Amongst my other interests is collecting and wearing vintage clothing. I particularly favour vintage British clothing from the 1920s-1950s although I also draw much inspiration from the classic American Esquire fashion plates of the 1930s. I favour heavier cloths and favourite pieces and touches include the classic weighty grey and white flannels, Fairisle slipovers, double-breasted and slipped waistcoats, peak lapels on single-breasted jackets and two-tone shoes. I hope to use this lens to showcase some of the interesting items which I have owned or seen.
The lens illustration is a detail from an advertisement prepared by the well-known American artist F.C. Leyendecker, entitled "Quality by Kuppenheimer." I particularly appreciate the muted but beautifully toned colour palette and the way in which the artist captures the drape of the cloth.
eBay - my vintage clothing and accessories
Clearing my vintage closet!
A collar to get me started...
A rather charming rounded-point wing collar. This occupies the middle ground between formal day and evening wear and could have been worn for either. I suspect that it is late Edwardian in date, or possibly 1920s. It was supplanted in popularity by the pointed wing collar and I had thought could now only be found secondhand or made up to order. However, I have now established another source in theatrical costumiers such as Darcy Clothing.
Photo Gallery - combination white waistcoat and braces - A 1930s curiosity
A fine vintage double-breasted linen shawl-lapel waistcoat
A versatile waistcoat for day or evening formal wear.
A handsome vintage shawl collar morning or evening dress waistcoat, double - breasted with a deep (c.3") shawl collar and 6 MoP buttons. Three jetted pockets. This fine waistcoat is cut for wear with high-cut morning or evening dress trousers and would look equally well with day formal dress - under a frock coat, say, or as a component of Victorian/Edwardian white tie evening dress. A very rare shape, classic Edwardian design.
Vintage semi-formal daywear ensemble
A blend of '50s and '60s pieces with a few modern elements
This is something I put together last week to wear to church. It is intended to blend some modern elements into a predominantly vintage look, ending up with something smart which doesn't look wildly out of place in the present day. How did I do?
Useful accessories - collar bars and pins
Collar clips, bars and pins are particularly useful with soft, unlined point collars to both keep them neat and apply some upward pressure to the tie just below the knot, thus giving it a pleasing upward arch. Fred Astaire was a particular aficionado of this look. Although still made today (and often longer to accommodate the fashion for collars with some spread), vintage collar clips are worth looking out for, in particular for the clever way in which they mimic collar pins. Pins, as the name implies, pin through the collar (or its eyelets) whilst the bar or clip grips the collar edges. A neat little accessory.