Hues Of Autumn

1930s/1940s style dress: Ulf Anderson ( modern brand)

1940s turban hat: Ebay

1930s/40s sunglasses: Ebay

Orange 1940s gloves: Swift Vintage, Burbank CA.

1930s brown purse: Swift Vintage, Burbank

Gold shoes: “Anita” by Remix Los Angeles

 

So a couple days ago, I blogged about how I found that I wore a dress that I loved for yesterday’s photoshoot but once seeing it on the screen, I saw the dress was just not the shape for me, and as much as I love it, I must part ways with it. So today it went off on its journey to someone else.

I find that being into vintage is very much a never ending journey into personal style in a way that all fashion is for those who are interested in it, but with vintage, it is unique.

People that follow modern fashion usually only have the hear and now of what is in season and what is trendy. The go to the mall and decide what trends they like, what trends they don’t. Of course, they may change the look they are going for each season based on current mood, and this is very like vintage clothing as well. At one point, I was very much into the 1920s, and my whole vintage wardrobe was consumed with this. Now, I am into the 1930s and 1940s, in a few years, I might be into something else completely.

But something else changed for me. As I grow older and more style conscience, I start to see how clothes fit me and my particular body shape and height. For the first time, I didn’t just look at clothing because it was from a certain era as I had done for so long, I began to examine what eras actually looked good on me.

I came up with two particular time periods, the late 1930s/early 1940s and the 1950s. I’ve got a couple pieces from the 1950s, and they are absolutely beautiful but I just don’t “gel” enough with everything from the 1950s to really start building a whole wardrobe around it. The late 1930s and early 1940s though was perfect. I pretty much love everything about this era, the music, the fashion, the architecture, even the history especially what was going on here locally in Los Angeles.

So, I began to shop for this particular era really found a place where I felt at home. Of course, I will always visit other eras, but my heart is really home here now.

So, finding a particular era that you love also means shedding items that I once wore that now only sit gathering dust in my closet. I have been selling a large amount of items off, things I have not worn for years.  So the dress pictured is going as well, like all the other pieces I have been saying good bye to, it will be painful saying good bye, but I know, this dress fill find a home with someone who will love her dearly.

Arabian Nights

1940s felt and jersey turban by Sunnyland (A New York Creation)- Ebay

mid/late 1940s Crepe Dress by Lilli Diamond: Papermoon Vintage, Los Angeles

1940s Scimitar Bakelite Brooch: Ebay

Usually I create an outfit around the dress, but this outfit is completely built around this hat. I fell in love with this hat the moment I saw it. Its an example of the dramatic, high fashion hats that were created in the late 1930s early 40s. The hat is essentially a turban with jewels and stars. It has a “wimple” of rayon jersey, a fabric that I love. It is very soft and fluid, and something I will be creating some custom prints on in the near future for fashion line.  Being a turban, the hat has influences from the middle east, I continued this theme with my Bakelite pin which is a very large butterscotch colored scimitar which is a traditional Persian sword.  I had seen reproductions of this pin all over Instagram, but I wanted to get one that was from the 1940s.

The dress is a mid to late 40s dress by the designer Lilli Diamond. Normally in my postings, I show the entire dress, but when photographed today, I found the dress really does not work for my my height/shape. Its a longer length and has large dolman sleeves which is great on someone tall, but I am barely 5’4 with a petite build, so I think sadly, the dress wears me more then I wear it. This is something common I have run into with a lot of 1940s pieces, especially ones from the mid 1940s right before the New Look came in. The longer lengths, large shoulder pads and dolman sleeves, like on the dress I am wearing just don’t work on me, am conflicted on  if I should keep the dress, or send it on to another home with someone to whom it will be more suited.

Tropical Tones

 

1940s Rayon Crepe Dress: Ebay

1930s/40s straw picture hat: Birthday Life Vintage, Etsy

1930s Gloves: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles

1950s Willardy Lucite Purse: Local antique store

Shoes: Anita By Remix Los Angeles

Upon putting this dress on, it instantly reminded me of my grandma. She was always a stylish lady. She was about my age early 1940s when this dress was made, so many things from this era, especially this dress have me thinking of things she might have worn in her 30s.

This dress is a bright red with white, black and cool green tones. It reminds me of the tropics, I’m not sure why. My grandmother and grandfather retired to Florida in their later years and perhaps this is why this makes me think of my grandmother as well.

I am really big into genealogy including the site Ancestry.com. I have searched my family back many, many generations, but the other day I was looking up some more recent history. I was able to find a record of my grandparent’s marriage license from 1940 with their signatures and information. This made me tear up. Here is something from two people that were very special to me that now are gone.

I think my love of vintage clothing really stemmed out of my love for the past. History does, and always has permeated every part of my life including my work. Most of my writing in novels and the two screenplays I have developed ( one is in development currently) are set in another time, the two screenplays in particular are set in the 1920s and 1930s and are crime stories set in Los Angeles.

So when I put on a vintage dress, its not just a pretty garment, its a piece of history.

Another Colorful Outfit!

1940s tilt hat: Garb-Oh Vintage, Etsy

1940s floral rayon dress with sequins: Lorel Mae, Etsy

Chartreuse gloves ( 1950s?): Hot Couture, Santa Rosa, CA.

Shoes: “Anita” By Remix Los Angeles

I really love wearing bright colors, especially this color combination above. There is something about purple, magenta and chartreuse that goes so well together! Its probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, these colors are bold, dramatic and make me happy when I wear then. As I have said before, I love the very creative color combinations that were around in the 1940s and this outfit puts some of the most popular of the decade into one outfit!

The Secrets Of Getting Good Vintage Clothing

As time passes, vintage from earlier eras gets harder and harder to find, yet the pool of collectors searching out vintage is the same, if not growing all of the time. Because of this, the vintage market is highly competitive especially when it comes to great or highly unique pieces. Also, just like regular fashion, the vintage market has trends that come and go which determine the prices and availability of certain trendy pieces.

If you are a avid vintage collector such as myself, here are some tips to help you score some great vintage in a cut throat market.

  1. Look Outside Of The Internet.

The vintage market is particularly cut throat on the internet. Thousands of people all around the world have access to sites like Ebay, Etsy and Instagram where vintage is regularly sold, so desirable items can some times sell out in minutes of being posted. To get a leg up on the competition, try visiting your local vintage stores, where the owners will only have a fraction of what is in their store online. Also if seeking a great deals, try also visiting estate sales, antique stores, and flea markets. I have found some of my best vintage simply by hunting it down the old fashioned way.

2. Follow People on Etsy.

One of the best ways to find items you are seeking on Etsy is to follow those people who have similar tastes to you. To do this, find an item you like on etsy and look at other people who have favorited the item. If you see someone with favorite items that you like, go ahead and follow them, in the future when you go to the Etsy home page, you will see other things they have liked.

3. Stalk Ebay/Etsy Like its Your Full Time Job.

Ok, so like most people you probably have a full time job or other commitments that does not allow you to check these sites every second, but I make it a habit to search many times a day, especially if I have nothing else to do. For Ebay, you can either save your searches, or just keep refreshing the page with your chosen criteria put in and look if more items have been listed. Usually I’m looking for 1930s-40s right now, so maybe only a few items will pop up per hour. On Etsy, I open up two browser tabs, one for 1930s, one for 1940s, set it to “most recent” and just refresh the page through out the day.  You will be surprised just how fast new items on Etsy get snapped up, some with in seconds! Most of the stuff might be stuff you don’t want, but occasionally you will find that treasure and all your time spent looking will be worth it!

4. Get To Know Sellers On and Offline.

Sellers want to sell their stuff, so if you can make their job easier by letting them know in advance, its easier for them and for you. Let them know your measurements and give them in detail exactly what you are seeking and most sellers will be more then happy to call you/email you or tag you on the item on Instagram when they what you are seeking.

I hope these tips helped, happy hunting!

 

Chartreuse And Orange

1940s Orange Crepe Dress: Etsy

Chartreuse and Black 1940s Hat: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles, CA

1950s Chartreuse Gloves, Hot Couture, Santa Rosa, CA.

Gold peep tow 1940s style shoes: Remix

So if you can’t tell by now reading my blog, I LOVE color, especially vintage color combinations from the 1930s and 40s.  I really, really love the color orange, and this 1940s crepe gown is a bright shade of it, even though it looks like more of a coral in the photos. When I put this gown on, it really dawned on me just how genius designs of the 1940s can be. This gown makes me appear quite statuesque, despite the fact I am barely 5’4.

I think this is due to the beautiful the way the dress is constructed, especially with those 1940s shoulder pads, in a dress like this, I can see why they so popular during the 1940s.

Florals and Puffed Sleeves

Late 1930s/early 1940s dress: Ebay

1930s/40s hat: Ebay

As a vintage fashion collector and wearer I have one favorite set of years I like to buy my vintage from, but two distinct looks that were popular during those eras.

The years are 1937-1949. One of the looks is bold, dramatic, avant garde and high fashion, the other is that of the sweet, young ingenue.

Today I am playing the part of the ingenue, if you want to see the bold and dramatic, go to my last blog post.

This dress perfectly embodies what I love so much about the sweet youthful look of late 30s and early 40s dresses. I love the sweet, soft colors, the shorter lengths and most of all the puffed shoulders.

While sometimes the bold and dramatic look can be a big overwhelming on someone who is more petite like myself, I can never go wrong with the sweet, ingenue look.

 

Chartreuse And Shooting Stars

Hat: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles

Dress: My fashion line

Introducing my new favorite hat! This is a 1940s high fashion hat made out of straw with a chartreuse rayon jersey “wimple.”

This style of hat was in vogue at the end of the 1930s and into the early 1940s and was considered avant garde and high fashion.

I paired it with a black crepe dress from my fashion line which has has star and shooting star appliques that are hand sewn.

A Pocket Full Of Posies

1940s Dress: Dynamo Vintage, Etsy

1940s Hat: Birthday Life Vintage, Etsy

1950s lucite purse: local antique store

Green 1930s gloves: Papermoon Vintage, Los Angeles

Green 1940 peep  toe shoes: Remix

This 1940s dresses is one of my favorite purchases that I have ever made and is a very good example of why I prefer buying vintage over modern clothing. This item was not very expensive, but  has the creativity that today usually only present on expensive designer pieces. The stand out detail on this dress is 3D flowers at the neckline. This was done by someone hand cutting the flower shapes on the fabric to create appliques and then hand sewing them on the neckline. I think someone would be hard pressed to find a dress with this sort of detail on a dress today without paying hundred of dollars.

Sequin Bows

1940s crepe dress with sequin appliques: Etsy

1950s pink gloves: Etsy

1940s platter hat: Esty

1950s Green faux croc bag: Ebay

Green peep toe 1940s style shoes: Remix

When it comes to putting together vintage outfits, I really love to be matchy-matchy. Not all of the colors have to be the same, but I really like to have colors that are very interesting together. The 1940s had some great color combinations that were popular for outfits which today are completely unheard of.

Some of these unique color combinations included: chartreuse (one of my favorite colors) with tones such as brown, orange, blue, shocking pink, purple etc, yellow with purple, red with brown, forest green with yellow, pale blue with brown, etc.

I have a huge fan of color in whatever era, so I have totally got into some of the retro combos that are from the 1940s which you will be seeing more of in upcoming blog entries.