Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I made a mistake and over-lapped my subscription to the fantastic Worn Fashion Journal, so now I have a coy to give way. Read about Worn, and get details for the giveaway at The Vintage Traveler.

Weekly eBay Roundup of Vintage Clothing Finds

No time to page through thousands of eBay listings? Then just sneak a peek at my weekly eBay Roundup of Vintage Clothing Finds. (The last one of 2010 and the decade!)

This eclectic mix of designer and non-designer vintage clothing and accessories caught my discerning eye because of their uniqueness, contemporary feel or highly collectible nature.

As always, buyer beware! Be sure to read the listings closely and contact the sellers with any questions.

This week's finds include pieces by Lilli Ann, Pendleton, Hermes and Bonnie Cashin. Be sure to check out the amazing Paco Rabanne Knit and Metal Dress and the Rare 1920s Enamel Mesh Compact Purse.

Which item is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know.



Click image for more information.

Vintage 1960s Paco Rabanne Knit and Metal Dres (ferryvintage) | Vintage 1950s Trifari Necklace (christiantrio) | Vintage 1960s Scallop Mink Trim Wool Coat (thriftwares) | Vintage 1950s Rainbow Hooded Coat (pamh23) | Vintage Haskell Vrba Bakelite Necklace (justintimely) | Vintage Pendleton Southwest Blanket Coat (makimakivintage) | Vintage 1960s Bonnie Cashin Reversible Suit (zorra666) | Vintage 1980s Bandolino Boots (fiftyfiveonred) | Vintage 1960s Swing Coat (via_vintage) | Vintage 1970s Fox Fur Scarf (tinroofvintage) | Vintage Gucci Bag (evansmissy) | Vintage 1960s Wool Military Coat (pamh23) | Vintage Round Leather Handbag (inbarbee09) | Vintage 1960s Wool Coat (via_vintage) | Vintage 1950s Vicky Vaughn Linen Dress (millstreetvintage) | Vintage 1920s Enamel Mesh Compact Bag (phrthings) | Vintage Bill Blass Military Coat (redhousevintage) | Vintage Hermes Alphabet Scarf (macaulayattic) | Vintage 1960s Honey Mink Jacket (bustownmodern) | Vintage Lilli Ann Coat (indiecultvintage) | Vintage Hermes Bangle Bracelet (namssuz) | Vintage Mink Trim Cape (kukuvintage) | Vintage 1970s Chanel Pearl Necklace (thingseyelike) | Vintage 1960s Lanvin Scarf (vintagefashioninc) | (Disclosure: Editorial selections are made by Zuburbia with no direct promotional consideration from Bay sellers. Zuburbia is an affiliate member of the eBay Partner Network).

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Wallflower Vintage Presents: Pretty in Pink 1986

Last night I watched Pretty in Pink - a classic story of boy meets girl. Boy is rich, girl is poor - hilarity ensues. (not really, but that teenage angst stuff is just so funny in a not-so-funny way). I was seriously amazed and slightly revolted by the fashions of the mid-80s. The movie was made in 1986 - a year I thought was at the height of haute couture (think Madonna, Thompson Twins, Howard Jones, Bananarama, Mr. Mister...) Gee, not really making a point am I?

My POINT is - the pink dress Andi made for the prom was so darn UGLY - like she was wearing a bag.

A pink bag.

Now, I am in the business of showcasing vintage garments - usually with a modern twist - but that sack, if it were to fall into my hands - well, there's nothing for it, NOTHING.

For more meaningful fashions, check out our ever-increasing selection of vintage items at Wallflower Vintage - we have over 2000 in stock with more arriving weekly.

Oh, and what's your take on the fashions of the eighties?

The Year in Vintage - A Look Back on the Fashion Styles and Trends of 2010

Babylon Mall has some exciting changes in store for 2011! But, before we take a look ahead at what the New Year will bring, I thought we would take a look back at the styles and trends that made up 2010.

Image credit: this great vintage outfit -- showing that polka dots, once again, add whimsy to a basic design -- comes from Sydney's Vintage Clothing Boutique on Babylon Mall.

One of the most prominent fashion trends of 2010 had more to do with the global market than fashion. Finding fantastic fashions and designer labels at reasonable prices is a trend that for many of us has been a lifelong goal. Thankfully, for the dealers of vintage finery, it is also one that will most likely continue well into 2011. Savvy fashionistas have known for ages that one of the best ways to save on their hard-earned clothing budget while staying on the cusp of high fashion is by integrating vintage clothing into their wardrobe.

The financial environment also managed to trickle down into the styles of 2010. Designers went back to basics this year, with minimalist designs, simpler cuts, and basic fabrics and patterns. That doesn’t mean the year’s style were dull. Long skirts, floaty layers, delicate lace, and lush fabrics made for clean, yet feminine styles. Simple stripes, plaids, and polka dots took the place of fancy florals. Fur, leather, sequins, and metallics were thrown into the mix, but in a more basic way than in seasons past.

Image credit: Shimmering fabrics and simple details like bows and ruffles added glam to the 80’s, then again in 2010. Image from Only Couture on Babylon Mall.

Once again, accessories shined in 2010 - easily transforming a humdrum outfit into a head-turner. Whimsical handbags, out-of-this-world pumps, fur-trimmed boots, and sparkling jewelry gave this year’s more toned-down fashions their glam-power.

Many of the biggest fashion trends of 2010 were obviously inspired by the 1980’s, and I expect many of these will also continue into the new decade. While select styles of many different eras tend to show up here and there on the runway (different aspects of the 60‘s have been appearing every season for the past 40 years), fashion tends to run in 20-30 year cycles. In the late 70’s, the 50’s were everywhere (take for example, the popularity of the movie “Grease’). In the late 80’s, the 60’s were the epitome of cool. Those of us who survived the 70’s would have never dreamed they would see the likes of bell-bottoms again - nevertheless, they reemerged in the late 90’s. So, of course, skinny jeans are hot now that the 80’s are, once again, in full swing.

Though skin-tight, zippered ankle jeans do not exactly flatter us all, I was happily reminded that long, floaty tunics cover those pear-shaped behinds quite beautifully. Overall, I am happy to see the reappearance of the glorious 80’s. (Dear Lord, please let big hair follow closely behind. I was SO good with big hair - I could even turn wet noodles into amazing spikes with a teasing comb and enough Rave Hairspray!)

All in all, it was another great year for fashion. It is nice to get back to basics once in a while - it helps us remember what is most important, and also helps make trends that are truly fresh and new more noticeable. So, send this year out with a bang and welcome in the New Year with pride. Oh, and be sure to hold onto your favorite 2010 items! In 30 years, these too will be vintage, and the envy of the next generation.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What is a Skirt? Definition of Skirt!

What is a Skirt?

According to Webster’s Dictionary:

Definition of SKIRT

a (1) : a free-hanging part of an outer garment or undergarment extending from the waist down (2) : a separate free-hanging outer garment or undergarment usually worn by women and girls covering some or all of the body from the waist down b : either of two usually leather flaps on a saddle covering the bars on which the stirrups are hung c : a cloth facing that hangs from the bottom edge or across the front of a piece of furniture d : the lower branches of a tree when near the ground

There are three major silhouettes where skirts are concerned.  But those silhouettes can be achieved through various design and construction methods.

Flared:  Narrower at the hip than at the hemline.
A-Line; Fitted at the hip and gradually widens towards the hem, giving the impression of the shape of a capital letter A.
Godets; Flared triangular sections inserted into garments.
Gored; Vertical strips of fabric that are narrow at the top and wide at the bottom.
Paneled; Strips of fabric the same size at top and bottom.
Tiered; Horizontal strips of fabric gathered and sewn together to form a skirt wider at the hem.
Yoked:  A form fitting yoke across the hip with a fuller skirt attached.  Can be pleated, gathered, paneled or gored.

Full:  Flares from the waist to the hem. 
Circle; Forms a complete circle when laid out on a flat surface.
Dirndl; A full gathered skirt.  It has a narrower line and smaller sweep than the Bouffant.
Bouffant; Tightly gathered at the waist and flares fully at the waist and is very full at the hemline.  This term was only used for a couple of years and refers to the extreme sweeps on some hemlines.
Bubble; Gathered at the waist and hemline to create a Bubble
Bell; Forms a Bell shape at the Hip and is usually a bit narrower at the hemline
Harem; A Bubble skirt that is attached to a narrow band of fabric at the hemline

Straight:  Forms a straight line from the hip to the Hem.
Pencil; Very Narrow Straight Skirt
Wiggle; Narrower at the knee than at the Hip.  The Wiggle skirt is like the Unicorn.  It exists only in people’s imagination.  Some illustrations appear to be a wiggle skirt but if it has a kick pleat or the hem circumference is as wide or wider than the hip line it is not what is considered a Wiggle Skirt. 
Flounced; Straight skirt with wide ruffle, pleats or other treatment at the hem.

Pleats; Fabric is folded and stitched in place.  Pleats can be stitched only at the top or part way down the entire skirt. There are several types of pleats.

Box: Two folds turned away from each other with underfolds meeting in the middle.
Inverted:  Box pleats in reverse with the folds turned toward each other and meeting at the top.
Knife:  Folded over one time so that all folds face in the same direction.
Accordion or Crystal:  Pressed along the entire length with folds resembling the bellows of an accordion.  These pleats are usually done by a commercial pleater. 

Wallflower Vintage Presents: Winter Magic

Sure you need to bundle up against the cold, but you can do it warmly and in style - check out Wallflower Vintage's extensive collection of skating skirts, cardigans and sweaters.

And remember - the days are getting longer!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dandelion Vintage 13th Anniversary Sale! 33% off of all stock for 3 days!

The Dandelion Vintage website went online a few days after Christmas in 1997. I got the idea for starting the website after accidently finding another website that was selling antiques and vintage clothing. My website started with a single page of about 20 items from my closet. I had been collecting and wearing vintage for over 10+ years by that time, so I thought a website might be a good way to resell things that I had been hoarding.
There weren't many vintage clothing websites at that time, less than 10, and it took a very long time to show up in search engines then too - I don't mean getting onto the first page of results, I mean just cracking the top 100. It was 2 months before I sold my first item, a pair of 1960s faux leopard fur pants.
I  started my website about 3 months before I discovered ebay. I slowly added to the website and started listing on ebay, and grew from there. I listed regularly on ebay for 7 years, then mostly gave it up to focus on the website. In the past 5 years, I've only listed occassionally on ebay and I also list in spurts on etsy.

On my website I have over 2000 items to choose from. From Victorian to the 1970s. Clothing, lingerie, hats, purses, jewelry and more. This is my fulltime job and I am very serious (and obsessive) about it. I've been wearing and collecting vintage clothing for 25 years, I'm not someone who just jumped on the bandwagon when it became popular. In 13 years, I've handled over 30,000 pieces of vintage.

I try to keep my items reasonably priced so that buyers can afford to add them to their wardrobes or collections. I don't follow trends, I don't read current fashion magazines. I just focus on quality vintage clothing. I've met some of the coolest people over the years, who love vintage clothing as much as I do. I feel very lucky to have a job that I love (although I am a very demanding boss)

To celebrate 13 years online, I'm having a 3 day sale with everything 33% off!

Some favorite vintage clothing memories:

*Meeting my 2 favorite vintage ladies who have been helping to supply me with stock for about 12 years.
*Buying 2521 pairs of vintage stockings
*Learning about the lives of the ladies whose clothing I buy. Aspiring actresses, farm wives, spinsters, nurses, milliners etc. Wondering about their lives and what the clothing originally meant to them
* Seeing photos of my customers happily wearing a vintage outfit from the website.
* Selling a girdle on ebay for $1000 (that was a fluke, an old fashioned bidding war, never to be repeated)
* In one stock purchase, discovering two 1920s dresses with Lanvin and Molyneux labels in them.
* Blowing my poker face when I discovered a pair of Pucci sunglasses.
* Making vintage friends with my customers, who are very cool, and other vintage sellers - even though I'm the type of person who keeps to myself (selling online from my house is SUCH the perfect job for a hermit like me)
* The 1000s of bound button holes, beautiful tailoring details and tiny handstitching that I've admired in garments over the years.

Thank you to all my vintage friends!
Bye for now, Carol

Reflections of Vintage - Weekend Eye Candy

The members of the Reflections of Vintage seller's network are pleased to offer the following dresses and jewelry perfect for New Year's Eve.

Vintage 70s Does 40s Black Sweetheart Bodice Evening Gown from CATSEYE VINTAGE

Vintage 1980s Beautiful Sexy Black and Emerald Green Beaded Strapless Mermaid Wiggle Dress Gown from ALLEY CATS VINTAGE


Vintage Laguna AB Crystal AB Necklace and Dangle Earrings from VINTAGE BAUBLES TOO


Vintage 60s MR BLACKWELL Designer Black Silk Cocktail Party Dress Embellished with Metallic Embroidery -- Bust 36 -- Size S - M from CATSEYE VINTAGE


Vintage 80s Classic Elegant Formal Evening Gown and Jacket by Cachet Sz 10 B36 from ALLEY CATS VINTAGE


Vintage 70s Designer Mollie Parnis Silk Wrap Dress, Medium from VINTAGE BAUBLES TOO


COMING SOON: 30+ New Arrivals Next Week at Vagabondnyc

Stay tuned in this week as we'll be adding dozens of new quintessentially chic vintage scores to the site from the likes of Bill Blass, Chanel, Hermes, Jil Sander, Matsuda & Valentino.
With talk of heritage dressing taking center stage comes this classic navy maxi coat from the king of heritage finery, Bill Blass.

From the 80's comes an ultra-femme surprise from the queen of clean minimalism, Jil Sander. With its sensuous maxi-length, semi-sheer fluid composition and full-on 40's inspired paisley print, it some how manages to hit upon spring's softer 70's side.

From Matsuda, one of fashion's long forgotten design geniuses, comes this forever-chic military inspired swing coat that boasts a full shape and stand-up collar.

Get into the swing of the season's decidedly ladylike propositions in our 80's era Perry Ellis pleated a-line circle skirt.

Icon of the 1960's Dog Ear Collar

One of the icon's of the late 60's and early 70's was the exaggerated Dog Ear Collar. This sweet dress pattern has everything a girl could want from the era. It's a mini dress, it has a low scoop neckline, long bell sleeves, princess seams, flirty flare skirt and a choice of 2 collars. The long pointed collar attached to a neck band give the dress a peek-a-boo effect. Of course the huge dog ears are my personal favorite, but if I were making this adorable dress to wear, I would choose the view not shown. I would give it the scoop neck and have the dog ears attached to the neck band for a peek-a-boo dog ear look. But any way you make it, this pattern is a definite WINNER!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lilli Ann - Designer and Manufacturer of Exquisite Women's Suits

Lilli Ann of San Francisco ~ Designer and Manufacturer of Exquisite Women's Suits and Coats for Over 50 Years

Adolph Schuman started the Lilli Ann company in San Francisco in 1933, naming the company for his wife, Lillian. The company quickly became known for their beautiful, elaborately designed suits and coats as exemplified by these beauties.


This early to mid 1940s wool military influenced jacket with plastic buttons made to look like metal was recently sold by Catseye Vintage.



Schumann went to France after World War II to buy fabrics from French weavers including Blin Blin whose fabric is used in this fabulous black cashmere coat available from Catseye Vintage on Etsy (and it's on sale with a 20% off coupon code!)

Vintage 40s 50s Designer Lilli Ann Cashmere Coat with Pleated Back -- Size Large or XL from CATSEYE VINTAGE



There was a popular Lilli Ann Knits line in the 1960s, and a mod-inspired London line. The 1970s and 80s brought a career look for Lilli Ann as exemplified by these pieces currently available from After Dark Vintage on Ruby Plaza.

Vintage 1980s Mauve Lilli Ann Career Suit B36 W29 from AFTER DARK VINTAGE


Vintage 1980s Two Piece Navy Blue Lilli Ann Skirt and Blouse XL B48 from AFTER DARK VINTAGE


Adolph Schuman died in 1985. His company continued under the direction of his heirs until the company was sold in the 1990s and closed by 2000.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


HUGE Sale at Figure 8 Studio!

10 to 30% OFF!

Items Will Include Newly Listed:

Kitten Soft 60's 3 PC Coral Wool & Kid Mohair Suit

50s Vintage Ivory Lace Bridal Dream Dress in Classic Tea Length

And this absolutely FABULOUS!!!

50s Pink Strapless Dress with Rhinestones & Lace

MANY MORE discounts through out the store!

Wear this 1950s formal on New Year's Eve (but be careful under the mistletoe!)

When I was in the sixth grade, we lived next door to the Masonic Lodge. On summer evenings, my mother and I would sit in the swing on our front porch, waiting for the parade of formals that marked the start of an Eastern Star event at the lodge. I could hardly wait for the show to begin. As I watched all those women shimmy up the sidewalk in their high heels and matching bags, it seemed like a long wait for the time I might wear such a dress. This is one of my favorite formals EVER. Can’t you imagine what a great dress this would make on New Year's Eve at the symphony? You can find the dimensions and other details in our Bridal and Special Occasion department at Dressed Her Days Vintage.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December Giveaway: Gift Certificates for

Happy Holidays!

To celebrate the holidays,
I'm giving away two $10.00 gift certificates
for vintage sewing patterns at to two lucky winners.  Just leave a comment at Serendipity Handmade blog by this Friday to enter. Winner will be announced on Christmas Day.
Best of luck!

Need some New Years Eve Glitz and Glamour?

Going out New Years Eve and need to glam up that gown or cocktail dress? Accessories do really make or break a fabulous outfit! Whether it's sexy and sultry or modest and demure you'll find what you're looking for at Love Train Vintage!

Vintage 1980s La Regale Black Bead and Sequin Clutch Shoulder Purse Handbag

Vintage 1950s Nanette Originals Silver Stilettos size 7AAAA

Vintage 1900s John Wanamaker Ecru Beaded Purse

Vintage 1950s Di Orsini Black Stilettos size 8

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't Miss That Sale!

Don't forget to check out Babylon Mall on Dec 26th for some fabulous vintage items all on sale!

And of course, the sellers of Babylon Mall would like to join me in wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

On a personal note, I have to add that Michelle Obama looks absolutely stunning in that black vintage dress! (Scroll down a few posts to see what I mean...)

True Vintage versus Vintage Style

I received the following email this morning: 

Below is a copy of my receipt and the recipent just advised me that the wrong size was shipped. Please advise the best way to exchange the pattern for a size 4 and not the size 12 that was shipped."

When I informed her that a size 4 did not exist in 1962 for sewing patterns and that the bust, waist and hip measurements given on the envelope was what you needed to utilize when buying vintage sewing patterns, she responded:

"Thank you, the recipient & I were not aware of that."

This communication, triggered me to re-post this very valuable bit of information.

Most people who sew know that a manufactured dress size and a dress pattern size have nothing in common.  This guide is purely for fun and to show the changes in standard sizing for dress patterns through the years.  It has nothing to do with the little tag on a dress in the department store. Sizes weren't routinely listed on all patterns until around 1940.  Prior to WWII the sizing was strictly related to the bust measurement. Here is a brief look at the changes in a  Size 12  from 1930-2000

  1930- Bust 30  Waist 25   Hip

1940- Bust 30  Waist 25   Hip 33     

1955- Bust 30 Waist 24 Hip 33 

1960-Bust 32 Waist 25 Hip 34 

1970-Bust 34  Waist 25.5  Hip 36 

1975-2000 Bust 34 Waist 26.5  Hip 36

So, as you can see there is quite a difference in the fit, silhouette, and sizing of vintage patterns throughout the past 60 years.
Most Pattern sellers will list the Bust Size in the title of the listing so you can browse at your leisure instead of plowing through multiple listing only to find the pattern won't fit.  An experienced and talented person who sews can always moderate and alter a pattern up or down, but it's nice to know what you are getting from the beginning.

And to add a new addendum for those just entering the world of true Vintage and not Vintage Style.  True vintage sewing patterns are not easily found and can't be produced with the click of a finger.  They are no longer manufactured, and those offered for sale are found in various places in various conditions and they are old.  They weren't printed last week or even last year. Your seller has found them in an Estate Sale or some other type of situation and they have taken the time to check the pieces and make sure the pattern is complete and if it has been used lovingly or abused terribly.  So please read the descriptions and make your purchasing decisions based on your own personal needs and the information (or in some case, lack of information) given.  And never hesitate to ask questions if you are in doubt.

My sincerest wish is for each and everyone of you to have a Joyous Holiday for whatever occasion you celebrate this season.