Category Archives: Shopping

Shopping with The Vintage Traveler

I recently did a bit of shopping in northern South Carolina, in the Greenville area.   There are several very nice antique malls in the area, and there was quite a bit that I saw and liked but did not buy.

First up is a salesman’s case from Ferris Woolen Company.  Dated 1939 – 1940, I really liked the graphics.  I already have one from the early 1920s, which I’ve written about in the past.

Isn’t this old croquet box the best?

Had this been a Scottie, I’d probably have had to buy it.  Still, this little child’s wheelbarrow was pretty special.

This calendar is from 1958.  Now I’ve decided that I must have a hat that holds golf tees.

In hindsight, I probably should have bought this zipper display and zippers.  I love metal Talons, and pick them up to use.  These were odd colors so I passed on them.

For Zest and Fun, Drink B-1.  It’s full of vitamins, you know.

Who doesn’t need a Likker Lugger?

This great little sailor man pin shows us how to wear a striped tee.  I love the details, including the diagonal pocket.

I’ve been thinking more and more about getting an old sewing stand.  I’m telling myself it will eliminate some clutter.

This is a sorry photo of a really fantastic hat.  It was really lovely, and it had a great label to boot.

In my part of the world, Pappagallos were THE shoe of the mid 1960s.  Even the lining is cute.

This late 1910s dress had some damage, but the fabric was really terrific.  Those dots are not printed, they are woven.  It was simply a fantastic textile.

The snowsuit of doom, but how about those mittens?

I loved this advertising poster so much. I mean, really, really loved it.

So, did I mess up by leaving these great things unbought?

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Lady Manhattan, Part II

I’ve spent a great deal of the past three days looking for ads for Lady Manhattan, but I’ve not found a single one in my fashion magazines in the years between 1953 and 1962.  They did advertise, as there are ads for sale on ebay (something I really do not understand) but maybe they were placed in regular women’s magazines like Good Housekeeping or McCall’s.

One thing that made me think my silk blouse was later 1950s was that a 1954 ad I saw on ebay  had a facsimile label as part of the ad.  That label is the one you see above.  While I could not locate an ad in my magazines, I did happen upon a second Lady Manhattan blouse.

What is really interesting about this earlier Lady Manhattan shirt is that it is so similar in construction to a man’s casual shirt.  I’ve seen a lot of men’s shirts from the early to mid 1950s that have an open collar like my new lady’s shirt.  The fabric is a nice cotton shirting like you’d expect to find in a man’s shirt.

There is a chest (breast?) pocket, and the sleeves are inserted like those in a man’s shirt.

There is a placket for the cuff opening, something that is not usually seen in a woman’s blouse.  I was really surprised at the French cuffs.

The seams are flat felled, and are the smallest, neatest ones I’ve seen on a mid-priced garment.

If you look back at the later silk shirt, you can still see vestiges of a man’s shirt in the design.  The open neck collar, the French cuffs, and the curved hemline are almost identical to this cotton shirt.  But the fabric is softer, the pocket and cuff plackets are gone, and the seams are French.  It has the feel of a blouse rather than of a shirt.

I actually bought this piece to wear, as I’ve been looking for some prints to add to my mostly solid and striped wardrobe.   I found it in a fantastic vintage clothing booth in an antique mall in Taylors, South Carolina, which is in the Greenville area.   She also has an Etsy shop, Kate Dinatale Vintage.  It was such a pleasure finding a vintage store in my area where the items are beautifully presented and reasonably priced.

UPDATE:

And finally, here is the full view.  And today while rummaging through my button box, I found a forgotten pair of mother of pearl cuff links.

 

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Shopping with the Vintage Traveler

It’s been a while since I did a shopping post, but that’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve not been able to do a lot of shopping lately.  But I’ve finally managed to get out a bit, and so can show you the things I thought were interesting, but that I did not buy.  The items are from a variety of local venues.

The picture above is a painted pillow cover.  I called it “Two lovers adrift.”

This beautiful 1920s box originally held fragranced soaps.

Here’s a potato chip can for The New Era Scientifically Processed Potato Chips.  The chips are so healthy that they are good for athletes.

They were made from that healthy substance, hydrogenated vegetable shortening.

This adorable little nautical shirt was made by Catalina, and was for a child.  How about that Breton shirt the sailor duck is wearing!

I’d never seen the label before, but it is similar to the labels Catalina used in the later 1950s.

Here’s a hat devoted to my favorite golf hole.

Being in the East (but not in Nashville) , I don’t see a lot of western wear, but these women’s pants were really nice.

Proof that there are still bargains to be found, these 1920s shoes were priced at $6!  The condition is better than my photos look, as the cracks are on the surface and would be covered with polish.

Here’s a new one on me – a hankie greeting card.  And the inside:

A shipboard romance triangle in the making…

And finally, I spotted this rack of dresses in a local antique mall.  I’ve learned from experience not to get too excited about a rack of clothing because they often contain the seller’s closet rejects.  But in this case the rack was full of 1930s and 1940s frocks.  You just never know.

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Shopping with The Vintage Traveler

I realized that it has been a while since I did a vintage shopping post.   I’m not completely sure why, but I’m not taking as many photos as I used to while shopping.  It may have something to do with Instagram.

More and more I find myself posting shopping photos to Instagram.  It’s almost like shopping with a lot of virtual friends, as the feedback is almost immediate.  I know I talk quite a bit about the pleasures of Instagram, but it really is fun.  Even Suzy Menkes says so.  If you use a smartphone, I really do think you should at least try it out.

But back to the shopping finds,  taken over the course of the past month or so.

The first photo is a vintage California Perfumes poster.  This was the company that became Avon.   Things like this are commonly seen as reproductions, but this one was an original, and quite expensive.

I’ve got a bit of non-buyer’s remorse about this apron.  It was terribly stained, missing a tie, and over-priced.  Still, what a marvelous mid century fashion print!

I am such a map lover.  Just throw a map on something and I’m all over it.  Still, I managed to resist this bed tray, or lap desk, or what have you.

I loved these tobacco cards from 1936 that featured the tennis stars, both men and women, of the day.  You can see how this was a transitional time in tennis wear, with some women wearing skirts below the knee, some wearing shorter skirts, one is wearing a skirt open over shorts, and two are wearing just shorts.  Get a better look here.

I’m a sucker for an old zipper display.

This is the label from a pack of 1920s tissue paper.   By comparison, it sure makes the graphics on packaging today look a bit uninspired.

This is a water sprinkler for ironing, an object that appears to be more decorative than functional.  There is a handle on the back, but it was the unhappy but fashionable ironer that caught my eye.

It’s finds like this that makes one (almost) want to go back to selling.  Three mint in the box French corsets, reasonably priced.

A lovely linen parasol.

Another good for re-sale find, this late 1920s lace dress was in good condition and was a larger size.

Proof that there are real bargains to be found, these Tammis Keefe unicorn placemats were $5 for the set.

And finally, one dealer had a whole stack of antique Kate Greenaway calendars.  This one is from 1884.

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1960s Chanel-Inspired Davidow Jacket

I mentioned a few days ago that I lucked into a vintage pop-up shop on the streets of Asheville.  One of the great things about Asheville is that there are numerous little alleyways and side streets, many of which are not being well utilized, but which have great charm and potential.  In this case there is outdoor seating for a restaurant, but the space behind it was perfect for a temporary shop.

The business is called the Urban Gypsy, and the young woman who owns it does pop-ups in Asheville and Savannah.  What a perfect combination of cities!

After the disappointment of the very needy Bonnie Cashin I kept looking, hoping that lighten would strike twice.  That’s when I spotted a small group of tweed jackets.

There were a couple of jackets in shades of blue, and here is the one I choose.  I tried it on, and even the older man standing there waiting for his wife to finish up looking gave it a thumbs up.  It was truly a perfect fit.

The icing on the cake was the Davidow label.  Davidow was a high-end ready-to-wear label.  According to the research of Claire Sheaffer, Davidow made both Chanel-inspired suits and Chanel reproductions.  The reproductions actually used Chanel fabrics and in many cases, buttons.  My new jacket is probably of the inspired variety, but the wool plaid tweed is one mighty fine textile.

The jacket has bound buttonholes, something I’d be afraid to risk on such a loosely woven and bulky fabric.

The pockets are functional, and I love how they are cut on the diagonal.

I’m not 100% sure that the buttons are original, but the thread used to sew them does match the color of the lining.  The underside of the buttons is a mottled blue, which indicated these may have faded over time.  I’ll probably replace the buttons, as I bought this to wear and I want blue ones.  I will carefully save the old buttons.

Unfortunately, the lining proves once and for all that Southern women do actually sweat (as opposed to glisten).  The lining is a rayon faille, and is not as luxurious as I like.  Am I crazy for even considering replacing the lining with silk crepe de chine?

The seller found the jacket in Savannah, and it has a nice store label.  I can’t find a thing about Fine’s, but I do remember shopping there on a trip to Savannah in the mid 1970s.  At that time the store was located in a mall, as their downtown was in a downward slide.  Today downtown Savannah is a charming place with nice shops, most of which are local.

 

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Liberty Antiques Festival, Spring 2014

Last weekend was the one event that try to never miss, the spring Liberty Antiques Festival.   Twice a year some of the best sellers in the region gather for a big two day sale in the middle of a large field.  I can honestly say that I always find at least one exceptional item every show.

And now for the virtual shopping:

I used to collect vintage Halloween before the prices went sky-high-crazy.  These cards were tempting.

Store and salesman display boxes always get my attention.  I loved this one from Kickaway because I have a pair of black wool Kickaway bloomers.

This was a huge table of just summer handbags.

I thought this display for hair nets was interesting.  “For the Woman in Every Stage of Life”

That’s a great pair of 1920s or 30s outing boots.  The wooden thing behind them is a sweater block for knitters or for reblocking a sweater after washing.

This great dress was in the booth of Down South Vintage.  It is actually two pieces, with the skirt being attached to a bodice, and the beaded top is worn over it.  Note the curving waistband of the top. This was an exceptional garment, and I was not surprised to find an exceptional label:

Helena Barbieri was a very high-end evening and cocktail dress maker.

I’m afraid I’m starting to enjoy the self-portrait in the mirror thing.  Here I’m modeling a 1940s tilt hat that was all one big bloom.

Nice travel tag

This is a reminder to always look under the tables.  This was a lovely 1950s suit with matching shawl.

1966 Ar-Ex cosmetics color card.  I sure wish I’d saved all the ones the Avon lady used to drop off at my house.

I’m not a big fan of  Catherine Ogust for Penthouse Gallery dresses, but this print is great.  Seen at Design Archives in Greensboro.

For years Shadowline was a family-owned business in Morganton, NC.   Then the business sold and production stopped.  Now they have reopened with many of the products still being made in the USA.  Seen at Granddaddy’s Antique Mall in Burlington, NC.

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Metrolina Antiques Flea Market, Spring 2014

Last weekend was the first big seasonal market of the season, the Metrolina in Charlotte.  I’ve been attending this show since 2003, and it is a good case in how the selling of collectibles and antiques has changed over the years.   This show has gone from being one that took all day to see everything to one that can be adequately covered in four or five hours.  On the other hand, the items are, for the most part, of a higher quality, with less junk and more real vintage and antiques.

I’ll admit that I miss the old days of prowling through boxes of ratty this-n-that only to pull out a wonderful vintage novelty print textile.  I miss the rows of part-timers selling out of the backs of their trucks.   And I really miss some of the long-time vintage clothing sellers from the Mid-Atlantic who don’t bother to make the trip south any more.

The key to success in this era of reduced opportunities is to get to know the great vendors who are left.  That’s Nanette of Wintergreen Farm hiding behind her display.  She has become a valuable source for me.  She knows what I like and in her own buying trips is always looking for sportswear for me.

This time she had some of the niftiest 1940s hats, which of course you can’t really see in my photo.

Another advantage of a smaller show is that you have more time to really stop and examine the merchandise and talk with the sellers.   It seems like I always spot things I’ve never before seen, like these cute Little Dressmaker kits from the late 1950s.  The seller had a whole stack of them.

I’m not sure what one would do with these spools of Lurex, the metallic yarn that never tarnishes.

I had seen this print before, but I always enjoy it.  Dated 1898.

I loved these women skiers postcards, but they were priced a little out of my range.

I’d love to say that there was several yards of this wonderful nautical print, but it was merely a square on a quilt.

I love old pennants.  This one was $300.  I didn’t buy it.

Another plus to attending a smaller show is that there is time to stop at antique malls on the way home.  One of the newer malls in the area is the Catawba River Antiques Mall, which was recommended by Marge Crunkleton.  As you can see, the place is huge,  It is housed in an old textile mill, the Majestic Mill in Belmont, North Carolina.  Opened in 1910, the Majestic Mill was a cotton spinning facility which made fine yarns for stockings and other fine uses.  Imagine, if you can, the 10,944 spindles that operated in this mill.

Though not fully occupied, this mall shows real promise.  I found lots of things there that were interesting.

One dealer had quite a few of these WPA costume prints.  They were part of the Museum Extension Project, in which workers assisted museums with various tasks.  These were educational prints intended for museum programs.

Marge has a wall of her lovely heads, as well as her small sculptures and dolls.

This was a funny little find.  It is a comic book that demonstrates basic sewing techniques. Note the name of the author.

I suppose this is a clothespin bag, as the seller had on the tag, but it’s a funny print for a homemaker to have chosen.

There was a nice selection of feedsack fabrics.

This hangtag was on a pair of mid 1960s Quarter Deck Pants from White Stag.

This fabric was actually part of an apron.  I’m not a cat fan, but boy, did I ever love the print!

 

 

 

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