Monday, April 13, 2009

Vintage Versatility

Last weekend I cleaned out my closet. I got rid of several things that were past their prime, made note of holes in my wardrobe, and put together a list of things I need. I spent the entire day Friday at the mall searching for those few items. What a disheartening experience - especially after spending my days immersed in vintage fashion magazines. Fabrics that make you go, "ewwww". Colors that are jarring to the nerves. Shoddy workmanship galore. And prices I'm unwilling to pay for all the above. Give me vintage any day.

Whatever happened to easy shopping? Whatever happened to co-ordinates that you can mix and match to form a capsule wardrobe? Why do I have to go downstairs to buy a dress, but then wander all over the 2nd floor trying to find a cute cardigan to wear with it? Why can't this season's colors work with last season's? Is it too much to ask that said cardigan also work with a skirt and top already in my closet?

Needless to say, I ended up tired and cranky, and a few of the items I purchased in desperation will have to go back. I dread returning to that hellhole mall.

Here is what delights me this morning, both from the summer of 1954.

Toni Owens cotton separates in a dalmation print. You could buy the shirt, shorts, skirt, and sash belt, then mix-and-match to your heart's content. Going out for the entire day? Wear the blouse and shorts and carry the skirt in your tote bag. When you're ready for cocktails or dinner, slip the skirt on and you're all set!

In a similar concept, Bonwit Teller offered this cotton swimsuit with a matching skirt. Wear the swimsuit to the beach in the morning, slip on the skirt for lunch on the patio. Rinse out the suit, then take an afternoon siesta. When you're ready for cocktails or dinner, slip the swimsuit and skirt back on, add a touch of jewelry and you're set to go! If the moonlight beckons you for a midnight swim, slip off the skirt and jewelry. What could be easier?