Category Archives: Vintage clothing

So come to the Cabaret!

Yes, fine, no prizes whatsoever for working out what the video is tonight!

Of course, when it comes to wild behavior, and the like, Germany, in those crazy years before Hitler took control, was a pretty wild place, especially Berlin. No qualms about homosexuality back then lol. And of course, across the Atlantic, especially in, and around Hollywood in that era, the Flapper ruled the roost. That was pretty wild too. And of course, all ended only by the Great Crash, though I suspect that at some point, a new craze would have kicked in, anyway.

Mind, in the middle, and indeed in the city where Wall Street crashed, was New York. To be fair, things were pretty wild with Harlem, and jazz, but seemingly things were even wilder than that! Well, according to this article they were, at least

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/in-the-early-20th-century-america-was-awash-in-incredible-queer-nightlife

I wonder what they made of that in North Carolina lol! The interesting thing seems to be the fact, that the demise of this, came at the same time as prohibition was repealed. Coincidence, I doubt it?

With all this 20’s, and 30’s stuff I’m seeing of late, maybe I should go out tomorrow night, dressed as a Flapper? Probably not! Yes, I’m not sure my legs are really up to a dress like that, about knee length anyway, but apart from anything else, its not really warm enough over here to show that much leg in public, especially at my age!

Yes, I’m out tomorrow night for a meal, my belated birthday meal, now that the rent issue has been sorted out, we can afford it. Yes, I will wear a dress, and heels, but may well be something longer than flapper length! In fact, I’m sure it will be.

Yes, as I say, the video is the obvious one, and its the movie version.

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A pair of anniversaries

One is a date one, that I mentioned recently, which was a fun, pleasurable thing. The other is a day one, of which the memories arent quite so sweet.

So, yes, briefly, one year ago today, the 18th April was a Saturday, and I transformed my self into a 40’s girl for a Film Noir party, and movie showing. It was one of many real delights of that first break in Hollywood, possibly only topped by spending 40 minutes or so, outside of the crypt where Jean Harlow sleeps away the years. Fine, walking a mile in high heels, after midnight might have been a bit of a killer, but I lived, and it did prove to me, that if need required it, I could walk in those things, if maybe a little slower than normal!

So fine, now, its not even my best film night in Hollywood, the rooftop viewing of Sunset Boulevard just about tops that, I guess? Yes, mid October, sat in just a summer dress, at night, watching a classic movie, just incredible.

But yes, to the sadder anniversary now. In Boston, today is Patriots Day. Which means something very rare, a morning start for a baseball match, as well as the Boston Marathon. Yes, a few of you might have guessed where we’re heading? 3 years ago, the baseball match was over, the marathon was down to the more ‘fun run’ finishers, and the Red Sox players were getting ready to head out to Cleveland. Then it happened, a pair of explosions, in the area of the race finish, and sadly people lost limbs, and more pertinently, lives, in the ensuing events. Eventually the terrorists involved were rounded up, caught, and brought to justice.

What also happened, was that Boston rallied around itself, and ‘Boston Strong’ became the rallying cry. The baseball team joined in with this, in an amazing way. Lets just remember, at the end of 2011, when set for the play offs, they totally collapsed in September. They didnt collapse in 2012, only because they were shocking the whole season long! But 2013, after this, so early in the season, there was almost a feeling they wanted to perform for the people of Boston. Yes, it worked, quite literally all the way to winning the World Series that year! The 2 years since then, back to awful, sadly. Still, today, watching them play against Toronto (they managed to conjure up defeat, from the jaws of victory), and everything, it was funny, remembering back 3 years, when I again watched the game, then later heard about the tragedy. Today, thankfully, all peaceful.

Right, the traditional ending, the video. I’ve no idea how hilly the course is in Boston, but I thought of this one. A very rare bird, Kate Bush live!

Tonight we’re going to party like its 1929!

Apologies for the lack of the obvious video here, but seemingly his purple-ness doesnt like them up on You Tube, so I discover. In truth, given the eras I’ll be talking about, this might be more apt, anyway.

Earlier today, I got a message about an event being arranged at the National Rail Museum, in York, which not surprisingly, appealed to me greatly. This one, for those interested, and at least gives another clue to the year in the blog title.

http://www.flyingscotsman.org.uk/events/lates-roaring-20s/

Yes, not hard to see why it appeals to me, is it? And free too! At the moment, the fact that its a Thursday evening isnt a problem for me at present, its the issue of the fare to get there, and back, and the expenses of the evening, that however restrained you are, there are going to be some! Even more so, as “The Flapper” would need a taxi back from town, as the buses would be long stopped by the time I got back. And if you think I’m walking up from town, at 11.30 at night, in a flapper length dress, no chance! So, even being good, I suspect not much change out of £40, and could easily add £10 to that, given I’d probably want to get my hair done, and everything!

The only consolation is, there is no need to buy tickets in advance, or even reserve anything, so I can think about it, at least. But being practical, and being broke, not going to happen, I’m sure. Unless some dashing beau, or girl, wants to take me…? You’re talking just over £25 of that cost is travel, so without that?

I know, but if any generous person wants to whisk away a poor, broke Flapper, for the night, would be nice! I’ve even got a headband somewhere, though I have no idea where at present! But I could find it, I’m sure…

Talking of irony, and mentioning 2 people I talked about in the last blog, I discovered tomorrow is actually a major anniversary. Yes, one year ago today, I was excitedly preparing for my first trip to Hollywood, 10 days, starting the next day. I know, if you’d told me then that my work situation would be as glum as a Flapper’s in 1929, I might not have been so excited. But back then, in those glorious days…

And yes, I was getting ready for, and excited at the thought of a night, in vintage style, back then, as well. Yes, slightly more modern, the 1940’s, but a vintage party, all the same. That delight was an incredible birthday present, from James, and Kate, and included a meal, some dancing (no, not me, 2 left feet), and a film, all with a vintage feel, at the Egyptian Theater, in Hollywood. Wow, that was some night. Even more so, as I think that walking back to the hotel afterwards, is the furthest I’ve ever walked in high heels, and will hopefully stay that way. Nearly a mile, in high heels, not used to wearing them, ouch! Actually, it wasnt as bad as I expected, but dont tell everyone that! Even so, normally, if I’m walking far, it will still be flats, or low block heels, at best.

But, yes, if someone wants to enable me to party like its 1929, a fortnight from now, I’d love to!

The video, as I say, I couldnt get the “more modern” Prince song. But I found this random gem, which is probably more apt!

A beautiful day

Fine, the video isnt quite strictly true, it would need to be called Beautiful Friday for that to be the case, but anyway… And yes, this is why the gap between blogs has been longer than normal, and may happen again, after this.

Yes, you know that job where I said that the wages were too good to be true? Well, I dutifully dealt with my phone call on Thursday afternoon, and did a test that they wanted me to do, and then, on Friday morning, got an email saying that I’ve got the job. Fine, I still cant understand why the wages are so good, but anyway? Starts next Monday, over in Halifax, and fingers crossed it all works out. Even more so, as I’ve had to pay out for a Fraud Security Check, with money I really cant spare, but I’m told I’ll get that back, so all well and good.

So fine, I ducked the logistical challenge of getting to that place in Bradford yesterday, under the circumstances, just hope it doesnt come back to bite me. I have actually (at present) still got a few I could do this week, including a Skype interview (absolute first!) tomorrow for the Greek job, but fine, if this one is for real, I’m taking it!

OK, lets move on to the next old chestnut, the passport issue. Sorted! Though yes, it took one more phone call, but… I got another letter on Friday, asking me to send in the letter from the Doctor, confirming that I was living in my new gender, and that they needed my old passport. Thing is, they had both already! Fine, a new member of staff hadnt spotted these things, but quickly sorted, and authorisation confirmed, I will finally get it the middle of this week! So then, everything will say I’m female, so…peace of mind! Snag is, now I just want to go somewhere, as a woman, but I guess it will have to wait a while?

Lastly, we’ve had a bit of a rearrangement of rooms here, at home, and for want of a better term, I now have a one room apartment, with separate kitchen, and bathroom facilities. Snag is, I had way too much stuff, much of which I havent used in years, some of which I’m never likely to wear, so moving it all was a challenge. It has all arrived, though having lost temporarily a lot of storage space, I’m fighting to get everything sorted. I’m going to have to get another chest of drawers, to fit everything in, and possibly a second wardrobe too, as I was using coat hangars on the door, and hooks for stuff, which I havent got in here. But I will get it all sorted, though my current aim is no more than to have it done before I start work!

Lastly, a couple of Facebook moments. Firstly, last night, I got a message from someone who I dont know, and will probably never speak to again, saying how much she admired me, for what I’m doing. Just one of those special moments that so make my day. Secondly, someone I do know as a Facebook friend, sent me a message at New Year, saying that he wanted to do a vintage shoot with me, if I was keen. Anyway, Friday, he followed up with sending it again, along with a mass liking of my vintage look pictures, and this time, Facebook let me know about it, if not in the perfect way.

So as it stands, 3 weeks time, its going to happen. Not yet sure if it will be here, or in Hull as yet. He’s happy to come here, but I havent travelled that rail line beyond Leeds, in years, so its an open option at present. So yes, all in all, its been quite a good weekend, and all for the right reasons, a rare event of late.

The video, well, its Sunday I’m writing this, so…

Mind, if anyone comes here because of the tag, expecting someone else…lol

Dress you up?

Alright, fine, given that I didnt want to do another passport office, or weather related blog, I thought I’d give this a whirl. Neither situation is great at the moment, but thats beside the point. Though in a sense, this came about because of the weather in the US, but anyway…

It seems this video has pretty much gone viral, so you’ve probably seen it before, so I’ve pinched one of the shorter sections

Yes, absolutely adorable, but people do forget that parts of China do get well below freezing in winter (Harbin has an ice festival), so this may not have been as much of a shock for this panda, as some might have thought. He had probably never seen anything quite like it in Washington, mind.

So fine, someone decided to play along with it, and this morning, I saw this,

Yes, great fun, and probably not a bad way to stay warm in some parts of the US at present, safely inside of that outfit, even when rolling in the snow. And yes, most definitely I would, given the chance. Which leads me on to…

I’m actually putting up tips for a site, on Facebook. No, not anything I dont like, like football, or stuff I dont think I know enough about, like horse racing, but on the sports I think I do, like American Football, and Golf. And fine, I’m doing a decent job on it, even more so after posting a number of winning selections for the Carolina game on Sunday. Not getting paid, but at least its keeping the mind ticking over, if not assisting the ever decreasing bank balance! There is a very good subscription service there too, I might add. Any gamblers who want details, ask at any of my many routes of contact (Here, Facebook, Twitter), and I’ll provide you with them.

But at the moment at least, I’m just posting on the non subscription board, along with a few others. What happened last week was that someone posted suggestions for one of the all weather meetings, and they didnt do very well. Someone else took note of them, backed them, and lost money, and then proceeded to call the whole thing a group of muppets, or something like that. At which point silliness abounded, and the Miss Piggy jokes started to flow, and developing into a few other muppet characters for other regulars. The trouble is, both us ladies fancied being Miss Piggy, but anyway…a few photos went up about it, great fun.

Oh, and me, I love the whole dress up idea, whether you call it cosplay, or just dressing up, take your pick. So yes, fine, I commented that I’d happily dress up in any of those type of suits, given the outfit, and given the chance. But fine, especially at the moment, I’m in no position to buy any for myself! But if anyone wants to get me something, I’ll definitely provide photos, though I cant guarantee playing in the snow, around here!

I know, not going to happen, but it would be fun! Oh, and one last photo before I sign off, this got posted on one of the many vintage type boards I inhabit on Facebook today, a couple at the races, about a century ago.

Day at the races

Not quite what I’d normally wear to go to Doncaster races on Saturday (if invited), but I would if the outfit was provided, you bet I would!

Lastly, the video. Well, as so often, the clue is in the title, though its not one of Madonna’s greatest musical moments, I must say

Dress to impress?

OK, fine, I know, a bit of catching up to do, thats what life, and a pile of various interviews will do for you! So lets get started

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I was always told that you ‘dress to impress’ when you go for a job interview. Be it just with a job agency, or a potential employer, you look smart, and well dressed, to make them think you’re the right person for the job, yes? OK, clown in the circus might be different, but otherwise…

So you can imagine my amusement earlier this week when I went for a receptionist role, in a ‘posh’ vintage tea room company, and saw the 2 young ladies being interviewed in front of me. To the credit of one, at least she wore a top, and trousers, but they certainly werent what I would call of the ‘quality’ type. The other, oh please, leggings, and boots!

The lady being interviewed with me was in a dress at least, which made me feel better, but even so…The irony is, the 2 younger, prettier, but under dressed girls will have more chance of getting the job than me, because he was also after a PA, and they would look better as eye candy than me! But we will see…

Yes, I’ve never been sure whether you need to dress up for an appointment at an employment agency, but I tend to do so. Maybe its just an older lady thing, maybe its just that I enjoy wearing a dress, but anyway…I do! Well, fine, the second one was a follow on visit from a job interview, so I needed to be dressed up, but I would have done anyway.

The other job interview this week was yesterday morning, in Batley. In fact, thats why I had to register at an agency on Thursday! So yes, amusing moment, a job, working close to the Hollywood sign, what more could I ask for? Alright, its not THE Hollywood sign, just one belonging to a local club, named Hollywood Legends, but even so…

Given my recent record with competency questions, I decided it was time to try something different, so I did. For those who have been reading a while, you know this, but for the newer folk…last November, I was hypnotised (not for the first time), and Jean-Bot was created in my sub concious. Yes, Jean Harlow, though strictly she was created as a bot, so she could cope with modern life situations. But bubbly, confident, and everything else Harlow was, absolutely. So basically, I let her loose in my mind for about 5 minutes before I went in for the interview, and told her to see what she could do. The only reason I couldnt let her do the interview is because she talks with Jean’s Kansas accent!

Anyway, end result, the best interview I’ve had this time around, by far. As long as ‘she’ doesnt think that she’s got the job, all will be fine! Mind, if I have, she probably got it for me, so…The other amusing thing, and the first time I’ve seen this was some sort of Personality Profiling test. Most of it was fairly standard stuff, but the 3 questions where the options included, obedient, controlled, and submissive amused me no end! I will have to be careful with the training methods used, clearly lol! Kidding, I think?

After that, another agency yesterday afternoon, something different job wise. I did do some call checking at Hills, and this job would be doing more of that, for an insurance company in Wakefield. Well, I wanted to do something new, so…

Oh, I’d better mention the General Election, I guess? Well, I sort of expected the Conservatives might have been the largest party, but getting an overall majority, yes, you got me there! I’m not surprised the Lib Dems almost got wiped out, seat wise, though I would have preferred less votes for UKIP, but anyway…though ironically I ended up feeling rather sorry for Farage in the end, with his vote on Friday.

Tomorrow, I’m torn whether to head into Leeds, or not. There is a vintage fair there, at the Town Hall, but its also the Leeds Half Marathon in town, so how easy it will be to get to, no idea. Also, should I be spending money on luxuries, when I havent yet got a job? I will see how I feel in the morning, but I’m tempted.

Right, lastly, the video. Relates to the General Election. One of my favourite Madonna songs, and the video has such an old fashioned feel to it too.

Well, in just 5 weeks from now…

Well, around the time I guess I will finish writing this blog, I should be at Atlanta airport, trying to grab a decent coffee (and probably some cake) before catching my connecting flight to Los Angeles, and my hotel in Hollywood, hard to believe it will be so soon. OK, fine, short of something amazing happening, this will be an out of work person heading for Hollywood, in a reasonably luxurious manner, but hey, I might as well get some pleasure out of the redundancy pay off, might be the only thing I do enjoy out of it!

Yes, the seats are a grade up on economy, for the second time in my life, though not as extravagant as I would have done, had I got the money, and already had a job lined up. So no, not business class, but what one calls ‘economy comfort’, and the other calls ‘premium economy’. The hotel at least, my normal sensible budget type, though I must say, for me, Quality Inns quite fit my needs.

But then comes the burning question, how wisely should I spend while I’m over there? After all, I’m only likely to get to Hollywood (and Beverly Hills) once, so…No, I dont mean in the sense of Universal Studios, and Disney, those things hold little interest for a vintage loving girl like me. No, what I mean, is if I get the chance to live the vintage life, should I do so, and to some degree, ignore the extra cost?

No, I dont mean drinking champagne at the swanky hotels. Well, not unless someone has fallen for my charms (ha ha), and is paying for it. What I do mean, is something like this.

http://americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/17th-annual-film-noir-festival-closing-weekend-party-the-guilty

Now, that would be fun, but given I should be spending pennies wisely at that time (of course I could find a job between now, and then, but no breath holding around here), is that just a silly spend of money I should be saving? I know what my ‘inner Harlow’ would say, go out, have fun, and enjoy yourself, just for once. But my ‘outer, practical Yorkshire lass’ is likely to have a fit at spending money on something like this, at a time like this. Of course, going to something like this might be my big break in the movies, so… (yes, I am joking at this point)

Mind, the funny thing is, if I’d still been in my job, I wouldnt have been extending the trip, and couldnt have gone anyway, it would have been happening the evening I landed in town. Technically, the other practicality should be, packing of clothes, especially nice dresses. And yes, normally when I go away for a week, I can pack comfortably 1 case going out, and just about squeeze everything in coming back. And yes, this time, its 10 days! Thankfully, because I’m travelling in ‘luxury’, I can take 2 cases. No, I’m not planning on 2 large cases, I’m not that strong. But 2 medium cases, given that I will get taken to the airport, and collected at both ends (that wonderful person, Nicole at this end, and one of those shuttle things in LA), I wont have to get cases too far. So, packing an extra dress, or two…?

The other thing that concerns me, is going somewhere like this, when I will quite literally, as a visitor to town, know no one. Also, I’m a non gambler (well, apart from Grand National), and like Ms Harlow, I’m not a good dancer. But…the chance to dress up, 30’s style, in Hollywood, can I seriously resist that? Possibly not! I know, Jean wouldnt care less, and would soon make friends, but this is me, so…just let loose my inner Jean, I guess, and see what happens?

So, if anyone just wants to post a comment, telling me I really ought to just go wild, and enjoy myself, feel free to do so. Hey, use a false name, or anonymous, just say something! I know people read these, I see the stats! I feel I should, but its just the thought of spending money, in this way…aargh!

OK, piece over, lets cut to the video. A group I love, recorded in LA, of a song I love too.

Rainy Days And Mondays

Are supposed to always get you down, and yes, that is a huge clue as to what the video is lol!

But given summertime is now over, on both sides of the pond, its pretty clear that very soon, winter will be on its way. Indeed, just about an hour ago, they showed the view from Foxboro, where the New England Patriots play, and it was snowing! Hopefully there wont be too much of that in Albany, in 3 weeks time, but at the same time, I wouldnt be shocked if there was.

The biggest change at work, is the horse racing. It now starts much earlier, and in terms of the non floodlit meetings at least, it has to end earlier too. Lets face it, most sports nowadays pretty much take place under lights at all times anyway. Flat racing does, though for obvious safety reasons, jump racing doesnt.

So, the baseball season is finally over, after about 7 months of non stop play, I’m sure the players will be grateful for the break. Kansas City fell at the last step, a shame, but after 29 years of nothing post season, pretty awesome all the same. I must admit, Ice Hockey and Basketball dont have much interest for me, though I do plan to take in an Ice Hockey game in Albany, while away.

Yes, 3 weeks from now, you’ll be getting blogs from there, the next big event in my seemingly growing social schedule. 2 weeks later, the works Christmas dinner, for which I booked my hotel room earlier today. I will probably wear the new dress, though the mischievous Harlow element in me wants to wear the much shorter, sexier, blue sparkly dress instead, and show off some leg! I’m sure sanity will prevail, the longer dress, but we will see… 😉

The other thing I did today, was to book the rail tickets for Newbury, for January, after which I will definitely have the Harlow look, in style! Not that I’m as shy as I used to be, but I suspect that once I have the full look (including beauty spot) I might be even more confident in my new self. As far as I know, Paula has no way to make me think I’m actually Jean, but…

Oh, and the boring winter thing, I need to get sorted in the New Year, an eye test, and new glasses, I suspect. If I can find an optician, offering 30’s style frames…they might get some business! if anyone knows one, in the UK, let me know!

Yes, you should have worked out what the video is, at least I hope you have

Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Well, the plan was for today to be a fairly quiet day, to give Kate a relative break, before the big drive to Cherryvale tomorrow, the home town of Louise Brooks. I suspect they dont get a huge number of visitors, even less so from the UK, so it will be quite something tomorrow, I’m sure. But thats looking into the future, so…

About 11.30 we headed off to the Westport district of Kansas City, home to a vintage clothing store that Kate had been tipped off about. It was sound advice, I must say. It didnt take me long to find a gorgeous Harlow like cape, and dress, but in a size so small, I would never get into it, without losing at least 10 pounds, and I’m not a big girl! And then I saw it, the dress, and cape, so absolutely perfect, I didnt want to look at the price tag, especially as it was in a larger size, that I would get into. Pleasant surprise, $100 including a cape/jacket, so now what could go wrong?

Seemingly, nothing. I tried it on, it fitted, it looked gorgeous, and I ended up getting 20% off, on top of that bargain price. So, brooch, and clutch bag later (same discount), I left the store, absolutely thrilled. In theory, I need a hat, but Kate is working on that. If I get a picture of the dress during the week, I will post it.

After that, my first taste of mid west barbecue food. Loved it, pork ribs, the meat literally falling off the bone, and all that.

Then late afternoon, back here and a relaxing evening. Oh, a delight I dont normally get, Monday Night Football. Because for me, its silly hours of Tuesday morning football! Got a reminder of just how gorgeous Jon Gruden is because of that, swoon.

So, Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way

Tomorrow, Cherryvale, birthplace of Louise Brooks, looking forward to that.

How slim?!

One of the things that I did when finally submitting, and signing up to Twitter, was to take the chance to take things on a slightly different route, and sign up for Tweets from a lot of places selling vintage clothing, and the like. I know, shock horror, absolutely no interest in the 20’s and 30’s lol! In fact, much of the stuff advertised as vintage, is from the 60’s, to the 80’s, when I was actually live, if very young! And alright, back then, I hadnt realised why I loved looking at women’s clothing so much for me. Well, maybe not back in the 60’s, but yes, I can see signs in the 70’s that probably would have been a major signpost, if only I’d realised.

There is some older stuff, but the one thing I’ve really noticed, is the sizing of it. I’ve seen the odd item in medium size, but the vast majority are either small, or extra small! Yes, I know, when I look back at my 4 ladies from the past, at least 3 of them were small, and slim. Clara Bow, seems to have a bit more shape to her, but it could just be angles, and things?

But then, it could just be deceptive. I checked Jean Harlow’s stats on the modern BMI index (the only one I have an official weight for, as well as height), and do you know what, her BMI index comes up at 20.4! Me, 21.9! To match her index, I’d have to lose about 10 pounds! Yes, fine, I’m fairly slim for my build, and would struggle severely to lose that much, but its not a huge figure! I know, when it comes to clothes sizings, I’m hampered to some degree by having a waist/hips proportion that doesnt match a natural woman’s, but it doesnt match a natural man either! So yes, in UK terms, I’m about a 12-14.

I’m suspecting Brooks would have had a lower BMI, she was tiny, very slim, no cleavage to speak of, and a dancer’s body. But this vintage stuff I’m looking at, is not what the Hollywood stars would have worn, but ordinary folk, if probably the middle class ones!

Yes, diet also plays a part, the fast food we eat so much of nowadays simply didnt exist back then, and going out for a burger was a delight, not a regular event as it is for some now. And of course, people walked more back then! But they didnt have the current trendy gyms, so…

So hey, I might look bigger all round than Jean, but in reality, I’m not that much larger! Slightly, but not a lot!

But if anyone has any really vintage stuff, in bigger sizes, I’d love to know.

The video, well being a Cougar fan could be said to have 2 meanings. One, the one I’m more known for, is as a Keighley Cougar rugby league supporter. But equally, Cougars are a breed of older woman, looking for a younger man to please them. That theory only falls down for me in that William Powell, Jean’s last famous beau, was nearly 20 years older than her!

But anyway, this ‘Jean’, in search of her beau, might just sing this!