Saturday, June 30, 2012

1930's McCall's Designs to set you drooling!

... not that you need to be losing any more liquids during this atrocious heat! Thankfully I'm not in the South right now - I'm interning in LA over the summer - but the temperature in my hometown is 106 degrees today! Stay hydrated and cool if you are anywhere experiencing this heatwave.

And in the meantime, take a look at some of these gorgeous designs from a few different early & mid 1930's McCall's magazines! I apologize for the slightly dingy hue - I took them in a dimly lit library with my iPhone but even so, the incredible color palette shines through!

I want EVERY SINGLE ONE of these. And just look at the back detailing on the bottom far right one, with the strips - the way the back has been pieced together is just marvelous!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hairy Pawter and the Curly Ginger Girl

Hey guys.
It's me, Gracie.
Remember me?
Probably not.
That's cool.
I remember you though.
I'm sorry I haven't read any of your lovely blogs in well over a fortnight.
But I'm working on it.
no promises though.

In the mean time, I have hair. Lots of hair. And since I am so very sure you all want to look at it and pull the curls to watch them bounce (they don't so stop touching my hair, please) it and cut it off and keep it for a wig or two (or three) so I am going to post some very private, artsy photobooth pictures. You'll be totes jeal.

Try to not look directly at my face.
It'll burn your eyes out.
some rolly-bangs things.

Monday, May 7, 2012

More McCall's

More from an early 30s Spring edition of McCall's magazine to set you swooning and sighing!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

BBC Sherlock Appreciation Post

Hiiii you all.

I know I've been.... absent, to say the least. And I know you all would much rather read about something 100% vintage/history related, but that's not what I'm here for. This is a post (one of many) that I've been wanting to do for a while now. It's about fashion, so you should like that. And it's about BBC's Sherlock series, so if you aren't aware of it listen up!
I am a massive Sherlock Holmes fan. Especially the newer BBC series, which is basically everything I love about SH but in modern London. It is really beautifully filmed and edited and styled and everything about it is really just perfect. And Martin Freeman. He is the best Watson. And frankly I like Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock way more than anyone I have seen. I think he fits the role really well.

Anyway, this isn't really about those guys (though a future post might be,) it is about The Woman. If you haven't watched the second season yet then you haven't had the honor of being introduced to this character. And since I believe season 2 is being aired sometime this weekend on TV in America, this is sort of a teaser.

"A Scandal in Belgravia", the first episode of the season as well as the one involving the Woman, is MY FAVORITE episode. Right up there with the last episode of season 2. I have watched it probably 8 times now. I love it. I do. I do. I do.

And the Woman.
She is styled in a very midcentury manner. But obviously with modern "twists", as they say.
So I wanted to show you. Because she really has lovely things. They all do on this show. If you don't believe me check out this blog (it's AMMMAAAAAAZING!)

Without further delay; The Woman:

Im going to go back to the island (where the internet is scarce) but I hope to read up on your lovely blogs soon.
- Gracieieieieie

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pants, Pincurls, and Travel

A quick photo update of my travels this semester: I've managed to make it to Bath, Stonehenge, Isle of Man (for archery club!), and Belgium! A combination of planning ahead (so as to minimize paper-writing conflict, though there is always some), student rates, and overly optimistic organization forecasts are mostly responsible for this.

Of course, for the vintage side of this blog, these won't offer much, except for my comment (below) on the experience of trying to maintain pincurls whilst hostel hopping - my travel clothing is pretty unexciting. On my trip to Belgium, I actually got pants for the first time since high school!! It was freezing cold there, windy, and it hailed multiple times - tights simply were not doing it for me, so I somewhat reluctantly gave in and got some cheap pants on sale at H&M. To my surprise, I actually really enjoyed/am enjoying them! It was liberating to be able to move about without constant shivering, not to mention not having to worry about big gusts of wind revealing my underwear (knickers if I want to make myself chuckle) to the world. I've worn them a few times since getting back two weeks ago - the weather here has been atrocious, raining constantly and really high winds, and on late-night trips to coffee shops for studying or mid-day runs to the grocery, since I ride a bicycle it is so much easier! I've been getting really tired of the one-hand-keeping-skirt-out-of-gears-the-other-one-steering move.

One more thing about pants: this whole "pants" vs "trousers" thing is really throwing me off here. As my fellow New World-ers know, trousers are fancy-style-pants in American English, whereas here trousers simply means pants. And pants are knickers, underwear, "panties" (uuuurghhh what a horrendous word, but I've included it for the sake of clarity) over in Brit-land. Completely forgetting this, I was talking to a guy I had just met the other day (actually the night before leaving for Belgium), and it came up in conversation that I didn't own any pants and hadn't worn them in ages. He got this really weird look on his face, and I thought maybe he just really hated skirts, but then he was like "Oh, I had to translate that - you mean trousers." Oops. It was a bit awkward but it did give me a laugh, the idea of unintentionally telling strangers that I don't own any underwear.

Anyway, on to the pictures:

My wonderful friend Victoria in Bath.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Euphonic Earworms: Undecided

I love this song, and it has so many wonderful covers, that I'm undecided as to which I like most! (See what I did there...)

Chick Webb's Orchestra and Ella Fitzgerald. Okay, this may just be my favorite.

The Dandridge Sisters. A very interesting cover, I love their harmonies!

Django Reinhardt, vocals by Beryl Davis. I just discovered this version from a friend and it's been playing on my iPod a lot lately!

- Emily

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

McCall's Magazine 1934

More thirties magic from McCall's Magazine to make me wish I had (read: could afford) a personal seamstress. Taken from my university's archives as usual, but this time I only had my iphone, so that would account for the fuzziness. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Very Belated (and Boring) Post

Hi Y'all..... I am so glad to see that you have welcomed Emily back to graciously after her months of being M.I.A from the blog. I should hope you'll do the same for me. I have been absurdly busy with a new job (with the Historic Charleston Foundation!) so I haven't exactly remembered about my secret online life. Until today... And now I feel badly. I don't have a whole lot to say or update you on, other than a smashingly good St. Patty's weekend, during which I baked really kick-ass Irish Car Bomb flavored cupcakes (actually that was before the 17th, for my mom's birthday, but it's relevant.) as well as stayed in a house that, allegedly, hasn't been redecorated since the late 1950s. It is in Columbia, SC and belongs to my cousin-in-law's (if that's a real title...) family. It was such a treat getting to stay there hanging out with my cousins and a couple of friends of the cousin nearest to my age. We all had a great time and went to a great show and everything was just greatgreatgreat.  To prove just how great it was here are some crappy iPhone pictures of the house early in the morn (while all of the boys were still passed out) when it was nice and bright. 

blurry picture of the bedroom I slept in.

The adorable green/blue bathroom connected to my room.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Euphonic Earworms: Feelin' all sentimental with Al Bowlly

I've been on another Al Bowlly binge lately, and some of his slower tunes are perfect for unwinding and generally just getting some sublime and sentimental tuneage into the day. These two songs in particular just make me feel so full and happy and make me want to stop whatever I am doing to take them all in and just sit and daydream.

"The Very Thought of You"

"Easy Come Easy Go" (really random background images but it was the best quality version I could find.)

- Emily

Monday, March 19, 2012

Packing, Procrastination, and Pretty Pictures of Pretty Pals

You can see I was determined to make that alliteration work.

So while I should be packing for my second semester in Oxford since I am flying out tomorrow, I'm sitting on the internets and updating my iPod for the long flight.

So I decided to share a couple of pictures (Gee, you should be proud of me here - did you catch it?) that I took recently, as I've been trying to get back into photography after college pulled me apart from my best friend and main model (Gracie, duuuurh) and my shutter-snapping skills are getting a but rusty.

Photography used to be such a passion of mine (sorry if that sounds trite) and it consumed so much of my everyday thought process, much as early-twentieth century culture does now. It feels like utter crap to try to  get back into this and find that the old adage is true - use it or lose it - as I've found I'm nowhere near as fluent as I used to be with a camera and translating what I see into a photograph. Ah well. It'll just take practice, as that's what got me there before. I have a Flickr account that I began... sheesh, my sophomore year of high school!... that has been sadly neglected since I went to college.

Anyway, here's one picture of Gracie that I took while she was staying at my house.

And one of my friend Cady, who was an awesome and patient model while I once again figured out fingerwaves and futzed around with the camera settings.

I have been itching to edit more pictures from these sets, but I don't have photoshop (I did before I switched to Mac) and so I've tried to make use of iPhoto's editing software but its just no good. I need to buck up and buy photoshop sometime soon...

See you all on the other side of the Atlantic, if I don't post again before then!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

McCall's, mid-late 30s!

Some more from my university's magazine archives! I must say, while I always check out Vogue and McCall's when I'm there, I usually prefer the style pages of McCall's - they used color printing much more often, and their illustrations were more straightforward (but still full of plenty of Fancy, as you can see!) than Vogue's sometimes too-artistic ones that made it difficult to make out the clothing.

Le sigh. Flipping through these pages is always sheer agony of longing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Inconstancy of Beauty

Amid all the discussions that have cropped up on the blogosphere in the past few months about the relationship between beauty, society, media, and self-image, I thought this would be timely to share an article from a late 1930's Vogue that briefly address some of these things. I found it rather interesting to see a source from a past era talking about the fast changing trends, witnessing their own part in the constant evolution of style and culture.

Though by no means a perfect or completely even-handed look at their own time and approach to Beauty (though how possible is that ever going to be - evaluating our own era?), I think this article is pretty wonderful - granted, the 1930s is my favorite aesthetic era, and I do find it to be superior in terms of Beauty and attainability for the average woman (in that a relatively wide range of body types were popular, and focus did seem to be more on proportions rather than one particular size, particularly in the later 1930s when it became less popular to focus on slenderizing the hips), but even if the 30s aren't your favorite, it's still wonderful for the glimpse it gives into a society (or at least Vogue, which represented high society, but societies have always tended to be evaluated by the upper classes anyway) trying to evaluate its own self. 

Euphonic Earworms: Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia

Here's a fun song by two different sister harmony groups that I just love!

A funny and super-upbeat version by The Dinning Sisters:

A charming and alternatingly fast and slow version by The Boswell Sisters:


Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Pajama and Loungewear Obsession: Part Three

Here's part three (one and two) of the pajama and loungewear series, a good four months after it began! This time, with a bit of trepidation, I'm sharing some of my favorite personal loungewear and boudoir finds.

Probably my favorite part of reading other blogs is the outfits posts and/or vintage finds posts other vintage-inclined ladies around the world share. I'm pretty terrible about doing them myself (I think I've done a grand total of one so far), mostly because I really am pretty awkward in front of the camera and am really not photogenic (it's okay, I'm fine with my real-life self. But the camera doesn't like my face), but I also have little patience for fiddling with the self-timer. 
Anyway, I finally did some today, because I recently added a 40's robe to my collection, and figured I may as well share that and my others as part of the series! I apologize for the rather unimaginative posing, this would be my camera awkwardness at work.

I'm also wearing Daniel Greens in all of these - I've got three pairs! They really are so comfy, I wish Daniel Green would re-issue their designs from the 20s-40s because they perfectly wed prettiness with comfort. The heels aren't bad at all - on the two dark blue pairs they're only 1.5 inches, and the light blue ones, which I think are late 40s or early 50s, are pretty tall, but are still fine!

My newest addition - a 40s swishy rayon robe scored on eBay for 30 bucks! I love the side tie and the aforementioned swooshiness of this, I feel like I'm wearing a (rather floral) Hogwarts gown when I walk around the house in it - I realize this is an odd association but ah well!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Let's Talk Crop.

I know it's winter-like weather somewhere. Probably where you are. For that, I am sorry. But for those of us who are getting to enjoy the warmth (and humidity) of the south, I would like to bring up a fashion I have only recently become OK with: crop tops.

Not the 1990s baggy/trashy crop tops (you know what I'm talking about. Hipsters wear them now. And sorority girls [odd demographic...]. Usually with a lacy and/or neon bra underneath.)
Or the early 2000's super tight, very ugly, pop-star crop tops I grew up knowing, but something more akin to ... well, good fashion.

The thing I love about them is they can (seemingly) be worn with any length/style skirt or pants and still look very nice. And they can look classy or playful or anything you can dream of, if you choose the right accompanying garment. You can even look like a genie. It's really magical.
There are a variety of styles from the 1930s-50s which I have seen that I really like and hope to make soon. Oh you want to see them? Good.
Let's see how fast we can get through this, shall we?

Ginger in a sortakinda-cropped top, circa 1937.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oh Me, Oh My.

Yes. I am posting again... Within minutes of my last post. I am horrid, I know. But I finally am in a location with wifi, so I am taking advantage of it, by golly!

First off, blogs I'd like to thank for being particularly awesome:

(Disclaimer: This does not represent "The Cats and the Berries" as a whole. These choices solely reflect my person opinion, thus Emily cannot be held responsible for any of my bias. Seeing as she doesn't like to play favorites and I am not playing, I really see no problem with this...)

Second, I know I say this everyfriggintime I post, BUT I am really starting to get some ideas in tact for legitimate blog posts. Now the problem lies in my lack of internet. Oh, the hoops I face.

And lastly, some 1950s-style love.

Hair comb borrowed (stolen)  from my mum
shirt from Goodwill
Skirt I made
Shoes gifted from Em, but she got the at Goodwill.

Euphonic Earworms: Sioux City Sue

My hair is red.
My eyes are blue.
So I love this song. 
And you should, too.

I first heard the Bing version on a "Hit Parade of the 1940s" album a summer go.
And now that I am driving a car with only a tape player (well, there is a radio, but I don't usually like radio,) all I listen to is my Gene Autry tape. And I adore his version as well. Actually I really love Gene singing just about anything. I mean I LOVE him. His music... erm. right. Cowboys. Yes.
I am fairly certain I'll be doing a Autry Appreciation post soon. Be prepared.

Peace out, girl scout.

For obvious reasons.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

So Happy Togetherrr

... that was meant to be said to the tune of The Turtles' 1967 hit.
Though to be honest, the soundtrack of Gee and my travels together in the UK was more of our usual 30's and 40's genres, with a healthy dose of hideously out-of-tune bellowing to Connie Francis tunes thrown in - but never fear, we are not so lacking in social awareness that we did this in public - only on our walks through empty (we hoped) countryside.

Traveling with Gracie was (almost) the perfect end to a wonderful semester in England. I say almost, because for nearly the entirety of our time together, one or the other of us was sick. There were two blissful days where we were both in good health, but even when we were loaded up with LemSip we still had a grand time together. Gracie is a wonderful travel companion, the best I've ever had. Besides the fact that we've been best friends for nine years, we have the same taste and the same interests, so we both wanted to do the same things at the same time. Except for train travel. I loved the UK's rail system, but Gee kept getting motion sick. Poor dear.
Anyway, I hope to go on many, many, many more trips with Gracie before we're both through with this place! (erm.. that would be, life)

So, although I know personal travel pictures are potentially the most boring topic I could choose as my first blog post in.... sheesh, exactly three months!... this is after all our personal blog so I'll just go ahead and share what I like. And I sure loved this trip, with this wonderful friend, through a beautiful region.

In our room at a B&B at Wells.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Retro, Why Naut?

Undoubtably you have already spent hours, as I have, entranced by the glory of Retronaut and all of the beauty and information it beholds.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the site. Naturally they are all from the 1930s and are in full color (yeehaw!)

In all honestly I haven't gone scavenging on there in quite sometime, but as soon as I get a free moment it's on my list of internet to-dos (along with tumblr [because I really like being a part of the Sherlock fandom], etsy, ebay, and practically every other history/fashion related site.)

I hope you enjoy these photos (they make for really good computer wallpapers, I've found : ))

Happy days,


I like these "vernacular"/candid photos a little bit more than the Hollywood ones because they help remind me that real life could be just as vibrant and beautiful as it was portrayed in the media during such a difficult time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Making Haste.


Emily and I are once again in the same city and both working far too many hours to remember to come up with interesting blog posts. I know I keep promising I'll post something worth while, but I think we both know that's not happening soon. I really just cannot for my life come up with anything interesting to say. And I feel like the majority of the images I love and want to share would be for nothing since Im pretty positive most of them were snagged from other blogs (i.e. your blog)

so personal photos it is, except Emily is not friendly to the camera. These two are the only ones I got on our day trip to Monroe and Madison last weekend. We did a fair bit of vintage shopping. She brought back a few music sheets (shocker!) and some gloves and possibly something else I cannot recall. I bought nothing since I am beyond skint and the most horrid shopper ever.

Eee looking extremely cool (smug) under a lovely ... erm... vintage shark.

The alligator purse. I, personally, think it is ever-so-slightly cute, but Emily was down right disgusted.

And, lastly, my very own daguerreotype boyfriend. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Can't Help Lovin' That Man: Antonio Moreno

Okay, so I am going to be completely honest and tell you now that my experience with Mr. Moreno is limited to "It", but because of that film I can appreciate how very attractive he is. I do hope to see "The Temptress" and maybe some of his earlier films if I can find them, but the local library has a very limited selection. If any of you have seen other films with him (Other than "The Creature of the Black Lagoon", please) do let me know where you found them and if/what you enjoyed about them.

Now for some eye candy;

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Charleston Museum

Today I actually left the house and didn't end up at either Costco OR Walmart. It was the most amazing thing. Due to the fact that my car is totaled, I must be driven around by my mother in a rental car (which one cannot drive legally under 25 years old, evidently.) So whenever I can actually get out of the house I am grateful, and today I was even more so because I got to visit downtown Charleston. So what did I do there? I went to the first museum in America.

Reasons why this is so:
1. They have a pretty sweet collection of revolutionary war artifacts (for obvious reasons)
2. They have an even sweeter collection of fossils/skeletons, including a Moa from New Zealand.
3. They have a really bitching collection of 18th - 20th century textiles and fashion plates.
4. They have a nice little selection of antique clothing you can try on, mind you they clothes are very old, smelly and tattered. but still awesome.
5. (possibly the best of all) THEY HAVE A PIANO GEORGE FUCKING GERSHWIN RENTED! (p.s. that is his given name.) 

Take a look-see.

Gorgeous shaw type thing.

Really pretty embroidery on the bum area of this coat. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

An Update of Insignificant Proportions

Howdy Y'all,

Things on the home front have been busy and hectic and I haven't really had a chance to get my thoughts together enough to compose a good post, but alas I am going to at least say "hi" and Happy New Year! And I hope all of you have made promises you cant keep but somehow become the people you want to be anyway. Jocularities. But seriously, if you did make resolutions I hope they are positive and attainable and that your every hope and dream may come to be reality.

Here are a few of my "resolutions" (but really I am just making lists of things I can improve so that I feel a little more alive now that I'm living on a very isolated little island)
- Take more photos
- Pet the cat
- Learn to bake something new (at least) bimonthly
- Learn a shit-ton more about film and history
- Write a fan letter to Robert Osbourne
- Sew only what needs to be sewn (meaning of "needs" is flexible)
- Paint my nails more often
- Got to more museums and libraries
- Meet attractive Citadel Boys (just sayin.)
- Learn how to play the ukulele properly.
- Reread The Hobbit before the film comes out
- Read more, in general (psht as if that's going to happen)
- Floss
and most importantly (but not really, because, frankly I think flossing is probably the most important thing on that list) Do more outfit posts on le blog!

So... to attempt to begin fulfilling one resolution, I give you todays attire:
1940s black velvet hat I got in Cardiff, Wales for something like 12 pounds.
1950s (I believe) blouse I got as a gift from my sister.
Black skirt handmedown from my aunt.

And then me and my little Brownie camera which I adore. I mostly just put this one up because you can kind of see how I did my hair (as in: not down for once!)
Happy days are here again!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

'Tisn't the Season...

But I've got swimwear on the brain. I know. I'm nuts because it's January blahblahblah, but really it makes sense. It has been getting well into the 70s (Fahrenheit) here for the past few weeks and despite being in the northern hemisphere, I feel quite like it's summer time. I almost like it.

Either way, I decided to share some of my swim wear inspiration, just in case you plan on popping down here or down under (as it's hot in both cases) for a dip or lounging around the beach (as I do.. haha not. I would die.) and because I am going to make a new suit (even though it is FINALLY going to get kind of cold this week tomorrow... of course).

I think I know what I want to do, but feel free to share which are your favorite, you may sway me out of my decision. 

p.s. I have made three swim suits of my own previously (Okay... it's 2 and a half. One was a ill-fitting black one piece I cut and altered. You'll see them at the end of this post, just so ya know.)

p.p.s I sincerely apologize for not giving credit where it is due in terms of sources. I am a jackass for not taking note, but what else can I say?