Do you ever get the sense that contemporary vintage/pin-up style aficionados have a lot in common with early modern collectors: those European nobles and merchants and scholars who accumulated natural curiosities in their wunderkammern? (Humor me, won’t you?)
All of us aspire to build individual collections–and although thrift shopping makes it easy to acquire unique pieces, there seems to be a core of basic garments that most retro girls wear these days. Similarly, cabinets of curiosities were supposed to be entirely distinctive, but let’s be real…nearly all of them had some red coral, a little Roman bust, at least two portrait miniatures and a bunch of conch shells.
So consider this peasant-style blouse the fashion equivalent of a collector’s conch shell. A lot of people love them, and I wanted to give them the ol’ college try. Will it take up permanent residence in my cabinet-of-clothes? Let’s see.
(N.b.: those of you who follow me on Instagram already know how upset I was by yesterday’s events. For now, I’m trying to take care of myself and enjoy the usual things that make me happy [ancient civilizations, strange sea creatures, weird fashion]. Here’s a friendly reminder, though, that if you’re feeling the same way and need someone to talk to, let me know! <3)
If this top were a work of art, it would probably be some kind of Byzantine miracle-working icon, because this is the first time in my adult life when a size-medium blouse has been just slightly too big on me. As someone who usually wears Medium skirts and XL tops (making finding dresses nearly impossible), I was completely shocked to find that this darn thing fit me so well.
Though this top is made by a label named “Sara USA,” you can find it and its ilk at the friendly independent reproduction-vintage shop of your choice. Unique Vintage, Doll Me Up, and Le Bomb Shop all carry them in a variety of colors. (I bought mine from Le Bomb Shop, and was very pleased with their shipping/service!)
The last time I wore a top like this, I was dressing up in Shakespearean-inspired regalia for work (because we had a First Folio on view). I was rocking that Perdita-from-Winter’s-Tale look then, but that’s probably the only time I’ll get away with wearing such a blouse in a professional environment.
Even though it’s not exactly office-friendly, I do love this top. It makes me feel confident, sassy, and kind of like a maiden in a Renoir painting. It’s also the Holy Grail of blouses if you have an hourglass figure, because the bodice is super stretchy but the waist is very fitted. Now I just need to wait for the appropriate en plein air outing during which to wear it…or, alternatively, I could simply put it on and gaze away from the viewer for a while.