Changing earrings to clip-ons

Here, I’ll show you how to change a pair of pierced earrings into clip-ons. You might want to do this because you don’t have pierced ears, or, in this case, the earrings are too heavy to sit nicely with posts.

I couldn’t find the clip-on fixings in my local haberdashery or craft stores, so went online. I spent along time searching various craft sites, but for value and ease I bought a multi-pack from eBay. It has various sellers, so you can choose the colour and shape you like.

Most vintage earrings you will find are clip-ons, and sit covering the earlobe. At the moment, Art Deco designs and big Eighties earrings are on the high street. Some of these will have a design that covers the earlobe, but are for pierced ears. I find the weight stretches my ear and ruins the look. In this case, one of the posts broke from the weight! Clip-ons spread the weight, and keep the earring higher on the ear, giving a vintage look.

To change post earrings to clip-ons, you will need;

  • Earrings with a base of 1cm or more
  • Clip-on fixings/ notions
  • A fine edged sharp tool (use common sense and use responsibly)
  • Fine sandpaper or small sanding tool
  • Superglue
  • Cotton bud

1. Firstly, if the earrings have posts, they can usually be twisted or bent off, but the base fixing will need to be pried off using something sharp and thin enough to work between the metal and the earring base.

(This should only be done by a responsible adult with common sense – work the blade away from you and watch your fingers!)

I didn’t have any special tool, I improvised by looking in the kitchen drawer. I used a fish knife. This is slow and delicate work as you want to avoid scratching the earring.

If they have a hook fixing, a small pair of pliers will loosen the join and you can remove them from the loop. I’ll show how to do this in another post.

2. Once you have prized off the post base, use the soft sandpaper to smooth the earring base ready to fix the clip-on onto the earring. Use a fine/ soft sandpaper to avoid damaging the earring. Wipe the earring base clean and lay back facing up on a sheet of paper.

3. Open the clip-on and put a small blob of glue on the back of the clip base. Place centrally on the earring base and once in the right place, pressing firmly.

4. Use the cotton bud to wipe away any overspill of glue. Leave for 24 hours, or as instructed on the glue packaging.

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Art Deco style earrings

If you find wearing clip-ons all day makes your ears hurt, buy some rubber pads which can be pushed through the hole on the back of the clip.

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Bladerunner

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Inspired by Rachael in Blade runner – Forties hairstyle

The stylist and costume department must have had a great time dressing the female characters in Bladerunner. I think I could live in this collective wardrobe, but would perhaps cause undue comment grocery shopping in a few of them. Iridescent scales for one.

The mix of 80’s futuristic sci-fi and Forties film noir is spot on and works so well. Forties and Eighties cross over a lot. Think big hairdos, shoulder pads, empowering tailoring for women and even the transparent coat!

Following are my favourite looks from the film, and what I have used from my wardrobe to emulate the most wearable and stylish outfits – those worn by replicant Rachael.

Rachael

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Rachael Blade runner

Rachael has a classic femme fatale Forties hairstyle and make-up, which echo the film noir style of filming this futuristic sci-fi story. Her make-up seems to change slightly through the film, but the basic features remain – strong eyebrows and cheekbones, smoky eyes, red lips, with red nails.

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Blade runner Rachael – hair and make-up
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Eye make-up detail

I found good tutorials for Forties hairstyles like Rachael’s in Vintage Hairstyles.

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The colour palette for Rachael’s wardrobe are muted shades of grey and blues and greens (just about visible on her blouse), that work well with the film noir lighting and photography.

The grey suit with horizontal stripes of tonal fabric is straight out of the Forties, even Marilyn Monroe owned one similar to this, before she was famous. The crossover detail on the neck is also a detail used on clothes in the Forties, as is the matching thin belt. The straight cut and just below the knee length skirts are Forties too.

Under this suit, Rachael has a long sleeved V-neck blouse with pintucks of various colours. This is seen when in Dekkard’s flat, sitting at the piano.

The black suit, in futuristic fabric with a sheen, has a high neck again. The collar looks like a shirt collar, with a diamond shape Art Deco style brooch centrally placed, instead of a bow or tie. At one point she has a clutch with an Art Deco pattern too.

And every femme fatale needs a fur coat.

Notice the heeled court shoes too, if you can. The pair with the grey suit have an interesting two-tone design.

On Pinterest I’ve saved more photo’s of Rachael’s outfits.

The grey suit above is from Vintage Guru. It is an Eighties does Forties skirt suit, with a high waisted pencil skirt and a collarless box jacket. The buttons at the back are a lovely detail and are actually used as the fastening. The buttons around the waist and hips needed moving slightly to give me room to move, and the skirt was shortened from ankle grazing up to below the knee.

These navy separates go well as a suit, with the skirt I made and the vintage heels echo the Art Deco detailing featured in Rachael’s outfits.

Here are some other outfits from my wardrobe, inspired by Rachael.

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Pris

The spray paint futuristic make-up is one I want to use for a party. Chokers are back in vogue,and something I wear anyway, but my stocking’s stay under my clothes. It looks like Pris is wearing a playsuit.

Zhora

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Zhora’s clear raincoat

This clear PVC swing coat is something I’m still looking for. I was surprised when researching this to find that clear plastic raincoats were fashionable as early as the Forties. The swing shape makes this unusual, as most available now are trench coats or hooded poncho’s.

I love the stand up mandarin style collar and the large oval top stitched pockets. The piping around the yoke and the small pockets on the chest are fairly traditional, but I like that the edges of the sleeves and hem are not outlined, but you can only see them when the light catches them.

Anyone out there able to make this? Get in touch, please!

Over-the-knee boots are finally back in fashion. Not that if they weren’t it would stop me wearing them, but to be fashionable means one is able to buy a pair easily. The spikes are less practical, and I like the thigh cuff, which reminds me of Princess Leah’s slave outfit, with the intricate metalwork.

See my posts about The Avengers and Mrs Peel for more on over-the-knee and thigh high boots.

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Zhora’s showgirl outfit

The show ‘outfit’  (I use the term very loosely) of iridescent scales or body gems looks amazing, and could be nodded to with a sequined flesh tone top or body, worn with more conventional skinnies or would even look good with a fluid silk skirt.

The gems would be great party make-up.

 

Vintage Hairdresser Found!

Living hidden away in Somerset, I love browsing the web to find hairdressers that specialise in vintage haircuts and styling. There are some I’d love to frequent in London, if I lived there. Which I don’t. Hence the struggle to find a suitable hairdresser locally.

Maybe it’s a cheat, but my friend has started in the vintage line hairwise, so after my first cut and style, I’m sure I’ve found My Hairdresser. Even better, Kate Eliza does home visits, so I don’t even have to leave the house!

Below are the two cuts Kate Eliza did at my house, including guest model, my Mum.

The short style is a Fifties Italian cut, which model Dovima and Elizabeth Taylor sported.

My hair is inspired by Rita Hayworth, epitomised in the Forties film noir Gilda.

 

http://www.kateelizahair.co.uk

 

Vintage Compact Refill

To follow up on my hunt for a powder compact refill, I have successfully fitted a Tunnel pressed powder cake into one of the bigger round compacts.

To fit it in, you need to remove the plastic casing, while leaving the metal inner tray and powder as undamaged as possible.

I used a variety of tiny metal tools to Jimmy it out round the edges. Also, if you Peel the label off the back, there is a tiny hole you can push something strong through to lift the tin  out. The tin is glued in the centre to the plastic, so it takes a patience to get it loose.

I measured the compact tray before shopping around for a refill, so I was able to just slip it into the compact tray. As this compact doesn’t have a mesh sieve to sit over the powder and protect the mirror, the powder puff (from H&M) fits perfectly over the top.

Compact Mirrors

-The mirror… It’s broken.

-Yes, I know. I like it that way.  Makes me look the way I feel.

From The Apartment

Here is my growing collection of powder compacts. I think useful things should be beautiful too.

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Compact mirrors

Vintage & new compacts. The Art Deco peacock and the black diamante designs are modern mirror only compacts,  from Accesorize.

The gold coloured rectangular powder compacts are vintage. The etched gold compact with the black pocket was my grandmother’s, and the painted fish compact was a gift. The rectangular design seems to be rare, when I’ve searched for them, so fancy having two!

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Benefit cosmetics powder compact

The Benefit Hello Flawless compact comes with a compartment for a brush and a sponge applicator. The sponge is a thick foam rectangle, about 3/4 the size of the box.

With the storage compartment, this compact is really useful to take in my handbag, and I can carry extra hairpins in it too. I found the brush and sponge difficult to load with enough powder for smooth and quick application all over, but it is fine for powdering your nose throughout the day. I take this compact to work.

I replace the sponge with a  multi-pack one you can find in good pharmacies and superstores, as they soon need replacing. The foam isn’t sturdy enough to wash and re-use, but well made fabric sponges are sturdier and I wash them regularly. Soapy warm water with a drop a lavender oil is a gentle way to keep sponges and make-up brushes clean.

Pressed powder refills don’t seem to be available for rectangular compacts, so I buy loose powder and pack it in.

The smaller one is a Stratton compact, and you can find plenty being sold online. Most designs are round, some square.  I’ve seen one with a lipstick compartment. This one came with a gold lipstick case, which I’ve only just managed to fill. This compact must have had loose powder originally, as it has a mesh sieve to sit over the powder. I use this compact the most, and can’t wait to use the matching lipstick case.

The larger, fish design compact appears to have had pressed powder. It is engraved as Vogue Vanities, made in England. I still need to clean the inside before I refill it with loose powder.

This decagon shaped compact was my great aunt’s, and is also a Stratton.

Finding new pressed powder refills takes a lot of time, as not all online stores give a diameter measurement, but only list the weight! A lot are much smaller now as well. Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder is the right size for this compact, but I have yet to Jimmy it out of its plastic packaging, so I can transfer the metal base into this compact.

I love that the mirror is cracked and my aunt kept it. It must have been a treasured possession. It also reminds me of Shirley Maclaine in The Apartment.

Have you found any good powder refills? Which compact is your favourite?

Velcro roller wet set -Short Vintage Hairstyle

My mum let me try out a wet set vintage hairstyle on her short hair. Think Maggie the Cat/ Elizabeth Taylor and Leslie Caron in An American in Paris. Short curls are brought round to frame the face in both.

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Wet set with Velcro rollers

You will need; Velcro rollers, hair pins, comb, setting lotion, hairspray

Hair should be damp, with a spray of setting lotion brushed through.

1) Start with smaller rollers around the front and sides. Work out from your parting. Mum has a side parting.

2) Use bigger rollers at the back where you want to brush the curls together. The set them, the more volume you get, so this could be used for a Sixties set as well. If you want curls at the nape of the neck, use small rollers or pincurl.

3) Time to paint nails, do make-up, watch a film… Use a diffuser if you want to finish off the drying. I find letting it dry naturally works best for a smoother finish.

4) Take out rollers without pulling the curl out. Comb through with hairspray where you want the hair to lie flat.

5) Use the comb and your fingers to style the curls around your face. Use pomade or styling cream if you need to. Hairspray to hold. A natural hold hairspray works well, so you don’t get crunchy hair.

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Fifties hair and make-up

With thanks to Mum for modelling.

The Taming of the Shrew – Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor as Katerina

As part of the 400th Shakespeare anniversary, the staff at work (public library) dressed as characters from Shakespeare’s plays. The costume I wore is courtesy of Swan Theatre, a local amateur dramatic society. It was a great excuse to dress as Katerina from The Taming of the Shrew. 

I am wearing the same white maxi dress underneath this as the red Jamaica Inn dress. It was a good find on Topshop.com.

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Shakespearean theatre costume

I went for a messy undone beehive. Big rollers, setting lotion and hairspray! I brushed out the curls but didn’t comb into a flick, separating waves out. If only my hair was a bit longer.

 

 

 

The Assassination Bureau (Miss Winter)

Diana Rigg as Miss Winter in The Assassination Bureau has a beautiful and practical wardrobe as the Modern Woman of the turn of the (last) century. In aspiring to this look, which is great working in a library, I have made a skirt, restyled a hat and hunted down a round collared white shirt (Madamoiselle R).

I bought a large straw boater and unravelled it to the base size I needed. Then I hand stitched around, bending the straw at the beginning of the side edge and the brim. Once the brim was the desired width, I tied it off and flattened the front brim with heavy books while turning the back up. It can be dressed with different ribbons.

The blouse with the round collar is good for 1920-30’s (Peaky Blinders) dressing too.

The skirt is an A-line cut, and the elasticated wide belt nips in the waist without wearing a corset underneath!

Here is an outfit not yet attempted. I do have a steam punk pattern for a skirt with a deep pleated hem, and my mum has made an outfit with a matching jacket, which I’ll post soon.

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Accesssories

Gilda dress

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Rita Hayworth wears this simply stunning black floor length evening dress in the film noir Gilda. Gilda wears this dress to the nightclub to make her old flame jealous and provoke a reaction, since they keep falling out. During the scene she sings ‘Put the Blame on Mame’ and removes one glove, burlesque style.

As seen in the photo, the dress is accessorised with long black satin gloves and peep toe shoes. In the film Gilda also wears a diamond necklace close to the collar bone.Some shots show her with a fur stole or coat.

I envy the amazing fit of clothes on film, especially from the 30’s to the 50’s.While the original appears to have been black, I think she would have looked amazing in emerald green, especially with her famous red hair.

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This is my dress rehearsal for a dance I was going to, and below, the photos with my hair and make-up done.

I am wearing a vintage diamanté necklace from my Nanna, sheer gloves from What Katie Did, peep toe heels with a slight platform. The girls in the Forties did platforms first! 

I found this dress on http://www.thecelebritydresses.com. I can recommend their ASOS collection, as this dress proves. They offer made to measure and ready to wear sizes as well as a choice of colours.

Her hair has had the curls brushed out to give more volume, and lots of pomade or hairspray must have been used to keep the smoothness. While Gila sings, you can see her hair get more curls.

The Forties glamorous make-up focused on a bold lip and more natural looking eyes. This was Hollywood, so false eyelashes were used to lengthen the lashes, but not to thicken them.

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Gilda dress

Now for the party!

Pola’s cats eye glasses

 

When I first watched ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ I decided if I ever had to wear glasses, I’d have Pola’s. Pola is the ‘blind as a bat’ character played by Marilyn Monroe. So, my checklist: Cats eye shape, but not too narrow; Black graduating to clear frames; Diamante along the eyebrow. Not too much to ask, surely.

I was so pleased when I had to get glasses, but the hunt for my dream glasses took a while. Reader, I found them.

These are the Muriel model by DSquared2.