Tuesday, March 3, 2015

༺ Seven Popular Vintage Items I Don’t Own ༻

When you dive into the wide, wonderful world of vintage, it usually isn’t long before certain items start popping up on your radar. For me, when I first started perusing vintage blogs, it was Bakelite. Particularly, Bakelite bangles.

Bright stacks of delicately carved, polished plastic gracefully encircling the wrists of divinely dressed women would parade across my screen and I decided that I simply must acquire my own special supply to nonchalantly dangle on my wrist. Did I achieve that dream?  Well….

Even vintage lovers have those “must have” items that everyone aspires to collect. It might be due to the latest trend to buzz around blogland ~ at the moment I’ve noticed a lot of vintage bloggers really embracing a 1930’s look.  Or it might be that certain piece of clothing that every vintage collector has to have one of ~ a 1940’s suit or a 1950’s circle skirt for instance.

However, in the style of Jessica from Chronically Vintage’s post on Seven vintage garments it might surprise you to learn that I don't own I thought I would put together my own list of vintage items you might be surprised to find out that I don’t own.

~ A Wiggle Dress ~

Vintage I don't own ~ a wiggle dress | Lavender & Twill

The thought of 1950’s fashion seems to evoke two distinct images. One is the full skirted, floaty dresses of cotton print or dreamy lace ~ the other, slender and sleek silhouettes of traditional tweed or elegant satins.

A lot of 1950’s vintage lovers tend to enjoy both styles freely, but I must confess, I’ve never been that attracted to the slim-fit silhouette of the wiggle dress and pencil skirt. So I don’t own any of this basic keystone style for a vintage wardrobe!

~ A Pill Box Hat ~

Vintage I don't own ~ 1950s Pill Box Hat | Lavender & Twill

Another iconic vintage item ~ the pill box hat.  Beloved by many, it comes in all sorts of fabulous shapes and fabrics from leopard to fur to tweed that matches your suit!  Although the pill box hat was really in its heyday toward the end of the 1950’s into the 60’s, you can still find quite a few examples of pill box hat styles in 1940’s millinery as well.

But, well, I don’t own any, nor do I really plan to either.  I much prefer the look of a hat with a brim, or a half-cap.

In saying that, I almost forgot how much I adore cloche hats, so maybe I’m just prejudiced against the pill box hat?

~ A Pair of Vintage Shoes ~

Vintage I don't own ~ vintage shoes | Lavender & Twill

Oh, loveliest of footwear!  I have seen some incredible vintage shoes out there, and some that might even fit my feet {surprisingly enough after three babies I still have quite a small shoe size ~ EUR 38}. While I have often thought I would like own some vintage shoes, in the past I couldn’t afford them, and now I find myself rather reluctant to purchase any, even though I could.

Partially because, though my feet mightn’t be long, they aren’t particularly narrow either. I have heard that vintage shoes tend to be rather on the narrow side because of the foot shapes in the past. However, I haven’t taken that final step mostly because I fear that they will fall to pieces if I wear them!

I’m rather hard on my shoes. You never know when I might suddenly decide to scramble over some rocks or up a tree {dress, or skirt, and all} and though I generally try to restrict such activities to times when I am wearing appropriate footwear/clothing, sometimes you just never know…  ( ~ _ ^)∠☆

~ Vintage Unmentionables ~

Vintage I don't own ~ vintage undergarments | Lavender & Twill

I know that some lovely vintage ladies commit to full vintage, head-to-toe-to-underthings, and I have great respect not only for their style choices, but also for the fact that they are helping to recycle those pieces that would most likely end up as waste otherwise. Honestly though ~ I cannot do it.  The thought of wearing vintage undergarments squicks* me out… 

I probably wouldn’t mind wearing vintage stockings, and maybe a garter belt? But unmentionables?  No thank you, not I!

Note: This doesn’t include slips and petticoats for some reason. I’m perfectly okay with wearing a vintage slip or petticoat under my dress.  

~ Tropical or Nautical Themed Vintage Pieces ~

Vintage I don't own ~ 1940s nautical | Lavender & Twill

Almost every vintage blog I’ve ever read will have either tropical or nautical themed posts pop up at least once or twice.  I don’t know if the same holds true for those vintage collectors that don’t happen to blog {and I am sure there are many of them out there!}, but themed pieces along these lines seem to be quite highly desirable amongst the vintage loving crowd.

I haven’t really had many items in these motifs cross my path however, so I haven’t collected any.  I probably wouldn’t collect tropical items anyhow as bright, cheerful, and busy isn’t my style at all! I wouldn’t, however, be adverse to a bit of smart navy & white nautical in my wardrobe.  I do like those big sailor collars, and I would really like to make a nautical inspired play suit one day!

~ Palazzo Pants ~

Vintage I don't own ~ palazzo pants | Lavender & Twill

Another greatly loved article of clothing that everyone raves about is the palazzo pant. Recently they’ve had a comeback in main stream fashion and I’ve seen a lot of vintage bloggers picking up on that trend.

Personally, I don’t think they are for me.  I don’t really like the super wide pant leg ~ it just seems like all that fabric would get in the way all the time! However, I would be happy to be proven wrong as they do have quite a reputation for being comfortable.  Maybe I should see if I can try a pair out one day?

~ Bakelite Jewellery ~

VIntage I don't own ~ Bakelite | Lavender & Twill

To end this list, and the story I left dangling above, in a word ~ no.  In the four or so years I’ve been wearing vintage I never did start my much-desired collection of Bakelite bangles.  In fact, I don’t even own so much as a single bitty button of Bakelite!

Bakelite seems to be continually rising in popularity as it is highly collectable ~ even outside of the vintage community, and as a result the price is continually rising as well. Not only that, in Australia we have a very limited supply of vintage, and Bakelite is scarce. I see beautiful pieces at vintage fairs going from between $100.00 for a brooch up to $200-$300.00 for bangles!

So maybe one day I’ll  be lucky enough to own a beautiful brooch like the one pictured, or some shiny Bakelite bangles to dance on my wrist, but not just yet!  (✿◠‿◠)

༺ ♡ ༻

Are there any popular vintage items that you don’t own but want to?  How about the items you don’t own and don’t want to?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on popular vintage trends! 



*Yes, “squicks” is a word

༺ ♡ ༻

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  1. I am right there with you on the tropical theme - it's not really for me and I don't really get it, either. But other people seem to love it, so good for them.

    The one vintage thing I'd love but don't have is a hand-operated sewing machine. Even though I strongly suspect it would drive me crazy, I just want one! Mostly because it would mean I could still keep sewing even if the power was out.

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Oh, a hand operated sewing machine sounds fun! I'm really keen on the idea of picking up a vintage Singer machine, though not necessarily in working order. I just think they are sooo pretty! I want one for purely aesthetics. :D

  2. Most of what I own isn't vintage at all, but through my repro pieces I guess I've ticked off the wiggle and the tropical pieces. But then, unusually, I got into this whole world through wiggle shapes and it wasn't until last year I had a single circle skirt!! My feet would be perfect for vintage shoes as they are 38s and as narrow as they come, but I've never found any lovely ones :( CC x

    1. Reproduction is a great way to have the fun of vintage without the downsides {delicate fabric, rotten seams, moth holes ~ etc}! And nice vintage shoes are hard to come by. Maybe one day you'll find a great pair and then I can live vicariously through you wearing them. :D

  3. I don't own any wiggle dresses even though I love that silhouette, I have a few 'barely' vintage (I don't really consider the 80s vintage....I think it's retro) pencil skirts, however I often feel like the length of 50s pencil skirts requires heels. I'm not MUCH of a heels person, I wear them but I usually just wear flats.

    I can totally relate, my feet are a 37.5-38 but they are pretty wide, I have some vintage shoes but I'm often scared to wear them. I think I will have to ease my way into it. I don't want to wreck something thats survived 70/80 years.

    I love bakelite but I don't own any either, It's so expensive and as someone who doesn't really accessorise that much I feel like $200 on a bangle is a bit much.

    It's super interesting to hear about what vintage lovers DON'T have, I think its so easy to assume everyone has large collections of everything and you are the only one without it. Thank you for sharing :)

    Alecia xx

    1. The longer length pencil skirts can be tricky to style, I'm not sure I'd want to pair them with flats either. I don't think I'm tall enough to pull that one off!

      And I totally agree, sometimes it feels like everyone has everything that you don't have ~ so I'm glad you enjoyed this post. :)

  4. I, too, am terribly rough on my shoes and, having rather large feet, can never seem to find a pair of vintage shoes that fit.
    I also have yet to jump on the bakelite bandwagon, and I'm not much for bangles, but should I find a reasonably price bakelite brooch I certainly wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
    Right now, I feel my collection is lacking shirtwaist dresses and circle skirts. Genuine vintage or not, a full skirt seems just right for spring and summer!

    1. Oh, I adore full skirts! They are definitely perfect for spring and summer weather. I have quite a lot of shirtwaist dresses {about 90% of my dress collection} now because they are the most practical for nursing. I still haven't many circle skirt though, and I'm trying to rectify this!

  5. This is such a terrific post, thank you very much for putting your own awesome spin on my own entry on this topic. It's interesting to see that we both included vintage shoes amongst our seven things. I don't any Palazzo pants myself either. Much like culottes, they tend not to flatter my shorter height and curvy shape, so I usually avoid them (this despite that a wide legged 40s style trouser tends to work wonders on me - I guess they're in that sweet spot between tapered and mile-wide).

    Generally speaking, pillbox hats are not all that becoming on me either, but I have warmed to them a bit more in recent years, especially since a dear friend gave me a gorgeous purple one that actually looks quite nice on me.

    While I do have a few Bakelite bangs, one very basic shaped ring, and a dress clip (fab b-day presents from my folks last year - picked out with Tony's help, he knows my vintage tastes so well), I don't have any brooches yet myself either and compared to many, my collection is microscopic. I adore Bakelite through and through, but I appreciate and collect all kinds of vintage plastic jewelry, so I'm not lacking on the bangle (or brooch) front, thankfully.

    It's little talked about, but as you touched on here, there are trends in our vintage fashion realm for sure and its always fascinating to watch them take hold and then see how long - or not - they stick around in any kind of major way. Novelty print skirts, always popular with vintage fashion fans, have really seen a resurgence in recent years, for example, and much like Bakelite, now usually command sky high prices.

    I adored reading this post and learning more about some of the items that aren't in your own closet, dear Bonita. Thank you again for including me in it. I'm touched!

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. That is a really interesting point about the novelty print skirts; I think you are right about how they have found their own trend status. Actually, now that I think about it, I think that brooches are another vintage trend that's growing in popularity.

      I'd love to do a post on this topic ~ it'd be fascinating to discuss how vintage trends develop {although I do think it's probably much the same as how real fashion trends develop, though maybe missing a few steps?} Hmmm. Food for thought at the very least! Thank you for pointing that out Jessica, I almost missed out on it, even though I mentioned it! (> _<)

  6. This is interesting, and you're right that there are definitely fads in the vintage world. I have some bakelite that people have gifted me, but I've hit a bit of a roadblock there, too, due to prices. I love it to death, but the prices! I also like the look of restored bakelite that comes in colors other than the yellow, black, and red most pieces fade to, but I don't have any. I'm looking to try restoring my own sometime!

    I've realized that I own no reproduction clothing that I've bought. I have either vintage or me-made pieces, but no new pieces I've purchased. I think it's partly due to having a hard time finding petite pieces in the repro world and that most repro doesn't cater to a more 30s-40s style, usually just 50s-60s. (Or the companies I've found that do 30s styles have been very expensive!)

    1. I think Brittany of VaVoom Vintage had a really good tutorial on how to restore/clean the patina off Bakelite ~ but I can't find it now! So maybe it was some where else... (-___-")

      Good repro can be really quite pricey no matter which era you come from, so I definitely feel that pain. There are some lovely brands out there that I would love to own, but at the moment it's mostly thrifted or rtw vintage dupe, vintage, or me made in my closet too. :)

  7. It's rather funny Bonita! All of the things that you mentioned, except for the shoes, are things that I don't have in my collection either! :)
    I never cared for Wiggle Dresses for myself, or pillbox hats either. But when it comes to Palazzo pants and undergarments... Well, as for the first, I have made my own :) , and the second, I am still working on making for myself. I just don't like the idea of trying actual vintage lingerie. I would feel like I would tear it up!


    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Hurrah for making your own Palazzo pants! I've seen those in one of your outfit posts and think they look fabulous. You definitely rock the Palazzo pant style. :D

  8. I'm fascinated by the way the vintage blogging world has its own trends that come and go, and I've definitely noticed the 1930s theme at the moment!

    Just as we need to remember that women of all shapes, sizes and ages found a way to wear the fashions of each decade, we also need to remember that most of them didn't wear them all! Some of the styles just aren't great for some body types. I like the idea of palazzo pants, and I might give them a try, but I don't think I'm a wiggle dress kind of gal either. Or a tropical gal either really.

    With so many hat styles to choose from, there's no need to like pillboxes if you aren't drawn to them! But on the other hand it is a style with a lot of variations, so you may one day find one that speaks to you differently!

    1. A really good point Tanith! I think one thing that is helpful to remember also is that the silhouette of fashion changed quite quickly in comparison to our fashions today back then as well. I mean just look at the difference between the 1910s to the 1950s {and even beyond to the 60s/70s/80s/90s}!

      Particularly when compared to the silhouettes today; maybe because there isn't one defined "Look" as women are standing up for individuality {which is awesome}, it also means there are no dramatic style changes any more?? I don't know, something to think about though.

      ... And don't worry, I'll keep an open mind to the pill box. I love hats too much to ignore something cute even if it's a little out of the way of what I normally go for! ; P

  9. Oh my, yes! It might be because I've only been doing this for a couple of years very slowly, but my vintage collection does not include many of the basics that it seems every vintage owner has. It was really refreshing to see your and Jessica's posts about this, makes me feel like, hey, they appear to have the perfect vintage wardrobe when in fact, they don't own the things you would expect. Maybe I appear to have the perfect vintage wardrobe too. :)

    1. It does take a long time to build up a vintage wardrobe, but don't forget to take personal style into account! I don't think I'll ever have the 'perfect' vintage wardrobe because there are things that I don't like that I won't collect. But that's ok, because my wardrobe will be perfect to me! :)

  10. I'm a bit late commenting because I missed this post, but I like seeing these lists. The list that Jessica from Chronically Vintage posted was really interesting to me because it was quite similar to what I would have written, and I'm finding that yours is as well. And your rationale for not having some of these items is so on point - vintage shoes and vintage bakelite are such popular items, but they can both get so expensive! There are so many other things out there that it hardly seems worth it to get so invested in, say, bakelite bangles that you can't afford to get anything else. Of course, that's coming from a non-collector...

    1. Even as a collector I totally agree! There are way to many different vintage items out there to spend so much on collecting Bakelite. While I would still like to own some if the right opportunity ever came my way, I don't think I'll ever start collecting it seriously.



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