic heels & purse.
3. Accept It won’t be perfect.The material of vintage dresses are often thick or may have weird lines, but try to alter it as best you can. It important your tailor is honest whether they can make changes or not. I had this dress taken in on the sides and shortened. This eliminated the belt loops so I could place the belt a little higher. What are your rules of wearing vintage?
There are endless murals & houses painted in every color of the rainbow in San Francisco.
Side street in SOMA SF near 8th & Folsom St.
Highlights & Lipstick~ I pulled my hair up in a messy bun in an attempt to hide my roots & tried out my new fave MAC lipliner & lipstick combo~ “In Anticipation” &Sheen Supreme lipstick “Gotta Bash”
“The Good Wife’s Guide” Housekeeping Monthly ~ May 1955
Here were the top tips for being a “good wife” back then
~”Have Dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs…” ~”Prepare Yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking…” ~ “Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.” ~ “Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.”
Uh, wow! Thoughts?
Heels ~ Versace for H&M, dress- No label (Clothes Contact in SF’s Mission District), ring~F21
Nail polish ~ Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (Lively Lilac & Petal Pusher), faux snakeskin clutch- recent TJMAXX no label
I’m glad times have changed because unless my future husband is cool with microwave baked potatoes and take-n-bake pizzas, that guide just wouldn’t fly. But to think that “The Real Housewives” franchise is now the glorified “housewife,” shows maybe it’s gone too far.
Also….For the Guys~As Mad Men fans know, the new season premieres this Sunday and for any man who has understandably daydreamed about a day in Don Draper’s shoes, you’ll need to start with a stiff drink and a well tailored suit like this post featuring my brother.
Do you enjoy vintage shopping or is it too much work worrying about alterations?