Hotter Shoes Style Series – Wiltshire Shoes for a 1940s Style

In my final Hotter shoes style series piece for this season, I style the Wiltshire shoes to suit a 1940s casual look.

Whilst I do thoroughly enjoy putting in extra effort in my attire for specific events, my daily attire tends to lean towards the casual end of the vintage spectrum. As mentioned in my previous post, I like to be able to actually wear, enjoy and move freely in my vintage (or vintage inspired) clothing, as such it is important for me to feel comfortable.

As soon as I saw these fabulous Wiltshire shoes by Hotter, I knew they would be perfectly suited to a 1940s casual summertime inspired look. The colour, T-bar style and low heel all immediately evoke summertime picnics, bicycle rides along sun dappled lanes, and countryside strolls in the long summer evenings.

I decided to style the Wiltshire shoes with a casual yet nicely fitted cardigan jacket which I actually found in the sale section from Collectif. The cut of the cardigan appealed to me, and I was even more impressed upon consulting the care label to see it was 100% cotton. I teamed the cardigan jacket with a late 1940s style skirt by the Seamstress of Bloomsbury. I just adore the print and colours in this skirt, so bright and joyful!

To finish the look, I added a vintage straw hat which I have had for a few years. The original trimming and ribbon on the hat was very damaged and worn, so I replaced both the flowers and ribbon for those that you can see here in the pictures.

As with all the shoes I own from Hotter, the Wiltshire are very comfortable to wear. I am really looking forward to wearing these in the summer, perhaps for those bicycle rides/countryside strolls and picnics I mentioned!

As this is my final Style Series piece for this season of Hotter Shoes, I would like to say a big thank you to the team at Hotter Shoes for this opportunity. And of course, thank you to you for reading!

To read more about the Wiltshire shoes, and to see some of my historical references when putting together this outfit, see my full article over on the Hotter Shoes Blog; It’s a Shoe Thing here.

Outfit Details

To view my previous Style Series posts for Hotter Shoes, check out this category here.

Until next time dears!

Vintage 1930s Tennis Dress

In which I don a 1930s tennis dress, without intending to play tennis.

The main appeal for me as a buyer and collector of vintage clothing is wearability. Of course, I adore glamorous evening wear, but there are only so many occasions that call for such exuberant attire. Hence, when I am looking for pieces to add to my wardrobe, I usually veer towards daywear styles – smart separates, suit jackets that can be worn with multiple outfits, blouses and swing trousers etc.

One area of vintage clothing that I am especially drawn to is sportswear. With the growing rise in popularity of leisure activities in the first decades of the twentieth century; this in turn created demand for stylish yet practical sporting attire. As these garments were quite obviously worn for physical activities, not many survive in excellent condition – the same is true of vintage house dresses; another item I am very much enamoured of.

The appeal for me of vintage sportswear is the fantastic original details that are true to the period – yet – as they were made to withstand and facilitate movement – they are incredibly easy and comfortable to wear.

I spied this fantastic early 1930s tennis dress on Etsy a few months ago, and even though she had a few issues, I fell for her deco charms immediately. The main issue with her was intense yellowing all down the back, due to (things are about to get yucky here folks) sweat. It is likely that back in the day, the dress was worn for playing tennis in, became a tad sweaty, then may have been put away without laundering. Not one to be deterred by such an obstacle, I decided I would try my best to rectify the issue.

Firstly, I used Orvus soap to soak her in three times, over the course of a good few hours. Now Orvus is pretty strong stuff, but is also gentle enough to use on antique lace et al, hence my application of it on 80+ year old rayon crepe. *If you are going to use Orvus – please use gloves and follow the instructions carefully*. I then rinsed out the dress thoroughly many many times to ensure all the Orvus residue had gone, then hung her up to dry.

By this point I was having a bit of a panic, as the dress had seemingly shrunk about 3 dress sizes. Anyone that has washed rayon crepe (especially vintage rayon crepe) will know, that it has a nasty tendency to shrink A LOT when it gets wet with laundering. This can thankfully be remedied by ironing whilst slightly damp, then again when dry. Luckily, the dress returned to it’s original size (thank goodness as I was almost thinking I had ruined it after all the trouble of laundering it!)

For an interesting discussion on laundering rayon, and how to rectify the dreaded shrinkage, read this piece over on the Fedora Lounge here.

But the big question – had the yellowing gone? Whilst it had definitely vastly improved, it is still there albeit very faintly. so I am happy with the progress made. I may have to soak her a few more times to try and get the yellowing out completely, but for now I am happy with her. So in conclusion – yellowing much diminished, and I know the dress is 100% clean having laundered it myself. Hurrah.

The fabric is surprisingly strong, especially considering its age. I just adore the art deco details – the decorative pin tucks down the front and sleeve caps, beautiful buttons and the flutter sleeves to facilitate movement. The buttons undo in order to slip the dress on, in addition there is a snap placket at the left hand side to fasten.

It is difficult to see the dress features in some of these pictures, as with the dress being white, the details tended to bleach out  when photographed. Hopefully you can see some of the details, particularly in the close up shots.

Whilst it is unlikely I will be playing tennis in this dress, I will definitely enjoy wearing it in the summer months. And, who knows, I may have a swing at a spot of tennis in it after all?

Outfit Details

Until next time dears!