What I Wore on Wednesday -- October 22, 2014

by mary October 22, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage Outfit is another of my favorite dresses from the 1940s.  This one is a novelty print of multi-colored airplanes. 

I especially love all the little loops of material around the neckline, sleeves & hem! 

According to the Fashion Guild, novelty, or conversational, prints feature motifs that are neither abstract or simple florals.  Frequently, they feature themes such as places, activities or holidays.  They range from very simple to complex, from black & white to multi-colored, & from serious to whimsical.

With this dress, I wore an airplane-themed charm bracelet I made recently, using Cracker Jack, gumball & vending machine charms from the 40s through 60s.  I love the little Belgium Airlines & suitcase charms, & the way the airplane colors on the charm bracelet match those on the dress.

I also wore a pair of airplane-themed earrings that I'd also made recently.  These are also made with Cracker Jack, gumball & vending machine charms from the 40s through 60s. 

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com. 

And, as always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday - October 15, 2015

by mary October 16, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is one of my favorite pieces from the 1940's -- in fact, it may be one of my favorite dresses period -- this amazing rayon Jean Lang original dress with matching jacket in black, cream & copper print!  I especially love the print on this dress, the black collar & cuffs & sash, and the asymmetrical pocket outlined in black!  This dress is not only gorgeous, but it feels absolutely wonderful on!

This first picture is with the jacket on . . .

While this next picture is "sans jacket" . . .

As mentioned previously, fashion in the 1940's was influenced heavily by the war.  Iconic features included the padded shoulders & the side zipper.  This outfit even has padded shoulders both in the dress & in the jacket!

With this dress I decided to wear a black & silver necklace that I made not too long ago.  I loved the pendant in this necklace from the moment I saw it -- especially because it has marcasite (one of my favorite stones) all around the main stone.  I used pieces of several vintage rosary chains, as well as crystal & silver-tone beads, filigree & charms to make an asymmetrical necklace that complements the pendant.  Several of the other pieces in this necklace include marcasite, in addition to the main pendant!

I also wore this pair of chain-mail earrings with black tear-drop beads.  The use of chain-mail in jewelry dates back at least 3000 years to Japan!

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

And, as always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore On Wednesday - October 8, 2014

by mary October 8, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is a fabulous deep blue dress from the 1940's with a lovely neckline & 4 rows of pink-purple zig-zag ribbon trim all across the skirt.  The original belt was missing, but I found the belt I'm wearing at the shop several months after I got the dress -- I'm guessing it's from the 1980's but that's ok as it matches the ribbon trim perfectly!  One of my favorite things about this dress is that it reminds me very much of a dress my mother wore when I was little.

Fashion in the early 40's was influenced heavily by World War II, both out of necessity & also respect for the war effort.  Some materials, for example, were rationed.  Iconic features of the 1940's included padded shoulders & side zippers (although the zipper was first introduced in clothing in the 1930's, it wasn't until the 1940's that it was commonly used in women's clothing.)  In 1947, Chrisian Dior introduced the "New Look" with the emphasis on rounded shoulders, narrow waistline & fuller skirts, such as the one on this dress.

With this dress, I decided to wear one of the necklaces I made recently -- it features a pendant with lavender & blue crystal beads & rhinestones that came in a lot of "for repair" vintage jewelry that I picked up at a flea market.  For the chain, I used blue blue crystal beads from another "for repair" necklace, as well as amethyst gemstone beads.

I also wore one of my French-themed charm bracelets -- this one features th eSacre-Coeur Basilica, a fleur de lis, a French coin, grapes, a French poodle & a religious medal of St. Therese of Liseux.  I used purple beads to complement the purple grapes.

And for earrings, I wore a pair I made with amethyst & tiger eye gemstones -- I especially like the shape of the tiger eyes on these earrings!

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

And, as always, thanks for reading and for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday - October 1, 2014

by mary October 1, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet outfit is a fabulous black dress with a novelty pattern of red, butterscotch yellow & off-white flowers from the 1930's -- another of my favorite decades!  My favorite things about this dress are the lace collar studded with rhinestones, the butterfly sleeves & the peplum!

During the 1930s, fashion saw longer skirts & the return of the natural waistline.  One of the most characteristic fashion trends in the US was attention at the arm, including introduction of the butterfly or full sleeves. 

The peplum -- or overskirt -- originated in the 1800s during the Victorian Era.  It resurfaced in the 1930s & 1940s as a staple of fashion & lasted into the 1950s, after which it disappeared from the fashion scene.  It resurfaced again "with a vengeance" along with shoulder pads in the 1980's.  And, you can see it again in today's fashions.  Peplums are said to be universally flattering, whether your body type is athletic, curvy or thin.

With this amazing dress, I decided to wear a pair of earrings I made recently out of red & butterscotch vintage bakelite beads I picked up at an antique shop! 

And I wore a charm bracelet made from early plastic charms (including some bakelite) & beads that I just finished yesterday!  I picked up the cream colored circular bead at my favorite bead shop in Sturgeon Bay, WI this summer -- it's the shop that carries NOS (new old stock) beads from the 1940's to the 1970's. 

I like the way reds & butterscotch yellows of the vintage plastic in both the earrings & the beads complement the colors in the dress.

To see more vintage clothing from Dorothea's Closet, visit the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosevintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses.

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What I Wore on Wednesday - September 24, 2014

by mary September 24, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is one of my favoriate 1940's dresses -- a really lovely black Eisenberg & Sons dress with the classic padded shoulders & yellow beaded butterflies scattered across the front & sleeves! 

Although Eisenberg is most often associated with fine rhinestone jewelry, Eisenberg & Sons, Inc. was originally formed in 1914 as a perfume & clothing company for women.  Eisenberg stopped making clothing in 1958, while they continue to make jewelry even today.

I don't have a lot of yellow jewelry, so wasn't sure at first what I could wear with this dress.  Then Iremembered that I had a charm bracelet that included vintage yellow buttons! 

It features yellow & blue "pinwheel" buttons that I picked up at a garage sale & flea market, as well as several charms that I thought fit with the idea of sewing -- including a little scissors, thimble & iron! 

I saw that I still had 2 of the yellow pinwheel buttons left, sw made this pair of yellow pinwheel button earrings to go with the bracelet!

I used silver beads to complement the silver charms in the bracelet.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday - September 17, 2014

by mary September 17, 2014

In recognition of Art Meets Fashion Week at the Des Moines Art Center, today's Dorothea's Closet outfit is a really cool Diane Von Furstenberg dress from the 1970's that I picked up at the shop several years ago!  I just love the black & white "jigsaw puzzle" pattern on this dress!

Diane Von Furstenberg, formerly Princess Diane of Furstenberg (born 12-31-46) is a Belgian born American fashion designer, who began designing women's clothes in 1970.  After moving to New York, she met Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, who declared her fashions "absolutely smashing".  In 1976, she was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine, & the accompanying article called her "the most remarkable woman since Coco Chanel".  And more recently, in 2005, the Council of Fashion Designers in America awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

With today's outfit, I decided to wear one of my dice charm bracelets with black & red crystal beads & a silver good luck Cracker Jack/gumball charm.

I also chose to wear one of my recently made pair of earrings -- made from parts of fish lures that I picked up at a garage sale & at a couple of antique shops during my travels to Wisconsin this summer.  I really like the way the bits of metal, red beads & other odds & ends catch the light & interact!

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com. 

As always, thanks for reading and for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday -- September 10, 2014

by mary September 10, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet outfit is a black & white polka-dot dress from the 1980's that I picked up at the shop a month or so ago.  The 1980's is normally not one of my favorite decades for fashion, but I do like some of the "80s does 40s" dresses like this one.  And, of course, who can resist polka-dots!

This dress represents one of the fashion styles that re-emerged in the 1980's -- the use of shoulder pads in what became known as "power dresses".  These dresses provided women with a more masculine shape & were often adopted by women seeking success in the corporate world.  They were popularized in TV shows like Dynasty & Dallas & became an icon of women's attempt to break the "glass ceiling" in business.  At times, women even layered multiple shoulder pads to produce bigger & bigger shoulders!

To complement the black & white polka-dot pattern in this dress, I wore one of my dice bracelets made with black beads & white dice with black pips & a Cracker Jack/gumball good luck charm. 

Dice have been around a really long time & have been used since before recorded history.  I really like using vintage dice, especially these smaller size ones, in charm bracelets.  I also like to use Cracker Jack/gumball charms from the 1940s through 1960s.

And, for earrings, I added black & silver earrings I made out of snaps that I got in a box of old buttons. 

Modern snaps were created in the late 1800s, & were patented by a German inventor in 1885 & by an American inventor in 1886.  The black snaps in these earrings came on their original card & were made by the Prims company out of Dayville, Connecticut -- probably in the 1950's.  The large silver snaps also came on their original card & were made by the Majesty company out of Chicago, Illinois -- they have a 1948 patent.  Older snaps like these have an "S" pattern on the top part of the snap.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet vintage clothing, visit the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading and for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday -- September 3, 2014

by mary September 3, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Outfit is a pink & white sleeveless gingham dress from the 1950's -- another of my favorite decades -- that I got at the shop last summer.  I remember my mother & I having mother-daughter dresses very similar to this when I was about 5 years old or so.

Gingham was originally imported into Europe in the 17th century, & initially was a striped pattern.  It changed to a checkered pattern during the mid-18th century.  Famous characters that have worn gingham include Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz & Ginger in Gilligan's Island.

With today's vintage outfit, I decided to wear one of the necklaces I made recently using bits & pieces of broken jewelry I picked up at various flea markets, antique shows & garage sales; as well as pink new old stock (NOS) beads I found this summer at a bead shop in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

I also wore one of my French charm bracelets that includes a link from an old souvenir bracelet, a pink poodle, the Eiffel tower, French coins, & pink gemstone & glass beads.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading & for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday -- August 27, 2014

by mary August 27, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet Vintage outfit is a really fun maxi with fabulous red dahlia print from the 1970's -- another one of my favorite decades.  (Actually, I think any decade from 1920 through 1970 is one of my favorite!)  I picked up this dress earlier this summer.  I especially love the dahlia print & the large ruffle at the bottom.

 

While maxi dresses are generally associated with the 1970's, they were actually first seen in the 1960s where they were embraced by early hippies.  Oscar de la Renta is credited with creating the first maxi & with popularizing the trend.  By the mid-70's maxis were everywhere!

With today's maxi, I decided to wear this silver filigree heart necklace that I made with red crystal beads & rosary chain to pick up the red in the dahlias.

I also chose one of my favorite whimsical charm bracelets to go with my outfit.  This one features Cracker Jack/gumball charms of little dogs that look like gummy bears, alternated with silver hearts -- because we do love our doggies!  I like the way the colors of the dog charms picked up the colors of the dress & the way the hearts in the charm bracelet echoed the hearts in the necklace.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

As always, thanks for reading and for supporting small businesses!

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What I Wore on Wednesday -- August 20, 2014

by mary August 20, 2014

Today's Dorothea's Closet outfit is a rainbow-colored maxi from the 1970's -- another of my favorite decades!  I picked this dress up last year, althought it had been in the shop for ages & I hadn't really noticed it.  But when Angie put it on one of the mannequins in the window, I realized I really loved the rainbow-colored stripes.  Plus I've gotten really fond of maxis from the 70s!

With it, I decided to wear a charm bracelet & matching pair of earrings that I made with multi-colored lucite charms I got in a lot on eBay.  I like the way the colors & stripes go with those in the dress.

Lucite was developed in the 1930's & became wildly popular for use in costume jewelry in the 1950s, in part because it provided a cheaper alternative to more expensive jewelry.  And because it could be died in a wide range of colors & opacity, it was also perfect for the bright bold blocks of color in mid-century modern jewelry.  The charms in this charm bracelet & pair of earrings are good examples of the bright bold colors that lucite provided.  Today, vintage lucite jewelry is often highly priced as a collectible item.

To see more of Dorothea's Closet Vintage clothing, check out the shop's website at http://dorotheasclosetvintage.myshopify.com.  To see more of my handcrafted jewelry, go to http://paulinesjewelrybox.com.

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About the author

Pauline's Jewelry Box was founded by Mary Nelson in 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa.  I chose the name Pauline's Jewelry Box because my mother's name was Pauline & I have many fond memories of looking through jewelry box & playing with her jewelry

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