Do you have a 1940’s outfit? Are you attending All Balboa Weekend 2013? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, I would encourage you to participate in this year’s 1940’s fashion show at All Balboa Weekend! After the success of the 1930’s fashion show in 2011, Valerie Salstrom & Co. are bringing back the fashion show, highlighting a different swinging decade of fashion.
If you are interesting in appearing in your ensemble or modeling else’s clothing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are wearing your own outfit, please email me a photo of the outfit (or outfits, we’re always up for a wardrobe change), preferably with you wearing it. If you are interested in modeling, please email me with your sizes (bust/waist/hip for women, jacket/waist/inseam for men).
Any ensemble will do – work-wear, military, gowns, nightgowns, swimwear, you name it, we’ll show it. 🙂
File this under unisex: I found a great sailor suit this morning on eBay, advertised as World War II-era, and in a small men’s size with the signature 13 button pants that make everyone (male and female) look like they have an amazing bum. Obviously, this was originally a man’s uniform, but I love that they have a woman modeling it. 🙂 It’s also labeled as being in perfect condition, which is pretty amazing. My only complaint is that it is without rank, but perhaps one could go to your local Army-Navy store or eBay and find some period-appropriate insignia? Still adorable!
It’s been a while since I checked on Heyday!, my favorite UK retailer of heavenly high waisted trousers, but I see that they have been busy. They have expanded their line of women’s and men’s clothing and have some pretty impressive and hard-to-find pieces at not unreasonable prices. Men can pick up some more casual style jackets, like the gab jacket or the Hollywood jacket, or some elegant 1940’s trousers. Women who are looking for separates will find several styles of adorable reproduction blouses, 1940’s style suits, dresses that are great for dances and work, as well as those famous trousers that make everyone’s bum look like a million bucks.
Sweet Lorain (formerly Suite Lorain, now under new ownership) is one of those rare places where there are entire racks devoted to 1930’s and 1940’s clothing, rather than being relegated to a few rare items on the wall or stuck in the middle of a mound of polyester. In fact, Sweet Lorain skirts the issue by focusing exclusively on “Deco to 1960’s.” It’s a huge store, with tons of furniture, housewares, knick-knacks, clothing and accessories, and maybe some random items from a past era you’ve never even thought about. The dresses, evening gowns, coats, and other swing era garments are comparably plentiful and in an array of sizes. There were so many things to see that my partner in crime, Elizabeth Tietgen, and I spent several hours there, long enough for the store owner to offer us each a bottle of water!
We were told that the store had been hoarding swing era items for the ABW participants and people were dropping off things to sell to the ABW’ers the morning of the day we went to Sweet Lorain, namely a pair of 1940’s low heeled sandals that Elizabeth took home and a green 1930’s raincoat that came home with me.
I have heard stories about Sweet Lorain for years from my vintage tailor/couturier, Laura Boyes, who grew up in Cleveland. She and her daughter have had great luck in this store during their visits and Laura has even seen buyers from Anthropologie using their corporate card to purchase items from Sweet Lorain to copy or as inspiration for their designs. Understandably, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this visit to Sweet Lorain and it did not disappoint.
Did I think to take photos of what we bought? No, of course not, but Elizabeth left with a bevy of blue and white items, including a 1950’s sundress, a 1930’s day dress with matching bolero, black 1940’s shoes, tap shoes, and an aqua velvet 1930’s gown, and I left with a gray 1920’s dress, a seersucker romper of unknown decade, the 1930’s raincoat, a tie for the Boy, and a Bakelite bangle. Quite possibly the best trip to a vintage store EVER. Did I mention the prices here are amazing? This store will be a must-do for all subsequent ABWs.
Here are some of the other goodies I found at Sweet Lorain (I apologize for posting photos from my phone, I forgot my real camera):
ATTENTION: This post formerly advertised a sale where if you wear it out of the store, it’s yours for free. I went to Beggars and Choosers today and they were very embarrassed that their printer and local media had mis-advertised the sale – the free sale was only for Thursday and only for clearance items from the basement. So sorry for the confusion! That said, there were still tons of great vintage items on sale for 50% off – my friend George Knott left with a $7 sportcoat and I left with a $15 1930’s hat.
Here are the contents of the old post:
File this under local news for Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill: Beggars and Choosers in Pittsboro, NC is having a sale this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where if you find an outfit at the store and wear it out of the store, you get the outfit for free! This is the only vintage store conceivably near the Triangle that has actual swing era vintage clothing and a great section of menswear as well – definitely worth the trip to come get a free outfit!
I am very impressed with the selection of clothing that eBay seller Emerald City Vintage has posted, for both men and women. If Emerald City is from Seattle, then it comes as no surprise to me that this seller has excellent threads, as my own excursion to Seattle last year yielded three critical wardrobe items.
The selection is primarily 1930’s through 1950’s clothing and the starting prices are generally around $20.00. Some of the items for sale are buy it now – whether or not some of these items are reasonable is open to interpretation, but some of the buy it now items are what you would pay in a decent vintage store and others are a bit pricier.
Randomly, there are also several dirndls in the store, if you are looking for something befitting Oktoberfest.
Overall, this is a very focused selection of garments for swing era ladies and gents, with lots of great basics for both men and women. Here are my favorites from this week’s selections (but I would encourage you to browse the eBay store, as there are lots of different sizes available in similar items, such as pants):
Why should we look like we are in a war? We should look FABULOUS in our army green!
There’s something about the way the Italians make things that is always in keeping with good aesthetics (for those who know me, a certain green scooter exemplifies this aesthetic), so it stands to reason that the Italian Army during World War II would be outfitted superbly. In my eBay searches I ran across this dinner/smoking jacket belonging to an officer in the Italian Army – note the juxtaposition between the cut of the jacket and the shawl collar, which exemplify the elegance of a fine dinner jacket, with the army green so prevalent in military uniforms.
Someone in charge of uniforms must have thought about this question: “What does an Italian Army officer need?”
Gas mask? Check.
Durable pants? Check.
Dinner jacket? Double check.
I am amused. Things like this make me love Italy even more.
It looks like the jacket may be a size 40, based on the measurements given. I think the great thing about this jacket, aside from juxtapositions, is that it comes in a wearable size and could be paired with something casual or dressy. I’d love for someone to pick up this jacket and then see what they pair the jacket with to go out dancing. 🙂
(WordPress is being uncooperative with my photos and I don’t have time to figure out the problem right now, but I wanted to get this post up in case any locals wanted to go check out the shop, as they are only open this weekend! I’ll work on the pics soon…)
Yesterday was actually the first time I had been to Beggars and Choosers in Pittsboro, NC, even though I have been to Pittsboro many times. People have been telling me to go for years and I can see why – this shop is full of thoughtful and adorable pieces of furniture, antiques, knick-knacks, a second floor full of vintage clothes and accessories at reasonable prices, and a basement full of furniture and clothes at thrift shop prices.
The shop is only open for this coming weekend, after being closed for some time following a robbery at the store. To kick off the store’s limited weekend opening, Beggars and Choosers had a “preview” night on Thursday, April 29 and for $10 admission you get first dibs on the store’s new inventory, hors d’ouvres, and live music while you shop. The store’s owner, Pam Smith, was a delight and danced around the store, meeting and greeting people, new friends and old friends, with a warm welcome.
I hope that Beggars and Choosers will remain open, if not with regular business hours, with these sort of limited open weekends, because there were some really great swing era items and a lovely selection of vintage faux pearl jewelry. My friend Natasha El-Sergany came along and picked up a pearl necklace for her wedding. Notable items included a great selection of men’s footwear, lots of dead stock items for men and women, a pair of black spats, a 1930’s embroidered debutante/wedding gown with matching embroidered shoes, tons of sundresses from the 1950’s through the 1970’s, tons of men’s and women’s hats, at least 6 pairs of 1940’s heels that make me wish my foot was AAAA width, Art Deco era Bulova watches, a wonderful straw cloche, bakelite bangles, lots of pearl jewelry, a lovely brown evening gown that was promptly snatched from the display, some sassy 1940’s dresses with peplums and draping, and the biggest collection of 1950’s rooster ties I’ve ever seen.
If you are local to NC, the store will be open Friday and Saturday (April 30 and May 1) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, May 2 from 1 to 5 p.m. It’s worth the trip!