Friday, August 16, 2013

How 1950 Advertising Shaped Women’s Fashion

Written by Guest Blogger: Silk Pockets

If anyone had watched even one episode of Mad men, you will know that in the 1950’s advertising was generated by a man dominated world, and focused at women as they were the ones buying the products. Now, I know that Mad Man is full of inappropriate macho’ism, but I don’t really think that the male dominated portrayal of women, or the perfect housewife, was necessarily a bad thing.

On the contrary, I think it liberated women to have fun with fashion, and dress up, without feeling overdressed. It could be viewed as somewhat liberating if you like.

Who of us has had that gorgeous evening dress, or that sparkling costume jewellery that we want to wear out, but feel we will be overdressed and therefore the center of attention – in all the wrong ways. Who wants to go out feeling silly? But in the 1950’s, the common housewife was portrayed as always having perfectly quaffed hair, kitten heels, petticoats and full matching jewellery and earring set just to clean the house. Or put in Victory Rolls just to go to the typing pool.
Yes this was completely unachievable (unless you had a housekeeper) and unrealistic to modern day. But how liberating to know that you COULD go out in full petticoat-ed loveliness, just to get a soda. How fabulous to have the freedom to wear that beautiful pillbox and long gloves to go out to dinner. You would be appreciated and not scoffed at. That is the kind of world I want to live in!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Vintage Hairstyle - Victory Rolls

Guest Writer: Silk Pockets

“I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it.” 

It is said that Victory Rolls got their name from the fighter plane maneuvers of World War II. The planes apparently created an exhaust roll that lingered in the sky long after the planes were past, which inspired many patriotic civilians to adopt the name in honor of their returning soldiers. Either that, or the men in charge of War propaganda cottoned on to the changing fashion and styling of the times and, realising that this style looked HOT, titled it appropriately.

You see, Victory Rolls became useful during wartime when women were enrolled on the workforce. They were petitioned to keep their hair off their faces. This hair style therefore proved very useful in complying with orders. The fact that it also looked absolutely fabulous was just a bonus!

The Starlet’s of the time, sporting many variations of this style cemented it in history, and in the hearts of many women today. It is no wonder that this diverse technique has made a very strong resurgence in recent times. With the rebirth of Vintage appreciation, and ‘Granny Chic’ fashion making a comeback this style is perfect. Pair it with an embellished clip for a formal look, or simply play around with placement of the barrel rolls. The options are endless.

I have loved this vintage styling since I was young, but only recently found the knack for pulling it off. Thank good ness for YouTube Tutorials I say! One of my firm favorites is Cherry Dollface who tells you simply how to do the style in many different ways. My main advice would be… practise, practise, practise! And when doing this style give yourself plenty of time. A Barrel Roll/Victory Roll never does what you want when you are under pressure. (They can smell the fear I think…)

For more Vintage Inspiration, and how to incorporate Vintage with your wardrobe basics check out my Blog at

A very special Vintage edition is coming up this week so make sure you Follow the Blog or ‘Like’ my Facebook page. Also follow my Twitter page #leedmetothevintage to be in with a chance of winning our absolutely fabulous Vintage Giveaways!

Until Next time…

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to work Men's Vintage Fashion

Guest Blog by: Silk Pockets

Vintage fashion is not just reserved for us ladies! Men can have fun with vintage too! Here are some handy hints and tips to inspire you men, or to help you dress your man!

The cardinal rule for dressing vintage is don’t try too hard.

I know it sounds obvious, but make sure you feel comfortable in what you are wearing. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is good, just as long as you don't feel self conscience. If you feel self conscience, don’t wear it. 

And Gentlemen... please do not be afraid of the cardigan. it is a great staple for your wardrobe and can be worn under your suit jacket, or over a shirt and bow tie. Plus, the girls love it. Very sexy!

Oh do I love these brogues!!!! A great vintage staple!

Your clothing does not always have to be actual vintage, there are many vintage inspired things from department stores now. Mixing vintage, and vintage inspired items together can be a fabulous way to pull your look together.

  For the vintage virgins out there, try adding just one vintage piece at a time. A scarf, a hat, a cardigan...

The great thing about playing around with vintage fashion, is the options are endless. It's worth mixing patterns. But one rule to guide you, when mixing patterns make sure they are in the same color wheel.

If you want to be bold and mix colors, block the colors and add just one pattern piece.

Very important... Always dress for your size. This is nonnegotiable. Sizes and numbers on clothing do not matter. Especially as vintage sizing can be misguiding. Wear what fits. For example a slim man might wear bigger clothes, in an effort to look bigger, but it actually has the opposite effect, and vise versa.

Model is Wearing:

Hat: top man | Cardigan: Top Man | Bow tie: Asos | Shirt: Asos | Trousers: Vintage | Shoes: Oak Ridge | Scarf: Vintage | Sunglasses: Zara Man | Apple: Models own.

Follow my blog for more vintage inspiration and tips!

Until Next Time...

Silk Pockets

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jane Russell the Hollywood Muse

Guest post by Silk Pockets

I first discovered Jane Russell when watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at a very early age. It is down to this day one of my favorite movies of all time. While watching the film, my mother tells me that Jane Russell was so beautiful that she was allegedly the Muse that inspired the invention of the first ever push-up Bra! This completely fascinated me; imagine, being someone’s muse!

Howard Hughes was the man who was so inspired by Ms. Russell's beauty, and bountiful ‘assets’ that he took it upon himself to invent a bra for her. Either that, or he felt the film screen did not do full justice to her very large bust, and set about trying to accentuate Jane’s greatest asset for his upcoming Western, The Outlaw. Howard Hughes, being not only a film producer, but also an aviator and aerospace engineer, was eager to put his engineering skills to work. Hughes added rods of curved structural steel that were sewn into the bra below each breast. The rods were then attached to the bra's shoulder straps. The arrangement allowed the breasts to be pulled upward and made it possible to move the shoulder straps away from the neck. The design allowed for any amount of bosom to be freely exposed.

Unfortunately Jane did not take well to the idea. She is famed to have described the bra as a ‘ridiculous’ contraption! Which she only wore for a few minutes, and then promptly went back to wearing her old bra, straps tightened, back on set. Howard Hughes was none the wiser.

The Outlaw was indeed a very big success, cementing Jane Russell as a Hollywood legend. It did not hurt that the film was shrouded in scandal, and controversy, which had it banned from release to the big screen for years due to the ‘risqué’ images of Jane with he assets on show. When the film was eventually released, everyone knew who Jane Russell was. She became a household name.

The one thing I really love about Jane Russell, is although she was a sex symbol of the time, she always owned her own sexuality, without letting it ‘own’ her. 

Until Next Time…

For more Vintage Inspiration, check out my Blog.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

finds / 50's frocks in watercolor

I was browsing around Etsy yesterday, and stumbled upon the delightful shop Jo Jo la Rue, which carries an assortment of watercolor art, cards, and pendants by Boston artist Johanna Pabst.

She paints everything from vintage luggage to cupcakes and wine bottles, but her vast assortment of 50's vintage dresses are especially fabulous; check them out!

Monday, May 20, 2013

close up: model this dress for bitter root vintage!

bitter root vintage wants you to model the "go with the flow maxi dress" for our blog & Facebook page!

the skinny: the lucky winner will receive this darling dress for *FREE, and agree to send along a photo(s) of herself wearing it, along with a brief review of the dress for publication here on our blog and Facebook page!

to enter: simply become a follower of the bitter root vintage blog, and post a comment on this post - please include your desired dress size (small, medium, or large) & an email address where you can be contacted!

one winner will be selected at random on Thursday, May 23 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time; the lucky winner will be notified immediately and an announcement will be posted on our Facebook page Friday!

*fine print: contestants may reside anywhere in the world, but the winner must agree to pay shipping. a photo(s) and brief review should be emailed to us within three days of receiving the dress!

questions? send them to

good luck!

Friday, May 17, 2013

in the bag: an ode to the vintage purse

Dior suede handbag, ca. 1947

textured linen box purse, ca. 1980s
Edwardian beaded fringe purse, ca. 1900s

red vinyl handbag, ca. 1960s

colorblock purse, ca. 1950s

tortoise lucite box purse, ca. 1950s

It wouldn't be hyperbolic to say that I began selling vintage because I had a purse addiction. Indeed, that's how it started - all of those thrifted, gifted, and inherited beauties began to overwhelm my modest apartment, and became the first items I sold on bitter root vintage.

Don't get me wrong, I still have way too many; they're often an affordable (and functional) way to spruce up one's ensemble! But, according to this History of Handbags article, they also held a good deal of gravitas, signifying power and status, for instance.

To see more vintage purses, check out our Pinterest board!