A Retro Inspired Valentine’s Day

It seems that one of the recurring themes I have written about over the past few weeks is the weight of the winter season. The time of year where there is less sunlight, temperatures are colder and for what seems like months on end, there isn’t much on the horizon. This is how I’ve been feeling anyway, and perhaps the reason why this topic keeps popping up week after week. The weight of winter has been on my mind. Do you feel the same during this time of year?

What I’ve learned however, is that if you pay close attention to the calendar, there are things to look forward to throughout the season. Two weeks ago there was a fresh snowfall and I took the opportunity to go for a long walk in the woods. There is nothing like freshly fallen snow, blanketed throughout the woodlands. A few weeks ago there was a supermoon. I made sure to go out to my balcony that evening to gaze at the giant golden balloon that lit up the night sky. This past week was Valentine’s Day and while it is a commercial holiday that I have always been somewhat reluctant to celebrate, this year; I had a change of heart.

I decided to go all in and embrace the spirit of Saint Valentine by creating some retro decor for the holiday. Whether it’s celebrating Valentine’s Day with a vintage twist or gazing out at a natural phenomenon like a supermoon; find time this winter to embrace the season. What I’ve realized is that Valentine’s Day no longer just represents the celebration of love, for me, it marks the halfway point. That spring time will soon be upon us, but until then, to love the winter months and all the experiences it brings.

A Vintage Recipe

There’s nothing quite like dusting off an old cookbook and making one of your favorite family recipes on a winter afternoon. One of my favorite retro recipes is Rice Crispie Squares – super easy to make and always a crowd pleaser!

Break Out the Crystal

On special occasions, my Grandma would always bring out the crystal. At Christmas time, she would line her coffee table with crystal dishes to fill with nuts or gherkins. I decided to honour the same tradition for Valentine’s Day. I found this crystal candy dish at a second-hand store to fill with Valentine’s Day candies.

Thrift Shopping

A great way to get inspired for developing your own vintage style! Check out last week’s blog for tips on thrift shopping for a vintage inspired outfit!


Thrift Shopping Tips for a Vintage Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I decided to go on a shopping spree at some of my favorite second-hand stores to find a vintage-inspired outfit for Valentine’s Day. With Valentine’s Day being a tradition of celebrating good ol’ fashioned romance, I wanted a classic outfit inspired from the 1940s era. Here are a few tips and tricks to thrift shopping for that ideal vintage wardrobe.

Envision The Era If you were to travel back in time, which era would you go back to? When thrift shopping, it’s sometimes best to begin with the end in mind before spending your hard earned dollar. For me, I usually start with researching outfits online. I wanted to find something similar in style to the fashion trends worn in the forties. The styles I found through researching were skirts, blouses, blazers and pant suits.  For myself, I wanted to go for something elegant for Valentine’s Day, so I decided to search for three items: a blouse, a skirt and shoes.

Set Your Budget Depending on your budget, you can either go for some of the more rare vintage pieces of your era from specialty vintage stores or go for a more inspired look through going to a local second-hand store. I went for the latter option, because you can always find something you’re looking for and it’s a great way to discover your own vintage style at an affordable price.

Styles & Fabrics The dresses and skirts of the forties era were all similar in length, typically, just below the knee. Some styles were more on the fitted side like a pencil skirt, while others were rounded, circle style skirts, like an early version of the poodle skirts of the 1950s. I knew it was essential to look for a skirt in which the length was just below the knee. The ones I found were highly patterned, often with flowy, satin fabrics and floral designs (if only I was going for a late 1990s look!). I did however manage to find a circle skirt that was the ideal length and only cost $10. Ideally, I was hoping to find a long pencil skirt with a thick textured fabric. Instead, I found a high-waisted circle skirt with a smooth fabric.

Style Your Look When finding the first item on your shopping list, it can often change what you envisioned your vintage look to be. After purchasing the skirt, I decided to go for a blouse that was textured or patterned to bring out the style of the era. I think of the 1940s as having heavy, somewhat rough fabrics for pants and skirts, but then lighter fabrics for blouses. Fashion patterns of the era included checkered fabrics, polka dots or florals. I ended up finding a coral, polyester blouse with a floral pattern and a pair of black shoes to go with the outfit. All together, my vintage outfit cost only $28 for the skirt, blouse and shoes. Another tip when buying shirts/blouses for your era is to pay attention to collars and sleeve styles. For a 1940s look, I tried to find a blouse with a high collar and slightly puffed short sleeves.

Modernize the Look While it’s fun to dress up in your favorite vintage era, it’s important to modernize the look for the present day. Perhaps it’s doing so with a modern day hair style or wearing a trendy hand bag. For my 1940s look, I plan to wear a lipstick that is bold, but also modern, with a natural makeup look and subtle jewelry.

Please stick around for more vintage Valentine’s Day inspiration, posted next week on Fanciful Impressions! Happy Valentine’s Day!