Glamour On a Budget Fashion Spotlight!

A new arrival of two Jack Bryan dresses to my store Sephine had me wondering what other lovely stuff this vintage designer had created, that might still be drifting around.  I’ve come to realize that Jack Bryan has an extremely specific design aesthetic that for me, reads as casual luxury.  Today’s fashion spotlight shines on a specific Jack Bryan dress from SavageLoveVintage on Etsy.

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I was in awe when I first laid eyes on it!  An authentic 1960s Jack Bryan pink evening gown, complete with a sheer cape that cascades beautifully down the arms and collars the neck.

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The elegance of the flowing fabric combined with the beaded collar is something I admire in Jack Bryan’s work: ability to combine heavily structured and clustered bedazzlement with effortless simplicity.  Not to mention, the particular shade of pink – freshly blooming roses, or a mid-sunset hue, is just darling.

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Only 78.00!  For those among us who desire glamour on a budget, this is something to invest in for sure.

Measurements:
40″ – 30″ (Empire Waist)-  48″
LENGTH TOP TO BOTTOM About 58″

If you like this dress, stay tuned for two lovely Jack Bryan dresses with matching overcoats coming to Sephine Vintage late May!  Comment for what you would like to see on the next Glamour On a Budget article; anything from ruby slippers to satin pillowcases!

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Things To Keep Near Your Bed

Dolls: apologies for the absence!  As I’m sure you’re well aware of, life happens often.  To jump back into the swing of things, and always for your pleasure, here is a collection of absolute nightstand essentials for the classic duchess, dame, and darling.

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First up; The Rose.  Fresh flowers on your nightstand incorporate an element of elegance and nature that would otherwise be lost.  A single rose, or even a dozen bouquet, cannot be passed on.
Scented Candle; To illuminate your day and brighten the air around you.
Crystal Glass of Water; Hydration mustn’t be a chore.
Golden Clam; For all the miscellaneous earrings and jewels you ultimately put on and off before sleeping, and after awakening.
Slippers; To keep your feet warm and make the journey to the washroom less exasperating.
Crystal Ball; For early-morning divinations, of course.
Miss Dior; Personal fragrance is a sensory staple.  Find one that conveys your unique attributes.  If you aren’t a Miss Dior, who are you?
Lip Balm; Must be beeswaxed based or you will end up disappointed.  Rose-scented for the delicate among us, cinnamon scented for the sharp-cutting dames.
Makeup Wipes; Keep these near your bed.  You’ll thank yourself when you come home from a party in the early hours and barely have time to brush your teeth!
Lightweight Moisturizer; If you can get into the habit, a lightweight moisturizer before bed will have you awakening with petal-soft and enviable skin.
Sleep Mask; For getting the rest you really need, no matter what time of the season.
Classic Analog Clock; Digital alarm clocks have been proven to promote restless sleep, and discord in your brain.  Choose something more timeless and don’t stress about the hour until you’re ready to awaken.
Everything in this article is available for purchase on the following sites!

 

Organic Beauty: Gianna Rose Atelier French Milled Soaps Review

Hello classics!  Today, as a continuation of my Organic Beauty series where I review natural and healthy beauty products, I’m going to be reviewing a particularly lovely soap.  This product was lovingly gifted to me by Uncommon Scents at the Meridian, a local Eugenian shop featuring a wide array of beautiful and natural products.  If you haven’t stopped by yet, I highly recommend it.  They just got in a new order of these beautiful soaps I am reviewing for you today!

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The scent that I chose was Gardenia and Jasmine, one of the more floral and fragrant scents.  For those among us who love a more understated smell, they have many different scents, many of which are quite subtle.

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Highlights of This Product

  • Triple-milled.  For those of you who don’t know, milling soap is a process to mix the soap together and remove any air bubbles or moisture.  Most soaps are milled over once, but these lovelies are milled three times!  This means the soap particles are pressed closer together, and your soap will last much longer.
  • Exfoliating.  This was such a surprise!  The Gardenia and Jasmine soap (made with real Organic Jasmine flowers, no less) features tiny little beads that exfoliate your skin while you’re cleaning.  These beads aren’t harmful microbeads either – they’re entirely natural!  This makes for a deeper clean, as the soap works on double time to remove any dirt or oil from your skin.
  • Fragrant.  I cannot stress enough how delightful this soap smells.  It does something that I think is quite rare in a soap – it actually keeps your skin smelling good through the day!  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could skip perfume altogether, as this wonderful soap had me smelling exactly like a flower shop.  My bathroom too!  Ever since I began using this product regularly, the bath has simply emanated wonderful floral scents, akin to a florist in paris.

Drawbacks

  • For those of us with sensitive skin, the exfoliants may be a little on the rough side.  I would have to sample their other scents to determine if this is specific to one product, or all products.
  • If you aren’t a fan of fragrance, definitely opt for one of their more understated scents.

All-in-all, if you’re running out of a bar soap, look no further than this wonderful collection!  If you’re in the Eugene, OR area, make sure to stop by Uncommon Scents at The Meridian and find your favorite scent.  Hurry, before they’ve all been picked!

Cheers,

Josephine

Which of These Three Classic Hollywood Beauties Do You Most Embody?

In tune with my interests, I wanted to make a very quick and sweet test that we all can take, to see which one of these ultra-classic Hollywood sweethearts most closely matches our personality.

Instructions: Read the following descriptions, and decide which one you align with the most.  Then, scroll down to see your result.  And no early peeking!

a. Kind.  Favorite flower: a lily.  Always seen with a smile.  Enjoys the wind created by oceans.  When bike riding, legs stick out, laughing – always laughing.  Partial to the passenger seat.  Often, people will wrongfully mistake your curiosity for stupidity.  You are looking underneath every rock, behind every tree, at the shapes in every cloud.  Sometimes, painfully out of touch with the real world, and blissfully in touch with dreams.  Despite the overwhelming gentleness that fills your being, you are stubborn, and you refuse to compromise your ideals and morals for others.

b. Enchanting.  Hard to pin down.  Completely unpredictable, like a storm in late spring.  Despite this, within you lies the ability to genuinely touch people in a way that transcends the limits of this Earthly world.  Favorite flower: yellow roses.  You often feel as though whatever side of yourself you’re showing, it’s not the real side.  Others will fall over themselves to get to know you better.  You always have a plan, and yet, at the same time, feel a victim of the circumstances around you.  Will charm your way through the dark, and into another dawn.

c. Elegant.  Reserved, but not out of touch.  Your beauty emanates half from your appearance, and half from a gentle power that lies just beneath your skin.  Favorite flower: red roses.  Partial to the driver’s seat.  Will often be seen wearing gloves, sunglasses, scarves, and full skirts.  Can appreciate a fine glass of wine, a picnic at night, a penthouse suite.  Despite this complete ownership of self, you are never afraid to give kindness to people who genuinely need it, and express gratitude when it’s deserved.

You Picked “A”…

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You’re most alike Audrey Hepburn!  Audrey was classically known for her kind heart and innocent yet spunky attitude.  You will feel most in your element when it’s summer, when you’re with friends, or when you’re in nature.  Life is wondrous to you, and you’re never hesitant to jump in head first.  Just be cautious to don’t bite off more than you can chew.

 

You Picked “B”…

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You’re most alike Marilyn Monroe!  Such a beautiful whirlwind of a person.  You have a radiance and spark inside you that is incomparable to others; the real challenge will be learning to control yourself and your impact on the people around you.  Too often are you misunderstood or taken advantage of.  You’re most in your element when with close friends – people who understand you – in a safe and private environment.  Solitude doesn’t bother you, but you never like to feel lonely.

You Picked “C”…

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You’re most alike Grace Kelly!  You carry yourself with integrity, poise, and elegance.  Despite reserving your deepest emotions for those closest to you, you have a warm and welcoming energy.  People will feel comfortable and awed in your presence.  You also have a tendency to be too hard on yourself.  Recognize your strengths, and remember to let yourself be human from time to time.  You are most in your element when you’re with people you trust, and in control of the situation.  A natural born leader, and a fair one at that!

A Winter Name for God

Today, for the first time in perhaps ever, I went to church.  I’ve always considered myself deeply entangled with spirituality, but rejected many aspects of Christianity that related to guilt, repentance, and denying yourself indulgences and pleasures.  As a self-identified Maenad, I find that I am at my spiritual peak when experiencing life to it’s fullest.  It never made sense to me that we should be born into this world for the purpose of being sorry.

The church I went to was a Unitarian Universalist church.  To quote their official website, “Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion that encourages people to seek their own spiritual path.”

As a God-believing universe-praying spell-casting pantheist witch, I felt right at home!  Their messages spoke directly to my core being, expanding upon values of loving your neighbor, loving yourself, allowing yourself to experience life’s gifts, and giving back to your community.  The sermon included a frank discussion about ending white supremacy, and honestly, my favorite phrase – “Eat those apples!  Bake an apple pie!”.

The sermon also included a full recitation of this incredible poem, nodding it’s head to the specific pleasure-moments of life, and welcoming back the reign of spring.  I was so touched by this writing I felt the need to share it with all of you now, on this little blog, that has more to do with fashion than with faith.  Without further adieu:

 

Try To Praise the Mutilated World

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.
I don’t know what exists out there, beyond the horizon.  Perhaps it’s a great God, perhaps it’s a slow beat of energy guiding us all along our paths, and perhaps it’s nothing but particles and dark matter and stardust.  But I do know that in my bones, when I am alive, I feel the universal love of the world humming in my ears.  I am guided not by a religion, but by my willingness to be kind and generous to others, and find pleasure in this life.
I wish you all a bountiful summer filled with wild strawberries, and drops of rosé wine.
Cheers,
Josephine

Clothes, Clothes, Wonderful Clothes!

I’m here today to answer one of the most common questions I’ve gotten as the owner of a vintage business.  “How do you decide which clothes to sell and which clothes to keep for yourself?”

I’m answering this on the heels of a new haul of clothing, which I go into detail about on my alternative blog on Sephine Vintage!  (Please check it out).

Out of the 15-ish garments I collected, only one stood out for me as something I had to keep for myself.  It’s a 1950’s black chiffon dress that was so akin to something Marilyn Monroe would classically wear.  It had it all – the breezy skirt, the wrap-around wide-cinched waist, the cascading fabric bust that tied around the neck and left the back uncovered.  To some, just a little black dress, but I knew the instant I put it on that it was a staple of my own personal style.

If I could, I would absolutely wear everything in my store 24/7.  I am proud and envious of all my wonderful customers who get to call Sephine collected pieces their own.  But when you have such a wide array of clothing to select from, you must narrow it down to not only fabulous pieces, but pieces that speak to you as an individual.  This discernment is essential.  You must figure out what type of person you want to be, and make sure your wardrobe speaks to this.  The Marilyn Monroe dress spoke to me because it embodied elements of femininity, sexuality, and power.  It’s playful with an edge.  A rose with thorns.  A woman with a sharp gaze.  Enchanting-yet-mysterious has always been my favorite elegant woman quality.

Oh, and did I mention it’s incredibly fun to dance in?

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Cheers,

Josephine

Alternative to Being ‘Aloof’: Being Memorable

Disclaimer: This is an article written by a woman, speaking about ideas that came from women, that are embodied by women.  I value every individual woman’s expression of herself, and in no way seek to change or alter a style or artistic decision that makes anyone feel comfortable in their own skin.

For the longest time, I couldn’t put my finger on why I had such a hard time relating to the culture of chasing fragility.  Seeing women talking about their desire to be soft, milky, delicate, angelic, a baby princess flower, conjured up no inspiration within me.  I thought that the ease and elegance of femininity was beautiful, and I wanted to be close to it, but not at the risk of losing my punch.  The fire that keeps me going.  For me femininity is, at it’s best, awe-inspiring, and at it’s worst, dangerously insidious.  This beautiful double-edged sword of womanhood is something that occupies my thoughts frequently.

This is why instead of being aloof, I propose, being memorable.

Be incredibly tangible to others.  Make them know exactly who you are.

Wear your favorite scent of perfume proud wherever you go; make them smell you even after you’re gone.  Laugh loudly, listen attentively, tell stories passionately.  Meet your partner in conversation with a steady gaze.  Wear clothing and accessories that shine, that you can see through, that cover you head-to-toe, that have sequins, that jingle when you walk, that click as you leave, that you can play with.

Carefully select the refreshments available in your home.  Such a dire mistake it would be, for a guest to be served a sweet bubbling rosé, when you know in your heart that your soul is best embodied by a bold Chateau Lagrange red.  Keep your kitchen well-stocked and inviting; your living room clean and plush.  Make obvious the fruits of your labour, and make bountiful your place of being.

Don’t speak of work, of money, of troubles, of politics – those are the easy routes when it comes to conversation.  Take another’s mind somewhere they would otherwise not go.  Speak of travel, of obscure spiritual concepts, music and artistry, ask them questions, be interested in their answers.  Recall fond memories, share heartfelt sentiments, conjure up grand images of the future, but … be sure not to give away more information than you genuinely want others to know.  There is power in refinement, and keeping certain things to yourself.

The ultimate goal of being remembered fondly is to make sure that in any interaction, you are neither used, nor are you using the other person.  You are embodying your fullest and brightest version of yourself.  The rose gardens of your mind are in full bloom.

This, to me, is the highest calling.

The most darling and the most dangerous thing, after all, is an unforgettable woman.

[Featured Image: La volupte  – Madeleine Jeanne Lemaire]