We’ve just returned from a trip through the Midwest, and while this was not a shopping trip, I did manage to sneak in a few antique malls and a really great vintage market in Chicago. The first mall was in Southport, Indiana, which is just south of Indianapolis. I loved this huge, rambling mall. There was quite a bit of clothing, and I found some nice things for my collection. I’ll show them later, as today is all about what I didn’t buy.
Here we have two boxes full of promises. Nothing makes me happier than a crate of reasonably priced vintage patterns. I bought three.
Here was a little treasure, and I would have bought this if I did not already have a similar one. This is a Chimayo or Rio Grande woven clutch bag with a silver decoration. Best of all is the label.
Fred Harvey was a restaurateur who established a series of restaurants, hotels, and gift shops along the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. You might have seen the 1946 film, The Harvey Girls, starring Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, and Angela Lansbury. In the film the “girls” worked at a Fred Harvey establishment in Arizona.
This little cardboard trunk looks like it was a toy box. I loved it, but could not justify the purchase.
Cases like this one require close examination. I found a pair of 1920s ankle socks with the original paper label.
Our next stop was Chicago. I didn’t plan this, but we were there the weekend of the Randolph Street Market, which I learned about on Instagram. I felt like this was not just a coincidence, but more like a sign that I needed to be there. Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos because I was just too busy looking. There were plenty of vintage clothing sellers, and I was able to see some really topnotch stuff. The rack above had some real gems.
Things like this great 1930s or 40s made in Germany sweater. I wanted it, but my wallet said no.
I’m really sorry I didn’t take more pictures, as there were some spectacular pieces. I suppose I was just overwhelmed.
After leaving Chicago, we headed to Upland, Indiana to see Taylor University. My husband’s grandfather was a history professor there in the 1930s, and so his father spent part of his childhood in Upland. In the nearby town of Marion I found another good antique mall, Jake’s Antique Mall. I spent way too much time looking through stacks of photos and other ephemera. The illustration above is from 1915.
I always look through old advertising cards because they often show women participating in sports. The two above have a textile theme, but I found it interesting that two different businesses in the same town used cards from what was obviously the same series.
Lastly, I spent three hours trying to make my way through three large malls in Springfield, Ohio. I knew what I was in for as I had been there before, but by the time the closing hour approached, I was pretty much running through in order to see it all. There was a lot of stuff to be seen. I sort of mourned for the hatbox above, as it looked like someone prior had also cried and left tear drops on the lid.
Older fashion magazines are getting harder and harder to find, but even a 1915 Harper’s Bazar with severe water damage is not worth $66.
I’m always looking for old images of women participating in sports, but one can’t always believe what was shown in past illustrations. And look at those tiny feet!
This is always a good sign…
Someone loved this print so much that she bought it in two colorways. Aprons, not skirts, unfortunately.
I love old display items, and this glove hand was priced very reasonably, but it has a repaired thumb, and I was sure we’d destroy it before getting it home.
In Chicago I saw Making Mainbocher, an exhibition at the Chicago History Museum. In 1947 designer Mainbocher redesigned the uniforms of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and this is an example of one of the dresses. It was really fun seeing this after having just seen a similar one at the museum.
That’s all for the shopping. Expect several museum posts in the near future.