3 TRUE VINTAGE NATIVE AMERICAN/HAWAIIAN COSTUMES FROM THE 1940’S – 1950’S

It is always appropriate to show my great Native American and Hawaiian dresses in Summertime, even though they are not always the most cool garments to wear.  Ocean breezes and high mountain altitudes can help with that!  The two on the right are from Arizona, sold by a company called Thunderbird Fashions which made lots of Western-wear dresses, blouses and skirts back in the day.  The dress on the left was made in Hawaii.  In most cases, women bought these outfits while on vacation in the American West or Hawaiian islands but sometimes a woman living there would include these in her day-to-day wardrobe.

Like a couple of the other items I’ve shown before, they are of heavy cotton with loads of braid trim, ric-rac and color! The Western-wear blouses have a side zipper at the waist.

The Hawaiian outfit on the left was made about the same time as those from Arizona.  It is interesting that there are so many similarities in the style although no zipper in this blouse, and the contrast is in the fabric panel on the bodice.

Both styles have a flattering fit, with a wasp waist and free hips.  I love wearing them on cooler days in the Summer and Fall and sometimes wear the skirts with another top.  Each of these ensembles is different and they are from a time when  Western and Hawaiian fashion were all the rage – probably in the 1950’s.  Women loved wearing them and vacationers loved bringing them home.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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STELLA’S TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S 2-PIECE WEDDING SUIT

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This is the ensemble that Stella was wearing when I met her and I’m glad she didn’t want to give it up.  I’ll be showing some white satin 1940’s wedding pumps tomorrow.   Although they didn’t come with this outfit, they’d be just perfect with it!

During wartime, this was a relatively modest choice for her wedding and the bride probably had this suit custom-tailored.  Naturally, it has many of the 1940’s styling details which were popular then – shoulder pads, nipped peplum waist, a handkerchief hem and a rare coil metal zipper in the skirt.

Also, some of the favorite classic features of a wedding gown are also present – rows of tiny, covered buttons and medieval-style points on the sleeve hems.  The fabric is a substantial brocade/jacquard floral – not a high-end textile, but nice.  Clearly, this wedding took place in a formal setting.

I wonder about her hair . . . . bridesmaids?  Wouldn’t it be fun to go back as a guest? . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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BEST TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S SUNDAY, DINNER, PARTY, DATE, OCCASION JACKET DRESS

BEST 1950'S SUNDAY, DINNER, PARTY, DATE, OCCASION JACKET DRESS

Beautiful navy and pink combo on this special jacket-dress from the 1940’s.  A real beauty.  Nice drapey crepe in flattering navy and pink hues.

Flower petal collar. Easter splendor.  Come on Springtime! . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN,THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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CUTE LITTLE SEERSUCKER MINI SKIRT SUIT FROM THE MID-SIXTIES, FOR SPRING, SUMMER AND EARLY FALL!

CUTE LITTLE SEERSUCKER SKIRT SUIT FROM THE SIXTIES, FOR SUMMER!

A cotton suit like this is a very unusual discovery.  Casual wear often didn’t stay in good shape over the years and separates, especially, didn’t stand the wear and tear of frequent use.  It’s not rare to run into seersucker, which is a really fun and durable fabric.  But, to find a true vintage piece is quite uncommon.

Like in the Fifties, it seems that little casual suits were also popular in the Sixties and were worn like day-dresses used to be.  Pants were STILL not hugely popular, with women generally sticking to dresses and skirts more often than we do now.

This outfit has cute little details like waist tabs and notches in the hems – nice tailoring details that are a hold-over from the 1940’s and 1950’s, though I think this suit was sold through one of the catalog houses that were popular then, like Montgomery Ward, Penneys or Sears & Roebuck, and wouldn’t have been considered a high quality item.

Not quite my color and a little large for me, so it probably won’t stay in my closet forever. But, can’t pass up a beauty like this! Such fun . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE MID-SIXTIES – 1970’S EMPIRE WAIST SEMI-FORMAL LONG DRESS IN NAVY, WITH MATCHING JACKET

IMG_0981 IMG_0982     So typical between the mid-Sixties and mid-Seventies.  In spite of all the frou-frou Edwardian/Prairie/Hippie stuff that was popular, plain knit dresses with clean lines were also a staple – more elegant and timeless, but still very fashionable.

This ensemble is a polyester or poly blend with an empire seam that rises from waist level up under the bust-line in front, fold-over neckline, back zip and a princess cut.  The long-sleeve bolero jacket echos the military trend that was also popular then with it’s metal buttons.

Otherwise, the design is  plain and undecorated.  The fabric has a slight ribbed texture to add interest.  It’s hard to call this dress “semi-formal” because it is so tailored, but at that time the style would not have been a day-dress.

Especially good for Spring or Fall.  What a treat!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A LITTLE FORTIES SPRING JACKET AND SKIRT

A LITTLE FORTIES SPRING JACKET AND SKIRT

I love the apple-green button trim on this navy jacket from the 1940’s. Alas, the skirt is not part of a set, but I was able to find one with an almost-matching color and fabric weave. That is a very difficult assignment, but one I’ve become good at.

The jacket, however, steals the show so a plain skirt, dress or slacks are just right. A colorful green blouse is nice – another color-matching challenge!

Though it’s not quite a “novelty” garment, this jacket is another example of the fun, whimsical styles that are common to many true vintage fashion eras and make the clothing such a treat to find and wear.  It would be fun to do some green and blue experiments with this – when I have the time . …. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A FAVORITE 1960’S 2-PC. DRESS

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From the Mad Men Kennedy era, this cute little dress went to town,  a casual lunch with a friend and a movie afterward.  It’s not dressy enough for the Women’s Club but just right for a relaxed day out.

This little number is an easy-wear slinky knit (LOVE how they feel!) with a pull-on waist in the skirt.  We’re started to get Mod – psychedelic lime green calla lillies!!!  Hand-washable, of course.  Life was getting so easy ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

By the Sixties, sometimes women could get by without the hat & gloves, especially in areas with a warmer climate.  However, you  needed to be very careful about where you were going in something this dressed-down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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FAB DISCOVERY – A 1960’S BABY DOLL NEGLIGEE’ & PANTS

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A rockabilly Bye-Bye-Birdie Playboy hot weather classic – the short short baby doll nightie.  Just right for after the St. P’s party. I’ve come across a few of these during my investigations, but rarely with the original panties!  The green is more or less unusual, too, and goes perfectly with Stella’s new auburn hairdo.

Although “baby doll” nighties started out in the 1940’s when many fashion hemlines skyrocketed because of the shortage of fabrics, the earlier ones did not tend to be as short as they became during the Kennedy era.  Many 1950’s babydoll nightgowns were just above the knee – shorter than the skirt and dress hemlines popular then, but hardly short by today’s standards.

As always, though, it has pretty lace and ruffle trim and has held up like crazy over more than 50 years!  It’s always new for the Magicvintagespy – I wonder what will be next . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S/’60’S TRADITIONAL TAILORED MEN’S PAJAMAS

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S/'60'S TRADITIONAL TAILORED MEN'S PAJAMAS

Now we’ll go, almost, to the other end of the spectrum for some standard-issue men’s or boys’ cotton PJs – though they’re spiffed up with some really neat prints.

Plain and basic in their style, they’re well-made enough to have survived in good shape. They could even have been from the ’40’s, but I don’t think so. Somewhere between 1955 and ’65 probably hits it.

Though not luxurious, they are comfortable (I can wear them!) and a lot of fun!  The red fans on the right are an unusual, to me, motif for men’s pajamas but, hey, what do I know?  They are a traditional East Asian motif and may have been an influence of the Pacific arena wars the U.S. had just been through in the Forties and Fifties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE MID-CENTURY CUSTOM-TAILORED CLASSIC SUIT

TRUE VINTAGE CLASSIC WOMEN'S SUIT - JACKET/SKIRT FOR FALL

 

The style is so un-fussy and classic that it could be worn casually  like a day-dress or dressed up.   It could have been made anywhere from the late 1940’s to early 1960’s, but I lean toward the ’60’s because of the cotton velveteen-type fabric, which was popular then.  Hard to be sure, in this case.

I am certain that the suit was custom tailored.  It might even have been done at home. It’s amazing that many women were able to do this. Tailoring requires a lot of skill!

Look at all the covered buttons. And, the buttonholes are also bound. Amazing! Not to mention the lining, interfacing and padding required to make a garment like this fit properly.

Although it looks very elegant as pictured, imagine all the ways it could be worn and accessorized.  As separates, the jacket and skirt add more possibilities.  Simple suits like this can be great additions to any vintage wardrobe, making a variety of quick-changes possible . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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