While Rebecca Springer's love for '50s fashion certainly expresses itself through her designed dresses, her affection for the style manifests in nearly every detail.

SLUG Style: Rebecca Springer

Art and Fashion

Rebecca Springer is a DIY seamstress and grant writer originally from Chicago, now living in Salt Lake City. While Springer’s love for ’50s retro fashion certainly expresses itself through her dresses, her affection for the style manifests in about every detail that it can. From her home decor to her love for Audrey Hepburn, Springer exudes retro panache. Follow her on Instagram @pixiehulk to see more of her work and fashion.

"I always joke that if you want a snapshot of my formative years, watch an episode of Pushing Daisies," Springer says.
Photo: Jovvany Villalobos

What are your stylistic influences? This could be a band, decade, fictional character—anything.

I always joke that if you want a snapshot of my formative years, watch an episode of Pushing Daisies. When I watched it as a kid, the vivid colors and Chuck’s entire collection of ’50s style dresses is what really started me into looking into and falling in love with retro fashion, specifically ’50s fashion. I have always loved older television shows, movies and music growing up, but I didn’t find the fashion attainable or realistic until I watched Pushing Daisies when I was about 15.

Tell us about your interest in sewing and making your DIY clothes. How does it come together to form your style?

I started sewing in late June or early July of 2020 as my “pandemic hobby,” if you will. I tend to watch a lot of retro fashion YouTubers, so on my recommends, Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsh popped up with a sewing tutorial for a dress she designed for her sewing pattern company Charm Patterns. I ended up clicking on it, buying all of her books, and I then just dove headfirst into retro garment sewing! My very first project was a dress, and I haven’t stopped since. I learned everything I have and continue to learn more about sewing from Gertie’s YouTube channel and Patreon, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

Style wise, sewing has opened up so many possibilities and let me play with different styles of dresses, patterns, enabling me to have a larger viewpoint of my wardrobe. Making my own clothes takes time, so what I choose to make is definitely more deliberate based on what I feel I lack in my wardrobe, what I think would be interesting to sew and what I know I will enjoy wearing. The great thing about sewing is that it has really allowed me to have a better relationship with my body and with my style in many ways. I understand how to make clothes for my body rather than fit into ready-to-wear clothes. Now I know that I have narrow sloping shoulders and can adjust for that, I can adjust for my hip-to-waist ratio, etc. I’ve become much more in tune with what sorts of garments fit my style, flatter my body and that I feel confident in.

This fall and winter I’m excited to start to experiment more with ’40s patterns and go for more of a land-girl sort of fall aesthetic with wool, trousers, collared shirts and sweaters. 

What is the hobby or interest that you have that no one would realize to ask you about? 

It would probably be gaming! If I’m not sewing I’m either at my PC or on my Switch playing anything from Genshin Impact to Stardew Valley to Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s a great way to keep in touch and spend time with friends as well since I tend to be a homebody.

Are you always “on” or would someone see you at the grocery store, for example, with less elements of your style?

The dream is to be always on! I’ve been working on getting dressed up in my full ’40s/’50s ensemble, but working from home has really stilted my desire to take the time to get ready in full retro daily since I’ll just be home. Lately, if I’m not leaving my house or running to the store, I’ll just be in an easy, comfy outfit, but I’m striving to get out of that habit because it takes a toll on my mental health. That’s where house dresses and belted popover dresses come in clutch and are on my list to make more of.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would those be? 

Passionate, creative and caring  

How has your personal style evolved over time?

It’s funny, really, because I’d argue it kind of all spun out of my genuinely deep hatred for pants growing up. My sisters would tease me for wearing sweatpants everywhere when I was in elementary and middle school. In high school, my style ended up as just simple jeans and t-shirts as I was figuring out the style I liked through TV shows and blogs. By the time I graduated, I began to get more and more comfortable with adding retro flares to my style until, eventually, I went full ’50s. Now, I’m just a complete spectacle sometimes, and it’s what gives me confidence day to day.

What fashion advice would you give yourself from five years ago? What fashion advice do you think that version of you would tell the “you” today? 

I would tell myself to not be afraid of being loud or “too much” with my style choices and to just pursue the fashion that catches my eye rather than weigh if it will bring too much attention to myself.

As for what that version of me would say, I think she would be less surprised how deep I’ve gone into retro fashion but more surprised that I still haven’t gotten into hats or gloves—though I’m hoping to work on adding them to my accessory repertoire.

See more from photographer Jovvany Villalobos on SLUG:
SLFC Fashion Show @ Medium Studio 07.01
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