Category Archives: Vintage Miscellany

Vintage Miscellany – August 6, 2017

I found a set of photos showing early 1940s women modeling sportswear. There is no indication of the company that made the garments, but they are all top-notch. This playsuit and skirt, with the bias cut fabric is one of my favorites.  The stripes work so well with the pleated shorts. No wonder these sets are currently highly sought out by the vintage-wearing set.

And now for the news…



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Vintage Miscellany – July 23, 2017

That’s Snow Ball and me in back and Rachel is rowing and the girl lying down is Claudia. Rachel’s sister took the picture.

There’s no date, but the all-girl group might indicate that it was taken during WWII. It could be a few years later, and they just left the guys at home. At any rate, it looks like a relaxing afternoon.

And now, on to the news…


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Vintage Miscellany – July 9, 2017

Here’s a rare example of an older photograph with the kind of information one wishes came with all old pictures. Written on the reverse:

Margaret Graham & Bessie Roher (?) about 1897 or ’98 on the tennis (grass) court at Wood Lawn. R. Niles Graham – Pease collection.

Woodlawn had been the estate of Texas governor Elisha Marshall Pease, the grandfather of Margaret Graham and her brother Niles Graham. Niles was a prominent businessman in Austin, Texas, and after he died his papers along with those of his grandfather were donated to the Texas State Library and Archive. I’m not sure why this photo was not included. How did it end up in the vast market of used stuff?

And now for some more modern news…

Here’s the reverse of the photo. Maybe you can help decipher Bessie’s surname. And if the Texas Archive wants this photo, it’s yours.


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Vintage Miscellany – June 25, 2017

Judging by the length of the skirts, this is probably 1926 or 27. That mid-knee length on the younger woman is about as short as it got in the Twenties. Her whole outfit is great, but I especially love the rolled stockings. Or maybe it’s the polka dot headband that I love best. It’s hard to decide.

There’s lots of news, so let’s move on to it.

For those of you wondering when I’d go on another rant about social media, the time has come. And for those of you who don’t want to come here to read anything political, then you need to stop and call it a read.

Some of you probably know that I get the great majority of my Vintage Miscellany links from my Twitter feed. For years I’ve found Twitter to be the best source of fashion history and fashion issues articles. But lately (since the election, to be honest) I’ve found myself really hating Twitter. Part of it is my own fault. I started following organizations with which I agree. That led to checking the trending hashtags to see what Trump was shouting from his bully megaphone. That led to reading the comments, which led to a lots of despair about the current status of the human race.

Then, last week, Damon Linker spelled it all out for me in an articled titled “Twitter is Destroying America.” One line in particular made sense, “Twitter is a place, finally, that all-too-often transforms otherwise thoughtful people into a furious mob.”

It is, actually, more than just twitter, as a commenter pointed out. Facebook is no better, and have you ever read the comments of practically any newspaper article? The idea of being able to say anything we want, in a manner that confronts anyone who does not agree with us is now taken as one of our fundamental rights. It’s the First Amendment on amphetamines.

I’ve done a lot of thinking (not a good thing, actually) about our current situation in the USA, and I know why it produces so much anxiety in me. I had a very anxious youth, with the Vietnam War hanging over our heads, and not knowing which of the young men in my high school class would end up there, perhaps as casualties. When I met my husband in 1972, he was still mourning the loss of a childhood friend who had died in Vietnam. And then when it looked like the war was finally going to end, the whole Watergate mess became public.  It dragged on while the country’s business was put on hold. No wonder I have this déjà vu feeling whenever I open my Twitter feed.

But what is really disappointing is how many of my own generation seem to have forgotten what the 1960s and early 70s were really like. When you chant “Make America Great Again” are you thinking about Watergate, or Kent State, or Mỹ Lai, or Medgar Evers?

As Stephen Sills put it, “Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong.” It’s time to rethink all the online shouting, of “Hooray for our side.”



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Vintage Miscellany – June 4, 2017

In case you think “fat shaming” is a new thing, here’s proof that it’s over 100 years old.

The interesting thing about this photo is the woman on the left.  Yes, I think she looks like a man too, but I’m sure that is due to the low quality of this print.  In any case, she is not wearing stockings, which at the time this photo was taken, the late nineteenth century, was a big no-no, at least in the USA. Such a rebel!

And now for some news. Since I was gone most of the past two weeks, I’m most grateful to reader Nann for supplying me with quite a few very interesting articles.


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Vintage Miscellany – May 21, 2017

Here’s a little something for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. It looks like these little flag-wavers are off to a patriotic parade or party, but they don’t look too happy about it, do they? I’m guessing they are too hot with the stockings, and on the older girl, long sleeves. Still, how could one not be happy with a fantastic hat like that?

And now for some news…


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Vintage Miscellany – May 8, 2017

April, 1946, Lansing, Michigan. Sailor boyfriend/brother/husband’s cap duly appropriated. Fun ensues.

And now for the news…

  •   There were two overwhelming themes in the past two weeks in fashion news.  One was the opening of Rei Kawakubo: Art of the In-Between at the Met.  The best of the dozens of articles: The Atlantic,, and for a look at the work behind the exhibition, Vogue.
  •  Another common theme was the complexity of the manufacturing system, and how it allows all kinds of problems to be masked.  First, we need to completely lay to rest the idea that production in the USA means that workers are safe. Yes, we do have laws and protections, but this article at Racked shows just how easily these laws are circumvented.
  • “How can brand-name clothing companies, highly valued in the market for their ability to control all manner of production challenges, not know where their products are being made?” The problems intensify as the sewing factories are further removed from the brand.
  •  And if there are marketing problems with a brand, the parent company merely replaces labels with something less problematic, as in the case of Ivanka Trump clothing being relabeled as Adrienne Vittadini.
  • The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has opened an exhibition on Yves Saint Laurent.
  •  Tim Gunn talks Disco.
  •   Is nostalgia dangerous?
  •  This last article has nothing to do with clothing, but as a collector, I found the story of this looter and destroyer of history to be highly disturbing.


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