MID-CENTURY SWING DRESS FIND

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Fun find – a custom-tailored frock made sometime between 1960 and 1985.  It’s got overall a great day dress style, harking back to the 1940’s.  The best thing about the styling, I think, is the flared skirt design which will flip and twirl with every movement.  A perfect dress for dancing!

Another neat thing is that the seamstress put in a LONG side zipper so that it’s really easy to put on and take off – no need for contortion or someone to help you zip, as sometimes happens with back zippers.

This is a relatively simple dress, but little clues tell me that the maker put special thought into the styling and construction, which make it special.  Love it!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

DRESSY TRUE VINTAGE HAND-KNITTED OR CROCHETED SHAWLS FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES, COTILLIONS, THE OPERA . . . . . . . . .

DRESSY TRUE VINTAGE CROCHETED SHAWLS FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES, COTILLIONS, THE OPERA . . . . . . . . .

Two beautiful hand-crocheted or knitted shawls for party-wear or any festive occasion. In neutral pastel shades with metallic yarn accents.

Items like this were especially popular in the years moving from the 1950’s to the 1960’s. Many women made these garments at home.  Nothing dresses up a little black dress in such a feminine and beguiling way as a needlework accessory.

If you like doing handiwork, look for old pattern and instruction books from the ’50’s and ’60’s.  Although many types of scarves and shawls are sold now, nothing compares to a handmade item in a soft, genuine wool yarn.

And, if you can find a true vintage shawl – go for it!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

TRUE VINTAGE 1940’s – 1950’s RED VELVETEEN PARTY DRESS

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S CHRISTMAS RED VELVETEEN PARTY DRESS

Staying in the spirit – looking back on the Christmas Dance (or ahead to the Valentine’s Day Dance)!  I just love this little circle skirt dress from the 1940’s – early 1950’s with sequins on the bodice.

Probably custom-tailored, with little cap sleeves and a skirt meant to swing.   Just right for dancing.

This is one of my favorite colors – good any season, but especially right when everything is white and gray outside.  Velveteen is also such a feel-good fabric.  You can’t beat rayon for drape, but velvet, silk, nylon and poly have their own lovely ways.

Zip up the back, waist-hugging style – there’s nothing too remarkable about the tailoring but it’s unmistakably TRUE VINTAGE, and  only the real thing that has that “look”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S JACQUARD COCKTAIL BLOUSE

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S JACQUARD COCKTAIL BLOUSE

Here’s a lovely, oh-so-flattering jacquard blouse for cocktails, dinner, dancing and parties. It looks superb with a long black skirt or black cigarette pants.

Notice the little bows at the waist. It also buttons up the back (I LOVE that feature of so many ’50’s blouses) with 5/8″ covered buttons. Very swank.

The fun thing about 50’s separates like this is that they were dressed up or down, since rock and roll, rhythm and blues and, later, cocktail parties became such a rage – on top of the more formal and traditional occasions that were always part of the social scene.

As usual, the cut and tailoring of this piece is outstanding. The fabric is quite nice, too. Just the right thing for a woman of intrigue to have in her closet, no? . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S COCKTAIL SHEATH DRESS

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S COCKTAIL SHEATH DRESS

While we’re in a New Year mood, here’s a really special dress from, I believe, the 1950’s. It’s more or less a cocktail style, but could go to dinner and dancing, too.

Originally, it had nude netting on the front bodice and upper back, with skinny binding around the armhole area and the neckline.  The purpose is to give a bare look, without the bare.

Very elegant but, unfortunately, the material had some small holes which could not be repaired. I could not locate material of the same type for a replacement, so I reluctantly removed it and restyled things a bit to make skinny straps instead. It works! Being versatile is an indispensable skill.

I love this dramatic pointy accent on the front! The fabric is also very elegant – probably a rayon that looks for all the world like silk shantung. And the hourglass shape!

Worthy of Peggy Lee any day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

MID-CENTURY TRUE VINTAGE SISTER HANDBAGS-MADE IN HONG KONG

Both these little ladies were made in Hong Kong, of similar basic design, but there is a world of difference between them.  Lady Left was made for the uptown market, while Lady Right was sold downtown.  Though they’re both clean and well-put-together, Lady Left grew up with all the best, while Lady Right’s beginnings were more humble.

It’s obvious “in person” that these bags were made for different markets. The styling in both is superior, but the materials and extra attention to detail show that Lady Left brought a higher price.

I don’t have a favorite.  Their stories are equally interesting to me  (maybe Lady Right’s is a little more so . . . . .).  Each one is perfect with the outfit that coordinates with it.  While Lady Right could be much more casual, she is no less elegant – maybe even more so, if you don’t look too closely. Lady Left could seem a little tasteless if she showed up everywhere dressed like that.

I see one for holiday festivities or a very gala occasion (maybe tonight?), while the other would be lovely with a pretty summer dress.  Both would be gorgeous for a bridal venue. It can all be so fascinating . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM