web analytics

Archive for ‘Fashion’

Swimsuit Season Woes? Good Golly, It’s Norma Kamali!

By , 25 May, 2009, No Comment

If you’re looking for sexy swimsuits in vintage styles, check out Norma Kamali.

Be a vamp like Theda Bara in gorgeous black mesh — in stunning one piece and two piece styles.

Black Mesh Norma Kamali One-Piece Swimsuit

Black Mesh Norma Kamali One-Piece Swimsuit

Fashion yourself more like Esther Williams? Check out the stunning jersey suits with classic Hollywood style.

Classic Hollywood Glamour By Norma Kamali

Classic Hollywood Glamour By Norma Kamali

Even if you’re not a water baby, you can lounge pool side in vintage style in Norma Kamali cover-ups.

The Ernie Scarf in solid poly jersey can be worn with more sophisticated glamour, ala Gloria Swanson, than any sarong wrap. (Heck, there’s even a turban!)

Swim Jersey Scarf By Norma Kamali

Swim Jersey Scarf By Norma Kamali

If you’re feeling more Hedy Lamarr, how about the Angel Bias Swim Gown with caplet? Printed washable chiffon so pretty you can wear it out on the town (or, as Norma says, as lingerie!)

Pretty Chiffon Swim Gown By Norma Kamali

Pretty Chiffon Swim Gown By Norma Kamali

Not that you must have a swimsuit cover up. If you buy the right swimwear style to suit you…

Norma Kamali also offers a unique Try Before You Buy Service, in which you, with the help of a Personal Shopper, can select styles and sizes you like on the website, have them overnighted to your house where you have 48 hours to decide if the fashions fit & flatter you — as well as work with your wardrobe as you intended.

The ability to try on swimsuits without the ugly harsh florescent store lighting (which turns nearly every skin a pasty-ashen-greenish-bile color) should not be underestimated.

The Fabulous! Festival

By , 18 May, 2009, No Comment
Vintage Hane's Stockings Ad

Vintage Hane's Stockings Ad

For fashionistas who like to learn about fashions — old & new — I’m proud to share with you this month’s edition of the fabulous! festival. Hosting was fun!

Beauty:

Icy presents L’Oreal Infallible 16 Hours Lipstick Compact posted at Individual Chic.

Woman Tribune presents Piggy Paint Finally Makes Non-Toxic, Kid-Friendly Nail Polish a Reality posted at Woman Tribune.

Fashion:

Azrael Brown presents Three Gents In Snappy Hats posted at Infomercantile.

Deanna presents Smoking Hot Fashion: Recycled From Cigarette Butts posted at Kitsch Slapped.

Ed Biado presents Today’s most common fashion mistakes posted at Ed Biado at MST Life | Philippine Lifestyle News.

Ed Biado also presents Sunglasses at Ed Biado at MST Life | Philippine Lifestyle News.

Fabulously Broke presents 3 work environments to dress for posted at Fabulously Broke …in the City.

Pop Tart presents Tips On Darning Stockings & White Satin Blouses Yellowing? at Things Your Grandmother Knew.

Savings not shoes presents How to update your wardrobe after a major weight loss or gain posted at Savings not Shoes.

Personal Style:

Deanna presents The Answer To One Of Life’s Hardest Questions posted at Kitsch Slapped.

Icy presents A handbag of uniqueness, Part 1 & Part 2 at Individual Chic.

Pop Tart presents Kilgallen’s Boo-Boo posted at Kitschy Kitschy Coo.

Tali presents Mexican Pinups – A Cinco De Mayo Special- The Pinup Blog Way posted at The Pinup Blog.

Lastly…

This one may not entirely fit the theme, but I found Matt Curt’s Mafia Looking College Basketball Coaches (posted at NCAA Football 10 News) too clever not to include.

The next edition of the fabulous! festival will be hosted by Barry at 3stylelife.com on June 15 and the deadline for submissions is June 12th. You can submit your posts here.

Vintage stocking ad Found in Mom’s Basement.

(Full) Skirting The Issue

By , 15 May, 2009, No Comment

I don’t think there’s a fashionista alive who hasn’t dreamed of a pretty full-skirted 1950’s New Look party dress or ball gown. But even when her pocketbook is willing, she has to pause and think to herself, “But where on earth will I ever wear it…?”

Oh, if only we dressed more. *sigh*

However, there are times when a girl just has to ignore the obvious and dream that dream — that’s called skirting the issue. And when you do the modern equivalent of window shopping by trolling eBay for 1950’s dresses, dreaming those little romantic fashion dreams, you’re “full skirting the issue!” *wink*

This 1950s full-skirted chiffon illusion party dress features flocking and — brace yourself — glitter! Has glitter ever been so glam?!

Vintage Illusion Chiffon Cocktail Dress

Vintage Illusion Chiffon Cocktail Dress

Think you have better chances to dress to the nines for a wedding or a garden party than a cocktail party? How about this stunning dress?

Vintage Garden Party Dress

Vintage Garden Party Dress

Then again, if you’re going to go for the dream why not go full-skirted, full-throttle diva? And I’m not saying this gorgeous hand-painted ball gown with a corset back is worthy of a diva — it actually belonged to Licia Albanese, the American opera singer who made her début in Milan in 1934 in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

Vintage Diva Ball Gown

Vintage Diva Ball Gown

If You Ever Wondered About The Names oF Vintage Lingerie Pieces…

By , 8 May, 2009, 38 Comments

I think we all know & recognize bras, panties, girdles, nightgowns, robes and slips, but some of the older pieces, which even our mothers likely didn’t have in her drawers or closet are very unfamiliar. So I’ve decided to scan these pages from a vintage lingerie catalog to help us identify other styles.

Before we get to the scans, I’d like to discuss what I know about the booklet.

The catalog is from the Dutchmaid Garment Company of Ephrata, PA, and though it has few pages, it has many lingerie styles shown with photos.
The catalog is not dated; I believe from the hairstyles, printing and the style of the pieces themselves, it dates to the 1930s. However, as use of the “PA” to designate Pennsylvania typically dates a piece to the 60’s, it is very possible that Dutchmaid, being a smaller company with a small line of lingerie and hosiery, simply made small changes to it’s promotional pieces, using them over several decades.

The catalog is small, just 16 pages, including covers, and measures 8 1/2 inches X just over 5 inches. It has a simple glue binding and, as you can see by the uneven “swoop” at the top, rather crudely cut. (I have cropped the scans to an even rectangle in all but the cover image, just for my own personal neatness — but the uneven cut exists on all pages.)

Vintage Dutchmaid Garment Company Catalog

Vintage Dutchmaid Garment Company Catalog

Vintage Dutchmaid Stockings

Vintage Dutchmaid Stockings

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie Vests & Tight-Knee Pantie (Pettipant)

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie Vests & Tight-Knee Pantie (Pettipant)

Vintage Dutchmaid Vests & Tigh-Knee Pantie

Vintage Dutchmaid Chemise (We'd Likely Call It A "Teddie") & Pantie

Vintage Dutchmaid Panties

Vintage Dutchmaid Panties

Vintage Dutchmaid Slips

Vintage Dutchmaid Slips

Vintage Dutchmaid Nightgowns

Vintage Dutchmaid Nightgowns

Vintage Dutchmaid Pajamas & Robe

Vintage Dutchmaid Pajamas & Robe

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie (Slip and Nightgown)

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie (Slip and Nightgown)

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie

Did Someone Say Vintage Glamour?

By , 1 May, 2009, No Comment

My To Die For Item Of The Week: an orange silk crepe rhinestone belted bias cut gown from the 1930s. If bright orange silk crepe flowing to the floor doesn’t get you, how about the dramatic V neckline flanked by stunning tell-tale-30s folded lapels & the full dolman sleeves which taper to fitted wrists that rest as V’s over your hands… All that heaven, plus a prong set rhinestone belt?! Incredible!

The Incredible Drama Of 1930s Fashion

The Incredible Drama Of 1930s Fashion

Basics Tips For Shopping For Vintage Fashions

By , 27 April, 2009, No Comment

There’s been a lot of press given to shopping for vintage fashions in this economy. Like Twolia’s Deanna, guest blogging at Shop It To Me, I’m not sure that all that many fashionista’s are jumping onto the vintage bandwagon… And if they are, I’m not sure they’re all finding their bliss — shopping for vintage fashions is a lot different than heading to the mall. If you’ve been thinking of giving vintage fashion shopping a try — or if you have tried, and were stymied — read Deanna’s article for some guidance regarding the realities, and then check out some of these basic tips.

1960s Polka-Dot Dress

1960s Polka-Dot Dress

When it comes to shopping for vintage fashion and accessories, we’re basically talking “used clothing.” (“Vintage” or “retro” sounds much better, doesn’t it? *giggle*) No matter what you call it, here are a few tips to help you when shopping for vintage fashions.

Most of these tips boil down to basic wardrobe building, judging quality pieces worthy of buying, and creativity.

Wardrobe Building With Vintage Fashions & Accessories

Like any clothing shopping, you shouldn’t waste your money on anything you won’t really wear. So no matter how fabulous that New Look ball gown is, if you don’t ever go to a place where you can wear it, don’t get it. Even if it’s a fraction of what a new gown would cost. You don’t need a ball gown, remember? (Of course, if it’s for your “collection,” well then, all these wardrobe rules simply don’t apply!)

Look for vintage pieces which will work with what you have. As a general rule, I find it easier to purchase the basics & classic pieces, such as black pencil skirts and ivory ruffled blouses (oh and the ivory camisoles that you must wear beneath them!), from modern makers at modern stores. This makes it easier to ensure you have the basics — and then you can go crazy with colorful vintage suits, wild mod minis, cute retro dresses etc. to build your own unique wardrobe.

Groovy Hanging Poodles

Groovy Hanging Poodles

If you’re just looking to add some oomph and individuality to your wardrobe, try to confine your vintage shopping to accessories. Vintage jewelry, scarves, handbags, belts, hats, and shoes can take “off the rack” to “out of this world” easily and really inexpensively. Other women may have the same YSL suit as you, but who else will have the outrageous retro poodle pins? Or vintage chocolate brown suede & carmel leather striped shoes? Nobody but you, darling!

Finding Quality Vintage Fashions

When you find stunning pieces it’s tempting to overlook flaws; but poor fit, spots, tears and needed repairs will likely mean the purchase will just take up closet or drawer space.

When you spot an appealing vintage item, inspect it all over. You’re looking for spots & stains, holes & tears, signs of alterations & repairs, and working closures (buttons, snaps, zippers, hook and eyes, etc.). Vintage pieces & classic designer clothing were generally made with much higher quality than most of today’s off the rack pieces and have solid construction, but because they’ve typically been warn you need to look for signs of wear that may make wearing the garment improbable if not impossible. There are some cases of NOS, “New Old Stock,” and NOSWT, “New Old Stock With Tags,” but even then you want to see if the old inventory had snags or spots.

To avoid problems with fit use the fitting room whenever possible. And always know your measurements & compare them to the garment’s measurements.

Problem areas often overlooked in proper fit are across the shoulders and sleeve length. (I can’t tell you the number of times that I, as a vintage buying newbie, was so in love with a dress that I ignored the tight shoulders and short sleeves — it was fine for a fitting room experience, but in real life, the range of daily body motion was impossible &/or threatened to bust the seams.)

Unless you are an excellent seamstress, or know and can afford an experienced seamstress who specializes in vintage fashions, don’t buy pieces which require anything above button replacement, minimal hem or seam fixes, or other easy sewing fix. (And don’t kid yourself, vintage zipper replacement is not an easy fix for most of us.)

1940s Suede Shoes

1940s Suede Shoes

There are tips on the specific issues of repairs and quality issues with vintage jewelry pieces and vintage shoes (also pretty good advice for purses too) to help you with evaluating those purchases.

When in doubt, consult with store staff (online and in physical stores) and if they can’t provide the information you seek, discount the item to have the price reflect the cost of repair, or otherwise provide a satisfactory solution, I suggest that you walk away — or risk buyer’s remorse.

Dealing With Boo-Boo Buys Creatively

OK, so what happens when you come home with that grand vintage fashion and discover that there’s a boo-boo or two that you missed?

Dealing with small spots holes: Some garments can easily be dyed a darker or deeper shade, hiding the spots. If you’ve got just one spot or small tear to deal with, a quick fix is to apply vintage jewelry to hide it. (Vintage jewelry is quite often substantial enough to hide it completely — an authentically.)

If the spot is on a skirt or someplace you wouldn’t put a pin, or you have multiple places to hide, consider cute appliqués and creative patches. (Even if there’s just one spot, multiple appliqués scattered about help disguise the repair!)

If the piece is a great find but is beyond your skills, consider having it repaired by a seamstress experienced in vintage. Many good seamstresses will give you an accurate appraisal of cost which will help you decide if it’s worth the investment.

Upcycled Slip With Appliques

Upcycled Slip With Appliques

Should you discover that the vintage piece is so riddled with problems that repairs will render it more new than old, don’t be blue! Consider having the skirting of the dress salvaged from the stained top of the dress, or vice versa. Maybe having the sleeves shortened to three-quarter length will save the coat — and send you shopping for opera length gloves. *wink* Removing the sleeves entirely may be the creative solution to badly worn or stained armpits & sleeves. Maybe just the fabric can be recycled (sometimes referred to as “upcycled”) into another garment altogether. It may not be cheap to do, and it might even be outside your abilities — but someone out there probably sees value in your vintage item, so don’t throw it out without consulting someone else about salvaging options. (You might just find that you can trade your “useless” vintage dress for a recycled or upcycled vintage piece!)

PS Don’t forget to enter my The Get Fab-U-Lush Eyelashes Contest!

All Sorts Of Goodies — So Here’s Linking To You, Kid!

By , 20 April, 2009, No Comment

This week on the Vintage Roadshow…

Vintage Summer White Fashions

Vintage Summer White Fashions

Couture Allure shows how to wear summer whites with dresses from 1960 as inspiration. (That’s where the image is from!)

Debutante Clothing goes vintage shopping in her own closet.

Glamoursplash looks at swimsuits used for all kinds of advertising.

(And I give you 40 lashes — 1940’s eyelashes, that is!)

Speaking of me…

I recently made an edition of the Carnival of The Vanities..

I was also honored to have three of my posts make the cut for the latest edition of the Fabulous! Festival — including Rolled Stockings, Bees Knees, And All That Jazz being selected as one of the Top Three Posts! Even more remarkable, here’s what host had to say about my post:

One of the best explanations of historical fashion I’ve seen on the internet. A really interesting look at women’s fashion in the early half of the twentieth century. Very impressive!

I won’t need to rouge my knees — or anything else — I’m blushing everywhere as it is! Thanks, Barry!

More about me — and you too!

I’ll be hosting the next edition of The Fabulous! Festival (on May 18th). Please use carnival submission form to submit something you wrote — or read — about fashion that you think should be in next month’s carnival.

(More information, including past carnivals and future carnival hosts can be found on the blog carnival’s index page.)

Free & Fun

Free: Enter A Slip of a Girl’s “Shape You, Shape You Very Much!” Contesttwo lucky winners will each receive a beautiful bustier from ShapeMeBra.com — which Slip of a Girl “lustily reviewed” here.  (I’m in need of a white longline bra because summer is on its way!)

Fun: Just for fun, can you identify the young starlet in this photo? If so, post a comment below!

Guess Who!

Guess Who!

Paging Pretty Princess Me; Table With Anna Reese

By , 8 April, 2009, No Comment

A lot of what we call “classic” fashions remind me of New Look fashions — with a little less emphasis on floofy skirts. I suppose that’s a pretty obvious statement, but heck, sometimes I’m Captain Obvious.

Anyway, after Slip pointed me to Juxzy, I joined and therefore discovered designs by Anna Reese (featuring Chloe & Reese) and I’m completely struck by the “princess” fashions which must be vintage inspired. Simple classic feminine elegance — with shorter more mod skirt lengths. Yum!

Chloe & Reese Faille Dress in Merlot

Chloe & Reese Faille Dress in Merlot

Chloe & Reese Wool Coat with Gathers in Blue

Chloe & Reese Wool Coat with Gathers in Blue

I can’t even do the math — I’m too excited. But, for example, the Chloe & Reese – Wool Coat with Gathers in Blue was $655, but is just $294.75 at Juxzy!

Can’t get in at Juxzy to see? Use code “6a3407” to get into the private fashion club!

Joan Crawford Makes Me Want To Sew

By , 3 April, 2009, No Comment

Every year I tell myself, “This is the year I learn how to sew — really sew.” You know, the kind of sewing where you, eventually, can look at a photo and reconstruct what you see. So far, I’ve just not mustered enough time & dedication to master sewing like that. And when I see an outfit like this one, I nearly weep with regret that I never paid enough attention in home ec when we made that dumb fabric purse (with the handle that was ridiculously too long) and the peasant skirt (three tiers of unevenly gathered sections). *sigh*

Joan Crawford Publicity Photo For Dancing Lady

Joan Crawford Publicity Photo For Dancing Lady

According to the information on the back of this vintage Joan Crawford photograph, used to promote Dancing Lady (1933), this stunning polka dot ensemble was part of Joan’s personal wardrobe:

The use of linen for formal wear is introduced by Joan Crawford, glamorous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer star appearing in the picture, “Dancing Lady.” She selects a bright red model with white embroidered dots. This frock is trimmed with an edging of white scalloped pique. Linen gloves, pique trimmed, made of the same material sets off the costume.

Joan Crawford's Personal Wardrobe Publicity Note

Joan Crawford's Personal Wardrobe Publicity Note

Oh, how I want to recreate every detail — including those matching polka dot gloves!  It would be worth it to hand embroider every dot onto red linen myself (and that’s about all I would know how to do!)

Ashely Paige Bathing Beauty

By , 31 March, 2009, No Comment

Speaking of vintage swimsuits… Via A Slip of a Girl, I found this vintage styled knit swimsuit by Ashley Paige, appropriately called Bathing Beauty.

Ashely Paige Bathing Beauty Swimsuit

Ashely Paige Bathing Beauty Swimsuit

Doesn’t it have the same sweet appeal of the authentic vintage swimwear shown on this antique French postcard?

Swimsuit Model On Vintage French Postcard

Swimsuit Model On Vintage French Postcard