Winters Past Vintage in Micanopy, Florida

Featuring the Best of 20th Century Fashion

August 19, 2016
by Winters Past
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Laundry Day

Buying and selling vintage clothing means I do a whole lot of laundry.

I wash most things in the bathtub, hang them up to dry, then steam them. Usually, that does the trick.

However, when clothing has been stored for decades, washing can get a little more complex. Lately, I’ve come across laundry issues that I’ve been able to remedy with concoctions of non toxic household products.

Here are a few tips for the intrepid.

This is  a good way to get rid of yellow underarms on vintage dresses and blouses: I make a paste with crushed aspirin and cream of tartar and rub it into the offending area. Sometimes I have to do this twice before the old stains melt away, but the success rate has been 100%.

vintage laundry

Two vintage laundry essentials

I had a few mens hats that needed cleaning beyond my usual steaming. I put the hat in a grocery bag and sprinkled in a good amount of cornstarch, then brushed it off with a wire brush. Et voila! Good as new.

vintage laundry

Corn starch and a wire brush for cleaning hats.

Have you ever come across clothing that isn’t colorfast? I’ve had some cotton dresses with colors that ran when I washed them. I had a fabulous dress with big white flowers on a yellow background. When I washed it, the yellow ran into the white, causing me to franticly google for a remedy. The cure was table salt, lots of it, and it worked, saving the white-and-yellow dress. Crisis averted!

Here is a re-post of a previous piece about doing laundry, vintage style:

Today, laundry tips and a few thoughts about laundry. I promise this is more interesting than it sounds.

When Peggy Lee asked Is that all there is? was she talking about laundry?

When Peggy Lee asked, Is that all there is? was she talking about laundry?

My mother, Phyllis, who is 92 years old, is a bookish sort. One of my earliest memories is watching her make coffee in a stovetop percolator and settle into a kitchen chair with a hefty book. There was no June Cleaver vacuuming in pearls and heels in our house; Phyllis was pretty detached housekeeper. When it came to laundry, she didn’t sort, she didn’t use any special products; she just threw it all in together on hot and hoped for the best. Clothing had to be tough if it wanted to survive in our house. Needless to say, Phyllis took the phrase “permanent press” at it’s word, meaning I never saw anyone iron my entire childhood. From her, I learned the joy of ignoring the mess and getting absorbed in a book.

mvnb

My friend Frances’ mom was the complete opposite. First of all, her mother, Teresa, looked and dressed a bit like a young Sophia Loren. She smoked, teased her hair and wore eyeliner while doing housework. Watching laundry day at her house was an amazing sight. Teresa had a whole lot of complicated pile separation criteria. Her process involved some Fels Naptha laundry soap, which came in a bar and was used with an actual washboard to get out stains. And, almost unbelievably, she used a hand crank wringer-washer. Of course, there were clotheslines, wooden pins and woven baskets, which all seemed very old world and exotic to me.

If you get dressed up to do the laundry, when do you wash that dress?

If you get dressed up to do the laundry, when do you wash that dress?

I had a few things to figure out when I grew up, and laundry wasn’t high on the list, though I did get the basic sorting and temperature thing down pretty quickly. Lately, though, my own laundry situation has been complicated by my need to wash lots and lots of vintage clothes for the shop.

Here are a few of the things I’m learning by trial and error:

I always soak the garment in plain cool water to rejuvenate the fibers before using any products or even soap.    Sometimes there is residual detergent, fabric softener or starch that you don’t want to battle in the stain removal process. Change the water until it runs clear.

To get rid of a musty smell, I soak the garment in water with a heathy splash of vinegar, and rinse well. After I soak it,  put it out in the sun for a couple of hours. Fresh air and sunlight will freshen vintage textiles.

Wearing a pinafore is an important part of the process

Wearing a pinafore is an important part of the process

I sometimes pre-treat tough stains with club soda or carbonated water. There is something about the carbonation that helps loosen stains. Just drizzle the sparking water right on it. The water will fizz up; let it sit for a while. While you wait, you can drink the rest of the carbonated water and read a good book. Then  apply stain remover and rub gently. Wait a bit, rinse, then repeat if you need to.

My favorite product by far is Oxiclean. I use the powder, which I dissolve it in very hot water before adding cool water and the clothing. Make sure Oxiclean is dissolved before adding to delicate fabrics such as silk because a small granule sitting on the fabric can eat it away.

For yellowing age-stains in cotton I mix a solution of half Oxiclean and half dishwasher detergent in hot water. I use  1  Tbs. of each cleaner in a gallon of hot water and soak overnight.

Oxiclean will eat rayon and metallic threads, both of which were often used in vintage clothes. In this case, mix and dissolve powdered Biz and Dreft 50/50 in water as hot as you think your dress or blouse can stand, add the garment and let soak for a few hour or a few days. If the water gets dirty, rinse and start over. Some stains may take a week, but they eventually just ‘release’.

Sorting laundry as a bonding experience

Sorting laundry as a bonding experience

See, laundry isn’t so bad! Of course, if you tease your hair, apply some eyeliner and read a book while you do all of this, you’ll have the best of all worlds.

August 9, 2016
by Winters Past
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Why Wear Vintage?

it’s easier than ever to buy new clothing. There’s no longer a need to get off the couch-just point, click and wait 24 hours for the UPS man.

Buying vintage is a bit more complicated. Why make the extra effort? In short, why buy vintage?

Here are five very good reasons:

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage Has History 

Vintage clothing has a past and learning or imagining it is part of the charm of wearing it. Often I purchase items from the original owner who tells me the stories associated with their clothing: where they bought it, where they wore it, and why they kept it all these years.

Owning and wearing vintage clothing is a way of honoring a small gem from another era.

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage is One of a Kind

In the modern globalized world, you can buy the same clothing at the same retailer in Tokyo, Toronto or Toledo. As an antidote to all that sameness, there is something wonderful about wearing a garment that is singular and that nobody else will be wearing.

There is so much creativity expressed in older clothing , from the overall silhouette to the details (the fabrics, the prints, the trim). This all  adds to the specialness that come with fine vintage.

Vintage clothing has a character, uniqueness, whimsy and artistry that is lacking in modern, factory produced pieces sold in chain stores.

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage is High Quality

In the past, people had less clothing and they kept it longer. Vintage clothing was constructed to last; there was more emphasis on it being well made. Better materials and techniques were used and there was more sewing done by hand. Very often the cut, quality and fabric of older clothes is better than modern garments. It is not uncommon to find luxurious details like French seams, generous hems, and exquisitely crafted pleats on older garments.

By wearing vintage, you have the chance to experience true luxury construction at a less-than-luxury price.

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage is an Investment 

How many pieces of new clothing can you buy and expect them to last more than a season, much less keep their value? Many pieces of vintage clothing have value that raises with time. There will never be more 1950’s wiggle dresses, 1960’s Pucci silks, or 1970’s high waisted Levi’s bell bottoms made. Because they become harder and harder to find, with time these garments become more valuable. Vintage is money well spent.

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage Is Available in All Styles

What if a particular cut of clothing works with your body type but isn’t the style being offered in stores right now? Vintage encompasses all styles from all eras and it’s all available to you. So if a you happen to feel comfortable and look great in a particular style, you don’t have to wait for it to become a trend. Vintage offers style and fit options for every body.

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

Vintage dresses at Winters past in Micanopy Florida

The most compelling reason is how a vintage garment makes you feel: fabulous!

August 4, 2016
by Winters Past
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Vintage Clip Earrings

Before the 1970’s, most American women didn’t have pierced ears. Consequently, most of the vintage earnings I have are non-pierced.

Here is a little secret: clip earrings from the 50’s to the 80’s are amazing!  I have a ton of them in the shop. A TON! And I’m always looking for more.  There is so much creativity in these pieces. There just aren’t modern designs that pack the visual punch of a  vintage statement earring.

The 50’s pieces tend to be beaded or sparkly while the later ones are more geometric or abstract.

One more thing: there are lots of styles you just can’t pull off in pierced earrings because they’d be too heavy for a post.  Picture some sparkly crawlers that arc up the ear. They can only be anchored to the lobe with a clip.

Here are a few pairs I have in the shop:

vintage clip earrings at Winters Past in Micanopy Florida

vintage clip earrings at Winters Past in Micanopy Florida

vintage clip earrings at Winters Past in Micanopy Florida

vintage clip earrings at Winters Past in Micanopy Florida

And here are a few ideas about how to wear vintage clip-ons.

how to wear vintage earrings

Long hair? Just tuck it behind your ears.

how to wear vintage earrings

You can wear vintage clips as here, super casual, with a tee  and a sweatshirt

how to wear vintage clip earrings

The boldness of a clip is a great balance to short hair. Sweet!

how to wear vintage clip earrings

Here is a wonderful pair of sparkly clips worn with an updo and a great sense of style

July 28, 2016
by Winters Past
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Style Eccentrics

I’m sure you’ve seen the whole capsule wardrobe thing. You know, buy these tops, those bottoms and that pair of shoes. Get minimal, streamlined basics that mix and match, simplifying shopping and dressing. It’s intriguing, for sure.

But it doesn’t leave much room for playfulness, or for those occasional wild flights of frivolous improvisation that makes clothing less  a commodity and more a means of expression.

On the opposite end of the clothing spectrum from the capsule wardrobe concept  we have the Style Eccentrics. They are sensual extremists; they go for maximalism, fantasy and wild impracticality.

Here is a gallery celebrating 100 years of over-the-top ladies. Channel your inner Iris Apfel, pour yourself an absinthe, curl up next to your pet cheetah and have a look at these sartorial creatives.

Marchesa Casati, heiress, muse, and art patroness

(As an aside, who knew those were career options?):

Fashion eccentrics

Aristocratic Decadance

Nancy Cunard, writer, heiress and political activist:

Fashion eccentrics

Wrist to elbow bangles

Peggy Guggenheim, art collector, bohemian and socialite:

Fashion eccentrics

Wacky Modernist (with outrageous sunglasses)

Yma Sumac, Peruvian-American soprano:

Fashion eccentrics

Global Exoticism

China Machado, fashion model, editor and television producer:

Fashion eccentrics

Fearless Elegance

Isabelle Blow, magazine editor and muse of a hat designer:

Fashion eccentrics

Memorable Milinary

Eryka Badu,singer-songwriter, record producer and activist:

Fashion eccentrics

Urban Mystic

Bjork, Icelandic singer-songwriter and actress:

Fashion eccentrics

Playful Experimentation

Lisa Eisner, photographer, writer, publisher and jewelry designer:

Fashion eccentrics

Maximal Accessories

Catherine Baba, costume designer, art director and stylist:

Fashion eccentrics

Turbans and Tassels

July 22, 2016
by Winters Past
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Arm Candy

You know the Johnny Cash song where he starts reeling off the names of places, one after another? Like, Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac?  I’m about to reel off the various types of vintage bracelets, so keep that  song I’ve Been Everywhere in your head as a reference.

Ready? OK, there are  cameos, damascene,  rhinestones,

cloisonné,  abalone, Czech glass

Lucite, bakelite, hammered brass,

I’ve worn everything, man, I’ve worn everything.

Here’s where this is going: When it comes to vintage bracelets, wearing one is good but wearing three is even better.

I’ve found that  if you try combining three different bracelet styles on one wrist it’s a cool, bold look that is very easy to put together.  Mix it up by layering color, texture and materials.

Here, I’ve played with this idea by experimenting with vintage bracelet layering, purposefully mixing types such as  a chain, a bangle, and a cuff.

When you’re going with  a bold bracelet combo,  you can keep everything else more understated.

mix and match vintage bracelets

Thermoset, stretchy band, brass and wood

mix and match vintage bracelets

Flex mesh, cut out cuff, cut glass

mix and match vintage bracelets

Tortiseshell, cameo, floral cuff

mix and match vintage bracelets

Wooden bangle, golden chain, fifties beads

mix and match vintage bracelets

Aurora borealis, mod silver, mother of pearl

mix and match vintage bracelets

Pearl and rhinestone, flexible wire, carved bone

mix and match vintage bracelets

Painted wood, golden sparkly, beads on a band

I’ve worn everything, man, I’ve worn everything.

BAND OF OUTSIDERS AS BEATNIK STYLE

July 15, 2016
by Winters Past
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Beat Generation Style

Picture a Gap commercial, with dancing celebrities wearing the clothing we now consider classic: khakis, striped tops, leggings, Ray Bans. This style has it’s roots in the “Beat Generation” literary movement of the 1950s to mid-1960s. The Beat poets, musicians and artists had a style that was in opposition to the 50’s middle class look of crinolines and rhinestones for women, corporate clothes for men. The Beat aesthetic was anti materialistic; they consciously avoided consumerist fashions, adopting more egalitarian, simply styled clothing . The Beats developed an understated look that captured a cool, casual view of trends.

The key to Beatnik style is avoiding fuss – keeping things simple. Let’s look at two avatars of beatnik style, trumpeter Dizzy Gilispie and poet Diane DiPrima.

Dizzy Gillispie as an avatar of beatnik style

Dizzy Gillispie as an avatar of beatnik style

Dizzy Gillispie as an avatar of beatnik style

The memorable eyeglasses and hat became signature beat looks

Dizzy Gillispie as an avatar of beatnik style

Essentially simple pieces (a sweater vest, beret and buttoned up shirt) added up to a cool, hip style

Men of the fifties creative class wore corduroys or jeans, button-down shirts, and sport coats, which is essentially the semi casual uniform of the midcentury young adult. Add in some thick/dark glasses, a beret, loafers and lots and lots of black and you have a style that we now call classic.

For women, it’s pencil skirts, stirrup pants, black capris or cigarette pants worn with an over sized sweater, cowl neck or slim boat necked top and flats.  Now and then, a Mexican skirt or peasant top might be part of this look. Hair would be either very short like a young Shirley MacLaine or long with bangs, like French actress Anna Karena. Showy jewelry or consciously couture looks ran the risk of coming off too bourgeois.

Here is poet Diane DiPrima int the fifties

Here is poet Diane DiPrima in the fifties with simple pulled back hair and a tank top

Here is poet Diane DiPrima int the fifties

Slim white pants, a tailored shirt and some great lace up sandals

Here is poet Diane DiPrima int the fifties

An oversized pullover sweater, simple bold  jewelry and natural hair.

Of course, the anti fashion look became fashionable and the counterculture itself became chic. Here is a wonderful ad for stockings that trades on the beatnik look, including a bottle of chianti on the checkered tablecloth:

beatnik style

Beatnik style used in advertising

In contrast to the photo at the start of this post from the Goddard film Band of Outsiders,  here is Hollywood’s version of fifties hipster cool from the movie Funny Face:

Audrey Hepburn as a beatnik

Audrey Hepburn as a beatnik

July 1, 2016
by Winters Past
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Vintage Pins on a Denim Jacket

Customers love the many vintage brooches I have in the shop, but sometimes they want to know how to wear them. Here’s a simple, cool thing to do with these pretty pins: put them on a jean jacket. Easy!

It helps if the jacket you choose is a classic one. Go for traditional, plain, fitted denim. Then take that jean jacket from drab to fab (do you like it when I rhyme like a caffeinated copywriter?) with some vintage loveliness.

There seem to be two ideas about the number of pins to wear. Some say, wear lots of brooches while others go for a  single one. Either way, it’s a great look.

Note the man wearing a brooch on the bottom. I think a choice has to be made between a man bun and a man brooch. Not both.

vintage pin on a jean jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

vintage pin on a jean jacket

vintage pin on a jean jacket

vintage pin on a jean jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

vintage pin on a denim jacket

Vintage brooch + classic denim jacket = great style!

June 20, 2016
by Winters Past
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Vintage Reruns

There is a school of thought that says, If you were old enough to wear shoulder pads in the eighties, you can never wear them again.

People who come up with fashion “dont’s” clearly have too much time on their hands.  Really, there is no should when it comes to personal style.

If  midi skirts or aviator glasses or shoulder pads out to here worked for you in the past, why wouldn’t they work for you again?

Of course, you’ll choose pieces that work with the body you have now, not the body you had the first time around.

Here are some photos of stylish ladies who embrace the fashion rerun.

First up, the aforementioned shoulder pads in a bright purple vintage eighties dress. Wider shoulders give this dress some structure and allows the fabric to flow from them and drape gracefully.  I like how she’s paired it with a wide contrasting eighties belt. Perfection!

vintage eighties dress worn belted

Viva la vintage rerun!

Here we have another eighties dress, this time in a fun but understated fruit print. The draped bodice and flow-y cut is a flattering and womanly design popular during that decade.

vintage floral dress

There’s more ohh la la than deja vu in this outfit

Next, an early sixties redux,worn by a lady who may have worn a very similar outfit fifty years ago. She has chosen to emphasize her great legs but balances it by covering up elsewhere. And her hat! The best.

wonderful sixties vintage hat

They’re called classics for a reason.

The fuchsia tressed lovely below really rocks her vintage denim midi and angora pullover. The skirt’s center slit is a playful contrast to the mid calf length. I also like a longer jean skirt worn with boots or platforms.

vintage denim skirt

Wear it again, Sam.

When you revisit the clothing from a decade you’ve already lived through, your  modern hair, glasses and accessories will keep the whole look rooted in the present.

The rerun can be very fun!

June 11, 2016
by Winters Past
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Forever in Blue Jeans

Jeans. They’re made of denim, they have a zipper, and every decade they get reinterpreted. If dissertations have not yet been written about the evolution of denim, those grad students are missing out on some rich historical references.

Here’s a little denim timeline of the 20th Century.

1930’s: Levi’s introduces ladies jeans for the first time. They are mostly worn with Western gear and are not considered particularly fashionable off the ranch.

thirties ladies blue jeans

These thirties cowgirls look bold and confident in their blue jeans and boots.

1940’s: Jeans were worn by women as workwear. The waist was high, the rise was long and the fit was loose. These were utilitarian garments, but they afforded women the level of freedom they needed to take on physical jobs.

forties ladies blue jeans

Forties ladies with lunch pails and  blue jeans

1950’s: Jeans were worn as leisure clothing for the first time. They had  a light wash, cuffs, and were worn by women and girls as casual pants, not just as workwear.

fifties teens blue jeans

Fifties teens, hanging out in  jeans with loose button down shirts and loafers or saddle shoes.

Marilyn-Monroe in jeans-1954

As always, Marilyn adds some womanly sexiness to whatever she wears (here, looking very modern in jeans, 1954)

1960’s: We can look at this decade as two distinct eras. In the first half, jeans sat at the natural waist and were straight. By the second half, they morphed into hip hugger bell bottoms.

early sixties blue jeans

Early sixties bright Wranglers

sixties bell bottoms

Super flared sixties hip hugger  bell bottoms

late sixties denim

Late sixties-early seventies high waisted wide bells

1970’s: Neat trouser waist jeans, worn belted with the top tucked in

1970s-bell-bottom-jeans

Here. the seventies neat theme continues:

 Farrah Fawcett in jeans

Farrah Fawcett in jeans and some great sneakers

1980’s: “Designer jeans”, from Gloria Vanderbilt to Sasson in a dark wash. They fit tight in the butt and the bells went away.

eighties designer jeans

Eighties  jeans with heels

Brooke in Calvins

Nothing came between Brooke and her tight, dark, straight Calvins

1990’s: We had acid washed baggy denim as well has the classic light wash Mom Jeans

Salt 'n Peppa in denim

Salt ‘n Peppa in denim

Ninties Mom Jeans

Ninties Mom Jeans

2000’s: Loooww waisted bell bottoms were the style.

low rise flare jeans

low rise flare jeans

Since then, we’ve had boyfriend jeans and skinny stretch jeans, but the current trend is (believe it or not) a return to the light wash Mom jeans of 20 years ago.

May 30, 2016
by Winters Past
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All Vintage, All the Time

Most of my customers wear a splash of vintage with their everyday clothing. They pair it like this: a seventies owl pendant with a tee shirt or a fifties handbag with a modern dress.

Then there are Ray and Joanie. They wear full on vintage, all the time. They even have some fictional vintage alter egos. Joanie “plays” a movie star and Ray takes on the persona of her devoted photographer.

Follow along with this recent Ray-and-Joanie visit.

Vintage shop customers

Here are Ray and Joanie

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

They have created their own vintage accessories to complement their clothing, like this newspaper.

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

Joanie wore one outfit then changed into another on this particular day

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

Ray was shopping for a new hat…

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

and a new tie,

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

while Joanie was looking for just the right brooch

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

Here she is, posing for a snapshot.

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

Movie star Joanie makes the cover of Variety magazine

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

Check out the details, like the press pass in Ray’s hat

Winters Past vintage Micanopy Florida

Could there be more to this move star and photographer relationship?

Winters Past vintage clothing Micanopy Florida

Ray the photographer, circa 1942

Vintage clothing shop in Florida

Ray drinking soda from a vintage bottle (the brand is Donald Duck)

These two have way too much fun!