Tag Archives: vintage

Shopping with the Vintage Traveler

It’s time for another edition of shopping adventures in which I show some interesting things I spotted, but that I did not buy.  The photo above was taken at the Liberty Antiques Festival last month.  This seller had tubs and tubs of textiles and old clothes and yes, I did manage to find a few wonderful things.

One thing I passed on was a pair of men’s wool swimming trunks with this label.  It was such a great example of a woven label, but I really can’t start buying things just for the label, can I?

I loved this official souvenir of the Ice Capades.  I would have loved it more at the original price!

One vendor at Liberty had stacks and stacks of super woolen fabrics.  I managed to limit myself to just one fantastic piece, which I’m sure you’ll see somewhere down the road when I get around to sewing it.

I spotted this in a local antique mall, and it was labeled as an Edwardian jacket.  I would have loved to be able to examine it, as to me it looked like it was made from old embroidered table linens.  I could be wrong, but all the square mitered corners just gave it that appearance.

I’m crazy about unusual display pieces and mannequins, and so this vintage little girl fits into that category.

This fantastic twig furniture set is for the cabin in the woods that I do not have.

I’m guessing that this Revlon make-up display is from the late 1950s or early 60s.  The sales person had to get the products from the back of the case, and that sure did help eliminate the shoplifting problem.

I tried to find a reason to buy the velvet and sequined beret.  It was from Hattie Carnegie.

The scarf I found at a local shop was indeed Hermes, and was priced quite attractively.  This proves I have strong willpower.  You also get a nice look at my vintage Converse All Stars.

I loved this shop sign, but what would someone do with something this large?

Finally, my favorite find of the month, a WWI poster encouraging the many women workers to ride their bicycles to work instead of taking a motor vehicle.  It’s interesting how this one does not reference the woman’s patriotic duty, but instead focuses on the benefits of cycling.



Filed under Shopping

Selling Vintage

For several years before I retired, I had a plan.  I was going to sell vintage clothing online to make a few extra bucks and to productively spend my time.  And for a while, around two years, that’s exactly what I did.  The problem was that I really did not enjoy selling.  What I wanted to do was collect and write about fashion and textile history.

So I gave up the etsy store and began spending my time researching and writing, care taking and mending.  And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

A while back I mentioned that one of the things I love about Instagram is that almost everything posted there is for sale. The problem is that I post photos of my vintage collection and finds there, and it’s quite often that someone asks if the item is for sale.  I somehow feel like I should not be teasing people showing off some of the great things I’ve found over the past twenty-five or so years of collecting.

Even here on The Vintage Traveler, I get emails all the time asking if an item I posted about is for sale.  As you have probably guessed, my answer is almost always “No,” but there are times that I have agreed to sell an item to a reader.  I have one rule that determines whether or not the item changes hands – the prospective buyer has to want the item more than I do.

I know what it is like to really want something for my collection.  I’ve written plenty of those almost begging emails myself, so I pretty much know how to judge item desire in others.

If you see something here or on Instagram that you feel you can’t live without, it never hurts to ask.  But you have to convince me that you need it more than I do, and that you will take good care of it.  And be prepared to hear, “No.”

See that cute little cat skirt?  I pulled it out of the Goodwill bins and posted a photo on Instagram.  The skirt was felt with the kittens sort of embossed onto it, and contrary to what my photo might lead you to believe, was in pretty rough shape.  The kittens were fading and peeling, and there were holes in the felt.  The skirt was for a little girl.  Still, I put it in my shopping cart to make a decision about it later.

Finally, I decided that I really had no need for it so I put it back in a bin.  Very quickly, one of the three shoppers that had been stalking me, hoping I’d discard it swooped in to get it.  That was good because I hated the thought of those kittens in a bale of rags.

By the time I got home and checked my messages, two people had already asked about the skirt.  I felt really bad about having to tell them that I didn’t even buy it!  I think my days of leaving something this great in the Goodwill are over, especially if it has a kitten on it.

I’m in the process of going through my vintage sewing patterns and books, and I’ve decided that I really do need to sell some.  So starting in November I’ll reopen the old Fuzzylizzie Vintage etsy shop for a few months to offer them.  There will probably be some fabric as well.  I’ll be sure to announce the opening when it happens.

And seriously, if you sell vintage, you need to be on Instagram.  Just don’t make it entirely about what you are selling.


Filed under Collecting, Shopping, Viewpoint

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?


Filed under Shopping

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.


Filed under Shopping

Peter Max Psychedelic Scarf

In the late 1960s and early 70s Peter Max was everywhere.  Or at least his products with his name in bold print were.  Max opened  a design studio in New York in the early 1960s, but it was his finely honed style of the late Sixties that combines op art, comic strips, astrology and Eastern mysticism that seemed so perfect for the Woodstock Generation.   In 1969 he was on the cover of Life, with the title of the article being, “Peter Max: Portrait of the Artist as a Very Rich Man.”

There were dozens of Peter Max labeled products – everything from blow-up vinyl pillows to kitchen wares to clothing.  Many of the designs were manufactured by clothing firms such as Wrangler, for which Max designed jeans, shorts, and shirts.  Others were advertising items like the decorated vinyl umbrellas that were made for Rightguard deodorant.  About ten years ago my friend Corky who owned a vintage store in Asheville went to the estate sale of an optometrist.   She found stacks of Peter Max scarves that were made for an eyeglass company.

In 1970 Max designed a line of junior dresses, tee shirts and neckties for the guys which Seventeen magazine featured on the cover and in an editorial.  These were only made for a year or two and are very rare (and valuable) today.   I guess the very rich artist decided he had enough money to last him for a while, because soon afterward he closed his design studio and semi-dropped-out.

The Peter Max scarves are a bit easier to find, but after spotting this one at Design Archives in Greensboro, I realized that I’d not seen one for sale (except online) in years.   So yes, I had to add it to my collection especially since the only Max examples I have are two of his Neo-Max swimsuits that he designed in the 1980s.

The only Peter Max items I remember having as a kid were several of the inflatable pillows.  After a while they started leaking, and eventually they were thrown out.


Filed under Designers, Vintage Clothing

Vintage Shopping – Part Two

I your weather is anything like mine (cold and snowing) then you’ll not be vintage shopping this week.  I hope you’ll enjoy instead part two of my virtual shopping expedition.

I thought at first that the above object was a folded hat.  Nope.

It’s a handbag, and a very nice one.  It still has the change purse, comb and mirror, and look at the pristine condition.

This piece of 1940s doggie print rayon fabric was a real heart breaker.  Besides the scattered holes, there were dark stains throughout.  

Hat or wig?  Does it even matter?

This great psychedelic print from the late 1960s was made into a maxi skirt.  

I stumbled across plaid heaven.  Most of these were pleated Pendleton skirts.

This beautiful suit has a label I’d never personally seen before, but thanks to my friend Monica, I knew the story behind the label.

Utah Tailoring Mills made custom fitted clothing for their wealthy clients.  The clothing was ordered through sales representatives across the country who placed the order using the client’s individual measurements and personal preferences.  To finish the garment, a personalized label with the client’s name was attached.

When I spotted this dress, my first thought was Geoffrey Beene.  Instead the label was Teal Traina, where Beene was designer from 1958 through 1963.  My guess is that this dress is later, from the late 60s, but it sure does have a Beene aesthetic to it.



Filed under Shopping, Vintage Clothing

Vera Neumann Jollytop

If you are a newer reader, you might not have realized that I’m a big fan of the work of Vera Neumann.  I’ve done multiple posts on Vera and her scarves and clothing, and just when I thought I’d said it all, a nice surprise lands in my lap.

I spotted this little top on eBay and thought it was so unusual that I bought it.  When it arrived, I was even more puzzled, as it was not made from the soft cotton twill that I’ve come to associate with Vera clothing.  In fact, it felt and looked like a bed sheet, and it flitted through my mind that this was a pillowcase project.  After turning it inside out, I noticed the details, that did, at first glance, tend to make me think this was a project.

The shoulders were shaped solely by an angled stitching line.

The arm holes were where just openings that had been machine finished.

There was a bias binding casing through which ran ties.

The only thing that wasn’t saying “pillowcase/blouse” was the shape of the top.  Instead of being an oblong rectangle, it was a square, like a scarf.

And that’s when I found the label.  It was not the label usually found in Vera clothing.  It was a “Scarves by Vera” label, the one she put, well, in scarves.  That’s when the truth dawned on me.  I remember reading that the first garment made at the Vera Company was a top made from two scarves.  Somehow I always thought that meant silk scarves, as at that time, 1960, that was the material that Vera was using.

Note:  I really do want to show that label, but it came off in the wash and I can’t find it.

So I got my copy of Vera, the Art and Life of an Icon, and found the passage I needed:

In 1960, Vera fashioned two scarves into her first garment, the Jollytop, a flowing, square blouse.

And while this cotton version isn’t exactly flowing, it is quite obviously fashioned from two scarves.

It’s interesting that I’ve never seen one of these, and yet, right now there is another on ebay.  It is made exactly like mine, from cotton and with a drawstring waist.  And the scarf from which it is fashioned, a smiling fish,  is pictured in the Vera book.

Another hint about the age of the top is the signature.  This is the ladybug, signature and copyright symbol that was first used in 1960.  The ladybug and the V are pretty much the same size, and are quite inconspicuous compared to the huge signatures that followed in the later 60s.

My next quest?  This print in a silk scarf.  I’m sure they were made.

I cannot recommend the Vera book enough.  You can easily find it on Amazon or eBay for around $10 including shipping, and if you love textiles and design, this is a must have volume.  It would have been easy for Susan Seid, the author and owner of the Vera Company, to have produced just a book with lots of pretty pictures, but instead she gives us the pictures and a great deal of information about Vera that can’t be found in any other source.


Filed under Designers, Vintage Clothing