My Early Style Inspirations


It's interesting how one's personal style can change so quickly and how it is influenced by the movies we watch, celebrities we love and even the books we read. It's a rare occasion when style is completely original. Although we all like to think that we dance to the beat of our own drummers and such, fashion certainly does repeat itself and we're all copy cats to a degree.....except for Lady Gaga's meat dress but that's a different story!

What makes up your personal style is how you take those influences, do a little copying and mix things up to make it your own and figure out what works for you. When you feel comfortable and confident with what you wear and don't feel like you're in a costume or wearing someone else's idea of what you should wear, I think you've successfully found your personal style.

I had a lot of people influence my style to get it where it is today. Even at age 27, it's still evolving, and I think it always will! Here are some of my style influencers from way back in the day....

Kate Winslet

 Maybe unexpected since she isn't really renowned for being a style icon but I always thought she was classically beautiful. I love her berry-colored lipstick, natural, well-shaped brows and I always wanted Maryanne's curly hair! Even on the red carpet and in real life, she dresses with simple elegance. Just love her! I thank Kate Winslet for reminding teenage Brittany that she didn't need to pile on mass amounts of eye shadow either.

Death from Sandman Comics

 My mom had a job coloring comics so we always had loads of comic books in the house as a kid. I always really loved Death and the above picture of her was in our kitchen. She's so cute and puts a sarcastic but truthful twist on life. The black pants, boots and tank top was kind of a uniform for me as a 13-14 year old and I even had the prettiest little ankh necklace. Strange as it is, Death was also a good influence on a young girl's outlook on life. After hanging around depressed teenagers  who whine all the time about how terrible life is, Death reminds us that life is beautiful and precious and not to be taken for granted. Because of her, I laughed a lot.

Gwen Stefani

Oh how I adored Gwen Stefani when I was 14- but really, what girl didn't? I absolutely did glue bindi to my forehead and twist my hair into wild little buns and wear saris in public for no reason except that they were pretty. I really feel that every teenage girl needs some insane style icon to look up to and emulate. When kids can express themselves through style, they're probably less likely to do anything too crazy. Gwen never really categorized her style. One minute she'd be kind of punk rock awesome and the next, very girly and pretty. I loved that about her. Gwen also inspired my first experiments with red lipstick.

Ann Margret
Way back before my love of vintage fashion, Ann Margret had a big impact on my personal style. At 13 or 14, I decided to dye my hair red and mom and grandma agreed, "She looks just like Ann Margret!" Wondering who on Earth was this woman that I resemble, I looked her up and fell in love! A spunky red headed bombshell- again, with perfect eyebrows and that fabulous cat eyeliner. I immediately ran out and bought some liquid liner and perfected the art of application. Puberty hit me so hard that girls in the locker room gossiped about weather or not I stuffed my bra but while the rest of the girls were anxious and nervous about themselves, Ann Margret and her ample curves taught me to be comfortable with my body.

Who influenced your personal style?

7 Ways to Spice Up a Pair of Vintage Gloves


Hello, Va-Voom Vintage fans!

It's Emileigh from Flashback Summer, and I'm privileged to be able to do a guest post for Brittany today!  When she asked if I would want to, I was super excited.  I've been a fan of her blog for a while, and now I get to be a part of it!

As I'm sure you vintage lovers know, unique and colorful vintage gloves are more scarce, and when you can manage to find them they can be a bit expensive.  However, there are plenty of plain gloves around, especially white ones!  These plain gloves are a blank canvas for you to dress up according to your personal style and preference, and it's also a budget-friendly way to get the unique glove styles you'd like to have.  Today I've got seven ways to spice up a pair of plain vintage gloves that you guys can try!

#1: Dye them a different color.
I've been looking for a red pair of gloves lately, but I can't find any in my area.  So, I decided to dye this plain white pair!  It's quick, easy, and doesn't require any complicated skills.  This is also a good way to fill in any "color gaps" you have in your wardrobe because you can pick any color you want.

#2: Add contrast stitching.
This is especially good for gloves that have the stitching on the outside.  A while ago, Brittany mentioned that some pale yellow gloves she bought weren't such a good idea, as they looked like dish gloves.... This accent fixes that problem!  As I did with this pair of gloves, this technique adds a bit of color that you can match to your outfit without giving a "dish glove" look.  It also gives you an opportunity to show off any fancy stitches you've learned.

 #3: Add a cut-out.
This technique is on the more advanced end of sewing skills, since it involves cutwork.  However, if you take it slow (or already know how to do it!), you can end up with a pretty cool accent.  You can outline it in a contrasting color, like I did, or you can keep it subtle with the same color and let your cutwork speak for itself.  It makes a fun driving glove or even a steampunk sort of look, I think.

 #4: Add a cute trim.
I sewed on just a peek of lace to these beige gloves to add some femininity and detail.  However, you could also try a large ribbon, rick rack, or a knitted or crocheted trim.

#5: Embroider the gloves.
Though it can be a difficult to maneuver inside the glove to embroider it, I think the results speak for themselves!  I embroidered the edges of these gloves and added some curliques to accent the little bow that was already there.  It added a pop of color and lots of cuteness!  This was probably my favorite transformation!  There are also lots of possibilities.  You can do a fancy stitch on the edge, initials, a small picture, or just a simple design around the wrist.  Use your creativity!

 #6: Add buttons.
This is a great opportunity to use any vintage buttons you have in your stash.  You can use as many or as few as you want.  My pair of gloves already had waves on it, so I accented them with some plain white buttons.  However, you could put just a couple buttons at the wrist, line the edges with buttons, or anything you want!  It's a good way to showcase your especially beautiful buttons, too.

#7: Do a combination!
Why be constrained to only one of these techniques?  Try a combination, like I did with the gloves above!  I dyed them and also added buttons to the wrist.  You could add a button and embroider a design around it, dye a pair and edge them with ribbon or contrast stitch them, make a cut out and border it with tiny buttons, the combinations are endless!  Get your creative juices going and create something beautiful!

Do you think you'd like to try any of these techniques?  Which is your favorite?  Do you have any other ideas?
If you spice up a pair of gloves, I'd love to see them!

Love you guys!
- Emileigh

Shop Update: Pendletons and Frocks


Just a super quick shop update before I get back to laundry day....

I'm going on another big buying appointment tomorrow but before I do, I wanted to start listing a few things from my last big haul. See everything at Va-Voom Vintage Shop


1959 Mile High Raspberry Pie


Just a little peek from issue one of Hey Doll!- due in just two short weeks. We have a fantastic article from Elise Moore with gorgeous mid-century desserts and party games for valentine's day. Since she isn't too keen on gelatin I volunteered to whip up her two gelatin recipes so you can see how beautiful they are when they are complete.

Pj helped me with this recipe. He whipped the cream and got the egg whites to form stiff peaks with his new blender wand. There's a whole lot of whipping going on with this recipe so I highly recommend using a blender wand, hand or counter top mixer.

the pie is garnished with coconut but if you're not a fan of coconut, you can omit it and it's still just as amazing!

 This recipe dirties a lot of dishes but is well worth the mess! The pie is light as a cloud, cool and creamy and not too sweet. I will be making this one very frequently when the heat of the summer gets really bad. My sister's baby shower is coming up too so I think I will have to whip up another for that as well. Although we whipped and blended until the blender wand got tired, Pj is convinced and we messed up somewhere along the line and he says we will have to make another pie this week. I'm not sure if that's genuine concern or a guy's need for more yummy pie. Either way, I'm game!

  See the recipes, including this mile high raspberry pie right here, February 2nd. For updates and more teasers, like Hey Doll! on facebook

The day that my husband wanted to go thrifting


My dear readers, please send help. Aliens have abducted my husband. yesterday morning, he said "Hey, let's go to a few thrift stores today." What?! Who is this mad man?

So we went to the Salvation Army, Goodwill and St Vincent de Paul and I pulled in a huge home decor score! Just in time because two days ago, I bought this awesome mid century sofa, which I honestly needed very badly! It's so comfortable and is enormous. It even has Pj's approval, which is rare because he's particular about his lounging spots.

The first and most important is this little retro side table.

This puppy is going right next to my computer to house my scanner/printer thingy and office supplies.  It needs to be cleaned up a bit for 6 bucks, I couldn't complain. I had no room in the trunk so I held it on my lap all over town.

Next is my little kitty vase and  wooden candle holders

I scored big on kitchen stuff too with my super cute yellow pot, little strawberry pan, fish shaped mould and some orange melamine saucers and cups.

 (Diversion here- melamine or melamac: what's the difference? I had no idea till I used the google machine. Apparently melamine is the type of resin, Melamac is a brand name. So, it's the difference between tissue and keelex! Thank you, Ismoyo's Vintage Playground!)

Also found a very pretty and huge platter with lovely gold speckled edges...tag still on

Finally, a rare find in my local thrift stores, I scored a load of vintage ornaments, including a whole box of shiney brights. At 25-50 cents per box, I shrieked and proclaimed,
 "Vintage ornaments at the thrift store! My life is complete!!"
 at which point, Olivia held up a box of tiny showmen ornaments and said,
"Snowmen! My life is complete!"

For more of my vintage home decor inspiration, see my pin board, Little Vintage Dream House

My Work Uniform


Winter outfit pics are always hard to do. When Pj's home, I'm usually at work and vice versa and when we are home and it's light out, it's been so cold!! I managed to get him to snap a few while I was literally on my way out the door, headed to work yesterday.

1940s plus size day dress and rayon swing jacket with victory rolls

My Work Uniform
 Before my current job as a support staff for people with developmental disabilities, I was a stay at home mom for 4 years. I wore pajamas or vintage dresses or whatever I wanted to wear. When I had to find a job I thought, " I have to buy all new clothes!" Many jobs have uniforms or dress codes for appropriate work attire. Mine does too, actually. We are supposed to dress comfortably, modestly and have a clean, well groomed appearance. Depending on the individuals that we work with, some of us don't wear earrings and if we have long hair, it has to be worn in a bun or covered up.  Depending on the shift, I may wear jeans and a t-shirt but if I have time to get properly dressed, I do!  I do try to tone down the vintage looks for work. I never wear lipstick, rarely do fancy hair and I save most of my fancier dresses and high heels for another time. My black flats have seen better days so I had to wear heels today until I can get a new pair of flats.

The Outfit
 This 1940's rayon dress and 40's swing jacket are also some of those things that I bought for the shop that I couldn't let go of. When I found it, the shoulder pads are so gnarly that they had turned to hard crumbles inside the fabric pads. They caused a little discoloration to the shoulder area but eh- it's a 60-ish year old dress so really, that's not a big deal to me.

 I mentioned the problem with wearing and selling vintage in my last outfit post. My rule is, for every 20 items I buy for the shop, I can buy one spectacular thing for myself. It keeps me from going crazy and bringing home stuff I don't have room for and it keeps me selling things instead of hoarding it. On my last buying trip, I bought 100 new pieces so I kept 5 lovely pieces for me! I love the stitching on this jacket.

Don't you love my fab knitting bag? My sister in law gave it to me for Christmas. It's enormous and sturdy so I kinda use it for a purse, diaper bag, knitting bag! It always comes with me to work so I have lots to keep me occupied while my folks do their thing.

She'll Make You Flip Giveaway


January has been full of spectacular giveaways so far. Here's another for all of my wonderful readers from sponsor, She'll Make You Flip! You may remember She'll Make You Flip from my feature post in December. 

check out some of her truly spectacular vintage sewing patterns:
beach ensemble

30's day dress

30's dress with fabulous collar

Today, Deb is giving away this fabulous package of patterns pictured below including:

Vintage Simplicity Housecoat Set
1930's Advance Slip Cover Pattern
Pineapples on Parade Crochet Pattern Book
Vintage Embroidered Dresser Linen
Glossiola Stamped Linen Dresser scarf with embroidery instructions

To Enter: 

Visit She'll Make you Flip on etsy and send a conversation from the top of the shop page with the following subject line- "Va-Voom Vintage Giveaway" and your email address entered in the message area.  

Don't forget, Va-Voom Vintage readers also get 20% off at the checkout using coupon code VaVoom20. Anyone who uses the coupon code from now till Tuesday will get 5 additional giveaway entries.

           The winner will be drawn on next Tuesday!

Sneak Peek at Little O's Old Time Soda Fountain


This afternoon, before work I went on a date with my two favorite boys to Little O's Old Time Soda Fountain, just down the street from my house in historic St Charles.

 Little O's will be the first Hometown Vintage feature for Hey Doll! Vintage Magazine. Hometown Vintage will cover a vintagey shopping spot, restaurant, entertainment location or event in each issue.

 I met the wonderful owners and got the scoop on their soda shop, their family's top secret recipe for St Louis tradition: gooey butter cake and learned the history of the vintage decor and equipment that they use. We sampled some of the best things on the menu, including the gooey butter cake, which was so fresh that it was still warm!

 Rhys loved his first taste of old fashioned phosphate soda.

The horse ride is from the 50's and still works!

See the whole story, along with pics and reviews of the amazing menu items in the first issue of Hey Doll!  (Link to issue 1 will be right here on the blog, February 2nd )

 Now on to the outfit. Selling vintage is not easy for a girl like me. When I find something in my size, it's a constant struggle of keep it or find it a new home. Due to a ridiculously large wardrobe, I really do try to find it a new home. I think of all of the curvy girls out there looking for a fab vintage dress and I think "I have enough, list that puppy and another girl will love and treasure it!" Then there's the few that I can't let go of, like this one.

 I've heard plenty of people say that a full figured girl shouldn't wear princess seams and I think they're all out of their damn minds! I feel amazing in this dress. When I first tried it on, I could zip it up but had some boob-squishing due to tightness, which is the story of my life. With a seam ripper and about 5 minutes, I removed the darts at the back and two pin tucks in the front and it fits like a glove!

local girls and St Louis visitors, pop in to Little O's at:
125 North Main
St Charles MO
and check their facebook page for current hours, news and soup of the day! 

Giveaway: Custom Date Coupons for your Sweetheart


Guys can be so hard to shop for- and with my wedding anniversary in October, Christmas just passed and Pj's birthday in January, I'm usually tapped out of good ideas by Valentine's day. I was really excited when Datevitation contacted me recently to review their adorable date coupon books.

The site is very easy to use. First, you choose a cover and amount of pages that you want to include. Covers for Valentine's Day, Birthday, Anniversary and many Just Because feature cute, simple artwork that works for both genders. When creating your date coupon book, you select your gender and the recipient's gender so you can even create date books for your parents, siblings, friends and same sex couples. The little people in the art appear as the chosen genders. How cute is that?!

 Next choose your dates- this is where I really had fun!! Datevitation offers over 200 date ideas from simple dinner at home to sky diving and naughty dates for you saucy vixens out there.  Guess what girls, there's even a date for vintage shopping!! See all of the date ideas in the library.
Here are a few of my favorites:

I personalized each date coupon with my own text and left a funny little note at the beginning of the book.

The coupon book shipped very quickly and I was at work on the day that it arrived. Pj opened it and found this beautiful little box with his surprise date book inside.

Dates have been few and far between lately, with work and kids craziness. He was SO excited about it and said that he especially loved that the date ideas fit our likes so perfectly!

Order your date book for your Valentine sweetheart and save $5 with code VAVOOM at the checkout!

Today, Datevitation is giving away a voucher for a 5 page date coupon for one lucky U.S. reader and their sweetie. The giveaway will run for one week and will end on Saturday. Please follow the rafflecopter instructions for your entries and note terms and conditions for this giveaway (click terms and conditions below)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Date coupon book was provided for review courtesy of Datevitation.
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