Empire A-line styling with flutter sleeves and a floral print – couldn’t get more ’60’s early ’70’s than that. But, there are so many retro versions made recently – why would I decide to collect this one?
Frocks that I might otherwise pass on if they were commercially – made, I will collect if custom-tailored. Hand-sewing always tells it’s own story, with special touches and unique designs or fabrics.
So, this dress is especially pretty and versatile. It only needs a few TLC interventions and will be ready to go. I might lose the sleeves, as I like sleeveless styles so much, but will decide later.
More finds from this general era, but very different. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . .
At first glance, this frock looks like something modern but the tailoring details and fabric tell it’s true age. It’s hard to be sure of the true color in this photo, but it is another beautiful velvet, in aubergine with iridescent flocking in a floral design. Again, sorry for the poor focus.
This dress could go from being a swanky hostess outfit at home to a night on the town. Long sleeves are so practical in the evening and the deep slit in front adds the drama that is lacking in this otherwise conservative style.
Very well-made and fits like a dream. I’ll get a lot of use out of it, when the occasion calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OK, we’re going from oldest to youngest in these next 3 posts. My apologies for the poor focus. Cropping efforts didn’t come through, either, but you can see all that is necessary for this description. Was astounded a few days ago to find this rare garment! In the past two years 3 or 4 frocks in this early 1950’s style have suddenly come my way; haven’t seen them before that for quite a long time. . . . . . . . . . . .
Like only one of my other examples of this fashion, the gown pictured here was custom-tailored (probably at home) and made for an adolescent girl, from the style indications. Usually, dresses made with the fur-trimmed sleeves, neckline or hem were sophisticated styles made for women. Of course, girls like to wear their own versions of adult designs in every decade.
Aside from the empire styling, rather than a New Look design, one tell-tale clue is the type of fur used. Garments made for women usually had mink trim, whereas the 2 girls’ dresses I’ve discovered have had what looks like rabbit hair. However, the cranberry velvet is plush and I’m sure the young miss who wore it was pleased. It’s so much fun to follow the stories that these old clothing items tell. Stay tuned for a 1960’s item – a repeat of another recent find . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
From about 1965 – 1970, this ordinary-looking little frock is an exciting find to me. Why? It’s rare to find a dress from this era in perfect condition and with all the hallmarks of a true vintage piece. And, it’s very cute!
In traffic – sign yellow, which was a very popular color for clothing at that time, it’s an eye-grabber. It’s a slightly – fitted A – line style that is very flattering on the body. Although there are many dresses on the market in recent years that may look identical from a distance, this one stands out on closer examination with authentic construction and styling from back in the day. Always thrills me!
Although some modern companies have tried to mimic these features and fool shoppers into thinking they’re buying a vintage garment, they’re not successful if you know your stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Iconic evening style of the time – 3/4 length sleeves with fur cuffs. This one has the bateau neckline that I love, with a deep plunge in back. The hemline is below-the-knee, but not quite midi.
An off-the-rack piece with only an inventory label, but very lovely. The tailoring is quite good, with a full lining, underarm gussets and the overall condition is exceptional. Obviously, the owner considered it a spacial frock and guarded it carefully over the decades.
Very simple, but with the 1960’s bona-fides. This fabric can’t be found today, no matter that some modern materials may be lookalikes at a glance. Maybe some girl made this as a first project for Home-Ec class, though whoever it was did a pretty good job. Not fancy; no bells and whistles, but sturdy, useful and very cute.
The elastic neckline is still stretchy and there are no stains, so someone stored this for a long time and didn’t use the heck out of it. It’s our good fortune that many great true vintage garments were cared for this way by our moms and grandmothers, let alone the generations before. Our current throw-away culture has played havoc with the quality of items that we can buy as well as any encouragement to keep things. However, prices just keep going up and up out of all proportion.
Well, la-dee-da – not so much of a problem for the Magicvintagespy. Wonder what’s next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?
Long, sweeping gown in a beautiful, heavy cotton(?) – the photo on left shows the cut while the photo on right gives the true color and close-up of the interesting print. This dress has many construction contradictions; some point to 1940’s and some to 1960’s. Undoubtedly, it was custom-tailored.
Maybe our mid-century tailor was very experienced and knew how to use various methods to achieve exactly the slinky, hourglass fit she wanted. The bell sleeves and commercial braid trim say 1960’s but the mid-back zipper placement, dip in the front waistline and fabulous art print fabric say 1940’s. Looks like a film noir hostess gown. I love a mystery!
Anyway, it’s an absolute beauty and fits me like a glove. Dresses with the zipper placed mid-back are always a trick to get into and out of – pays to understand the method. However, when the fit is right and the construction good, it’s a snap. Tomorrow I’ll show you a cute shift with a clear Sixties pedigree. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .