Monday, July 14, 2014

1940s, Here I Come!

There is magic in life, isn't there? I started thinking polka dot thoughts a little while ago, and out of the blue found this loveliest polka dot dress in a consignment shop. The condition was excellent. The fit was great. The color was navy (not black as I thought at first). And the price was $9.50.

To me, this dress walked straight out of the 40s with their strict, yet still very feminine lines - no excessive fabric, very laconic style. It was wartime. People and whole countries did not have much. Everything went to support the military. The fashion was supposed to be modest. And yet out of all this modesty and necessity a beautiful style was born. Feminine, not girly. Mature, not frivolous.

And that is how I wanted to style my dress too - in a modest, classy, feminine, but not girly way. The one girly detail I added was this bow made of a silk scarf, a gift from my Chinese relatives. I haven't used it before, even though it has been in my possession for a decade or more. Pink was never my favorite color (to be a mother of a 4 year old who adored pink was quite challenging, let me tell you). I think it is just the right amount of girliness for my vintage-inspired dress.

The dress is perfect for hot days too - it's made of 100% viscose, very lightweight and breezy, and virtually doesn't wrinkle. 

Des Moines Marina, a large open urban waterfront not far from the airport, is one of our favorite places to walk and take photos. I adore our ever changing sky and the cloud reflections in water and windows.

I also adore our local cuisine (hey, I am a foodie). So here is what you definitely need to try when you come to visit the gorgeous Pacific Northwest - like the cloudy sky and cloudy water is something special about this place, the taste of the Northwest is also quite special!

You will never go wrong with fish and seafood here. It is always fresh and top notch, either local or straight from Alaska. We dined at Anthony's, which is a chain restaurant, but it's a local chain, you can find their restaurants in a few different neighborhoods and towns around Puget Sound (Ballard, Des Moines, Gig Harbor to name a few). Justin had fish tacos, and I had rainbow trout served with  yummy rice pilaf with almonds and raisins - excellent! They have very good fish and chips too, and their clam chowder is one of the best.

And please, please save some room for some of the best local desserts. In Summer, it's all about fresh berries, some of which are from local farms while others are local wild berries. My favorite dessert is cobbler. The combination of the hot crust and blackberry sauce with vanilla ice-cream is just amazing! Justin had a beautiful fresh berries sorbet, and was quite happy with it too.

There are plenty of other great restaurants around, of course. Come visit, we'll get down to business!
And now imagine that I'm in your area. Tell me, what restaurants should I check out and what local specialties should I try?

Dress - consignment shop
Shoes - Ecco
Jewelry - gifts from friends


  1. Now, I don't know what's making me salivate more - the fabulous frock, or the delicious food! You look very ladylike and rather demure, Natalia; it's something different for you, this dress, I don't think I've seen you wear this style before. I like it!
    Well, if you come to Yorkshire, you ought to try a proper roast dinner, beef with Yorkshire pudding. But of course we live in a multicultural city, so there are any amount of excellent Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Italian restaurants too, whatever you like - you choose! Failing that, we can go to the pub for a pint or two, then call at the chippy on the way home! xxx

  2. Oh Yeah! Another pie/cobbler fan. I love it all! This dress is magic and it fits you perfectly!! I love it when synchronicity happens this way. I had the same experience years ago on a dark green velvet button up shirt. Yes it was the 80's. ;)
    You have the perfect balanced shape for this dress. You have no idea how hard it is to dress an extreme pear, which I am. Great back drop here too! I love Des Moines too.

  3. The dress is so feminine and the polka dot fabric is adorable. I love vintage clothes as much as I love jewelry :) I'm volunteering at a consignment store and have a chance to look at such interesting clothes, accessories and the like. Almost bought an Asian style jacket today :)... Congrats on your wonderful find!

  4. The austere 1940s, yes, this is a lovely find. The polka dots offer a bit of optimism during the times of seriousness. This subtle dress is so quiet compared to your normal colorful attire. But still, I love it on you. The white nail polish is a plus too.

  5. mmmhhhh!!!! give me two of this desserts!!!!
    your new dress is a wonder - thinking on dots and finding them in this perfect shape!!!!! i´m a huge fan of midcentury fashion and for day to day looks the simple lines of 40´s items are perfect in my book. and for a little dance you can always pimp them. not that i would go to much dances this days....
    your styling is really chic, great idea with the pink bow!
    rainbow trout is a speciality here too - in short distance from our house is a trout farm at a clear creek where we get them almost alive. then we put them on the grill outside - summer or winter - with no additions, maybe a herb twig in the belly.
    our cuisine is very influenced from bohemian cuisine which is loaded with the gorgeousness of the k.u.k. austrian cuisine. but most of the restaurants in our area are very bad. sadly. still GDR i think. but - a small % tries its best with fresh local veggis and meat and "real" vegetarian dishes. this restaurants can only be visited by a hike up mountain - it is a local chain of mountain top restaurants on 3 of our mountains and one in a valley away from the streets:

    i have the feeling we will see that dress again and again in different stylings - or?

  6. That new spotty dress was a wonderful find, the white belt and pink scarf add just the right amount of individuality and ladylike charm. You cut a fine figure of a woman strolling purposefully along the promenade!
    As a veggie I don't eat fish but your enthusiasm for the dishes are making me hungry. xxx

  7. I had to skip all the gorgeous food part but I have to tell you I adore the dress. 40s is by far my favorite decade for style.I love the simplicity and maturity of it. I like how the pearls play good with your pink scarf!

  8. I do believe in magic and the power of the mind to make wonderful thing come true. That polka dot dress is just perfection on you, my adorable friend

  9. Hi Natalia,

    Yes the dress is perfection on you!
    In Montreal....hum....well i guess you would have to try our famous poutine and for dessert strawberries of couse, it was strawberry season as well here -

    Have a great day



  10. You can just tell how beautiful you feel in this dress, and you do look beautiful Natalia! I struggle with the super feminine look, every time I put on some sweet girle shoes I end up taking them off and putting on my sneakers, this is what I want to work on, getting my pretty shoes to stay on my feet! I look forward to coming and seeing you and meeting your family and I think we should eat at Anthony's. We have them where I grew up and used to go with my folks when I did well on an exam as a reward. I'm a total foodie so I would make sure when you are here we get to Screendoor for fried tomatoes and chick, salt and straw for ice cream, and the rum club for dome old timey drinks! Soon promise!

  11. Ohh...this is making my mouth water. Especially those fish tacos!

    I love the dress. Very classy.

    Toronto is a mix of all ethnic foods. You can find whatever you are looking for. One of the many things I love about living here, even though I do miss BC something dearly.


  12. Oooooh!!! I love your dress!! it's gorgeous on you and what a bargain price, it was meant to be! I am trying to get used to fish and seafood, I'm not a natural lover of it but I can eat tinned tuna till it comes out of my ears haha! If you come to Liverpool our traditional dish is Scouse, which is basically a meat stew and a sandwich is a butty, we like lot's of different food here, we like people to be well fed! x x x

  13. Wonderful dress! I do love navy and white polka dots and I love the accessories you've put with it - the basket bag is so cute!

  14. Oh so very chic and feminine! You look lovely. My grandmother had a similar dress and it is one of my favourite memories; she wore it for special family dinners. Everyone in my family is quite partial to navy blue so I guess I come by my own attraction to it quite honestly. Your scarf is so pretty and what a great photo with the bag held up against the water!

    Like you I love the sky and water, the variations of blue, silver, grey and even green, and the changing textures of the clouds. I am thrilled to have such a lovely view of it from my own windows.

    I also LOVE berry cobblers! The Okanagan area provides us with many fruits in summer, particularly the stone fruits we cant grow on the coast. I think a blueberry and peach cobbler might be one of my favourites! Now I am just going to have to make one soon!!

  15. I simply love this dress! Classy and elegant! And your choice of accessories for this dress is just perfect. I too am a foodie :) So, looking at those photos makes me envious...the food looks delicious and I wish I could try it right now! And weakness...Have a wonderful day, Natalia!

  16. Delightful post!! I don't wear 40's style well but I love it nevertheless. You look fabulous in this, just feminine enough without being saccharine, you know? The touch of soft pink and your white nails are perfect touches.

    I'm a foodie for sure (love to cook) and your pics look amazing!! I don't eat a lot of seafood but I do love fish tacos. Here you would probably want to hit a barbeque joint for ribs and chicken, get sides of collard greens and cornbread, baked beans and mac and cheese, and wash it all down with sweet iced tea aka "sweet tea" . Dessert could be red velvet cake or pecan pie (with ice cream of course). Plan a long nap afterwards through the heat of the day, and then do it all over again. :-) I'm not from here, but that seems like the quintessential local dining experience. XXOO

  17. That's a fabulous dress Natalia and such a bargain.

    I am a fish and seafood lover but to me it always tastes better when you are near the sea - which we aren't - and if someone else has cooked it. Saying that, there was a lovely chippy in Hawes on my trip up north and that was nowhere near the sea.

  18. You look awesome in that dress Natalia and the food looks delicious!!!

  19. I love your outfit! Everything matches so well. Your necklace is really unique.
    Food looks soooo yummy. I'd definetely enjoy it too:) In my area I'd invite you to a little restaurant specialized in fondue.

    Have a wonderful day:)

  20. Navy and white polka dots are so good together. Great size dot, too! If that sounds odd, it's just because I've been seeing the tiny and the huge, but this size is most pleasing to my eye! I'm especially fond of tan and navy. Great sandals to go with this little jewel!

  21. I love navy and I love polka dots ... your dress is a match made in heaven :0)

  22. That is a gorgeous and classic dot dress Natalia!
    What a great find and I agree, the fit is perfect.
    Love the pink bow tied to the bag, i is lovely aesthetically and in sentiment.
    Beautiful backround shots, too, such a treat to read this post!
    xx, Elle

  23. such a fabulous dress, it's a great find and fits you like a dream!, love polka dot dresses and its classic yet cool vibe!, and you look adorable wearing polka dots!, and your pretty sunnies!
    And food looks amazing!, particularly desserts!!