Saturday, July 13, 2013

Deco, darling!

I've been having a bit of a wardrobe crisis lately. The past year or two I've found myself moving away from 1940s vintage and gravitating more and more towards the fashions of the early to mid-1930s. Which, unfortunately, is not the easiest era of fashion when it comes to plus size. 30s pieces, especially early 30s, are rarer than 40s vintage in general - and very hard to find indeed in plus sizes. Most of the larger 30s vintage that I come across is rather matronly, which can be cute but isn't most exciting, aesthetically, to me. Also, it usually is on the pricey side.

So, in all honesty, the process of building a plus size 1930s vintage wardrobe is slow and frustrating. And more often than not, reproduction is the way to go about it - thankfully there are companies who do a most excellent job at it!

The pieces in this outfit are ones I've obtained here and there - and together they make an outfit I really, really love; one that I feel reflects where I am at the moment, style wise. They're also great, versatile stable pieces. When I came across this 30s knitted blouse during the winter, I knew I had to have it! Plus size 30s knitwear is so hard to come across and especially a summery knitted blouse. Around the same time, I also managed to find a pair of these sold out Miss L Fire deco beauties that I had fantasised about since I first saw them. In my head, I immediately started drafting an outfit around the blouse and the shoes and my matching deco style fan earrings (which are not visible in these photos). A nice, long pleated sage green dinner skirt, from a pattern circa 1930, really crowned the outfit. It was made for me by Kim of Time Machine Vintage, who is my most favourite repro dressmaker. I added a beret because I was feeling a bit Bonnie Parker.

1930s knitted sweater - Top Tottie Vintage on Etsy
1930 reproduction skirt - Time Machine Vintage on Etsy
Deco style shoes - Streamlined by Miss L Fire 
80s does 30s sunglasses - Ebay

Photography by my beloved Jirina Alanko. ♥

PS. Don't forget that you can follow Harlean on Bloglovin'!


  1. BEAUTIFUL. I love the mint shade of the skirt, the pale pastel palette really makes your hair pop!

  2. Ooohh, how splendidly lovely you look in fresh, sweet mint green and serene cream. I think that the 1930s suit you to a tee, and really appreciate that you shared some of your favourite repro sources for pieces styled in this era with us. One day my husband said (something along the lines of) to me of, "I could see you getting into the 1960s one day as a natural progression of your love of the 40s and 50s". I told him, while I like certain 60s styles, I don't see that as being too likely. If I was going to expand in the decade department, the 20s and 30s would be much more likely.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Oh its unfair isnt it, i havent got the guts to wear clothing older than the 50s, i would just be so paranoid i would ruin it, and it is so difficult to find pretty pieces for curves that dont cost an arm and a.leg. repro stuff or learning to sew is a great option for us. there are lots of vintage patterns, fabrics notions out there we just need the to recreate chic 30s 40s styles, there is only so much vintage out there :'(

  4. Gorgeous outfit and I'm in love with that sweater !

  5. Wonderful tips! I always find it hard to find clothes in my as I'm plus size too. I just love this outfit!! Love the green. And the blouse is so cute :)

  6. I feel like I could get into a 30's way of dressing too - I am more drawn to it at the moment also. But finding stuff in a plus size stops me in my tracks :(

    You do look awsome though ;) As always!

  7. You have put this outfit together just perfectly. You look like a dream. I'm so tempted to bob my hair right now and start getting into the looks of the 30's a little more. Thanks so much for the info on Time Machine Vintage! One of my fave vintage reproducers Kim of Nudeedudee has mostly stopped doing custom things and it's good to know there's another solid person to go to.


  8. I do think you are such an inspiration for plus size girls - because size doesn't matter as long as you look stunning - which you do! I follow you on instagram and I love it when one of your 30's outfits pops up on my screen because you and that era somehow fit so beautifully together.


  9. ... clothes from the 30s are hard to find in every size. you found some amazing pieces. the top and skirt look fantastic on you.