11.23.2012

Dream vintage clothing pick

A few posts ago, I mentioned that my 1950's horse-print blouse had a neat story. Well, back in October, my sister Amy and I found an estate sale on Craigslist that advertised vintage clothing from the 1930's. The sale turned out to be a bust (all of the clothes were gone by the time Amy arrived), but Amy ended up meeting a fellow named Vince, who sells vintage clothing along with his wife, Michelle. He invited us to their house to look through their collection.

One phone call and a day or two later, we arrived at their place to discover one of the most incredible vintage clothing collections I have ever seen! A large shed, a trailer, and a living room were packed with beautiful things from every era. They gave us free reign to look through everything, and after hours of rooting, we emerged with a pile of favorites, including a 1930's floral feedsack housedress, a 1950's blue velvet party dress, and the 1950's nylon dress I'm wearing in these photos. Plus, a few weeks later, I called Michelle to purchase a dream floral Edwardian dress that I left behind the first time!

This 1950's dress may seem unassuming, but it's one of my favorite things I bought from Vince and Michelle. It's comfy, versatile, and easy to wear, and I love the tucks at the shoulders. Plus, it's the perfect canvas for especially ridiculous accessories, like this leaf crown.

Moral of the story: You never know what estate sale fail might lead to. Vince and Michelle are two of the nicest people I've come across in a while, and I'm already itching to visit them again.


Outfit details:
1950's dress purchased from Michelle and Vince
1950's autumn leaf fascinator via concetta's closet
J.Crew belt
Nine West heels

11.22.2012

The 1920's meets modern art

Wish exchange dandelion by Ling He.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Yesterday was my first day off, so I stopped by one of my favorite places in the city, The Mattress Factory Art Museum.

This outfit seems like the sort of thing that a sporty college girl would have worn in the 1920's. I'm especially fond of the sweater, because it reminds me of Elsa Schiaparelli's trompe-l'oeil bow sweater from 1927. Every so often, vintage-loving bloggers who I admire post unbelievable things that they stumble upon--like original Dior "New Look" dresses--and it's my crazy dream to one day encounter a Schiaparelli garment stuffed into the back of a closet at an estate sale. I'm totally aware that it will probably never happen, but when you get up at 5:00 AM on a Saturday to stand in line in the dark for an hour or more, you need some motivation.

Left: Student archer Margaret F. Fleming at Mount Holyoke College, 1925 (Source). Right: Rope fire drill at Smith College, 1920-1939 (Source).

Elsa Schiaparelli bow sweater (Source).


Detail from Written Room by Parastou Forouhar.

Outfit details:
Anthropologie sweater
1940's skirt via Hey Betty!
Thrifted T-strap heels

11.21.2012

Pleats and snowflakes

I found this top at an estate sale a few months ago. It's basically my dream blouse--blush pink and heavily pleated with a small collar and crystal buttons down the back. Sure, it's a size or two too big, but when have I ever let that stop me?

I'm constantly on the lookout for vintage dance costumes, so when I found this wool skirt, custom-made for a 1950's figure skater, I purchased it in a heartbeat! I used to think a lot about how to "modernize" vintage, but lately, I just want to be in costume. Figure skating skirts, leaf crowns, sequin vests, Edwardian petticoats...


Outfit details:
1950's blouse found at an estate sale (for $1!)
1950's skirt via Dethrose Vintage
Nine West heels

11.18.2012

Lightness

I'm not sure what it is about hot air balloons that I love so much. I think there's just something wonderfully surreal about floating away in a big, colorful balloon. And I can only imagine how incredible it would have been to walk into an air show or World's Fair in the early 1900's and see these flying machines tethered down indoors!

I always seem to pull out this hot air balloon skirt when I'm feeling particularly stressed--like today, when I felt down about this blog and somehow managed to burn a 50's skirt I was ironing for my etsy shop. On off days like today, I try to remember that getting dressed ought to be joyful, and I think of all the times my dance students have told me I'm "so pretty." Eventually, the uncertainty recedes and I start to feel lighter.

The first air show at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. September 30th, 1909. Photographed in Autochrome Lumière by Léon Gimpel. (via Art Nouveau and Art Deco)

Metal hot air balloon wall sculpture by Curtis Jere (American, 20th century). (via Antique Helper)

Outfit details:
Anthropologie sweater
1950's skirt via Very Vintage
1933 World's Fair bracelet via the Washington Antiques Fair (blogged here)
Nine West heels

11.14.2012

Weekend antiquing

My mom, sister, and I went antique shopping last weekend (which I thought sounded much more appealing than working on a paper due Monday). My favorite antique mall was having a sale, and I ended up buying a few things, including an Edwardian skirt (which needs a good soak in Oxi Clean), metal globe, and apothecary bottle.

The star of my outfit was this 1950's blouse printed with horses. The blouse has a neat story (involving estate sale fail, the nicest couple, and the most incredible collection of antique clothing I've ever seen!), but I'm going to save it for another post.


That last picture is pretty representative of my post-antiquing look--crazy excited, a little cheesy, and more than a little rumpled.

Outfit details:
1950's blouse purchased from Michelle and Vince (see this post)
J.Crew cardigan and skirt
Nine West heels

11.11.2012

1930's knitwear

I really love 1930's and 1940's knitwear, but I rarely find them at Pittsburgh estate sales. (And when I do, they're usually completely riddled with moth holes.) So when I saw this dress in Lauren's shop, I knew I had to snap it up!

It feels good to post here again. I started graduate school in August, and to say that I've been stressed out would be an understatement. Estate sales, etsy shop updates, and some spectacular additions to my vintage collection have been welcome distractions, and I need to try a bit harder to share them with you.


Outfit details:
1930's dress via Dear Golden
J.Crew belt
Nine West heels