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Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

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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I bought this bag at a vintage show from dealer Jula Isola (City Vintage). A structured style with faux fur, this bag hails from the 1960s.

Modern designers sometimes take inspiration from vintage handbags and I can see this one lining the shelves of a Kate Spade boutique. Large and roomy, I use this bag for special lunches or tea out with friends (when we could do that) or daytime holiday celebrations. It will have to stay inside my closet this winter but I look forward to sporting it again in the future.

Come back tomorrow to see the next vintage handbag.

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This favorite evening bag was a gift from an old friend. I love the dark dark blue and in velvet it’s perfect for the holidays, although I carry it whenever I like – day or evening, anytime of year. The handle is just long enough to tuck the bag under my arm.

Inside is lined with a satin-like fabric and I love the little pocket piped in gold and there’s an extra pocket just right for a lipstick. The label says EST 1933 Princess. I did a little research but so far, I have found nothing. I’m thinking the vintage of this charming bag is circa 1940s.

Stop by again tomorrow for day four of The Twelve Days of Vintage Handbags.

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One year I was in London over my birthday. On that day when I returned from some fun British adventure, there was a package at my door. Oh my! A surprise birthday package. I was thrilled when I opened the box and found this collectible handbag. Made of metal and plastic, these structured box bags were very popular in the 1950s.

The thoughtful gift was from my sis-in-law. She timed it just right for the international package to arrive on my birthday. (Thanks, Lori.) I brought it home and it sits on top of my vanity, holding favorite pieces of jewelry.

Check back tomorrow for another peek into my collection.

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Many Christmas moons ago, I opened a gift from my mother and inside the pretty box was an unexpected treasure – a tooled leather handbag, circa 1915.

During WWI, after years of delicate handbags made of beads, mesh, or fabric, leather purses were in vogue. Since women stepped up to work (and picket for the right to vote) while men went to fight, a sturdier slightly larger handbag was needed.

But I love the fact that beauty was still in play. My leather bag has an Art Nouveau design in the tooled leather and on the metal frame. The frame, by the way, was made by frame manufacturer JEMCO.

A very special gift that remains the prize of my collection. Sometime later my mother gave me a vintage style Shafer pen, which she thought went well with the purse.

OverDressedforLife wishes readers a Merry (and safe) Christmas. Check back tomorrow for Day Two of The Twelve Days of Vintage Handbags.

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OverDressedforLife wishes readers a Merry Christmas.

Take a break from the festivities tomorrow and tune in for the first day of The Twelve Days of Vintage Handbags.

Stay safe.

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That’s me sporting a white patent leather handbag and that’s my mother and my grandmother Louise, two women who sparked my interest in fashion.

A couple of years ago I started a new holiday ODFL tradition: The Twelve Days of Christmas. Starting on Christmas Day through January 5th, I posted a different holiday card. Last year for Twelve Days I posted a different subway advertisement, inspired by a visit to the NYC Transport Museum.

This year the theme is … wait for it … Vintage Handbags.

My interest (obsession) in handbags goes way back to childhood, as soon as I was old enough to covet my mother’s handbags. By age four I was collecting my own and to this day I remember every one. In particular, a fuchsia patent leather structured handbag that my Grandmother Mary bought for me at the Emporium. I remember spotting it on a table lined with navy blue, black, and tan bags. The fuchsia bag stood out and that was the one for me!

To my young self, handbags represented grown up ladies and independence. They were portable spaces holding important things like car keys, front door keys, money, lipstick, gum!

Handbags have been coming my way ever since. I have a collection of antique and vintage bags, many of which I inherited from both of my grandmothers. Starting Christmas Day I will share some of my favorites.

Please tune in starting December 25th for The Twelve Days of Vintage Handbags.

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The classic 2.55 handbag by Chanel.

I inherited my Chanel 2.55 bag from my mother, who herself had been gifted it. Whenever I wear it I’m wearing her history. I know it sounds like an inflated idea, but our attachments to objects and the paths they’ve all taken are real.

Lucy Chadwick, Gallery Director of Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York.

The iconic Chanel 2.55 handbag was named after the date of its creation – February 1955. At the time it had unique features including quilted leather and a chain shoulder strap. Since the original hit the shelves, there have been many interpretations and spins on the original design but like a true classic, it has never gone out of style.

I have a little tan leather clutch bag with a kiss closure that belonged to my mother. I remember it was always kept in her dresser drawer and it didn’t come out to be carried but instead held important little things like her old driver’s licenses. She just recently gave it to me and I have considered using it but, I don’t want to disturb the contents. Now it sits in my dresser drawer.

So, I agree with Ms. Chadwick that objects carry the history of their owners.

Coming up later this week it’s all about handbags on OverDressedforLife. Stay tuned.

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Jay Cheng. Portrait by Franklin Lau

My hats are not for people who have bad hair days. They are for hat lovers who have wit, humor, and joie de vivre.

Jay Cheng, hat designer based in Canada and founder of Jaycow Millinery.

I love this quote! Baseball caps and beanies are for bad hair days, a beautiful hat shows personality.

With decades of experience in fashion design and a milliner since 2004, Ms. Cheng has created hats for runway shows, film, and television as well as custom hats for brides, celebrities, and hat collectors. She owns over 400 vintage hat blocks and approaches her craft with a sense of the unexpected, creating unique hats for special occasions and everyday wear.

How about stepping it up in 2021 with a new hat? Check out Jaycow Millinery.

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