I love my jeans and t-shirts. Come summer I live in my shorts and tanks with flip-flops. But has comfort and casual crossed a line? I can’t help wondering if we as women and men have lost something, by choosing comfortable and casual. Recently I got engaged. My fiancé loves Mad Men and anything vintage. So as an ode to him we had a Mad Men type engagement party and our engagement photos were also in the realm of that Mad Men type look. So now comes the wardrobe.
Well for him it was easy, suite and tie. He loves his suits and spends good money on them so they already look and feel the style. Me on the other hand I had to search for a dress. Luckily I stumbled upon Unique Vintage in Burbank and found everything I needed in one stop. There were so many beautiful dresses and the sales associates were super helpful helping me get in and out of the dresses. I ended up picking out an Olive Green dress with a brown clutch and brown gloves. I even got a cute feather clip for my hair. The price was not easy to swallow, but I felt like the part. Also when I tried the dress on I knew it was the one.
So the day finally came to shoot. I was nervous, I felt silly, were we doing too much? Should we have just gone with shooting at the beach? What will people think? The day started with me going to the hair salon and getting my huge up do. While at the salon, I was wondering how on earth the ladies of the late 50’s early 60’s ever got their hair done on their own. Well the answer was simple they didn’t, really. They went to the beauty salon and got their hair done and slept in scarves or they would sleep in rollers. So an 1 ½ later My hair is all dolled up and I’m feeling super self conscious, I’m not use to having my hair teased up and pined with so much hair spray I’m sure I’ve destroyed some ozone layers. Now it’s time to go home and put on my face. The black liner is simple enough, just a little more than I normally use for going out. I choose a peachy pink lip and I’m finished. Now comes the spanx. Since I’m not going to actually wear a girdle, I settle for the updated version. I’ve never worn spanx before, it was a struggle getting it on, but underneath the dress I loved the results. I zip up the dress (or have my fiancé help since clothes were not made to be put on by oneself back in the day) then I slip on the brown ankle strap shoes and look at my future husband. The look on his face was indescribable. He looked at me like I was the most beautiful person he’d ever seen. His eyes lit up. The dress accentuated my curves (being a size 2 I don’t really have much normally) and made my waist look tiny. I looked mature, grown, like a wife. I also felt really glamourous and feminine. When I see my fiancé in his suit all cleaned up and freshly pressed, my breath catches a little. He is so handsome! We look like we just stepped out of a time portal.
So off we go to meet the photographer at the location. A tiny vintage inspired hotel. I can’t walk very fast, but I am standing a little taller and feel like a WOMAN. Usually I get carded for alcohol and people never believe my actual age. I feel beautiful and strong. We look great with out surroundings, but then I notice the other guests at the hotel, they are the ones who look a little out of place. Their jeans and t-shirts don’t go with their surroundings. We are so use to casual nowadays especially Southern California. No one actually really wears a full suit to work here unless it’s a special meeting. Women suits are boxy and manish a lot of the times and the sexy ones are considered inappropriate for the work place because of dress codes established in God knows when. So while I’m incredibly grateful for the progress in women’s rights and equality as well as our undergarments, I can’t help, but feel a little longing for the fashion and care that was taken in one’s appearance in the early 1960’s. Even Marylyn and Audrey dressed down, was impeccably tailored and well thought out. So while I love denim a part of me longs for the fashion and glamour of the Mad Men Era. Not to mention the chivalry of men, which by the way was shown to me way more in the few hours I was all decked out.