A Few 1930’s -1940s – early 1950’s Wardrobe Staples

A Few 1940s Wardrobe Staples

Here are a few items that I ran across by surprise – from the 1940s (or so).  All perfect finishes for a wartime or post-war costume.  Mary-jane all leather shoes (always a classic), Capezio soft leather dance or casual flats and a couple of simple woven bags from the Depression era or time of wartime rationing – a drawstring and one with a metal zip in the top.  It’s fun to find things in such good condition (and at very good prices). You just never know . . . .

Morgana Martin, the magicvintagespy

Blog:  Magicvintagespy.com

MAJOR GLAM IN TRUE VINTAGE FURS – STOLE/CAPE AND JACKET FROM THE 1940’S / 1950’S

MAJOR GLAM IN TRUE VINTAGE FURS - STOLE/CAPE AND JACKET FROM THE 1940'S / 1950'S

Daytime into evening glamour for some well-dressed women back in the day.  I just love the details and distinctive style of these.

Unmistakably true vintage, they’re extremely versatile today when we might wear them with anything from jeans to evening clothing.  And, of course, a perfect final touch to any period costume.

Naturally, they’re beautifully finished inside, with the original owner’s initials sewn to the lining.  The little pockets on the front of the cape are an interesting feature – and that BIG button closure – AND the huge cuffs on the ’40’s jacket – LOVE!

Since supporting the current market for new furs is a major no-no for anyone who values animal rights, as I do, I’m grateful for the excellent imitation furs that are being made now and that the sales of new real furs seem to be diminishing – at least in the U.S.  I hope that’s true.

It’s OK to enjoy these pretty designs from a half-century ago for their place in fashion history and beautiful craftsmanship.  I never get tired of wondering and imagining about the origins and histories of the lovely garments I find, and how to wear them now . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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TRUE VINTAGE FUR CAPE FROM THE 1930’S – 1940′ S – EARLY 1950’s

TRUE VINTAGE FUR CAPE FROM THE 1930'S - 1940'S - early 1950's

I just love this cape and it’s little details.  I’m an animal rights activist and don’t approve of the fur trade in any way, but I have collected old ones from back in the day.

Not sure what the origin of this fur is.  The stripes are clearly dyed, probably to resemble mink.  It’s got these funny little tabs to “close” the bottoms of the arm slits, for a better appearance and added warmth.

Of course, it had patches sewn inside with the owner’s initials embroidered on, along with the maker’s label, both of which are gone now.  Surprisingly, it’s in great condition for its age – still soft and radiant.

These garments are so full of history that they intrigue me as much as any other vintage fashion.  I wear them, too.  Some people would say this is hypocritical but  I would disagree – buying or wearing antique fur or leather does not support the current market for these things unless someone makes an irresponsible decision.  I suggest that we should all be responsible for our choices in the marketplace – so, if you like my vintage fur, don’t use that as an excuse to go out and buy a modern one.  Search for another vintage fur at least 50 or more years old or buy an imitation fur replica and do something kind for wildlife or your pet.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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INCREDIBLE TRUE VINTAGE DRESSY COCKTAIL SWEATER FROM THE 1950’S – MAYBE EARLY 1960’S

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Completely different from yesterday’s cardigan but so much fun!  It’s another must-have vintage sweater to wear with cigarette pants.  A pretty open-weave  Orlon sweater knit with metallic thread design to be worn with a black skirt or slacks at some mid-century party event.  It is absolutely amazing that it’s survived for 60 years in almost unworn condition!

Just like the women of the 1940’s onward, I’m grateful for these lovely acrylic yarns that can be washed in a machine (with care) and don’t have to be stored in a moth-proof container.  Orlon was a revelation and major time-saving blessing to wartime and post-war ladies who still did most of their housework by hand.

Although we’re so used to acrylic fibers now, these early ones were really special in terms of their quality or, perhaps, it is the garment itself that is made so well that the fabric looks great after more than half a century.  I’m sure that I also, again, have to thank the first owner of this elegant top for taking such good care of it.

I’m over the full moon again, and wondering what will turn up next . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

AN ELEGANT TRUE VINTAGE EVENING CARDIGAN SWEATER FROM THE 1950’S – EARLY 1960’S, MADE IN HONG KONG

AN ELEGANT TRUE VINTAGE EVENING CARDIGAN SWEATER FROM THE 1950'S - EARLY 1960'S, MADE IN HONG KONG

Here’s a beautiful decorated sweater meant, mostly, for evening wear.  It is fully lined in silk with black beads and spangles decorating front and back.  Many mid-century women had one of these – it was a classic standard.

Made in Hong Kong, the quality is a cut above many garments made elsewhere. This seems to have been the case for many decades.  It’s another one of those iconic garments that is a must-have for any vintage wardrobe and, maybe, more than one since the colors and decorative patterns were varied and unique.

Though high-quality tailoring was particularly true for vintage garments made several decades ago, I still take special note when I find modern clothing that has been made in Hong Kong.  The materials and tailoring are still almost always excellent in garments made there..

There is no wrap more elegant, excepting perhaps a wonderful vintage fur, than a beautifully-made hand-decorated fine wool cardigan thrown over your shoulders. It can be worn in many ways and will never let you down.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1940s – ’50s LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT SWEATER OR BLOUSE

TRUE VINTAGE 1940s - '50s LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT SWEATER OR BLOUSE

Lovely nylon knit sweater-blouse in soft green. Perfect for making a transition to the cold weather. By Canterbury – a company which was known for beautiful cardigans, too. What’s the special magic about this one?

Look at the fit.  The knit drapes so nicely and it is full-fashioned, which always improves the way that a sweater fits the body.  At the neckline there are many tiny vintage shell buttons – the kind that are substantial and well-shaped, even though they are very small. They do allow you to close the neckline, if desired, but are mostly for decoration.  I just love that button detailing.

As long as you protect it from snags and stains, an item like this is very easy to care for. Hand washing (or delicate in a newer machine) is best, with similar colors.  This avoids stretching and, also, protects the color.  Nylon can absorb other colors in the wash so it’s always best to wash it alone or to avoid washing it with contrasting shades.  If you want to change the color of a nylon item, they accept dye very well.  Just be sure to follow the directions very carefully because they may end up streaky if you don’t.

With any kind of pants or a pencil, a-line or pleated skirt (depending on your figure) it looks wonderful.  This is how it was worn back in the day. Put a scarf at the neck, or pearls.  Perfect for every-day or dressed up – clothing of this quality is always elegant.

I found this at a small vintage shop, on the sale rack. I usually find the best things in unlikely places and at unheard of prices! I wonder who wore this one and where? You just never know . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A TOASTY FLANNEL ROBE FROM THE 1940’S – FEELS GREAT TO SNUGGLE UP IN JUST ABOUT NOW . . . . .

A TOASTY FLANNEL ROBE FROM THE 1940'S - FEELS GREAT TO SNUGGLE UP IN JUST ABOUT NOW . . . . .

The nights are getting pretty cool, to say the least!  So, I’ve pulled out my flannel robes and this one is a favorite – owned by a great-aunt in the 1940’s.

There’s nothing like snuggly cotton flannel on a cold evening.  And, red is even better. Warms me up just to look at it.

Cuffed sleeves, patch pockets, tie belt – what makes it different?  The look of the fabric and the construction details, for two.  Nothing could be more classic, but this one is true vintage, too.

It just puts me back-in-the-day immediately because I know it has curled up by the fire on many a cold Autumn or Winter night . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

ICONIC TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S MINK-TRIMMED BLOUSE – ANOTHER TREASURE FOUND NEW ZEALAND

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother rare find!  This one was not a high-end item when it was made, but it is an iconic piece with mink-trimmed sleeves.  I have a few of these garments with sleeves like this but don’t find them often.

Metallic thread on sheer black fabric, with “Autumn Haze” mink cuffs.  Buttons up the back.  Back in the day, companies that produced medium-priced clothing still made some “luxury” items that the average woman could afford, and they made them well.

What a pleasure to discover this one!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BOOK:  HOW TO FIND THE BEST IN VINTAGE FASHION

A FAVORITE FORTIES SKIRT & BLOUSE FOR FALL, WITH A COORDINATING JACKET – AS ALWAYS, TRUE VINTAGE

IMG_1002 IMG_1003This combo is perfect for early autumn.  Three of my favorite separates, which are very versatile.

The blouse is a silky fabric – maybe silk or might be a synthetic of the time – in cafe’ au lait  with black polka dots. It’s so pretty here, or with pants or a suit.

The bolero jacket by Fashion Frock is also a favorite.  It’s a tweedy brown/black fabric with a black velveteen collar and fills out the ensemble nicely.

The skirt is wonderful!  Black velveteen with a big bow behind, between the buttons.  It’s also got a hem that dips a bit in the back.  Dressed up or down, so many ways to wear it and it’s so cute!

All these pieces are from the Forties or early Fifties.  That’s always a favorite era for me, and I so LOVE finding things that I can put together in lots of different ways . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE FORTIES/FIFTIES LITTLE FLORAL DRESS IN A DARKER BACKGROUND HUE

This frock has been with me for a little while.  It’s a pink and blue floral on a charcoal background, with a little bow on the bodice.  I have added a cloth-covered belt in charcoal.  Unusual shades to take us into autumn, still with a light and outdoor feel.  Would look nice with darker leather shoes and handbags, for a change, and maybe a coat or jacket as the weather changes.

 

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MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM