Vintage Vanity
Authored by Gale Galen

Adult RicRac

I've always been a details oriented person, especially when it comes to my much so, as I've gotten older, I've had to keep myself in check to not go overboard on the trimmings attached to the clothes I create as well as those I purchase.  My daughters are the opposite - kinda "no frills" gals. 
One of my most fav trimmings is ric rac or rickrack; I loved it as a kid, a young teenager and beyond - mostly all my life for different occasions...but when I think of adult clothing, I have to step back and really think about where it is most appropriate.  Obviously I'm not the only fashion oriented person thinking about ric rac for adults; I came across these a couple of years ago from Kate Spade: Aren't they beautiful?? I have since been searching for them on ebay - no luck yet! ugh!

I continued my search for grown women wearing any article of clothing with a bit of ric rac trim and came across these pics from Milly and Tory Burch:
I LOVE both looks...BTW, the Milly dress is now in TJMAxx...just sayin'.

This spring season I came across a Vogue pattern (V8805) which featured the color block; I'm all for color block, but I wanted something a bit different, so guess what I did??? I decided on a tone on tone - RED with RED Jumbo Ric Rac - see for yourself:

Very simple silhouette - I think the ric rac does it justice...the ric rac is hand sewn/attached to the seaming in the body of the dress and the neckline (front and back). 

I'm also a madras plaid lover as well, so taking it a step further created a 1960's-ish picnic plaid wrap dress with navy ric rac trim:

So those are my ideas of creativity thus far experimenting with ric rac for the playful adult in me...thoughts?? What do you have planned for ric rac trimming in the adult space??

GaleGalen Vintage is back!!

I've had to take time away and determine "what I want to be when I grow up"...sound familiar? If not, then "lucky" you; however, if you've had a great idea at one point and could not see past the "trees" to build your "forest", then you understand my situation. 

Technology is a wonderful thing and nowadays there's so much of it and many different ways to leverage it for education, business, and a combination of the two.  I love fashion - all fashion and its history, ties to culture, and what comes next - styles come and's culture says there's no right thing or wrong thing to wear - it is what suits the personality of the person in question. I love technology and the bridges it can build, regardless of medium and connects cultures, differentiates subjects and allows for the educated consumer to emerge.

So my epiphany has been to "restart" with renewed vigor an informative blog on fashion through the ages from my perspective given my love for all things fashion related and fully leverage the technology to get it out. I create, so I'll include not only articles that represent my thoughts or activities, but I'll also share projects I've completed, plan to start and those in process. Please tune in!

What are YOU wearing for Valentine's Day?

This is a followup to the previous post on Valentine celebrations.  The cute little cupid had a loving Mother who also happened to be a seamstress....

If I had a little one, this would definitely be on my "to do" list for this week!!

Celebrating Valentine's Day

We're NINE days and counting until one of the most FAVORITE holidays of the year: (ST.) Valentine's Day!!  Have you finished your party or "date night" plans for the BIG DAY??  Sifting through various vintage readings I came across an interesting article from the February 1928 issue of Needlecraft Magazine and I must say it was quite "precious" article written by Anne Pierce during that time period, about celebrating the holiday with "old time doings"...Read on and tell me if these sound interesting enough to become part of your V-Day celebrations....

ST. VALENTINE is coming! What an old fashioned saint he is with his message of true love and romance, his symbols of doves and cupids, love knots of blue and bleeding hearts of red, all set about with paper lace like the nosegays of old.  He really was a martyr and if he could hear some of the modern talk about "love", he might feel martyred again!  It surely will do us no harm to turn back to the old legend and give the children a Valentine Party.  It is a real loss to blot out our traditions.

In the middle of February the old Romans had a festival, and "old Roman" is a phrase meaning a pretty sturdy citizen, not a sentimental weakling.  It was in honor of Pan the God of the Woods and Juno the Queen of Olympus.  Each lad drew from an urn the name of the maiden who was to be his companion n the merrymaking and when the heathen gods gave way to Christianity, folks still loved the old festival so much they coulen't give it up.  "What's in a name", said they, "the joy is the thing".  And so they kept the festival and rechristened it after St. Valentine, whose birthday fell on the same date, and "the girl" was called the valentine of the young man who drew her name.

These old time doings give us a lead for appropriate valentine celebrations.  The color scheme is fixed: rose pink and red, pale blue and white are "en regle" (in order), with white lace paper and gay ribbons, flowers and candle light to give the right setting.  Why not a tall vase gaily bedecked, containing the names (or better still only a description) of the girls or half of the company, written on red heart cards, from which the others draw and so get their partner for the games and supper or dance if such there be?

Tell them the story of St. Valentine and conjure up a picture of the hundreds of years that millions of young folks have been joyously celebrating this festiva., whether Roman or Christian, or under whatever name.

For games, a postoffice and a postman, to distribute valentines -- or a younger child as a cupid in short white tights with his bow and arrows, strings of red hearts about his neck and a basket of candy heart mottoes to distribute to his favorites.  Let each guest bring several valentines and "send" them through Cupid to his favorite friends or mail them in a post box appropriately decorated.  The hostess should provide two or three valentines for each child, or have them in reserve, to be sure that the party is marred by no heartaches.  Colored papers, papers of silver and gold and of lace, paste and scissors and a box or two of the "makings" that come already to be put together, and homemade valentines galore may be turned out in an hour.

A rhyming contest might bring applause.  Two line jingles or four line stanzas that like an acrostic spell "LOVE" or "DOVE" or each line beginning with the initials of "Someone's" name, with a prize to the best poets.  Jack Horner pies appear as big red hearts, with the "plums" within of appropriate favors; tiny old fashioned nosegays in their lace paper collars, for the girls, grouped in the center of the table, surrounded by unshaded pink candles.  They may be set in, one in front of each plate, so as to make a circle of lights half way between the centerpiece and the small guests...

WHOA!! Lovely ideas during the simpler times...the Jack Horner pie sounds delightful!

What They Were Wearing in Spring/Summer 1926

I've always been fascinated with fashion in general - as evidenced by my closet and what's in it...but that's a topic for another time.  In recent years my fascination has been based on what my Mom and my aunts would have been wearing in a given period of time; the wardrobes they would have dreamed of having had they had more means, etc...lived in the cities vs rural areas, etc...Back in those days, whether venturing outside of home or being at home, there were specific clothes for daytime, afternoon, evening, formal, etc. - I think you get my point...basically a lot more thought into the planning of the wardrobe.

So what were they planning during Spring/Summer 1926?? I go to my favorite source to answer this question Fashion Service Magazine...


A wise French woman has said, "There is nothing new except what is forgotten?" 

Time was when ladies were frankly ladies, in the picturesque ruffles, laces, and ribbons of days gone by.  Perhaps it is because we have almost forgotten the charm of those delightful times in the monotonous straight-line, boyish vogue of the last few years that ruffles, shirrings, scallops, and frills of today are hailed as new.  Perhaps - but it doesn't matter.

What does matter exceedingly to lovely women is that here and now there are fabrics from the vapory, filmy sort that every woman covets, to those of sturdy strength, in designs that are new and as lovely as any the world has yet seen; that yard upon yard of fragile lace and exquisite ribbon have been made for her adornment; and that with her own two capable hands she can cut and stitch and fashion these beautiful things into the feminine gowns and wraps that Fashion once more decrees.

The fact that the mode has turned feminine does not mean that things are overdone.  But it does mean that every detail receives due attention.  Fine needlework, itself the most feminine of the arts, comes into prominence in neck and sleeve finishes and other important details.

Neck lines are collared or collarless, the collars narrow and erect, soft and turned down, or widened into capelets.  A new note is the sailor or navy collar.  Lingerie touches are prominent in collars, jabots, and gilets.  Many huge bows are worn on youthful models.  The V-line is perhaps the most favored one.

Sleeves introduce many surprises in their plaitings, balloon puffs, embroidery, novel lingerie details, and general elaboration.  Long sleeves are smartest and very popular.  Some frocks are sleeveless, and others have the comfortable short sleeves that summer invariably brings.

Despite some attempts to bring waist lines to normal locations, favor still inclines to the dropped line, which is emphasized by blousing all arounds, in back, or on the side.  Wide girdles and sashes frequently accompany the blouse.  Narrow belts on jumpers are new and smart.  Two belts on one frock are seen in many instances.  The "page boy" silhouette brings the waist line nearest its normal point by attaching outstanding circular-cut sections, singly or in groups, over the hips.  Other means of suggesting the normal line are the bolero and the chevron, or up-in-front, tendency.

Skirts continue full, but few godets are seen.  Gathers, plaitings, and simple bias cuts that hang in folds and sometimes give uneven hem lines - these are the smart treatments.  Scallops are often seen finishing skirts as well as sleeves, collars, and other details.

The robe de style is enjoying unusual favor in both taffeta and organdie.  Other fabric favorites of the season are the polka-dot prints, flower-strewn chiffons and lace.

Capes cannot be overlooked as features of both coats and dresses.  Moreover, they exist independently in many cases for evening as well as sports wear.  Another wrap that promises to be popular is the sleeveless coat, usually of chiffon for evening.

An ensemble note prevails throughout, due to careful harmonizing of colors and textures.  This is enhanced by the choice of accessories and elaborate jewels that further emphasize the revival of styles from the legend-gone days.

Interesting huh? I read similar thoughts from today's wardrobe choices and thus design decisions...May all your thoughts be vintage this season...Au Revoir!

Accessorizing in Vogue: The Charm of Little Things


Now is the time of the year for all things blooming, as in floral, as in lovely ensembles of color with "to die for" accessorizing! Scarves are in this season; lovely jewelry, handmade, unique and special; whatever style bag you wish to complete that "fab" outfit- IT'S IN!!! I promised musings of the past in this blogcast...and this edition's musing is on the art of accessorizing, as described in the 1925 Spring issue of Fashion Service magazine...The Charm of Little Things...


It is said that thoughtfulness in little things marks the quality of a lady or a gentleman. Surely, one's sense of style and the correct adaptation of the new in accessories are points of consideration if one would appear smart, for the accessory is more quickly evident than the dress itself.

To express smartness, one must study with deliberation the "whimsies" of fashion and be constantly on the alert for the "becoming best."

One may wear a tie bow, but its length, width, and texture Fashion decrees.  And when she orders chiffon, one dare not substitute; only

The quaint youthful type may tie nearly a full width around the neck and fashion it inot a large soft bow in the front.  The ultra smart ties a narrow width on one shoulder and lets the ends fly away as they will.  Or, a graceful bow in less pretentious size may soften a front neck of rather severe style.

Rolled chiffon with large bow and long streamers at the side makes a very new and smart form of neck wear, as do also the new patterned and bordered silks when made in a sectional bertha collar that follows a fashionable neck line.

The jabot tie has come in the springtime, soft, fluffy, and becoming.  Its appearance at this time means that by fall it will be the dominating keynote.  So why wait?  Have it now and gain a little art in wearing it so that as the vogue increases the adaptation will be more perfect.

In choosing your jabot, you may have just what you want or need for your type and your dress, for they are to be had in such alluring variety.  There's the graceful one of the dress material, when this is soft and drapes well, and there's the lace one of similar kind, which may be worn by young and old alike and so often joins with one of the new high collars in smart ensemble.  Or, lace may be pleated and used to edge a band of insertion and back trim a velvet collar band, provided, or course, the lace is dainty and soft.

One may wear a necklace, for necklaces are the vogue, but weight, length, and color must all be right for the mode, if one appears modishly smart, and the necklace must enhance the frock.

In necklaces, pearls, cream and colors, are very much the vogue.  Link neck chains resembling the love-link bracelets also are popular.  But when in doubt, wear pearls.  They are most often safe.

Garish jewelry is being left at home.  Rings with large sets in color are much worn; bracelets are fewer in number but beautifully and artistically designed.

If it is a severe bob you wear, then your neck-line trim must be severe to enhance rather than to subdue.  If your hair is long, a softer neck line will often become its fluffiness.  And you must remember that it is your own fault if your hairdress makes you appear out of fashion.  There are just as many attractive looking, full coiffured heads as there are smartly bobbed ones.  Hair bands and combs for evening wear are to be had for both hair styles.

Dresses are fuller than yesterday, but only at the bottom.  In fact, the waist and hip lines are fitted a little closer, which means that a perfect fitting corset foundation must be worn.  The corselettes are growing more and more popular, as is also the snuggle band, which is a long, close fitting girdle with practically no bones.  Teh tight brassiere is giving way to a bust band in combination with the snuggle band, which need but a perfect fitting slip over them to give an excellent foundation.

Shoes are more voguish, of all colors and textures.  Some are most simple, but many are very elaborate in cut and trimming.

Purses are more precise than ever in size and shape, neat leather and silk ones in envelope style, daintily trimmed, proving most popular.

All in all, daintiness is a factor in expressing the charm of little things this season, stockings being sheer and of many delicate tints and tones, and handkerchiefs being fragile, lacy, and delicate.

Ruffles and lace are fast gaining in popularity.  Skirts are shorter, averaging 12 inches from the floor; sleeves are fuller, even puffed, and some of them have a shoulder piece, called the epaulet shoulder because they resemble in shape the military badge of honor by that same name.

So be alert for that which is lovely, and remember that the daintier you are in your use of the new, the more exquisite and therefore the more fashionable you will be in your interpretation of the the 1925 mode.

Welcome to Vintage Vanity by Galen Galen!!

Welcome to the "Maiden Voyage" issue of Vintage Vanity!, blogged by Gale Galen Vintage. I hope this will prove to be a wonderful experience for all those persons who ABSOLUTELY LOVE VINTAGE!!  I am a vintage addict - cute cashmere from the 50's, the wonderful hats from the 20's. 30's and 40's...I could go on and I'll just leave it at "I AM AN ADDICT"- LOL.

I want to provide you with ...

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