I was excited the minute I found out my husband’s office Christmas party was going to be themed. I love to dress up be it in a beautiful formal gown or a period costume (you know what I mean there, right?). The options for the Christmas party were to come in semi-formal dress or to come in an outfit inspired by the 1940s WWII USO swing dances. Was there any question?
I set out in search of our outfits. The internet is such a great invention (thanks Al!). I not only learned a little about 40s fashion, but I also found out how cool it was. Ebay became my best friend. There are sites out there that sell vintage clothing and reproductions, but they are pricey for what we were looking for. I am kind of considering becoming one of those women who only dress retro after seeing all of the great dresses of the 40s and 50s that can still be found. But seriously, can you see me wrangling to girls while wearing a poodle skirt or a snood? (For the record, I do know that there are other fashion choices for those two decades.)
So, here is what we came up with:
You can’t see my hose or shoes, but they are vintage. Well, the hose aren’t, but they do have the seam running up the back (straight). The shoes are a silver woven leather mesh look. I had a dance instructor who does hair for dance competitions do my hair.
Mmmhmm, there’s my handsome husband. And look, there’s some of my house! His uniform is from a soldier who fought in an ordinance division in Normandy. It even came with the soldier’s discharge papers. How cool is that!? The uniform is in great shape. I only had to zig zag stitch a two-inch slice in the upper pant leg…a knife wound, obviously. Or not.
When we got to the party we were quickly aware that not very many other people decided to go with Option B. Most people chose the semi-formal route. Who wouldn’t want to dress retro though?
And lo and behold, because only seven other people were dressed 40s style, we won the prize for best dressed! After dinner a couple who moonlight as dance instructors (it’s probably their full-time job, actually) taught the crowd several steps of the East Coast Swing. Du and I have taken lessons before (that would be about 12 years ago) so we caught on quickly and were cutting a rug with the best of them. Kind of. And my sixty-year-old shoes held up. All I can say is thank You, God, for giving people the brains to create a) mole skin for my feet and b) hollywood tape that keeps certain things well hidden within the dress.
So, if you happen to be around town and see a lady carting her kids from one activity to another and she looks like she should be an extra in an old-time movie, or she’s wearing a hat and red lips or it looks like she may just have a crinoline on under that belted dress…it may very well be me.