A Little Chat About Victory Rolls

I recently took over as admin for a Facebook group called Authentic 1930s and 1940s Hairstyling for Ladies. As you know, I am passionate about creating an authentic vintage look with my clothing, makeup, and hair. I’m hoping that this group will serve as a valuable resource for those who are seeking ideas, inspiration, and strategies for creating authentic hairstyles within these eras. If you are interested in joining the group, please click the link below and answer the membership questions to join, we’ll be happy to have you.

Authentic 1930s & 1940s Hairstyling for Ladies

In the group, I posted a question asking which hairstyles or techniques they struggle with and I noticed that a lot of our members (36%) cited victory rolls as the style or technique they had the most trouble with. It didn’t really surprise me as most ladies starting out on their vintage journey see victory rolls as the ultimate vintage hairstyle.

This blog post, while I hope will be helpful for you, is not, in fact, a tutorial on victory rolls. Instead, I want to provide some guidance that will hopefully build a better foundation for you to eventually get to the point that this style becomes easier for you. Or will broaden your horizons on the many other amazing hairstyles of the 1940s.

I’ve had a very frank conversation with several professional vintage hairstylists and they all agree with me that on a scale of 1-10 of difficulty, victory rolls lands at about a seven or eight. Of course, this depends on your general skill level and expertise with doing your own hair in general. But it seems that most people who are just starting out learning about vintage hair are desperate to master this hairstyle first and foremost. The fact that they just can’t get the rolls right, time and time again typically results in disappointment and frustration and in a lot of cases giving up on the whole idea of vintage hairstyling. And this is something that I do not want to see happen.

So, from my own experiences (and recommendations from the aforementioned vintage hairstylists) here are some of my suggestions:

Learning how to properly set your hair in curls is the absolute basic foundation for just about every single authentic vintage hairstyle. Curling the hair whether with a wet or heat set – using foam rollers, pin curls, rag rollers, curling iron or hot rollers – was the essential first step for ladies during the 1930s and 1940s. Once you have mastered your set, you will have a much firmer foundation for doing almost all hairstyles.

Foam/Sponge Roller Pattern

My most recent wet set pattern – 2020

Pin Curl Tutorials

The Primrose Pin Curl Set

The Vintage Vanity Basic Pin Curl Set

I know that it’s difficult to evaluate ourselves, but doing so can be very freeing and gratifying. We weren’t all born with hair that does exactly as we want it to, so we need to learn what our hair needs to give us the best sets and styles. I, for example, have incredibly curly and dry hair, so sleek styles such as the pageboy will always elude me. So if you have thinner hair, maybe you need to learn some teasing techniques or use a hair rat for some volume. If you have curly or dry hair like me, you might need to learn what products work best to hydrate and smooth the hair. Have a real heart to heart talk with your hair and let it “help you help it”.

There are many different hairstyles that resemble the silhouette of victory rolls without actually making the rolls. This was actually how I began my journey when I was 15 or 16. I learned how to twist my hair and use hair combs or bobby pins to secure my hair in a way that gave the same silhouette as victory rolls without the fuss and frustration.

This is the basic silhouette of victory rolls

Examples of styles that mimic the victory roll silhouette without the rolls

I have my own feelings about this style and it’s not one that I wear often as I attribute it too heavily with the pinup fashion that I personally do not care for. I have not found many photos of “regular” women sporting this hairstyle. I’ve mostly seen it on celebrities, pinup models and other women directly related to the war effort who were using the hairstyle for the “V for Victory” ad campaigns. When I have seen victory rolls in authentic photos, they are generally smaller and lay flatter on the head. The very large voluminous rolls are typically a modern pinup interpretation (especially when they are paired with cat-eye/winged eyeliner). I don’t personally find this style representative of an authentic 1940s hairstyle. There are many others that serve this purpose better.

It took me years to fully understand the anatomy of a victory roll. When I was learning how to style my hair, there was no YouTube and certainly no vintage hair tutorials on the internet, and neither was there in the 1940s. So, it all comes down to trial and error. You need patience, determination and time to really get the hang of styling your hair in any vintage style.

I will reiterate the importance of a strong foundation, i.e. a good strong set, for all of your vintage hairstyles. I urge you to practice your sets, figure out what works best for your hair/texture, try different setting lotions, different patterns and see how they change the curl pattern. With a little work establishing your knowledge of the basics you’ll be on your way to broadening your repertoire of hairstyles, including victory rolls, in no time.

And remember, I’m available to answer questions if you have any. You can reach me here, on Instagram or in the Facebook Group.





The Life Cycle of My Wet Set ~ Day Four




As you can see my curls are really starting to fall and some of the volume has flattened. This will probably be the last day that I wear my hair down this week. I have to admit that I had a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to do with my hair today. Sometimes at this point, I would use a few hot rollers on my fringe or do a dry pin curl setting with my curling iron. But I really want to show how my hair evolves throughout the original set.

Today I just sectioned off my fringe and created a front roll, pinned it inside the roll and off to the side. Then I did a small pin curl on the smaller side. I added two small hair flowers to finish off the look. I prefer to do rolls like this on day 3 or 4 hair. As you can see the curl at the end is still pretty stable, but the rest is smooth.

Day 4 - 4 Day 4 - 2 IMG_6368 Day 4 - 5 Day 4 - 1 IMG_6369Day 4 - 3IMG_6373





Sheila-Lee – Pantskirt/Playsuit by Miss Candyfloss

Our plans to attend a festival on Saturday were foiled by stormy and very windy weather, however it gave me a great opportunity to wear my new Pantskirt/Playsuit from Miss Candyfloss. Everyone knows that I do not hold any love for trousers. I rarely wear them and when I do, I very rarely document it. When I saw this outfit on the Miss Candyfloss website, I thought it might be a great alternative to wearing a traditional trouser. The weather on Saturday was, as my husband describes it, a “Skirt Alert” day. I’ve been know to accidentally “flash” innocent bystanders when a gust of wind decides to pick up my skirt. So I thought this playsuit might be a safer bet.

I love this playsuit (to be honest I really don’t know what to call it). It’s comfortable, adorable and there is no chance of me flashing anyone if the wind picks up. I love the front pockets (there are two small pockets on the bum as well), and it comes with the belt. Since it is all one piece, it is a bit difficult to get if off, so it’s not an outfit I would want to wear all day and, *ahem*, have to use the facilities, if you get my drift 🙂 But it is a great alternative to regular trousers and will give me an opportunity to change up my wardrobe a bit.

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Pantskirt/Playsuit ~ Miss Candyfloss
Vintage Brooch ~ Daisy’s Vintage Jewlery (on Instagram)
Shoes ~ Cobb Hill
Hair Snood ~ Etsy
Lips ~ Besame Red Lipstick with Ruby Woo Lipliner

7:25:15 - 8 7:25:15 - 5 7:25:15 - 1IMG_2958IMG_30467:25:15 - 77:25:15 - 4IMG_2924IMG_2959IMG_29457:25:15 - 2

Gin, Feathers & Fur ~ Part One

I had the most extraordinary evening with my friends Miranda and Jaclyn on Friday evening. We attended the Philadelphia Alt Taxidermy Competition. It was a most stunning display of artistry, not only in the taxidermy world but also with the fabulous attendees. We of course were encouraged to dress in Feathers and Furs and everyone looked amazing.

My friend Miranda is an amateur taxidermist and I’ve always been enthralled with the artistry of this work. I adore Walter Potter and I’m always astounded at the creativity that people display in these pieces.

flying-handThis event was sponsored by Hendricks Gin, a wonderfully delicious gin that is blended with a subtle and sensually wondrous botanical signature of flowers, roots, fruits and seeds. This chorus of flavors sets the stage for the delicious duet of an infusion of Rose Petal and Cucumber.

They provided Gin & Tonics and a Gin Punch. Both were delightful!

My outfit for the evening was a retro style peplum dress & shoes, vintage feather hat and vintage fur scarf. The dress actually has a hunter green background with small purple & beige dots, but it’s not really discernible in these photos.

My next post will feature all of the amazing contestants and attendees.

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Dress: Eshakti.com
Shoes: Right Here Heel in Green purchased from Mod Cloth
Vintage Feather Hat: Poppycock Vintage on Etsy
Vintage Fur Scarf: Thrifted at In the Details

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Because it’s Tuesday…

I am approached quite often asking “Are you in a play?” or  “Are you dressed up for something special?” Normally my answer to the latter is “Because its (insert day of the week)!” I mean what better reason is there really?

I was raised by a fabulous mother who instilled in me at an early age how important it was to always put your best face forward. My mother donned beautiful frocks, fantastic wigs and hair pieces, false eyelashes and always put “her face on”everyday. For me this was normal and I loved it, she was the epitome of Everyday Glamour. Later in life she came to spend a lot of time in the theater as a singer and actress. She was very talented and surrounded herself with some of the most amazing and fabulous people. I am so grateful to have been exposed to this glamour at such an early age.

This is partly what I attribute my “affliction” of chronic overdressing to, the other is my deep passion for fashion, makeup and a simple desire to return to a time where men and women took care and effort in their appearance. I admire the fashions of the eras between 1920 and 1950 and dress in “vintage style” every day. I put that in quotations, simply because I do not strictly wear vintage. As being a woman of the curvy persuasion I find it difficult to find true vintage fashion that fits me. So I fashion modern pieces to suit my vintage sensibilities.

I style my hair in pin curls and victory rolls, I wear bright red lipstick, gloves and hats and I always carry a parasol to protect my fair skin.

This blog is a way for me to share my passion about glamour, beauty, vintage style and fashion with anyone interested.

I hope you enjoy!