Vintage-inspired trends this summer

In just a couple of weeks, it will be officially summer. However with this weather we have been having in Vancouver lately, it feels as if it’s already been here for awhile. We have already broken out all our favourite summer dresses and shorts along with our wallets to get some of the latest summer trends.

After browsing too many stores longingly, a few vintage-inspired looks have caught my eye. Here are a few that I noticed:

Wide-legged trousers

Although these are more of a spring look, I happen to have seen them everywhere on runways and in magazines. These pants first hit popularity with help from Charlie’s Angels, but have now managed to sneak their way back into our wardrobes. I love the look, however for someone of my height (5″2), I wouldn’t recommend them for myself or others of the same stature.

These trousers can be found at Devil May Wear on Main st for $145. Photo courtesy of Devil May Wear

These trousers can be found at Devil May Wear on Main st for $145. Photo courtesy of Devil May Wear

Shift Blouse

Although similar to a tunic, they are usually much shorter and can be classified as a T-shirt. It was originally popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s with the hippy look. With its boxy shape, this is more popularly paired with a straight skirt this season.

White Blouses

This isn’t exactly a vintage-inspired look, but it’s a classic I have been seeing everywhere lately. What seems to be most popular are loose sleeveless blouses. I’ve been keeping my eye on a particular chemise one in H&M.

Shiny fabric

This isn’t one of my most favourite trends, however, dresses and skirts in metallic fabrics have become a must on the runways. A lot of looks this season are inspired by the 1970’s and this too, is no exception. Shiny attire could be seen everywhere, particularly on the dance floor in the disco-era.

Tea-length skirts

And to save the best for last, I present the tea-length skirt. There is no specific measurements that come along with the term “tea-length,” but it usually refers to about mid-calf length. Although it may not be recommended for someone of a shorter stature, I insist on wearing them myself simply for the femininity of it. It was most popular during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the 1920’s. They are now often worn with blouses tucked into the high-waisted skirt and come in a variety of patterns and colours.


Fashion Revolution Day

Last Thursday the conversation of where our clothes actually come from began, as part of Fashion Revolution Day.

On April 24 of last year, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,133 workers and injuring more than 2,500 people. This factory was the home to manufacturers for clothing companies like Walmart and Primark.

The Rana Plaza collapse killed 1,133 people and injured over 2,500. Photo courtesy by Dazed.

Fair trade pioneer Carry Somers founded the event in hopes of drawing attention to where our clothes are made and how. He hosetd a series of sustainable fashion events, asking people to wear their clothes inside out to show their labels. Hundreds of people shared those photos on social media with the hashtag #INSIDEOUT.

With over 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s export market is made up of garment manufacturing, over half of that is sold to EU countries. Eighty-five per cent of those working in garment factories are women, who have few options for employment. These are the jobs that nobody else wants and women must often put their lives in danger for jobs that offer very little pay, no maternity support and often face sexual harassment. 

Today I went shopping at one of my favourite bargain clothing stores and turned away from the item I had wanted after seeing a “made in Bangladesh” tag. The best option would seem to be turning towards locally made items and away from big clothing stores. But the truth is, if we all bought locally, those in countries like Bangladesh would simply be out of work and an income. Although I still encourage local shopping, the best way to create change is by doing what we can to support better working conditions for those in poorer countries.
Since the incident, the minimum wage for those working in garment factories have had their wages increased by over 70 per cent and standards for such buildings are now more closely watched.
It’s easy to push those issues aside as they don’t affect us directly, but it’s important to be aware of the consequences from the shirt you might be wearing at this very moment.

Plenty sale

Finally, the long weekend is here and I’m sure for many of you, it hasn’t come soon enough. You may be preparing for your Easter dinners, but there is one more thing to put on your calendar that you won’t want to miss!

Starting Friday at 9 a.m. Vancouver’s Plenty clothing store is holding their massive annual sale.

In it’s fifth year, Plenty is hoping to bring in more people as it has become increasingly popular over the years. Starting off in a 2,000 square foot space, this year’s space has increased to 20,000 square feet at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“It’s such a good deal that people remember [the sale] and are expecting it,” said Plenty’s communication manager Jenna Tuazon.

The local clothing store is selling items from previous seasons for men and women with a discount of 60 – 90 per cent.

Some of the shoes that will be on sale of this week's Plenty warehouse sale

Some of the shoes that will be on sale of this week’s Plenty warehouse sale

Tuazon says she expects the house brand wool coats will sell out quickly for those who will save it for the fall. Those coats can be found on sale for $40. The denim always sells out, she says as well as the shoes.

“If I were a customer, I would go for the shoes right away,” she says.

However, be prepared to wait in a long line with thousands coming down to the event.  Tuaza says that she expects over 10,000 people to join the event with customers lining through the halls of the convention centre. Last year, there were 20,000 units of clothes with more items for this year.

Making a comeback

Well, it has been quite hectic since I last posted. I am finally a journalism graduate and just recently finished an internship with Vancouver 24 hours. I have been working hard at finishing my last year at college, spending 10 to 14 hours a day at school, working on major projects. While interning at 24 Hours, I worked as a social media intern and wrote several feature articles. I was lucky enough to cover Vancouver Fashion Week and made some friends along the way.
But now that that’s all over, I will be doing weekly blog posts again on fashion trends and how they relate in history and perhaps a few feature articles in between. I am looking forward to putting my all back into this blog and constantly improving!
I hope you guys stay tuned in the future and will a be part of this experience!

I will have something new to share within the next week, but until then here is one my fashion articles from 24 Hours, in case you missed it!


It’s the middle of September and fall is finally kicking in. I cannot wait to wear dresses with tights, boots and of course with scarves. This year’s fashion trends are out this year, bringing back the 90’s with a vengeance.
And although I’m looking forward to writing all about plaid, knitted sweaters and studded boots, September this year for me also means the busiest time of my life. I am completing my last year of journalism school and two weeks in, the terms “social life” and “free time” are merely mirages. So when I have the time to report on the latest fashions here on this blog, you can bet I will be fastened to my computer. However, I can’t say when that will be next. I hope soon.

Hats at the Horse Races

Whether one goes to bet or to just have fun, the one thing that never changes about horse races is the lavish display of hats and fashion.

After several cancelled games at Vancouver’s Hastings Racecourse, due to an unfortunate flu outbreak among the horses, the games are back in gear.

August fifth held the track’s biggest game of the summer, but there are still more to come for this summer and fall.

And although the Kentucky Derby and Del Mar are the most famous of races for both the games and style, the celebration of exuberant fashion still happens here in Vancouver as well.

The idea of showing off one’s style at the track has been around since the early 1900’s; shortly after the Hastings Racecourse opening in 1889.

The Pearley Family at the races 1952.  Photo courtesy of Women's Weekly

The Pearley Family at the races 1952. Photo courtesy of Women’s Weekly

The main reason for such a trend was simply for women to show off their wealth and to display their own personal style. At a time where big hats were fading out of fashion, wearing them at the games made it all the more iconic.

Three women headed for the races in 1914.  Photo courtesy of Women's Weekly

Three women headed for the races in 1914. Photo courtesy of Women’s Weekly

The early 1900’s marked the beginning of Haute couture, where Vogue Magazine was the first to report this style to the world.

However, over the years, the styles have become brighter and wilder. Women now wear hats adorned with butterflies, feathers or anything else they get their hands on, simply for the fun of it. As contests for the best style at the races take place, women’s hats have become more unique and outrageous.

1999.  An ascot racegoer with her outgoing hat.  Photo courtesy of Women's Weekly

1999. An ascot racegoer with her outgoing hat. Photo courtesy of Women’s Weekly

But aside from holding the most unique hat, how does one dress for the horse races?

Danielle Nicole from Fashion Bomb Daily suggests a simple and chic dress so as not to overshadow the hat. She pairs her outfits with colourful or classy heels and sometimes, large sunglasses.

One of Nicole's examples for the horse races.  Photo courtesy of Fashion Bomb Daily

One of Nicole’s examples for the horse races. Photo courtesy of Fashion Bomb Daily

Rachael Dickhute, winner for this year’s best style at Del Mar, also gives plenty of good advice for fashion at the horse races.
She says in an article for Follow Horseracing that the best way to go is to keep the outfit simple and to accessorize with the hat.

“Women can make a statement with headwear. Whether it’s a fascinator, acorn hat or wide-brim, floppy hat, this should be the most prominent piece of the ensemble,” she says.

So why is fashion such a big deal for the games?
“It is one of the perfect places to debut spring fashion and be seen,” Dickhute explains. “Women look forward to finally being able to wear color and effortless day dresses, not to mention pairing their outfits with a statement-making hat that also serves as functional!”

The fashion worn at the tracks has changed a lot since the 1900’s, but the idea of showing off one’s hats has remained a tradition. For something that has been around for over a century, it still hasn’t lost its charm. So I suggest getting the biggest and most flamboyant hat you can find, and let the games begin!

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.