Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rule #1: Always Open the Suitcases


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Garage saling/thrifting/vintage hunting is a job that one learns on the go. I've found that it's taken many trips and many years to learn the ins and outs of garage sales. It's a tricky business and, believe it or not, every sale lends a new life lesson.

Kind of like a weird 'Grimm's Fairy Tales' except probably grimmer.

Like, I've learned to always have a hand free because the last thing you want is to be trapped behind someone while carrying an armload of heavy coats, watching as they take out beautiful dress after beautiful dress from a closet that you so could have gotten to were it not for these 100 pound coats.

It eats at your soul. 

I've also learned one of the most important rules to remember when garage-saling.

Always open the suitcases.

How did I learn this?

Around two months ago we ventured to an estate sale that a young man was having. He had just bought this house and when he finally opened it up he was surprised to see the contents still inside. So, he was having a sale.

We were the only people there interested in clothing, but there wasn't really much in the closets. So, I relaxed a bit and just started casually looking around.

My mother came across some vintage suitcases. I had already seen these, but passed by them without a second thought because we already have too many of them.

Being the wise Yoda she is, my mother opened them.

Duh. Why didn't I think of that?

Out popped a swarm of vintage bathing suits, folded up neatly, and unworn.

The guy said he was planning on throwing the suitcases away along with the rest of the contents if nobody bought them at this sale.

:-/

Now, this rule could apply to many situations, and they don't neccesarily have to be concerning vintage suitcases.

I found cashmere sweaters stuffed in those thick plastic bag things new duvet covers come in, sitting idly on a closet shelf behind some bedspreads.
Gorgeous sweater sets were unearthed under piles of fabric scraps crammed into a box with towels and linens.
A beautiful antique brass and topaz necklace (that still makes me weep and will be buried with me) was found in a little plastic box inside a dresser's drawer.
Just this past weekend I found a vintage sweater stacked underneath some modern pajamas. I have no idea what it was doing there- but there it was!

So, if anyone finds themselves at a fabulous vintage estate/garage/yard sale always remember to dig in unexpected places because sometimes that's where the treasures are waiting! You could be rescuing things others may just absent-mindedly toss away! 

Most of the time suitcases are empty, but sometimes (as I've recently found) they are not.

Look in those darn hat boxes too! 

I've learned that lesson one too many times.

-Melissa


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Horse and Stagecoach

I love novelty and border print circle skirts from the 1950s! Who doesn't, really?

The problem is you rarely see them pop up and when you do they aren't usually ever in my size.

So when I saw this baby I knew I had to grab it (even if it was a little more than I typically like to spend on myself).












Details
Skirt - Vintage via eBay
Blouse - Vintage from awhile ago
Purse - Vintage via an estate sale (of one awesome woman whom I call The Sweater Lady...I'll have to make a post about her one day!)
All Jewelry and Watch - Vintage via garage sales
Shoes - Vintage via garage sale
Belt - Vintage via garage sale

The skirt is labeled 'Cherni Creations". I'm pretty sure it's a John Wolf fabric (who made great western prints including this Overland Mail Company one) and it's just fabulous- so detailed and interesting! Plus, it has a great fall color palette that will be fun to pair with a lot of different things!

I went super western with it today and accessorized it with a lot of my favorite cowboy and country-themed jewelry.

I think this is the most pictures I've included of an outfit in a post before, so it's a testament to how much I love this skirt! Plus, my mother did a wonderful job as photographer!

Now I'm sort of addicted to these scenic print skirts and will definitely be trying to nab a few more in the future! I've seen New York skyline prints and even the Grand Canyon- hello! :-)

-Melissa

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Orange is the New Red

Whenever I wear something navy blue and white my first instinct is to add on red accessories. Perhaps I'm just super patriotic, but there's something so easy about red, white, and blue.

It's a little nautical, a little retro, a little bit country (and I'm a little bit rock n' roll...sorry, I had to).

But this time I decided to think outside the box and push the boundaries of accessorizing.

I paired navy blue and white with orange.

Whoa! I know! I'm a visionary!

Orange isn't too far of a stretch from red and I think it's a nice twist on the classic. Plus, a lovely shade of pumpkin orange can take a typically summer outfit into autumn very easily!









Details
Dress - 1940s Vintage (deadstock! woo!) via The Shop Lady
Bakelite Bracelets - Vintage via garage sales
Bakelite Rings and Pink Ring - Vintage via garage/estate sales
White Ring - Forever 21
Brooches and Earrings - Vintage via garage sales
Shoes - So old I can't remember
Tights - Ditto
Sunglasses - Vintage Ray-Bans via garage sale

I kind of also look like I'm about to go plow the fields or something, but hey, it's almost fall-ish so maybe I am!

I probably need some better shoes first, though.

-Melissa

P.S. I'm pretty sure my grandma loved this outfit because the second she saw me she said "I don't like that on you". So...it's a win for me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Poor Bleeding Heart

If you are a fan of vintage, and in particular late 1940s fashion, I'm sure you've seen this picture or variations of it:

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Well, I came across it in one of my endless scrolls through Pinterest and fell in love with the design.
This sweater and others with different designs were created by Suse in the 1940s for starlets like Esther Williams and Barbara Stanwyck.

You can learn a little more about this designer and her fabulous sweaters through a LIFE Magazine article discussed here on Tuppence Ha'penny.

Seeing as these sweaters cost the equivalent of 600 to 1,000 of today's dollars, the odds of ever finding a real one are very, very slim.

(Unless Esther Williams had a secret summer home in the bowels of Disney World...)

So, I decided to recreate one of my very own.




Luckily I had my grandmother's collection of vintage beads and pearls and some felt laying around, so I didn't really need to purchase much. I also lucked out that I found a black sweater top just a few weekends ago at a garage sale- yay for hoarding!

The process was a combo of fairly simple and very difficult (I have the stabbed fingertips to prove it :-P), but I think the effort was definitely worth it.

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It's still too warm to wear it out and about right now, but I couldn't wait to share it as I'm quite proud of the final result! My version is a little different as I only had black and white pictures to go from and the supplies I had access to (plus my limited abilities), but I think I got it pretty close! :-)

I'm looking forward to incorporating it into some outfits come the fall!

-Melissa

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Apparently I Like Clothes

Nothing better than spending a hot, humid, rainy day staring at photos of pretty ladies in pretty sweaters and dreaming of cooler weather!

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More after the jump! (Picture heavy)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Blues (and Greens)

Just popping in to give a little sneak peek into some more great blouses that are going to be coming to the shop in the next couple of days.

Lots of blues and greens to bring a little pop of color into the end of the summer!



My favorite is the third blouse on the top row- it's a gorgeous lightweight linen-y type of fabric and such a pretty shade of sherbet green! I so wish it fit me!

-Melissa

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Luck Be a Lady

There's been a lot happening around here lately! 
I've got some interesting things to share, but first, an outfit.

I've gawked at Modcloth for a long time. I still have pictures of their items saved from 2010! I just never took the plunge and actually ordered anything from them.

But when they recently had their big 70% sale, I couldn't resist any longer!

When I saw this dress I knew immediately that I had to have it. I love anything in a novelty print and the style was so 1950s and cute- pretty much everything I need in a dress. Plus, it was a ridiculously good price! 

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I also love this hat. I'm pretty sure it's from the same estate as this one and after I removed the ripped up netting, it turned out to be such a fun headband that adds a bit of sparkle!


Read on for more!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Estate Sale Weekend #6, 7, 8, 9, 10...

...well, you get the point.

Here's the thing with my garage sale outings- I go every weekend, but most weekends yield nothing of much interest to talk about so they don't get a post.

The past number of vintage hunting trips haven't been the best. I found a lovely antique hat pin, some Bakelite rings for myself, and a few other bits and bobs, but it's hard for me to form an entire post around one or two small items.

You can understand my plight.

This past weekend was a good (but odd) one, though, so I thought it would be a good time to recap my latest adventures!

On Friday we went to a house where the family owned one of the town's older department stores. I found a beautiful 1940s Fred Perlberg tulle gown there as well as a vintage leather cross-body purse. (I also scored full-sized, unused Bumble and Bumble hair products for $1.00! Woo!)




Unfortunately, that's where most of the fun ends. :-/

Saturday we drove pretty far out of our way to a sale that advertised vintage clothing. We even emailed them the previous night to determine what type of clothing they had, etc., etc., so that we didn't waste our time.

Much to our dismay, we discovered that the community was gated and guarded by a...well, a guard. We told her we were there for a garage sale, but she said that the ad was fake and that there was no sale.

"Um. What?"

It was like some bad episode of "Murder, She Wrote". The tale of the forged estate sale! Apparently she called the house it was "supposed" to be at and they yelled at her that they weren't having a sale. So, she was not letting anyone in. 

Long story short, we were pretty peeved, so we bustled off to the next one where I found a pretty 60s beaded dress (which made the day better):


I figure there was some type of confusion between the first garage saler who arrived at the gate and the guard. Maybe they told her the wrong number or she misheard them because: 

1. Why would the fake ad-putter-on-er answer our questions about the clothing?
2. Why would the ad sound so not fake and kind of boring and typical?
3. And why would a prankster put on an ad for a house in a gated community, knowing full well that no one would be able to get in?

But whatever the case, it was a disgruntling sort of morning for us. Fortunately, most weekends aren't as peculiar as this last one, but sometimes the weirdest things can happen when all you want to do is find some pretty dresses!

At least it makes for some interesting stories, though! :-)

-Melissa

(Oh, and I haven't fallen off the face of the planet! I've just been trying to focus on finishing up school because when I do I'll be finished foreeeevvvveeeerrr! Yay!)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chirp Chirp

For those who live in particular parts of the world where summer is ripe with the incessant chirping of cicadas, you know the little buggers well.

Did you know that the insect was actually thought to be a good luck charm?

In the 1930s French women wore cicada brooches to bring themselves luck. The power of the cicada goes back even further, though, to the Chinese who believed the insect was a token of immorality! 

The brooches were done in all sorts of styles, sizes, colors and in different materials from celluloid to metal.

I just think they are so creepy beautiful and would love to find one of my own someday!

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They are such interesting representations of Art Deco jewelry!

That probably doesn't make the chirping any less annoying, though.  :-P

-Melissa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fashion News

Alongside catalogues and original, period advertisements, sometimes the best representations of what women were really wearing back in the day are sewing patterns. 

The illustrations on these patterns are not only pretty to look at, but they are also great pieces of reference material for dating styles of clothing. I found these "Butterick Fashion News" pamphlets from February and March of 1948 in a group of vintage patterns. They were used to demonstrate upcoming patterns for home sewers to order.

You gotta love everything in them- not only are the shapes and styles perfectly late 1940s, but the patterns,  prints, and suggested materials demonstrate exactly what was "Fashion News"! for the Spring at the time.

Which is your favorite?











March 1948 below the cut. (Photo heavy!)