1950’s FUR-TRIMMED GOWN

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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

LET’S GO TO THE HOMECOMING PARADE! A CUTE LITTLE MID-CENTURY CHEERLEADER’S OUTFIT

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Whether in the parade or afterward, at the big game, some high-school girl or coed strutted her stuff in this set.  Sorry that I don’t know what school it was associated with, but she must have kept her letters as memorabilia.  Styling and construction put it in the Sixties or Seventies.

Again, a super-seasonal find which makes it all the more fun.  Won’t be a keeper in the long run, but we were approaching Halloween  when this turned up.  I’ve got lots of “new” things which could make dynamite costumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

NEW FINDS TODAY! HERE’S A LITTLE NOSTALGIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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HAD to pick this up when I found it – a carrying bag for shoes (particularly, dance shoes for ballet, tap, etc.).  I had one when taking ballet lessons as a child.  Hadn’t thought of it in years – what a blast from the past to see it!  I’ll bet that some of you recognize it, too.

Also uncovered some fabulous dresses today and will show them soon . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

HEADING FURTHER BACK IN TIME – A HAND-TAILORED FLORAL FROCK WITH A FULL CIRCLE SKIRT

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In a ’50’s to early ’60’s style, but with mid-1960’s-type fabric this dress illustrates the creative power that home-sewers in the mid-century had over their wardrobes.  The size, style and fabric were completely at their discretion and genre’s could be combined in any way.

This example was made for a teen or a petite woman (the photo is somewhat foreshortened, too, so it’s not quite as short-waisted as it looks), probably as a dressy day or party dress.  It’s a simple style in cotton blend with a zip back and elasticized sleeves but shows evidence of extra care and skill in the insertion of piping detail at the waist and flounce on the skirt.  There are also strap-keepers sewn in at the shoulders and some seams that were done by hand.

What a fun little mystery-history to unravel!  More back to the future on the way . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

RARE, RARE, RARE NEW FIND! 1960’S MOD PLAY-SUIT – JUMPSUIT

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This is really something!  Mid-century play-suits are rare as hens teeth, so I’m thrilled to discover another one.  So cute – flower-power mod print in cotton, with a long metal zip up the back.

So much fun!  Fashion used to be both and either restricting and full of novelty.  Now we can wear everything and anything we want but you’ve gotta go Indie designer, independent artist or true vintage to be unique.  I guess there always has to be both sides of the coin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

AGAIN, FUN AND RARE TO FIND – ANOTHER HAND-KNIT BABY JACKET

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It is just incredible that these things survive!  Although this cute little coat could have been made more recently by a master needle-worker, I’m betting that it’s a mid-century creation.  Much prettier in person, the yoke is composed of very intricate-looking sculptural stitches and the yarn feels like angora.

Similar to the one I showed several weeks ago, it’s pink – probably made for a girl back in the day since pink for girls and blue for boys was pretty much what everybody did when it came to babies.  There are still some women around who can knit well and a few who have taught themselves in order to revive these old skills.  But, they are a rare breed.  A classic garment like this is worth collecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

THE SWEETEST MID-CENTURY BABY DRESS – FROM LORD & TAYLOR!

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Talk about RARE!  This one is a real treasure.  Cotton comfort with smocking detail and vintage shell buttons in back.  There’s an embroidered cotton tag inside the neck from the high-end department store retailer Lord & Taylor.

Love finding old things from Saks Fifth Avenue, too.  They’re always nice.  No babies at home for me, but how could I resist?

Several decades ago, little girls (and boys) were routinely dressed in beautifully-made clothing of very high quality – even it it came from a mid-priced store.  Mothers enjoyed dressing themselves and their children nicely and it wasn’t such a competitive brand-driven thing like today.

If I were parenting a child, it would be so much fun to dress him/her in true vintage, along with myself!  Yes, these garments take a little more care, but the rewards . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

KENNEDY ERA FORMAL GOWN – SO SOPHISTICATED, WITH SURPRISE TAILORING . .. . . . . . . . .

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Brocade and crepe, with a little bow at the back waistline – this frock is so well-made and elegant. Formal dance, Prom, Special Occasion, perfect!  It needs a pressing, but is in great shape.  Remember what I said yesterday about the repeating design elements?  Read on . . . . . . . . .

So beautifully tailored with closures and stitching in all the right places, this gown has a feature that I have never seen.  The sleeves are part of a bolero bodice that is attached and worn inside the dress and supports the sleeves.  That makes it possible to wear this gown as a sleeveless sheath or as pictured here.  The sleeves, as on the dress yesterday, have fabric flowers sewn on.

Wow!  What a gorgeous and surprise design!!  You just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

RARE FIND!! THE SWEETEST LITTLE TRUE VINTAGE BABY JACKET – A MID-CENTURY TREASURE

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SUCH FUN FINDING VINTAGE CHILDREN’S CLOTHING!  THIS COAT WAS HAND-MADE WITH LOVE.

What a gorgeous little sweater-coat!  So well-made.

It’s so unusual to discover baby clothes and toddler’s outfits.  Other than special-occasion garments like christening gowns that are made to wear only once and then folded away as keepsakes, children’s-wear tends to disappear after it’s been through months of dirty diapers, falls and messy meals.

Although this little coat probably wouldn’t have been worn every day, it would have experienced some wear and tear and has been beautifully preserved.  The style and the buttons put it smack-dab in the 1940’s – early 1960’s, when the wool yarn would also have been more common for an infant’s garment than something made since then (too hard to clean when easy-care acrylic yarn is available).  The knitter’s label, however, would have been attached some time in or after the 1960’s – or it could have been made with vintage materials and a vintage pattern at a later time.

Since the blue-for-boys, pink-for-girls thing was pretty rigid until recent years, I feel safe to say that it was made for a little girl.  It’s so intriguing to wonder about the story behind it.  Was it made by a relative or close friend or even purchased at a craft show?  I’ll always wonder – you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM