Monday, March 10, 2014

Assessing An Outfit

I thought a great topic to discuss is "assessing an outfit".    I might just try this again in the future.  I invite all you dear readers to try this as well.  I'd love to see how you might change up an outfit that isn't quite right.  Please let me know if you do decide to do this.

The premise is re-evaluating a current outfit to make it better in the future.  I'm sure everyone of you has done the same thing as me and as you are putting an outfit together you realize you are missing certain elements and of course, you make do with what you have.

If you could see the varieties of gloves I own, you would be amazed to know I don't own one pair of dark brown or even medium brown gloves.  I came to this realization in putting this outfit together.  The closest I could come is these carmel colored Lilly Dache gloves below.    Now,  I can see the benefit of owning at least one pair of dark brown gloves.

I thought I would explain what needs to be improved in this outfit and in the future once I find the right pieces, I'll present this outfit improved.

This outfit I assembled based around this Lilli Ann jacket presented below.   I picked up this jacket more than half a year ago.  This is a fantastic look at late 40s suit style, but unfortunately the skirt is long gone.  The jacket has the old label so I'm dating it to very late 40s early 50s.  There is some wear to the inner arm hole area but this can't be seen from the exterior.

I haven't seen an ad for this jacket, yet.   I was able to pick up this jacket at quite a good deal because it was missing the skirt.  This is the great thing about these Lilli Ann jackets you can pick them up at reasonable prices if you are willing to find a different skirt to match.

Stay tuned for some future posts with other jackets that don't have the original skirt with them.

The aysemtrical detail on the jacket is just lovely.  I have not seen a pattern quite like this before on a Lilli Ann suit.  I'll have to test the buttons as they could indeed be Bakelite.

Current outfit details:

Jacket: Lilli Ann
Skirt: 40s a-line
Gloves: Lilly Dache
Necklace: Hattie Carnegie

Yes, improvements are necessary.  I have this one and only brown skirt.  It doesn't quite fit with this jacket in color and in style.    I bet the original skirt to this jacket was very lovely.   A replacement skirt is going to be difficult.  It isn't easy to find exact matches in color without heading into the city to some place like Mood.   I may try fabric swatches.  I don't think it would be too difficult to actually make a skirt for this suit rather than continue to scour Etsy and ebay in slight hopes of a close match.

You can see with this jacket that this skirt is not very figure flattering another reason to ditch this look.  Also please excuse the boots, no way to photograph in a nice pair of shoes right now:)

So, what's to change?

1.  Ditch the skirt
2.  Find dark brown gloves
3. Some nice Bakelite root beer colored accessories might match very nice with the buttons.

I wanted to show an image of how this skirt does work with the right blouse.  It is high waisted skirt and can work nicely with a vintage or retro looking blouse.  But, this skirt in general is not a fan favorite due to the static look as it tapers outward (no drape).

This blouse is made of rayon and was made from a vintage pattern, bought off of ebay.  Very well made.

So stay tuned in a future post, when I am able to find the right skirt and accessories for this outfit.  Again, if any of you readers decide to also try this re-evaluation, please let me know.


  1. I like the skirt and how the jacket flows over the skirt. I suppose the jacket came with a fuller skirt back in the day?


    1. I think the skirt may have been more tapered in after the hip area. This skirt the fabric has no drape so it kind creates a box effect:) Thank you for your comment Monica.

  2. What an honest and lovely post. No one, even those with epicly large wardrobes and incredible eye for style nail an outfit right, or as well as they'd ideally like to have, the first time around every single time. An argument could even be made that doing so would be impossible, save for if you magically had access to every garment and accessory on the planet. I've come back to looks many times, adding a piece in or removing one, as needed or subbing in a new (to me) one that works better, just as an good cook will return to certain recipes, tweaking and modifying them over time as their skill, ingredients and other factors change. It's great to access ourselves like that sometimes and I love that you opted to do so in the public eye here. It will be marvelously interesting to see how this outfit continues to develop over time.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you dear sweet Jessica, for your kind comment. I guess we are very lucky in that we do have the internet to have access to all these vintage items at our finger tips, one can imagine how frustrating it might have been to put vintage outfits together from the 40s in the 80s and early 90s, but then again I am sure a lot of these gems were at thrift stores during this time.

  3. Nice post... not easy to find the perfect match when you want only vintage! I have things in my closet that are still waiting the perfect match after years!
    I love your 40's blouse!!!

  4. For me the outfit is already working! But I know what you mean, the original skirt would have a different shape. I will do a similar entry soon, because I´m waiting for a Lilli Ann jacket...will arrive without the matching skirt - of course ;-)

    1. I can't wait to see your Lilli Ann jacket.

  5. What a great post! I too find myself making do with something that is not quite what I was after for a little whilw (sometimes it takes a while to find the right 'friend' for something). You're probably right about it being easier to make a skirt to match rather than trying to match the colours up on etsy/via a computer tricky and time consuming. I am currently looking for several of these filler items for my upcoming winter wardrobe and it can be quite labour intensive. I have heaps of gloves too...and yet I find that sometimes I have none that seem to match my outfit...although a lovely light camel would also look nice with those if you can't find the right dark brown. I think I will take you up on the 'assessing an outfit' challenge in the near future. xx Shauna

  6. Great looking jacket! I love your blouse, so sweet. I could also see the jacket worn with tan gloves to match the collar. I've been able to pick up a nice jacket here and there at reasonable prices because the skirts were missing. I actually scored a great 40s suit jacket in a discount bin because it was missing it's buttons. Easy fix! I don't often wear it because it's a touch small but have loaned it out a couple times for living history events. Totally worth the $10 I paid.
    What size gloves do you wear? I might have a brown pair that could work for you. Another option might be to dye a white pair brown. I have more white gloves then I know what to do with!

  7. This is a great idea for a post. I loved reading all your thoughts on and ideas for your outfit. It would be great to find an ad for the suit to be able to see what the original skirt was like. I hope you find your perfect match!

  8. Oh, I do the, "what will work" routine practically every day. I'm not wanting for clothing and accessories-just the right ones! Sometimes I DO think an outfit works until I see the photographs. That's frustrating.

    You're right about the skirt being the wrong shape, but that said, I don't know if it should be more flared, or narrow. Maybe longer, either way.

  9. This is great! I, too, have tried on outfits with an, "Eh, it will do for today" sort of attitude in hopes of being able to work with it later and get it "right". Sometimes I realize a piece just doesn't really work for me, in which case I pass it on to someone else, and other times I'm able to tweak, remake, or re-accessorize it to work just right!

    I also see what you mean about the skirt. I think a pencil skirt would look fabulous with the jacket, though I'm not sure that it was a popular late 1940s style. (You'd probably know more about that than I do.) It could look good, though!

  10. Very neat! I often find myself looking for ways to improve an outfit... perhaps I will have to take a cue from this post and do a little series of my own on an outfit that could use revision. I sympathize with your glove quandary... I definitely find myself reaching for items in my wardrobe time and again just to remember that I do not, in fact, own said items (a small pair of red clip earrings is one of these items, and there are a few skirts I think I own that do not exist.)
    What sort of skirt do you think originally went with this suit? I can almost imagine a skirt with a little volume falling in pleats or gathers, but a pencil skirt might work too. I wonder if the original was solid or patterned like the jacket?

  11. Thank you for such an honest post! I've been finding myself drawn lately to bloggers' posts about outfits they're struggling with, (with some hilarious changing-room mobile phone photos from those that incorporate modern fashion into their looks), and it's really, really helpful and inspiring just as much as all the uber-glam posts! I think it can make you stop and think sometimes a bit more, when you hear something isn't as 100% perfect as someone would like. Personally, if that (gorgeous) jacket was in my own wardrobe I would style it with swing trousers.

    Can't wait to see how this outfit evolves in the future!
    P x

  12. I hear you on using the right items in the right ensemble really makes a difference. Thankfully I have a great idea of what does/doesn't look good on me. And I really want a daisy blouse. I saw one today at a shop with an adorable print, but {not to be rude} but it was so slutty and see through in personal areas of the front bodice. Ick!