SECOND FIND – AN EIGHTIES DOES FORTIES SEMI-FORMAL DRESS

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Interesting!  I’ve come up, in the past 3 or 4 years, with three dresses in this basic style – crossover bodice, wasp waist, poufy sleeves and shoulder augmentation – all in formal styles.

The first find was true 1940’s, the second was ’40’s to early ’50’s and this last is 1980’s doing the Forties thing.  This frock’s styling is a real dog’s breakfast.  It  gives a nod to the bubble skirts of the Eighties in spite of the mid-calf length and in a ’50’s-style bright pastel – which to me is kind of an awkward trendy marketing ploy that fails in the final analysis.

No matter.  It’s fun to see what happened with the same style over the years and this one will go to the university theater due to some un-fixable damage.  It’s a hoot to explore the back alleys of fashion history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

YEE-HAW! GIT ALONG LITTLE DOGIES! AN ICONIC WESTERN-WEAR LABEL SINCE THE EARLY 1900s

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Yes, it’s a standard cotton cowboy shirt with snap closures.  An embroidered patch on the back indicates that it was worn by a rodeo showman.  It’s not that old – 1970’s – 1990’s probably, but the real treasure is the brand label.  Again, look it up on Wikipedia – very interesting history.

Of course, I look mostly for garments and accessories that I’ll add to my own wardrobe but this field of espionage is so fascinating that I sometimes take a little detour.  I wonder what may show up next?  You just never know   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BEAUTIFULLY-MADE VINTAGE BARBIZON COTTON NIGHTGOWN

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I’d been looking for a lightweight cotton nightie and, luckily, discovered this wonderfully-constructed example by Barbizon, the women’s lingerie manufacturer that opened in 1933.  This gown isn’t too old, made in the 1970’s – 1990’s time frame, but the brand label and quality made it worth picking up.

Though the name remains in the marketplace, the company is no longer in operation, as far as I can tell.  Many lingerie and sleepwear pieces can still be found in vintage clothing stores, on eBay and Etsy.   Barbizon garments were always well-made and pretty.  Though not from the eras that I enjoy most, this gown is classic in design and construction, so I couldn’t be happier.  Just what I was hoping for!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

WELL-MADE 1980’S DOES 1940’S DAY DRESS

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This is a very cute dress, faithful in many ways to the styles and fabrics of the 1940’s.  Women of that time with moderate means would wear designs like this for work and general day-wear.

Although I’d prefer the real thing,  many 1970’s and 1980’s garments that were doing the Forties thing are worth adding to the wardrobe.  Not much since then.

Notice the interesting buttons, geometric print, slash pockets and waist treatment.  It was also made by Damon’s, a division of Damon and Draper, well-known clothier since the early 1900’s.  This one has found a place!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MID-CENTURY COTTON DRESS BY POLLY FLINDERS

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Children’s vintage clothing is not my specialty, but when I see a classic dress that has survived in such good condition I usually pick it up.  Polly Flinders brand made pretty, traditionally-designed frocks for babies and children during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

What could be more classic than cotton with hand-smocked design.  Babes, toddlers and pre-schoolers have been wearing similar little day-dresses for decades.  Unfortunately, we all know what usually happens to children’s garments . . . . . . . it’s lucky if they last long enough for the next  brother or sister to wear them before they’re ready for the rag bin.

So, here’s a piece of history that WILL get passed along many decades later.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MORE SIXTIES – STYLE SOUVENIRS – BASS WEEJUNS LEATHER PENNY LOAFERS

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This super-fun summer version of the classic Weejuns is still true vintage but a more recent incarnation – made in the 1980’s or 1990’s, sometime before 1993.  As we would expect, they are completely of leather excepting for some parts of the insoles.  So, that means that they can be repaired forever when some wear appears.

Completely classic.  How could I resist?

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

ELEGANT 1980’s DOES 1940’s BLACK DINNER DRESS

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Although I’d much rather wear one of my real 1940’s crepe dresses, this one has some nice styling touches.  It’s one of the better ’80’s does ’40’s designs I’ve seen.  Please forgive that it is a couple sizes too large for Stella.

The augmented shoulders are done well and the whole dress drapes nicely.  The back neckline has a keyhole opening that does away with the need for an ugly back zipper.      I like the sheer sleeves, too, and the sheer overlay on the skirt.  These features were frequently seen on similar dresses made in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Though you can’t see them because of the blouson, there are tabs at each side of the waist that add a nice touch to the design and allow the wearer to adjust the fit – another plus, as far as I’m concerned.

So, rather than being an obviously hop-on-the-fashion-bandwagon retro dress, this frock is simply a well-designed garment with some classic styling elements that make it elegant in any decade.  That’s always the best of the best, no matter when it was made.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A 1980’S GUNNE SAX PARTY DRESS DISCOVERY

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A retro Prairie/Victorian style from designer Jessica McClintock, made in the 1980’s with dark green crushed velvet (so perfect with Stella’s new haircolor) and a lacey bodice.  Fitted styling completes the picture of a feminine design which gives a nod to history.

Gunne Sax early dresses, before the 1990’s, were very interesting and unique.  I always pick one up when I find it – becoming more and more rare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE CLASSIC COTTON SUMMER BLOUSE

IMG_1486 IMG_1487I’ve left the shirt un-ironed to show that it is 100% cotton, rather than poly or a blend.  And the feel of true vintage cotton – so soft and wonderful after being washed, worn and loved for a while!

The close-up shows some of the detail that covers the front, with tucks and crocheted lace.  A 1/2 inch ruffle goes all the way around the hem.  Few blouses made in the U.S. have this amount of gorgeous, high quality decoration – even the old ones!

For that reason, I wonder if this one was made in Europe where they routinely made glorious cotton garments like this one – maybe still do . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

TRUE VINTAGE/RETRO HEELS THAT ECHO THE FIFTIES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Love the lines of this heel, and the leather construction.  Heel caps are nailed on and materials all quality.  When true vintage (at least 30 years old) and retro are combined in one piece, it’s all about style and quality to decide whether they’re a good choice or not.

Apparently made by a higher-end line of a popular brand from Brazil, which has done a lot of good vintage/retro styles.  I’m guessing these are late ’70’s, ’80’s or maybe early ’90’s. It’s a skill to find old retro items now, that still have some of the good quality.

Rivaling the real 1950’s thing enough to be worth picking up.  Such fun!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM