Fashion Rockabilly

The Rockabilly Socialite's VLV Fashion Guide

7:58 PMDollie DeVille

We have covered what not to wear, so it is only fitting that we should cover what to wear. Everyone always asks me where I get my clothing and that I should do more fashion posts, but I don't want to get backlash that I am materialistic, only concerned with clothes, or a vintage clothing snob, so I normally refrain from talking about it. But, since you asked for it, here it is! The Rockabilly Socialite's Viva Las Vegas Fashion Guide.

 Style is very individual, but there are certain things that are fashionable every year at Viva Las Vegas, so I will mention a few of them here for the first timers who are looking for inspiration. I tried to include pics of me wearing the items that I am talking about, but apparently I don't get many pictures of myself at Viva, mostly just other people.

SOCIALITES:

Day Time:
When in doubt, wear a vintage cotton dress. Vintage sundresses can be found easily and at good prices just about anywhere. You will find them in every size, color, pattern and print imaginable. Wear them with a pair of flats and you are ready for just about anything.

Shorts are always fun! Vintage shorts, top, hat and fish purse



This is how a rockabilly socialite does polka dots! Take a "dont" and make it a "do"!

Vintage pink and white gingham dress with matching bollero (not shown) 

See, I have no pics of myself because I am always so busy dancing!
Vintage yellow sun dress on me, and fan-freakin-tastic vintage sarong on Alana.

If you want to step it up a notch, go with a vintage or reproduction playsuit. Vintage playsuits can cost a little more, but they are totally worth it in my opinion. They are constructed much better, and with better quality fabrics then their modern counter parts. Playsuits have become very popular in the last year or two, so now we are seeing new ones everywhere. If you are on a very tight budget, this might be a good option for you. Check out some online or local retail locations for a print that looks vintage, and try and dress it up with some good quality shoes and accessories.

*Steep*
Kamehameha playsuit with matching skirt


*Cheap*
Modern playsuit 40 Pounds online
Night Time:

For night time, you can’t go wrong with a vintage cocktail dress. The sparklier the better…..lurex, lame, sequins…..oh my! After all, this is Vegas baby! Pair your vintage cocktail dress with carved lucite spring-o-lators, a lucite purse, and a matching jewelry set. This combination is guaranteed to stun! If you want to dress it up even more, then add gloves and a beautiful vintage hat. I do this a lot, because in my opinion, you can never be over dressed at Viva Las Vegas!

Vintage hat, gloves, heels and lucite purse really make this vintage cocktail dress seem fancy!

Deadstock cocktail dress

Vintage dress, heels, gloves and clutch

Vintage blue lurex dress
Pink vintage top, and deadstock skirt. 
Frannie in a vintage gold lame top and black cigarette pants-fab!

Vintage cream lace dress

Late Night:
If you wear an uncomfortable cocktail dress, you will want to change into something more comfortable at some point in the night. I always lean toward a circle skirt, top, and flats or short wedges. Circle skirts are very comfortable and look great on the dance floor. Just make sure you choose fabrics and colors suitable for night time. I like Mexican circle skirts because most are black, heavy fabrics, and have fun flair like sequins-perfect for night time! Cigarette pants would be perfect too! Remember, the more comfortable you are, the longer you can dance!

Vintage mexican circle skirt, vintage wrap top, and remix wedges. Alana in another amazing sarong!

Pooped after dancing all night, but at least I was comfortable!

Pool Party:

Some people say that Viva Las Vegas is a fashion show. If any part of VLV is truly a fashion show (other than the actual fashion show) it would be the tiki pool party. I have never seen so many beautiful vintage bathing suits in my whole life! Lame, sequins, ruffles, fringe, mesh, rhinestones, tropical prints, sarongs, wedges, hair flowers, hats, parasols....... the list goes on and on! Really, you cant go wrong with anything vintage at the pool party. My advice, stay away from the Esther Williams bathing suits, because everyone has them. Each time I wore one, someone else had the exact same one- probably because they sell them at a booth at VLV.

I loved this vintage crane playsuit, but in retrospect I don't like my hair, and that lei.

I had to post this pic of all of the girls at the pool party! Too cute!

Anytime:

Anything Hawaiian is popular, day or night. The name brands like Kamehameha, Shaheen and Surf N Sand are always the most coveted to have. Whether you wear a sarong, halter dress, circle skirt, or pake muu, you are sure to impress. If you are on a budget and can’t stomach shelling out $300+ on one Hawaiian dress, then look for no-name deals on ebay, or modern versions that just look vintage. Hawaiian print is pretty basic, so you can find tons of Hawaiian stuff everywhere. Just look for a cut that looks vintage inspired, like a sarong. My first viva I wore a Paradise Found sarong that I bought off of mauishirts.com. They are beautiful, made in Hawaii, and cost about $60! You wont get a petal bust, but for $60, you can't beat it! Dress it up with bakelite, wedges, and a hair flower. Vola!


*Steep*
Vintage Shaheen halter dress with circle skirt



*Cheap*
Paradise Found sarong $36

Pake Muu anyone?

My three favorite words of all time are: Vintage Novelty Print. Say it with me: VINTAGE NOVELTY PRINT. Yes, my name is Dollie and I am addicted to vintage novelty print. I am starting to amass a nice collection of vintage novelty print clothing, and this viva, I will be wearing vintage novelty print every day. Yay! If you can sew, you can find some super cute novelty print fabrics and make some amazing little things! If you don't have the free time on your hands, but have some extra spending cash, you can find some cute stuff on ebay, but be ready to enter a bidding war for it!

My favorite outfit of all time! Vintage novelty rooster print playsuit with matching skirt. 

In the end, the best thing you can wear is a smile. Even if you have the best outfit in the world, if you are sitting in a corner with a frown, no one will look twice. On the flip side, if you are dancing, singing along with the band, and being a social butterfly, you could be wearing a potato sack and no one would care. Remember, confidence looks great on everyone! So wear what you feel good in and have a good time!


PLAYBOYS:

Since Dollie first told me she would be doing a fashion week I knew it was inevitable that she would also want me to do, as she would say, “a boy version.”  So if we are talking about fashions for the men folk we are going to need to re-title this blog.  How about “The Rockabilly Playboy?”  Done, nailed it, so long Dollie!  ..of course I will need to eventually do something about all this pink.

For the most part, I think the ladies do a great job while at Viva.  Women, in general I find, don’t really need much of an excuse to get slickered up. Modern men however wouldn’t know a proper occasion if it slapped ‘em upside the head!  You would think that an event such as Viva Las Vegas would bring out the best in your average feller but the amount of lazily dressed guys at Viva far outnumbers the fancy women.

Let me preface all this here; I am friends with a lot of people at Viva from many of the different cliques and I’m not trying to disparage anyone with mean remarks.  I’m having fun here and taking some pokes at all manner of Viva patrons. - You’ll notice several distinct groups of badly dressed guys while at Viva.  There’s some I call the black shirt-abillys.  All these guys wear are black band/car tees and cuffed jeans.  Usually accessorized with wallet chains, converse all stars, and bad tattoos.  Then, there are the fellers that like to wear a Pendleton with everything.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Pendletons but this is Viva!  Unless it’s cold, leave it at home.  And then there’s my favorites, the guys in wife-slappers and jeans.  Sigh, where to start, maybe with a shirt perhaps?  You’ll mostly see these guys in large herds lined up at the bars in what’s known as tough guy alley.  Often they’ll be wearing a bandana, sunglasses, ..and bad tattoos.  Gentleman, you don’t want to come off as a rock-a-bully.

Here are some brief examples that will help you to not look rock-a-silly, like these guys. 
 Pfft, totally lame-o!

If there’s one time of the day that it’s acceptable to go the relaxed route it would definitely be daytime.  Guys if you really must wear those old jeans then this is the time to do it.  If you do wear jeans I would recommend some of the repro buckleback Levis that can be found fairly easily.  However, it's still not very difficult to just throw on a pair of slacks and a nice short sleeve button up.  I usually wear slacks and dress shoes to the car show but again jeans here are totally appropriate.  For the pool party I recommend either a nice Hawaiian or cabana style shirt.  Get vintage swim trunks if you feel confident sporting your white legs or just a plain pair of board shorts will do.  Don’t wear sensitive stuff to the pool, I hate hearing people complain that their vintage got wet!  Duh!

Vintage cotton shirt, rayon slacks, and cap-toe shoes.
.......The girls will swoon

Pool party outfit: New brown board shorts, with a vintage cabana shirt, and a boot margarita

Once the sky starts darkening and I’ve recovered from my buffet induced coma I head back upstairs to get fancy.  There are a lot of options here: “Ricky” jackets, fleck suits,  and gab shirts are all in play for the nighttime.  I personally (and many others are) am a big fan of the “two-tone” look and so you will usually never see me with the same color slacks and shirt/jacket.  Also, you can never go wrong with a pair of dirty white bucks.  Especially when you’re wearing a skinny white belt.

Rickey jackets


Two tone

White bucks

And finally the endless raging debate of (politics? No! Gay rights? No! Racial equality? No!) Vintage vs. Repro.  I personally am in the vintage corner (snob alert!) But, guys I think have it a lot easier in this hot topic than does our fairer sex.  When gals buy a repro dress that is the outfit, sure you can accesorize but the main dress won't change and some other broad may be wearing it too (that hooker!).  For guys, we have multiple pieces that can be combined in many ways.  So hit up some of the vendors and dont worry about buying the repro.  The basis of men's fashion has not changed nearly as much as women's over the years so it's a lot easier to make modern pieces work for you.

So there you have it, a rough outline of manly fashions at Viva.  Gentleman, the ladies put a lot of work into their appearances at Viva and some even get complexes over it.  The least you can do is reciprocate some of their efforts.  I spend most of the year dressed in clothes only a few steps above beach bum level, but at Viva Las Vegas you can bet I know my occasion.

I hope you enjoyed our VLV Fashion Guide!

XOXO
Dollie












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9 comments

  1. HA! i love it! I wish more people knew about your blog, Dollie! especially, the what NOT to wear for the girls! But, Zack did a bang up job on 'the boy version'!! lol

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  2. all your viva outfits are vary inspiring.

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  3. what shoes do you wear to dance in? any remix shoes? I want a pair and am asking around for the most comfortable.

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  4. Hi Brook, yes I dance in Remix always. All of the vintage shoes I try and dance in always break on me. I love the short 1940s wedges with the ankle straps. I like the ankle straps for dancing because the shoes stay on my feet the best. The sole on Remix shoes are great to because they have just the right amount of slide, not too much, but not too rubbery. Check out their website, but they also have a vendor booth at VLV.

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  5. Fab post and you have some really amazing clothes!

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  6. I'm not going to VLV, but I have to say thanks for the vintage fashion advice, I was checking out one of those custom repro vintage shops on etsy and wanting to buy the cutest 50's wrap style dress, and could not decide for the life of me what fabric to choose, now I know - Vintage Novelty Print! You're the best, have a ball at VLV...

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  7. Glad you can entertain between casual, too casual, and lazy bastard.

    One thing I hate seeing, is a lady all dolled up and the guy is dressed in PJs or something. It's not hard to at least dress presentable, right?

    That's why I've been meaning to do a lot of these kinds of posts. Got a few more to do. But at least the fellas are keeping their hair lookin' good.

    - Jan

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  8. I am so glad I found your blog! This will be my first trip to VLV and I wasn't sure what to wear! Thank you!

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