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Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

I was inspired by stylist Bella McFadden to sift through my closet and do some of my own 90s styling. Using a skirt of that era, I put together an outfit that I actually remember wearing to a family dinner, circa 1997. Then I thought about how someone like Ms. McFadden might take the same skirt and create an outfit for today adding other 90s pieces but creating a completely different look.

My original outfit includes a silk blouse by Kiss of the Wolf and a velvet quilted jacket with a mandarin collar. By then I was already in the habit of including vintage touches (1930s-60s), which I believe make any outfit much more interesting – in this case the 1940s shoes and handbag with a Lucite handle. I wore two strands of pearls, one in cream and one in grey, which matches the grey buttons on the blouse. The large Victorian jet ring is a favorite of mine that I wear more now than I did then. The bracelet is a 1930s faux pearl cuff. Adding the vintage pieces and wearing a simple jacket makes this outfit almost timeless. Almost. The skirt gives it away.

I had fun putting together a 90s retro outfit using the same skirt and other pieces I have in my wardrobe which date from that era. Back in the day, I would not have worn those shoes nor the fancy fishnets with that skirt but I was thinking Bella McFadden and what she might have done with the same pieces.

I layered the simple t-shirt with a camisole and added a couple of silver chains for a mix and match look. I pulled my hair up for a touch of quirky and those sunglasses are Anne Klein II from Macy’s. I’m not much of a belt person but this woven leather belt adds some needed edge as does the crossbody purse. Of course if I’m going to sport this ensemble today, I need a mask.

So there we have two completely different looks using the same skirt. It’s all down to the styling!

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If you’re feeling down internally, make yourself look bomb externally. Whenever I’m like so bummed, I will make sure my outfit is extra on point that day so that I feel really good.

Bella McFadden (AKA Internet Girl), stylist and fashion retailer on Depop.

Depop is a shopping/resale app based out of London. Ms. McFadden is an internet sensation, having done quite well on Depop reselling and restyling thrift store finds (she buys a lot of quirky new stuff, too). She says she’s the number one seller in North America. She also offers what she calls “bundles” or basically a styling service. (Reminds me of Stitch Fix but for clients all about thrift clothes and specifically interested in 90s/Y2K style.) Click here to see on Youtube how Ms. McFadden puts together her bundles.

I agree with Ms. McFadden’s sentiment. We’re all feeling a little bleak after pandemic year 2020, but I can’t think of a better way to lift the spirits than to plan a stellar outfit and wear it!

Check back on Wednesday for a little surprise inspired by Ms. McFadden.

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This lovely Corde’ handbag is one of several that I own. Popular in the 1940s, Corde’ bags were made from rows of gimp (cord used for trim in clothing and furniture) stitched in interesting patterns to fabric backing. The inside label says “A Genuine Corde’ Registered Trademark. Made in England.”

I add a tulle bow for festive holiday outings.

A gift from my mother, I don’t save this handbag for just vintage events; I use it often for special occasions and evenings out. It holds quite a lot and the handle is just long enough to slip over my shoulder, which updates the look.

Tomorrow we come to the final day of The Twelve Days of Vintage Handbags. Don’t miss it!

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For our final vintage handbag of the series I present this lovely gold mesh evening bag by Whiting and Davis.

Most vintage enthusiasts have a Whiting and Davis in their collection and mine came to me from my grandmother. It’s in such excellent condition I can hardly believe it dates from the 1930s.

The Whiting and Davis plant in MA, c.1920.

Whiting and Davis was the leading manufacturer of mesh handbags after the company patented mesh making machines in 1912. Located in Norfolk, MA the main American plant designed and constructed dozens of different patterns from painted mesh to enamel to silver or gold plate.

In 1966 the company sold but it’s still around today, still making mesh bags that sell at high-end stores for upwards of $200.

My gold Whiting and Davis mesh evening bag was the perfect choice for the ADSC 2016 Preservation Ball.

I often sport my vintage W&D at Art Deco evening events such as the ADSC Preservation Ball. I look forward to using it again, hopefully later this year.

And with that, we are at the end of The Twelve Days of Vintage Handbags. I hope readers have enjoyed the holiday series as much as I have. There will be another one next season. Hmm … what will it be? Stay with us this year and find out.

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This one was among my first and best purchases while I was still a college student. At that time there was a vintage shop called Emporium located on Campus Corner near the university. My friend and I would go in regularly and I also tended to stop by on my way home from classes. I was pretty broke in college so I had to be careful but, when I saw this clutch I didn’t hesitate. I don’t even recall how much I paid but I do remember that this shop was very reasonable with their pricing.

The bag is from the 1920s, made of leather with whip stitching on the edges and gold metal inserts. Inside there are several different size pockets, including one just the right size for business cards. (There are still a few of my cards tucked into that pocket as I had a small business making brooches and bolos out of vintage buttons and watch faces.) It expands to hold surprisingly quite a lot and I really like the option of using the strap at the top. It was and still is in excellent condition.

I used it often back then for evenings out to plays (I reviewed plays and movies for the college newspaper) or dinner. It was just the right touch to make an outfit pop.

We are rolling along and tomorrow is day eleven. What will our handbag be? Come back to find out.

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Another fabric handbag, this time a clutch in brown with swipes of black. I spotted this bag at the now defunct Vintage Fashion Expo – a vintage sale held twice a year in San Francisco (oh how I miss the Fashion Expo). I instantly fell in love with the unusual curve at the bottom of this bag, which is just perfect for holding. The shape and fabric remind me of mid-century furniture.

A classic 1950s handbag, I often wear it with a brown full skirt dress that I bought at the same time from the same dealer. This is my go-to autumn party outfit. Parties? Remember those?

Remember to stop back tomorrow for another vintage handbag.

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This beaded beauty was a gift from a friend of mine. It dates from the 1940s and comes with a mirror and a glasses case. I have worn it many times for an evening of dancing or an elegant dinner out. The beads give off just a bit of sparkle in dim light.

There are a few of my handbags that I use as decoration and this is one of them. It’s a piece of sartorial sculpture and way too pretty to keep in a closet.

Tomorrow is another day with another vintage handbag. Come back!

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This shimmery gold 1960s clutch says, “Take me to a New Year’s Eve cocktail party!”

Local Bay Area vintage fashion enthusiasts might remember a little shop called Madam Butterfly, located on College Avenue in Oakland. That’s where I found this evening bag on sale right before the proprietor went out of business.

The inside label says Gaymode, which was a mid-century handbag manufacturer that specialized in raffia and other fabric bags. This is such an elegant yet simple clutch, just the right style touch for an evening out. But of course, there are no evenings out this pandemic New Years Eve.

Still, wishing all ODFL readers a Happy New Year. Keep it safe and celebrate at home so we’re all here this time next year.

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This fabric handbag hails from the UK. I purchased the satchel at an antique market in London for 20 pounds, which at that time was about $40. It’s another one of my faves for the style and the fact that the emblem on the front looks a bit like the initial M. In excellent condition, it’s all leather inside and has a label that reads: Made in Italy exclusively for D. Henry. I did a little research on D. Henry and unfortunately came up with nothing. I’m not sure of the era but I suspect 1960s going for a retro look. It’s an unusual handbag regardless.

I sport it with some of my vintage outfits but I also wear it with a casual dress or skirt if the colors are compatible. I’m a big fan of mixing vintage with modern.

Here I am sporting this handbag with my mother at at 1920s ADSC event, circa 1996.

Come back tomorrow for a vintage handbag that’s just the thing for New Year’s Eve.

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Here’s another handbag that I think a modern designer might find inspiring. I bought it for $20 at a flea market in Brooklyn.

There’s no inside label but it’s a nicely made 1960s foldover bag – simple in its construction and style. What sets it off, of course, is the brass accent piece. I used to shy away from navy blue, but now I find I like the off color and I have no qualms about mixing it with black.

Tune in again tomorrow for another vintage handbag. What will it be???

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