As splendid as it is luxurious, this never-worn and deadstock 1980’s gown by Alyce Designs of Chicago was originally sent to a Saks (as in Saks Fifth Avenue) sample sale. The basic form is a drop-waist formal dress with puffed sleeves, sweetheart neckline, and tea-length hem: quintessential mid-eighties. The real beauty is in the use of fabric: A soft velvet in a burgundy-wine color, expertly gathered down the front, at the drop waist, and best of all, at the sleeves. The visual effect makes a lasting impression, and it likely is compounded when worn and walked in. Click here for more sizing and views!
Be draped in black, voluminous velvet, deep as the darkest nights of winter, and be enveloped in glamour and mystery in this enthralling 1920’s piece with dolman-cut sleeves and golden champagne satin lining. Crafted by Steinberg’s of St. Louis, this reminder of the prosperity of the 1920’s is characteristically generous in cut with big, swooping, graceful lines in the sleeves and the self-fabric tie at the neck. Know what the slinky sirens of the silent Silver Screen felt, skimming through the evening in their bobbed hair, sneaking to the speakeasy or gallavanting in elegance among countless strangers to the strains of jazz music. Louise Brooks would have nothing on you if you made your entrance in this, and Theda Bara might feel upstaged, eclipsed. Eyes would turn. Jaws would drop. And it would all be about you.
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What an interesting piece we have here! Made by Henry Heath for Youmans Hatter of New York, this is a 19th century beaver-hair top hat with its own lined carrying case. The crown of this hat is not as tall or rounded in as some models made famous by Abraham Lincoln or other notorious top hat wearers. It’s a simple style: Moderate height, no band, made of beaver fur, which according to fashion sources was more difficult to get after the 1850’s. The insignia on the inner lining of the hat is very proud: Lion and unicorn motif, with text proclaiming that the haberdashery that sold this hat was established in the reign of King George IV…in the 1820’s! Fashion history sources report that the top hat was the next big headwear craze after the tricorne (think Yankee Doodle), and the style was already very popular at around that time. (If you haven’t read about one of the most famous fashion icon dandies of the late 18th century, it’s worth a minute to do a Google search for Beau Brummel.) All this talk about the hat itself is well and good, but we cannot overlook the carrying case. Meticulously lined in a red and off-white striped cotton, this leather container for the top hat is made to protect the hat by storing it upside-down. At one time, straps helped secure the top to the sides of the hat box, and the whole affair was fastened up with a lock. A lock! These people were serious about their hats. Top hats continue to occupy a spot in our imaginations: Different styles can make a person look rich or respectable or, as they say, mad as a hatter. Which one would you be? Click here for more views and sizing information.
Every decade has its iconic styles, things so unmistakable that they immediately take you back to a moment when you were so taken with that style that you could not imagine a time when you wouldn’t look that way. The seventies gave us a few of these instantly recognizable styles, and this is one of those: The ruffled men’s tuxedo shirt. Men’s fashion is so staid, so stoic, so solid most of the time, that the almost frivolous effect of rows of ruffles is downright poetic. It’s an oasis of fun in an otherwise long stretch of fashion in the previous decades, with limited exception, that said menswear has to be boxy and to the point. This shirt wants you to have fun. Made by L & M Fashions in a cotton blend. Rare, in a blush pink color, with ruffles not only from the pointed collar down the front, but also at the cuffs. For added oomph, the ruffles are edged in black thread. Wear this to a formal. Wear it to a party. Heck, wear it to the office. This is undiluted fun fashion. Click here for more views and sizing information.
Pieces like this don’t often come along. Exquisitely hand-loomed and hand-crocheted in black, this Wellmore sweater may have been a sample piece, thus making it even more unusual. The bodice front is a subtle bateau-neck sweater with full-length sleeves edged in hand-crocheted lace. That’s all well and good, but when you turn the piece around you see the real surprise: The semi-sheer back in a uniform and hand-crocheted mesh of black. It’s understated yet grand, of its time and timeless in the same instant. Garments from this label sold at Neiman Marcus for hundreds of dollars when new. We invite you to see more of this piece for yourself here.
Yes, you read it correctly. These are not brown or made of soft drink ingredients; they are collectible 1960’s Coca Cola cufflinks, still waiting to be worn, in their original cufflink case. There are three large and three small cufflinks in gold-tone metal, for extra shine…and so you always have a spare. Very interesting addition to the collection of the Coca Cola or the cufflink fan! Click here for more views and information.
Made by Moroci of New York, which retailed in Nieman Marcus. This blogger would be lying if she did not mention that she immediately thought of Prince when she laid eyes on this regal purple coat Sure, Prince wore more brocades and ruffles, but it’s all about that color: For centuries, it has been the color of royalty. This particular piece is in a shade of imperial purple, or “the purple in the rainbow”, neither very red or very blue. More interesting still is the fabric. It’s slightly fuzzy. It’s mohair! The trim is a black imitation snakeskin and the coat will hit at least at mid-calf. You can have a real field day building an ensemble around this. As Prince would say, “Go crazy!”
More views and sizing information here.
One look at this dress and you’ll be hearing strains of soft songs by Irving Berlin and Tommy Dorsey. Pairing the gentle sheen of satiny acetate with a voluminous double-net skirt, this formal gown exudes 1940’s charm and beauty. From the center gathers to the sweetheart neckline to the slightly padded shoulders (and we mean slightly, daintily), this piece is already a vision, but wait! There’s more. Adorning the net skirt are several gold sequin butterflies. Like them, you can make the entrance of a lifetime and set tongues a-wagging and hearts a-pounding. Now’s your chance!
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“It’s not easy being green,” sang the frog loved by millions. That may be true, but you can show your love for Jim Henson’s biggest star in a light brown ringer-style women’s tee with accents in golden yellow and warm brown. You’ll be humming “Rainbow Connection” in no time in this unique piece! Click here for more views and details.
Never worn, still in package! Add a shot of fifties flair to your formal wear. Red and black texture print red bow tie with hook closure, made by “Western Dogger”. Sizing and more views available here.