Saturday, March 17, 2012

Finds on the Fly: March 17, 2012

So rarely do I find true fashion in generous sizes that I have come to believe that there is nothing more apt to assure the beauty of an evening dress than the tiny proportions of it's cut.  This simply stunning strapless 1950's liquid satin evening dress put the "X" in "XS"

Almost Hollywood Regency in the richness of it's appointments, this magnificent dress has a 33 1/2" Bust-line matched with a 25" waist. Ah, I remember having a 25" waist, but alas, that sort of vintage is not for sale at any price. 

The bodice is boned to both perfect the silhouette and to prevent wardrobe malfunctions, and just below the waist the skirt blossoms to a full circle to accommodate at least two, if not three, crinolines to keep the perfect line.

I've surprised myself by liking the white beads without wishing they were pearls. Mix these with white opera length gloves and you have the foundations of the perfect classic black and white ensemble.

Offered at Etsy by TheVintageStudio for $112.00, a modest price for a dress of this age, construction, and condition.

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That wonderful bare neckline is the perfect excuse for a necklace, and as a true jewelry lover, I <i>never</i> pass up such an excuse. This show-stopping Tear Drop Glass and Rhinestone Necklace should be just what the stylist ordered!

This 18" necklace is lined with half-dollar sized glass teardrops, each of which is encrusted with sparkling rhinestones. Perfect for almost any formal occasion, I find this Edwardian necklace to be simply charming!

Offered on eBay for the Buy-It-Now price of $150.00 from Jewels721. This seller specializes in substantial pieces of jewelry, and you absolutely owe it to yourself to peruse their offerings. It's like being set loose in FAO Schwartz as a child!

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To truly complete the outfit above one needs avail themselves of my current favorite fashion resurrection: the spectator shoe.

I can't tell you how much I adore these shoes! This particular pair are size 9's. They are in mint condition and will be shipped to you with their Saks Fifth Avenue Box stating their original sale price of $288.  Isn't Vintage Fashion Fabulous? 

Offered on Etsy by BlueButterflyVintage for the sale price of $29.00, yes, I said $29.00. If you aren't pinching yourself, I can only assume you are <i>not</i> a size 9. I'm a size 8.5, and I briefly considered buying these, putting in shoe liners, and stuffing the toes with cotton!

The re-emergence of the spectator shoe as a fashion staple should be a trend with some staying power. Take good care of these and they may well see you into 2020 and beyond.

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As long as I'm dressing you from head to toe in this outfit, I might as well share the find of these wonderful white opera length kid gloves which I stumbled upon at  Etsy.

These gloves have lovely seeming along each finger and the bone structure of the hand. Sized 6 1/4, they are fairly small, so if you have long fingers like I do, they are not for you.  If, however, you are lucky enough to have small hands, well, there's nothing quite like kid gloves. They are synonymous with luxury..

I'm seeing more and more women in gloves these days, and I couldn't be more pleased with the trend. Nothing else will give you such a "finished" look, neither can anything else take your outfit up that extra notch than a pair of white gloves. I remember when I was a little girl in charm school (and in the South of the 60's, <i>every</i> little white girl went to charm school), the text we used was entitled <b><i>White Gloves and Party Manners</i></b>. If memory serves, the book was written by a former Miss America.

To join in on this movement towards courtesy and true society, you may purchase these gloves from TotalVintage for a mere $17.95. I doubt you will ever find civility at so low a price again!

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One final touch, and this outfit will be complete: It still needs Just the Right Hat!

This dramatic brimmed 1950's "Charro" hat reflects the liquid satin of the dress and serves as the exclamation point to the ensemble. The brim is all top stitched in circles to give the impression that the hat was wound about the head at the last moment as you head out the door.

If you had thought the head turning capacity of this gown had been topped out with the spectator shoes, you were wrong. A perfect ensemble is more than the sum of its parts. Their combination leads to the creation of something new, fresh and exciting. And while the parts of this outfit have been lying about for decades, the combination of them all will create something that is unique to 2012.

The hat is offered on eBay for the Buy-It-now price of $49.00 by CatsPajamasVintage. I know it will bring decades of pleasure to the lady who buys it.

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I know that last week I promised to spend the remainder of the Spring and coming Summer coat free, but as this lovely vintage Gold and Silver Lame' Evening Coat is, after all, an <i>evening</i> coat, I decided it was still early enough in the season to include it. After all, where's the fun in being editor if I don't get to do what I want with my own blog?

A perfect wrap for any formal affair, this lovely midcentury evening jacket has such classic lines that it is timeless. Lame' is created by weaving the fabric with actual tiny strands of metal, in this case both gold and silver. If you've never worn it, there's really no describing the sensation. It has heft without weight or stiffness, and despite being metal the fabric is still rather soft to the touch.

If you are an ardent reader of my blog, you'll already know that I've been on something of a metals jag lately, treating myself to both some copper and gold lame' and having a serious crush on a pewter lame' dress. It's all I can do to keep myself from jumping on this like a duck on a junebug (I told you I was Southern), but a lady really must know when to exercise some restraint. If you, on the other hand, are in a position to indulge, you can find this fabulous jacket at eBay.

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It never fails to move me, the time and attention lavished on undergarments by women in the days before you could go to Woolworth's and by a pair of Camiknickers (aka: a teddy). This petticoat is made of eyelet and trimmed so beautifully it truly could be worn as a dress, though I recommend it for sleepwear. That is, sleepwear for special occasions.  Should one chose to wear it as a dress, I strongly recommend a slip, as it is rather sheer.

This certainly isn't to suggest that this magnificent garment wouldn't function beautifully in the calling for which it was originally intended: a petticoat. It's just that it would seam to be such a waste to hide such slaved over beauty away. I slaved over the apron I had to make for Home Ec. class and still it was awkward. Look, I tell you <i><b>look</b></i> at the artistry that went into this garment! I used to think that prior to Rosie the riveter, women of means had very little to do. How wrong I was! Instead of going to college and becoming engineers, women were lovingly placing tiny and precise stitches in garments which - in all likelihood - no one beyond themselves would ever see. It takes a special kind of pride to do that. Not the kind of pride that is a sin, but the kind of pride that is self esteem. The kind that says, "I am beautiful and special, and I deserve special and beautiful things." And they did! And darling, so do you. So do you!

This amazing slip is available on eBay from GypsyBazaar who has a whole wealth of vintage undergarments, dressing gowns, and other sheer things. After 17 bids the price is currently at $100.00 and climbing.

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At last! A gorgeous Edwardian dress that someone who has not been starved and corsetted could actually fit into!

Like the dress I featured last week, this dress was made in 1912, the very year the Titanic took it's fateful voyage. Unlike last week's dress, I believe - though I could certainly be mistaken - that <i>this</i> is a <i>day</i> dress, a much rarer creature than it's fancy sister, the evening gown. I believe these received much more wear and less care than evening gowns, hence the relative scarcity of them today. This splendid Arabesque example is in remarkable and entirely wearable condition, with only a few small repairs, all of which disappear when the dress is worn.

Made of cut velvet embellished with cut glass bronze beads, it is my hope that the last photograph will give you some idea of the skill with which the velvet was cut and those beads applied. This dress is positively worthy of a museum. I do desperately hope that it's new owner will lavish the care upon it necessary to maintain its simply stunning condition.

The sides of the dress were deliberately free of embellishment, not from want of the means to embellish them, but because of the "gathered ankle" effect this produced when walking. This trait was typical of the mid to late Edwardian period, and to find such a fine example is rare indeed.

The looseness of the bodice, along with the slightest hint of a dropped waist foreshaddow the flapper dress which we will see in less than 10 short years. But let us not get ahead of ourselves! We still have the first global conflict, the first War to end all Wars to weather before the flowing gin of the speak easy, the shocking haircuts of the world's young ladies, and the Charleston.

This precious bit of world history may be found on eBay offered by Firefly1052 for the Buy-It-Now price of $2,082.50.

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I must confess to a certain ambivalence about including this next item in my blog. It's not that the dress is anything short of fabulous. It's that I'm so tempted to buy it myself before any of you discover it and beat me to the punch. Yes, early 60's pink tie dress is all that and more.

In a shade of pink that would make Elsa Schiaparelli proud, this lovely dress has heart stopping style. It failed the silk burn test, but has a texture like shantung, so it is suspected to be made of some splendid silk blend. For those of you unfamiliar with vintage shantung, this is <i>good</i> news! Vintage shantung, while gorgeous, becomes as fragile and easy to tear as the tissue paper they sell you to "fluff out" a gift bag at Christmas. If you can get a shantung dress on without ripping it, you're relatively safe <i>for that evening</i>. But each new wearing will be a test of it's strength and your grace! Luckily this garment does not pose such a challenge!

Featuring all the figure hugging aspects of a wiggle dress, this gem of a gown sports three quarter length sleeves, a matching belt (with bow) and a neck tie, which I like worn as shown so very much more than a 70's style pussycat bow!

Offered at Etsy by my favorite vintage shop, DeniseBrain, the dress was made by Robert Leonard for Fredericks or Montclair - Springlake. It has been altered to fit a size 10 and is priced at a run-to-your-checkbook bargain of only $63.00. And with all this, you get to deal with the adorable and always charming Maggie!

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It's not vintage. It's not even vintage style, nor did I find it at a vintage venue. What it is, is just too incredibly cool to ignore. This Bubble Necklace from the Museum Shop of the Museum of Modern Art is like someone magically preserved some of the soap bubbles you blew as a child, and strung them together for posterity.

Now is that cool or what? I must admit a fascination with both bubbles and glass since childhood. This is not to mention that I simply <i><b>adore</b></i> jewelry. Santa, if it's not too early for me to make a suggestion?

I think this is just terribly chic, and I simply cannot imagine an outfit which would not be enhanced by it's beauty. It would enhance simple jeans and a t-shirt, and add sparkle to a designer formal gown. At once both Mod and classic, all this whimsey may be yours for a mere $150.00. A modest price for magic by any reckoning.

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Next we have the Holy Grail of vintage shopping: a Chanel Suit. This lovely suit is a size 10P and believe me, it is <b><i>all that</i></b>.

Made of a to-die-for black and white hounds tooth fabric with a killer gold tweed, this suit from the Spring 2010 collection should not only get you the job, but should land you the corner office reserved for the CFO. The jacket features a zip front, a mandarin collar, two slant pockets and a gold Chanel logo. In true Chanel fashion, the blazer has weighted chains in the hem to be sure the suit hangs correctly as you move. Coco Chanel herself pioneered this feature and the women's fashion world was forever changed by her innovation.

The straight fitting skirt has a banded waist with a slight seam just under the closure of the jacket. It features two gold channel logo buttons, is trimmed with the gold braid at the hem, has a hidden back zipper and is fully lined in silk.

I found this treasure at Bonanza, a relatively new venue to me, and was thrilled to discover it. This suit is among the offerings of OnlyTheBestWin and is one of several Chanel garments currently for sale. This shop could easily become someone's best fashion secret!

The suit is offered for an entirely reasonable price of $2,300.00.

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I can't believe this next dress has lasted long enough for me to blog about it. I really expected someone to scoop this up before I could get my Ipad in hand. This absolutely fabulous pink fluffy bubble dress from the 1950's is waiting patiently for you at Etsy.

As you can see, the dress is just a <i>tiny bit</i> smaller than the model, and that's pretty darn tiny as the dress has a 34" bust and a 26" waist*. Several layers of tulle fall from the waist to help form the free hips, and if you were hoping that this would save you from Roze's admonition that You Must Wear a Crinoline With a Fifties Bubble Dress, you were wrong. Face it girls. It's a 50's dress. It's a bubble dress, not a wiggle dress, and this is why God made the crinoline. I will however, let you get away with a single crinoline because of the multiple layers of tulle.

Also, white gloves (or pink if you have a perfect match) are required, and I think the white shoes were a wise choice, even if that limits the dress to the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. (And no, you may NOT wear your white shoes after Labor Day. You simply may not. Miss Manner's says so.) the only possible exception to this is that it would be permissible to wear the dress and shoes to Church on Easter Sunday. I can't advise you for Pass Over services, I defer to Ann Landers for that (Ms. Landers is Jewish.)

The dress features a sweetheart neckline and a boned and corsetted bodice with a back zipper. It would make a lovely Bride's maids dress, or, a charming prom dress.

Unlike the black dress above, i do not consider the great expanse of neck exposed by the sweetheart necklace to be an invitation to wear a significant necklace. Part of this dresses' charm is its innocents. Anything more substantial than a single strand of pearls, or a light gold chain with a <i>small</i> pendant, would ruin that.

Offered at Etsy by WildHoneyPieVintage for $175.00.

* please remember these are the measurements of <i>the garment</i>, not the suggested measurements of you. You need to be able to <i>fit <b>inside</b></i> a garment in a specified size. The best then to do is take out a garment that fits you well and measure it. Then compare the measurements of the featured garment to <i>that</i>.

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For a slightly less petite woman (size 8 or so), I found this fabulous vintage Lili Diamond wiggle dress at Etsy.

Those fabulous shoulder straps are covered with Maribou feathers. I've never seen anything wonderful that wasn't made better by the addition of some maribou!

Fully lined and made of crepe, this fantastic dress has a zipper up the backnso you won't rip it as you wiggle into it. I do recommend a girdle for any lady on the darker side of forty, so your wiggle doesn't become a giggle.

A possible wedding dress if this is your stye, and a definite cocktail dress for anyone's style. This dress is in mint condition. If you're interested in this dress move <i>now</i>. At this price, the dress won't be available long!

Offered by Mom24Kids with the price just reduced to only $100.00, an almost unheard of price for a mint Lilli Diamond.

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I spent my youth in the 70's swathed in just this type of Indian print gauze dress.

It was the 70's answer th post-hippie wear. Wonderful prints, usually florals or paisleys on soft, almost insubstantial cotton. It is absolutely The Thing To Wear In Summer, being cool in every sense of the word! When thesevfirst started showing up at places like <a target="_blank" href="">The Rusty Zipper</a> you could get them for a song. I even have old blog issues saying, "get these while their cheap!" But those halcyon days are over. They want an arm or a leg for them now.

This lovely example has a beautiful color scheme, and i love the mixbof prints. That you could put together a calico, a stripe, and a floral and have it not be busy is a secret known only to the land of Ghandi. If Americans tried it, we'd come out with something tacjy, not pleasing to the eye like this!

This gorgeous dress is more than a bit sheer, so invest in a nice cotton slip to keep the feel organic. Than put this on, light some patchouli incence and put on Frampton Comes Alive. Any physics major will tell you, you can alwaysbtravel back in time. It's just going ahead that's a problem!

This flashback was brought to you courtesy of VoodooCoutureVintage and can be yours for $98.00.

Peace baby!  and until next week,  Happy Shopping!

Second Hand Roze


  1. Ah, thank you for a fine read once more!

    Wishing you bubbles galore and a Chanel or two!

  2. Dying over the first black dress...need to get make on the treadmill!!