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Outfit: Tire Swing

 

When my grandma moved to her home in the country, one of the things I loved most about the house was this big old tree with the tire swing. My kids have played on it since they were old enough to hang on tight and every time we come, the run right for it. My yard doesn't have any trees or I would definitely have a swing on a strong branch too.



 

This top is one of my favorites. I will probably wear it til it falls to pieces, even though I've already sewn a few with the same pattern. This is Simplicity 1364. I love 3/4 length sleeves and the retro slash neck top.



The style pairs great with skirts but its easy to throw on with some jeans to run to the store or the kids school without being too dressy. This top was my first try at knit  fabrics and its so much easier to work with than I thought it would be. I found this funny childlike tiger print fabric at JoAnne's and just fell in love with it. I wish they had more animal prints like this.





The pants are a thrift store find. I spent a weekend hunting for some 60s-ish style pants in my size and I managed to find a couple of pairs of wool pants that aren't itchy. I did a little alteration on these by taking them in at the leg just a smidge and sewing a little slash at the ankle so they aren't too snug there.


They've turned out to be some of my favorite pants for winter. I doubt they'll see the light of day once our humid spring and summer weather hits so I'm wearing them while I can!



 

Tiger print top- made by me from Simplicity 1364
plaid pants- thrifted
lace inlay shoes- thrifted
bakelite bangles- various antique shops

Vintage Style File: The Glambassador


Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame



This year I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite vintage fashion bloggers here on Va-Voom Vintage. There's so many wonderful reads out there so lets explore some new areas of the internet together in these style files! This month, I have Christine (The Glambassador) from Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame.

I often get questions from readers on topics that I don't have an answer to so I hope some of my vintage blogger friends can help you all out! For example, Christine has naturally curly hair and has all of the great tips for how to style your hair vintage with natural curls and how she maintains her pin curl set for an entire week.

 Read on for her advice on plus size vintage style, curating a wardrobe and her recommendations for flawless beautiful skin.


Follow Christine:
      
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Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

Where are you from? 

I live in Germany in a small charming village called Kusel. It’s in the Rhineland-Pfalz region close to France and Luxembourg, though I am originally from San Diego, California.


What inspired you to start your blog?

My blog started as an outlet to start writing again and a way for me to catalog my wardrobe and my journey with vintage style and glamour. 



When I started my blog in 2013, I was the owner of and practitioner in a busy holistic spa in Baltimore, MD. I’m a massage therapist, esthetician and holistic health coach and writing the blog was a way for me to express myself in a creative way that was a little different than my “day job”. 



I’ve been styling myself in vintage since I was 16, so it’s become a way of life for me. My blog is a way for me to share this passion with others and hopefully provide some inspiration to those who also enjoy the esthetic of vintage clothing and glamour.


Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame


Does your daily lifestyle and career allow you to wear vintage everyday? What advice do you have for people who are getting started with working vintage into their daily wardrobe?


Currently as a massage therapist, I do not wear vintage clothing while I work, however it’s a great opportunity for me to showcase my vintage hair and makeup styles. In my previous careers as a public relations and marketing coordinator and an administrative assistant at the USO here in Germany, I was able to wear my vintage style and was largely applauded for my efforts.



When I’m not working on clients and need to leave the house, I always dress in vintage style. It’s a lifestyle for me and just my normal look. I admittedly still struggle with casual looks, or at least what muggles would consider casual. I live in a small German village and I’m pretty sure the local residents think I’m a weirdo, but I’m totally ok with that. Typically my “casual” is still seen as a few notches above the average person at the grocery store. 



My advice for anyone starting to add items into their wardrobe would be to create a Pinterest board with photos of styles that you love or that call to you. If you are drawn to a specific era, it’s important to learn what details and silhouettes are typical for that era. That way you can emulate the silhouette by adding a few items here and there to your current wardrobe. There are a lot of things you can do with modern items to make it look a bit more vintage. 



Also if you can learn a few simple vintage hairstyles and do a simple vintage makeup look, that can really help your whole ensemble come together. I find it looks odd if someone has a vintage hairstyle with very modern clothing or vise versa. 



Shirt-dresses are a perfect style for both the office and everyday life. I wear shirt-dresses quite often. They can be paired with a cardigan and a nice brooch for a casual day-to-day look or with a fitted blazer for a more professional office look. And I personally think that it’s a style that looks great on every body. 


Vintage accessories are also a great way to add some vintage flare to your style. A simple button-down blouse and circle skirt can be elevated by a beautiful brooch and earrings.

Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

You have the most flawless skin. What are your go-to skin care products?

As an esthetician, skin care is literally my life. I’ve been in the skin care industry for 20+ years and have been a devotee of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products since I was about 18. My skin care ritual is actually quite simple, I don’t believe that you need a dozen creams and potions to care for your skin. Part of the Dr. Hauschka philosophy is to use products that support the skin natural functions, your skin knows what it’s job is and how to be the best it can be. So using products that supports its natural functions is the best way to have happy and healthy skin. 



I’m also very fair, my heritage is Scottish/Irish/Norwegian so I wear sunscreen all the time. I also use a mineral makeup which gives me another layer of sun protection. 



I have a blog post on my skin care ritual so you can see the products that I use. Skin Care Ritual

Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame




Many people struggle to find authentic looking pieces in a plus size range and that's something you've always done so well. What are your favorite brands for an authentic vintage look?


It makes me really happy to hear that I’m viewed as “authentic looking”, it is the esthetic that I strive for. I think a lot of curvy ladies tend to jump on the “modern pinup” bandwagon because it does seem to celebrate a curvier body. I myself cringe a bit when someone refers to my style or calls me “pinup”, because I just do not subscribe to the style. It feels flashy and more like a costume to me, it doesn’t feel natural or authentic. I prefer to gain inspiration from photos of “everyday” women of the eras that I love. 



The easiest way for me, is to collect images on Pinterest so I can get inspiration from all kinds of photos. Of course I love the Hollywood actresses of those times, but I also want to the see what the “average” woman wore day-to-day and how they did their hair. I do not have a team of hairdressers to assist me in elaborate hairstyles, which is something I think we forget when we see amazing hair on the old Hollywood actresses. 



For me, it’s all about creating the right silhouette (this goes for hair too). It’s also super important to know your body! You need to be honest with yourself and your shape and learn what clothing items will help accentuate the parts that you like and how to work with those parts that we aren’t so happy with. I’ve been a big gal all my life and I honestly have no issue with my size. I’m healthy and I can do everything that I need or want to, my size doesn’t define me or hinder me. 



I carry a lot of my weight in my tummy and hips, so wiggle dresses/skirts bring attention to those areas and that doesn’t make me feel my best. But A-line skirts and of course circle skirts look amazing on me. Especially if I can add a belt as it cinches in my waist. 

I’ve never been a big fan of trousers, mostly because I was choosing the wrong type of trouser. But in the past few years I’ve really been trying to find what works for me on the trouser front. I’ve come to the realization that swing trousers are NOT for me at all. The flat front is horrible for anyone with a belly. So I’ve realized that I need a mid to high waist, zip front, pleats and either a wider leg or straight leg. I’ve found a few trousers that fit this description and it’s amazing how different I look and feel in them. 


My absolute favorite brand is eShakti. While they are not a vintage reproduction line, they are really good at creating vintage-inspired silhouettes. This is where it’s really important to know and understand what vintage details are. If you understand what details and silhouettes offer the vintage esthetic, you can find items in modern brands. All of eShakti’s skirts and dresses come with wonderful deep pockets (I could talk about the importance of pockets all day!), some also come with bra keeps (those little snapped straps to keep your bra from showing), and everything is customizable. Not just the actual size of the garment but also sleeve type/length, neckline, and hem length. I would say that 80% of my vast wardrobe is from eShakti.



Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

Vintage reproduction brands that have great options for plus sizes are Vivien of Halloway, Emmy Designs (although they could be better with their larger sizes), Miss Candyfloss, Collectif and Hearts and Found. 


I also find great simple separates on ModCloth, I find that a lot of their dresses are too short for me, but I have found wonderful skirts and blouses that are staples in my wardrobe. 



As a plus size woman I’m used to brands not carrying a large selection of extended sizes and I’ve heard all the excuses as to why they don’t. But I think it’s important to continue to have dialogues with these companies so they can understand that we are also a part of this community and want nothing more than to look and feel beautiful in their clothes. So I encourage you to contact a company if you see that their plus size range is limited and let them know. If they hear our voices and see that we are out there (to spend our money), then they are more apt to extend their sizes for us.

Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

If you were just starting to build your vintage wardrobe from scratch all over again what pieces would you add first?

Oh that’s a hard one as I’ve been cultivating my wardrobe for over 25 years. I would start with my favorite item, a shirt-dress. And then the all important separates. A good white button down shirt (these are great under cardigans and perfect when you want to wear a tie), a few A-line skirts (with pockets, of course), a few cardigans and you could mix and match to have several different outfits. 

I started my journey with brooches and accessories. It’s what was attainable to me at the time and there was no size involved, so I didn’t have to deal with them not fitting. My collection of brooches is immense, but they bring me such joy and allow me to express myself in different ways.



Christine The Glambassador Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame

Thank you to Christine for all of your wonderful advice and inspiration! Please be sure to check out her blog, Musings of a Chronically Overdressed Dame and visit again for next month's Vintage Blogger Style File


Outfit: Chicken Mama


On Christmas morning, I opened up the most amazing purse from Daffny of A Vintage Nerd. Its the funniest rubber Chicken Purse and it matches my chicken, Chickadee perfectly! I love a crazy purse in wild colors because when I'm running out the door, its always easy to find. Well, a chicken definitely stands out enough I'll always know where it is!





Not surprisingly, my chicken (and neighbor chicken who comes to visit) are a bit freaked out by the chicken purse. Back to the neighbor chicken though....


This is Miss Scarlett, she lives two doors down. I don't know if her owner is really paying attention to her anymore so she started hopping the fence to hang out with my neighbor's chicken a few months ago. He feeds and waters them and she has good company in his yard.

 Eventually she discovered that I am the proprietress of Mrs. Sherman's Home for Wayward Chickens and decided to hop the fence again and enjoy all of the bounty of my yard. She rolls around in the dust bath, eats the snacks and has a great time playing with my Chickadee all day. They roam around and chatter with each other and have daily chicken play dates. 



Sometimes Chickadee has to peck her in the head and set her straight if she oversteps her bounds but they get along pretty well. She was terrified of us at first but now that we pet her and feed her and say nice  things to her daily, she has learned to trust us and come trotting over when I call. At night she hops the fences again and goes home to her own coop. She has the prettiest, super long wing feathers. 


I guess it was a few months ago this cute, beat up car arrived in the alley by my neighbor's garage. He loves to collect old vehicles and fix them up. I don't know what he'll do with this but I love the color and when its done, its going to be darling! 





 Today I wore my polka dot top that I made from the Tilly and the Buttons Coco Blouse. Its one of my favorite patterns and I really need to make more. This fabric is pretty thin but it makes a good all-season top and although I didn't add any interfacing or anything to stiffen the collar, I like the way it drapes. Please pardon the dirt on it from happy scratchy chicken feet.







Outfit: 
Polka Dot Blouse- Made by Me with Tilly and the Buttons Coco Pattern
Belt- Unique Vintage
Skirt- Thrifted
Chicken Purse- Amazon



This post contains links to my affiliate, Amazon. For more information on my affiliates and how I monetize this blog, please see my full disclosure page. 
























DIY Retro Saddle Shoes

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes


This year I'm planning some really cool vintage inspired shoe makeovers. I've had these ideas in my back pocket since my kids were babies so I'm finally going to just do them! For the first shoe makeover, I'm making some classic and simple saddle shoes. I like to have a pair of easy closed toe shoes by the door that I can slip on and they'll go with anything and saddle shoes definitely fit the bill. You can do a DIY saddle shoe by coloring the colored area in with a sharpie or paint but I like to kick my crafts up a notch so here we go.


DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes


You will need:
a plain pair of white canvas shoes (or any color if you want to change it up a bit)

a scrap of thin leather or vinyl in your desired color

a hole punch

spray adhesive for sewing

sewing needle, pins, thread and a thimble


First, you'll need to make a pattern. I was going to provide a pattern for this post but I realized that the pattern wouldn't fit all shoe sizes or styles so I'll show you how I made mine. It's pretty quick and easy.


Pin paper to the side of your shoe, where you want the colored section to begin.


with the paper smoothly covering the top of the shoe, trim and pin it to the other side of the shoe


Cut the top of the paper to line up with the opening of the shoe and the length of the laced section.


Draw a curved line, making where you want the colored section to be.


Cut the pattern out and pin it back in place, making sure it covers everything evenly and the lines are symmetrical.


mark circles for the lacing grommets.


Cut the piece out in your vinyl or leather and punch holes for the laces.


Spray your adhesive on the wrong side of the vinyl. Do not spray it directly on the shoe or it might end up on an area that will show. Make sure to get the spray adhesive made for sewing so it won't gum up your needle or be too hard to sew through. This Spray n' Bond is pretty good and doesn't have a bad smell like all purpose spray adhesives.


If you skip the spray adhesive like I did on my test shoe, you may get puckers in the vinyl. I had to remove my stitching and redo it with the adhesive for a smooth finish. The adhesive shoe is on the right and the left shoe is without.



Quickly but carefully line up your colored piece and press the adhesive into the canvas, smoothing it out and making sure the holes match up. You can remove this piece and realign it without messing up the adhesive as long as you do it quickly.

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

Next just hand sew small, even running stitches all along the edge of the colored piece. I did not sew the edge near the tongue of the shoe, I left that free so it wouldn't pucker when I laced it, just in case my pattern was off a little bit.


DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

DIY retro pink 1950s style saddle shoes

To change up the look of your saddle shoes you can punch scalloped edges or decorative perforations with small craft punches. Add colorful laces or contrast colored thread.  I hope you enjoyed this post. Check out my other DIY Style posts and follow along on Instagram for updates on new DIY shoes