Saturday, January 22, 2011

Betty's Vintage Musings is Now "The DC Metro Retro"

So, after much consideration, I have decided to change blog from "Betty's Vintage Musings" to "The DC Metro Retro." In addition, I am dropping the moniker "Lady Betty" for my name, "Tara."

"Lady Betty" was my pin-up name that I used for photography work, and since I have not done any projects since 2008, going by my real name seems more appropriate nowadays.

As for my new blog title, I think it's a great way to have fun with the fact that I seem to be one of the few vintage people in the DC area! Like I have mentioned many times before, there is no rockabilly/vintage community.  I am sure there a are a 'token few' rockabilly folks here and there but as a whole, DC lacks an established scene. There are no events, no shows, and there are definitely no neato-keen weekenders!  In a land of political action committees, lobbyists, government employees, senate staffers, and federal contractors; the J. Crew-clad locals shop at the mall, go out to eat, grab a drink, and commute in traffic. Oh, what I would do to be able to meet someone who lives and breathes the vintage life!

In conclusion, I hope you all will enjoy the changes here on my blog. Instead of lamenting the fact I "stick out like a sore thumb," I am going to start enjoying being a vintage gal surviving life inside the Beltway!


  1. Well hello Tara ;) It is always funny to find out people's real names! Lots of people think I am called Penny but my actual name is Margaret :)

  2. I think that is an excellent plan! How far are you from Baltimore? I have heard there is a bit of a scene there.

  3. Oh my heck! I really thought your name was Betty. Now I have read your whole blog so I am sure I did see at one time or another that that wasn't your real name. But after seeing Betty over and over I had forgotten all about it.
    Congrats on the name change. I did this also, I just wanted a different feel for my blog.
    I also know how you feel about not having much vintage folk around. To tell you the truth I am a little shy to go around town vintage looking. Lots of people stare.. and I can just hear the thoughts in their mind. "This is 2011 not the 1960" Now I am sure not all people would think that.. but thats what my little head tells me. I admire you for being a true vintage girl even if you are only one out of thousands in your area. It really does take courage to not care what others think and to be who you want to be. P.s. you do a great job of being a vintage woman. =)

  4. What a lovely name, Margaret! I had a great great auntie named Margaret who was very fashionable and quite a lady! To me, the name Margaret always invokes images of classy ladies who went to finishing school wearing the latest haute couture!

  5. Kim,

    I am about an hour and a half to two hours south of Baltimore. I have heard B'more has a scene. My sister's friends told me a while back. The DC area has an indie/hipster crowd but most of the scene is very preppy due the the nature of the work here.

  6. Melzaelf,

    I did mention in one of my first few posts that I was not a Betty but that was back in May 2010! So, I can understand the confusion! lol!

    I get stares too and I admit that it used to bug me but now I just expect it. People are not used to it, especially when there is no scene! They expect to see suburbanites wearing khakis and North Face jackets not a gal decked out in saddle shoes wearing bright red lipstick with her hair in rolls! lol!

    I have had people come up and ask me if I am "dressed up for a play" or if I am wearing my attire for a special occasion. When I tell them I wear vintage everyday, they just look like deer in the headlights! lol

  7. This is such a weird area. I've been poking my nose into swing dancing, and even they don't really have a vintage scene. It's too hard to dance in vintage/vintage-inspired, I've been told. I should wear jeans and a Tshirt (I...don't own any).

  8. The man and I used to take swing classes with Tom and Debra at Tysons Corner back in 1999. They still teach classes in the area. They have events in the area, especially at Glen Echo in MD.

    Here is their site:

    I know a lot of the professional dancers wear vintage! When I took classes, I wore my vintage saddle shoes and wore vintage rayon dresses. The ladies and gents back in the 40s wore "vintage" so I do not see how wearing it nowadays would be an issue. I think a lot of swing dancers tend to see swing as just a hobby and not a lifestyle. As a result, I suspect they are simply not accustomed to wearing vintage every day. If you are comfortable wearing vintage, then I say go for it!

  9. As I've said before, I know how you feel because I am definitely the only rockabily in my village - and to be honest, my entire town! I have never seen anyone else who is rockabilly round near me! When I went to watch a local swing band last year, out of about 250 people I was the only person with victory rolls and a 50s dress...the 70 year old men loved me, lol!

  10. Clare,

    That is too funny! That is amazing that people went to see/hear a swing band play and no one even made an attempt to dress in somewhat of a vintage style! But I am not really surprised. When the man and I took swing classes in '99, no one but he and I were dressed in period/period-inspired attire. They were wearing mostly jeans and tees. And when it comes to seeing/meeting other rockabilly folks here in DC, of the few I have seen, their look has a few vintage touches here and there. No one I have seen is "pure" vintage like me. I know there has to be other vintage people. I just have yet to see them.

  11. Tara- I have to say it is so strange not putting "Lady" in front of your name but I understand wanting to use your own name (especially since Tara is such a lovely one!).

    I was under the impression you had a vintage community up there, especially since you have such a wonderful, vintage capable, hair dresser.

    I'm always thinking that there must be vintage people here as well, I'm just looking for them in the wrong places. I'll find them someday!!

  12. Ginger,

    I wish there was a vintage community here! I am lucky to have a talented stylist who was able to study the Middy diagram and make it work for me. I am trying to grow out the shorter layers but I still want to keep the u shape.

    As for finding vintage people in the area, I know downtown DC has a few hipsters here and there and there must be a sprinkling of vintage types there. But sadly, most of the people are quite preppy, Ivy League types. I am sure I will stumble upon them one day but when it comes to places like LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Vegas, NYC, or SoCal; DC does even come up as a speck under the microscope! lol

  13. Love the changes you are making to your blog Tara. I think it suits you very well!

    It's such a shame that there is no vintage community where you're at. Do you know if there is one in Richmond? I've been living here for about a year now and have not come across any other vintage ladies other than the ones who work at Bygones! I get looked at as if I'm an alien whenever I'm out in public. It's very annoying and things like this is what makes me wish I was still living in California.

  14. Crafty Doll,

    Thank you for the comments! As far as I know, there is no vintage community in Richmond. However, Richmond does have a decent art community (VCU) that is very open to alternative style. Other than VCU, Richmond is very preppy and the surrounding areas (where I am from) are very conservative and southern. I get stared at big time when my mom and I go to Stony Point or Short Pump. Whenever I visit my hometown (Mechanicsville), my mom hates it when I dress vintage. She says I am an "embarrassment." I tell her that I refuse to dress a certain way to please strangers! I want to hold my head high and tell them all to get over it! Life is too short and I plan on being happy by being myself!

  15. Sorry for posting so many... I had to play catch up! Ugh, I know what you mean. I live right by Short Pump, so that is part of the problem. I commend you for refusing to dress a certain way to please others. That's exactly how I feel. I have more important things to worry about!

    We should get together one of these days when you're in Richmond! We could go on an all day hunt trying to find those hidden vintage treasures here. I'm sure there are some, there has to be!

    Btw, I just linked you on my blog regarding a pair of shoes you posted last summer. =)

  16. Hows is it that we have never run into each other?! I live near Dulles Airport- the lonely retro goddess of Loudoun COunty!
    No scene. None. But i tell you honey, where ever i go around here IS the scene. this gov't mules dont know fashion from jeans and a fleece vest. LOL