Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vintage Dresses: The Stories in the Seams

Thankfully (or not so thankfully depending if you're judging by the dollars in my wallet) my mother and godmother taught me to appreciate fine things. I won't ever forget the first time they took me to a vintage clothing store. As we approached the shop, I smiled as I noticed the little cottage with kelly green wood detailing and a green front porch with a porch swing. Ahab Bowen was the name of the store, and it was once a Dallas go-to for vintage. Super reasonable prices and a well curated collection of pieces. It sadly closed down a few years ago.

As I looked through dress after dress I remember having the very simple, but very important realization:

"They don't make stuff like this any more"

What's more is I thought about how each dress came with a memory, and since we typically don't know the story of each piece ... we can make that memory up! Imagining for what purpose the previous owner bought or made a vintage dress is half the fun of buying vintage dresses, amiright?

Made to wear to her best friend's wedding. Bought specifically for her daughter's graduation party. She wanted to make her ex-boyfriend eat his pathetic heart out. She just felt like spoiling herself. It was obvs a Sandra D scenario, and she wanted to impress her bad boy crush. 

The possibilities are endless.

For me, this piece was a gift from my godmother to wear to a premier of one of Johnny's movies at the Tribeca Film Festival. There is not much more classy than black lace/mesh with a nude underlay. I only wear this dress on special occasions, but I plan on passing this bad boy down to my spawn, who I will hopefully teach to love well made clothes.

I was SUPER inspired to do this post for two reasons: 1. The Zogalis twins did this awesome hair and make-up for a ModCloth test I was lucky enough to be a part of. You may have seen pics if you follow me on Instagram.
2. IFB is featuring a few blog posts based on amazing vintage pieces soon. I figured with how much I love this stuff, I'd be a damn fool not to share my link!
Dress: Ahab Bowen
Shoes: Cole Haan
Hair and Makeup: Special thanks to ModCloth and the Zogalis twins. 


  1. that last picture is amazing!! Ha! love you standing on that man hole (? I don't know if that is the right word, and I haven't had enough coffee to think about it further) What a beautiful dress!

  2. These photos are absolutely stunning, as are you. Beautiful beautiful!
    I love thinking of the story that pre-owned things have lived through, or handmade things especially because so much of a person goes into what they make. I feel like a lot of vintage clothes are like that. =]

  3. flicky eyes and backcombed hair - always a favourite of mine!

  4. This dress looks beautiful on you, possibly my favourite outfit of any of yours!

    Maria xxx

  5. ok you are officially the grace kelly of venice beach. you could not look more stunning in these photos. that close up fourth shot is so beautiful and kudos to those zogalis twins on that perfect cat eye. and duh you belong in that IFB feature. it's about time the queen of vintage claimed her throne!


  6. Your makeup here is flawless. You look splendid. Almost like those dolls that top wedding cakes, but in black ;)

  7. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

  8. You look ridiculously lovely.

    Love, Amy

  9. The hair looks really cool and so does the dress!
    Love it!

  10. Stunning.. absolutely stunning! Love this and the winged liner and teased hair just pulls it all off! Gorgeous like usual!

  11. omg,so in love with the dress and the last pic is just stun! :)

  12. We Ador all everything about this. Your hair really took the dress to another era. We also love how you made the last photo black and white.

  13. You look absolutely stunning! Gorgeous dress and styling!

  14. Holy crap that dress is AMAZING. Seriously, that is vintage dress is gorgeous.


  15. This black dress is just so classic. I love the shoes you paired with it and the way your hair is styled! :D

    love, polly

  16. This dress is an absolute dream on you! My mother also taught me to appreciate well-made and special pieces, and I love that you want to pass this dress on to your future daughter. You look stunning as always!

    Xo, Hannah

  17. You look stunning, in like a model level you know ;) I hav ethe same feeling with vintage clothes, the cut and fabric is much better than the over produce chinese dresses that we see in every single high street is boring and it is not unique, everybody looks the same and is getting on my nerves! ha! so you go sister keep buying vintage! x

  18. This could be like a vintage add! I seriously love each and every photo and that dress is SO PRETTYY, so jealous.
    Like I wouldn't find ANY of those things here in Belgium, vintage here just isn't the same (or probably still hanging in old people's closets). Pretty hairdo!

  19. your godmother has amazing taste- and what an incredibly amazing vintage find! i love the mesh lace, you look so stunning. and one of my favorite parts about vintage are the stories behind the pieces. i wish each item could come with a little tag about where it came from. oh the stories they'd tell! :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  20. Ooooooh myyyyyyyy god. Looking so gorgeous, glamorous, and CLASSY as fuck. A truly amazing find. You really hit the nail on the head, "They do NOT make em like this anymore." So sad yet so true.

    xoxo Britt

  21. Love the dress, love the shoes, love the hairstyle and love your blog! :)

    You've got a new follower on Bloglovin' and I look forward to lots of great posts! :)

    xo, Victoria,
    'The Wind of Inspiration' blog

  22. I'm like, having a hard time breathing. This post is making my apartment shake.

    First of all. Holy shit on the ModCloth thing. Congrats girl. Blowin' up in no time.
    Second, I don't even understand this makeup. HOW AMAZING IS THIS!?! Good lord. You look like a supermodel/retro queen/Mad Men babe/sex symbol super star, I could go rhetorically on.

    I love how sentimental this post gets too. The fact that you remember the first vintage store so well is really moving.
    Congrats on everything, and you look IN. SANE.

    insane girl.


  23. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Black lace is my favorite.

    Thanks for bringing up memories of how I discovered my own vintage love! My first excursion was in a small town where my great grandparents lived and I swear the town was abandoned and I probably dreamed it up! I got a ridiculous 1940's off the shoulder dress in off white with lace and riffraff, I held onto it for an entire year and looked like a proper southern belle for my 8th grade graduation.

  24. Oh, you look exquisite!

    I just love your writing too!

  25. I would also be super inspired to do a post if i would look that gorgeous. You look really gorgeous in that black vintage dress and shoes. Your make up is superb as well. You look really nice in all the photos. I also have a thing for classy black lace/mesh and nude underlay.


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