an alternative vision of young ladies fashion to a 7 yr old









1950s light blue swiss dot dress with applique 3D lace flowers with rhinestones and pearl beads at the collar – Costume Party, SF
white heels: MIA via Bunny’s Shoes, Santa Cruz
silk seamed stockings: estate sale
1950s rhinestone hair comb: Sacramento antique fair

This is the dress!!   I wore this a while back to a party at a restaurant.  When I walked into the restroom this little girl about 7 years old looked up at me and said, “OHHHHH, Pretty!!!!”  That totally made my day.   I like appealing to 7 year olds.   It was great too because that day was around Homecoming for the local high schools and there were all these high school girls there wearing those modern “party” dresses that just look like clubwear.   You know what I mean?   Strapless, mini skirts, skin-tight emerald green satin with too much going on plus clonking around on platform high heels too high for them.  So I was happy to be this alternative vision of what “femininity” could be.   And that opens a whole ‘nother can of worms, so I’ll just can it for now.

I attempted pin curls again!   I found VividMakeup on Youtube and her tutorials are by far the best I’ve found because she really explains the setting pattern, almost in a scientific way with drawings and reasonings… really good stuff.  I watched her pin curl waves videos.  I wanted a Rita Hayworth look.  Here are some photos in the bright sun so you can see my hair better:


I used lottabody setting lotion on wet hair and set the pin curls.  I slept on them and brushed them out in the morning.   I probably could’ve brushed them out more, but as someone with naturally curly hair there’s a fear to overcome with that because we usually only brush our hair when we want to make our friends laugh at how big and frizzy we can make it.


But the hair came out pretty well and I was pleased with the outcome.   It’s about the same amount of time/work for straightening my hair, so it’s a nice alternative.  I’m going to test out what I can do to replicate this look without doing pin curls and using my preexisting naturally curly hair, so we’ll see how that works.


I’ve been feeling pretty bad lately with taxes coming up, finances… career… all that mumbo jumbo, so dressing up, doing my hair and makeup while listening to happy music, it really helped me feel better.  So if you’re feeling bad get out of those pajamas and get fabulous!  It helps big time!



  1. Crystal Lee

    You’re such a doll. What a beautiful dress! Keep your head up, Missy. Things will turn around.

  2. Danielle

    Mary you look soooo very Dita in these photos! That dress is gorgeous. Also, I like appealing to seven year olds as well, there is not a day that goes by without a little girl staring at my hair or waving at me or saying “Mom! Pink hair!” It’s pretty fun. Your pin curls are so pretty! I have no skill in styling of any kind, so bravo to you!

  3. Jade

    Wow!! You look so beautiful. I love pastels with pale skin and a bold lip. I’m going to check out those tutorials as your hair looks amazing!!



    Children always speak their minds, and I couldn´t agree more with her, you are soooooooooooo pretty in that dress. You are both pretty.

  5. Monique

    You are beautiful. At first glance I thought it was Dita.

  6. The Thriftaholic (Leilani)

    What a dream dress, I adore the color, dot pattern and applied flowers. It’s funny that you used Rita Hayworth as your inspiration, because I thought you looked just like her in your halter dress/sunglasses outfit post!

    Also I just wanted to let you know I included two of your outfit photos in this week’s Vintage News, Links & Inspiration post:

  7. dakota

    You are so stunning!! Seconding the Dita Von T. comparisons! Only I don’t think she’d ever wear such a fun, girlishly adorable frock 😀

  8. Miss Tallulah Porkchop

    Ms Van Note (is that right?), you are getting lovlier by the post.

    Don’t worry, we are all financially effed here. I have lots of shoes and no health insurance. 😀

  9. Nicole Eymard

    When I first saw this post I was dieing! Like come on how pretty do you have to get! This is YOUR color and you hair do soul mates! seriously I keep going back to this post and keep dieing!

  10. Jenny

    That is a beautiful vintage dress! Can you tell us more about where you found it? I’m thinking its very Dorothy -esque! Too cute!

  11. Mary Van Notes » Archive » birthday date night

    […] with applique 3D flowers, pearl beads, and rhinestones: Costume Party, San Francisco (last worn here) 50s crinoline: Moon Zoom Vintage, San Jose white heels: MIA via Bunny’s Shoes, Santa Cruz […]