Monday, January 28, 2008

It's Mr. "T" time

No it's not that 80's throw back that we love to chuckle at. It's Esquire's man for 1950. In 1950 Esquire in conjunction with several clothing manufactures and designers created a a new sleeker more sophisticated look for men's fashion. . Emphasizing the fact that we as a race we becoming taller and trying to fight the image the world had of us as the "Fat Ugly American". More men after the war had gone to college than ever before and the city and suburbs at this time were teeming with young professionals.With cash at hand to fill their closets with. Several of the ads during that year had the Mr. "T" approved tag line. From head to to toe ( as the add below for socks shows) they where trying to mold the look of the young man. It's kind of fun seeing how the media along with large corporations worked together even then to control how we view ourselves. It doesn't appear to of been quite the science it is now.


So I added Chapter Two in the Mr. T saga to my "library"of men's fashion articles

It is from the November , 1950 issue of Esquire Magazine

This one shows how to dress for work as well as play

Click on the picture above to read the entire article

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Monroe, Harlow and Dior's New Look. The Facts

Because truly, it is driving me crazy seeing vintage sellers continually misinforming their customers. Sellers, primarily on eBay, have been perpetuating a disturbing trend when it comes to their listings....aside from the obviousness of using the names of glamorous movie stars to manipulate eBay's search, they are also misleading their customers. The phrase "I would not be surprised if Marilyn Monroe wore something just like this dress back in the chic New Look Era!" (or other times Jean Harlow, as these phrases used by literally scads of sellers now are templated and a few words switched now and then for a little variety) is mind-blowingly insulting to anyone who knows a whit about vintage fashion history, Marilyn OR Jean Harlow.

Lets discuss New Look. The "New Look" these sellers refer to was a revolution in fashion introduced in 1947 by Christian Dior as a return to femininity. The war was over, rationing of textiles had ended, the fashion world was back in full swing and women no longer struggling in a Rosie the Riveter role were ready to focus on their wardrobes. The straight skirts were replaced with billowing full skirts emphasizing a wasp-like, tapered waistline. It was an extreme look, and its peak lasted only into the very early 50s....while full skirts supported by crinolines stayed in vogue until the 60s, the extreme lines of the New Look softened. Dior's New Look circa 1947....

With that, lets look at Jean Harlow. Jean was born on March 3, 1911 and tragically passed away at a very young age on June 7 of 1937. 1937 being 10 years before Dior introduced the New Look. Harlow, aside from not even being ALIVE during the New Look Era, was known for her clingy, draping, bias cut evening gowns.....about as far removed from the concept of the New Look as one can get.

Marilyn. Undisputedly an icon when it comes to glamour, a bombshell, a classic pin-up. Its no wonder she and Harlow are invoked when it comes to describing vintage apparel and the images associated with it. Marilyn was one of the best dressed actresses in Hollywood in the 50's and 60's.....

But again, not typically seen in a full skirt with crinolines. Indeed, if one pays little attention to the subway grate scene in The Seven Year Itch, one could be lead to believe she's wearing a HUGE full skirt. But it was not, and it was not Marilyn's style to wear things that weren't fitted top to bottom, curve conscious and snug. Got a wiggle dress? Very Marilyn. But very much NOT New Look.


Friday, January 25, 2008

In Praise of Shirtwaist Dresses

Yesterday Erin over on Dress A Day posted about a new pattern she had bought.
She says: I've made three shirtdresses/shirtwaists so far and I have to tell you: it's NOT ENOUGH.

I understand the feeling.
I love shirtwaist dresses.
Seriously love them.
It is a design that never goes out of style and can be dresses up or down easily.
Do you love them too?

Is it shirtwaist or shirtdress?
I'm never sure.
All I know is it is my favorite style of dress and I have spent the last few years obsessing over the fact that I can not find one with a full skirt in a size 28 or 30. They just do not make them for large women.
And since I have issues with sewing collars and button plackets I guess I need to pay someone to make one for me.
If I do I will have to choose from these 3 patterns:

If a miracle happens and I once again have a 38 bust and a 28 waist (hahahahahaha) I would buy the dress at the top from Dorothea's Closet...or whine until she gave it to me. I love it so much.
The above patterns can be found at Sew-Retro Vintage Patterns.

Damn Good Vintage

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Ruff Day

Catch Project Runway this past week? my first time, sad to say, but now I’m hooked. what a way to start! an avant garde challenge!!! Loved the winners creation........

Want the look at a fraction of the price (yeah, they spent $300, but real-world couture like that would cost a fortune). check out this scarf onETSY from designer COCCOLE DI LANA.....

clearly inspired by the Edwardian ruff....

And those kids thought they were doing something new.........


Clips from The Women

I found this fun clip on YouTube. It showcases scenes of the Fabulous Rosalind Russell (I love her) from 'The Women' and it is set to Pink's song 'Trouble' - very appropriate for her character in this movie.
Rosalind wore the most outrageous and fun outfits and hats in this movies. The movie had a cast of 135 women, and Adrian designed all 237 costumes including the 5 identical sets of clothing that it took to film the fight between Rosalind & Paulette Goddard in Reno. Macy's carried adaptations of 4 evening gowns, 3 hats and a negligee, all inspired by the film.


Thursday, January 17, 2008


Not so sure when my "hobby" took over, it started out just picking up bits of lace, little pieces of velvet. Well now it's expanded. Way beyond. I'm taken over by those huge hats (cannot wear them myself you understand, face is not oval) but the look of elegance is hmmmmm yummy. Now it seems I cannot seem to pass by vintage costume jewelry (anything at all that sparkles), wonderful old hats, what started out as JUST 1950's prom dresses has moved to well ---- the 20's and 30's and 40's. usually the dressy end, but a few sundresses, casual. my latest find is an old heavy mannequinform on stand, that is decorated with vintage buttons, costume jewelry. She's very deco looking and I call her Zelda.

Hmmm did I forget to say I also cannot bypass anything that contains one of the graceful deco/nouv. lovely ladies that look like they float? I found some great bookends. I like to use my fashion as art, decorate, drool and look, smile. My hobby has taken over enough now that yes I have put some things into a booth at a local antiques/vintage clothing dealer. However, certain things and I shall never part!

Love the blog, more later, I'm off to search ebay!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

1943 War Effort Sewing Pamphlet

I picked this little pamphlet up awhile ago on eBay.
I've scanned the rest of it and you can find it here.

During the years for World War 2 it was considered your patriotic duty to sacrifice and make due. There was rationing in food, gas and even fabrics for clothing. One of the ways women could help with the war effort, besides having Victory Gardens, was to be frugal with their clothing. Taking an old item and making it new was all the rage and this pamphlet is one of many produced during that time as a guide to help the home seamstress remake her boring clothing into up-to-date fashionable garments.

On the Topic of Wedding Dresses

There seems to be a lot of wedding dress talk here at the Vintage Bulletin, and here is a bit more. For those of us in the South who may not be able to make it to Manhattan in February, we can still view some lovely vintage wedding attire at the Marietta, Georgia Museum of History. Through the end of February, they will be continuing an exhibit entitled Something Old, Something New …The Beauty and Grace of Bridal Ensembles. Along with the dresses they also have lingerie from trousseaux. And if you are a bride, you can download a coupon for free admission when accompanied by 3 other persons.

A Story of Three Wedding Dresses

As a seller of vintage clothing, some of the best garments have come my way by word of mouth. I got a call recently from a woman who was in a chorus with a neighbor of mine. She had mentioned that she was overwhelmed with clothing she had inherited from her mother and an elderly aunt and the neighbor, bless his heart, told her about me.

Sadly, most of the clothes appeared to have spent years in piles on a floor somewhere and were stained and holey. Every time she would be enthusiastic over an item I would have to point out the large holes, rust stains and/or tears. Her response was often a different version of, “Yes, but what do you expect - it’s vintage?”

I selected a few items so that I wouldn’t hurt her feelings and was ready to “beat a hasty retreat” when she mentioned a cedar trunk. In another room there were about 20 moving boxes and under them was an old cedar trunk. And suddenly my hour drive was worthwhile.

Among the lovely things stored in the trunk were her mother’s wedding dress from the 1920’s and what she said was her grandmother’s wedding dress. I’m not so sure about the ladder being a wedding dress, but it was lovely. In passing she mentioned her own wedding dress from the 1950’s was “in the cellar.” And so it was, on a wire hanger and filthy, but who could resist? She was happy to have all three wedding dresses come home with me.

I have not begun to deal with the 50’s wedding dress yet. That may be a “before and after” blog submission... But here is a photo of her in the dress - very 50’s/southern plantation look. She bought it on Newberry Street in Boston. Then photos of her her mother and that dress and finally her grandmother’s dress.

The Blue & Gold Victorian Dress is currently listed on ebay

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vintage Fashion Articles

One of my favorite things about vintage clothes is it's history. I love looking at old magazines, reading the articles and taking a peek at the old adds. These can be quite humorous as well as informative. Unfortunately they can be hard to find and sometimes pricey . Especially ones on men's fashion. That's why I started an online collection of vintage articles. All of them relating to men's fashion. You can take a look see at the entire "library" here .I have 22 article at the present time ranging in how military uniforms shaped men's fashion to work wear and every day dress. Plus plenty of pictorials of what was being worn during the 40's and 50's . This week I added 4 new articles to the collection. most of them dealing with a more winter theme.

The first is a short article from 1955 Esquire Magazine called Torso Tossup . It feature new ideas in shirts and sweaters for 1955 with a look into the paisley fad of that year. The next article is from the same magazine and is titled Sweater Survey . It shows the varieties of popular sweaters for the year. The third article is from a 1959 esquire magazine called College Credit It's a great pictorial on what was being worn on college campuses in 1959. The fourth article is from a 1940 Esquire and is all about what to wear for winter. This feature great 1940's graphics and has everything from what to wear while skiing to what to wear while your escaping the cold to
warmer climates.

Hope you will find these article fun and helpful

Monday, January 14, 2008

"Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: Yesterday's Modern Bride" @ Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show

I'm posting this on behalf of Elyce Tetorka who is curating an exhibition called "Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: Yesterday's Modern Bride" for the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show in February. Below is a copy of the press release for this special exhibit. Be sure to check it out if you are going to the show!


Find Your Own Personal Statement at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, Feb. 8 & 9
The passion for a special wedding gown has been every bride-to-be’s ultimate goal . Now more than ever, the dress must also emphasize the individuality of the bride. What better way than to shop vintage!
As contemporary designers such as Vera Wang, Reem Acra, and Lela Rose experiment with color and over-the-top design, vintage remains a treasure trove of inimitable, one-of-a-kind gowns. Vintage is timeless with the result that today’s bride-to-be can find the individual, personal style she seeks in a vintage selection.
Editor Linda Hirst gives a nod to the influence of vintage, writing in the February/March 2007 issue of Modern Bride that "When a bride designs her own dress using assorted Victorian lace petticoats she scooped up in London, you can be sure that her passion for vintage craftsmanship is serious." It is the beautiful customized look of vintage gowns that is attracting more and more fashionable brides world-wide.
The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show returns to the Metropolitan Pavilion on February 8 & 9, 2008 with a special exhibit titled Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: Yesterday’s Modern Bride, curated by Elyce Tetorka, Master Degree Candidate of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice program.
Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: Yesterday's Modern Bride showcases beautiful antique and vintage wedding gowns perfect for today's modern bride. Exquisite examples from the 1900s to the 1970s will be featured, many on loan from the private collection of designer Jana Star and vintage dealers including Arianna Adele of Tahir Boutique, Katherine Manzini of Trappings of Time, Elaine Klausman of Vintage with a Twist, and Joseph Sipos, among others. Visitors will see firsthand how bridal fashions have changed in the last hundred years – from the tightly corseted S-shaped silhouettes, to the Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel inspired short gown and extravagant haute couture of the late 1970s.
Wedding gowns were designed to reflect the height of fashion with the most lavish, finest materials money could buy. Exhibition highlights will include a magnificent turn of the century Irish crocheted and c. 1903 silk two-piece gown that show an Art-Nouveau aesthetic, which valued flowing and curvilinear lines. Originally worn with a confining corset that protruded the bosom and derriere while cinching the waist to form an S-shaped curve, it represented the ideal silhouette of the time.
Also on display is a late 1920s intricate bias-cut short gown inspired by the look that famous designers Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and Madeleine Voinnet made fashionable, an early 1930s gown completely encrusted with diamond-shaped sequins, and a luxurious late 1930s velvet gown with a tremendous eight-foot train.
Representing the post-World War II period of bridal style is an elegant gown from 1948 with a sweetheart-neckline and full-length ballroom skirt, two features which have come to embody traditional wedding fashion. The most recently designed gown on display will be a late 1970s Vicki Tiel Couture mini-maxi gown.
The best place to find your own special wedding gown is at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing & Antique Textile Sale where dozens of dealers will be showcasing bridal fashions and accessories. A discerning bride-to-be will happily discover confections in white and pastel, rare handmade laces and veils, distinctive headpieces, trims and petticoats -- all under one roof.

Here is an example of a few of the gowns that will be featured in the exhibition -

Photos are copyright by photographer Zandy Mangold.

The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show takes place on Friday, February 8 from 1 - 7 P.M., and on Saturday, February 9 from 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. at the Metropolitan Pavilion – 125 West 18th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Admission is $20. For more information, call 518/434-4312 or visit the web site at

Sunday, January 13, 2008

1/13/08 - New @Dandelion Vintage this week!

New at Dandelion Vintage this week !

    January 13th
  • 8 Day Dresses - from the late 1950s to early 1960s, including full skirted and fitted dresses and a cute Red Hearts dress by Lantz
  • 10 nylon slips - pretty colors, assorted sizes, more from the estate of the slip lovin' lady. Includes a fabulous pleated Van Raalte slip shown below.
  • 10 girdles - 1950-70s, assorted sizes. Red, black, print etc. Most of these also came from the estate of the slip lovin' lady - she loved girdles too
  • a late 1960s baby doll shift
And here are a few examples -

Bye for now, Carol

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008

    Dorothea's Closet Vintage in ROMANTIC HOMES Magazine!

    I'd been asked by the editor of ROMANTIC HOMES MAGAZINE if I had a dress similar to the dress DORIS DAY wears in the dinner scene with ROCK HUDSON in the film PILLOW TALK. I did have a dress I thought was similar and very Doris at that, and emailed back a picture....this being a few months ago. I was told it would be in the February issue and watched the site (which is still showing January's issue as of today). Quite happily surprised to catch the Valentine's Day issue while at the grocery this morning, and there it is!

    Its a lovely issue, I highly recommend it (and not just because I'm in it!)


    Vogue Magazine, March 1st, 1954

    It's always fun to look at old fashion magazines and catalogs, and dream. Here are some great images from a 1954 Vogue (click on images for larger views)

    First on the left is a classic Lilli Ann suit, look at the waist! no - look at that peplum! The fabric is a "streaked mohair from France" and the suit was available in charcoal or navy for about $95

    Right: Can you guess the designer? It's "pure silk organdy swirled in wave pleats by the talented hand of Ceil Chapman" It retailed for $175.00. As a vintage seller, I'd love to find a dress like that, but I can't help but think what a nightmare it would be to steam all those folds! The ad was for Julius Garfinckel & Co.

    Only by Vanity Fair - "The exciting beauty of Vanity Fair's celebrated permanent pleats and superb French lace combined in an ensemble of wonderful washable nylon tricot in Lilac, Angel Pink & Star White"
    The fabulous gown - style #1-9-51 retailed at $79.95
    The perfect Slip - style #1-8-51 - $59.95
    The dramatic peignoir - style #1-5-51 - $59.95

    'Going places with Van Raalte, because you love nice things'
    I've always been a big fan of Van Raalte slips and nightgowns, and after handling them for so long, I'm pretty good at spotting one just going by the lace, style and feel of the nylon. When I check out a slip, I think 'hmm, looks like a Van Raalte' and when I check the label and it is a Van Raalte - I think 'damn I'm good' and when I'm wrong I think 'You suck' - yeah, I'm weird.
    Anyway, the slip in this ad is "deep box pleated flounce that stays forever is magnificently embroidered to make this nylon tricot petticoat pert and pretty. Perfectionist quality and precision fit, of course, since it's a Van Raalte" and it relaited for $10.95 and was available in Cloud White, Blue Horizon, Dawnglow Pink and Spring Wheat.

    Next is a great Playsuit and Skirt by Alex Colman. We're barely into Winter and I'm already tired of colds and cold weather, and I'm looking forward to Spring.
    I'm a fan of Alex Colman even though I've only handle a few pieces, most recently an ombre blouse. This is a smaller sized ad in the middle of the magazine, after the dog breeders and private school ads. I wonder how much it cost to place an ad in Vogue back in 1954? I've seen similar sized Alex Colman ads in other Vogues, always with great outfits.
    "Alex Colman cuts the kerchief into a sun brazened playsuit and skirt in exclusive fuller cotton print in red and white on navy.
    Playsuit retailed for about $13.00, Skirt about $10.00

    This dress was made by Henry Berin for John Wanamaker's in Philadelphia. Made of imported Chantilly lace and Ribbonzine (gotta look that up) retailing for $175.00.
    Wanamaker's was a department store that started in the 1800s in Philadelphia, which later grew to other locations on the East Coast, including the Deptford Mall in NJ, where I grew up. What I really like about this ad is the image of Wanamaker's classic eagle with 'Meet me at the Wanamaker eagle' below it. The eagle was a huge bronze sculpture at the Philadelphia store and there was a replica in Deptford too. It was very famous and very recognizable and shoppers would agree to meet back at the eagle. I just thought it was cool that they included it in the ad. Wanamaker's stores are all closed now, most have become Macy's or Boscov's.

    Bye for now, Carol

    Sunday, January 6, 2008

    New Years 20% Off Sale all Dresses @ Glamoursurf!

    Glamoursurf is having a New Years 20% Off Dress Sale in our EBAY store. This is just a sampling of what you will find in our vintage dress store listings. Sale prices in effect Jan 5-12, 2008. Click images to visit our store. We LOVE to combine shipping too!

    Happy New Year!

    Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Heaven

    We collect and sell Vintage Clothing, Patterns and Advertisements. Through the years we have had clothing made from a particular pattern or advertisements for a particular pattern, but seldom do we get 2 of the 3 in our hands at the same time.
    I was sorting through some patterns the other night and had a lot that were still in factory folds from the early 50's. That is also unusual. LOL! I always pull the pattern from the envelope just to double check and low and behold there was this ad. It was for the pattern which had never been used. Apparently the original owner tore out the ad, bought the pattern, folded the ad and put it in the envelope...............then stuck them in a drawer and forgot about them. Whatever the original intent, I'm tickled that she did it that way.

    You get to see the original concept drawing (which appears demure and innocent) plus an advertisers interpretation of how the dress would look in their fabric (which is anything but demure and innocent)

    In this case the advertiser was Fruit of the Loom Fabrics. The pattern is copyrighted 1951, but The Bluprint of Fashion gives it's number as the first of 1952. Sadly the ad isn't dated nor do we know the publication, although the lady did write that it was from the "Spring pattern book #1."

    Either way you choose to make is PERFECT for Viva Las Vegas!!!! or any other occasion. I've listed them as a package deal this week on cemetarian on ebay

    No need for a Promo Code Sale at Sydney's

    Yes, it has been happening for a week, and the results have been great, but I also wanted more viewers to know that right now EVERYTHING at Sydney's Vintage Clothing has been reduced at least 20%! Enjoy the savings, the sale will not last forever! See you there.

    Saturday, January 5, 2008

    One of my favorite items

    Here is one of my prized possessions! I love lingerie from the 1920s-40s, mostly pajamas, lounge wear and robes, in silk and rayon. I sold many pieces from my collection a few years ago and only kept my favorites.
    This piece from my collection is a 1930s One Piece Step-in pajama that I bought in a stock purchase about 7 years ago, at a flea market. It's a super soft silk satin with flowers in bright red, orange, yellow and peach. It wraps and ties at the waist and has solid red silk trim along the edges. The legs are super wide. I love the bright colors and the soft feel of the fabric. The condition is perfect. I don't wear it, it hangs happily on display in my room. Sorry, it's not for sale, I'm only showing off.

    Since I bought it from another dealer, I don't know anything about the gal that it originally belonged to, darn. I imagine myself in the 1930s wearing this. Sleeping in late, with a matching sleep mask on. Having tea and toast on a tray in my boudoir, reading the mail, making a few phone calls. Then I'd get dressed in my beachwear (another favorite type of vintage for me) and drive in my convertible to the beach where I'd sit wearing a wide brimmed hat under a big umbrella, reading fashion magazines and Russian literature for several hours.

    Then it's home to shower, change into a pretty cotton day dress and eat a late lunch. After running some errands and doing some things around the house, I'd change into a crepe cocktail dress or a bias cut gown and meet my handsome boyfriend for dinner and dancing late into the night.

    Ahhh. If only these pajamas could make that happen for real!