Disco Fever! 1970’s suits with retro flair!

My husband and I met at Deb’s 30th birthday “Saturday Night Fever” themed party at the Yacht Club.  He was wearing a huge afro wig – I had my photo taken with this guy and kept on partying – a few months later I found the photo and recognised my now boyfriend!  True story!  So I’m a bit partial to a good old Disco themed dress up.  1970’s costume shows are a perennial favourite of most dress up fans.   I would estimate our costume shop deals with a 60’s/70’s night dress up at least once a month (during a pretty slow period like winter) or back to back or even twice in one weekend during our busy times.

I’ve been lucky to see some customers come up with the best combo’s from our stock of vintage disco!  Even though the outfits can come back with crotches split from the dance floor action it always warms the cockles of my little heart when they go out for a good party – except that time I walked into one and saw Elvis spinning on the floor in a white jumpsuit, that was bad that one!

The Seventies had countless sexy and sassy outfits for women – I’ll get that that soon!  Today, I thought I would concentrate on a few of the dapper male looks of the era and feature some favourite 1970’s disco king wear.  One thing for sure, the male bottom was clothed in a lot more flattering style than the modern hanging-down-to-the-knees like a nappy/Kimbie/diaper look!  Lots of guys freak out about how tight the seventies pants are around their bottoms and hips when they try them on in store (poor babies!).

One of the staples of the era is of course the safari suit:

1970's biege long sleeve safari suit 1970's biege safair suit 1970's blue safari suit

 

 

All about the synthetic fabrics here – don’t wear too close to open flames!  We usually pair with a classic disco shirt, loud tie, large sunglasses and either an Afro wig, a sideburns wig, or what I refer to as the “Seventies Shag”.  We have a large collection of fabulously ugly mullet/shag wigs for that finishing touch!

Shoes:  It is fantastic if you can get your hands on authentic Seventies disco shoes – they are usually a colourful leather, have a short heel and rounded front.  We haven’t hired our vintage men’s shoes in a long time as we had a spate of the authentic men’s platform heels losing their heels as the glue is now so old it has trouble standing up to a night dancing!  So we use modern varieties which are normally quite exaggerated – nice to see the fellas experiencing a little foot discomfort for the sake of beauty though.  Some plain leather shoes will do if you can’t be bothered risking a platform heel – in a lot of 1970’s costume the flared leg means your shoes are barely visible anyway!

Sunnies:  The disco king look is all about excess so sunglasses need to be huge and elaborate.  Nothing understated here will do – you need to compete with your side burns!  Points for funky tints too.

The Bling:  Men layered on as much bling as their girls in the Seventies – rings, gold chains, pendants, and bracelets, the more the merrier!  All the better for flashing your feathers at all those disco chicks!

The Disco Pimp:  Never afraid to make an appearance – this walking stereotype 1970’s costume brings some colour along to the party, just in case you weren’t feeling beige.

1970's purple disco pimp 1970's red and black pimp costume

Our pimps have all the usual – velvet, gold chains, imitation animal print, flared pants, satin shirt, sunglasses, the works!  They are perfect for heaps of different occasions from parties to wedding celebrant (true story!),

Another Seventies staple, white flares and a disco shirt!

1970's costume blue satin shirt white flares
1970’s costume – blue satin shirt, white flares, “shag” wig

The white flares are authentic men’s vintage Seventies flares – the wig is an example of the shag wigs.  The oversized satin shirt/tunic I made with flared sleeves, v-neck and side splits in a thick silky satin – I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, matched it with a darker satin tie.  Ready for an Abba party!

Of course you can’t forget the classic check flared suit – for that “dedicated follower of fashion”….

1970s costume check suit
1970s costume – vintage wool suit with check pattern, flared leg

1970’s costume is not just about a sharp suit with complementing shirt and tie though – there are all those little extras for the complete look!

There are heaps of different accessories available (not authentic vintage but lots of fun!).

1970's costume
Gold medallion necklace $7.90 – 1970’s costume
1970's costume
Deluxe Elvis costume – 1970’s costume
1970's costume brown sidies
Brown side burns – 1970’s costume
blonde sideburns
Blonde side burns

 

jumbo elvis
Jumbo Elvis Wig
Disco dude $48 shirt
Gold disco shirt $48

This post is focusing solely on the disco side of Seventies fashion, there are heaps of others we will get to soon!  I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our vintage collection – let me know any other looks from the glorious age of Disco that you remember!

One last outfit!  This bright orange suit is a perfect party starter!

1970s costume orange suit
1970’s costume – orange suit, flared leg

Glamour Eighties Style – how to get the Eighties look!

Eighties fancy dress shows are always popular and hugely fun!  We constantly have people asking for eighties fashion – when I show it to them they are usually aghast and proclaim things like “I can’t believe people wore that!” and “OMG that is the ugliest thing ever!”

Now I grew up partying in the eighties so let me assure you, at the time we thought massive hair, bold coloured make up, synthetic fabrics, shoulder pads and plastic accessories were the height of fashion – that is, when we weren’t ripping up our clothes, going all Mad Max, or then changing completely for the cotton “I’ve been to Bali” look.

The Eighties was all about excess and the “look” changed constantly and quickly – that was what made it such a fun decade to be fashion conscious in, really no rules went and strict rules applied, all at the same time.

What is really funny now is that some of the trends that the younger generation now associates with the eighties, fluro tutu’s come to mind here, were not really around, not that I saw.  Fluro colours were, but not head to toe fluro outfits generally.   That’s cool though, it’s all fun and we have heaps of options for those who just wanna have fun (equals wear fluro)!  Options now for Eighties fancy dress include lots of fluro such as fluro gloves, pantyhose, tutus, leg warmers and even make-up!

Purple dotted bubble dress - Eighties fancy dress
Purple satin dotted bubbled skirt dress with poodle perm wig and lace gloves
80's red satin ra ra dress
Red satin and lace ra ra dress with pearl details, poodle perm wig

Here are some more examples of real eighties, authentic vintage fashion:

80's white draped dress80's silver ruffle dress80's pink satin tuxedo80's rara80's cotton onesie

Note lots of synthetic fabric!  I think the only remotely natural fabric is the green boiler suit, replete with coloured zips at strategic spots! Everything else is in a shiny, satin, synthetic!  Also, lots of strong colour.

Now, it is getting harder to buy authentic 80’s vintage fashion – it is quite in demand at the moment, especially designer pieces.  Fortunately for Eighties fancy dress shows, there are now heaps of imitation items around as all us Generation X’s have had kids who want to recreate the look (although I can’t figure out why still!).  So, I’ve put together a few outfits from modern items, just to give some inspiration – bear in mind this isn’t exactly how we would have really dressed, it is more what we saw in the music videos that had just debuted……..but oh how we wanted these clothes!

80's pink tutu
Lace top, elastic belt, hot pink tutu, leggings and fluro green leg warmers
80's fluro copy
Fluro yellow net top, beads, orange tulle tutu, pink leggings, hot pink mesh armwear
80's fluro punk
Pink mullet wig, fluro necklaces, black lace singlet top, elastic waist belt, blue leather bodice top, hot pink mesh armwear, dotted ra ra skirt, lots of bangles!
80's fluro skirt
Fluro lace singlet top, studded hip belts, pink wig, pink net skirt, green leg warmers

So it is basically about layers and don’t be shy with colours!  Lots of bangles, lots of beads, and of course those accessories!  Below are some easy options available for purchase – you can throw these on over a couple of singlet tops and leggings, crimp and tease that hair, slap on some over-bright make up and you’re good to go!

5c888ff16bbca848dbc20bafe851b1d98cbeb59558fc39d8a72574cfeffb1d4f6eff9e0a51bf2c28 924c90cec251606aa5fd1f5ef008c2dd9975e357 ec112bf9fcbec30310b2b4a4f8868d1c4d827b44 ed0a9a93ff529a85998c1ffea60c8e0c5ae1bedc f07a9372ec2cf5b22b1dae61ac38f1bdb8607122 f88eb86c2e4447dbd757afa00cf858b9e32db5ca f4278e41fb03cfbe525c8544de11f6d0fe9453fb blue 38 green 38 646552dc0b5ded6162fb0cac58fafaf8237be212 pink

Fabulous Flirty Flappers! Roaring Twenties!

 

White fringed flapper dress - Roaring Twenties
White fringed flapper dress

Hints for a fabulous Roaring Twenties costume….

One of my very favourite themes is Roaring Twenties – these parties are coming up regularly and are really popular themes for weddings, twenty first birthdays, really any occasion!  Girls love it because they get to be glamorous.  Guys love it because they usually get to wear a black suit and that is pretty much it!  We’ve supplied costumes for Roaring Twenties 21st parties, Twenties Tea parties, Twenties hens shows, and gorgeous Twenties weddings!

The popularity of this theme has really taken off since Baz Lurhman’s version of “The Great Gatsby” which had fabulous costumes by Prada, gorgeous!

It is really quite easy to get the look for this theme.   Some of my favourite costumes follow for a few ideas, then some hints on how to easily achieve this look yourself.

Tunarama
Roaring Twenties costume – Tunarama parade 1989
Black and silver fringed flapper - Roaring Twenties
Black and silver fringed flapper
Blue fringed flapper dress
Roaring Twenties blue fringed flapper dress, deluxe blue boa
Maroon and black day dress 1920's
Roaring Twenties flapper – maroon and black day dress
Peach Flapper dress
Peach flapper dress
Pink and white flapper
Twenties – pink and white flapper dress, white stole….

Start with the dress

  • The dress – lots of modern dresses suit this look so you may have a cocktail dress that is perfect.  We have lots of Roaring Twenties costumes, from elegant drop waist dresses to flirty fringed numbers.
  • Wherever you hunt and gather it from you want to look have a few requirements.  You want it to have a drop waist/shift shape, preferably with embellishment such as sequins, spangles and sparkles.  The more important part of a flapper outfit is the accessories so the dress can be quite simple, as long as it is the right shape which is a long, lean look.   Nothing waist cinching – back then the focus was on looking languid and long.   -Women even used to bind their breasts to achieve the flat chested look.
  • Add on some gloves..

  • The gloves – long, glamorous, slinky gloves are a must, in my opinion.  I like to throw on a couple of glittering bangles and over-the-top rings as well, cos more is….well, more!  (Plus as long as you leave them on you don’t have stress about a manicure – win, win!)

    long red gloves
    Long red satin gloves – sale $9.95
  • Long beads – long strands of beads, either looped if very long or tied in a knot at the bottom – a must have for any self respecting flapper!
  • A great option is fishnet legs or stockings – amp up the sex appeal, you are a good time girl!
  • Frame your face with headwear…..

  • Feathered headband/cocktail hat/jewelled snood or headpiece is the perfect match for a flapper.  I love beaded snoods and feathered headbands.  You can make your own really easily or there are some gorgeous ones out there on Etsy and eBay so the sky is the limit.   You can go simple or as elaborate as you wish.   Hair should be kept simple – the look is sleek, sophisticated and glamorous. 
    d57981fba603e50669b0b31354d4757de46be379
    Black feather headband – sale $12.95

    53c5f6d7413f3128f6d93a1b71e46e75dd089557
    Black and white feather headdress – Sale $14.95
  • Speaking of hair – back in the Roaring Twenties women started to cut their hair short for the first time.   It was a sign of a women’s liberation, to cut her hair and free herself from heaps of painful maintenance.   The “Marcel” wave, one of the first perms, came into existence and structured, heavy waved curls on short bobs were all the vogue.  With a headdress a short, simple style is easiest and achievable for a night with a handy wig!
  • I always get asked about shoes for a flapper costume.  The best sorts of shoes for this look are t-bar styles with heels but really it is okay to wear anything sparkly, glamorous and strappy.  As long as it goes with your dress and accessories and you can dance all night shoes can be a modern interpretation!  Metallics look good with most outfits and are easy to find.
  • Boa or fur stole?

  • Feathered boa or fur stole?  We usually offer customers one of these options.   Some don’t like feathers floating around the place, some like flouncing and playing with their boas.  It is always fun to have a fur stole too, highlight them with sparkly brooches!  These are handy to keep on hand when the night gets cold.   Boas are available in all sorts of colours – the most popular choices are usually black or red.
  •   red deluxe boaBlack deluxe boa
  • Cigarette holders – even though lots of us have now given up this unhealthy practice, back in the 1920’s it was too cool!  Cigarette holders are a great prop to wave around in the air as you expand on your theories of the universe!  We sell heaps of these in our shop every time there is a 20’s show.   They are also in our online store if you need!

    IMG_5885
    Beatnik Cigarette Holder with sequins – Sale $3.50
  • Make up – a pale face, pencilled eyebrows, smoky eye and bee-sting lips.   Nothing was natural about this make-up look so go all!  It is wise to experiment before the actual night, especially if you don’t wear make up a lot.   Then you will be able to see how it wears over time too so you can be careful of your make-up melting, bleeding around the mouth or settling into lines.  Lots of our customers use fake eyelashes for that huge eye effect.  These are a best-seller in our store!
    86e4dfc3239c12e9d0a0d18ed467e43725c2d465
    Lashes with diamonte liner $7.50
    9ed388a145e0e8a4d0f38c92190aeb8a1d1a44b7
    Gold/Black lashes – $7.50

    Beaded bags…..

  • Beaded evening bag – if you are able to grab a beaded/fringed or sequinned bag, perfect!  Gorgeous evening bags were made in the Twenties, originals fetch huge prices today.  Some of the intricate work on original evening bags is truly breathtaking!  You can get the look with a modern reproduction and then you won’t panic about taking it out to a party too!

There you go, an easy peasy set of hints on how to dress up for your next Roaring Twenties themed Gangster and Flappers show – you know it’s going to happen!  So speakeasy fellow dress up fans!

Mwah!  Mandy

PS  The photo of me in the upper left corner is when I was about seventeen (way, way long time ago, like maybe 1989?) and we had a float in the annual Tunarama parade – yes, I said Tuna-rama!  Here in little old Lincoln we  have an annual festival that celebrates the animal that has allowed this place to become the weird and wonderful place it is today – the Southern Blue-Fin Tuna.

 

Gorgeous Gowns

Marie cropped Gorgeous Historical (or Hysterical) Gowns!

(Me at 18 in a fashion parade as Marie Antionette – I don’t look impressed!)

One of my favourite categories of costume are the historical gowns.  I just love all those huge dresses of brocade, lace, satin and luxurious materials.  In our little town we have an annual event coming up in a couple of weeks – the Fame Awards.

It is an award night for local artists to submit and have their video clips, music and general fantastic artiness shown to the community.  The theme for 2016 is “Lords, Ladies and Legends” so the velvet and fur has been flying here in little Port Lincoln!

I really like this years theme as it lets everyone cover up in warm costumes (it is pouring with rain and freezing here atm!).   Plus the Civic Hall where the event is held is not known for it’s warmth.  I reckon the theme is perfect with my current Game of Thrones obsession.   (I can’t decide who is my favourite babe at the moment but Sansa’s grin after her little chat with that rotter Ramsey might be the deciding factor!  Of course the attraction with Yara and the big D is pretty beguiling too – don’t say you don’t know what I’m talking about!  I’m being obscure because no one likes a spoiler!)

I’ve already outfitted the City Band with a heap of medieval costumes (they are gonna look so darn cute!).  I’ve fixed up a lovely golden Marie Antionette and a velvet pink princess for a very excited little girl.  Plus a fantastic Jon Snow for a strapping young lad.  Even if I do say so!

With many costumes already out the door, I am in a flurry of finding suitable material in the costume storage.  I’m sewing and sourcing more to fit in with the theme.  This year is going to be another great show, it gets bigger each year!  I know there are going to be last minute stragglers who wander in on the day of the show.  They will want to be outfitted like they stepped out of Movie Land.  (Only kidding, love you all!)

I’ll post my progress and hopefully it will all be all right on the night!  If anyone out there has any ideas for the theme of “Lords, Ladies and Legends” I’d love to hear!  I’m thinking Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and all things mythical and medieval.  Also Marie Antionette, Cinderella and her Prince, Fairy Tale Legends, 300 and even Rock Legends?

Anyway, keeping in the historical theme and having a play with some of the gowns, here are some I prepared earlier!!

Marie gown Marie Gown2

Gold BallgownIMG_1259_1024

Tiny Marie Gown