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1940's Ball!

Living in Denver/central Colorado has it's perks!  I have never found a shortage of interesting event events to attend, ranging from small scale (but super awesome) music festivals, themed proms, and a weekly bike party where you bike around in different costumes each week.  I could probably go on!  But one event that I have not attended until this weekend was the 1940s Ball.  I had heard about it here and there, but even in the past few years as I've increased my vintage wearing habits it's never dawned on me to go to this event.  Then enter my friend Katie, or MrsKhaos on Instagram, texting me this past February about an early bird special if we buy tickets now for the 1940s Ball. I decided why not check it out (finally) and with a vintage loving friend as well? And as time progressed, my friends Sarah and Allen decided that they wanted to go, which made for an awesome foursome!
The event was overall fun!  All four of us seem interested in repeating the event next year, as well as the more Christmas themed one in December.  I was surprised at how well done the 1940s Ball was.  With all of the tanks and other equipment, authentic uniforms, and even some real veterans it was definitely one of the more real to life theme parties I have ever attended.  It was fun to walk around and see what everyone was wearing.  Some people were just wearing cocktail dresses that were clearly from the Gap or Forever 21, but hey, not everyone knows how to wear vintage to or wants to shop vintage!  It was fun to scan the crowds to see who had our dresses, who had dresses we already own, and who owns dresses we want (especially the latter because we could see how it looks in real life).  Katie put it best by saying it was like her "Instagram feed come to life."  That really kind of was what it was like.

The only downer of the whole event was that despite that it was like a real life Instagram feed, the buck kind of stopped there with comparisons.  Both myself and Katie, and probably 99% of the girls who are on Instagram and showcase their vintage era dresses really love the community that comes with it.  Everyone is super friendly, supportive, body positive, and basically the opposite of every stereotype that's negative about girls.  This whole 'real life Instagram' thing at the 1940s Ball....not so much.  I'm not saying we were hoping to bond with people, because at the risk of sounding like an ANTM contestant we weren't there to (necessarily) make friends. But we are friendly people to begin with who wanted to ooh and ah over everyone's we already do on Instagram.  Majority of the people there just weren't having it.  My biggest snub came from a woman wearing the Mary Blair airplane dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.  I just got that dress over Memorial Day, so when she was a whopping 5 feet away I cried out, "I like your Mary Blair dress!  I have it too!"  She looked up at me and did a (sort of) half smile, so I accepted the challenge and kept trying, "You look really great in yours!"  Annnnddd, nothing!  She wanted nothing to do with me.  Most people we tried to talk to weren't that rude, but they were somewhat in that neighborhood.  Katie had a good point by saying that it's likely that these girls don't dress like this daily and therefore aren't as into it.  That's probably true.  But still, Colorado is one of the more friendly states so that alone makes this scenario kind of jarring.  And what girls don't like to bond over clothes?  Some people were way better than others; notably one women was so pleasantly surprised that I identified her top as Trashy Diva (she's from New Orleans and didn't know they had an online site).  There was a swing dancer we were next to in the pizza line (oh so authentic 1940s cuisine, right?) who was fun to talk to.  And I got a photo with my dress twin of the evening.  But everyone else was kind of annoying, which was sad.

Trying to get dressed for this ball was surprisingly hard.  I own a few skirts in a 1940s silhouette but given that I wear them semi-frequently it felt kind of weird to wear them to a "themed" party.  For months I was searching 1940s dresses on eBay and Etsy hoping to score an authentic outfit for this event, but all of my searches were in vain.  The wording of the event, the "1940s Ball", is also slightly confusing.  I had seen photos before so I knew people weren't straight up decked out in ball gowns from that era, but I wasn't sure if that option was off limits.  A few beautiful gowns from the 40s popped up on eBay but I wasn't sure if that'd be too dressy.  Now that I've been to the event, I can say that people ranged from going in dresses like my crew donned, more formal dresses, vintage shorts/pants/jeans, and a few dressed as famous people from that era as well.

I actually got this dress from my hometown on my last minute road trip back east!  There's this amazing store, 13 Vintage, that sells a lot of quirky/novelty and vintage inspired goods.  I really like the owner and I really love the selection of Hell Bunny so I try to go back there when I'm in town.  I saw this dress, immediately liked it, and immediately decided that I should wear this to the 1940s Ball.  What I really like about it is that I can wear it to multiple things and style it a few different ways.  I find this kind of cut on a dress to be particularly flattering too.  But I also thought it screamed a classic print from the World War II era so I didn't have to do much with it to make it 1940s themed event appropriate.  Which is good, because...

...admittedly, I phoned in getting ready a bit!!  I made it back into Denver around 4PM the day before, after a nearly 2000 miles of driving over two days and mega early mornings.  Before this event I had the birthday of one of my close friends, and by the time that I arrived at Katie's to get ready I was not only wiped out but had run out of time to curl my hair as my whole day was running kind of behind because I was so tired.  I improvised so half up twist, put my Sophisticated Lady Flowers hair flower that matches in this Hell Bunny dress perfectly.  Everything else was what it was.  Because I got the dress kind of last minute, I went with my Jessica Simpson platform sandals that I already owned because they matched.  They had some strappy heels back then, but I don't think my look here was "super authentic".  Oh I said, I kind of phoned this in a bit! My pearls are gifted from a loved one's trip to Vietnam, and my earrings are Old Navy.  I couldn't find a black bag of mine that isn't vintage but looks it, I left my false eyelashes at home, and my lipstick wasn't as dark as I wanted it. Whoops!   I like my finished look overall, but it's kind of funny how a lot of the moving parts weren't quite either authentic or what I was intending.  Next time I'll be better prepared...and hopefully not traveling within the 24 hours beforehand!!

Are you guys super anal about planning outfits for events or do you let yourself improvise more often than not?
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  1. Hi lovely, OMG you look stunning and this event look wonderful, this style really suits you! love it.
    Glamoury Armory Blog

  2. You look so pretty! Love the flower in your hair, too. That's too bad that a lot of the people there were annoying!! Ugh. You're right that in general the community seems to be so postive and kind, and it's a shame that the people there weren't like that!

    1. Right? I'm glad you read this because we're in the same IG community and we both seem to have largely positive experiences with it! XO

  3. This dress is so perfect! The length, cut, and pattern are so vintage-y and beautiful. It's too bad that more people weren't friendly! It looks like you had a great time regardless though.

    1. Thank-you! I did because my friends are awesome, so oh well about the strangers ;)

  4. This sounds like fun and so perfect for you! Love what you picked to wear. Sorry people weren't more friendly!
    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  5. Love this dress so much!! Great photos and beautiful smile. Xo

  6. You look so beautiful. Adore the pretty dress, Lauren.
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC ? Let me know, dear

    1. Thank-you! I'm not on GFC but I am on Instagram. XO

  7. You look so gorgeous and that dress is beautiful! It looks like you had a great time despite a couple of negatives! x

  8. It had to be amazing event, but sorry to hear that some of thoese people were rude! Btw, I really like your outfit, dear :)

  9. What a cute event! love what you girls are wearing. Very vintage sweet!

    Jessica |

  10. This sounds and looks like such a fun event! I really enjoyed all of the IG photos that I did see of it! Your dress is perfectly gorgeous and on pointe! Bummer about the rude chic--I haven't really experienced that in much of the fashion world of Denver, but it has to exist, I'd imagine.

    1. We'll have to discover more of the Denver fashion world! You should totally come to the next event like this with me! XO

  11. Lovely shooting, you are so pretty and I love this dress!!!
    xo Paola
    My Facebook

  12. Oh my, how cute is that. That must have been an amazing event. I can tell from the pics that you had a ball. Love the dress, awesome print. You look so chic in it. Love the nostalgic feel in the pics, beautiful. You on that red cross bike, just too cute, Lauren.

  13. Looks like you had fun! Love your blog, keep up the good work :)

    Check out my tips for a great minimalist style on

  14. The 40's seem like such a glam magical era. I would love an event such as this! You look absolutely lovely! T.

    1. Despite the rude people at time, it was fun! And I agree; definitely part of the golden age of Hollywood. Thank-you!

  15. I really love these photos of you at the ball. Your dress is so pretty! I love this era with a passion! Swing music is my favorite music to dance to. It's so cool you and your friend got to go. It looks so fun!


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