Designer Spotlight: Susan and Diane Freis

logo-diane-fres_compactDiane Freis is American fashion designer known for her bohemian inspired dresses in multiple fabrics and bright colors. With her eye-catching prints, and comfortable fit she captured the boho chic style of the late 1970s and 1980’s. Diana Freis was famous for creating one-size, easy to wear dresses. Her flowing polyester georgette dresses were popular among the jet set crowd because of their great functionality while traveling. They are light-weighted, loose fitting and comfortable (often with an elastic waist!) and they don’t wrinkle. Her style exudes excess, opulence, glamor and femininity.

Born in Los Angeles, Diane Freis began designing clothes while studying Fine Arts at the University of California. Her big break was in the late 1970’s she crafted military inspired jacket and sold them to Hollywood boutique where they were popular among celebrities such as John Lennon and Diana Ross. Her sister, Susan is also a fashion designer and collaborates with Diane on multiple lines.Vintage-Assorti-for-Susan-Freis-1970s-Boho-Chic-Dress-1diane-freis-purple-flower-dress

  Diane was the primary designer in the Diane Freis label and as demand grew, she brought her sister, Susan, on board. You can find Susan’s name on a line called “Assorti” as well, which is also under the Freis sisters’ design umbrella. In 1985 Susan decided to start with her own company and separated from the Diana Freis label because liked simpler things with more structure. This was quite a contradiction to the free flowing, multi-print dresses she designed previously. In contrast to Diane’s designs Susan’s dresses were figure revealing and form fitting, and she started to use shoulder pads.

Together, the Freis sisters are excellent examples of vintage American fashion design from the 70’s and 80’s and we are happy to carry several items from their lines!

Redefine Chic and Dress Like A Parisian

What is it that makes French women always look chic and put together? The perfect mix of je’ ne se quoi, and joie de vivre makes for an enchanting wardrobe. So how do you get that look if you can’t even pin point what it is? If you can’t plan a trip to Paris to admire French fashion style then keep reading. Here are the top 5 tips dressing like a Parisian.

Parisian Chic Fashion Example

 

1. Stick to basic colors! Black, White, Navy…

Yes, it can sound a bit boring, but Parisian women stick with neutral basic colors. That makes your entire wardrobe easy to mix and match, creating lots of different outfits with relatively few clothes. This also makes it easy to mix patterns and shapes and always look pulled together, another fashion skill of Parisian women. The most popular colors are black, white, grey, beige, brown and of course navy. Save the red for your lips. Keep it neutral and classic. This look is timeless and elegant, and always chic.

2. Dress like a Lady

That means modest clothing that fits well and flatters your body. French women love to be feminine without being overly sexy. Their style is well tailored and demure. You will hardly meet a Parisian woman dressed in a short tight dress with many embellishments. They would rather choose a simple chic dress in muted colors that fits perfectly and flatter their body.

3. Don’t follow Trends

French women have their own sense of style. They don’t need to follow trends. They know what looks good on them and they wear what flatters their body. Isn’t that the point of fashion anyway? To make you look your best? Do this by dressing for your body type not just following the most recent trends. Wear classic shapes like an shift dress, an A-line skirt, a bateau neckline top that never go out of style. Try on the clothes in your closet and decide what is most flattering, then stick with those shapes.

 

Vintage Parisian Fashion Mosaic

4. Keep it comfortable

Part of French fashion is the effortless elegance and grace. It’s very hard to look chic when you’re uncomfortable, especially when it comes to shoes. That is why French women love flats! They are one of the essentials when creating truly Parisian style. Many people think that you need to be wearing high heels to be stylish, but the truth is that few women in Paris wear them for everyday occasions. Paris is a walking city with many beautiful places, and old streets. Classic ballet flats in black, tan or navy are the perfect choice for traversing the city.

5. Less is more

Coco Chanel once said, “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Parisian style is famous for its simplicity. Do not over accessorize. Wear only the essentials. A designer handbag, a gold tone watch, sunglasses, and one accessory are all you need for the perfect classy Parisian look.

Now that you are armed with these 5 tips, you can hit the streets in style for your cafe.  Don’t forget your poodle!

Silk for Summer? Why Silk Does A Body Good.

Silk for summer? Contrary to what you might believe, silk is a great fabric to pack for summer vacation.  It’s probably not the first fabric that comes to mind, but it actually has a lot of unique qualities that lend itself to traveling in the heat of summer. Read on and master this versatile and stylish material.

Silk Dresses, Tops, and Scarves for Summer

A Brief History of Silk

Silk, one of the oldest fabrics known to man, was first developed in China in 3000BC and was only allowed to be worm by the Emperor and his family. Even nowadays, 5000 years later, it has kept its status as a luxury fabric and has become one of the most popular fabrics because of its unique comfort benefits and durable properties.

Silk vs. Heat and Humidity

One great quality of silk is that it is a natural fiber and will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer! It is also highly absorbent and dries quickly. Did you know silk can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp? This is a great benefit in the heat of summer because it will absorb perspiration while letting your skin breathe.

Silk vs. Your Suitcase

Silk is incredibly comfortable and light-weight, making it a must-have for summer packing. It  also has very good resistance to wrinkling. If your silk clothes wrinkled in your carry on luggage, let it hang for a while and it will fall back into a shape.

It Does Your Skin Good Too

Also, if you have sensitive skin, pay attention!  Because of its natural protein structure, silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics.  If warmer temperatures make you break out in a rash, wearing silk will help prevent that.  Silk clothing is also very easy to wash and care for. If you get it dirty on your trip, just was it with mild soap in your hotel sink and let it dry.

Popularity in Fashion

From a fashion standpoint, silk is a good choice for clothing because it takes color well and creates vibrant colors with a high luster. Although it feels like a delicate feminine fabric, it is actually the strongest natural fiber and, surprisingly, it easily competes with steel yarn in tensile strength.

Have a look at our beautiful Silk Dresses, Scarves, and Tops, and do your body right!

Pack Lightly and Still be Ready for Every Occasion? Here’s How

What’s the least you can pack and still be prepared for every occasion on your summer vacation?  That is the annual rhetorical question.  We are firm believers in the 5-4-3-2-1 packing rule.  It sounds simple, and it really is.  For any two week vacation, whether you are relaxing in the tropics, or sightseeing in Europe, all you need is 22 items.  I know it sounds crazy, but it really works, and it’s all in the planning.  Just pick separates that you can mix and match, in a variety of coordinated colors and levels of dress, and you’ll be ready for any event, planned or unplanned!

5.4.3.2.1. packing guidePack 5 tops:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.20.51 PMDon’t forget to include a loose fitting silk top, a cardigan for chilly weather and airports, and a top for evening outgoing.

Pack 4 bottoms:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.21.54 PM Include comfy shorts, skirts that you can mix and match with your tops, and jeans for when it gets cooler in the evenings, or in air conditioning.

Pack 3 dresses and 3 pairs of shoes:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.22.05 PMJersey dresses are perfect.  Why?  See last weeks blog post. And make sure to include one dress that will work as  a cover-up dress for sunny beach day.

I know it may come as a shock, but you only need 3 pairs of shoes, a comfortable pair that you can walk all day in, sandals for the beach/pool/spa, and a pair of shoes for evening.  Heels are probably the first thing that come to mind, but bejeweled or metallic flats may be a better choice depending on your location, and how much walking you plan on doing.

Pack 2 bags and 2 bathing suits:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.22.17 PMOne bigger handbag for day trips so that you can bring all of your things with you, and one smaller purse for evenings, just for the essentials.

There’s nothing worse than putting on a wet bathing suit, so a second bathing suit comes in handy. You will also want to vary your tan lines so they don’t show too much with your many outfits!

Pack 1 Hat,1 sunglasses, and 1 scarf:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.22.26 PMA rafia straw summer hat with wide brim is perfect for keeping the sun off your face.

Sunglasses, enough said

Scarves can be worn in your hair, around your neck, or on your handbag to add some color and diversity to your look.

Now just stack it all in a suitcase, and you’re ready to go!

Summer Travels? Be Sure to Pack This!

Summer is here and no doubt it is the season of traveling! What are your summer travel plans? Road trip around the country? Or heading to Europe?  Maybe a festival with friends?

Vintage Suitcase and Vintage ClothingAnd then there is the age old dilemma.  What do you pack to look and feel fabulous for any occasion with out bringing your entire wardrobe?  Nothing kills the relaxation of a vacation like schlepping around a huge suitcase.  And nobody looks chic toting tons of stuff.  But you want to make sure you have the appropriate clothes for any event that might pop up!  So what do you pack?  BackInStyle has one jet setters secret for you that will looking stylish and packing light while you are far from home!

Make sure to pack your jersey dress!  It’s perfect for all your summer plans, any occasion, any location.  Ready on to find out why.

1. It won’t wrinkle!  Just throw one in your suitcase, and pull it out when you arrive.  It’s that simple.  Jersey doesn’t wrinkle so you’ll be ready to go as soon as you arrive.

2. Flexible fit!  Not only will you look great in a vintage jersey dress, but you’ll also feel great.  Jersey is made from soft materials and is forgiving in fit.  Jersey fabric stretches and then it pulls back into a shape. Amazing, isn’t it?  So go ahead and order dessert, you’re on vacation after all, and if you packed a jersey dress you won’t have to worry about your dress not fitting.

3. A jersey dress can go anywhere!  A jersey dress can be dressed down or dressed up for any occasion.  For daytime wear with flat gladiator sandals, a cross body bag and a straw hat and you’re ready for sightseeing.  For evening add chandelier earrings, high heels and a clutch and you’re ready for a sexy dinner.

t-bags-jersey-dress       american-rag-black-jersey-dress-5        needle-and-thread-jersey-dress

Pictured above are a selection of jersey dresses available at BackInStyle.com starting at just $10!  Check out all of our vintage and designer dresses.

 

Made In The Shade! Must-Have Summer Accessories

Woohoo! Summer is here. Sunny days, vacations, beach, grilling, picnics, road trips, swimming, long walks….and a lot more! Summer is an amazing time of year. Finally, you can put away your jackets, boots, and sweaters and go out with only a dress and flip-flops. As great as that sounds, we know you can do a little better to stay cool. Here in BackInStyle.com we love summer and of course, all summer accessories! We have prepared for you some fashion tips you can’t miss, while enjoying this beautiful season!

Vintage Hats

Summer hats are the essential for this upcoming hot season. A vintage hat can add glamorous style to your outfit and at the same time it is one of the best way to stay cool and protected from the sun. So get ready and top off your beach outfit with something chic. There are so many different varieties of hats you can choose from: Fedora, Cowboy, Panama or Classic sun hat…

Vintage Summer Hats

Straw and raffia hats with wide brims are perfect for a day at the beach. Raffia is highly durable and protective from the sun. You can get your wide brim straw hat in many different colors and styles as well, which allows you to add fun unexpected detail to your beach ensemble. We promise, you will look amazing!

Heading on a road trip or to a festival? Make sure you bring your hat! Cowboy hats are back in fashion and can look great with jeans, cutoffs, tank tops or boho-chic dresses!

Vintage Scarves

Yes, we know some scarves are for cold winter time, but not all of them! Vintage silk scarves are perfect for summer because they are light, soft and breathable And the best part is, there are a ton of ways to wear them:

  • Get inspired by Jackie Kennedy Onassis and try a head scarf! Wear it with oversized sunglasses (read on for Vintage Sunglasses) to create an amazingly classic and chic look.
  • You can also wear large silk scarves as a top or as a mini skirt! Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment, especially as a bathing suit coverup.
  • Scarves make great hair accessories as well. Try tying it as head wrap to create that true boho-chic look.
  • Bring your printed silk scarf on your next romantic evening walk and as it gets colder, wear it over your shoulder instead of a cardigan.
  • Do you have a boring and old looking hat somewhere in your closet? It’s time to bring it out and wrap your beautiful scarf around it.
Vintage Silk Summer Scarves

Vintage Sunglasses

Okay, this is a no brainer, we wear sunglasses year round down here in Miami.  The only difference is that in summer, the sunglasses get to be a lot more fun! A brightly colored pair of oversized vintage sunglasses both protects you from the sun and gives you a chance to add an accent color to your outfit.  Or, use a pair with frames in the same color family as your outfit for a stylish, monochromatic look.  People tend to notice faces first, so your sunglasses are sure to jump out at people!

 No matter what your plans for summer are, don’t forget to take your colorful printed scarf, sunglasses or summer hat with you! Don’t have them? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Get inspired by our vintage sunglasses, vintage printed silk scarves and vintage hat collection.
"Gone to the beach"

Why Are We Wearing White? The Fashion Traditions of Memorial Day

Everyone loves Memorial Day because it is the unofficial start of the summer season and for most of you (hopefully) a time for barbeque parties. But did you know that this holiday has it’s own fashion rules? These days the fashion world is much more relaxed about what colors to wear and when, but every year you can still hear people talking about fashion rules for this upcoming season.

The History of White Clothing and Summer:

It is believed that we should wear white pants on Memorial Day. Where did this rule come from? In the past people believed that wearing white is allowed only during the summer season and as Memorial Day is considered an unofficial beginning to the summer season,  it is the right time to search in your closet for all of your white clothing. Our fashion tip is to style your white pants with a red top and blue pumps, to show your patriotism :)

Memorial Day Fashion

 

White clothing during the rest of the year was for some people considered unacceptable. White was for weddings and to wear during vacation, not for fall dinner parties. This rule was originally enforced by only a small group women, mostly rich and snobby types, but over time it has trickled down to the rest of society and remains a tradition to this day.

Of course, not everyone followed this rule. Most famously Coco Chanel, loved wearing white and wore it year-round.

Barbeque Party

The End of Summer Holiday:

So, we should pull out our white pants on Memorial Day and then what? When is the official end of “white summer season?”

In the 1950s, women’s fashion magazines made it clear: white clothes came out on Memorial Day and went away on Labor Day, the first Monday of September. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, and society adopted it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion because September for most of us symbolizes the start of the fall season.

wear-white-after-memorial-day

So, no matter what your plans for Memorial Day are, rock your white pants, but don’t forget what the old fashion rules say:

No White Before Memorial Day or After Labor Day.

Thanks to MentalFloss.com for providing more background on the subject:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/12424/why-cant-you-wear-white-after-labor-day

8 Reasons to Wear Vintage Clothing on Earth Day

ClothingRecyclingThe care of our environment is so important that we no longer have just Earth Day, it is now Earth Month. Vintage clothing, as well as reusing and re-purposing clothing in general is a great way to do your part for the environment this Earth Day. As we enter April, Earth Month, I thought an article exploring environmentally conscious fashion options, and those establishments in Miami that are doing their part to be environmentally responsible, would be of interest.

Fashion And the Environment

Options could include wearing vintage clothing, clothing made from organically grown fabrics, or clothing made from recycled products. Here are some facts on how fashion damages the environment:

1. The average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year.

Clothing In Landfill

2. 10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides in the U.S. are used to grow cotton.

3. It takes almost 1/3 of a pound of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just ONE T-shirt

4. Seven of the fifteen pesticides used on cotton are considered “possible”, “likely”, “probable”, or “known” human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin) according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Cotton Field

5. Some studies have shown that organic farmed soils have a better ability to absorb and retain carbon, which would be beneficial in the fight to reduce global warming.

6. Organically grown crops also use less fossil fuel than conventional crops, another benefit in the fight to reduce global warming.

7. Pesticides are suspected to be responsible the severe drop in honeybees, the increase in frogs with extra legs and eyes, and annual death of 67 million birds.

Fashion Recylcing

8. The U.S. textile “recycling industry” (which actually re-purposes rather than recycles), with some 2,000 companies, removes annually from the solid waste stream 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product waste.

References:
Charter Recycling: Recycling Facts
Earth911
• Environmental Health Perspectives: Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry; Luz Claudio; September 2007
• Recycled Clothing Facts, National Geographic

Bonus Resources:

Here are some local establishments that are keeping it Green:

10 Fun Lilly Pulitzer Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know

It’s no secret that Lilly Pulitzer is one of our favorite designers here at BackInStyle.com.  Her whimsical, yet down to Earth approach to life is reflected in her bright prints, and simple designs. In honor of her new product line at Target launching this Sunday, we wanted to learn everything we could about her, and so we came across these Lilly Pulitzer facts that we wanted to share, plus a couple bonus quotes!

Lilly Pulitzer Logo

1. It was because of a nervous breakdown the Lilly Pulitzer was started.

A well-to-do housewife and mother of three humming along in her comfortable but evidently unsatisfying life in the 1950s, Lilly Pulitzer suffered, unexpectedly, what has been described as a nervous breakdown. A doctor advised her to get a hobby…

2. On at least one occasion, Vanity Fair reported, the Lilly dress performed a most unexpected function.

Mrs. Pulitzer and Clark, her business partner, were in a plane crash while traveling to Key West. Their aircraft in the water, Clark removed her orange frock and waved it at a helicopter. From the air, the pilot spotted it.

Lilly Pulitzer Dress Hemlines

3. While entertaining in her home, Lilly Pulitzer would douse the floor with water to facilitate dancing.

4. In accordance with Mrs. Pulitzer’s reported preferences, the dress was to be worn with bare feet and was lined, in order not to require underwear.

Lilly Party

5. Lilly never wanted to produce clothing that was suited for the colder months. “It’s always summer somewhere,” she was quoted as saying.

6. Lilly Pulitzer filed for bankruptcy in 1984.

Lilly Pulitzer Store

7. Lilly Pulitzer dropped out of college and worked as a midwife’s assistant and as a volunteer at veterans’ hospitals.

8. She Had her own Personal Philosophy on Life:

“Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live,” Pulitzer said in 2004. “We focus on the best, fun and happy things, and people want that. Being happy never goes out of style.”

Vintage Lilly Store

9. The word “Lilly” is always written and often hidden in all of her prints.

10. She changed Branding and Merchandising:

In 1966, The Washington Post reported that the dresses were “so popular that at the Southampton Lilly shop on Job’s Lane they are proudly put in clear plastic bags tied gaily with ribbons so that all the world may see the Lilly of your choice. It’s like carrying your own racing colors or flying a yacht flag for identification.”

Lilly Today

Bonus! More Lilly on life:

“That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight,” she said

And how she changed summer fashion:

“Now if there is one special thing Lilly Pulitzer should be given credit for,” read a 1966 Washington Post article, “it is this: She changed the summer uniform of countless thousands of American women who once wore flower printed cotton shirts, wrap around skirts and big, klonky, thick-soled loafers.The total look was usually that of a shirt tail flapping out awkwardly in the back. “Lilly Pulitzer,” the article continued, “neatly put a stop to all that.”

Lilly Selection

If you can’t get enough Lilly Pulitzer, feel free to learn more about her clothing on our Vintage Lilly Pulitzer page.  You’ll also want to check out these other great Lilly Pulitzer Blog Articles:

Designer Spotlight: Lilly Pulitzer

BackInStyle.com exhibits Lilly Pulitzer at Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History

Iconic fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau dies at 81

Let’s Do Coachella, Woodstock Style

This Friday marks the beginning of Coachella an annual Music Festival that began back in 1999. Located in Indio, CA the multi-genre, multi-staged festival spans two three-day weekends, with many people camping for the duration of their stay.

Big music festivals always remind us of the mother of all music festivals, Woodstock.  So we thought it would be fun to show just how vintage friendly Coachella can be.

Coachella Fashion

 

 

The Vintage Sundress:

Much like Woodstock and many other music festivals, Coachella is a celebration of life, and for many years that communal celebration has been associated with the hippies of the sixties and seventies.  In that tradition, vintage sundresses make great pieces for the festival atmosphere.  They are simple, comfortable, and help you stay cool in the sun.

The Vintage Romper:

Also associated with the seventies is the romper.  These are great for those of us that really get into the dance because it allows for lots of movement without exposing your self. Also very good for romping and an occasional frolic.

The Vintage Jacket:

As they day winds down and it starts to cool off, a jacket makes it easy for you to cover up and get back to the party. This is a great opportunity to stand out and go with something a bit more unusual, so look for bright prints, unusual materials, cut-outs and embellishments. If you are more classically inclined then denim, leather, and the military style jacket are your go-to pieces.

Vintage Woodstock Fashion ExampleFootwear:

This is where it can get tricky. Sometimes the most functional choices like boots are not the most comfortable, and more comfortable choices like flip flops will leave you feeling very unclean at the end of the day.  Your best bet is to strive for a balance, or pack an extra pair of shoes to swap out as needed.

Vintage Accessories:

Sunglasses are a must, and beyond that it is all up to your personal style and where your outfit led you.  For a true Woodstock experience, think lots of bangles, bracelets, mood rings, and bandanas.  The possibilities are endless and can really polish off an otherwise basic outfit.

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