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Jazz Age Lawn Party

What to wear, what to wear?

Ladies, the Jazz Age Lawn Party (JALP) is fast approaching, you want to go, but don’t think you have anything to wear. *Checks calendar* http://dreamlandorchestra.com/calendar.php *Panic sets in*

Or you have checked out http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/07/08/style/08PARTY.html?ref=fashion and worry that your wardrobe is not up to par.

If you look at http://arsenicold-lace.livejournal.com/7753.html you can see example of my adding different accessories to make a lace cocktail dress work for a daytime look. I tossed this daytime look together on a Sunday morning on the day of the JALP (including making a new band for my hat) but I do not recommend that you try to do your coordinating on the fly/day of.


And here are more details on same dress worn as cocktail/evening look http://arsenicold-lace.livejournal.com/2586.html

But most cocktail/evening dress do not work for daytime look. Here are some tips to pull together a passable (if not fully accurate) look:

1) Read http://www.artdecosociety.org/gatsby/htg.htm
2) Do you sew? There is still time to make a dress from scratch using the "One Hour" method (random example: http://emailedvintagepatterns.com/index.php/the-1920s-collection )
3) Don't sew or not feeling up to a sewing project, check your own closet for a drop waist or column/shift dress that might work.
4) Please skip that part of the closet that has beaded/sequined/fringed evening dresses, you need a daytime look. Also skip over that long strand of plastic/fake pearls.
5) No results shopping your closet?
6) Please do not even think of going to the local Party Store/Costume store, the bulk of their “20’s” costumes will be (bad) evening looks that will be made out of some non breathable fabric (i.e. you’re going to have wrong time of day for the outfit and be a sweaty mess).
7) Time to hit the local retail and on-line sources, my first stop in searching is always http://www.jpeterman.com/
8) If J. Peterman fails you, then move on to the chain stores. Thrift stores and vintage clothing stores in the NYC area tend to be really pricey, and wearing vintage when you are dancing is risky, it could tear.

I hope this helps you put an outfit together in time for JALP.

Some ideas:

J. Peterman:
Always check the Last Chance section http://www.jpeterman.com/Last-Chance-Dept . You should also sign up for their mailing list, they often send codes for free shipping or additional discounts.

Cotton/silk tunic: http://www.jpeterman.com/Womens-Things/LC-Table-19-Tunic You could add a basic straight skirt under this tunic if is it is too sheer and/or too short to wear as a dress. Or pair the tunic with these Linen Palazzo Pants http://www.jpeterman.com/Womens-Things/LC-Linen-Palazzo-Pants

Caftans: http://www.jpeterman.com/Womens-Caftans go for that Bohemian artist vibe, accessorize with long ethnic inspired necklace(s), and maybe a turban?

Old Navy
Lace-Trim Drop-Waist Dress in Dumpling (cream)
Printed Drop-Waist Dress in Yellow
Pleated Chiffon Maxi Dress in Almond Butter
Use the self fabric belt on this one for your hat band.

Forever 21 (F21):
F21 used to have a great vintage inspired line called “Twelve by Twelve”, but they sadly seem to have discontinued it. But F21 still has several items that could work and the prices are low (F21 does “disposable fashion” something you wear a few time and then on to the next trend, so it is not constructed to last for ages, unlike the J. Peterman clothing. ). It is best to actually shop F21 in the store, especially if you tall, F21 makes most of their things super short and you will want to try them on. But in a pinch you could order on line.

Asymmetrical High-Low Hem Dress http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=dress_maxi&ProductID=2000045182
Drop Waist Pleated Dress http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?Br=F21&Category=DRESS&ProductID=2000045459

Lace Matelassé Dropped Waist Dress http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?category=DRESS&ProductID=2000045053
The dress is very short, but there are ways to make it work. Also, you will need a slip under it. Since this is not a really spendy dress, if you can handle basic sewing, get two (2nd dress in size bigger than your normal size). Cut the skirt part of 2nd dress and sew it to the 1st dress skirt hem. Then use the leftover from the 2nd dress bodice to trim your hat. Also consider adding a contrasting ribbon belt (to the low/drop waist line) and use the same ribbon to make the hat band.

Other drop waist dress (that you could do the buy two sew them together trick). If dress is too short and you don’t sew, you could also try using the dress as a tunic and wearing a matching or contrasting color skirt under it.

And here are few drop waist blouses to consider for wearing over a skirt:

Stripe Drop Waist Dress http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33060&storeId=13052&productId=4555962 Rather a basic dress, but you can accessorize with nautical theme, a boater hat, etc.
Fluro pink embroidery and crochet dress http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=1&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33060&storeId=13052&productId=5654869

Print Playsuit http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=1&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33060&storeId=13052&productId=6017315

Banana Republic
White Lace Sheath http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=26497&vid=1&pid=905290 there is an extra 30% off sale that ends 08/08.
Dress is a tad on the short side, but could still work. Maybe add a low fabric or ribbon belt, tied in a bow with a flower at the tie. And repeat that detail for your hat trim.

Cap-Sleeve Crochet Dress http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/fever-dress-cap-sleeve-crochet?ID=707755 that you could move the belt from waist to hip on. But only the Black version is on clearance, the white one is still full price http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/fever-dress-cap-sleeve-crochet-shift?ID=660622

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Dress, Delva Sleeveless V-Neck Pointelle Metallic http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-by-ralph-lauren-dress-delva-sleeveless-v-neck-pointelle-metallic?ID=675456 this dress is right on that fine line of is really evening, but could be styled for a daytime look (i.e. not for those unsure of their 1920’s coordinating skills).

And of course you will want a wicker picnic basket to finish off you look. Macy*s had a nice basic basket on clearance a few weeks ago, but don't see that one on-line anymore (they may still have some lurking in the Cellar level at Hearld Square store?) But they do have sale on the deluxe wicker baskets http://www1.macys.com/search/index.ognc?SearchTarget=*&Keyword=picnic+basket

Shoes http://www.vintagedancer.com/womens-1920s-and-1930s-shoe-styles/
(Side note: this website also has a page of shopping suggestions, but not clearly segregated between day/night looks. And I ended up suggesting several of the same dresses they did, before I even saw their page).

And here are some ideas for Hat:

Designer Discount Stores
The stock is random so it does take some hunting, but I have also found great things at these stores: