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.
I’m always so happy to find one of these in almost perfect condition! So different from the others I’ve just shown. The front metal zip is unusual, rather than buttons, and the (probably) acrylic fiber is a plus over wool because of the ease of storage and care. I DO love old wool sweaters, however.
This example was made in Hong Kong (always pointing to quality construction and workmanship, at least in true vintage garments) and has the classic styling of patch pockets and striped trim. The zipper is as sturdy as they come.
A wonderful and infrequent discovery. My favorites!
Discovered in Canada and the United States. Made in Italy, Hong Kong and . . . . . . . . . . ? Leather, patent vinyl, wood and beaded fabric. Let’s go clock-wise from 7 p.m.
A leather box bag with hand-stitched edges. Handmade, no doubt, and almost like the gorgeous hand-tooled bags that I sometimes find, but made elegantly simple even though it’s still quite casual. Behind, is its sophisticated sister from Italy, with a soft leather body and polished wood frame. Fabric lining and one inside pocket, with a metal zipper.
At noon and 1 o’clock, two smart little black patent handbags. Inexpensive and basic but, like those black ballet flats, they went with virtually everything and always looked right. Still do. I took them home because they’re in fabulous condition and such perfect designs.
At 5 p.m., the best white clutch purse for a summer evening. With the quality women came to expect from garments and accessories made in British Hong Kong, this one doesn’t disappoint. Even though it’s casual, with plastic ornamentation, the construction is superb. It’s also a fun find for me, because I own a classic handbag style in the same beaded material which makes it the companion accessory for day. Isn’t it cool how the clues always fall into place . . . . . . . . .
MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY
BOOK: HOW TO FIND THE BEST IN VINTAGE FASHION – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM
Look at these beauties! The convertible clutch style which lets you use the handle or not has always been so versatile and convenient. Although some of these are very mid-quality, they all have some distinctive features that make them stand out as great true vintage finds. Let’s start out from left to right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
The white purse at far left is a high-quality construction from the Sixties and has that shiny box hardware enclosing it on 3 sides. It is made of leather and has a shoulder strap that can be tucked inside. Very sleek and streamlined – a great look for summer.
The 1950’s beaded evening bag in front is in perfect condition, with a silk satin lining and a beautiful clasp and box chain handle, which can be hidden inside. This type of handbag was always hand-made, usually in Hong Kong. Even for an expert, can you imagine the care and time it took to attach all those beads so perfectly and securely?
The other three bags have a metallic finish and are made of synthetic materials or cloth – not in quite as good shape as the first two. But, they are nicely made and all have pretty hardware clasps – always interesting to find. The two in the center also have box or braided chain handles, rather than the simple chain that is most often seen. These more complex types of chain are prettier and also seemed to break less easily.
As always, they all show that care was taken to preserve and protect them, so I can enjoy them 50 or 60 years later! The throw-away quality that we seem to be satisfied with today can’t begin to compare, but is still way over-priced!! Such a shame – but not for this Magicvintagespy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
Both these little ladies were made in Hong Kong, of similar basic design, but there is a world of difference between them. Lady Right was made for the uptown market, while Lady Left was sold downtown. Though they’re both clean and well-put-together, Lady Right grew up with all the best, while Lady Left’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 Right brought a higher price. Just comparing these two pretties, found at the same time, was a fun chance to evaluate a number of “clues” about their backgrounds.
I don’t have a favorite. Their stories are equally interesting to me (maybe Lady Left’s is a little more so . . . . .). Each one is perfect with the outfit that coordinates with it. While Lady Left could be much more casual, she is no less elegant – maybe even more so, if you don’t look too closely. Lady Right 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 . . . . . . . . . . . .
Another wonderful find. This is an iconic purse style from the early 1960’s. I always love the fun prints used for the linings. You can see in the second photo that it also has a clear vinyl layer covering the fabric to protect the inside of the purse from spills and wear. What a great idea!
Several of these wait for summer in my closet, and the hardware and shapes can vary so I don’t mind collecting whatever I find. Many were made in British Hong Kong, which always meant quality workmanship.
When traveling incognito, of course, it’s important to have seasonal clothing and accessories to help me blend in with the scenery. These bags are big enough for all I need, but not too conspicuous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Another great find, and in perfect condition, like the one shown yesterday! Let’s talk QUALITY and DESIGN again. First off, I love silk dresses. This one needs a steaming, but that will happen when I give it a cleaning – couldn’t wait to share it.
So, high-quality fabric. Also, high-quality construction, made in Hong Kong. That’s a location that could always be counted on for superior workmanship. The turquoise edging has been applied so expertly and carefully that it adds to the overall impression of a higher-end piece. The buttons are fabric-covered and the pleating detail is beautiful. Also, inside, the little hand-done fabric fans at the shoulder seams that widen the shoulders a bit are really nice. The covered elastic at the waistline has retained its stretch, so was good-quality, as well.
I just love the pairing of a New Wave true navy/turquoise color combo and detailing along with 1940’s style. Avant-guarde meets vintage. Some better-made Forties garments were very much like that, back in the day. I would expect that this dress was worn with a belt, although there are no belt loops. A simple, dark navy belt would be called for, as the collar and cuff detail take center stage. There’s enough fabric, unless you’re quite tall, to harvest material from the hem for a tie belt or to cover a custom buckle belt.
A much simpler and “homey” style tomorrow, but still a star on the quality stage. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nothing better than Sanforized cotton flannel pajamas on cool nights. Although these were made for men, the Medium size would be OK for lots of women today. At first, I thought that they were “new”, but one of them was probably worn a little. They were made in Hong Kong, so the workmanship is up to a higher standard. I love all of the old details and vintage buttons. They were sold by Sears back in the day, under the stores’ own label.
Not the most flattering or delicate of sleepwear, but still wonderful!
Finding this dress was a real sleuthing success! I’d been hunting for a vintage silk Cheongsam style in my size for years, then uncovered this one at a teeny, teeny price. The original color was a yellowy beige and there were several brown stains and a little rip near the hem. But –
The Magicvintagespy knows what to do. So, I mixed a couple of dye colors that I had leftover from another job and expected to have a soft, neutral brown. Instead, I got this WONDERFUL lavender/bronze color! LOVE IT!!! The stains are history and the hem needed raising anyway et voila’.
The moral : Put out the vibes and never give up. KNOW YOUR STUFF, and the perfect find will materialize in your wardrobe.