TRUE VINTAGE 1940s – ’50s LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT SWEATER OR BLOUSE

TRUE VINTAGE 1940s - '50s LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT SWEATER OR BLOUSE

Lovely nylon knit sweater-blouse in soft green. Perfect for making a transition to the cold weather. By Canterbury – a company which was known for beautiful cardigans, too. What’s the special magic about this one?

Look at the fit.  The knit drapes so nicely and it is full-fashioned, which always improves the way that a sweater fits the body.  At the neckline there are many tiny vintage shell buttons – the kind that are substantial and well-shaped, even though they are very small. They do allow you to close the neckline, if desired, but are mostly for decoration.  I just love that button detailing.

As long as you protect it from snags and stains, an item like this is very easy to care for. Hand washing (or delicate in a newer machine) is best, with similar colors.  This avoids stretching and, also, protects the color.  Nylon can absorb other colors in the wash so it’s always best to wash it alone or to avoid washing it with contrasting shades.  If you want to change the color of a nylon item, they accept dye very well.  Just be sure to follow the directions very carefully because they may end up streaky if you don’t.

With any kind of pants or a pencil, a-line or pleated skirt (depending on your figure) it looks wonderful.  This is how it was worn back in the day. Put a scarf at the neck, or pearls.  Perfect for every-day or dressed up – clothing of this quality is always elegant.

I found this at a small vintage shop, on the sale rack. I usually find the best things in unlikely places and at unheard of prices! I wonder who wore this one and where? You just never know . . . . . . .

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

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

SUNNY YELLOW TRUE VINTAGE 1960’s SUMMER SUNDRESS

SUNNY YELLOW SIXTIES SUMMER SUNDRESS

Classic cotton summer sundress in lemonade yellow – this is a Sixties frock with the cute bodice detail that is so common on vintage dresses. . . . . as well as the belted wasp waist.

Yellow and white are so Summery.  It’s wonderful to be out and about again!!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A VERY PRETTY TRUE VINTAGE DRESS, HOME-SEWN IN THE 1950’S

A VERY PRETTY TRUE VINTAGE DRESS, HOME-SEWN IN THE 1950'S

Another favorite, the ’50s styles with nipped waists.  Love ’em! – who doesn’t – they’ve remained a fashion favorite for many years and a style that keeps on repeating itself.  The bateau neckline is also a favorite – SO flattering.  I call it a summer dress, but the cotton material is heavy, so it’s perfect to wear almost all year.

The skirt on this one has a bell shape, too – an unusual feature that is somewhat unique.  This dress was custom-tailored and the construction is very unusual. I’ve never seen anything like it.  Although it zips up the back, there is also an inner bodice that hooks together.  It may have been the design of the woman who sewed it – in place of a bra(?)

Sometimes you’ll find a garment like this that is as interesting on the inside as it is on the outside.  The tailoring details can sometimes be elaborate, even on commercially-made items.  Not to mention what seamstresses can come up with on their own when they’re being creative –

I actually bought this at a shop, which is unusual for me.  There are lots of great ones that I have visited and included in my book references – no better place to see a collection of wonderful things in one spot and get the wisdom of the owner’s knowledge.  It pays to know all the different types of places where true vintage likes to hide – because you just never know .. . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

FLORIDA FEET!

FLORIDA FEET!

Gotta have for summer!  Original vintage low-heeled pumps found in the Miami area. From the late Sixties – early Seventies. One pair more casual, one pair a bit dressy.
Both a little bit mod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE SUNNY SUMMER SUNDRESS FROM THE 1950’S – EARLY 1960’S

IMG_1370This dress looks so fabulous on Stella – it’s made in just her size.  I’ve shown lots of yellow dresses, but this is the dressiest and the oldest.

Alas, the labels are gone so I’m not sure of the fabric content – it looks like linen and acts like a rayon blend.  Just a hint of sheen and  a soft hand, but with body.

What I love most about this dress is all the beautiful detail.  The delicate straps are double and there is a little knot tied on the bodice where they attach.  There are little flowers attached all over, with faux pearl centers.  To finish up, the hem is decorated with floral embroidery.

It’s all so elegant and well-made, while not being too dressy to wear almost anywhere.  And, a simple fitted sheath style with back center zipper.  I suspect that it was hand-washable, so no big deal in the care department.  The best of all worlds!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

TRUE VINTAGE 1960’S STILETTO SLING-BACK HEELS FOR 3-SEASONS – FABRIC AND LEATHER FROM JOHANSEN

 STILETTO SLING-BACK HEELS FOR SUMMER - FABRIC AND LEATHER FROM JOHANSEN AGAIN

This is one of my favorite true vintage styles in warm weather shoes.  The fabric uppers and openness are so breezy, cool and feminine.   They are such a cross between dressy and casual that they are very versatile and will look just right almost any time.

I’ve found lots of lovely true vintage shoe styles by Johansen since I’ve been sleuthing and they’re always dependably elegant and well-made. Such a pleasure to find and to wear . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

FLATTERING TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S – EARLY 1960’S SUMMER DRESS IN APRICOT

FLATTERING TRUE VINTAGE 1950'S - EARLY 1960'S SUMMER DRESS IN APRICOT

I love the styling of this frock, with its wasp waist, free hips, cap sleeves and delicate neckline that really enhance the figure.  Madge’s fuller measurements give it the right “va-voom” fit.  I also like the peek-a-boo effect of the white band below the waistline.

This was another “surprise find” – always the most fun!  Summer days and nights, here we come . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

TRUE VINTAGE 1960’S SLEEVELESS FROCK IN PRETTY YELLOW POLKA-DOT FABRIC

I’ve had such a run of finding 1960’s dresses lately!  But, I’m also finding items from decades before and it’s all so exciting.  This pretty summer frock is a dropped-waist style that adds a twist to what would otherwise be a plain, but very elegant, sheath.  This kind of casual elegance was so much a part of early-Sixties fashion.

The fabric I love because polka-dots and bright yellow are always so great for summer dresses.  It’s a synthetic with a nylon feel, but may be a blend.  Might have been custom-tailored, as so many true vintage dresses are, but it’s hard to say since the sewing skills our grandmothers had were so professional.  Labels can be missing for many reasons.

This one just makes me want to wear it to a carnival and go on all the rides while eating cotton candy and winning at least one Teddy Bear . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA