2015 or 2014 -
My first home made vintage evening gown.
|Taken in 2015 - One of my earliest vintage looks!|
|2016 - separates!|
I do not have that dress anymore - I got rid of it a long time ago. The pattern? I still have it believe it or not. Will I sew it up again? Absolutely not!! That was maybe all of 10 years ago. When I started I had pretty much nothing but that awful pink monstrosity but I was proud as punch over it. Armed with my one and only dress I wanted more, much more, but I knew I needed to educate myself more. That's when fate must have stepped in . . . What helped me train my eye was a small and cute book by Naomi Thompson titled Style Me Vintage. I found it in a small vintage/ antiques shop in my town. I still remember the little brick building painted mint green. Inside was not much but there were some vintage metal cabinets, tables and chairs. Picnic baskets and plaid thermos sat on the shelves with wool blankets rolled up beside them . . . The further one wandered into the store the more goodies one saw . . .The back half of the store was devoted to clothing and it was a beautiful sight for me. The store had been there a long time, way before I was into vintage but I had not given the place much thought before. Well, as you can imagine it had my attention now.
|2017 - My vintage is getting better. . ..|
|2017 . . . My vintage is getting way better!|
|2018 - Not too Shabby. . . .|
|2018 . . . Not too Shabby at all . . .|
|2019 - Getting more adventurous by mixing and matching my suits.|
|2019 - Bold colors and more fun!|
|2020 - Color coordinated accessories.|
Looking back on it, that was a lovely store but I could not afford to shop there at the time. I was just an admirer and nothing more. When I was able to buy something from them it was when they were closing up shop. Everything was priced to move - 50% off and I bought a brown wool sweater. It was $3.00 and I could afford that then. I still have that sweater and I wear it often. Its one of my favorites. The building is not there anymore. It was torn down many years ago and if I ever want to revisit it, I must do so in my dreams.
That book, Style Me Vintage, is still one of my favorite books and it's the reason I'm writing this post too! I was organizing my books last month and looking at it remined me of when I got into vintage for the first time. I figured it would be a really fun post!
When that little brick building went down there went the one and only vintage store in my hometown. It would be a few years since there would be a another one. By the time the second vintage store came to town I was sporting more of my home made dresses - all made from the Butterick reprints and a couple from true vintage patterns. . . But mostly those re prints. That vintage store was a dream come true and at the time my financial position was much better. I remember the first time I was in there I was so excited I didn't buy anything . . . I just had to soak it all in first. The second time I was there I was a buyer. I bought my first 50s petticoat, a knitted 80s does 40s sweater and a makeup compact. I still have all three of those items. The compact goes with me wherever I go. Has ever since I bought it. . . That was almost 8 years ago. The third time was my last time. The owner was closing the doors for good. Then I bought a lot . . It was my last chance. I bought shoes, sweaters, a coat, gloves, and a hat. I went nuts. I still have the sweaters and gloves but the rest of the items are now with my friends and others. . . My style had changed a great deal between then and now.
When I started to wear vintage my first few looks were not put together. They were random. Most of the time I was wearing only one vintage item and the rest was modern. For the most part my early looks were a hot mess, I admit it. I have come a really, really long way. For anyone getting into vintage I want you to know that it takes time. Lots of time. It takes even more effort and looking and diligence and stubbornness too. One thing that I learned is that sometimes the best vintage is the stuff that you do not find but what finds you. Some of my best pieces came my way by pure chance.
One thing that really helped me along the way to sharpen my styling skills was the internet. One summer I was looking for inspiration and I found all sorts of vintage fashion/ sewing/ beauty blogs. I still follow them today and they are still a huge source of inspiration. I don't know what my style would be like today if I had not found them. It was so exciting when I found those blogs. It showed I was not alone in my vintage adventures.
As my collection of clothing grew so did my hair dressing skills. When I started to wear vintage I could not do a period hair style to save my skin. My hair was thin and greasy which was really hard to tame. I could not curl my hair either no matter how hard I tried. Until one night . . . .One night I was poking around online and I came across the art of pin curling. I was really fascinated by this art of curling ones hair with bobby pins and I gave it a try. What was the worse that could happen. . .Well, long story short once I started to pin curl my hair there was no going back. It was the first curling method that worked for me and it still is the only one. The foundation for most 40s styles was curled hair and now I had a method of curling. That really changed the game for me and I have not looked back. Lipstick . . .When I started to get into make up, I was only wearing a red lip stick and tha was it. Actually it was only last year that I was into face powders, rouge and the rest. I guess it's never to late.
Eventually I discovered What Katie Did from Style Me Vintage (there was a source list in the back) and I bought my first garter belt. You know, to replace the rubber bands. Then I bought some of thir stockings, girdles, and bras. Today I have quite a collection of both true vintage and reproduction underthings! 10 years ago I would not have guessed that one! Same with my hats, shoes, and hand bags. I have come a really long way in my vintage hoard. I still remember and still have many of my first pieces. I doubt I will ever part with them because they just go with everything. That and I guess I'm kind of attached to them too.
Vintage is a journey. One filled with twists and turns and unexpected bumps along the way. One thing that I have learned is that you do not find vintage, it finds you. At least the best pieces and the ones that count. Buying online has helped my collection grow for sure but the best stuff is what I have found in the wild . … . No, not in the woods swinging from the tree tops but at estate sales, antique malls, and the like. Well, there you have it. A bit about my vintage journey. .. What's yours?