Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clara's 1975 Blouse and Pants

I was watching a 1970s movie, and even if I could have ignored the cheesy acting, the clothing was hilarious. The outrageous hairstyles and clothing made me wonder if any clothing from that decade could be worn today without everyone knowing it was a vintage outfit.

I looked for "timeless classics" for a while, but all of the clothing from the 70s is immediately identifiable and very dated. The huge collars, modern-art or floral fabric patterns, bell bottoms, platform shoes, wrap dresses, and fitted blazers are all iconic of the 70s.

I did find one design for a blouse that would make a really cute, stylish blouse today. The original had an outrageous modern art design inset with a red gingham print. In a different fabric, it could be worn today. The blouse has butterfly sleeves, and two triangular insets on the bodice.

Clara's pants are bell bottoms. Originally made of a nice thick rayon. Eek.

Clara has some hair in a feathered "wings" style, similar to Farrah Fawcett's hairstyle in Charlie's Angels. I tried to make the cutting lines as simple as possible, but the hair still turned out pretty tough to cut out. Apologies for that. The hair does look pretty cute when it is on Clara, and won a complement from my youngest daughter. Tuck the dotted line tabs behind Clara's neck, and leave the rest of the hair in front of her shoulders.

Clara's shoes are some cute espadrilles. The thick platform soles are similar to shoes in style now, but the actual styling of the shoes is classic 1970s.

To print Clara's outfit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 37 (749k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (745k)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Clara's 1620 Pilgrim Dress

This vintage Thanksgiving card has a typical cute Pilgrim girl wearing a long black dress with a big white collar, wide cuffs on her sleeves, and a white apron. For accessories, she has a huge white bonnet and clunky black shoes with big buckles. The stereotyped Pilgrim is immediately recognizable as a symbol of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the dress is almost certainly not anything a Pilgrim would have worn. The only historically accurate items in this photo are the apron and the cuffs on the sleeves.

In reality,  a real Pilgrim girl from the 1620s would be more likely to wear almost any color besides black: purple, brown, red, green, yellow, or blue. The colors were probably muted, since the cloth was colored with vegetable based dyes. Even a wealthy girl who could afford the more expensive black cloth for a dress would only wear such an outfit on Sunday or for special occasions. Pilgrims had no religious objections to bright, fashionable clothing like the later puritans did, so many colors would have been worn. The later Puritans wore more sober clothing, and their fashions are perhaps what later artists (not worried about accuracy) used to create a "Pilgrim."
 
In Clara's more authentic Pilgrim dress, you may be able to recognize the Dutch influence in the style of clothing. Dutch styles and colors were popular in England at the time of the Pilgrim's journey to America. See if you can find similarities between the dress in this Frans Hals painting and Clara's Pilgrim dress.

In terms of actual fashion, a girl would have worn underclothing, a chemise (undershirt), a bodice or overdress, petticoats, a skirt, an apron, stockings, shoes, and a hat or bonnet. The bodice usually matched the skirt, and was sleeveless. It was worn over a chemise, which was usually a different color than the bodice. The stylishly narrow collar and long sleeves of the chemise were all that would show under the bodice. Wrist ruffs and turned-back cuffs were popular on sleeves for many, many years. Also, sometimes a ruff might be added to decorate the neckline.

Although Pilgrims are typically shown wearing huge buckles on their shoes, buckles were not fashionable or readily available. Buckles would not have been worn on shoes nor hats until the late 1600s. In the 1620s, shoes were tied with a ribbon or leather strips. Clara's shoes have round toes, low heels, cover most of her foot, and are tied neatly with a ribbon.

Clara has a tight-fitting bonnet – also called a coif or biggin – which she would wear daily to keep her hair clean. She may have worn a floppy felt hat in the same style as the men of the time. Women also commonly wore wide straw hats over their bonnets in the summer as they worked outdoors. However, the bonnet was the most common head covering at the time, although probably not with the huge wings most cartoon pilgrims wear.

To print Clara's outfit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 36 (717k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (745k)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clara's 1928 Cape and Dress

In the 1920s, fashion designs changed radically. Instead of simply changing the shape or decorations on the dresses, the entire approach to fashion design changed. It became socially acceptable to wear short skirts — and even pants — and the corsets of the past ended up in the attic. This dress is a little outside the normal silhouette that was iconic in the 20s: a straight-down "flapper" dress like Clara's other 1920s dress here. However, as popular as the flapper dress was, other styles were worn

Clara’s dress is from about 1928, and has long, straight sleeves, a plain bodice with a simple collar, and a knee-length flared skirt. The plain styling of the dress is dressed up with a little bow and a ribbon belt with a shell buckle. A little half-cape provides style, but not much warmth.

Clara also has some soft “bar” style silk slippers.  "Bar" shoes were simply shoes with a strap, making dancing a lot easier. The strappy heels of the 1920s are pretty neat shoes, many with intricate crossed straps. In this case, Clara's are rather plain to match the simple style of this dress.

To finish the outfit, Clara has a floppy-brimmed cloche-style hat, with a cute ribbon and some little roses for trim. This style of hat was worn fashionably when it was pulled down to just above the eyebrows, covering the forehead.

The original dress is dark green with a red ribbon belt. The cape is the same shade of green, with a matching red lining and buttons.

The shoes are white silk shoes with peach trim

The hat was baby pink with rose pink stripes, and white and pink roses.

Popular colors in the 1920s included a lot of brown, ivory, and pink. Light yellow, and many shades of green were also prevalent. Here are some colors found in 1920s clothing:


To print Clara's outfit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 35 (749k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (745k)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Clara's 1915 Layered Dress

In the 1910s, shaped silhouettes and clingy, flowing material were all the rage, as the Art Nouveau movement finally began to influence fashion designs. Art Nouveau was an artistic style with very romantic subjects, flowing lines, and stylized florals. Asian influences added to the flowing nature of fashions in the 1910s. You can see similarities between this week's dress and two others from the same decade: a Sailor Dress and a Long Tunic.

Layered skirts came into fashion, and Clara’s 1915 dress is one example of the layered style, with three soft layers in the skirt. A wide, drapy yoke covers most of a loose shirtwaist – maybe otherwise known as a blousy top.The high neck is decorated with a pretty lace collar, and the belt also has a decorative floral brooch.

During the 1910s, hats lost some of the excessive trim so popular in the preceding decade. Simpler hats came into style, with the rims starting out wide, and ending up pretty narrow by the end of the decade. Clara’s hat is a simple wide-brimmed felt hat trimmed with an ostrich feather, worn on an angle.

For footwear, many styles of shoes were worn in this decade. Slippers, strappy shoes, and high heels were popular. Clara's shoes this week are tall boots, which continued to be in style through the 1910s.

To print Clara's outfit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 34 (788k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (745k)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Clara's 2010 Everyday Clothing

The most common type of everyday clothing in the United States today is probably a t-shirt and jeans. Although t-shirts have been basically the same shape for many years, there are differences in styles in different years. In the late 2000s, and through 2010, t-shirts had a more fitted shape than in previous years. Scoop necks and v-necks were popular (and still are). Clara has both styles of t-shirts this week.

She also has some flare jeans, which returned to popularity in the first decade of the 2000s. By 2010, flare jeans had lost 1970s wideness, and narrowed to a simple bootcut profile, seen in Clara's outfit. In addition, Clara has a pair of capris with rolled hems, also a pretty popular style in 2010.

This is a simple mix-and-match outfit, so you can use either shirt with the jeans or the capris.

What can make this a complex project is how you decide to decorate the shirts and pants. Are you going to use stripes? flowers? words? Perhaps the pants have flowers or patches. Despite the apparent simplicity of the clothing, this fashion page leaves a big space for creativity. Enjoy!

Here are some popular colors from 2010:


To print Clara's outfit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 33 (742k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (745k)