Local Girl

by jennine on March 24, 2010

Unless you live in a place with a large garment producing industry, chances are most of your clothes are produced far, far away. In fact having locally grown food, locally made clothes, local anything is a bit of a luxury. Not that I don’t like my imported goods, or enjoy the cost breaks of off-shore production, but every now and then it’s nice to be wearing something that was produced within 50 miles of where I live.

At the Vintage Fashion Expo, I found this gorgeous silk polka-dot yellow dress with a giant boob bow (I can’t say boob bow without thinking of Wendy Brandes). I had resisted boob bows before, but this was like none other. That and the fact that it was hand made by a woman named Lois Leavitt of San Mateo, California, judging by the tags and the design, the 1960’s? My grandmother also used to run a business making custom clothing out of her home, so if you see a dress by Beatrice Tamm of Sunnyvale, California, you’ll all know that’s my gran. If some of you estate sale junkies come across one of those, give me a shout will ya?

The shoes were also made in the 1960’s in San Francisco… I love them so much, but a kind of afraid to wear them outside, not because they aren’t comfortable enough for walking, but to keep them from being damaged too much by the sidewalks and all the urban terrain that I tend to walk on.

The only things left are the sunglasses, made in China (not local) and the Ferragamo belt made in Italy (also not local). One of these days I’ll have to try to do a locally sourced outfit, which is kind of hard to do all the way because where do you draw the line? Where it’s sewn? Where the fabric is from? Where the materials are grown? Oh dear…its making my head spin. We are indeed in an interconnected world.

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Bow & Beau
April 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angeline Evans March 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

That dress is absolutely gorgeous!
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2 carlyjcais March 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

Sweet little polka dots!
You look fab - and yes, shopping local for your clothing is a bit of a moral quagmire in this day and age. Plus, it can be so difficult! That’s why I make a lot of my clothing myself and share it on my blog…I love to make things with my own hands, and it was made VERY locally (in my own home!!) Then you get into the issues of where was the thread spun, the fabrics produced, the closures created…and the sad answer is China, in most cases…so essentially only the fabricated product is the only local thing in this manufactured chain.:-(
You look very chic and the bow is the front makes it so sweet!

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3 jennine March 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

oh yes, i’ve always thought about things like that, like where does everything else come from? like if i buy a shelf from ikea and assemble it in my own home, does it mean it was made locally? haha, you know what i mean… i think it’s great you make your own clothes, more women are making a return to that, and that makes me really happy, and sad because i can’t sew!


4 Sheena March 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

I love that entire look-complete with the lipstick! Very chic. I agree that it’s always nice to find locally made clothing these days when it is so uncommon.


5 Tami March 24, 2010 at 10:11 am

wow, what a great find! :) love bows!
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6 WendyB March 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

You are perfection from boob bow to toe.
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7 jennine March 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

inspired by you, lovely!


8 Glendy March 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

The dress is lovely, I love the color on you and I’m a huge fan of polka dots :)

Much love,
Glendy <3


9 jennine March 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm

me too! why is so hard to find GOOD polkadots though?


10 Ashe Mischief March 24, 2010 at 10:30 am

That dress fits you PERFECTLY. Also, I love the hint and flare of San Francisco pride in your mostly local outfit. What a good feeling!
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11 Ev`Yan | apricot tea. March 24, 2010 at 10:55 am

Oh my goodness, that dress is adorable! The polka dots make it unique. & it fits you like a glove!
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12 Lauren March 24, 2010 at 11:02 am

You look great! That colour suits you so well. x
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13 Becky March 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

Oh, I am SO jealous of your gorgeous vintage dress! I’m a fan of the boob bow, although I only have one dress with one, and it’s not as big as yours. You look so classic! Beautiful spring outfit, lady.
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14 jennine March 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm

one is a good start!


15 l'habitué March 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

The dress looks perfect on you. And altough it’s a tricky color, it looks beautiful against your skin color.

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16 Sabrina March 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

Perfect dress and it looks stunning on you.
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17 Audi March 24, 2010 at 11:43 am

Wow, that dress is divine! I don’t know how I missed the Vintage Expo; I found some great stuff there last year.
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18 jennine March 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm

i know, i haven’ seen you yet! we have to change that soon!


19 Kaleigh March 24, 2010 at 11:49 am

That dress is to die for! Gorgeous! I love vintage dresses.
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20 Sally March 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

Glad you finally caved on the boob bow - it’s such a sassy detail.
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21 lisa March 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

This dress suits you so perfectly, from the boob bow to the fit to the colour. And you’re right, the whole notion of “shopping local” falls apart once you look under the surface.
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22 dreamsequins March 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

You have the perfect figure for this silhouette! Love the adorable bow. I’m obsessed with bows right now!
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23 jennine March 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm

well it’s good to know my figure is good for something…lately it’s been really hard..


24 The Obsessionista March 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Oh yellow dress with the tiny polka dots and fabulous bow! how i love thee! Beautiful dress and belt combo!
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25 anh March 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

your dress is amazing! you look fabulous!!!!! the color looks great on you!


26 hiyaluv March 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

simply stunning!
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27 |Tex| Fashion Butter March 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Amazing dress. The color is fabulous.

It has become a habit of mine to look at where clothes/shoes/etc., are made before I buy them … being a reformed impulse buyer, it usually helps me put a potential purchase into better perspective. : )


28 jennine March 24, 2010 at 2:10 pm

yeah, i try to buy in the usa as much as possible, or from countries that have good labor laws, but it’s not always possible…


29 Marie March 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm

you are KILLING IT!!! That color and style is PHENOM!!!!! WERQ IT GURL! I am in love with this look!


30 Deepti March 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

wow. such a pretty dress. i love polka dots. :)
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31 Liz March 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm

That color was made for you! Gorgeous!


32 Lola March 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I love this colour! It looks so so pretty on you :)
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33 Make Do Style March 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Gorgeous dress even with boob bow!
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34 dreamylacey March 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

dress locally tha tis a true challenge and you do it perfectly. the dress and shoes are perfect and I love the red lipstick you chose to go with it. this is truly your collor.

the dress is phenomenal I love the style and you wear it very well

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35 Nickie Frye March 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Wow, that is a beautiful dress. I LOVE the fabric! Good color on you. Never heard of “boob bows”. Learn something new every day! :)
Nickie Frye´s last blog ..Vintage Motorcycle Club Jacket My ComLuv Profile


36 Rose March 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I really love this dress and the shoes. This whole look is so classic and beautiful on you. I would love to have a dress like yours. :)


37 Alicia March 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

You look GORGEOUS. And I’ll be on the lookout for anything made by your gran. =D
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38 Retro Chick March 25, 2010 at 3:04 am

That’s one good boob bow!
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39 violetville March 25, 2010 at 5:33 am

oh wow jennine, i have been missing your blog! this dress: gorgeous! as for the shoes - put some out-soles on them and then you can wear them worry-free!


40 Ella Mode March 25, 2010 at 7:19 am

And the shoes are now among a trend: colorblock striping/stripping. ;-)

Not that it necessarily matters of course, but I’ve been vintage shoe shopping and so many are in. In fact, I know Louboutin is actually inspired by vintage.
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41 Jonna March 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

I love the dress!
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42 Icy March 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

Cute dress!!! and great photography!!! come visit me at my site


43 leanne March 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

that’s so funny! i remember seeing that dress at the vintage expo, and loved the print. it looks great on you! and it’s amazing that it was made locally; that’s nearly impossible to find today!


44 Mousevox Vintage March 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

This is such a stunning dress! The color, print, silhouette — everything is perfect!
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45 Emily the Panda March 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm

you look so pretty!! so jealous of your fabulous vintage finds, i went to 4 vintage shops over 2 days in Denver and I didn’t find anything that appealed to me or fit my price point. I’m obviously going to the wrong stores with the wrong amount of $ saved to go!

And a local outfit? I have no idea where to find that in Chicago. I think I’d do better if I were in France or Italy?
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46 Kate March 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm

this is adorable! the yellow paired with the red lips is just beautiful!
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47 Prêt à Porter P March 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

You look phenomenal!! That color, the red lips, the sunglasses, all amazing on you! Now that I’m thinking about it, I remember Michelle Williams wearing a dress that color to the Oscars (???) some years ago, with the red lips. It was one of the best looks that night, and here the same combination looks stunning again.
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48 Margarida Pereira March 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I love the print and the fabric!!


49 dana April 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Gorgeous! I approve of the boob bow!


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