Celebrating Vintage Mamas: Part Two

A Vintage Nerd, Audrey Hepburn, Old Hollywood Moms, Vintage Moms

Being a mother is all encompassing. That is if you want to be an effective mother. Its so encompassing that for many they put aside their passions and dreams. In my personal opinion I think a women who still finds the time and energy to pursue her passions makes for a happier mother and in turn brings happiness to the children. I learned early on that a happy mommy makes happy kids.

Is it easy to balance work, housework, marriage, relationships, health, bills, school, kids school, kids period with your own stuff. No. It is not easy. I also don't think its for the faint of heart. Being a mother is a selfless act. At least I think it should be. You give your body and your mind and your heart and your emotions and everything else inbetween. And its never ending. But finding a passion, a hobby, a craft you enjoy doing brings more joy to yourself. If you bring your family into it or share it with them they can enjoy what you are doing for yourself as well.

When I first started delving more into vintage and all the things it touched-films, fashion, modeling, etc-I struggled trying to find the time and energy and funds to invest into my hobby. My hobby turned quickly into a passion and it is now a huge part of who I am. I used to seperate my passion for vintage from my family. It took too much work and took away a lot of joy from what I was doing. It's different now. I share what I do with my children and they absoutly love that I am a blogger and that I love old things as they say and that I dress up different that other people. They love it all.

So it is possible to still be a dedicated mother and delve into your passions as well. I have to constantly keep things in balance and I blog late at night when the children are in bed and yeah its really a struggle but I couldn't be happier with what I am doing. It is a part of me and honestly it has made me a better person, a better woman, and a better mother.

Don't think that you can't be a mom and love vintage all at once. Share it with your loved ones, get them invovled, take what you do as an opportunity to teach your children history, classic film, fashion, old fashioned values, etc. As you learn and explore the world of yesteryear your children will learn and explore as well. That's what I am doing and I love it. I love sharing it with them. I love it when they say, "Mom, you're the vintage nerd!" Yes dears I certainly am!

Before I share with you the two lovely vintage mamas I have here in my post, swing by to Va-Voom Vintage where Brittany has shared Part One of this series HERE.  I hope you enjoy what all of these vintage mama have so candidly and kindly share with all of you. What they share is a treasure trove of handy dandy advice and wisdom. Thank you ladies!

A Vintage Nerd, Audrey Hepburn, Old Hollywood Moms, Vintage Moms

My name is Denise Corvin, I previously blogged as RetroGran, but haven't in a couple years now. I do, however, miss that creative outlet and plan to pick it back up soon.

I am the mother of 6 grown children, five boys - two of which are identical twins - and one daughter. I currently have 7 grandchildren and we are expecting grand-babies number 8 and 9 this year. Even though all of my children are grown, the hubby and I just recently, within the last six months, became empty-nesters. Before that, our son, his wife, and their son had lived with us for over 4 years. It is very different not having children living in our home any longer. We have a new found freedom and sometimes feel like newlyweds again.

I am a lover of all things vintage, and especially love the fashion and hairstyles from the 20s to the 60s. My favorite eras are the 30s and 40s but I feel that my body type is better suited for the 50s and 60s.

I am from an extremely small town in the southwestern portion of Virginia so my style is very unique to our area. This is farm territory, lots of tractors and muck boots, so when I go out I tend to get lots of looks, compliments, or the occasional "Are you going to a costume party?" Being from a small town also makes it harder to find vintage clothing locally. All of my true vintage wear has come from either fb groups, Ebay or Etsy and most all of my clothing is purchased online or thrifted. 

Given my age, I try to find more conservative pieces versus the "pinup" look. Not that I don't love that look, I just feel its not appropriate for me, Grandma, to be wearing. Now if I were young, I would totally rock that look.

I don't always wear vintage or vintage inspired clothing, especially now that I am retired and home all day. Its just easier to do housework etc in everyday attire. However, when I was working, I did. I found it a great time saver in the mornings if I would set my hair the night before and if I didnt have time for that, I would do up-dos or wear scarves.

My husband is very supportive of my style but not all of my children have been. I have one son in particular that tells me the way I dress makes me look old. I typically say, because I am. :)

Much love,


A Vintage Nerd, Audrey Hepburn, Old Hollywood Moms, Vintage Moms

About me: I am a wife and mom to a 16 month old daughter (Jane) and we currently live in southern California. 

Getting ready: I try to do as much prep as possible the night before. This typically includes getting my outfit for the next day ready and showering. If it happens to be the one day a week that I am going to wash my hair I will blow-dry it to completely that night as well. In the morning I’ll wake up about an hour before my daughter does as getting ready while she is still asleep is easiest! I’ll plug in the curling iron then wash my face/moisturize. I use a 1” curling iron and double prong clips to set my hair and tend to focus more on the curls in front and save more meticulous sets for special occasions.

 As I go through different sections of curling y hair I’ll start makeup prep – eye cream/primer and let that absorb while I go back to finish my hair. Once my hair is all punned up I’ll start my makeup. When my daughter was a newborn I started what a “makeup “triage” routine of starting with the most important areas first followed by some “nice to haves” if time permitted. I curl my eyelashes/ mascara first, line my waterline with a beige colored eye pencil, then foundation/concealer/powder/blush, then brows, then eye shadow/eyeliner. and lips last (which on most days I end up doing in the car).

Struggles: Staying motivated is always a struggle. I feel I have a pretty solid and fairly quick routine and I know I always feel better when I’ve got my vintage “face” on but it can be hard to put in the effort when you’re having a literally shitty” day. It can also be hard to find moms who share your appreciation for red lipstick and embroidered cardigans, but that’s where making friends on Instagram has really been a godsend.

I feel like moms are told they have to wear things that are “comfortable” and easy to wash. At a breastfeeding support group I was told to wear practical items when I went back to work since that would be easier to pump in. I ignored this advice and MANY times pumped in my slip while my dress hung over the chair. You’ll be doing more laundry than you ever imagined so you may as well be washing items that make you feel good when you wear them!

Time saving tips: This is pretty standard in the vintage community but dry shampoo is my best friend. Psssst! Is my go-to brand. Also I really recommend investing in a clothes steamer. I have a Jiffy J-2000 model which runs about $160 which I know is pricey but it is so worth it! You can use tap water to fill it and it I have used it almost daily since we bought it back in 2008. It won’t completely replace an iron for say pressing creases in pants but it will get wrinkles out of ANYTHING including very delicate vintage pieces which has saved me a lot of money on dry-cleaning. It takes less than 1 minute to heat up and only about other minute per garment to steam.

Shopping Vintage: With a baby in tow, digging at thrift stores is a bit more of a challenge. I’ll save splurges for vintage specific clothing stores and reputable etsy shops since I find that the effort they have put into finding, cleaning, and mending these items has made their price points worth it. I’ve had pretty good luck at antique stores lately where the clothing selection is usually pretty limited and in many classes needs TLC but the prices are usually negotiable and the racks are easy enough to quickly sift through. I’ve been trying to focus my searches on either neutral colored separates that I can mix and match. I got in the habit of buying vintage that “sort-of” fit and stared a pile of “to be altered” that sat in my floor for far too long.

Reproduction: Pinup Girl and Heart of Haute are my go-to brands for tops. They have held up through many MANY stains and washing.

Modern: There are treasures to be found at modern stores too! Usually online is the easiest. I’ll search for things that are “high-waisted” or “cropped” which of course to vintage loving gals they never really are….but they are pretty close! Then when I read reviews where customers complain “love this top but it’s too short!” I think “BINGO!” And more often than not these items tend to be pretty heavily marked down.

Film Star Moms: Elizabeth Taylor and Jayne Mansfield are my favorite film star moms.

Funny Stories: I have managed to convince my husband to keep his hands off of my hair and eyebrows but trying to teach a toddler to do the same has been a challenge. Her tiny hands always mange to smear lipstick across my face : -) Earrings have been successful at keeping her hands busy. One of her first words was “bauble” which her grandma taught her.


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