They call me nightshirt

Today let’s talk about how you should not treat an old dress and how you should not buy anything that looks cute.

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Many many years ago (must have been 2006 or little earlier), I bought one of my first vintage dresses: A pale pink shift dress of pure silk taffeta. If I recollect correctly, I bought it as a 50ies adolescent dress without ever checking this information. And if I recollect correctly as well, I only wore it once, to wear to a goth disco with satin corset, gloves and black laced boots. I stood out, but I loved it (oh, and pink clip-in extensions)!

what things you still find on your myspace-page...
things you still find on your myspace-page…

I never considered giving it away (hey, it was old and pink!), but I never really wore it. I feared it could be too fragile and when on earth could you wear a pink silk dress?

Meanwhile it moved with me three times and I have learned a lot about fashion and historical sewing techniques. I never know how to style this thing and my boyfriend always says it looks like a nightshirt and I shouldn’t wear it outside. So it lurks in the back of my wardrobe and never really sees the light (if it is really a nightshirt it is also a creature of the night, maybe it’s manipulating me and doesn’t want to see daylight? Help, it’s alive!).

But once in a while I try to wear it, play around a little to defuse this out-of-bed-look and in November I dared to wear it to a concert  (Mozart’s Requiem, a very dear colleague participated and generously invited me and my boyfriend, check out the choir’s website if you life in Switzerland and like classical music). I took the opportunity to have a closer look at it.

an awful lot of handsewing going on inside
an awful lot of handsewing going on inside, the buttons are secured with a thin pink ribbon.
The front. The bow is just decorative, the rest of the band is bias binding made from the same fabric.
The front. The bow is just decorative, the rest of the band is bias binding made from the same fabric.
are these buttons handmade? it looks as if, don't they? To me it seems as if they consist of a ball of wrapped yarn and invisibly attached silk fabric.
are these buttons handmade? it looks as if, don’t they? To me it seems as if they consist of a ball of wrapped yarn and invisibly attached silk fabric.

Coil zipper in the centre back as well as the absence of any old seams or other traces of manipulation make me date this dress into the 1960ies. But I am still amazed of all the hand sewing and old techniques used (I have never seen such a perfectly hand-sewn zipper. You need a magnifying glass and have to look at the back of the seam to see that it isn’t machine sewn). Maybe this was made by someone who had learned sewing already years or even decades ago and still used all this techniques when making a dress for a granddaughter?

Now, back to the dress as a whole. It is a little too large, not the best premise to make a pink shift dress look NOT like a nightshirt.

oh, wait until you see the front, this is going to be fun!
oh, wait until you see the front, this is going to be fun!

And my boyfriend is right, styled wrongly it could really look like “oh, hello Mr. Postman, sorry, I just woke up”

yeah, the hilarious shoes again!
yeah, the hilarious shoes again!

This is how I wore it this evening. Paired with a black cardigan with pink and red embroidery and patent leather high-heels (I switched later to black smooth leather t-straps heels, these somehow felt a little too…*ahem* kinky to wear in a church).

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And yes, lots of make-up. Idea is that nobody wakes up with perfectly shiny red lipstick applied.

dress: antique/Das Puppenhaus, cardigan: Voodoo Vixen, high-heels: Christian Louboutin/2nd-hand Secondo Bern, handbag: flea-market, necklace: gift from mum
dress: antique/Das Puppenhaus, cardigan: Voodoo Vixen, high-heels: Christian Louboutin/2nd-hand Secondo Bern, handbag: flea-market, necklace: gift from mum, fragrance: Prada, Amber

Now, what do you think? Nightshirt or wearable? I am still convinced that it really was meant as a dress because of the zipper and the globular buttons, both wouldn’t be very comfortable in bed. But still, it has this air of lingerie….

Dare anybody of you to pin this photo :-P
Dare anybody of you to pin this photo 😛

Now that you have managed to read everything I might reveal that I wanted a “styled” photo to appear in this post first. My idea was that the verdict could be different, depending on what of the two stylings you see first. I would have loved to post this in two different blogs, one with nightshirt-photos first, the other with styled photos on top. I bet it would have made a difference. So are you sure you decided how you wanted to and not depending on what you saw first? 🙂
(I fear I have been reading too much Daniel Kahneman in the last time, but his book is really interesting)

See you soon, love

ette

 

10 thoughts on “They call me nightshirt

  1. Du hast Recht dass man dieses Kleid auf beide Arten anziehen kann. Und ich denke auch, dass es zum “Draußentragen” gemacht wurde. Damals hatte man eben ein anderes Farbempfinden… Ich denke auch, dass wenn eine Daniela Katzenberger tragen würde (die ja ständig pink und pastell trägt) man es nicht weiter als Nachthemd sehen würde. Nur an einem selber sieht es sehr ungewohnt aus. Obwohl ich es mit Strickjacke ganz cool finde!

    1. Danke dir. Ja, rosa ist heute irgendwie nicht mehr _die_ Farbe zum weggehen.
      Und ich hoffe dass dein Kommentar jetzt nicht alle Google-Suchen mit diesem Namen auf meinen Blog führt, es gibt Dinge mit denen möchte ich nichts zu tun haben 😛

  2. I’m pretty sure that due to the zipper this is no night gown. I also think that it is a bit more 60’ies than 50’ies due to the shape. But unfortunately this is way too big for you, so the ‘fit’ and colour make it look like sleep wear.
    But it does look nicer with the cardigan on.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, as you say I am pretty sure that it is a standard 60ies shift dress, no nightshirt and no 50ies adolescent dress (the coil zip in the centre back already makes this implausible, as I said, it’s what the seller told me).
      I know it is too big, but I won’t alter it. Next week I will write about a Vintage dress I altered, but normally I try to avoid it. And this silk is so thin that you would see every seam, even if I didn’t cut the fabric to make it reversible.

  3. Have you thought about layering a skirt over it? That black skirt that I remember you made might be a nice match. I’m never sure until I see it but I imagine it might work. I mean, yup, the pink, the silk and the shape all make you think “nightgown” but what the heck, let’s try to squeeze the last bit of dressiness out of it :). And I do believe that pairing it with the cardigan worked well. I don’t think you could look out of place wearing it to a concert, it’s an elegant pairing. Good job, girl!

    1. Thank you very much, Klara. In fact I did think about it. But it has this Empire-Line and the bow, I don’t like it when you have one horizontal line below the chest and a second at the waist, somehow it looks strange in my eyes. And the top part is the one obviously too large, so I always tried to hide this instead of the skirt. But I will give it a try, maybe it will work after all and I imagine it completely wrong.

  4. Die Hausschuhe mit den Feder-Pompoms sind einfach nur grandios. Gut, wenn ich verschlafen bin, hätte ich Angst, darin zu stürzen.
    Cardigan und Stöckel machen aus dem Dress definitiv eine Außer-Bett-tragfähige Garderobe. Vielleicht probierst du mal schwarze Strumpfhosen dazu, das könnte das Nachthemdartige noch mehr auflösen. LG mila

    1. Hatte Angst, dass es mit schwarzen Strümpfen zu hart wirkt, aber einen Versuch wäre es wert.
      Und keine Sorge, das sind nicht meine normalen Hausschuhe. Ein Schuhoutlet in der Nähe hat zugemacht und wollte möglichst viel loswerden, sprich 2 Paar kaufen 4 mitnehmen. Gekauft hätte ich die ganz sicher nicht, auch wenn sie sehr lustig sind und mich an 60er Jahre Playmates erinnern.

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