Thursday, 9 August 2012

Two dresses, how many successes?

I wore this 1970s Brigitte of London dress yesterday, and felt good.

I bought it at a vintage fair and apart from wearing it here, promptly forgot all about it, such is the number of frocks I own... 
For those who asked (Kylie and Lakota, those curious souls!) I haven't done the final count yet, I may confess the total, or I may be too embarrassed!

Anyway - I do love it, it's a pretty floaty Grecian Goddess of a frock. 


... the photos have given me pause for thought. 

I am not convinced I love it on me.
Does anyone else ever feel the camera tells a different story from the mirror?

I have chosen the better photos (naturally) but I still think I look quite hippy in it, and the drapeyness of the top isn't so flattering.

I think it looked better in winter with a cardigan and and boots, but that covers up the lovely print on the top.

Hmmm... not sure if it's a keeper or heading for Ebay.

I have no such doubts about this dress.

I bought it from an Ebay seller who described buying the frock in 1969, then falling pregnant, going on to have her family, and putting the dress away, never to be worn again. She sounded rather regretful to be selling part of her youth, but recognised she wouldn't wear it again, and she wanted it to go to a good home.

I am always a sucker for clothes with a personal story attached, so when I won the dress, I emailed the seller to tell her how much I loved it and that I had received many compliments when wearing it. She got back in touch to say how pleased she was that it was finally being worn, after 40 years of being stored away.

That print is far too wonderful to be hidden away in a suitcase!

Stony expression. 
It's my posing-in-a-pretty-frock-against-a-grotty-wall Style Blogger face.

Yeah, I understand ironic juxtaposition, cos I'm really fucking cool.

Nah, not really! 
One of the mums at school commented to me that her daughter told her I am always laughing. 
Not always. But often!

1960s Sherman of London cotton maxi dress - Ebay
Kimono-style jacket and bracelets - charity shop
Fly sandals - retail
Hair flowers - retail/charity shop
Pendant - car boot
1980s beads - from lovely new mum Liz
I would be interested to know whether you have different opinions on your outfits after seeing your photos of them, as opposed to how you feel in them or how you see yourself in the mirror. Better, worse, or the same? 



Kestrel said...

That maxi is truly a stunner - and I love that you know the story behind it too.

Vix said...

That second frock is sensational, a perfect fit and length and you just exude confidence in it! Love it when an older seller gives you a bit of history, too, that's also the joy of car boot sales.
The other dress would look fab with knee high boots, I think the detailing of the frock in addition to the sandals seems a bit "bitty" if you know what I mean. It's a gorgeous shape and print so give it another whirl before giving up on it altogether.
I know what you mean about feeling great but the camera telling another tale, it's good in a way, certainly helped me decide whether to 'bay or keep! xxxxxxxxx

Fiona said...

Ha ha yes Curtise, quite often I think I look quite splendiferous until I see a photo of myself. Then it's a different story..I think I look 'hippy', flat chested, frumpy or just plain old. Personally speaking I prefer the second dress on you as I think it flatters your figure more than the first. Like you say it's a gorgeous print and can't believe it's not been worn for 40 years. The grecian dress is lovely too but the second one is FABULOUS dahling. xxxxxx
PS I think you ARE fucking cool actually!

Melanie said...

I love that maxi on you, it's very pretty.

I have often got myself dressed, looked in the mirror, thought it looked fine, had my picture taken and seen it then promptly thought, "Nooooooooooooooo!"

Nikki @ Penelope Cat Vintage said...

I like the first dress - it's so unusual - but the maxi is a stunner! The colours look so fresh and the cotton looks so crisp if you know what I mean. It fits as if it were made for you and how wonderful to know the story behind it.

With the photo thing I often feel I put on weight on camera - I never have a double chin in the mirror for example but often get one in photos - grr. The camera also tends to point out exactly how much of my body is comprised of boobs (i.e. a helluva lot). You know how they say girls with big boobs shouldn't wear polo/turtle necks? I have a photo that proves this from when I was 17 - I think I actually chucked the jumper as soon as I saw the photo and I haven't worn a polo neck since!

Nikki x

Anonymous said...

Curtise--the first frock is gorgeous but you're right--something is "off"--maybe with ajacket and boots it will look better.
The second frock is FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!! Gorgeous dress on you!! I love the "back-story"! I think that's what "sold" meon the vintage cocktail dress this weekend--the story of how her mom made it for New Years Eve 1969!!!

I've found the photos REALLY do help me define what is wrong or right with an outfit. The camera don't lie!! I can fake myself out in a mirror.

AnPhibian said...

I do think the camera tells a different story than the mirror. I'm not 100 percent certain that it's more accurate, either. There is some distortion there. But who knows? I would't have seen anything wrong with the first dress, either, but I agree with the others that the second dress really sings!

Forest City Fashionista said...

I do love the second dress on you, but not so crazy about the first. Not sure whether it's the print, or the draping on the top of it, but it's just not "you", or at least, not the BEST "you". I so know what you mean about the camera and the mirror telling two different stories. My skin always looks way blotchier in a photo than it does in the mirror, and I tend to look wider (it's true, the camera does add 10 lbs). There have been a couple of outfits I've worn that I thought were really fab, until I saw photos of them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Curtise! Yes, I am aware of the family jewels expression. I think I learned it from Ozzy Osbourn ;)

I do love both dresses here a lot. Possibly the trouble you're having on the first one is just that it's a different shape than you usually wear but I think it hangs nicely. The upper and lower parts of the dress are balanced so I don't think you look "hippy" at all. If I wore it with my flat chest it would look ridiculous. ;) I think it may look wonderful with some black thrown in for an anchor.

I have been known to throw things out after seeing it on my blog or in pictures. For some reason our camera works better than mirrors for sure.

If I had a machine and could sew I would make 100 maxi dresses just like the one you're wearing!

Oh, and I read your comment on a new blogger's post this morning about when you had your youngest. I had mine at 38 and talk about tired!! I think I'm still tired. ;)

thorne garnet said...

Me in photos? Sometimes I'm quit surprised at how I look, for better or worse. Maybe I should buy a full length mirror and triple check before I leave the house. I've worn some outfits I love, only to see a photo and never wear it again. The best is to look through old photos and come to the realization that I looked a heck of a lot better in my younger days than I thought. Why do I look younger in my new school ID, than in the one from 1995 I just replaced? Strange....

VAL said...

I dont think there is anything wrong with the first dress, but I dont think I like it as much as the second dress, which makes your waist look small and chest look boobalicious lol.

Krista said...

The maxi has has drooling Curtise, it is stunning on you! The colors the print the fit are all perfection. How happy I am knowing it has a whole new life with you and so was the seller I'm sure:)

It's funny you should ask the question about if the camera tells a different story, my answer is YES! I often find that my first doubt about a dress comes when looking at myself wearing int in a picture and I must say it's usually correct. The polka dot number I have on in todays post. I really liked it until I saw the pictures and I'm pretty sure it will eventually makes it way back to the thrift store BUT sometimes pictures lie. I do like your first dress a lot, but you know the rule if you don't feel fab, off it goes...but I would not let a bad photo make you wonder, it's how you feel when wearing it that counts.


Lou said...

I think if you don't love the first frock, then maybe ebay it? I have so many clothes I think this about but recently I've been really brutal with selling/giving my unwanted clothes away. The second dress is beautiful and I bet the seller loved that it went to a loving new home!

In terms of photos and mirrors, I often think I look pretty good in my outfit before going on a night out, but then I see the photos of just before we go and I never look as good as I thought I did in the mirror! Doesn't help that all my friends are so glam! x

Vintage Coconut said...

I like both dresses but the maxi is truly amazingly gorgeous on you!
I bet it will end up being one of your favorites.

Sarah Jane said...

Wow, 2 great dresses. Unlike you I don't have enough dresses and wish I had more. They're not always easy to come by when you get to the point where your boobs are nearly as big as your head!!:(
I didn't really notice anything negative about the first dress until you pointed it out. I think it looks fine on you but I know what you mean about sometimes just not feeling it! Maybe keep it for winter and see if you like it any better layered up. If not e-bay.

The second one on the other hand is fab and looks as though it was made for you. I always love vintage items with a known history.

Have a great weekend xxx

Trees said...

The maxi is just so beautiful and I love the backstory too. Perhaps you could send the seller a link to your blog, so she can see how much you love it. I really do like the first dress, it looks great and the fabric is so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Seeing myself in photos has often made me decide to stop wearing something or to alter it drastically. Why do clothes look good in the mirror and not so good on camera? Wish I knew. It would save a lot of bad clothes days.
That maxi dress is gorgeous.

Louise Mc said...

I know exactly what you mean, right now I'm having a crisis of style and look at most of my photographs and think, meh! On the flip side, sometimes you will put something on and feel ok but the photo will make it look better. I like both dresses, but agree you look more you, and more at ease in the maxi. Xx

Helga said...

O,I am wetting myself over that maxi,it's a stunner!
I do like the Grecian number,however,the colours are wonderul,and the draping is so pretty!You are slim enough to carry it off!
I have the most trouble when I'm sewing, where the mirror and my imagining of how fab my idea is clash......usually my idea is naff as all hell!
G is a good judge for me,I must say.So I don't usual;ly manage to get to the camera if the mirror or G disagree!!!
Yay for lots of laughter!I laugh a lot too,people often think I'm wasted......XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Penny-Rose said...

I love the maxi - the fabric is divine!! As for the mirror / camera issue, for me its a double edged sword. Firstly, I don't have a full length mirror in the house, and secondly my lovely photographers are different heights to me. This means that there is some distortion.
I think its great that you are always laughing - life should be fun!

Kylie said...

Hate photos of myself full stop. I don't know how all you frock-on girls do it. I admire your (all of you) confidence and bravery.
These photos make me a bit sad Curtise because I just know how much you would love one of the frocks I sent you (swear word)
Anyway, the second is my favourite but I do like the first too. I'll end by saying not only are you cool, but you've also got great arms. Jealous x

Kitty said...

I agree the camera often tells a different story than the mirror-much to my chagrin!
Not sure about the length of the first one on you, if you don't mind me saying so.
The second one is much better and such awesome colours on you.xx.

Unknown said...

Oh it happens ALL THE TIME! I think I look fab in something, then see the pics and realise it looked HIDE-ARSE on me. I love the pretty print on the first frock but I agree, it's just somehow not a super Curtisey frock - the maxi however is AMAAAAZING! It fits you like a dream, the colours and print or SPLENDIFEROUS, it is super flattering and just is Very Curtisey! I absolutely LOVE that maxi. LLOOOOOVVVVE IT!

And LOOOOVE you! Sarah xxx

The Style Crone said...

For me the camera never lies. I have decided to downsize based on what shows up on an image. But that maxi is a keeper, with its vibrant colors against brick background with your 'blogger face.' And of course the headwear!

Melanie said...

Your stony expression rocks! (Bwa-ha-ha!...sorry...) But seriously, I super love that photo of you in front of the brick wall. That's one bad-*ssed mother. But it's even cooler to laugh all the time! I like Vix's suggestion for your first dress.

In terms of camera honesty, why do you think they invented Photoshop?!! Denial, denial. But since I'm too lazy to Photoshop, that doesn't help me... Usually I FEEL better in something than I look in it, or sometimes I'll feel really gross in something and I get lots of positive feedback, which is terribly warped.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I'm with all of the other ladies....I like the first frock & the drapey factor, but maybe it just needs to be styled differently. The maxi is Queen Curtise AMAZING. Suits you so much, is super flattering & the fabric is divine! I surprisingly find taking a photo seems to help me grow in confidence with an outfit....most of the time anyway. It really is all about the angles, some angles good, & some angles very bad! If only no one ever had to see me side on! Xx

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I'm with all of the other ladies....I like the first frock & the drapey factor, but maybe it just needs to be styled differently. The maxi is Queen Curtise AMAZING. Suits you so much, is super flattering & the fabric is divine! I surprisingly find taking a photo seems to help me grow in confidence with an outfit....most of the time anyway. It really is all about the angles, some angles good, & some angles very bad! If only no one ever had to see me side on! Xx

CityScape Skybaby said...

I think they both suit you really well, your figure looks great in both styles, lucky you. I'm liking maxis a lot these days and have bought a few but still not worn any of them yet so I admire you for making the effort to dress up every day.

I hardly ever have my photo taken because I rarely like the results,but when I do, I usually seem heavier and older in the photo than I thought I was. I know cameras can distort things though, at least that's what I tell myself after yet another horrible photo. I usually ask all my family for their opinions, though that can just confuse me, which is easy done. xx

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I do love the first dress - but remember Vix's rule! doesn't help that you have a GRUMP face in the photos. The maxi dress is so gorgeous on you - look at your non exsistent waistline!! I love that it's finally getting worn and the seller knows all about it!

Anonymous said...

I'm agree on the first dress, it has something that doesn't convince much, especially the top,you have such a great figure it's a shame to wear a wrong shaped dress!
Anyway to keep it for winter is a good idea, the print and the colors are lovely!
The 'abandoned' maxi is amazing and it's more flattering, the coloured bands are so beautiful!

And yes, even if I'm often not very keen of me in front of the mirror, camera make my perception worse, but I never thought it was because of the dress, I always think is my fault!


Lynn Hasty said...

I totally have thought something passed muster and then had my mouth fall open when I saw it from the camera! I love the maxi dress. You look stunning in it!!!

The first dress is pretty too, and if I saw you out in it I would think you were fashionably dressed. But trying to look at it from the question you pose and from your point of view, I do see the difference in the two. If I don't like something, I cut it up and make something out of it. :)


citizen rosebud said...

They are both grand dresses- but you can see in the pictures how you feel about the dresses. The posing in the top one is stilted, not so fun. Put on big wedges, and a darker belt, and twirl around and see if you like the top dress better. The maxi suits you- your personality, the effortless way it just is, seems a little more your style- and I love a good "provenance."

Ebay? Please send me your ebay store link, and why must you lovelies not make it easy for your readers/fans/friends to support your shop????? (I'm also talking to Terri/Rags)

his_girl_friday said...

I love them both!

Jean at said...

You ARE cool, laughter and all. The first dress is nice. I think that some wonderful things don't always translate well on film but ultimately you choose what you feel good in.

It might be an intangible factor that makes you happy and that's what will shine. I've done several posts where I wasn't thrilled with the outfit when I photographed it later, but I enjoyed it while I was wearing it and got compliments.

Second dress is a winner, for sure.

Angie said...

That's a great question and one I've dealt with in the past.No matter how I have it in my head it always looks less nice,with very few exceptions. BUT I've learnt to love what I see in the photos and it's so much fun. Somedays like today I flop on an outfit but my mind is already travelling to the next.
I do get valuable information though about the lines ,the silhouettes and I learned the importance of fitting by looking at previous outfits.

Diane said...

Hi there, thanks for stopping by - its great to meet you! You do fins some lovely vintage bits and bobs - they all look sooooo stunning. I'm envious of your trip to Giffords circus - its on my list of "things to do" . Might have to plan a weekend camping trip . x

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa said...

I love both dresses but the first is definitely missing something compared to the second.. The prints just get more amazing as I look down! I think the bold print & maxi's are just more you :) XO.

Diane said...

Spent some time reading your blog - you are hilarious! xxx

joyatri said...

I know what it's like to love a dress, the style, color, shape, whatever, and not think it looks good on you. I agree with other, maybe with a dark belt, dark blue tights and brown boots, it will look more your style.
Sometimes I have a hard time believing that a mirror is telling the truth, let alone a camera. In my head I'm 38 and sometimes don't recognize myself when I catch a glimpse in a window.

The Goodwill Fangirl said...

Well, you are effin' cool :D

I love both frocks on you; the blues are especially lovely on the first one.

Yes, I do think my outfits look better sometimes in person or in the mirror than they photograph, but I'm using my blog photos to help me weed out my closet. A couple of things I've worn in the last few months just haven't looked flattering at all in photos - so time to find them more suitable owners :)

Anonymous said...

hi, just found your blog after googling for Brigitte of London. I've just picked up a similar dress, in this link it's the final photo. Love your dress!