September 30, 2014

Five timelessly beautiful vintage fall looks

Every now and then, in the vast expanse of the web, one encounters a friend not only with whom you share common interests, but also mutual battles. Such is the case with the wonderfully dear Lottie Ryan, a fellow vintage lover and longtime chronic illness fighter. Lottie is also a passionate, inspiring writer over at her excellent website Who's That Lady, where she, in her own words, "supports women with chronic illness to achieve it all despite it all, with a touch of magic, a lot of glamour and some wise old notions".

I have the deepest respect and admiration for Lottie and was thrilled when she eagerly agreed to guest post for me while we're away on our fun holiday to Vancouver Island.

As with everyone that I invite to post for Chronically Vintage in my absence, I encouraged Lottie to write on any vintage related topic her heart desired and I had my socks proverbially knocked clean off when the post she sent me was a beautiful look at vintage fall fashion created entirely with items that are for sale in my Etsy shop. Lottie came up with this idea herself and completely surprised me with it (in fact, I was touched to the point of tears by her thoughtfulness and originality). She did a top-notch job of putting together five awesome vintage fall ensembles, which, like Lottie herself, are as sweet and stylish as the day is long.

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While our usual host, the lovely Jessica, is off enjoying a well deserved vacation she’s kindly let me hop on to Chronically Vintage to play with you for the day.
What does every vintage gal love to do when she hops into another vintage gal’s world? Head straight for her closet and play dress up of course. Though I can’t literally do that (more’s the pity) as we live in different countries, there is now a Chronically Vintage Etsy store and it's the perfect place to play with its myriad vintage beauties.

I popped along to the store, and with the aid of Polyvore (my new favorite hang out - I'm lottieloves1 there, if you want to connect), I played dress up, and created beautiful vintage ensembles to see us through fall and into the party season.

I had such fun! I can’t promise that all items will still be available, as frankly my closet is crying out for these gems, but to be fair, I’m going to hold off nabbing them until you’ve had a chance to umm and ahh over what tumbled into my virtual closet dreams.

Come on, let’s go play and imagine beautiful days together...

The peachy hues of this ensemble cried out for some autumn love, so I paired it with this autumnal hat and added the most perfect acorn brooch. Just imagine afternoon tea, then a stroll in the park, where leaves crunch under foot and your best friend’s giggle is echoing by your side.

Here I’m vamping it up a little with this green floral wiggle dress and some contrasting blue and gold accessories, including this stunning metal clutch. With this outfit you’re off for a lunch date with your beau, highlighting your delectable curves but leaving it all to the imagination. He won’t be able to take his eyes off you.

Blue, the color of crisp autumnal skies and slow flowing rivers. This ensemble is for the hostess with the mostess to combine with a charming smile and delightful conversation, whilst delicately sipping champagne.

Isn’t this just the most fabulous dress? This ensemble takes you to a cocktail evening, in a beautiful resort, next to white sandy beaches and the cooling, early evening sunshine. A fabulous cocktail and dream boat lover are musts.

Who needs a a little black dress when you can be elegantly divine in this luscious black velvet number? I wouldn’t wear the necklace around my neck but weave it into my hair which swept into soft curls. This calls for an evening of jazz with friends, swaying to the music that has your feet tapping and your heart softly beating with joyous contentment. This ensemble has 'festive party elegance' written all over it don’t you think?

Oh, I’m now lost in a delightful world of afternoon teas, balmy nights and lovers kisses. What a fabulous way to spend my short time here. This Chronically Vintage world is quite something. Do let me know what you think in the comments below, meanwhile thank you for having me over.

Lottie -x-

September 28, 2014

Vintage Purses with a History by Leah Loverich

This morning's guest post comes by way of one of those ravishingly lovely ladies for whom the word ethereal was invented. From the moment I first discovered Leah's beguilingly beautiful blog and enchanting vintage fashion sense, I was royally smitten. Leah has a great passion for Victorian, early and mid-twentieth century fashions, accessories, jewelry, shoes, ephemera, photographs and other related treasures and an artist's touch when it comes to display and photographing some of her collection for her splendid blog.

Sweet, dreamy, instantly inspiring site that it is, I've been hooked on her blog since that aforementioned first encounter and was thrilled when Leah kindly took me up on my offer to guest post while we're off on our fabulous Vancouver Island holiday (many sincere thanks for doing so, dear gal).

Today she has put together a terrific guest post that shines the well deserved spot onto two sublimely pretty vintage purses, and some of the fascinating history behind them, from her own personal collection. Whether this is your first introduction to Leah or you're a long standing fan as well, I think you'll agree me that there truly is an ethereal quality that runs though every last thing that she shares, writes and creates.

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Hello lovely followers of Chronically Vintage, my name is Leah and I can most often be found blogging over at or sharing the occasional photo over at, however today I am absolutely delighted be posting to this wonderful blog of Jessica's, it is an absolute honour and I do hope you all enjoy what I have to share!


I like to use my blog as a place to document my vintage and antique collecting, and so I often make posts dedicated to sharing photographs of an item, along with sharing details of what I know about the items past, how I have come to own the item, and how I use it, and today I will be doing just that within this post with two of my favourite little sparkly purses...





I purchased the dainty purse above at the very beginning of this year along with a few other beaded purses within a box, this one was the very last one I cared to take a look at after having purchased as it was least favourite, though that soon changed when I discovered the little pieces of history within it; two Theatre tickets for the Lyceum in London on the 27th of December 1935! I think this may be the first time/only time so far that I have come by an item of vintage with a piece of evidence attached which proved exactly when the item was used. It does make me wonder though if that was the last time this sweet little purse was ever used before I became the owner...


- The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,100-seat West End theatre located in the City of Westminster, London.

- There has been a theatre with this name in the locality since 1765.

- The first London exhibition of waxworks displayed by Madame Tussaud was displayed in the Lyceum.

- After a fire, the house was rebuilt and reopened on 14 July 1834 to a design by Samuel Beazley.

- In 1904 the theatre was almost completely rebuilt and richly ornamented in Rococo style by Bertie Crewe, but it retained Beazley's fa├žade and grand portico.

- It played mostly melodrama over the ensuing decades. The building closed in 1939 and was set to be demolished, but it was saved and converted into a Mecca Ballroom in 1951, styled the Lyceum Ballroom, where many well-known bands played.

- The Lyceum was closed in 1986 but restored to theatrical use in 1996 by Holohan Architects. Since 1999, the theatre has hosted The Lion King.

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The above copper sequin purse joined my collection a couple of years ago when I purchased a 1930s wedding dress, at the time I hadn't realized that a glitzy little bag and matching wax flower hair crown was included but it certainly did make a lovely surprise! I love the idea of a 1930s bride adding some copper sparkle to her attire in the form of a purse, and well I just adore the idea of this bag having attended a 1930s wedding in general!

It does have some wear, especially to the handle but I always feel that sort of wear can add charm to a vintage item, it shows that the item has been enjoyed enough to eventually cause wear, it must have indeed been loved. I added some history to this purse too when I took it along on a visit to the Ritz London for Afternoon Tea a little over a year ago ...Now that is something I recommend all vintage loving lovelies (and even those who are not so fond of vintage) to place on their "to visit" list.

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Have you ever found a little pieces of history like a ticket or receipt before in an item of vintage?

Thank you for viewing / reading! xx Leah Loverich

September 25, 2014

Knitting trends of the 1940s

Like a lot of folks, I am a passionate crafter, however, I am neither a sewer nor a knitter, two timeless arts that many in our vintage loving midst are both crazy about and very skilled at. I have a ton of respect for those who practise these crafts and always enjoy learning more about either subject. Thus, when I asked my new, but already very dear friend, Cherry, if she'd like to guest post while I was on holiday and she enthusiastically said that she would, I was thrilled when she shared that the topic of her post would be none other than a fantastic, image filled look back at some of the knitting trends of the 1940s.

Whether you're a seasoned knitting pro, a beginner, or like me, have never clicked one needle against the next, I'm sure you'll adore this post and find yourself appreciating the beautiful knitwear that filled the action packed decade that was the 1940s all the more thanks to it. And speaking of thanks, that is precisely what I'm extending to the seriously wonderful Ms. Cherry for her engaging, delightfully lovely look at this great subject.

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Thank you so much to Jessica for asking me to do a guest post on her blog while she is enjoying a much needed vacation. It is such an honor to be here. My name is Cherry, I'm a knitter and a blogger over at She Knits in Pearls. I am also a vintage lover, so when Jessica asked me if I’d like to do a guest post, it felt only natural to write about vintage knitting. I am happy to share a bit of my knowledge with you.

During the 1940s you would be hard pressed to find a woman who didn't know how to knit. Many women learned how during World War One in order to knit for our soldiers and that practice continued on into World War Two. Sidar Wool Company strongly urged women with their slogan “If you can knit-you can do your bit”. Specific patterns were made and circulated for each branch of the military. There was even a wool control board that insured the distribution of the right yarns to knitting guilds all over Europe where there were rations on yarns.

Here in the U.S., many women gathered in weekly knitting circles to knit and organize there knitting efforts. They would have a list of the soldiers from their respective town and knit socks for each of them. However, not all knitting was for the soldiers. There was plenty of knitting for themselves; it was a great way to stay warm and glamorous during a time when our resources were limited. These limitations greatly influenced the trends of the time, but they sure didn’t hold us knitters back.

Women were determined to stay fashion forward. As resources became limit, we had to make do with what we had. Shapes and overall silhouette became more tailored and less extravagant. Jackets and skirts became shorter and slimmer. When it came to knitting that meant shorter sleeves and slimmer, shorter waist lines.

Lace and airy stitch patterns were a great way to make a little yarn go a long way. Many vintage knitting patterns were often made with simple yet ornate design elements. Not only was this a way to get the most out of what they had, it was a way to make garments interesting and feminine. It wasn’t just yarn and wool that was in limited supply. Dyes were scarce too. This meant that colors of yarn where limited as well. To compensate, textures such as bobbles, cables, and ribbing were used to keep things new and interesting.

Fair Isle knitting became very popular. Small balls of yarn could be knit into cheerful and patriotic designs. Each scrap of yarn could be used. In a time of “Make-do and Mend” women would even unravel old sweaters to create new stylish pieces. If the leftovers of a certain project were small they would be used for darning or mending a garment to make it last longer. When larger quantities were available, they could be used as stripes or color blocks on other garments.

If you’d like to try your hand at recreating the lovely knitwear from our past there are many on-line sites that offer wonderful vintage patterns for free. Wendy at The Vintage Pattern Files has done a fantastic job of collecting and sharing vintage patterns with her readers. You can find many great patterns on Subversive Femme as well. Bex shares a ton of vintage patterns and she knits them up as well.

I will say, vintage patterns can be very difficult to work with, especially for a new knitter. They tend to be written in very basic terms, often times not informing you what weight yarn to use or even what needle size. They may just give you a stitch gauge and a multiple of stitches you need for the pattern, ie. CO multiple of 8 stitches. This leaves it up to you to know how many stitches you will need for, say, the back of a sweater. Vintage patterns are not impossible to work with: they just take a good base knowledge and a bit of courage.

If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, designers are working to take vintage patterns and recreate them with modern directions, yarn suggestions and construction techniques. Check out designer Susan Crawford. Or designer and blogger Andi Satterlund, her patterns are modern with a vintage inspiration (and I happen to be completely addicted to knitting them).

Whether you are a knitter or not, you have to admire the creativity and ingenuity that went into the knitted garments of the past. What you may have thought were just the fashion of the times, were very deliberate. In the time of clothes rationing, women were able to take what they had, use a great deal of imagination, and create a whole new style.

As sweater weather is creeping up on us vintage lovers, we can look to these design elements for inspiration. Whether we are vintage shopping, thrifts store hunting, or getting out the yarn and needles, these and other 1940’s designs would be a great addition to our fall wardrobes. Happy hunting and knitting!

♥ Cherry