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Made with Love in San Dimas, California

Car Show 101 - What To See and What To Wear From Heart of Haute

Posted on September 05 2015

Summer and fall are prime time for car shows, and if your photos are any indication, our Haute Honeys love visiting them! Whether you drive in your own lovingly restored ride, or just like to window shop and dream, a car show is an amazing way to bring history to life for an afternoon. If you are not working on your own vintage vehicle, knowing what you are seeing at a car show is a little confusing, and even intimidating.

Want to know a little bit more about what you are witnessing (and posing with) at the car show? Here is the Heart of Haute lesson on car show 101.

  • What kind of show is it? Car show themes have become quite niche. Theme examples can be based on a manufacturer like Mopar (Chrysler-built cars - including Dodge, Chrysler, and Plymouth) or a specific make like Corvette. Other shows are open to all makes, but limited by a date range such as 1970 and earlier. Car clubs put on shows as well, and any or all of these shows can features certain types of cars: traditional, hot rods, customs, lowriders, or rat rods.
  • Custom cars have had their original design modified or re-styled. Examples include removing or chopping the roof, frenched headlights or taillights, and removing elements from the nose or back of the car. Many custom modifications were popular enough to  influence auto manufacturer’s new designs. In the past, customizations often focused on the speed and performance of the car. Removing the roof or hood meant less weight and a faster car! Today, most customizing is based on the style and value of the car. Customs are not only hot rods - any vintage car with modifications is a custom: a lowrider Impala, a drag-racing GTO.
  • Traditional cars are as period accurate as possible. These cars are restored to be almost identical to their original incarnation. That immaculate station wagon with a mexican blanket and 1950s picnic set in the backseat is a traditional restoration. Hot rods can also be restored in a traditional fashion, with any customizations being period-accurate.
  • What about those rusty, mismatched hot rods with no hood? Known as rat rods, they are created as a response to the cost and strict rules within restoring traditional and higher-end custom cars. Often associated with rockabilly culture, they are finished in an intentionally crude way, unconcerned with historical accuracy.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything that interests or confuses you. Do be aware that car owners often have allegiance to one of the above styles, and may dislike the others! It’s a detailed and tribal world. 

Pinup car show outfit ideas

Vintage Inspired Looks For Any Era

Now that you know what you will be seeing, it’s time to think about what to wear. Start getting ready with sunscreen, sunglasses, and maybe even a parasol. Wear or at least bring some flats - car shows can be on grass, dirt or hot concrete. For your outfit, a look that corresponds with the period of the car show or your favorite era is a great idea:

  • 1940s - Our Manhattan Dress goes perfectly with victory rolls and spectator shoes.
  • 1950s - Be a car hop daydream in our Diner Dress - bring your own milkshake, but unfortunately we can't help you with all of those boys in the yard.
  • 1960s - The mod Caroline Dress is perfect for a ride in a 1960s roadster. Don’t forget your driving gloves and head scarf.
  • 1970s - Summon your inner Daisy Duke with our gingham Ellie Tie Top.

Happy car show hopping to all of our Haute Honeys, and don’t forget to use the tag #hautehoney on Instagram, or send in your car show photos to alisa@heartofhaute.com - we love seeing them! 

car show pinup dress

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