Monday, April 30, 2012

Playing Dress-Up

What little girl doesn't get into her mother's closet to abscond with her high heels and walk around the house?  Little girls love to play dress-up.  I was no exception (and my mother has the photos to prove it). Not only did I have my mother's closet to raid, but Grandma Mizell (who watched me while my parents worked) also had tons of fun things to dress up in.  I particularly remember the pioneer style costumes she had that she and my mother had worn for Nebraska's Centennial celebration.  The costumes were complete with bonnets and reticules!

Recently I have begun to dress up again.  I love antiques and for reasons I can't quite explain, I have recently purchased a few historical costumes to go with them.  I have been using these costumes to create fun profile pictures for my Facebook profile.  Recently, I was asked by a couple of friends to do a blog about what I do to get dressed up (thank you Lizzi and Inge for the idea!).

First, I research the period that I'm going to try to recreate.  I have done Victorian, Edwardian, and most recently, the 1940's.  The internet is full of great period information.  Most of the time, you can even find YouTube videos on how to do the hair.  I am a visual learner.  If I can see someone do a task, I can copy it.

For my latest dress up session, I researched how to achieve the 1940's look.  Even though the 1940's are not technically "antique", I have always been drawn to that time period as well.  I believe it is in part because my grandparents were part of the greatest generation (three out of four of my grandparents were in the armed forces).  First place to start my research: Look at old family photos.
Here is one of my Grandma Mizell in her WAVE (women's Navy) uniform.  As a side note, I am on the hunt for a sewing pattern for a 1940's WAVE if any of my readers can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.
Here is a picture of my Grandma Creamer.  Isn't she a cutie?  How did I get so lucky to have two lookers as grandmothers?  Look at the full lips on Grandma Creamer!  Thank you Granny C for your beautiful lip genes (not to mention the cooking genes and the smart genes).
Here is one of my favorite pictures of Grandma Mizell.  I really didn't get much research from this picture.  I just think it is cute and had to share.

Okay, so after going through my archive of family photos, it was time to go to Youtube.  All I did was Google 1940's hairstyles and came up with a few winners.  My personal favorite can be found here

To the bathroom I go!  My bathroom is kind of like the Batcave.  It is stocked with all the items I need to go from ordinary citizen to bombshell.  I plugged in my hot rollers and started on my makeup.  One thing I noticed in my research is that women really didn't use eyeliner on their bottom lid.  So, for my 40's look, I skipped the lower lid.

Using the largest hot rollers, I curled most of my hair under.  For this episode of dress up, I only wanted one reverse victory roll.  I knew I was going to use a fascinator for the other side. I sectioned off the hair I knew I wanted to go into the victory roll and did not put it in the hot rollers.  It took a few tries and a number of bobby pins to successfully achieve the reverse victory roll.  One should also note that hairspray is our friend.

Now, for the results!
Did I achieve my goal of looking like my grandmothers? You be the judge.
I know I've used this picture of Grandma Mizell before, but I think this is one of the prettiest pictures I've ever seen so I share it again.

Until Tomorrow - Melissa


  1. WOW This was fantastic and gave us a beautiful insight into your family history! Thank you so much for sharinG!!

  2. Thank you! I love to talk about my family. Such interesting and unique characters. It helps to explain my oddness.

  3. What a lovely post, and the pictures are just wonderful! You did a great job on yours as well. :) Lovely! I'll keep my eyes out for a pattern. :)