Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

70s knitwear fabulosity

From 1971. LOVE the 20s inspired cloche. The sweater reminds me of my oldest sister, who was in high school in this time frame. I was pretty sure she was the coolest thing ever. She never would've worn the knickers though -- you have to be tall to carry that off. And what shoes would she have had on with this outfit?

Hat by Frank Olive, New York
Slacks by Jaeger
Sweater is from a knitwear pattern from Coats and Clark.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Again with the pretty.

I don't know who the designer is, but isn't that dress amazing? From August, 1950 Magazine magazine.
And yeah......we know what the man is thinking.

Gorgeous a la Mode

I came across this ad in a Good Housekeeping ad from 1946. It's post-World War II, and happy days were here again in fashion.

To carry this dress off, you'd need some sturdy foundation garments, but isn't it beautiful? I find it interesting that she's kind of playing with the hip swag -- or is that something else? Most times, hip swags are on the left, but that's what it looks like to me, and the style would fit the era.

Look in the background -- there are people dancing in full length ball gowns. I can't decide if she's at the dance, and dressed completely differently than anyone (the 50s style ball gowns weren't in vogue yet), or if she's at the ballet, because the gowns are too long for that. You tell me, because I can't figure it out. Or maybe they're just going for the photograph's setting, which is Le Theatre de la Mode. That's quite possible, but I catch a different vibe. Then again, I wasn't around in 1946, to see what a huge deal Le Theatre de la Mode was. The dress that is the focal point here is from Balmain. Photographed in Le Theatre de la Mode, presented by American Relief for France. Jewels by Cartier.

In either event, what do you think the ad is for? I was's an ad for Helena Rubinstein's Command Performance makeup line -- and the dress is listed as being from Balmain's Command Performance collection. Nothing like the makeup ads of today, where the face is front and center. Me? I'd rather look at gorgeous clothes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Converse-ation

There is no photo tonight, because I am sad. I was sent to look at an interesting post here, regarding classic college fashions. Gotta say, I agree with the majority of it, though I'd argue that argyle isn't quite back yet -- but then again, has it ever gone completely away? I think not. Messenger bags are as classic as Indiana Jones, and boyfriend blazers are, thankfully, making a resurgence. We haven't seen them around regularly since the 70s. Interesting list that made me think.

The one thing on the list that made me sad was Converse. I met my husband in early November, 1985. For Christmas that year, I bought him a pair of leather high-top Converse All Stars which, according to him, cemented the fact that he intended to marry me. Apparently, the $40 I spent on those shoes was a big deal, and he kept them for years.

I've searched for a pair of them for years, in hopes of surprising him at Christmas, and have NEVER found another pair like them. White and blue, high top, leather, and a strap across the top. I guess they were QUITE the deal at the Y, and now I know why, because they are simply not to be found. If I could find a pair in size 11, I'd be over the moon. And I don't think I'm alone -- read this for another lover of vintage Converse's take on the big deal, back in the day.

Chucks are back now, but take me back to the old days, and help a girl out. Anyone know where I could find 'em? And what else would you add to the list of college fashions that will never go out of style?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

RIP to everyone's favorite TV mom

Barbara Billingsley died this morning. She was the quintessential TV mom, with her shirtwaist dresses, pumps and pearls, and countless kids grew up listening to her wisdom.

Here she is in a TV guide spread from 1961. Imagine doing your vacuuming in that jumpsuit on the left.

Barbara Billingsley Mortensen, homemaker both on and off television, likes to dress up to her role. To the housewife whose slacks become her uniform Barbara offers this advice: "There are occasions when a homemaker feels and looks better if she's dress up. No matter how hectic things get, try to keep yourself up. We try on Leave It To Beaver - June Cleaver always changes her dress to look fresh when the children come home from school. "A woman managing a home has a career, just as an office worker does. And an attractive career girl give her job more stature."

At right [top right photo], Barbara models an attractive outfit for marketing. The simple sleeveless sheath is of checked woven cotton with drip-dry finish. The dress has a square neckline, a pleat in the back of the skirt. Orlon acrylic sweater is appliqu├ęd in dress material. By Lipson Co. $16.

Dress of Dacron polyester [middle right photo] has button detail and easy pleats falling from the new dropped waistline. by Sue Brett. $18.

Lawn jumpsuit [left photo] $19 is ideal for housework; with long skirt ($11), it becomes a glamorous dinner or evening-at-home outfit. Shoulder are elasticized. by Victor Most. [Bottom right photo] Basic sheath goes from morning to night. Patent leather belt is trimmed with dress material. By Mr. Bert, $13.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside.

Fall is here, so the coats will be coming out soon. I love the coats from the 50s and 60s. This one is from 1963, so the fullness of Lucy's coats is going away, replaced with clean lines. These collarless coats were great for showing off jewelry, but many of them could be dressed up with a detachable fur collar and cuffs as well.

The buttons were usually "couture," meaning that they were special -- carved, rhinestone encrusted, woven, or any number of other embellishments. I once was browsing around the thrift store, thinking of buying a great 60s car coat I'd seen. I must've thought too long, because when I went back a few minutes later, the coat was there but beautiful blue rhinestone buttons had been rent from the front of the coat. I felt like going over and grabbing the mike at the register, demanding for the culprit to come to register #1 and turn themselves in!

One thing you have to be careful of when purchasing a coat from this era is the sleeve length. Just like in the photos, gloves were usually worn, so it's not unusual for these coats to be 3/4 length instead of full length. If you are buying online ASK how long the sleeves are, and ask how the seller measured them, or you could be in for a disappointment.

This one is a Prominent Designer pattern, A868 if you're interested, by none other than the genius Estevez. I don't remember seeing anything he's done in outerwear before -- he generally designed great cocktail dresses and the like. I'd make this one in a beautiful aubergine, and wear gray gloves. And a hat.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Rachel Zoe could learn from 1936

This is just flat out elegant day-wear styling without looking like a crackhead like Rachel Zoe does these days. Love the hat and gloves. And of course the Marlene eyebrows.

Friday, October 1, 2010

1951 Bow Ties and Dovima

Photos a little grainy, but I'm pretty sure this is Dovima, in a vintage Bronzini ad.

"A new idea in a man's bow tie....where the knot falls, the scale of the pattern is reduced, allowing the knot to show not a fragment but ALL the pattern."

Click the photo to purchase the ad on ebay.