Today I’d like to share photos of some of my favorite vintage novelty print skirts from the 1950s and 60s. Novelty prints are also referred to as conversational prints. And it’s pretty obvious why. It’s guaranteed when wearing something in an eyecatching vintage novelty print someone is bound to engage you or at least comment on it. But please don’t fear trying them out, as the feedback , in my experience anyway, has only been positive.
And when you think about it, isn’t clothing just a type of non verbal communication? The clothes you chose to wear in public can just as easily encourage interaction with others as not, depending on your mood. So stepping out in a colorful vintage novelty print is a way to convey that you are fun, lighthearted and approachable. At least that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it!
Novelty prints are distinguished from your typical floral, dot, stripe, check, etc, etc, print by their theme. Popular subjects are buildings, people, animals, insects, kitchen decor, food, architectural elements, holiday and pop culture symbols. They are fun, whimsical and I have to admit I’m a bit addicted to them.
Novelty prints appeared in clothing as far back as the 1800s. But I love the ones from the 50s and early 60s the best because of their kitschy quirkiness.
Pre 1970 novelty prints are collectible, either as yardage or in clothing. They’re in demand with quilters and vintage fashion lovers. And vintage dresses and skirts in rare or unique patterns are rising in price, often selling for hundreds of dollars. So, ladies, if you’re out thrifting or flea marketing and you happen upon one of these rare beauties for a bargain price I suggest you snag it. And if you don’t want to keep it, just send me a message. I’ll be happy to take it off your hands!
I absolutely love the color combination in this first skirt. Olive green, yellow, hot pink and black. The buildings have onion shaped domes like you see in churches in Russia, Eastern Europe and Germany. There are people standing in the doorways wearing fancy clothes. The main images surrounded by bows and intricate lacy patterned borders.
I’ve been waiting for my starburst tree to bloom so I could take some photos in front of it. The flowers are so darn pretty and they only last a couple of weeks. I recently found out it is a member of the mint family. And the only similarity I can see is the fact that these things spread like mad! Anyway, I thought they complemented the pink shades in the skirt. Always nice to match your landscape to your outfit, don’t you think?
This one is super crazy cute with its large images of baskets of fruit and flowers in aqua, greens and yellows. Perfect for a trip to the farmer’s market! I purchased this a while ago from Maggie of Denisebrain on Etsy. She’s a fellow Vintage Fashion Guild member, a professional French horn player and an all around fantastic person. Check out her store. She’s got great stuff!
I’ve been collecting and selling Alfred Shaheen pieces for over 15 years and this is the only skirt I’ve ever found by this famous Hawaiian screen printer. From the 1950s, it has a fabulous novelty sea life print. I can’t envision ever parting with this one, or the one below for that matter, which is another novelty sea life print I adore.
This is a previous post I did featuring this skirt.
So what do you think? Would you give novelty prints a try? And if you’ve worn them, did you get any positive feedback?
Till next time……
Linking up with
Jess/Elegantly Dressed and Stylish-Turning Heads Tuesday.
Catherine/Not Dressed as Lamb/#IwillwearwhatIlike