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This week Rebecca and I are going to watch Private Lives at our local theatre, the Torch Theatre. As befitting with a Noël Coward play written in the 1930s, the invitation stated “1930s fancy dress is definitely encouraged”. We’re very excited to watch the play and to dress up. To save money we’re just adding a few 1930s accessories to our currently owned vintage-inspired dresses. Take a look:
Private Lives at the Torch Theatre
The Torch Theatre recently gave us a Private Lives sneak peek at the amazing costumes! Like the sets, these have been lovingly designed by Kevin Jenkins and capture the style of the era.
Aren’t they stunning?
1930s Inspired Autumn Fall Fashion
1930s Inspired Autumn Dresses
While I would love to buy a new dress for the occasion (and every occasion…) we already have plenty of vintage-inspired dresses. So, Rebecca’s going to wear my Hell Bunny Burgundy Thea Dress and I’m going to wear my Hell Bunny Dark Green Patricia dress. These are not currently on sale from Hell Bunny (but you might be able to pick up preloved) so I’ve suggested two other dresses from Hell Bunny (pictured above) that can still be purchased new: the Burgundy Carlie Mini Dress (£24.99) and the Vera Lynn Dress (£34.99). While supposed to be 1940s-style dresses both can definitely get away with being from the late 30s/early 40s era. The burgundy and dark green make great autumn colours. Both dresses are also available in black. As we’re both on the shorter side the dresses are longer on us so more appropriate for the 30s style.
Hopefully, we will curl and style our hair worthy of the era. We will also pop on cute berets to add a 30s touch. We have chosen a Claret 50s Style Wool Beret and a Black 50s Style Wool Beret, both £14. If you want a bargain their Pearled Berets are currently only £6.
Pearls for Tears?
For our jewellery, Rebecca is wearing a Classic Faux Pearl Necklace (£8) and I’m wearing a Green Emerald style necklace. You can buy a similar Dark Green Layered Semi Precious Stone Necklace from New Look (£6.99). I’m wary of wearing pearls as my mum always says pearls are for tears. However, apparently, it’s a misconception that pearls symbolize tears, they were worn initially to stop brides from crying on their wedding day. Brides thought that wearing pearls would give them a tear-free marriage. So perhaps I can go back to wearing one Holly Golightly style… (I realise it’s only superstition really!).
Handbags at Dawn
I used to love playing with my Nan’s handbags, many were from the 30s, 40s and 50s and would have been great for our outfits. I prefer a cross-body bag for comfort and practicality but we want hand-held bags to create the 30s look. I love the LUI SUI Women Retro Handbag, PU Leather Purse Vintage Top Handle Bag Kiss Lock in Green (£21.99). It even has a cross-body strap for when we’re not dressing up 30s style. It’s available in a variety of colours. This Banned Apparel American Vintage Handbag (£36) would go perfectly with Rebecca’s outfit as she has a bow on her dress. I think she’s going to wear her vintage tweed handbag- if she can find it!
A Lady Always Wears Gloves…
A lady always wears gloves- well not so much anymore but in the 30s it was usual for women to wear gloves for more than just keeping their hands warm. For Rebecca, I love these Claret Vintage Bow Winter Gloves (£15)- the bows will really tie her outfit together. While I’ll wear Black Velvet Vintage Style Gloves (£12).
Seamless stockings were actually available in the 1930s and if we were doing a true recreation we would have been more likely to wear nude stockings. However, I know I mainly think of seamed stockings during the 30s, 40s and 50s era (or a drawn-on seam of course to help for the war effort). Therefore we will be wearing Snag Black 50 Denier Pin-Up Tights (tights are much comfier!). These are £16.49 which sounds expensive for tights. However, in the past, if I picked up a less expensive pair they never fitted me properly or lasted for more than one wear, so I have more than got my money out of them. I only buy my everyday tights from Snag and Popsy now. Less expensive options are available such as Pretty Polly Seamed Tights but I can’t personally vouch for them.
Vintage Style Shoes
I was delighted to see that the tan shoes pictured in the costume designs are very similar to the vintage-inspired sandals that I already own. When I bought them (in many colours) they were £20 each and they go so well with vintage and Popsy dresses. The AJVANI Womens Ladies Mid Low Block Heel T-bar Brogue Court Shoes Sandals are currently £30.99. They’re available in lots of colours. I think the tan option looks most authentic.
What would you wear to a 1930s party?
Private Lives will run at the Torch Theatre from 4th October.
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This post is written for Blogtober 2023. Day 2’s prompt is “Highlight the best fall fashion trends for this year” so this is my take.