Everyday Stylist: Jane Clarke

Everyday Stylist: Jane Clarke

 
Jane Clarke was an OG vintage slinger in Austin, Texas. She was an inspiration for the original Bloomers and Frocks, now Devil’s Details Boutique. As a natural artist, Jane dressed Austinites in fabulous vintage clothing from the early 1990s-mid 2010s. We had the honor of interviewing her and learning more about her current lifestyle in Taos, New Mexico and seeing how she styles herself. The best part is that she is downsizing her personal vintage jewelry collection, and we have the honor of assisting her.

Tell us a bit about your background with vintage.
 
“From 1994 to 2016, I enjoyed wearing my vintage collection 5 to 7 days a week during the reign of Amelia's Retro-Vogue & Relics, our vintage boutique in Austin, Texas. Our first location was in the Austin Antique Mall (soon to be no more), then a hot minute on S. Congress, with an almost-forever home (20 years) on South Lamar at Oltorf. And finally, in a sweet little 1934 turquoise-blue clapboard house on South 1st Street, in an area then known as Slackerville, not far from Devil's Details Boutique!”
 
Now that you have retired Amelia’s RetroVogue & Relics, tell us a bit about your life.
 
“In 2022, I gleefully relocated to Taos, New Mexico with my husband Jerry. Though primarily rural, Taos is packed with so much art, culture and history, we host visitors from all over the world; it's not unusual to hear 3 or 4 languages any time I go into our central plaza. It’s exhilarating! Taos is also long known for embracing strong, sassy and creative women, and I find myself really supported here!
 
There are lots of places, shows, openings, theater and events worth dressing up for here in Taos. My husband and I both enjoy getting dressed to go out, and this usually initiates at least one conversation with an interesting person. 
 
I'm having a lot of fun creating my outfits, it's a form of expression, and people are drawn to that. Especially in Taos, a small community filled with so much creativity.
I think I've made the paper 3 times in this last year because the outfits look good in photographs and shows off a little of that creative spirit that is Taos.”
 
We worked with Jane to learn a bit about her style and how she creates her majestic looks. We created a short series of how she dresses daily in Taos. Here is what she says about her style.


“All the outfits in this series are favorites from my collection. No longer behind the counter of a retail shop, and now living in a small, 150+ year old adobe home (translation: minimal closets) means I am able and motivated to let go of some of my treasures! 
 
Pulling looks together generally involves me feeling a historic or cultural vibe I want to reference, though rarely do I completely recreate historically or culturally accurate costumes. If I'm wearing a piece of ethnic jewelry or a culturally significant garment, I like to know as much as possible about the culture that produced it, and when they produced it. That's not always possible, but I find to search rewarding.
 
I often *start* putting my outfit together by picking the jewelry! Whatever catches my eye and makes me smile. It's a very creative endeavor, and I feel people really appreciate the effort I have put into my outfits.

In my art and in my attire, I tend to gravitate toward contrast, either as complimentary colors, or as texture. If that happens to be a shiny or hard surface, I'll try and choose a visibly softer or matte fabric. I really think that helps to highlight the jewelry. If I want to wear a piece that speaks boldly in a color, I'll see if I can wear something in a complimentary color nearby.
 
When I travel, I have discovered I can take a base wardrobe and change it up with the jewelry I pack...it requires little space in the suitcase and can take one outfit from ultra-casual to very formal. I find packing can be stressful, but this makes it fun...creating combinations of pieces that can move from look to look. I highly recommend it!”
 
Why do you love vintage jewelry?
 
“Vintage jewelry is a great way to refine and put a final polish on your look. And there's little to no chance you'll never run into someone wearing that same piece. But! If you DO, you'll instantly be fast friends, guaranteed.
 
It's affordable, sustainable, and stands out in a crowd.  
It's also well made, or it wouldn't have lasted!
 
There are some designers and manufacturers out there that have been making beautiful pieces for decades, but a good bit of early 20th century or depression era pieces are unmarked. If you find a designer you like, it'll become instinctive to spot those pieces as you expand your collections! Enjoy the hunt!”
 
Look at the style Jane has put together for our Everyday Stylist Series! Most of the jewelry in this collection is now available at Devil’s Details Boutique and on our website.

Bold Polka Dots



“This 1950s brown polka dot top is so bold, it needed bold jewelry to stand up to it! Luckily, I have a fabulous collection of chains, belts, bracelets and earrings that worked together to create this look. I feel like there's a great balance between the jewelry and the blouse. The earrings are 80's hoops and I like how they repeat the shape of the polka dots. I just layered the crap out of the necklaces. I even hooked a matching necklace and arm set together to create a longer chain; I wanted the chains and bead necklaces to hit in a cascade, as that helps show off that crazy collar and filled in the space nicely. The coin charm bracelet has been a favorite for years and I really enjoyed having it in my collection. The nipped in waist of the blouse really deserved to be accentuated with a belt and I've always been a fan of chain belts. This one's a great addition to the look."
Blue Floral Silk Caftan

 
“I love the Aurora Borealis finish that you find on a lot of '60s jewelry, both in the crystal beads, and the rhinestones. My favorite is when you find a colored stone that has had Aurora Borealis added to it. This pink set took years to assemble bit by bit and would be fun to continue adding to. I paired it with a 1920s silk caftan that has a tiny touch of that iridescent purple that you see in these bracelets and earrings. I like to pick out the smallest accent color in a pattern that has several colors in it and accentuate *that. * That's another one of my incredibly stylish tricks that I learned from my mother. This pink/purple means the colors of the caftan are brought out, but it doesn't overpower the jewelry. I feel they really complement each other here really complement each other here.”

The Power of Black and White

 
 
“The high neck of the silk crepe chiffon top was just made to show off this incredible brooch! This amazing oval faceted black glass of the centerpiece is framed with brass filigree, and the dangles hanging off it add movement to the look. I'm always excited to add that to an outfit... Movement! I love this piece. Everything else was chosen to accentuate that brooch! Strands of black faceted beads draped down the front and are a wonderful contrast to the softness of the blouse. The hair combs are from the early 1900s, is my guess. They may have been brought over from Spain by someone who was doing the grand tour. They are hand carved but I'm not sure what the material is. I love how they look like black lace that's shaped in a gentle swoop. They are a great substitute for wearing a hat, though I do love my hats. This gives you height and people will definitely assume you have incredible self-confidence, even if you don't, when you wear something on your head like this. Highly recommended if you want to intimidate people.”
Hostess Attire


"I love this 1940s crepe hostess gown: it knows what it is and it knows where it's going! Styling this with Big Bling is a no-brainer; the matte black of the crepe really helps show off those sparkles. A wide clear rhinestone cuff goes with everything. This one has a solid construction, and guard chain to keep it safe. The bright rhodium plating adds even more shine, and that's what I was going for here. This beauty has enough width to not be missed, and the simple design makes it a classic. When I'm wearing one of these wide rhinestone cuffs out and about, it definitely makes for a Golden Age of Hollywood moment! I feel like every jewelry box should have a wide rhinestone cuff in it.... they go from punk to serious gala and can elevate even to most basic outfit to Fabulous."
"I can never have too many rhinestones, or bracelets, so I added these incredible star brooches to a narrow black belt so I could wear them as a bracelet. I love the big, bold pear-shaped rhinestones of these, and the dimensionality of this brooch. It's giving Eisenburg vibes, but there's no mark. (Believe me, I’ve looked!)
These bigger and brighter stones really give each piece some impact. POW! To complete the look, I added my own belt and a custom headband from Milli Starr Millinery."
 
Love Janes style? Come join us at the final Amelia's RetroVogue & Relics trunk show at the shop: Thursday, April 4, 6-8pm and shop her final collection to be shown in Austin. 
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We love showcasing Everyday Stylists, their background, and how they style jewelry into their everyday wardrobe. Thank you to the amazing inspiration, Jane Clarke, for allowing us a peak into her life.