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Archive for ‘Shopping’

Vintage Shoe Buying By The Numbers: Finding The Proper Shoe Size

By , 6 November, 2008, No Comment
Vintage Carved Lucite High Heels With Rhinestones

Vintage Carved Lucite High Heels With Rhinestones

There are few things which can make a girl’s heart sing more than a pair of sexy vintage shoes.

Not only do vintage shoes complete your vintage outfit and offer unique styles and amazing details not seen today, but they are of incredible quality.

Most shoes made prior to the mid-1950s were handmade (hand-lasted & hand-stitched), something you are unlikely to find unless you are purchasing modern shoes at several hundred dollars (or more!) per pair. In other words, buying vintage shoes are a great value for the money, making vintage glamour girls incredibly smart & economical as well as stunningly fashionable.

1940s Peep Toe Shoes

1940s Peep Toe Shoes

But there are also few things which can make a girl’s heart sink more than a pair of sexy vintage shoes which don’t fit.

Finding the perfect shoes to compliment your outfit (vintage or otherwise) is made much more difficult by the matter of size.  Most of us who buy vintage fashions are aware that the label’s stated size is rather irrelevant compared to today’s sizing, but with shoes it seems even more difficult. The best way to avoid trouble is to know the size — in inches — of your own feet.

How To Measure Your Foot

How To Measure Your Foot

Start by measuring your foot the good-old-fashioned way with paper and pencil.

  1. Stand with the foot wearing the proper hose (socks, stockings etc.) for the style of shoe you are interested in purchasing firmly placed on a piece of paper. With your pencil snug against your foot and at a 90 degree angle to the floor, trace the outline of your foot.
  2. Draw a horizontal lines at the heel and toes, vertical lines at the widest points at the ball of the foot, as shown here.
  3. Measure the height, the distance between the line at the base of the heel and the line at the toe tips. Measure the distance between the vertical lines to calculate the width of your foot.

If you know you have problems with proper shoe fit (narrow heels, for example) measure those areas too. If one foot is slightly bigger than the other, repeat the process on the other foot.

Next, compare your foot measurements to those of a pair of comfortably fitting shoes in a similar style (high heel to high heel, etc.), silhouette (pointed toe to pointed toe, rounded toe to rounded toe etc.), and of the same heel height.

Brown Suede 1940s Platform Shoes

Brown Suede 1940s Platform Shoes

You can use a measuring tape; or you can cut out your foot tracing and place it inside the shoe. If the shoe is larger, use the shoe measurements as the primary guide. If the shoe is smaller or much-much larger, something likely went wrong with your tracing &/or measurement taking.

Many vintage shoe purchasers will insist you only use measurements from your shoes, but if you are new to buying vintage shoes &/or do not have shoes in similar silhouettes, having your own measurements is a safer starting place.

Compare your measurements with those of the shoes; if the seller does not offer measurements, ask them to. If a seller is unsure of just how to do that, be a little wary — but don’t discount the seller with a bargain who is unsure of what to do. Just ask the seller to use a tape measure and measure the inside of the shoes across the ball of the foot, and from toe to heel.

Now that you know your proper foot measurements, shopping for shoes will be much easier — as long as you don’t ignore those numbers, ladies!

Next week: More tips on what to look for (and avoid) when buying vintage shoes.

Stunning 1920s Red Silk Shoes

Stunning 1920s Red Silk Shoes

Seduce Like The Millionairess With An Accessorized Corset

By , 5 November, 2008, 3 Comments

Some films really are only worthy of watching for the fashions.

One such film is The Millionairess (1960), where the scrumptious Sophia Loren, The Millionairess, spends the entire film trying to seduce the poor-but-dedicated Indian doctor, played by Peter Sellers. Difficult to image anyone not batting an eye at Loren batting her lashes, but that’s the role Sellers plays — even when Loren strips down to her lingerie in his office:

I’m not sure wearing black hose with a peach ensemble is recommended; but when the woman is Sophia Loren — and those black stockings are attached to the garters of a black corset — just who is going to complain?

Sophia Loren In "The Millionairess"

Sophia Loren In

The contrast of the sinful black corset and stockings paired with the lady-like white hat, pearl necklace and 6-button white kid gloves is what really drives the seduction by fashion — which is, you know, far more effective than simply being nude.

In this state of (un)dress Loren captures all that is feminine. Playing on the dramatic power of the black corset to demand attention, leaving things carefully covered to add the excitement of mystery, as well as demonstrating the demure “do not touch” attitude of a lady, she fully exploits the virgin-whore complex to unsteady poor lucky Sellers.

And you can too. Well, maybe you can’t knock Peter Sellers off his feet, but you can any other man if you follow Loren’s example.

Rather than dominating in the more typical or caricatured version of a “Domme”, such attire and accessories leaves the average man at a loss as for what to do next. You are in charge — and you can enjoy watching him squirm as he wonders just how — and if! — he should make his move…

Start with a stunning corset, preferably custom fit to your curves. (Real corsets are custom made to your measurements, and therefore require several weeks to create & be delivered; so now is the time to order your corset if you want to wear it for the holidays.) Then add the stockings and other accessories.

Opera gloves are my first choice — running over the elbow, leaving the focus on bare décolletage is enough to make anyone sigh. But there are many other lovely glove options.

Wrap the lusty luster of pearls about your throat, and, if you’re daring, top it all off with a lovely vintage hat. Don’t forget the dress! You have to peel yourself out of it; agonizingly slow, or with such perfunctory practicality that he’s completely puzzled. It’s your choice.

(Remember, you can leave your hat on! *wink* )

You’ll “Fall” For Vintage Suits With Fur Collars This Autumn

By , 4 November, 2008, No Comment

This vintage black wool suit with fur collar is extremely fitted, and features fine tailoring detail. To assist in your movement, both the jacket and the skirt have an inverted kick-pleat in the back.

Fitted Vintage Black Wool Suit, Fur Collar

Fitted Vintage Black Wool Suit, Fur Collar

Another very fitted vintage suit, this one is of flecked wool. The padded shoulders & over-sized collar with mink trim above the nipped-in waist really emphasizes the hourglass shape.

1940s Flecked Wool Suit, Mink Trim

1940s Flecked Wool Suit, Mink Trim

This light cocoa colored wool suit with a dark, rich colored mink fur collar has a fitted skirt and a more boxy jacket with bracelet sleeves — very Jackie O.

Fabulous Fall Fur-Trimmed Vintage Suit

Fabulous Fall Fur-Trimmed Vintage Suit

This vintage suit has a large, fluffy black fox collar — but don’t worry, the bold pattern and texture of this curly wool & mohair blend suit isn’t lost in the collar’s shadow.

Dramatic Vintage Mohair/Wool Suit, Black Fox Collar

Dramatic Vintage Mohair/Wool Suit, Black Fox Collar