A COUPLE OF LATE ’40’S – EARLY ’50’S FUN SHIRTWAIST DRESSES IN SUNNY COLORS

A COUPLE OF LATE '50'S - EARLY '60'S FUN SHIRTWAIST DRESSES IN LEAD-INTO-FALL COLORS

I love the colors of these dresses – pink to lavender, with black and white.  Both in a similar shirtwaist style, below-the-knee length and made of a substantial cotton.  Perfect mid-century design.  Absolutely LOVE the collar shapes!

The dress on the left has little houses in a novelty print and some interesting tuck and piping details.  The fabric is a bit heavier, and I’d wear it into Fall.  The one on the right has cute pockets, ric-rac trim and a great plaid.  It really says “summer” and farmers’ markets, to me.  I took the sleeves off for a more flattering fit for me (and saved them, of course!) and wear it often.

Neither one has a label, but I doubt that they were made at home – especially not the left-hand one.  Just goes to show, that labels often go by the wayside. . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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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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Book: How to Find the Best in Vintage Fashion available on Amazon.com

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

TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S SHEER SUMMER SHIRT-DRESS

TRUE VINTAGE 1940'S SHEER SUMMER SHIRT-DRESS

Here’s a really pretty summer shirtwaist dress from the ’40s.  It has many features that I love such as a covered fabric belt, decorative touches on the bodice, color-match buttons with rhinestones and a very flattering shape.

These sheer dresses were a big thing for at least 2 decades, according to what I have found.  Gives us a chance to wear our beautiful lingerie and let it peep through just a little without being indiscreet.

Just seeing that silhouette makes me think of classic movies and how put together the average woman often looked then.

I believe that the fabric is a rayon or perhaps a rayon/cotton blend. Many of the fabrics used then were very interesting in their qualities and their properties – quite different from what we have today, in spite of all our easy-care progress. There’s nothing like the older ones.

True vintage is often very bashful – or maybe just cunning.  It likes to hide and to be sneaky.  I usually discover it in odd places or in corners.  But, sometimes it hides in plain sight.  You just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

True Vintage 1930’s – ’40’s Summer Day-Dress by Lora Lenox

True Vintage 1940's Summer Day-Dress by Lora Lenox

Such a beautiful coral color on this fun and spunky frock from the late 1930’s or early 1940’s.  I love the great big buttons and the pleated flounce at the hem.  Polka dots all over.  The fabric is an interesting textured weave with some pattern in it, like some men’s shirts of the ’40’s and ’50’s that are so intriguing.

Made by Lora Lenox, a company that manufactured women’s clothing over several decades. This one was definitely a moderately – priced item, but not of poor quality.  Just to have survived since the ’40’s in such good condition says a lot.

It’s got the hallmark shoulder pads and a variation of that classic shirtwaist style.  When I caught sight of it, half-hidden, it was the color that arrested my eye.  Coral is so flattering to most women and so perfect for Summer!

Keep your peepers peeled, ’cause you just never know . . . . . . . . . .

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

JUST FOUND: WONDERFUL 1980’S DOES 1940’S SHIRTWAIST DRESS

I’m usually pretty “ho – hum” on 1980’s does 1940’s dresses, but this one is a stand-out. Made by the Lady Carol brand, which produced ladies’ fashions from the 1950’s through 2000 or the late 1990’s. I have one 1950’s knit dress by this maker and have seen a few of their 1980’s versions but never liked them as much as this. Here’s why:

For one thing, the print is probably the most authentic-looking Forties-type design. I’ve seen one or two florals that were pretty good imitations, but this is much more interesting. I also like the monochrome blue. Seems like a lot of the prints from the ’80’s on dresses like these were a dog’s breakfast of colors, shapes and ugly patterns. Not even New Wave and looked more like some of the icky bargain-priced ones from the 1970’s.

The styling and tailoring are very good. Although the nemesis of a missing belt is going on here, there is enough length to use a strip of fabric from the hem to make another, if I’d like. The original was obviously a buckle belt type because a small loop at the waist indicates good tailoring to anchor the belt in front. Since there are also larger belt loops at each side, I could make a sash tie instead, which was also used in the 1940’s but usually on more casual styles. A plain navy or bone color belt would work fine, too. The buttons are classic but boring, so maybe I’ll replace them from my stock of true vintage notions.

Given where I was shopping today, I hadn’t expected either of these discoveries. Just goes to show, that you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE HANDMADE SPRING SHIRTWAIST DRESS FROM THE FORTIES OR FIFTIES

IMG_1301An iconic mid-century cotton shirtwaist dress that someone made at home, probably in a small town or on a farm.   EVERY WOMAN was wearing these at one time – like we wear jeans today.

If you’re able to zoom in, check out the buttons and the pocket flaps on the skirt.  It’s a very pretty pink plaid.  Just right for running out to the A & P, baking a pie or collecting eggs . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BOOK:  HOW TO FIND THE BEST IN VINTAGE FASHION – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM