LOVELY COTTON SHIRT-WAIST FROM THE 1950’S – EARLY 1960’S

LOVELY COTTON SHIRT-WAIST FROM THE 1950'S - EARLY 1960'S IN FALL COLORS

Here’s another dress from about the same time as the last one.  It has the same features of design – the side metal zipper is the most significant.  I don’t know why that was a favorite feature, rather than allowing the front opening to be longer.

Although it was more trouble to put that side zip in, it was hidden (more or less) from view and allowed the front and back lines of the garment to be unbroken.  My best guess is that this style feature is more elegant than a back zip or long front opening would be.

So many of the styles and tailoring methods from the ’50’s and before paid a lot of attention to keeping the lines of a garment very elegant, with good fit and clean silhouette.  Back zippers on pants and skirts are a good example of this.

This dress is, I’m sure, custom tailored.  The skill of the sewer is excellent and it would challenge the quality of any commercially-made things today, outside of haute couture.

The reds, golds and mossy browns in this print make me think of leading into Fall, but let’s not rush our summertime, when the livin’ is easy . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, the Magicvintagespy
Blog: Magicvintagespy.com
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TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S – EARLY ’60’S SHEER SUMMER DAY-DRESS

TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S - EARLY '60'S SHEER SUMMER DAY-DRESS

This was a fun find, with its own attached scarf and in cool, floaty fabric again.  The really unusual thing, to me, is the color combo.

It’s an all-over print in purple with black accents on an olive background.  That’s a great combination which you don’t see often – especially for summer!

By Westover – New York.  Fabric-covered belt.  It’s one of those fun, flirty and feminine styles that I’m sure some woman loved wearing, even if her day was just a pretty average one.  Of course, she’d have a pretty slip underneath, too.

I’ve never seen another one like it.  It’s a real one-of-a-kind style, as so much true vintage is.  Each one is a unique discovery – you just never know. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, the Magicvintagespy
Blog: Magicvintagespy.com
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Book: How to Find the Best in Vintage Fashion

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

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

JUST FOUND! BEAUTIFULLY – TAILORED 1960’S GOWN WITH GORGEOUS DETAIL

What a stunning dress in linen white with old ivory lace sleeves and applique’ decoration.   A little bit Mod and a little bit ethnic.  LOVE the hourglass fit and the button and loop closures all the way down the back.  It looks summery, but the weight of the fabric and full lining lets you do 3 seasons with it.  Extremely well-tailored by Alfred Angelo.   Could go to a formal dance or a wedding.

True, I’ve not been on the prowl as much lately – been involved in other business and maintaining my inconspicuous profile.  However, this time I just couldn’t resist.  So keep an eye out, because you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A COLLECTION OF TRUE VINTAGE HANDBAGS FROM THE 1960s

A COLLECTION OF TRUE VINTAGE HANDBAGS FROM THE 1960s

These bags, with the exception of the unidentified tapestry and wood one, are right in the same category with other popular mass-produced purses of the 1960’s.  Almost every woman had at least one.  The little black purse is  by Ande’. The brown purses are by Naturalizer or Air Step, which are or were also the makers of popular shoes.

Back in the day, several of the most popular shoe-makers that had stores all across the U.S. also made handbags to coordinate with their shoes and sold these along with them. Great marketing ploy to snag an impulse buy when a woman went to the shoe store or shoe department of her favorite department store!

Most, if not all, are made of vinyl and are sturdy and nicely detailed. A lot of them have interesting designs and may be of two or three colors together. Not top-of-the-line, but they lasted! They were made for every season of the year – I have several in pastel colors for Spring and Summer.

The tapestry bag has no maker’s stamp. It is roomy and plain inside. Just a handy carry-all in an interesting design – this type was also popular in the ’60s. It reminds me of one that Aunt Clara on Bewitched might have carried!  Fun to find it, in a Canadian eclectic secondhand store. You really just never know . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN LEATHER HANDBAG WITH A GREAT STORY

BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN LEATHER HANDBAG WITH A GREAT STORY

This beauty was made in Florence, Italy and has a fantastic story. First, I’ll tell my part –

On a Mediterranean cruise, I was listening to the excursions director tell about the ports of call that we’d be stopping in.  Part of her presentation was to highlight the special products available in each place, in case we wanted to go shopping.  She flashed a photo of this handbag made in Florence, Italy on the screen and I just about jumped out of my seat.  I had discovered this one above just like it about 2 months before while vintage-hunting in my neighborhood!  When I told the excursions director my story, she congratulated me and said that these bags sell for 300+ Euros!!

Italy has long been known for its exceptional leather goods – some say it’s #1 in the world. This purse is certainly a good example.  It has a gorgeous red leather lining with special internal pockets which I have never seen before.  Each one closes with a snap clasp like old cigarette cases used to.  The outside clasp is like other true vintage ones I have seen that self-lock when the purse is closed.  After I brought it home, I added a black and red leather billfold which I had found on a previous thrifting expedition.  It coordinates perfectly!

This handbag was styled after one which was made decades ago BY SPECIAL ORDER FOR GRACE KELLY, probably after she had married Prince Ranier of Monaco in 1956 and was living as Princess Grace in Europe.  Can you imagine how my little vintage-loving heart swooned when I learned that?!!!

What a great surprise!  Nothing could have added to the joy and mystique of my first cruise experience like this did. You just never know . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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CUTE CUSTOM-TAILORED DAY DRESS WITH MATCHING SCARF – TRUE VINTAGE FOR SPRING, SUMMER OR EARLY FALL

IMG_1671 IMG_1665This frock is another of Rosalie’s creations.  (The mother of a dear friend and a fantastic seamstress).  A simple design made interesting with inverted pleats on the bodice and skirt. She was such an exceptional tailor! The fabric is a textured type that was very popular in the mid to late ’60’s which resembles burlap or “hop sacking”.

I have added the chain belt, though the dress was intended to hang straight and falls nicely without it.  The scarf is another addition – also Rosalie’s, but it was commercially made.  Since the colors blend so nicely and both are from the mid-sixties Mod era, they are really good together.  This is a good example of how accessories can transform an outfit.

So, here’s an everyday ensemble from 50 years ago that’s so easy to wear and has a different “twist” that makes it absolutely unique today!  Even though it’s not pop-your-eyes-out vintage, people will see it and say “hmmmmm. . . . . . . . . . . . . .?”

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE 1970’S ELEGANT DINNER-DANCE-DATE DRESS

TRUE VINTAGE 1970S ELEGANT DINNER-DANCE-DATE DRESS

It seems to me that nothing from the 1970’s could be as wonderful as a beautifully made dress from the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s or 1950’s, but I still like some of the ones made during the Seventies.  These crystal pleats in the skirt started in the 1940’s, I think, and are always great.

For a more relaxed time while you still want to look well-dressed, elegant but comfortable this is a good choice.  It’s still cool enough in many parts of the world to wear this dress.  It would be very nice for a dinner date and, like some others I’ve shown, excellent for dancing because of the ease of movement.

Although it’s made of the ever-present 1970’s polyester, the fabric is lightweight and hangs well.  I love the pleats in the skirt for that reason.  That’s one nice thing about polyester, no matter what decade it’s from – it holds its shape and travels really well.

The colors in this dress are fresh for Spring, but would carry you through any time of year if the weather permits.  Very versatile and also figure – enhancing because of the cut.  It’s another of those vintage styles which intrigues by draping over and moving with your shape, but not too much.  Bateau necklines are always a favorite of mine, too.

With a skinny belt and very simple jewelry, this one is a winner and worth the investment.  I always like getting big dividends from small investments. . . . . . . . . . . .

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

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1950s WIGGLE DRESS BY A WELL-KNOWN MID-CENTURY DESIGNER OF CALIFORNIA

TRUE VINTAGE 1950s WIGGLE DRESS BY EVE LE COQ OF CALIFORNIA FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Here’s a line-up of wool dresses from the 1960s and 1950s, lightweight and classic enough to wear in some parts of the world in three seasons of the year.  Although I’m highlighting the second from the left, I’ll describe them all to start.

On the far left, a mid-weight jumper from the mid – late 1960s in a brown tweed.  Can’t recall the maker, but made in the U.S.  The bodice is lined and it is intended to be worn as a sleeveless dress or with a blouse underneath – your choice.  In the cold weather I’d probably want the blouse, but some people like their arms bare even in winter and that was a popular style then.  A cardigan sweater over would work, too.  Although it didn’t come with its own little jacket, sometimes sleeveless dresses did.  Great style for school or office.

Third in line is a straight, belted shift in heather blue by Pendleton.  They’ve been making quality wool clothing for decades and it is always classic.  This one from the late ’60s can also be worn alone or will a blouse or turtleneck.  Also perfect for school or work.  Some women would put this on as a day dress for shopping, meetings, etc.

On the far right is a wiggle sheath from the late ’50s.  Also a U.S. maker.  It is lined around the upper bodice and neck and is designed to be worn sleeveless.  It’s a simple, un-decorated design but would look best in the evening or at an after-work party or dinner.  It could have gone to work if dressed down a bit with a sweater or jacket.

Now for our star of the day – Are you looking for ideas about what to wear on St. Paddy’s Day?  Look no further.  This is a smart, figure-enhancing dress that is demure enough for any setting and also sophisticated enough for any.  It all depends on your accessories. In a lovely kelly/emerald green, it’s also a nice transition color into Spring.  Eve Le Coq of California produced lovely dresses – very chic.

It’s not been unusual for me to encounter these kinds of wool frocks at various places in my searches.  If you find yourself in a store, they are often marked down at this time of year.  Don’t let wool fabric discourage you – as long as you’ve got a breathable (well-ventilated) storage bag for moth season and a clothing brush, it’s easy to care for and can be dry-cleaned at home if there are no serious stains.  Very versatile, very vintage and worth the investment.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM