Shopping with the Vintage Traveler – Fall 2017

I need to re-title this type post as Browsing with the VT, as I didn’t actually buy any of the items I’m showing here. Does the word “shopping” actually include “looking but not buying”?  That’s one of those tough Mensa questions.

Some of these photos, like that suitcase of buttons, date back to September. I love buttons but rarely buy them. That is probably because I have boxes full of them, you know, just in case I need one.

This cotton scarf was an almost buy. I loved the late 1950s graphics, but the fade was just too prevalent, and it was almost threadbare in spots. Still, it was hard to pass on a girl and her duck. That would be an inflatable float toy, right?

A seller in Hillsville, Virginia had a whole stack of antique men’s nightshirts. The trim on these was so beautiful that I wanted one for myself. Unfortunately, “LG”, the original owner, was not my size.

I really can’t afford to buy everything I want, so I reluctantly left this old print behind. It is such a great illustration of the mid 1890s divided skirt that was used by women who had taken up the wheel. What is this story about? Is it true that men have always had the reputation of not wanting to ask for directions?

There was a conversation on the Vintage Fashion Guild forums recently about the value of beaded and fancy handbags. It appears to many vintage sellers that these have dropped in value. It probably is a case of supply outpacing demand. If you have ever been to an estate sale you know that there might not be a single old garment, but there are almost always the hats and handbags that were saved.

An apron with cocktail recipes can come in very handy.

A couple of weeks ago I made a trip into downtown Asheville (a major mistake during leaf season…). I was on an errand for a friend, and ended up in my favorite Asheville old stuff shop, Magnolia Beauregard. Seriously, that place is like a treasure house, and though the shop is small, it takes a while to see it all. It’s worth a trip just to see the hat heads and the wax mannequins.

The hats are for sale; the heads are not.

A small look inside Aladdin’s cave.

These last photos are from an antique mall in Florence, South Carolina. One of the advantages of being retired is that when one of us makes an off-hand remark about always wanting to have seen a certain place, the possibility is great that a hotel room will be booked and we’ll be on the road the next day. In this case Tim mentioned that he’d always wanted to see the racetrack and museum in Darlington, SC. I’m not a fan of racing, but experience has taught me that even the most unlikely museums often have old clothes. And once again, I was correct.

Above is a mesh corset cover or bra-let of some type. I’d never seen anything like it.

You may not be able to tell from my photo, but this head and hat were five feet above my head. I understand that dealers who are renting a space want to make the best of it, but putting stuff that high up seems to be pointless unless it is something that a prospective buyer has on her wishlist. In this case, I thought the hat was interesting, but not interesting enough to get an employee to bring a ladder so I could get a closer look.

And finally, a very poor photo of a great 1950s dress. Look at those pockets. They are about fifteen inches deep, with a bow and a rhinestone button to boot. It was really adorable, and had a great label, Gigi Young. Gigi Young was the sister label to Suzy Perette. Both were made by Lombardy Frocks which was known for their Americanized versions of Dior’s New Look. Picture this dress with full petticoats, and you’ll get the picture.

Quite unbelievably, yesterday someone on Instagram posted a photo of the same, or very similar dress, but in pink.


Filed under Shopping

12 responses to “Shopping with the Vintage Traveler – Fall 2017

  1. Renita

    You could call it “vintage window shopping” ;-). I always find your posts interesting. Renita in W-S


  2. jacq staubs

    It is literally a “hunt”! Done it myself – as My friends/family. That is why I love your site. There is an “art” or an undeniable level of professional endeavor here. Especially for you as this is collecting history that is disappearing. The “trolling” can be tedious – for you never time wasted! WISH I were going along!


  3. In our family, or in our region of the country, or maybe all over, I don’t know, but looking with buying is called “window shopping”, or more artfully, “lookey-louing”.


  4. Those beautiful mesh bags were sometimes advertised as wedding gifts, or “bridesmaid” gifts. An ad is here:
    I suspect so many have survived because they were never used by the recipients. Come to think of it, perhaps we should be suspicious of the real popularity of any vintage style that survives in great quantity in unused condition…. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Claritza

    It’s interesting that the corset cover is trimmed with eyelet trim that has slots for ribbon insertion.


  6. Rule two (after “never wake the sleeping baby”) is: Shopping is not buying. That’s what I tell the kids. Shopping does make me cry, thus no buying. Therefore: sewing. Exception: hats and handbags, which will fit me. Usually that’s all I go for (exception: Grandma’s sewing machine cabinet drawers. A crispy $20 will often clean it out into my waiting oversized zip lock bag. When you have a vintage machine that needs vintage bobbins to fit the vintage winding spindle….)
    Once again, I thank you for the window shopping. The wax mannequin. Oh golly.


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