THROWBACK THURSDAY: 20's Inspired Brunch Party
Everyone loves a themed party. At least we at Sophie the Blog do, and create and celebrate more than a handful each year. Today's Throwback Thursday is taking us back to a 20's Inspired Brunch Party that we threw a couple years ago.
The theme was simple enough: building off of an annual get together that Lisa throws each year with a semi-specific dress theme that always kicks off with a delicious brunch. The theme for that particular year was 20's inspired brunch wear, which included slacks and suspenders for the men, summery dresses for the women, and hats for everyone.
For the event, both of us took a slightly different route for finding the perfect piece to wear.
In the midst of the excitement of throwing a party that not only was 20's themed (I'm pretty sure that's the decade I actually should be from) but also included a wonderful brunch, I ended up cutting short the amount of time needed to find the perfect outfit. Despite working at the MOA, I could not find a single outfit that embraced the look I was going for. So I did something unusual for myself: shopped for clothing online. Shopping online can have it's hits and misses, and I've definitely partaken in both. Luckily, I followed some these helpful tips I've listed below and found not one, but two dresses that I loved and still wear on occasion today. Of course, I paired the dress I wore in the afternoon with a straw hat that I already had (if you don't have a simple summer straw hat, I suggest you get one...you'll end up wearing it much more than you think) because I have been working on becoming a hat lady for some time now. Pair this look with some friends and a mimosa and you've got a lovely party.
Quick Tips for Online Shopping:
- Check the measurements for sizing. This might seem like a no-brainer, but always select your size by the measurement chart or guide (if provided) rather than relying on what you typically wear.
- Give yourself more than enough time. I had a definite date I needed my dress by, so I had to be sure to leave enough time in case something didn't work out I could either return it or find an alternative. Things out of the control of the vendor, like weather, can impact shipping times and potentially delay your pieces. In this case, I actually ordered two dresses to make sure at least one would work out. They needed alterations (which Michelle happily and skillfully helped), so I had planned on having extra time for that.
- Check the return policy. Be sure to read the fine print, too. I always make sure to look over any online purchases very carefully as soon as I receive them to make sure there are no imperfections.
- Read reviews of the item. This can be a wonderful tool. Not only can you get some really candid, honest advice from people who purchased the piece, but often they give tips on the sizing and fit. Whether they affirm an accurate sizing comparison or suggest to go a little bigger or smaller, it's all helpful.
- Read reviews of the website. This is a big one. If you're unfamiliar with the website that you are purchasing from, it pays to do your due diligence and research it. A simple google search can go a long way as far as informing you of a scam, poor quality, or long shipping times.
I decided that I was going to make my own dress for this fantastic soiree and it was quite the adventure. Initially, I wanted to do a real flapper themed dress and have fringe and everything but this also took place immediately after my finals for the semester so I did not have enough time for a garment that was that involved. Instead, I decided to choose appropriate colors and make a simple A line shape. This was my first endeavor into designing my own garment without any guidance so I kind of just threw fabric out and cut it into a shape and stitched it together. It certainly was not my best work, but I learned a lot in the process.
I chose bronze and cream because I thought the fabrics looks very 20s and would be perfect for what I was trying to accomplish. I also did an asymmetrical hem on the bottom so that it looked more geometric, and since I was not going to do all of that fringe. I still wanted some embellishment to make it more 20s so I added a pearl and gold chain band around the waist and as épaulettes on the shoulders. I paired it with some pretty spectacular hats for the day to complete the look and brought a white cardigan because it was raining and cold that day. I then also wore long pearls to add to the 20s theme. Naturally, red lipstick is also the right choice for the 20s!
I managed to wear this dress the entire day and keep the hat on for most of it. I happen to have a lot of hats for many themes (20s, sun, Kentucky Derby, etc) and they have proven to be some of my most popular accessories on these occasions. Definitely more so than the dress. However, a few tips when you are trying to designed a themed garment.
- Make a sketch or drape of what you are making. It will make it much more guided when you are making the process.
- Find or make a pattern before you start cutting and sewing. It will also make it easier and smoother when you are assembling the garment and gives you a better idea of how much fabric you will need.
- Make sure you know if it is going to be lined. This determines the weight of the fabric. If it is, you need a lighter fabric for the lining or it will not lay right.
- Make sure you keep track of which side of the fabric is the outside and which is the inside. It is going to be really really important later on. It is easier to do when you have a pattern.
We have or will cover most of these areas at some point on the blog so you can feel free to peruse our suggestions on garment design while you craft your creation!