Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vintage Dresses and Suits - New This Week at Couture Allure

New this week at Couture Allure - lots of shimmering vintage gold.

We love this vintage 60's cocktail dress with matching coat in gold brocade - and it's a generous larger size!
Another 1960's dazzler, this time in a new, old stock silk suit with genuine mink fur cuffs.

Shimmering silver silk satin jacquard is fashioned into a late 1940's dinner suit with ruffles at the hip.

The perfect early 1960's prom dress in gold brocade and silk organza.

Calling Petula Clark! I found your 1960's cocktail dress in cream crepe with babydoll lace tent overlay!

Hand-corded lace and silk tulle are lined in rose pink taffeta in this elaborate 1950's evening dress that would also work for a wedding.

And don't forget our Steal of a Deal sale starts tomorrow!

Vintage Roadshow - Links of the Week

Couture Allure shows how to stretch your wardrobe with a vintage sheath dress.

Debutante Clothing introduces Vintage Style Muse Helsinki Pinup, Freelancer's Fashionblog.

Glamoursplash has a customer win a prize in a vintage beach bathing beauty contest.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid talks about the history of rompers & playsuits.

Kitsch-Slapped shares vintage party games.

The Bobbypin Blog shows us how to get a fingerwave look like Keira Knightley.

Things Your Grandmother Knew has tips on darning stockings.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - 1975 Leonard Signature Print

Another Leonard, Paris signature print set with elephant bell pants, a bikini top and a head scarf. This ad for Bergdorf Goodman is from 1975.

Couture Allure Steal of a Deal Sale - Let's Have Some Fun!

Announcing our semi-annual Steal of a Deal June Sale! We had so much fun in January, we're doing it again!

Each day during the month of June, I'll be taking 50% off the price of one item on my website. I'll announce the item every morning here on my blog at about 8AM Eastern. The 50% markdown will be effective from 8AM - 8PM Eastern time, and there will be a new item announced every day until July 1.

This will be a first come-first served sale, and at 8PM Eastern each day, if the item hasn't sold, it will return to full price.

In addition, there will be a few random "Super-Steals" with items marked at 75% off their original prices. Wow! How can you go wrong?

Will the items shown here go on sale? Maybe.....

....but you'll have to check here on my blog every morning to find out!

You can subscribe to an RSS feed of my blog or follow it in Bloglovin'. Or just bookmark it at

Don't miss this fun sale! We'll see you every day in June!

Friday, May 29, 2009

1970s Elephant Bell Pants

File this under "Did We Really Wear Those?". Yes, yes we did. Super wide pants that we called elephant bell bottoms. I wore mine with 3" high platform shoes with cork wedges. I had to be careful not to trip over the hem of those pants, though. They were dangerous!

Shown above, the grown-up version from 1975: Midriff top and white pants, both in silk jersey by Leonard.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sheila Lynn Dresses

Sheila Lynn Dresses, Inc. was a dress manufacturer and wholesaler on 7th Avenue in New York owned by Arthur Cole. Started as early as 1932 and a member of the Fashion Originator's Guild, many well known designers began their careers at Sheila Lynn, including Anne Fogarty, Richard Cole, and Matty Talmack. Sheila Lynn Dresses went out of business sometime in the late 1950's.

Shown above, a Sheila Lynn ad from 1949 with two rayon dresses selling for between $30-$35 (about $275-$321 in today's dollar).

Saks Fifth Avenue offered this dinner dress with jacket by Sheila Lynn as an SFA exclusive. The strapless taffeta dress came with a matching jacket. "Jacket on at the resaurant table; nude shoulders when the music begins." Sold for $39.95 in 1949 (about $367 in today's dollar).

Another dress with matching jacket in rayon faille from 1949 in pink, cocoa, or navy. Sold for $35 in 1949 (about $321 in today's dollar).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vintage Swimsuits 1954

There were some incredibly sexy swimsuit options in 1954! All photos were taken by Lillian Bassman in Barbados for Vogue.

claire mccardell swimsuit, 1954This has got to be one of my favorite suits I've featured all year. Claire McCardell fashions a Sag-No-Mor Vicara and wool jersey into a sleek black one piece suit with a hood that drops down to form a loose cowl neckline. Sold in 1954 for $25.00 (about $203.00 in today's dollar).

A one-shoulder bias-cut suit in black pique has bloomer pants. By Brigance of Sportsmaker. Sold in 1954 for $25.00 (about $203.00 in today's dollar).

Catalina fashions black taffeta into a strapless suit with ruffles. Completely boned for support. Sold in 1954 for $18.00 (about $146.00 in today's dollar).

Navy and white stripes in a Dacron and Lastex strapless maillot by Roxanne. Sold in 1954 for $30.00 (about $244.00 in today's dollar).

More stripes, this time by Caltex in blue and white elasticized nylon boucle. Sold in 1954 for $19.00 (about $154.00 in today's dollar).

A strapless maillot with crumb-catcher bust and puffed pants by Lee Beachwear in black faille woven with Lastex. Boned for support. Sold in 1954 for $13.00 (about $106.00 in today's dollar).

Sacony molds blue and white plaid to the body and belts it in blue. Nylon, acetate, and lastex blend. Sold in 1954 for $18.00 (about $146.00 in today's dollar).

Which one is your favorite???

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From Suit to Sundress

From 1949 comes this dress with matching jacket to take you from day to date, or from suit to sundress in a jiffy. The jacket has a peplum with the same curving lines as the dress bodice. If you click to enlarge the photo, you'll see that the bust-to-waist darts on the dress angle to a point at the center of the waist to enhance the slimming lines. The triple shoulder straps add an additional detail. Why don't they make them like this anymore?????? From Doris Dodson Juniors, the set sold for $23.00 (about $211.00 in today's dollar).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mainbocher and the WWII Navy WAVES Uniform

It's Memorial Day here in the US, a day when we remember our women and men who have died in military service.

Did you know that the uniforms for the Navy WAVES were designed by Mainbocher? The first uniforms for the armed services designed by a well-known designer, they received much media coverage. The dress blue and white uniforms consisted of a tailored jacket and a six-gore skirt.

Mainbocher's design was distinctive with it's use of a rounded collar layered over a pointed lapel.

The side-brimmed hat came with interchangeable white or navy covers.

A navy overcoat was also part of the uniform.

Mainbocher also designed the WAVES summer working uniform of a grey seersucker dress with matching jacket, which had the same distinctive collar design.

Ads featuring women in uniform were prominent during the war years. This ad for Celenese Fabrics features a Navy nurse in a uniform made from one of their new synthetic fabrics which was designed for war use, but could be purchased for home sewing.

This ad for Mary Sachs, a store in Harrisburg, PA, offers "Service for Women who Serve". The store offered custom fitting and tailoring of uniforms and also sold WAVES, WACS, and Army Nurse uniforms by mail order.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vintage Evening Gowns - New This Week at Couture Allure

New this week at Couture Allure - vintage evening gowns for all your formal needs!

This 1960's evening gown is completely covered in beads and sequins in pale aqua and iridescent white. From Miss Stella at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel - a posh address indeed!

This late 1930's garden party dress is fashioned from silk in a vibrant blue and pink floral print.

This 1940's evening gown with it's matching bolero jacket of rust rayon crepe is adorned with light blue silk satin and elaborate gold bullion embroidery.

Designer Luis Estevez goes wild in this early 1970's maxi dress of silk in a yellow, black, and white graphic print.

And designer Pauline Trigere goes wild in this vintage 1990's evening gown of green plaid cotton voile adorned with smoky crystal rhinestones in three sizes from small to giant.

I really need to take better pictures of this beauty. This early 1960's gold brocade gown has a tulle mermaid hem for your inner diva!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - 1967 Balenciaga Evening Cape

balenciaga cabbage cape, 19671967 - Balenciaga's black silk gazar "cabbage" evening cape. Photo by Irving Penn.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stretch Your Wardrobe with a Vintage Sheath Dress

A sheath dress has a figure-hugging silhouette with a well-defined waist. Every woman should own at least one sheath in a solid colored neutral as a wardrobe basic. Such a dress becomes a building block for countless looks when combined with fun accessories. Of course, I advocate shopping for a vintage sheath, as you'll get much higher quality for your dollar. A sheath is a classic look that will never go out of style and looks just a current today as it did 40 or 50 years ago. One of the best things about a neutral sheath? It forms a backdrop, so you notice the woman, not the clothes.

Looks like Jackie Kennedy, doesn't it? This ad, from 1960, actually predates her reign as first lady. This basic belted sheath by Couture International has patch pockets at the hips. Worn with Ben Hur sunglasses and a Jana leather bag. From 1960.

Basic black sheaths trimmed with white in two ways. Button trimmed sheath by Deb-Time worn with shoes by DeLiso Debs. Jewel-necked sheath by Sue Brett worn with Delman shoes and big daisy earrings. Both from 1960.

When looking for a high quality sheath, check out vintage suits, which often consist of a sheath dress with matching jacket. The jacket will add more versatility to your wardrobe, too! Shown, wool suit by Robert Leonard from 1963.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Peggy Thayer - A Magician with Cotton

peggy thayer for jamison classics, 1949Joseph Sussman began his career working in retail selling women's skirts. Various moves through the fashion industry eventually led him to start his company, Jamison Classics, sometime in the 1930s. Originally a cotton blouse manufacturer, Jamison Classics became well known for the classic style which combined a blouse and skirt in one garment - the shirtwaist dress.

In the early 40's, Sussman hired Peggy Thayer. She started as a model for the company, but Sussman soon recognized her design abilities when she began making suggestions about changes to designs to make the garments more feminine. Peggy Thayer was eventually made the designer for Jamison Classics about 1945. Working mostly in cotton, she was often mentioned with such designers as Claire McCardell, Mildred Orrick, Joset Walker, and Carolyn Schnurer.

Shown above, a Jamison Classics dress by Peggy Thayer from 1949. Offered in red, grey, or green cotton with silver stripes, it was sold in Saks Fifth Avenue's Designer Sportswear department for $29.95 (about $275.00 in today's dollar). If you look closely, the basic style of this dress is a shirtwaist, with a button-front bodice. But Thayer takes the dress to a new level by adding a draped swag at the hips.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Vintage Swimsuits 1960

It's swimsuit Wednesday once again. These ads all appeared in May 1960. There's lots of body hugging knits with molded cups. Enjoy!

Jantzen "Fabulastic" suit with molded cups and a single shoulder strap. Va va voom! Sold for $20.00 (about $148.00 in today's dollar).

Rose Marie Reid elasticized knit suit with an inner "Circolair" swim-bra which allows the deeply cut back. Sold for $22.95 (about $170.00 in today's dollar).

B. Altman offered this black and white stripe maillot made from nylon and rubber Lastex knit in their Vacation Shop. Sold for $22.95 (about $170.00 in today's dollar).

"Just wear a smile and a Jantzen". Pink maillot with a fringed collar and French bra cups. Sold for $25.00 (about $184.00 in today's dollar).

Catalina takes a blue cotton Tiki print and criss-crosses the bustline, goddess drapes the front. Sold for $12.95 (about $96.00 in today's dollar).

Catalina again, this time in solid red Orlon acrylic, nylon, and rubber knit with molded cups and a white plastic buckle at the bust. Sold for $19.95 (about $148.00 in today's dollar).

Ribbed knit maillot elasticized throughout with inner figure control by Robby Len. Sold at Bonwit Teller for $16.00 (about $118.00 in today's dollar).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1957 Cutex Lipstick Ad

I don't normally talk about vintage makeup, and I'm not going to today,but this ad stopped me in my tracks this morning. At a quick glance, it's a sweet ad for Cutex lipstick. I guess he'll love you for wearing this non-smearing lipstick in bright red to match your sweater and nails. Yep.

But wait! See that box that says, "Oooh, Look..."? Oh my, it's enough to make a vintage lovin' gal swoon with envy. Look!

In 1957, you could purchase this Cutex Lipstick Charm Bracelet for $1.75. It has four tiny real working lipsticks in different colors, along with a cute telephone charm. I have never seen a charm bracelet like this.......and I want one!!!!!!!!! I'm adding this to my list of things to be on the lookout for. I realize that 52 years later, the little lipsticks will be dried up and unusable, but that's not the point. Look how cute it is!

Have you ever seen one of these? Can you help me find it? Pretty please with sugar, whipped cream, and a cherry on top?????