HEY, MOM – I NEED A HALLOWEEN COSTUME! NO WORRIES FOR OUR 1950’S HOMEMAKER . . .

IMG_0966 IMG_0963     She’d just pull out the latest edition of her McCalls Needlework magazine.  And, of course, there is the Christmas Pageant, too . .. . .

I can’t believe the intricacy of these home-sewing DIY patterns.  Women used to do this all the time!

Once when I was a kid, my (I thought) non-sewing grandmother did  whip up a very convincing 1960’s black collarless jacket for me when I wanted to be a Beatle for Halloween.  Who knew?  . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

THE COOLEST TRUE VINTAGE FORMAL PRAIRIE DRESS: WHAT A MYSTERY – HOW OLD?

IMG_1710 IMG_1711Here’s a find that I can’t quite figure out!  It’s somewhere in the mid-century and not likely a costume, because of all the detailed buttons in back.  But, wouldn’t it make a great one for Halloween?

The illusion neckline is an interesting touch, though it is very modest with long sleeves.  Not a child’s dress, but maybe for a teen.  One way or another, it was made for a special occasion and seems to have been custom-tailored.

It’s beautiful with a soft green fabric underneath the sheer ivory.  I’ve never seen one quite like it even though I’ve found things similar in some ways.  ALWAYS love a mystery . . . . . . . . .

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

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

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

HOW ABOUT A TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S SWING EVENING DRESS?

STILL WONDERING WHAT YOU'D NEED SOME ELEGANT GLOVES FOR?  HOW ABOUT A TRUE VINTAGE 1940'S SWING EVENING DRESS?

Black is always good, but this dress – with its black velvet accents – looks just right for that Halloween party or autumn dance.  Originally from Margaret’s of Lubbock, Texas, it’s a ’40’s stunner with a big swingy skirt.  I look forward to photographing it properly on Stella some time, back at Headquarters.  But, for now, here’s an early photo I took shortly after the discovery.

Made of black taffeta sometime after World War II with black velvet tubing all around the skirt and making a false lacing up the bodice front.  Ruching on the 5/8 sleeves – a common tailoring touch on garments from the Forties.

As always, fashion good fortune was with me.  A great dance dress and fabulous find!  Jitterbug or Texas Two-step – let’s go!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY
Blog: Magicvintagespy.com

1950’S – EARLY 1960’S RETRO FROCK – A MODERN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE (SORT OF – a little rant about tailoring and quality)

IMG_1271 IMG_1272Here’s a modern dress by Kim Rogers brand, made in Vietnam.  For several reasons, I must point it out as an example of a rare exception to the rule that true vintage clothing is always superior to recently-made fashions.  I was drawn to it immediately because of the nicely designed retro style and the almost-vintage look and feel of the fabric.  The construction is very good, too.

Note the photo of little keepers at the shoulders for bra or slip straps – it’s a wonderful feature that I treasure in my true vintage pieces.  These haven’t been common in dresses for decades!   Also, it’s fully lined.   Asian dressmakers have done superb couture for ages, so it doesn’t surprise me that the workmanship on this garment is excellent.

What might also be considered a plus by modern women is that the fabric is 100% polyester. ” Ick!”  you say, “sleazy and hot”;  but it can be washed in a machine, with care, and drip-dried. (preferably a modern machine that has a hand-wash cycle and doesn’t agitate back and forth).  It’s also amazing what sorts of finishes can be made with polyester – sometimes it’s a really good appearance mimic for real silk, rayon or  even linen.  But, of course, not in terms of their other qualities – looks aren’t everything . . . . .

So, that gets us down to the real nitty-gritty.  Do you really want to wear a summer sundress made of polyester, when you’re trying to stay cool and looking your very best at an event or on a date?  Do you want the zipper on your dress to very obviously announce to anyone who has any fashion savvy that  “No, this is NOT a true vintage dress – just a retro fake”.  And, horror of all horrors, do you want to walk into the party and see another woman dressed just like you?

Thus, a very respectful nod to this clothing company for their care and attention to detail and  style, at least where this dress is concerned.  When I’m traveling and wouldn’t want to subject any of my authentic vintage treasures to threats of loss or damage, I’ll certainly take it and wear it inside or when the weather is mild.  It’s nice to see a manufacturer that cares about some of the finer points of good quality any time – especially in this age of cheaper-is-better.

BUT, all things considered, give me a quality true vintage garment over a modern one no matter what . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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JUST FOUND!! A BEAUTIFUL TRUE VINTAGE LOUNGE DRESS FOR SUMMER – PATIO PARTY, HERE I COME . . . . .

I’m ready for the BBQ – maybe not the volleyball or badminton game.  This gown was custom-tailored of a beautiful fabric (look at those colors to die for).  Prettier than the black and white from yesterday, but they’re all wonderful.  Lovely feminine style with an easy-wear feel.  Sixties or Seventies chic.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

Blog:  Magicvintagespy.com