Hey, remember last summer when I felt an undeniable urge to re-curate my outfit photo wall? I loved that marine-themed wall art, but like any museum professional, I also know that you can’t display works on paper for too long without risking damage from the sun and other elements. Consequently, those free printables–I mean, works of art–have returned to my obviously high-security storage facility, and I’ve reinstalled a selection of early modern natural history illustrations of cephalopods, odd deep-sea fish, and phytoplankton.
Then I happened to find this vintage dropped-waist dress in a quaint secondhand store in Pennsylvania, and its cheerful pastel tones nearly perfectly match the faded hues of my new squid-themed mini exhibition. I–alas!–do not currently own a squid pin, but my second (!) mousemoth pin by Minnow & Moss, this version in green and yellow, complements this dress excellently.
I used to be moderately terrified of dropped-waist dresses–I prefer dresses with an hourglass silhouette that emphasize my natural waist, and the lower waist often looks a little odd on my gangly torso. I’m not sure if it’s the cute buttons or the fake belt that draws together the skirt that does the trick, but I rather like the look of this one!
I know I collect a lot of reproduction vintage clothing (and lots of thrifted contemporary outfits), but I really enjoy the experience of wearing something that’s “true vintage,” in the parlance of many Instagram tags. It’s exciting to wonder about the provenance of this dress, its age, and who might have first worn it!
As I prepare to go to grad school this fall, I feel my style shifting a little away, sometimes, from the wild novelty prints and cardigans of my “museum educator who dresses like a very professional Ms. Frizzle” days to the soft, pretty, and retro garb of a Master’s student who will be spending lots of time researching art history. I’m certainly not leaving my amazing patterned dresses behind (oh man, there’s a certain octopus-print dress I spotted recently that’s so won my heart!), but I expect I will also be experimenting with some new and slightly more casual vintage-inspired looks in the months to come. An adventure to which I am very much looking forward!