I was very busy last week and I have lots of new-to-me vintage finds to share with y’all!
First I thought I’d show a photo of what the back of my car looked like before I unloaded everything :
Yeesh, a little bit daunting, right?
So how does this jumble become shop-worthy, wearable vintage lovelies?
First, I clean each piece and I repair what needs fixing. Clothes are washed and steamed, hems or buttons are sewn and silver is polished.
Then I do the research, which, to me, is as exciting as the treasure hunt. I enjoy looking up labels and materials and discovering the age and sometimes the history of each piece.
Here are a few of the pieces, with a little background on each one.
This raspberry silk charmeuse stunner has lace overlay and a bateau neckline. The full skirt, which would have been worn with a crinoline underneath, is a post WW2 design. The other dresses by this maker that I see on-line all date from the late 40s into the 1950s.
I’ve written about “vintage echoes” before, how the styles of one era return in a new iteration decades later. The mid 60’s in some ways reprise the 20s (Twiggy had a bit of a flapper vibe), the 70’s has an echo of the the 30’s (draped fabrics and body skimming cuts) and the 80’s revisits the 40’s. These next two dresses illustrate this. The gold dress has the straight lines and dropped waist of a 1920s dress but the nylon zipper and man-made fabric tell me its from the 1960s.
This leopard print silk number is an 80s dress that revisits the 1940s. While both 1940s and 1980s had peplum waists and shoulder pads, the 1980s had wildly exaggerated proportions. The 40’s shoulder pads are modest; the 80’s are seriously big.
Another 80s does 40s, this time in a great tropical print. Designs that evoked Miami or Hawaii were popular in both of those decades.
This mismatched brooch set is made of lucite, which was used in the 50s.
The jacket, made of woven ribbon with a fur collar, has the boxy cut and bracelet length (3/4) sleeves popular in the late 50s to early 60s.
This jewelry set is marked West Germany, which tells me it’s from the post WW2 era. It is lightweight Eloxal (electrolytic oxidation of aluminum), a technique that began in the 40s and gained popularity in the 50s.
In the middle is a beautifully made handbag with a jazzy, 1940s swing-era vibe.
These clip ear rings are marked DeMario, a high-end 1950s jewelry designer
What a lovely early 20th century steel-cut micro beaded bag! The design is so soft and etherial. It’s from the Edwardian age, around 1910, with an art nouveau feel.
This is a nice older native American ring. In Navajo jewelry, the stones tend to be irregularly shaped, and the silver work is made to fit the turquoise rather than cutting the stone to fit the design.
These are 1950s alligator shoes. Shoes from the 40s tend to have a bit of a platform, a wider heel and sometimes a peep toe, whereas 50s pumps have a narrower heel.
Being a vintage seller has three main stages: the hunt, the repair/research, and finally the sale. Thanks for hanging out with me as I explore the background of these fun finds.