Vintage accessories in 2013

While window-shopping downtown the other day (for lack of being able to actually shop), I noticed that clothing is not the only thing that’s vintage-inspired for this spring. Accessories from bags, shoes and glasses are following trends from the Victorian era up until the 1980’s; so grabbing my smart phone, I snapped some photos of the different trends displayed.
Going to relatively generic and affordable stores such as Aldo, Forever 21 and H&M, I discovered an array of vintage-inspired accessories such as hats, glasses and bags.

To be honest, I considered not covering this trend in hopes that I could limit the amount of publicity it would gain. But after seeing the baseball cap line the displays of nearly every store, I realized that it was inevitable; soon I would be seeing capped heads everywhere.

top and bottom middle photo: Aldo.   left: Forever 21; photo on the right: H&M

top and bottom middle photo: Aldo. left: Forever 21; photo on the right: H&M

In nearly every store I walked into, there were baseball caps in plain and simple colours, in interesting patterns such as birds (as shown above) or florals. As I saw in the Aldo on Robson street, black baseball caps with sequins sat in the window display on mannequins.
The hat has developed a lot since its creation for baseball players in the 1800’s and became popular in mainstream society in the 1970’s to 1990’s.
For the best guide of how to wear the baseball cap this spring, check out

The cat-eye glasses, on the other hand, is a re-occuring trend that I can definitely get on board with. The glasses originally became popular in the 1950’s as optical glasses until Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of cat eye sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Photo courtesy of Chloe chic blog.

Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Photo courtesy of Chloe chic blog.

The cat eye glasses that I have seen this year are often embellished with decorations on the corners, from flowers to sequins.

Sunglasses from Aldo

Sunglasses from Aldo

However as much as I love these sunglasses, it’s a matter of how to wear them.

Another vintage-inspired trend to expect for sunglasses this year are the round sunglasses (as shown on on right of the photo above).

And as for the satchel bag that I have seen everywhere, I immediately think of the 1960’s. In my attempt to look up the origin of this fashion, I came across an entire history of hand bags, and as it turns out, I was right.
According to this website, which is organized by era, the satchel was first invented in the 1930’s, but became popular among women in the 1960’s. It was apparently inspired by travels to India in the late ’60’s as shoulder bags.

Although the trend was often seen back then in shades of brown, this year they are often in an array of colours.

Top photo: bags from Aldo.  Left: H&M.  Right: Forever 21.

Top photo: bags from Aldo. Left: H&M. Right: Forever 21.

H&M’s bags are in light colours to match the pastels of this spring, whereas Forever 21 has their satchels in neon green, in what I assume is an ode to the 1980’s. Aldo had plenty of different kinds in a rainbow of colours as well as bags in 1960’s patterns and designs.

This year, from what I can see, is all about mixing and matching in every sense. Whether it’s patterns, colours or eras, it’s all about doing it with style.
So my question is, how do you mix and match the eras?


Vintage-inspired weddings this spring

Although I’m far from any proposal myself (and I say this with no regret – I am only 20-years-old), I can’t say that I’m out of the loop of all the latest wedding trends.  Wedding season is on its way this year, and admittedly, I’ve been watching too many Friday Bridedays on TLC and I find myself, from time to time, scrolling through Pinterest’s wedding category.

From what I can see, this year couldn’t be better for a wedding, with all the trends that are so reminiscent of past eras. Not only do wedding trends for this year resemble a particular period, but the styles range all the way from the 1800’s up to the 1980’s.

As my History of Fashion teacher always said, “There is no such thing as an original design anymore; it’s all about recreating the past.”

And as depressing or fantastic as that may seem, he is absolutely right. Fashion nowadays is all about taking from the past with a reason in mind. Whether its bringing back shoulder pads from the ’20’s to represent women’s rights, or floral to represent the anti-war days of the 1960’s.

This year, weddings are all about recreating romanticism from past eras with empire waists and statement sleeves, or bringing back the fun and quirkiness of what used to be known as the Mullet Dress.

Here are some of the biggest wedding trends for this year, and why I personally am so intrigued by the revival.

The empire waistline for wedding gowns this season is modelled after the Jane Austen era in the early 1800’s. This season’s empire waist is complimented with either a halter top or sweetheart neckline, but back in Austen’s time they were either worn with cap sleeves or long sleeves and high necks during the day.

Depiction of the empire waist dress.  Courtesy of Fashion-era

Depiction of the empire waist dress. Courtesy of Fashion-era

The gown was meant to make women look like a Greek goddess, while clinging to the body with nude corsets worn underneath.

Although they were meant to be as simple as possible back then, today, they may even be accompanied by beaded sleeves as this dress by Jenny Packham is.

Dress by Jenny Packham.  Photo Curtesy of You&YourWedding

Dress by Jenny Packham. Photo Curtesy of You&YourWedding

Times have changed by a lot since then, so it’s amazing to see that the empire waist still gives off the look of innocence, no matter who wears it.

But even though white dresses were a regular thing in the early 1800’s, it was not considered the “norm.” In fact, it wasn’t until Queen Victoria wore a white gown for her wedding, that the colour even became a trend. White was not the colour for representing virtue, but for wealth.

Before Queen Victoria, wedding dresses hardly existed; women only wore their Sunday-best for weddings.
Although the trend may seem stuffy for some with tulle, lace and high necks, the look is certainly trending for this year.

Dress by Yolan Cris.
Courtesy of you & your wedding

Dress by Yolan Cris.
Courtesy of you & your wedding

The Victorian gown is only the feature of the wedding, as there are so many details that go into a Victorian-style wedding.

And then there comes a less romantic beginning.

Dress by Wtoo Bride.  Photo courtesy for Arabia Weddings

Dress by Wtoo Bride. Photo courtesy for Arabia Weddings

While looking for photos of the original high-low dress from the 1980’s, I find that nothing comes up. Perhaps it’s so that no one questions why we decided to recreate it.
What was originally titled the Mullet dress in the ‘80’s is the dress that is long at the back and short at the front. In my mind, it seems like the perfect example of bad wedding-fashion, but today designers have managed to add some class to make it look more desirable.
It seems to be the big thing this season, and although I personally liked it on summer dresses and skirts, remaking the wedding dress in this fashion is taking it to a whole new level.
Wendy Brandes from her blog on Huffington Post has said, “never is the next new thing,” meaning that if we come up with a new name for a fad, it suddenly becomes more enticing.

Meredith Bodgas, on the other hand, shares a different opinion on her wedding blog.
She says that the high-low dress for her friend’s wedding, was comfortable, showed off her heels and gave her the best of both worlds.

Although my idea of a nice wedding gown is something a little more classic (I’m a big fan of sweetheart necklines and long lace sleeves), this is probably the biggest improvement of an infamous ‘80’s fashion.

Nonetheless, I have years before I worry about anything of the sort, but I just hope that I don’t end up with something like this:

Twenties Fashion continues in 2013

The Roaring Twenties held a place on the runways for the spring of 2013 , but not without learning from a few mishaps of last year.
Spring 2012 was all about Gatsby Glamour , as it celebrated the remake of the 1920’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby; with beaded dresses, dropped waistlines, fringe, fur and lace accessories.
Ralph Lauren managed last year, to combine the romance and silhouette of the era with a modern and more suited look.

Ralph Lauren Spring 2012.  Photo courtesy of

Ralph Lauren Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of

p.s did you notice the use of white? Is this a depiction of Daisy Buchanan?

Ralph Lauren collection spring 2012

However, just like the delay of The Great Gatsby’s release, the trend was seen only scarcely throughout the racks and hangers of nearly every ready-to-wear clothing store.
Being one who thrives off of discounted fashion, I scoured clothing stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Joe Fresh, searching desperately for the Flapper look that I love so much.

I still remember what I found: about two dresses with dropped waistlines that hung in the back of Forever 21. That was it.
A beginner blogger of sewing patterns, Sandy Smith says that the revival of the twenties trend was a business decision more than anything else.

“With the average women sitting at a 10-14 range it’s no surprise that the 20’s didn’t become a hit in stores,” says Smith. “The current zeitgeist is pushing towards models with a more womanly shape, which definitely doesn’t blend with the hard to pull off silhouettes of the 20’s. Quite simply, no one wants to bind their boobs these days.”

As Smith had pointed out, fashion for women during the ’20’s was all about the boyish figure, showing that women could, “hold their own with the boys,” as she puts it.
While style nowadays is moving away from the typical tall, thin and flat models, and more about accepting our bodies as they are, the former silhouettes of the twenties are no longer considered the ‘norm.’ Corsets just don’t have a place in women’s closets anymore.

My theory is that the roaring twenties can thrive in haute couture, because those designs are made more specifically for the body, whereas ready-to-wear clothing mind as well be, “one size fits all.” Ready-to-wear clothing stores would be taking a gamble, making hundreds of straight dresses for an audience that wouldn’t be able to pull high-necked and low-waist lines over their busts and hips.

However, to put a silver lining on an otherwise dreary reality, there are some aspects of the style that can shine with the right twist of modernity.
Fringe dresses popped up throughout the runways for the spring of 2013, with dresses from designers such as Alberta Ferretti and Bottega Veneta.
While Ferretti stuck to the boyish silhouettes, Veneta made fringe dresses for an hour-glass figure, in an array of colours.

Ready-to-wear clothing stores such as Forever 21 took aspects of the roaring twenties and made modern casual pieces.
Using chiffon and pleats, this royal blue dress, which hangs just above the knees, combines two 20’s trends with the high-collar that is so-well loved this year.

And of course it isn’t the 20’s without fringe.
From $29.80

From $29.80

Although designers are learning that this just isn’t the time to turn the clocks back to the jazz age, the 1920’s can still be incorporated into our closets.
With chiffon, pleats, lace or a little bit of fringe, anyone can look like a girl of the Jazz Age.