1930s Formal Gown

Last night my sister and I had the chance to attend a very formal annual banquet in one of the swankiest venues in town, Hammons Tower.  The tower is basically all of Springfield's "skyline".  (It's the black tower.)
from here
Anyway, it's very ritzy, so I was excited to finally whip out a black velvet dress I bought at a flea market recently.  It was all sad and torn in several places and just needed help, but I knew it had been GORGEOUS in its day and could be restored!!!

I set to work hemming, mending, sewing on more snaps, and getting it all cleaned up.  I was extremely pleased with the result, and I set about putting together the rest of my look.

The dress is a bit slinky from being cut on the bias, so I wanted a femme fatale/bombshell/old Hollywood glam sort of look.  I pin curled my hair in a Veronica Lake-like peekaboo set and put on gold earrings, a gold belt, and gold snakeskin pumps.

My friend Chelsea did my smoky eye makeup with her amazing skills. (She has a great Tumblr with lots of good makeup info; check it out here!)  I finished it off with some sparkly red lipstick from Estee Lauder called "Rebel Raspberry".

I apologize that I don't have better photos- I forgot my camera and had to use my not-so-great-at-photos phone- but I will attempt to give you a full picture of the ensemble with some good description!

My dress was a thin, black, velvet gown from the 1930s.  The top features a cowl neckline and loose sleeves that taper in at the wrists to a point that aligns with the ring finger on each hand.  The top is cut on the bias and, therefore, clings nicely without being tight.  There is a seam at the waist that connects the bodice to the skirt.  The skirt is also cut on the bias, making that clingy-but-not-tight silhouette that flares out slightly at the bottom.  The hem is at the ankle in the front and lengthens out to a short train in the back.  (Who said high-low skirts were a new invention?)  The back of the dress holds a glamorous surprise: diamond rhinestone buttons all the way down the back to the waist!.

I adore this dress.  It cost me about $20, too, which makes it even better!  The velvet is sumptuously drapey and thin, all the buttons are there, and the shape is conservative yet still quite classy and glamorous!



  1. Just gorgeous, you look very Marlene Dietrich. Maybe you might be able to take some more pictures so we can see all the lovely details in your dress. What a great price!

    1. Yes, I'm hoping to recreate the look for an official photo shoot soon!

  2. Gosh, the buttons at the back are just stunning.

  3. You are a vision of 1930s elegance, refinement and classic beauty in this dress. Excellent job on saving this frock, it looks resplendent, just as you do in it.

    ♥ Jessica

  4. this dress looks so gorgeous ... wow. so elegant!