Friday, October 31, 2014

Wiggle Room

Ah yes, Marilyn Monroe's signature dress - the wiggle dress. You might recognize this one from the movie Something's Gotta Give, and there's a reason wardrobe put her in this style. By far one of the most flattering silhouettes, the wiggle dress gets its name from how the hem tapers to, or slightly passed the knee, causing women to wiggle when they walk! It really gives you that hour glass figure that will surely turn some heads. 

It was kind of a refreshing look at the time - Dior's fit and flare dresses were beautiful and fun for parties, but sometimes you just didn't want to don a petticoat and have trouble walking through doorways or getting in and out of cars. Women wanted something a little more sophisticated, and I think the fitted sheath dresses and pencil skirts made them feel less Suzy Homemaker and more like one of the bombshells they (and their husbands...) were seeing in the movies.

For a long time, I was always sticking to the A-line hem as my go-to silhouette - since I carry a little extra weight on my hips I thought fitted dresses like this wouldn't be as flattering on me. Well let me tell you - I was mistaken. After trying on this style a few times now, I've been pleasantly surprised when I come out of the fitting room. To be totally honest, I felt about 10x sexier in one of these than I did in even my miniest mini. I like how these dresses can cover you from head to toe, like the one pictured, but your shape is outlined so perfectly. 

And pretty much ANY body type can look really good in this style! It's actually just about "embracing the curves" you have  (I know I sound cliche, but seriously yo - vintage dresses were really made for all types of figures!) or the curves you want to accentuate, and letting the dress hug them all - giving the illusion of an hourglass figure. 

I feel totally bangin' in this bold piece, but I don't feel exposed or self conscious. There's something powerful about wearing a dress that fits so well. One thing I would highly recommend if you ever fall in love with a dress like this (hopefully one of ours!), is to take it to a tailor if it's not fitting you everywhere 100%. When I look at photographs of actresses from the 50s and 60s like Marilyn or Bridget Bardot and I see them in this type of dress, it fits them like a glove and just holds everything in place. I'm not saying you need it, like, tight tight, but if - like me - you carry more in your hips and less on top, get the bust darts and waist tailored to fit you perfectly - or vice versa. Seriously, this will make ALL the difference in the world and you will look ridiculously hot. 

I mean come on - this is a dress you could wear out for tea with your grandmother and then smear on red lipstick and tease your hair a bit and you're ready for a hot date!
If you've watched any of Mad Men you'll notice Joan Holloway wears these dresses like, every. single. episode - in every single scene. So they're totally office appropriate too :).

Remember our vintage sale starts next Friday, November 7th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Dalhousie shop, and from 10:00-6:00 p.m. on the Saturday. See y'all then!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome to Twin Peaks

The cult favourite Twin Peaks, with its haunting storyline, weird characters and a remarkably unique aesthetic is still enchanting after all these years. On the heels of the announcement of a new season in the works, the Welcome to Twin Peaks art show could not be more perfectly timed.

Curated by Barb Ochman and Meaghan Isaacs, this show brings together 16 local artists around the aesthetic and theme of Twin Peaks. Of course that means we will be serving pie, coffee and donuts (Beau's will be bringing some beers too, for good measure).

The event is TONIGHT from 7-11 at the West Wellington shop. See y'all there!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gracefully Dreaming

As you may know, our annual To The Nines vintage sale is coming up in two short weeks!! We are beyond excited for you to see all of our new found goodies, so we thought we'd give you a little sneak peek of some of our faves!

First up is this lovely 1950s chiffon tea dress, that is so dreamy to wear. After WWII, the Dior New Look was the big thing - nipped waists and full skirts was the silhouette of the decade. Fabric rations were no longer in effect, and when it came to party dresses, the fuller the skirt the better! Lavish and extravagant fabrics were being used and hemlines dropped to mid calf length. This dress is a late 50s/early 60s style, keeping with the New Look style but not quite as dramatic. A petticoat may have been worn underneath for added fullness, but I really love how much movement the pleats have on their own and the way they delicately fall.

Grace Kelly herself would have worn a beauty like this! When television became ubiquitous in households, and the Academy Awards could be watched live, many people were influenced by celebrities when it came to style. Grace Kelly was one of the most influential actresses of the time. Her life appeared as a genuine fairytale - she was an actress who then married the prince of Monaco and became a bonafide princess! Her dresses were stunning and she rarely wore couture. Her style was simple, elegant, conservative in a way that was still sexy but not in the same way as Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield. She wore dresses that were fitted through the waist, usually strapless or baring her shoulders, but that were long, draped, and had voluminous skirts.  

The draped shawl-like neckline is so feminine and frames the collar bone so beautifully. Putting this dress on made me feel like I was about to enter a glamorous hollywood party and be photographed by Cecil Beaton. Now all I need is to tame my locks into swept back curls or a fastened side bun to really make that neckline pop!

And that back! The gentle way the pleats are fastened as a subtle bow is just the sweetest! Even the waist seaming and the pleats along the back skirt are so perfectly done, my heart just flutters (I know, I'm *kind of* a nerd when it comes to beautifully made vintage).

Keep checking the blog this week to see previews of more vintage beauties that will be at the sale and make sure you come Friday November 7th from 5-8 pm and Saturday November 8th, 10-6 pm to our Dalhousie location to snap one up!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Plaid Parade 2014

This Sunday marks the 3rd annual Plaid Parade bike ride in Ottawa. It's always great fun for the whole family and a great excuse to take an out of the ordinary bike route. Ride side by side with your fellow Ottawa cyclists and enjoy the view!

Also, it is a GREAT excuse to put together your best plaid outfit. We got so many great plaid items they would be just perfect. Birds of North America, Hannah Dorothy, Betina Lou and a second Birds of North America are featured above. But so many other plaid options in the shop! We love a community event with a dress code! Check out the Plaid Parade events page for all details.

If biking ain't your thing, take your paddle boat like the dreamy Hannah Metz. She is wearing the Rosehound collar dress looking very Anne Shirley. ...The route is mostly along the river!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


We are giving away 1 of these Eve Gravel Haze tops to 1 lucky gal! All you gotta do is post a pic of your bad-ass self being totally adorable with our club hashtag #rebelgirlswithgoodmanners. 

And keep using that hashtag, cos we will have lots of giveaways throughout the season for all our #rebelgirlswithgoodmanners club kids. If you ask us, it's the only club that matters.

Eve Gravel Haze blouse (148$), available at all 3 shops and online. Or like totally FREE if you win our contest!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Save the Date of our Vintage Dress Event!

In less than one month we will be hosting our Fall Vintage Dress Event! We really could not be any more excited by the collection we will be presenting to you. We say this every time but we believe it every time too: it is the best yet!!!

For all of you who have been following us on Instagram you know about our dress hunting successes in Portland. Our best mates, White Elephant have been travelling too. They have found gems in Cleveland, Detroit, Vegas and even going down to the Smokey Mountains.  We sometimes feel like pirates in search of treasures, or at other times as the world around us sees us: mad women who have a serious addiction to dresses!  If you've got to be labelled, that label we wear with pride.

Organize your life around being at the Dalhousie shop November 7th (from 5:00-8:00 p.m.) and 8th (from 10:00-6:00 p.m.).

Sweater(dress) Weather

I love wearing dresses throughout the winter, but when it gets to -40 out there and I'm standing at the bus stop, I'm wishing I was wearing snowpants and a big ol' fur coat (and maybe a bubble around me?!). Thankfully though, they've invented the sweater dress for this very reason. I often thank the high heavens for these wondrous, sleeved soldiers who protect my body from getting chilled from the core. All I need are some fleece lined tights and I'm a happy cozy camper.
Covet Hi-Lo Dress $98 (all 3 locations), Westlake Design Cowl $120 (Wellington location), Westlake Design - Braided Headband $38 (all 3 locations), and Cantin Lili Purse, $160 (Dalhousie, Wellington & online)
Dagg & Stacey - Olive Dress $170 (all three locations & online), Westlake Design - Fisherman Beanie - $40 (all 3 locations) and Westlake Design  - Double Cowl $60 (all 3 locations)
Preloved - Club Sweater $ 132 (Dalhousie and Wellington location with assorted colors) and Westlake Design - Ultrathick headband $30
Dagg & Stacey - Fig Dress $220 (Dalhousie & Wellington) and Westlake Design - PomPom Toque $ 50 (all 3 locations).