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Apr 24, 2013

New Cathy Project, New Sunglasses, New IRON!

Readers, this is the last pic of me in sunglasses I'm going to post this month -- promise!  But I did want to provide some closure after the adventures of last week.

Above are the sunglasses I have chosen at long last.  They're smaller than any of the Warby Parker frames I sampled, but still have the fade-type (gray-to-clear) look that's softer on me than black (brown wasn't a option since the sunglasses I'm replacing were brown).  Michael says the style is also less overpowering.

Actually THIS is the last pic.

The brand is BonLook, the model is -- no joke -- Drink The Kool-Aid, which seems appropriate, since they scream hipster wannabe, but that's OK.  I have a week to decide whether I'll keep them or not.   With an online coupon offered on the site, they came to $87, which is cheaper than the Warby Parkers, though these are as nicely made, if not nicer (springed hinges on these, of example) than those.  I'll admit that they do look more like something my grandfather would have worn in 1956 than anything in Steve McQueen's wardrobe.

Should I...

a) Keep them -- they're cute!

b) Keep looking -- meh.

Moving on, devoted MPB reader Babe (he of the 25 lb. box of gift fabric) has once again made me the object (subject?) of his beneficence.  Behold!

All I can say is, wow.  I won't lie: I'm a little afraid of this gently-used Rowenta ironing "system" and so are the dogs.  That said, I can't wait to try it out later today.

Oh, I also picked up another pair of sneakers (it was my birthday week, after all).  Readers, if you're patient and know your correct size, you can find amazing deals on sneakers on eBay.  I'm not really the skull type but I did like this print.

Finally, Cathy.  Many of you are no doubt wondering what has become of my cousin.  Is her hair still hot pink?  Has she found a nanny for Simplicity?  Is she dating?  I won't answer those questions today, but I did want to share my latest pattern acquisition for her, via Etsy.

I'm guessing this Advance pattern is from roughly 1951 or 1952 -- anybody know for sure?  We haven't done any New Look outfits, but I think it's time, especially since nursing has given her curves she'd never dreamed of (and her plan is to continue nursing until Simplicity's a tween -- not really unusual in many Scandinavian countries and a marvelous way to strengthen the mother-daughter bond).

That said, Cathy's hips will need some enhancing, and I'm exploring options. 

Naturally I am very excited about this new project which, you may note, is similar in many ways to the never-got-off-the-ground Cyd Charisse dress project.

In closing, I know many of my readers pad their bust and cinch their waist on occasion but have you ever worn anything to widen your hips?  Does it make your feel more womanly or simply grotesque?  Enquiring readers want to know.

Have a great day, everybody!

FYI -- Big pattern sale over at Vogue/McCall's Butterick ends Friday, 4/26.  Vogues are $3.88 (including vintage repros), McCall's and Buttericks just $1.88!

(One of the strangest fashion videos you will ever see.)


  1. I like these sunglasses. They fit your face better than the Warby Parkers--so "A", keep them!!

    And you'll have to do a post on the new iron once you've played it. I've wanted one for years but haven't broken down and gotten one yet.

  2. a. those look good!

    I've got a lot of natural hip, so I've never considered padding that out... But I do try to balance out the lower half by padding out the top! ;)

  3. Have this same iron and I LOVE it. Never thought I'd say that about an iron, but this thing is wonderful and very useful. A regular iron after this feels like slumming.

  4. Oh boy! You got my iron! If yours performs anything like mine you will be SO HAPPY. You won't care that it takes up more room, requires more time to heat up and could definitely burn down your apartment building due to the lack of automatic shut off. All that pales in the face of the superiority of the steam. You'll see what I mean soon.

  5. Keep the glasses - they look good!

    I do believe that, when one wears a peplum (and I do), one is artificially widening the hips - more specifically, giving the illusion of increased width, but you know what I mean.

    Since I like hips, I'm not opposed to the idea at all!

  6. I think you got the part about the Scandinavian countries and nursing a tiny bit wrong. :-)

  7. I just love that era. It's a walk in elegance. As for the glasses, I love spectator glasses. They look fabulous on you.

  8. Oh, I like the glasses!! I think you should keep them!

    And will have you refer to Sewgranny's comment on my feeling of padding out my hips :)

  9. Sunglasses? These are much the best you've shown us-- they are good for the shape of your face and your coloring.

    Yes, I have padded out my hips; not with a modified pillow like in your image, but with hoop skirts and petticoats. Never for day to day, just for theater-type things.

    Love the models in your video twirling in the full skirts on the runway.

  10. On the daily basis I wear petticoats under my skirt, so they kind of enhance my hips. LAst year I made a winter coat to myself and also sewed in self-made hip-pads, I was inspired by the New Look. Here are some pictures
    I am really happy about that coat. It gives me desired hourglass shape!

  11. I tell you, your specs posts couldn't have come at a better time. I'm in dire need of new glasses, and am forever swooning over US spec sites (I'm in the UK). BUT! I'm going to NYC (super short notice)next week for 10 days - this is my chance to at least get frames (first stop Garment District, of course...). I see Warby Parker has two stores in Lower Manhattan? You've got your AWESOME readers and sun glasses now, otherwise I was banking on my good luck to bump into you there! So thank you so much for all the tips you've given me!
    And as for your and Michael's sofa mentioned in your last post - it's a vision of heaven, a true HQ of cosiness. I ALWAYS hope it features in your photos.

  12. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the glasses!! They look AWESOME on you! And that last picture made me laugh. No, I have never deliberately padded my bottom (my husband tells me I've been blessed with FABULOUS 'junk in the trunk,' so if my rear end got any curvier I'd be rivaling Kim Kardashian with her silicone butt injections. Unfortunately, my rear end is not padded enough to protect my tailbone in the event of a fall. I tried snowboarding last winter for the first time and broke my tailbone within the first 2 hours. I just caught some ice the wrong way, fell flat on my butt, and 'crack' it went. Perhaps those butt pads might have helped. If I ever attempt snowboarding again, I may have to invest in some "ass enhancers" so I can protect my spine! LOL Enjoyable post as always! And again, I love the glasses. I think many men look sexier in them, and you totally rock the look. Bravo!

  13. I own a Rowenta iron that looks just like that, although I bought it about five years ago. Beware. It sputters and it it's a pain that you can't tell how much water is in the reservoir.

  14. The only thing I've worn to widen my hips was the baby I carried for 9 months. Worked a little too well, IMO.

    Love the sunglasses on you. So what if Dad had the same shape in work safety glasses in 1965. Everything retro is new again, as we all know. Go with it.

  15. I'm top-heavy and I wear a cotton batiste petticoat under my full-skirted dresses to give me a better line. Very soft, and it helps.

  16. Well, I did buy my sister Booty-Pop once for her birthday. She was not amused, but we all thought she looked better in it.

  17. First off, the sunglasses are cute! You should keep them. I have to say, I've never needed hip padding. But padding your hips has been pretty prevalent in fashion history, so why not go for it?

  18. Peter,
    a) Yes to the sunglasses. They are perfect.
    No I have never wanted to widen my hips but I hear that it gives the illusion of a smaller waist.
    The pic of the padded bum knickers had me laughing out loud.
    I hope Cathy isn't smoking while pushing little
    simplicity's pram about.. You are way too good to that girl.

  19. Keep the glasses, they are perfect on you.

  20. I like the glasses but you should get them if you like them and if they aren't too expensive for you. But I tend to be thrifty so I'm a little biased against buying sunglasses.

    As for hip pads, I've never worn them but I would if they were used in a costume.

    I'm in the process of making a corset for myself so I can be Marie Antoinette for a Halloween in the future, and I will definitely be using hip pads.

    But perhaps Kathy may want to invest in a corset instead of hip pads to give her back her girlish figure. ;)

  21. Kate Middleton had hip pads under her wedding dress. So, it must be cool.

  22. I would if it wasn't considered dated and weird. My hips are a good two-three sizes smaller than my bust and I hate the disproportion. That's why I usually go for full skirts rather than fitted.

  23. Keep the sunglasses - you look super hip.

  24. Drink that Kool-Aid! They frame your face beautifully.

    Always good to see Freddy featured.

    As for that video, it looks as if someone in production house (low slung building on the edge of an industrial park, circa 1962) sat down with all the fashion videos on the shelf and made this collage. The colored hair attachments certainly put the punk/new wave types to shame (a little goes a long, and elegant, way).

    1. I swear, at first I thought they were mustaches!

    2. I loved the glasses that had the spanish "spit curl" on the arms (just after the coloured hair attachments, around 1:01 in the video)!

  25. Padding - I do not nee! Which can be a good and bad thing :)
    I like the idea of the lower illustration in the Advance pattern where they've used gathered fabric extras at the hip - I think it would be more comfortable than the 'bike shorts/spanx' and less likely to move around than the sofa cushions.
    I have seen shoulder pads transformed into hip pads although on a full skirt I don't know that you'd need much more than a full petticoat - a wiggle skirt would be another story entirely!

  26. Oh and well jealous of the new iron!


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