Tag Archive | vintage

New Year, New You: Four Style Ideas to Add Vintage Glam to Your Look


Ladies in 1940s dresses


Image source NY Public Library

It’s a whole new year with a chance to be a whole new you. Here are four ways you can put your best vintage fashion foot forward as you step ahead—or should we say back?!—into vintage 2014!

1. Pick styles that make you feel great One of the best things about vintage clothes is they never go out of style. While trendy looks don’t necessarily work for everyone, vintage silhouettes are flattering to many body types, and you can pick and choose among the vintage styles of different eras to find the ones that fit your personality.


2. Add some flair Stylish clothes are great but you know what they say: accessories really make the outfit. Spend some time—check Pinterest for ideas!—and find the perfect vintage piece, whether it be jewelry, scarf, purse, gloves, or shoes to make your outfit really sing. You can go completely vintage glam or add just an element or two to highlight your look. Pay special attention to your hair—look for that perfect pinup style and complement with a gorgeous comb, hair flower or maybe even a snood, those fun crocheted hairnets from the 40s!


3. Go for the perfect fit Women back in day, if they didn’t sew their own clothes, often relied on a trusted seamstress to ensure a perfect fit. They understood that well fitting clothing was the key to a more polished, classy look. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape…then resolve to make sure your clothes follow suit. Go through your wardrobe and discard clothes that no longer fit and find yourself a professional alteration person that you can depend on to make your clothing flatter your figure. You’ll look better (and feel better, too!). Also, remember there are no sizing standards in today’s garment industry and sizing conventions have changed over time. Make sure to have your measurements handy for your online orders and bring a tape measure when out shopping to save time when trying on clothes.


4. Make sure make-up is flawless No matter how classy your clothes are, style can fall flat when your make-up isn’t working for you. Plus, this is where you can really have some fun. Your make-up style can reflect the vintage times. Classic red lip and nails, a defined brow, the proper matte foundation and powder, and even trying the cat eye look with your liner can really make you stand out.


Have yourself a glamorous New Year and set the world on fire with style in 2014. Don’t forget to make fashion fun!

And if you have any style tips of your own, please feel free to share:)

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Nautical Fashions 1957


Ladylike nautical inspired resort fashions from 1957. Taken at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Richard Rutledge photographer.  Though the pix are in B&W, the clothing is navy and white, a classic color combination for summer, no matter what decade!

The white linen sheath dress  by Mr. Mort is topped by a navy blue  Heller worsted jersey sailor jacket. Hat by Madcaps. White opera pumps by Julianelli

Mr Mort Dress Vogue 1957

Mr Mort Dress Vogue 1957

Fashion Editor, Gail Dugas, said of Oleg Cassini’s 1957 resort collection
“He likes curvy, fitted clothes that play up  a woman’s waistline.
He’s partial to wide, fitted, midriffs and makes frequent use of belts, placing them where they should be, around the waist!
He also shows clothes with a rounded bosom line and a moulded hipline.
In short he thinks clothes should be feminine, beguiling and fun to wear.”

A smart white knitted wool  dress with navy blue satin trim by Oleg Cassini. Hat by Madcaps. Shoes by Julianelli. Bag by Ronay.

Oleg Cassini dress Vogue 1957

Oleg Cassini dress Vogue 1957

I love this outfit. The casual navy blue  jersey t shirt worn with a full white chiffon skirt. And that polka dot head scarf looks fab!

Junior Sophisticates, Bendel’s Youngtimers. Sandals I Miller.

Navy Blue jersey T and white chiffon skirt Vogue 1957

Navy Blue jersey T and white chiffon skirt Vogue 1957



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Cute and Punny Vintage Valentines


Here are some cute vintage valentines for your viewing pleasure.

This ones a little racy. You have to lift up her skirt to see the rest of the message!


Hula Valentine

Hula Valentine

Vintage Hula Valentine Part 2

Hula Valentine Part 2

A vintage valentine for  doggie lovers.


Vintage Valentine License to Love

Vintage Valentine License to Love

Vintage Valentine Run around with you

Vintage Valentine "Run around with you"


From the girl who’s been hiding her wilder side under a prim and proper exterior.  And she’s willing to show it to him, if he’ll be her Valentine!

Not Straighlaced Vintage Valentine

Not Straighlaced Vintage Valentine

Not straghtlaced vintage valentine part 2

Happy Valentines Day, to all!






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Vintage Slippers and Robes


Back in the old days robes and slippers were a very traditional gift to give at Christmas time.  Today not so much because every one is too busy tracking down the newest, latest electronic gadget to give someone.  Practical, comfortable loungewear no longer gets the respect it deserves. Bathrobes and slippers have become the Rodney Dangerfield of Christmas presents!

But you have to admit, you can’t wrap yourself up in an electronic gadget to keep out the winter chill.  And surely you need something comfy and cozy to relax in while you’re playing Angry Birds or checking your Facebook news feed.

Do you remember whenever anyone unwrapped brand new bathrobes and slippers, how they would immediately put them on and then proceed to hang around the house in them all day? It’s THE classic Christmas Day outfit! Or maybe it was just my wacky family.

Of course, I’m partial to vintage loungewear and I think it makes a nice, nostalgic gift, sort of like wearable comfort food! Why not wrap a vintage chenille robe around a Kindle Fire or Nook? Or slip an Ipod into the toe of a pair of vintage slippers?

Here are some pictures to perhaps inspire you to give the gift of vintage loungewear this year, or any year for that matter!

Even in their robes this family looks more formal than many people look today, even when they go to church!  Love how the Dad has a shirt and tie on and I seriously covet the Mom’s blue robe with leopard collar.

Christmas robes 1961

Here’s a Mom and her little girl in  cute matching pink quilted robes. The mother /daughter matchy, matchy thing was big back then.

Pink Mother Daugher Bathrobes 1963

Pink Mother Daugher Bathrobes 1963

And my all time favorite, the chenille bathrobe.  My husband gave me a beautiful vintage blue chenille robe for Christmas, way back when we were dating. That’s when I knew he was a keeper!

This is a Four Queens chenille robe, “for that pinup girl glamour.”  Notice the soldier in the bottom left corner.  World War II was nearing the end, but like  many of the ads in the 40s it still includes a reminder that our soldiers were risking their lives overseas.

Chenille Robe 1945

Chenille Robe 1945

And then, of course, there are the slippers!.  I prefer the more glamorous type rather than those big, fuzzy things that look like sasquatch feet! And nobody did glamorous slippers better than the Daniel Green Company.

Daniel Green Slippers 1942

Daniel Green Slippers 1942

Here are  ads for some very adorable Oomphies from 1944 and Ripons from 1950. Does anyone remember those slipper socks?  Not very glamorous, but certainly cozy, comfy and warm!

Vintage Slippers Advertisement

Vintage Slippers Advertisement


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Tie One On in Classic Style-Vintage Hermes Scarves


Wearing scarves is a strong fashion trend of late.  But they never actually go out of style  because a scarf is a classic fashion basic that will add instant elegance to even the most ordinary outfit!   And for designer scarf lovers, nothing says glamour, style and sophistication like  the  Hermes silk carre.

Though Hermes introduces dozens of new styles in two collections each year. many ladies who love to collect  also enjoy designs from decades past.  Vintage Hermes scarves can often be purchased for less than their contemporary counterparts and make a great investment piece since they continue to increase in value.  Take heed, though, as fakes do exist. So do your research about how to tell authentic from replica before ponying up serious dough.

Always a symbol of luxury and class, the first Hermes silk carre was designed in 1928 and the actual scarf factory went into full scale production in 1937.  Since then there has always been a high demand for these beautiful, wearable works of art. Many celebrities and fashion icons had a penchant for Hermes scarves, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Catherine Deneuve.  Grace Kelly even used a Hermes scarf as a sling for her broken arm!

Below are photos of Jackie, Grace,  Catherine, along with Susan Sarandon and Sharon Stone wearing Hermes scarves.   You can see lots more fabulous photos of  classy ladies wearing Hermes scarves on the Flickr photostream of foulard55.

Celebrities wearing Hermes Scarves

Famous women wearing Hermes Scarves

Some interesting facts that contribute to why they are so sought after,aside from the fact that they are just plain gorgeous to look at!

1.It takes up to 250 silk cocoons to produce one 36 x 36 silk carre.  The silk is 20mm, a much heavier weight than most other designer silk scarves on the market. If you’ve ever held one in your hands, you know just how luxurious the silk feels.
2.So much work goes into the design and production, one scarf can take up to two years to make.
3.Each one  is individually hand printed using multiple screens, with some designs requiring up to 42 different colors.
4.The  hem takes approximately 45 minutes to painstakingly roll and  hand stitch by ladies called  roulotteuses.
5.Hermes employs up to 50 designers to create artwork for their exquisite fabric prints, which include various themes from nature, history, geography,military and equestrian.

Recently I had the good fortune to acquire several mint condition Hermes silk scarves from an estate of a collector who travelled the globe with her businessman husband.  These are all from the 1980s and look unworn.  Apparently many collectors don’t even wear their scarves!  Anyway, the family was willing to part with some of these beautiful pieces from her collection and they are now available on the Blue Velvet Vintage website.    So put one on your holiday wish list now!

vintage hermes silk scarves

Click on image to view Vintage Hermes Scarves available at Blue Velvet Vintage





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Label Fraud-Is that really a vintage designer dress you’re wearing?


Just read an excellent blog post by Jody Steinman of Couture Allure that covers the unfortunate practice of label fraud in the vintage fashion industry.  I feel it is my duty to direct anyone who is new to collecting/buying vintage clothing or knows someone who is,  to read her article on fraudulent label switching for invaluable information on how to detect counterfeit designer vintage fashions.

The majority of  dealers in the vintage clothing industry are very hard working, reputable people who really care about their business reputation.  But vintage fashions, just like other popular collectibles,  are prone to being misrepresented by the  few unscrupulous sellers looking to make a quick buck or even by  inexperienced sellers who have just jumped into the market without any prior education in their field .

I have witnessed this first hand and touched on it briefly in my website article,  Insiders Guide to Buying and Wearing Vintage Clothing. One example that comes to mind is the  dealer who tried to sell me a lovely 1950s prom dress with a  Valentino label sewn into it.   She claimed that it was worth the high price she was asking  because it had a designer label.   It had a designer label all right, but it was from the 1980s!

Another very informative buyer beware article to read on this subject was written by Hollis Jenkins Evans who owns Past Perfect Vintage.

If anyone reading this post has ever witnessed examples of label fraud please feel free to share.  The more aware vintage consumers become, the less  disreputable dealers will be able to get away with their shady practices!

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Blue Velvet Vintage-New Additions


While I’ve been trying to get this Typepad to WordPress blog migration done, I’ve also been working on adding some fabulous new vintage clothing to the site.

So feast your eyes on some of our latest vintage offerings.

60's Estevez shapely black silk pencil dress with cutout neckline

60's Estevez shapely black silk pencil dress with cutout neckline

White shirtwaist dress with crochet lace inserts

White shirtwaist dress with crochet lace inserts

50's garden floral print halter style swing dress

50's garden floral print halter style swing dress

Girly girl 50s pink floral full skirt dress with ruffled lace shelf bust

Girly girl 50s pink floral full skirt dress with ruffled lace shelf bust

See our What’s New page for more recent additions of authentic vintage dresses.   We’ve also added some gorgeous vintage inspired gowns and prom dresses.

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How to get that 50’s hourglass shape


No,  you won't get it by working out in the gym a gazillion hours a week or by starving yourself or having liposuction.  The secret is in foundation garments.  I'm not talking Spanx type shapewear, either. That's pretty wimpy stuff compared to what  women wore in the 1950's to wrestle their body into that curvy, wasp waisted shape.

Nowadays most women would never dream of cramming themselves into a real girdle in order to make their clothes fit better. But I assure you, if you want to wear a vintage pencil skirt,  a girdle will tuck everything neatly into place, smooth out every bulge and minimize the waist nicely. And they're actually quite comfortable once you get used to them!

Here's a vintage girdle ad with a promise of looking younger and sizes smaller!

Vintage girdle ad

Another nifty item is the waist cincher, which does just what it's name implies.  You can easily carve off a couple of inches or three with one of these handy dandy items.  Great for getting into vintage dresses you thought wouldn't fit you.

Notice how the ad promises to "hide bulges" and "streamline the waist". That's exactly what a waist cincher will do.  Not sure about the spelling of the name "Figure Mold" though.  Makes me think of some kind of nasty fungus, as in, "Gee, honey,  after wearing that waist cincher all day in the humid weather,  sure looks like you got yourself a bad case of "figure mold!"

Vintage lingerie ad

Another necessary evil needed to complete that 50's hourglass silhouette is a cone shaped, pointy bra.  Of course, no self respecting sweater girl would be caught dead without her trusty bullet bra.  Though they are guaranteed to lift and separate, there is always the risk of putting somebody's eye out!

Maidenform bullet bra 

Other lingerie items that play a supporting role in shaping the 50's figure are corsets, corsellettes, merry widows, garter belts, seamed stockings and bustiers.  The websites listed below are some great places to help get yourself into some authentic vintage or vintage style foundation garments, if you're up for the challenge!

Vintage Slips

Secrets in Lace

Vicki's Bullet Bras

What Katy Did


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Vintage dress worn in Episode 7 Mad Men Series


Any one who reads this blog knows how obsessed I am about the Mad Men television series.  So this past Sunday,  I'm  watching episode 7, "the Golden Violin", and there's a scene in the apartment of Salvatore ( married, but in the closet) and his cute Italian wife, Kitty, (who still hasn't figured out she's married to a gay guy).  Anyway, they're having one of the guys from the office over for dinner and I'm sitting there admiring the cute vintage dress Kitty is wearing for her little dinner party.  When all of a sudden I realize it looks very familiar.   So during commercial break I run into my storage room and, lo and behold,  I discover I have the same dress!  I'm talking the exact carbon copy of it.  Picked it up on my buying trip this summer. 

Now I've read they use authentic vintage clothing in the show. So I'm assuming this isn't a reproduction. This is pretty incredible when you consider how rare it is even to find two identical vintage dresses, never mind that one of them ended up on an actress in your favorite television show.  I'm not so sure I can part with it now,  but white really doesn't look good on me. So on the website it may be going as soon as I get it cleaned and steamed.

Have a look.

Here's Salvatore, Kitty and Ken having cocktails.

Kitty dress

Here's my dress.


What I tell ya? Looks like their wardrobe designer, Janie Bryant, and I have similar taste! Here's her repsonse to the question, from a New York Times interview,  on what she thinks about Mad Men's influence on current fashion.

"It seems to be seeping everywhere, doesn’t it? I’m so happy about people being so excited and so inspired. “Mad Men
really is such a period of elegance. And also, it’s a time when people
dressed up and went to work. You wore your gloves. There were all those
customs that existed then. We don’t have that anymore. If it inspires
people to dress up more, I think that’s fantastic."

I couldn't agree more!

For the full interview click here.

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Woman’s Day Magazine-1961


Just got through reading a May 1961 issue of Woman's Day.  I really enjoy collecting vintage magazines. Love all the fashion and food spreads, advertising and entertaining stories.

Here are some of the highlights. 

*Article entitled  "What Men Wish Women Wouldn't Do."  The list-    "Stop asking for emotional reassurance, don't ask too many questions, don't try and make them over and don't be a phoney-feminine."  In case you're wondering, a phoney-feminine back in 1961 was a woman "who has all the faults usually attributed to women. A man can't wait to get away from the woman who worries about small points of prestige, who recites the mean little advantages she has won, who promises what she will not give, who welshes on an honest bargain, who tears other women to shreds behind their backs and reports to one man her conquests over other men." 

These are traits usually attributed just to women? HMMMM.

* Permissive parenting was rampant and was creating a whole generation of children with shaky morals. There was a decline in simple good manners, a tolerance for smoking and drinking at much younger ages, classroom cheating,  a rise in juvenile crime, venereal disease and poor performance in the Armed services.  Yikes.  Sound familiar?

*Men snore more and louder than women, sometimes reaching 69 decibels, the equivalent of a hungry lion's roar at close quarters."  And according to a Dr. A.H. Douthwaite, "if your husband snores, it shows he's really fond of you. The nocturnal noises, whistling, wheezing and snorts are actually deep rooted signs he loves you and want to protect you."  Remember that, girls, next time you threaten to banish your man to the sofa!

Of course, there were all kinds of recipes for the busy moms involving casseroles, jello and Campbell's soup. Not combined in the same dish, though a recipe like that wouldn't surprise me.  They did mix together some very strange food combinations back then.

Here's the cover. Notice the bride.  A little bit Jackie, a little bit Audrey. Both huge fashion influences at that time.

Woman's day 61 cover

Simplicity patterns for whipping up some cute summer outfits.

Woman's day 61

How to whip up hair styles to go with the summer outfits.

Woman's day 61 hair

Get yourself the latest in hi-tech gadgets, the  princess style phone.

Woman's day 1961 2

Budget decorating in mid-century style.

Woman's day 61 room

A car for the little woman.

Woman's day 61 corvair

I wish I could have this stove and a turquoise kitchen.  Also love the green cocktail dress on the woman floating in the background. I envision myself wearing it out to a swanky cocktail party, accompanied by a guy who looks like Don Draper from Mad Men. I can dream can't I?

Woman's day 61 stove

And here's what I would make in my turqoise kitchen on my Tappan "Fabulous 400"

Woman's day 61 food

Let's not forget the workhorse of the 1960's kitchen, the electric fry pan. My mother had one and wasn't afraid to use it!

Woman's day 61 frypan

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to make a tuna casserole and a lime jello marshmellow cottage cheese surprise.

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