Category Archives: Old Hat

Old Hat Movie Afternoon: “The Big Sleep”

In the tradition of Old Hat retro fun, the lovely Emma hosted a film noir movie afternoon, featuring “The Big Sleep” (1946). ’tis a curious film, no doubt. Despite the complex plot that required Wikipedian assistance to follow, it was all rather captivating and sexy. Over a spread of scones and champagne, we ogled Humphrey Bogart and tried not to weep over the aesthetic perfection of it all. Oh, the fashions. Let’s not even talk about the fashions.


The film noir shrine.

I will, however, show you the Old Hat fashions. You could say we were a tad overdressed for a casual two o’clock in the afternoon movie viewing, but overdressed shmoverdressed, I say.


Our host Emma, looking all mysterious under a fabulous hat (and omg, tiki bar).


Jesse and Tim, looking très adorable.


Et moi.

Frock Bettie Page | Capelet Gumboots | Shoes Wittner | Gloves remnants of a 90s tap dance costume

More Old Hat frivolity is in the works as always. You can check us out on Facebook for les details.

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Old Hat’s Extravagant Soirée

I had the pleasure of hosting an Old Hat soirée this month. Old Hat soirées are always a glamorous affair, so it was splendid fun to usher a series of impeccably-dressed guests into my abode for G&Ts and the like. Cheese and crackers have never been eaten so elegantly. Here are some of the guests:

We had the very ravishing Renata of Hepcat Vintage swanning about:

Sarah of Chronicles of an Eccentric came in her usual attire, resplendent as always:

Laurel, who you may remember from this post, wore the most magnificent coat and shimmery wiggle dress – sigh:

And voilà, Renata and I with Jesse in her Wheels & Dollbaby Dita Cardigan – sigh sigh:

Alas, you can’t see too well in the photo, but I’m wearing a wonderfully swishy taffeta 50s frock (an Etsy purchase), all petticoat-ed up and with a hat to match.

1950s frock Etsy | 1950s hat Melbourne | Shoes Wittner

There are more Old Hat events in the works, as always – you can follow the Facebook page for details.

A bientôt !

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Old Hat: High Tea

It’s been a little while now since Old Hat‘s December rendezvous to the Sydney Antique Centre (which, by the way, is ah-mazing). After all this time and now countless more Old Hat events, I think it’s time photos made it onto the blog. If my memory serves me well, it was quite a glorious afternoon (being around vintage always makes everyone a little giddy) – we came, we saw, we ate petit fours, we lusted after hats. So much happiness.

The Old Hat crowd

It was lovely to have some vintage bloggers at Old Hat – it’s not often you get to casually drop references to Vixen Vintage‘s latest post into conversation and actually have people understand. If you’re a vintage-loving blogger in Sydney, we want you!

The blogging contingent: Jesse from Like Johnny and June, Me, Molly of Molly Made, and Sarah of Chronicles of an Eccentric

And here’s what I wore. You can see in the photos my petticoat is peeking out a little, and it just reminded me that at the Love Vintage fair, we were told that in the fifties this used to be referred to as “snowing” – how quaint!

1950s frock Grandma Takes a Trip, Surry Hills | 1950s headpiece Mint Condition, Rozelle | 1950s costume jewellery Camden Passage Markets, London | Shoes Bloch

Thank you to Delphina for all the lovely photos! If you want to read more about the rendezvous, you can read more about it on Sarah’s blog. You can also lurk the Old Hat Facebook page to check out the details of our next gathering.

Bonne journée !

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A Dating Dilemma

I almost forgot I owned this frock until I dragged it out this morning to wear for an afternoon of antique-ing. I’ve always found it oddly and irritatingly era-ambigious, so I’m not surprised I put it out of my mind for awhile.

It’s a curious frock. Although I get quite a fierce 1940s vibe, what with the little puff sleeves, not-quite-full skirt, and satisfyingly old-feeling fabric, I can’t quite convince myself it’s 40s, considering how little I paid for it.

Vintage friends and dating extraordinaires, thoughts?

Era-ambigious vintage frock Cambridge, UK | Hair flower Circa Vintage | Belt borrowed from dear Callie | Shoes Macy’s

When I haven’t been obsessing about the era of my floral frock, I’ve been flitting about Sydney as per usual with various Old Hatters in tow. We had a glorious picnic that you can read all about very soon, among other things.

Until next time – bonne weekend, mes ami/es !

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Old Hat’s Highland Fling

Bonjour blog – it’s been awhile! I have splendid splendid photos to share with you from our recent Old Hat vintage social. One of our favourite Old Hat gentlemen (Tim) ordered a pair of tartan pants off Etsy, so naturally, we decided to throw a Highland Fling. Although the tartan pants did not arrive in time (boo!), we had a raucous time nonetheless at The Abercrombie on Broadway.

All our favourite extravagant people came to the social, plus some lovely new friends – all were in tartan, many in capes. Check out the Cape Brigade:

Cape Queens: Me, Emma, Coco, Sophie and Sarah – photo courtesy of Sarah

The lovely Sarah, aka Chronicles of an Eccentric, came along looking splendid. You can read her post on the evening here.

Photo courtesy of Sarah

Dear Coco, who I met at the Fifties Fair last year, and I indulged in a bit of double tartan. It’s so wrong it’s right:

And voila, the whole clan, in various states of readiness for the photo:

Photo courtesy of Sarah

Among the clan you’ll see Emma of Emma Aime, Jesse and Tim of Like Johnny and June, Sarah of Chronicles of an Eccentric, and just a whole lot of attractive, well-dressed people. Also, a shout-out to our friend Emma in the black and teal plaid, who came down from Brisbane especially for Old Hat. Love!

Here’s what I wore:

Early 1950s frock Mint Condition | 1960s cape C’s Flashback | Cocktail hat Scally and Trombone | Seam stockings Honey Birdette | Heels Wittner

I couldn’t resist some tartan-on-tartan, nor did I have enough restraint to forgo a pill box cocktail hat. And as always, I donned a cape (you know they’re my weakness). It all made me feel very Scottish and glamorous and happy.

If you want to come to our next Old Hat event, we’re having a social picnic next Tuesday afternoon (May 8) – visit our Facebook page for all the details. We’re always looking to meet lovely new vintage friends!

Until next time, much tartan love.

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Las Vegas: Elvis, Justin Bieber and other Wax Statues

I have just a couple more Vegas snaps for you before I settle back into chronicling my sartorial life in Sydney again. Despite having been back now for nearly two weeks, my blogging has been so scarce that I’m yet to run out of material. Consequently, this is sort of two outfit posts in one, with an eye on some lovely gentlemen I met in Sin City.

The first set of photos I have for you are artfully posed beside one of my favourite retro gentlemen: dear Elvis. Vegas seems to have a thing for Elvis, actually, which made the souvenir stores quite a bit more tempting than anticipated, and a walk down the strip endlessly exciting. This wax replica of young Elvis stood outside Madame Toussard’s which was, oddly, in my hotel. We had quite a moment:

Cardigan: Louche, London
1950s Puerto Rican skirt: The Attic, Vegas
Necklace: Mother’s
Hair flower: Sportsgirl

I’ve always been skeptical about Madame Toussard’s, but after years of cynicism, I finally made it in. How shamefully touristique! Anyway, enough about the museum, and more about Justin Bieber. Check this out:

I’m afraid I don’t have the outfit credentials for Justin, but I can tell you mine. I’m wearing a delightful Anthropologie frock I picked up when I visited Boston in January, paired with some very plane-appropriate plaits, inspired by Andi B Goode.

Dress: Anthropologie
Cape: SoWa Markets, Boston
Shoes: Bass Shoes
Belt: Review

And so ends the Vegas posts! I do have a guest post on Las Vegas for Aussie on the Road in the works, plus a sneaky trip to Melbourne with the famous lovers of Like Johnny and June to see Dita Von Teese next weekend, but apart from that all is quiet on the Sydney front. I’ll be back soon with updates on all of these things, plus news from the Old Hat picnic extravaganza. In the meantime, have a lovely weekend!

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Outfit Post: Aqua, December 11

I ventured out in this aqua number, sans petticoat (scandal!), last Thursday afternoon for a rendezvous to Newtown. It’s a dress I’ve had for awhile, but the length used to freak me out a little in my less adventurous sartorial days. I’ve recently rediscovered it, to great success.

The dress is by an Australian label called “Lazy Bones“. They have an excellent range of six basic 50s-inspired dresses that are all produced in an array of splendid fabrics such as this aqua floral. There are new fabrics each season, I believe. Lazy Bones also designs fabulous vintage-inspired sleepwear and slips. Check it out!

This week I’ve been:

  • Plotting the next Old Hat gathering (December 18)
  • Working at Becky Sharp’s Vintage Market (more on this later)
  • Watching too much daytime TV, especially the Crime Investigation Channel
  • Reading “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, aka utter word porn
  • Dreaming of travels to Russia and Eastern Europe

(Kudos to Emma Aime for this inspiring this format of post)


Dress: Lazy Bones
Bolero: Blooms, borrowed from Mother
1950s necklace: Camden Passage Markets, London
1950s headpiece: Mint Condition, Rozelle
Snood: Arthelia’s Attic
1950s bag: Paddington Antique Centre
Seamed stockings: What Katie Did
Shoes: Bloch




Also, check out my superbly-dressed friends Tim and Kath:

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Old Hat: the November Vintage Social

The second Old Hat event finally happened! We all gathered Friday night for our November social, and once again a splendid time was had by all.

We had the event at The Green Room Lounge down Enmore Rd, which is a rad 50s bar I’ve spoken of countless times on Ravishing Retro. Commandeering a little corner of the room decked out in mod sofas and coffee tables, we bonded for hours over a great deal of quality cocktails.

Here are some snaps from the evening:


Me, with the gorgeous ladies Jesse and Molly


Nick and Rachael: snuggling and looking glamorous


Bonding with my dear friend Kate, who you may remember from this post


Tim and Jesse (also known as Johnny and June)

And here is The Outfit, which you will recall I dated in my last post. It looked lovely all styled up.


“You can never have too much tartan” – Molly

1960s frock: Mint Condition
Second-hand belt: Zoo Emporium
1950s hat: Mint Condition
Shoes: Milu
Bakelite bangles: thrifted, and from Peppergreen Antiques

We’re planning a festive vintage picnic, so ready yourselves.

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Old Hat: The Inaugural G&T

The first soirée for Old Hat was thrown Thursday night with great aplomb! Fabulous frocks were everywhere to be seen, and cocktails were sipped enthusiastically for several hours. It was so nice to have young vintage-loving people gathered together in such a heavy concentration – I don’t think the contented smile left my face for the entirety of the night.

Though we made a brief detour, our location du jour was Hinky Dinks in Darlinghurst. It’s a fabulous retro venue, only recently opened and decorated in the style of a 50s diner. As you’ll see in the photos that follow, the decor is really quite amazing – I love the classic 50s fridge, the bar stools, the chequered lino floor, and the mint green-red colour scheme.

The drinks were also divine at Hinky Dinks. I had the Gin ‘n’ Jam cocktail which features gin, cranberry juice (I think, but my memory might fail me) and rose petals among other ingredients. Delish! I was particularly intrigued by the Hinky Fizz cocktail which was served in a little ice-cream tub complete with a tropical umbrella and a scoop of sorbet. Also delish! Seeing as the Old Hat mission statement claims absinthe as one of our core values, we also tried the Zombie, which was très strong, but absolutely smashing. Hinky Dinks has totally, utterly won me over.

I’ll treat you to the photos:

We made for quite a picturesque bunch sitting by the window in the little bar area at Hinky Dinks.

The Gin ‘n’ Jam and the Hinky Fizz.

The adorable Kath reading from a pin-up adorned drinks menu. Too cute!

I mean seriously, everything at Hinky Dinks is so adorable. They gave out little boxes of rosemary popcorn to everyone – I think we may have consumed more than was necessary.


It was especially lovely to meet Molly from Molly Made who came to Old Hat as a sort of group blind date (kudos). Her presence was such a treat. I think she may be the answer to my problem of sewing incompetency.


A moment of appreciation for Tim who was dressed like a respectable 1930s fellow, having just had his hair done at Sterling in this rather fetching do.


Plus some appreciation for Jesse who was dressed in a fab early 60s dress, and Nick who was channeling 1950s rockabilly man.


Here is the whole ensemble of Old Hat attendees. Note Coco in the divine red 50s frock, and Gila standing by in her fetching velvet blazer. Behind us you can see Hinky Dinks in all its glory – check it out! Seriously.

What I wore:


I had come from uni, so I was sporting a more casual ensemble – though I admit I did go thrifting after class to complete the outfit, lest I wear something substandard to Old Hat’s Inaugural G&T, of all occassions.

Blouse: thrifted
Skirt: Naf Naf (a French high street store)
Belt: thrifted
Stockings: What Katie Did
Shoes: Bloch
Necklace: vintage 50s, bought in Camden Passage in London
Hair flower: Sportsgirl

I can’t wait for the next Old Hat event to come.

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Old Hat

I’ve made such lovely friends who all share my love of old things, and though we enjoy hanging out en masse, we’ve been thinking about how marvellous it would be to bond with other people with an interest in vintage. Of course Sydney already has a bevy of vintage-themed events to attend, but as young people, we’ve found it difficult to find events that suit us, especially seeing as we aren’t yet accomplished swing dancers. There is no society, per se, for people to geek out about mid-century paraphernalia in a more casual setting. It is for these reasons that we have ambitiously set up “Old Hat” in order to establish our own crowd.

“Old Hat” is for newcomers to the vintage scene like ourselves (as well as veterans if they feel so inclined as to attend). Rather than meetings, our events will be in the style of “socials” wherein we’ll all gather at a venue with a retro feel and just hang out. We want it to be a little like the New Sheridan Club in London which celebrates bohemianism and extravagance in dress.

Swing [dance] by the Facebook page and have a little read of our manifesto, become a fan, and RSVP to attend The Inaugural G&T on October 13. Our first meeting will be at Hinky Dink’s in Darlinghurst, which is a recently-opened fifties diner in Sydney. It ought to be a riot: a very well-dressed riot.

Pip pip, then!

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