3 TRUE VINTAGE NATIVE AMERICAN/HAWAIIAN COSTUMES FROM THE 1940’S – 1950’S

It is always appropriate to show my great Native American and Hawaiian dresses in Summertime, even though they are not always the most cool garments to wear.  Ocean breezes and high mountain altitudes can help with that!  The two on the right are from Arizona, sold by a company called Thunderbird Fashions which made lots of Western-wear dresses, blouses and skirts back in the day.  The dress on the left was made in Hawaii.  In most cases, women bought these outfits while on vacation in the American West or Hawaiian islands but sometimes a woman living there would include these in her day-to-day wardrobe.

Like a couple of the other items I’ve shown before, they are of heavy cotton with loads of braid trim, ric-rac and color! The Western-wear blouses have a side zipper at the waist.

The Hawaiian outfit on the left was made about the same time as those from Arizona.  It is interesting that there are so many similarities in the style although no zipper in this blouse, and the contrast is in the fabric panel on the bodice.

Both styles have a flattering fit, with a wasp waist and free hips.  I love wearing them on cooler days in the Summer and Fall and sometimes wear the skirts with another top.  Each of these ensembles is different and they are from a time when  Western and Hawaiian fashion were all the rage – probably in the 1950’s.  Women loved wearing them and vacationers loved bringing them home.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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LAST MINUTE FINDS! HERE’S A UNIQUE TOOLED LEATHER HANDBAG, HAND-CRAFTED AND SIGNED

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Just when I think I’m thwarted, never fails!  I made a spur of the moment decision to go sleuthing once more and . . . . . Out peeked this lovely older tooled leather purse that I had to have.

The reason for that is the images – acorns and a stag on back – which I haven’t seen in a while.  It’s also very nicely done and has a shape that I particularly like.

The maker lined it in a thin, soft leather – which is unusual – of a greenish color – very unusual. Although some stones are missing from the buckle, I may or may not replace them.  So, a fitting way to be leaving Las Vegas.  My gamble paid off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

Classic True Vintage Western-wear Hat

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To wear at least three seasons of the year, a wool felt classic hat will last for decades and complete almost any sportswear outfit. This men’s cowboy style from the 1970s or before is uni-sex now.

The best quality hats of this type have a leather inside hatband. A liner (often satin) is another sign that it is of high quality. Look for the maker’s name stamped inside and, often, the name of the store where it was sold.

These will turn up in lots of places if you’re savvy about where to look.   You just never know . . . .

Morgana Martin, the magicvintagespy

Blog:  Magicvintagespy.com

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

TRUE VINTAGE 1960’S MEN’S SUEDE LEATHER WESTERN-WEAR SPORT COAT

TRUE VINTAGE 1960'S MEN'S SUEDE LEATHER WESTERN-WEAR SPORT COAT

Cresco Fine Sportswear designed this great jacket, with front and back yokes, in a buttery camel-color suede. It was probably sold by a Western-wear dealer or fine men’s clothing store.

All the features of fine tailoring are here – a cloth label, 3 outside pockets and at least one inside, full lining plus dyed-to-match buttons on front and at the cuffs.

A sharp-looking gentleman’s garment. True, Madge can’t do justice to the shoulders . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG;  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

RARE FIND. 1950’S TEX-MEX STYLE COTTON CIRCLE SKIRT

Haven’t run across one of these in a while, so I’m thrilled. They were so popular in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Travelers to Mexico and the southwest U.S. loved to buy them at stores carrying souvenirs, Western-wear and Native American goods and bring them home. The women living there wore them every day(especially if they were transplants from up north)-so comfortable and flattering.

Casual ones like this were often worn with white peasant blouses with puffy sleeves – see Kim Novak wearing one in Picnic(1955) with William Holden. Native American versions with LOTS of ric-rac usually had matching blouses. Pretty sure this one was home-sewn, but nicely done. The hem had been taken up from it’s below-knee original length but it was easy to take those stitches out. It’s fun to see clothing that has been altered over the years to go along with changing fashions. There is one old mend and some wear near the waistband closure that will require a little rehab, but that’s A-OK. I love vintage garments with a history and it testifies to the authenticity.

So, this one’s probably the oldest, but not by much. We’ll got forward in fashion history tomorrow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A MID-CENTURY TURQUOISE NAVAJO DRESS

Just what I was looking for – in this color and size!! Isn’t it wonderful how things just turn up?

My mother had a similar one years ago, but it went by the wayside before I could speak up for it. Was just wishing, the other day, that she had kept it. Now here this one is, perfect for me, and with the same great styling and construction.Originally made in Arizona, it’s got a matching color metal side zipper in the blouse and lots of lovely silver trim. Can’t wait to wear it!

This was the first thing I found, but it just kept coming. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A COUPLE OF REALLY FUN 1960’S FINDS

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A fitted (the best) Western-style shirt in cotton blend with a floral wallpaper stripe and a true vintage paisley scarf, maybe both from “Monkey Ward” (see the shirt label and investigate the nickname online – fun).  Again in my size, though the blouse size must have been for a girl at that time.

Unusual finds per their fabulous condition.  I’ll enjoy wearing them – very much perfect examples of the fashion era when they were made.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

YEE-HAW! GIT ALONG LITTLE DOGIES! AN ICONIC WESTERN-WEAR LABEL SINCE THE EARLY 1900s

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Yes, it’s a standard cotton cowboy shirt with snap closures.  An embroidered patch on the back indicates that it was worn by a rodeo showman.  It’s not that old – 1970’s – 1990’s probably, but the real treasure is the brand label.  Again, look it up on Wikipedia – very interesting history.

Of course, I look mostly for garments and accessories that I’ll add to my own wardrobe but this field of espionage is so fascinating that I sometimes take a little detour.  I wonder what may show up next?  You just never know   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

ALWAYS A WELCOME DISCOVERY – CLASSIC MID-CENTURY TOOLED LEATHER BELT

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I’m including a little close-up photo here of the essential features of these wonderful hand-made belts from the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s.  The best were made by artisans in the Southwest U.S. and Mexico but many home-leatherworkers became quite good at the craft and could rival them, or almost.

Handbags, purses, wallets and belts were the most common items made but once I saw a full set of luggage at an auction.  Almost got it.

The features that distinguish these pieces from newer and less worthy ones are primarily three:  1.  high quality leather  2.  deep carefully-done tooling in traditional designs, with nice finishing and  3.  an adjustable snap-on/off at the buckle end and high quality silver or silver-plate buckle.

Rare enough to be worth pouncing on whenever seen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NEXT FIND – TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S/EARLY 1960’S HAND-MADE HOUSE DRESS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Gingham again – it’s always classic and often found in lots of casual clothing from mid-century.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In this example, we have a custom-tailored design – sort of Western-wear, but just CUTE! Simple shift style, but when I wear it I’ll probably add a belt and cinch the waist.  The ruffle at the hem, cross-stitch decoration and interesting elbow-length sleeves all make it unique and would even be a good Halloween costume.

Dresses with these features were popular in mid-century in the United States, when there was a big Western/cowboy craze going on.  Ever hear of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans?  I’ve learned so much by being interested in true vintage fashion!  Happy trails to you, until we meet again.  Have fun tonight – arroooooooooooooooooo . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM