Monthly Archives: June 2013

Funny Feelings: Vintage Swimsuits

swim 11950’s Swimsuit

swim 2

1950’s Bikini

swim 3

1970’s Bikini

swim 4Inside of 1950’s Swimsuit

I know that the majority of men in my life will disagree with what I’m about to talk to you about. The scantily clad bathing suits that the line the beaches, swimming pools, and wherever the hell else you wear one are not doing women justice. *Gasp*. Of course, modern swimsuits are now made with as little fabric as possible and sold, in many cases, for the highest profit possible. For such a minimal functioning clothing item, we sure do spend a lot of time and money on them, when in the majority of cases, they are not very flattering and we only spend 3 or 4 months a year wearing them (that depends on where you live… I guess). Anyways, here’s a few reasons I think that vintage swimsuits are the jam.

1. Fabric- Modern bikinis are composed of spandex and Lycra. Know, I find these fabrics to be incredibly useful at times, but I do have some qualms with them. They are meant to stretch in large proportions, this means that the garments made with them have a lot of leeway when it comes to structure. Sizing is no longer taken into great account because of the freedom given by the fabric. A majority of vintage swimwear is made out of cotton, taking sizing into greater account. Like in picture one, 1950’s Swimsuit, holy moly.

2. Structure- Anyone who purchase, wears, or admires vintage clothes understands that clothes from different time periods are made to fit women in those time periods.  The baggy silouhette of the 1920’s and the nipped waist of the 50’s are all indicative to this gesture. A large portion of vintage swimwear is sewn like an exoskeleton, it keeps everything in place and emphasizes all the good stuff. This is seen in the last photo on Inside of 1950’s Swimsuit on Etsy.

3. Design- I feel that I don’t need to explain myself. The glamour that comes from these suits is enough to make anyone feel about themselves when wearing one of these.

These are some of the things I try to take into account when I sew for myself and I sew for Showboat Clothing.

Feel free to comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Cheers,

Jillian Ouellette

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Black and White and (Maybe a Pop of Color) Allover

FotoFlexer_Photo

For someone who is particularly good with drastic change, I’m a major creature of habit. I’ve gone from living in Reno, NV with a population of 300,000, to living in Shanghai, China, with a population of 19 million, effortlessly. I’ve gone from having amplified red hair for five years, to having blonde the next day without a flinch. But my wardrobe? That’s a whole different story. While my style and clothes are constantly evolving, I tend to stick to similar styles.

For the longest time I was really pushing the black and white stripe/polka dot/ and cheetah print threshold.  Actually, I still am. The other day while shopping, I managed to go into the fitting room with four pairs of black and white pants, and come out with two being winners. I felt like a shmuck having to explain to my mother  “but this one is a trouser and this one is a pair of jeans,” *Ok, Jillian*.  Personally, I see nothing wrong with this, a little redundant maybe, but I remain enthusiastic none-the-less.

I’m becoming a firm believer that having an eye for a specific thing adds for a little more consistency in your life. For the most part, I am a consistent person. My reaction, thoughts, and attitudes towards things are relatively predictable. My clothes and the objects that surround me are of the same bird.  Going outside of my norm is healthy, but only to certain extent. At some point, you’re no longer dressed like yourself, your dressed like some uncomfortable looking doppelganger of yourself that probably shouldn’t have left the house. So perhaps having a wardrobe filled with bold patterns and monochromatic colors adds to my being consistent? After all, a polka dot never hurt anybody, right?

Do you find yourself buying the same stuff over and over?

Cheers,

Jillian Ouellette

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Organized Messes

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_MG_2323 Edit

Aside from being incredibly average in height, I find that I am still constantly wearing skirts that are really not built for a frame such as mine. The skirt above is a testament to such clothing- the Virgin de Guadalupe skirt. I made this skirt in order to acquire more of said unflattering-on-my-frame clothing and will probably continue doing so until I am publicly shamed into wearing only miniskirts and short-shorts to much my physical proportion (because that totally happens, right?).

I love this fabric.  I love this fabric so much that a made a matching bustier to go along with it: Virgin de Guadelupe Bustier Bra Top. The fabric used on this can be deemed as a bit “much,” but a bit much has never really hurt anyone. Yeah, right. Upon trying to envision what I could actually make with this fabric, I immediately thought that it would be almost impossible to pair it with anything other than a solid color. LIES! This fabric kills it with some cheetah print. You probably don’t believe, so I’ll just have to show you at a later time.

I actually was inspired to make this after seeing the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 RTW collection (seriously, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since laying eyes on it). I mean, chili pepper repeats on a bustier top and a midi skirt? It’s all so tropical, and I’m not a tropical girl. I’m a “busy city” vacation girl. But when I saw this collection, I thought to myself- Oh the places I would go in that- dive bars, class, or perhaps to a garage sale. After truly putting that into perspective, I decided just to make something somewhat close to it.

On a serious note, did you get the same feeling as me when you saw that? It’s beautiful.

A little more about the making of this skirt, I made this skirt with a pattern made by yours truly.  You can find similar ones by any pattern maker: Simplicity, Vogue etc. If you’re a beginner or new to this whole sewing thing, it’s probably one of the easiest things you could make for yourself. Another tip is to find a bottom of a dress pattern with a gathered skirt, and cut a long rectangle for the waist, add an extra inch to the total waist length for the zipper and there you have it, a skirt.

Last thing- I feel like I really hit the Japanese Purikura photo booth nail on the head with these photos. Black and white polka dots can really make a girl feel like a cartoon, along with a bun that is pretty much the size of my head.

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Fabric Close-Up

Crop top & sandals – Topshop, Skirt – Showboat Clothing

Cheers,

Jillian Ouellette

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Wishing & Dreaming

MOP1

Mother of Pearl @ Moda Operandi

MOP3

Mother of Peal @ Moda Operandi

MOP2

Mother of Pearl @ Moda Operandi

There are many things I love and sincerely enjoy doing: making my dog sneeze, cracking jokes with my family, and wearing a mustache drawn with a highlighter when there is a black light around, just to name a few.

Also on the list? Wearing an abundance of stripes, florals, and brights- ALL AT ONCE. That’s where the Mother of Pearl Resort 2014 collection comes into play. Feel free to admire this with me, and pout, because it’s just so damn good, but so damn far away. Everything about this is just oh-so-cool, from the pant suits to the skirts, there’s a whole-lot going on and at the same time, it’s practical and wearable. I feel that mixing prints is one of the most risky and bold (in the best way possible) thing someone can do when they get dressed in the morning. Color, proportion, and shape all need to taken into consideration and for the most part, it’s all a matter of personal perception. That’s what makes this collection so magical- a girl can dream, can’t she?

Would you be willing to mix prints?

Best wishes,

Jillian Ouellette

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Funny Feelings: Silk Kimonos

Silk kimono 2PrettyLittleWorldVtg

 

Kimono 1PrettyLittleWorldVtg

 

Kimono 3Noir Ohio Vintage

There are many things on my ever-growing “Want List.” I have to be real with myself though: I’m a broke a** college student (wah! Poor me, right?) and will not be obtaining half of the things I really want, any time in the near future. But a girl can dream, right?

Because of this intense lust for the, slightly obtainable but still oh-so-far-away, objects of my desire, I put together a list of the ten million things on my wish list, within specific categories. This weeks- none other than vintage silk kimonos! Exactly what every girl wants, right? Right. I imagine myself twirling around in a circle in all of these bad boys- just like a real housewife of ATL – Gone with the Wind Fabulous.

But on a serious note, these garments are truly beautiful and the craftsmanship used to make such garments is unmatched to anything that can be store-bought now-a-days.  The material, one can assume, is top of the line, and even after years of wear, the colors are still vibrant and rich.

 

Would you rock one of these?

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Are You Wearing Astronaut Pants?

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Galaxy Suit: Topshop

I recently had a dilemma: how do I present myself in a more “professional” photograph and not lose my identity? When you browse through your connections on LinkedIn, there is a sea of black and gray blazers, but realistically, that’s not who many of those people intrinsically are.  I understand that there is a protocol for professional presentation, especially over the internet, but I’m also a firm believer in that some rules are just plain ol’ stupid.

So what is the most logical thing I could have done in order to present myself in a “professional” way and not completely abandon myself in the process? I bought a space suit. Yeah, what you’re probably thinking right now is exactly what my mom said: “are you ____ kidding me?” No, mom. I’m not kidding you.  So what was I thinking when I purchased this bad boy? I was thinking about all the one-liner “are you wearing astronaut pants?” jokes, how I’m already somewhat of a space case, and the fact that I have nebula’s printed all over me.

Now let me explain the photo above. I convinced (by “convinced”, what I’m actually trying to say, is that  it was by her own free will) my very talented friend Kelci McIntosh, to take some photos of me. I went into her room and threw my things everywhere (because I’m just THAT much of a diva). So, half of this mess is mine, actually all of that mess is mine.

So, do you feel that you can translate your personality online and still maintain professionalism?

Peace!

Jillian Ouellette

P.S. Get your own galaxy suit here.

P.P.S.- Psych. I bought this suit a few months ago, so they are no longer there, BUT, you can always start your galaxy wardrobe out with this Galaxy Bustier Bra Top from Showboat Clothing!

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Sewing with a Sense of Humor

I don’t want to use the term “as of late,” because this problem has been going on for quite some time now… I can’t stop purchasing food fabric and I can’t imagine it stopping anytime soon.

If you’ve looked at my Etsy store, Showboat Clothing, you might have seen this: Les Frites Bustier Bra Top. It’s gotten it’s fair share of recognition on Tumblr, and girls all over the world are wearing one with a “yeah, I’m wearing French fry attitude,” (because that is a totally normal attitude, right?). But aside from the bustier, I keep managing to take it a step further. Evidence A: French fry shorts.

Fry

Now, this might all seem a little silly to you, that’s because it is. In the best way possible, of course.  Why did I decide to make a pair of high-waisted tap shorts? Aside from a killer fabric pattern, they have a sense of humor, and most importantly, they have character.  Every time I wear something as interesting as these bad boys, people can’t help but talk about them with me. Even the ice cream sandwich bandeau I made for my friend can come off as silly, but incredibly original.

Ice Cream Sandwich

The responses towards the use of such fabrics for garments has been up and down, especially on the internet where people tend to be a little more critical and have an opinion about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  When people say “is it weird that I want to wear this?”, the automatic response I think to myself is “why the hell would that be weird?” That’s the beauty of clothes, you get to identify with whatever you feel suits you best. Whether it be a polka dot skirt or an ice cream sandwich bandeau, it is uniquely you and uniquely a reflection of your personality. The clothes I choose to make stems from the fact that the world can be a harsh place and that people have a tendency to be a bit cynical, French fry shorts are just an opportunity to make yourself smile in an outrageous fashion. Besides, where else are you going to find something as wild unless you sew it yourself?

How do your clothes reflect your personality?

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