Thursday, October 16, 2014

Buy It Big

This post is more about individual style, however if you love the drape and flow of ladies pants worn in the 20s, 30s and 40s, this could be about faking vintage

…oh yes I do that…

 (The women who buy plus size clothing are going to be very mad at me right now).

Just sayin’….

I’m always raiding the plus size racks when I shop for myself  --myself is a size 6--always in thrift shops.  I seldom shop retail.   It’s all about the fabric.  This only works if the fabric is soft and drapey,  nice and flowy.  (I think I just made up two new words).

A pair of nice drapey pants in a good drapey fabric, in a big size, can sit so well on the body when you tunnel-in some elastic, so they fit at the waist.  The end result is wide leg, palazzo type pants that are comfy and yet still look pretty good….OK, VERY good (but only if it’s your style).

How to tunnel-in elastic:
You would need some elastic in the right width.  Then you look at the inside of the waistband on the pants and cut a slot big enough to put the elastic through.  Find the biggest safety pin you can and attach the pin to the elastic and poke it into the slot you made and then you push it through, inch by inch until it comes out the other end.  Then you sew it together and sew up the slot  (or, if you are lazy like me, you can knot it).  Just make sure that the “waistband tunnel” goes all the way around, so you don’t bump into a seam before you get to the other side!

Pictured below is a pair of flannel pajama pants (in leopard----hey, I’m from New Jersey) that were given this treatment:

See what I mean? 
I have tons of summer floral pants in the right fabrics that got this treatment too.  They look good with tight tops and with loose flowing tops.  (especially on women of a certain age….).
Speaking of loose tops, this is also a style to consider.  Drape-y knits in 2x or 3x sit so well on the body and hang low, so you can wear them with skinny pants as shown here:
This also comes in handy if you like to cover your butt.
I have spoken to so many women that say they prefer tops that cover the derriere and this is a good solution.

THEN there’s the huge sweater effect.  Below is one of my favorite sweaters.  It’s from the 80s, a cotton/ramie knit.   It’s full of holes and imperfections but I wear it all the time and I just love the rattiness of it. 
It’s HUGE!
…and comfy
…and drapey

Of course, I wouldn’t wear it out to dinner.

Here  it’s shown with skinny pants:
Lastly, we have the effect of both the flowing pants WITH the long full top.

Which is also a good look for women of a certain age…..

Remember what I talked about in my post about fedoras?
THIS is a good time to take out and wear one!:

A word of caution:
Be careful of this look if you are 5’ 3” and under .  However if you are vertically challenged, it would work better if the top is open, like a flowing jacket or cardigan with a tighter top like a tank underneath. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vintage Fashion Trademarks

This is about trademarks on labels in vintage fashion.
Anyone who loves vintage and wants ONLY true vintage should be familiar with trademarks on labels.

I am amazed at what sellers of vintage sell AS vintage but they are so WRONG about their dating.  (I could go on and on about the 80’s and how so many eras were reproduced back then and someday I will).

It should be a “given” that sellers know all about what they are selling, but too many of them don’t .  Here’s how you can be smarter than the seller.

Be a Vintage Fashion Detective.

The best site for trademarks is called (link below).
The only thing is, you have to know how to use it.

First does the item listing SHOW the label?  It’s not enough to mention them.  They must be shown!  Many companies use several different logos during their history of production.  Some use only one and then go out of business.   So you need to see the label to know if and when it was registered.

If it has an “R” or a “TM” next to the logo, you know it has been officially trademarked or registered for a trademark.

So go to

Then put in the name exactly as it appears on the label.  It’s picky, so if it doesn’t come up the first time, you may have to enter it in different ways (like adding all the dots and dashes if they exist on the logo, but it’s not case-sensitive)

NOTE:  if there is no TM or R by the name, the label could be from before it was trademarked or registered, or was never TM’d or registered at all.  Sometimes you will be sent straight to a page where it tells you how to get a trademark for whatever item you are searching.

That means it's time to give it up and find another way to date your item…..
Sometimes, certain names are used over and over so there may be 40 pages or more of that name, but in different logos and fonts.  Be patient, look through all of them until you find a matching logo.  Sometimes they don’t have photos of some logos , but it will tell you what the company sells. 

Like, if you looking for women’s clothing, you can skip the sellers of baked goods or automobile parts….

When you find it, click on the logo (or lack of one) then scroll down.  It will tell you when this logo was first used, but not official yet.  A lot of companies use logos that are not officially trademarked until they apply for it.

This is very important because the date it was first used (no officially registered trademark) doesn’t mean the item is that old!  As a fellow member of the Vintage Fashion Guild once stated, “Beware of the common mistake of confusing “oldest it can be” with actual age.”

So then scroll back up and check the filing date and most important, the registration date.  On top of the page you will see if it was renewed or cancelled.  If it was cancelled, you would know that the item can be no newer than the cancellation date.

OK.  This was informative but not as entertaining as I would like it to be.  So for once "school is in".

All this can be time-consuming but many find this research is big fun.  It pays to be knowledgeable about what you are buying.  Imagine going to a yard sale or an estate sale and when the seller tries to tell you that the dress is from the 1940s, you can throw it back at them and tell them you know better because:
There are lots of other ways to tell the age!

What are the shoulder pads like?
Are they triangles?  40s to 50s
Are they shaped like a half of a pie and really thick?  80s
Are they flat triangles with a rounded edge?  70s.
Shoulder pads were not in style through the 60s.

Metal zipper on the side?  30s 40s to early 50s
Metal zipper in the back?  Mid 50s to mid 60s
Acrylic or nylon zippers?  Mid 60s to present
“Invisible” zippers?  70s to present

So there you go.  You are on your way to being a Vintage Fashion Detective of the highest order!