Sunday night at Drawn and Plastered Stars in Pink Hawaii, I wore my first beehive. I did it myself and had it perfected and expanded by our hairstylist for the night Holly Hui. And now I want to wear one every day! Not Marge Simpson at all, it’s a super cute look and I’m its newest fan. It’s really not all that hard either. So I’ve decided to map it out. You will require: A rat, fine-toothed comb, hairspray, and the Austin Powers soundtrack.
The first thing is just to grab all the hair on the top of your head and comb it forward so it’s out of the way. This is all about the crown. This should take about a second and a half. I’ll wait.
Now, the most important thing to create a beehive is a rat, or hair filler. I mean, you don’t NEED one, but it’s a hell of a lot harder without it, and you’re more likely to end up with a rat’s nest instead. I use a long narrow rat for bumper bangs, so I curved it into a U shape with the middle facing up for this look. You can also just use a round or ball-y shaped one. A lot of people put cotton or fake/real hair into some pantyhose or a hair net for this. Bumpits are crap btw. Put your rat on the crown of your head or slightly higher in case of sagging or just to make it all the more epic. Pin it in place. Then bit by bit, take the hair from the top of your head and tease the living shit out of it, and pin it over the rat. Do this until you look like Dolly Parton. The last bit that will cover the surface should be left smooth. Then you just need pomade and a light touch with a comb to smooth the top out, and lot of hairspray. I slept in mine and it somehow actually survived, only shrinking a little. Which was perfect as I was feeling lazy and liked it and wanted to leave it up for work. Anyway, you can leave the bottom in beachy waves like Bridgette Bardot, put it in a ponytail, or for more of a Hairspray or formal look, twist it up into a French twist and tuck the ends in.
Holy crap that was easy.
When you enjoy dressing vintage, you come to know a few things about what was in style in every decade, sometimes even each part of a decade. When you’re a person like this, you can make a reference to the 20s, get a response such as “oh, you mean Marilyn Monroe?” and not know whether to laugh or cry. In fact at a recent history inspired event someone said to me “I wasn’t sure if you were WWII or Titanic.” Putting aside the fact that either way it sounds like I looked like an epic disaster, if someone had been on the Titanic looking like I did it would have meant they got there in a time machine. Don’t get me wrong, she was a very sweet lady. But it’s common. I don’t expect the average person to be able to tell the difference between 1870s style and 1880s style, but we only just recently got out of the 20th century. It’s a very near part of our history, and its fashion has a major impact on what we wear today. How can you do 50s if you don’t really know what the 50s looked like?
Even if you don’t take style queues from the past, it can be extremely interesting to track its progress. And one thing I love doing is watching old movies and trying to guess their year or the year they were based on by the clothes they wore. I’m getting sort of good at it – I can usually guess within 3 years.
I was going to try explaining each decade typically considered part of the vintage era, but then realized there were way too many intricacies to do this properly. It would be too complicated and I would probably get it wrong somewhere along the way. In fact when I see a vintage outfit, I don’t find myself mentally deconstructing it in order to tell what decade it’s from, it’s simply recognizable. So here is a compilation of pictures, to help you become more familiar with the look of each decade and what makes it unique.