Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Firecracker Flashback

Not to carp on about the weather, but I am getting really sick of this. There is a distinct lack of summer around these parts! 
Screw it, I need to start wearing my summer dresses or I won't have time for them all before I switch my closet over at the end of September! 

  • Dress - JG Hook, thrifted; last worn here in June 2021 (my first hug with Mom in 16 months)
  • Shoes - Garden of Enjoyment Rita, Fluevog; last seen here in July 2021 (that dress is due for a wearing)
  • Pink jacket (below) - Only, consignment; last worn here in June

Just so you know I'm not whining about our crap weather for no reason...
Fog! In July! 

Anyway, whatever, if that's all I have to complain about, I'm a very lucky person. 
Let's talk dresses! 

Isn't this one a classic? 
I've been slowly weeding out my more frilly and twee clothes (I had a twee streak a mile wide for a while there). 

This dress is too badass. We're going to have a wee Flashback on it shortly. 
I'm sure those are supposed to be flowers in the pattern, but firecrackers have always been the first thing I see. 

Masked up. 
Lots of people (25!) in the office today. 

Outerwear - I wore the jacket open on the way home. 
And it was semi-sunny! I think I saw some blue sky. 

I showed this scarf off to my colleague Stefanie who knows fashion - she was impressed. She also couldn't figure out the pattern. 

  • Scarf - Halston, vintage 70s, thrifted
  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The stuff: 
These shoes have always taken my breath away - they're one of the few pairs of Fluevogs that I bought without even seeing them in person. Flashback here

Green bling: 
A mix of eras. 

  • Silver cuff - vintage, thrifted, Powell River
  • Glass bangle - thrifted
  • Silver/aventurine ring - consignment
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Earrings - vintage 1920s, vintage mall

Flashback: JG Hook Linen "Firecracker" Dress

As y'all know, I'm very fond of Jammy Dresses, which I define as a dress that is a "one and done" outfit, that's comfortable and easy to wear, often just needing shoes to be fabulous. Bonus points if it has pockets, which are a deal-breaker unless the dress is very special. 
This is indeed a Jammy Dress, and it's very special, although it doesn't have pockets. Boo! Designers! Add pockets! 

I found this gorgeous, thick, heavy 100% linen dress at the big WIN (Women In Need) store downtown here in March 2018. 
I was drawn in by the fabric, closely followed by the pattern, which is indeed abstract flowers. It's been the Fireworks Dress from the start, though. 

The brand is JG Hook, which I'd never heard of (since then, I've seen one or two pieces by this label). I dug up this informative blog post (here, link 'cause I love!), which notes:

Max [Raab] returned to the fashion industry in 1974, setting up the company J.G. Hook, which specialised in women’s sportswear, often with a nautical flair.

Max Raab created the shirtwaist dress (i.e. a longer fit-and-flare version of a menswear buttoned shirt) in the 1950s, and I can certainly see that influence on the classic shape of my dress. He also was one of the producers of the movie "A Clockwork Orange"(!), a tasty little nugget I discovered in this 1998 notice of the sale (here) of JG Hook from Women's Wear Daily (WWD). So, this label was in business from 1974 to 1998ish, and it doesn't look like it lasted much past that year. 

I spotted 4+ resale sites with this same dress online, so it's likely from the later run of the company, from the mid-to-late 90s.
$28.95 is a good deal for a 100% linen dress, don't ya think? 

Let's see how I've worn it, but warning: it's mostly just changing up the shoes and jewelry! 
Here we have a pair of cheap pink fabric shoes (they wore out quickly) for my first time wearing it in April 2018. My hair is in that middling burgundy-purple phase, as I started to lighten it and grow out my grey. 

Again in June 2018 (back when I wore my dresses more than once per season!).
My favourite green kitten heels! They remain the only shoes I've worn more than once with this dress. 

My hair's lighter here, in September 2018 (wow, I wore it three times in the first year!).
This is my Outerwear shot - I never belt the dress (it has a faux wrap and long ties), so shoes and jewelry are all I need. 

This June 2019 look is from when I did a day-trip to Vancouver to visit blogger friends. 
There are the green shoes again, plus a red cardi. I only wore the dress once in 2019.

Aw, there's Melanie (of A Bag and a Beret) and Shelley (aka Forest City Fashionista). 
Oh my gosh, that was a fun day! 

And then the pandemic. This is my one and only wearing of the dress in 2020.
Those pink metallic shoes are lovely with it - I'd repeat them. 

And here's the last time I wore it, in June 2021. My hair's a little blue there.
My tall black sandals got an outing. 

Mathy stuff: While I have plenty of wear still, this dress has served me well the past 4 years. Today is the 7th wearing, which puts us at $4.14 per outfit. 

Despite not having pockets, this Jammy Dress is a keeper. I love the classic cut, the fun print and the thick linen. It's a quality piece with ageless style (kinda like me!).


  1. That dress is definitely a keeper, I'm loving the 1940s vibe.
    What a day you must have had with Shelley and Mel. I'm so excited about spending the next few days with our mates that I was up at 5am, too restless to sleep! xxx

  2. Thought your style had changed lately. Tell more about the twee weed out?

  3. Firecracker dress has me thinking of fireworks which took me directly to the Katy Perry song, which is the only song I know by her. Chain of thought. ;)

    In any case, I’m a big fan of this dress. It’s a smile producing kind of a dress! The statement pop of color on your feet added to my overall delight in this outfit.

    May the weather head into sunshine for you and all of Victoria.
    Cheers, Laurie

  4. That dress is stunningly gorgeous. The shoe change makes a difference in the mood. I hope you get some sun. We had a wonderful day in Victoria six years ago August.

  5. It doesn't really matter what shoes you wear with the dress, it is just a gorgeous dress. Period. Oh and I like your hair the way it is now.

  6. One of my all-time favourite dresses of yours. It's a stunner and it not having pockets is only a minor flaw in this case. And surely that print isn't flowers! Like you, I can only see firecrackers! Oh, and those are the best shoes indeed, although I'd probably sprain my ankles wearing them. I just can't seem to do any kind of heel anymore, which is a shame :-( xxx

  7. Nice dress. "[A] quality piece with ageless style," indeed!

  8. It is such a beautiful dress on you and it's good you could give it a wear even if the weather is not as warm as expected - I think the pink jacket is so nice with it! :)

  9. I love that dress! Very bold and classy with a nice full skirt! Definitely good for swooshing!

  10. Wowza! Gorgeous on you. Love it worn with the metallic pink shoes.

  11. Flowercrackers! I love that dress. And yes, I would like to hear more about the twee weedout too, if you feel like it. I've never seen your fashion as twee, actually, so clearly I'm clueless what twee is lol. Extremely feminine? Chintz florals perhaps? Ruffles, surely...
    I've always noticed--as someone who worked for years in a consignment shop dressing women up--that fit-n-flare is your most fabulous silhouette, punk/goth edge really suits you, and you look great in true vintage, 40's through 60's and even 70's (which is amazing considering how much I hate all 70's fashion except prairie/Gunne Sax, boho hippie chick/India imports, and Nouveau/Deco-influenced romanticism--Kate Bush did those last two super well back then.)
    Love the tidbit about A Clockwork Orange, what an interesting guy. I remember that label well. I worked in consignment from '89 to about '99 and J.G. Hook came through regularly. Back then, I wore pure 40s/50s vintage along with a smidgen of 80's trendy stuff like Limited Express and Contempo Casuals, but I noticed the classic silhouettes and was tempted! It must have been pretty popular for us to have gotten so much of it, especially as our shop was in Berkeley and so we always carried a lot of artsy clothing and vintage as well as more normal stuff. (Oh how I wish I could take you back in time to shop there--you'd be in heaven!)
    I think Hook was at Macy's? I remember seeing it whilst out shopping for new stuff with my mother. I bet you could still find quite a bit of it on Etsy or Ebay! But it sounds like it didn't retail new in Canada, or you'd have seen it more in your salad days--you and I are close in age.

    1. Yes, twee is precious, girly, overly sweet. I used to be fond of it, but now I'm not. I do like some things, like ruffles, but I need more edge to my style. You've zeroed in on my favourite looks, well done! I love all your info about JG Hook - there must have been a store in Seattle (lots of cross-border shopping here).

  12. Totally in love with your jammy dresses and this one is Fabulously Colourful, have a perfect shape and You Rock It!, looking gorgeous in it!.
    Lovely flashback!


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