July 28, 2009

How to be vintage chic even on days when you call in sick

The truth of the matter is that there rarely anything even remotely glamorous about being ill or injured, but the title for this post sprung into my mind and struck me as sounding like something one might have spotted on the cover of a 1940s or 50s ladies magazine (minus the word "vintage" and assuming the gal held a job outside of the home to call in sick to).

Before I go further though, I sincerely want to thank everyone for your incredibly caring comments regarding my husband’s injured foot and my own health. Darling hubby is doing a little better (the swelling is going down a bit, which tends to be a good sign), and was absolutely touched when I shared your sweet words with him. It means so much to me to have such wonderful online friends, thank you deeply everyone.

I know firsthand that at times when you’re under the weather comfort is key. You want to feel as though you’re swathed in pieces that, even if they can’t actually heal you quicker, won’t make you feel any worse. Soft, gentle fabrics, beautiful fresh cut blooms to bring life and colour to a bedside table, snugly blankets to nestle into on the sofa or a lounge chair in the backyard if the weather permits, and a stack of your favourite vintage films are all great ways to help take your mind off of the situation at hand.

With that thought in mind, I’ve handpicked a selection of lovely, often functional vintage (and handcrafted) items (please note all prices are in US dollars) that I think would each be a wonderful way to inject a dose of uplifting energy, while providing their own special sort of comfort, to any sickroom, be it temporary or long-term, home or hospital based.

♥ ♥ ♥

{Ethereally light as a fairy’s wing, this delicate, pale carnation pink bed jacket would be the perfect thing to slip over chilly shoulders during the warmer months when you don't want the full on weight of a robe. $59.00 from etsy seller Posies for Lulu.}

{For times when you want a little more coverage and warmth than a bed jacket affords, a plush, quilted vintage robe, such as this lovely aqua-mint hued number, is the perfect solution. $22.00 from etsy seller Vintage Eye Fashion.}

{Before electric heating pads and blankets became commonplace, hot water bottles were one of the few ways to help keep the chills at bay. These simple rubber devices are still readily available and are handy to have on hand; after all, you never know when you might encounter a power outage while you’re feeling unwell. This hand knit cover with its pretty star motif, ensures that your hot water bottle looks lovely and feels more comfortable against your skin. $32.00 from etsy seller Strikk. }

{There’s both something a little Hollywood starlet and immensely practical about having a charming little bell on hand to ring when you’re ill and need to beckon someone to your side. Vintage brass bell with handle, $5.00 from etsy seller Spicy Vintage.}

{Help pass the time while you’re feeling icky by reading some old school pulp fiction such as this pocketbook novel entitled Doctor on Approval. $4.00 from etsy seller Vintage Vice’s Paper Emporium.}

{Whether it’s a cold, allergies, hay fever, the flu or another type of ailment, many illnesses bring with them the need for tissues, lots and lots and lots of tissues! A beautiful, floral print vintage tissue box cover is just the thing to make the boring, obligatory box of Kleenex a little more pleasant, no matter how many times you reach for it. $2.95 from etsy seller Girlythings73.}

{Very handy for meals, reading, writing letters, doing your nails, or in this modern era of ours, using the laptop, a tray such as this two part, tilted one is extremely useful to own for anytime you need (or want) to relax in bed yet still stay productive. $48.00 from etsy seller Extra Virgin Home.}

{While there are certainly many lovely modern and vintage bed trays on the market, you may want to spruce up or further adorn your tray with some wonderfully lovely linens such as this set which includes two napkins and an actual bed tray cover. $35.00 from etsy seller Teremok.}

{Enjoy your meals (I’m thinking homemade chicken noodle soup, soda crackers, Jell-o and ginger ale) off of these pastel hued compartmentalized trays in bed, in front of the TV or any place you fancy! $10.00 (for four trays) from etsy seller Willow Street Vintage.}

{Distract yourself from how you’re feeling by playing a few rounds of a really neat looking board game from 1961 called Ben Casey M.D., which was based on a popular TV medical drama of the time. $14.00 from etsy seller Ragtime Design.}

{Who doesn’t need an extra hug or two when they’re in pain? I certainly do, and when darling hubby (who’s a marvelous hugger!) isn’t home, I know I can always rely on a precious teddy bear to give me a snuggle :) This adorable vintage patchwork bear would be an awesome cuddle partner for anyone and would also look lovely on display around your house. $7.50 from etsy seller Saltsman Soap.}

{If someone near and dear to you is feeling sick or is in the hospital, send them a beautiful vintage get well card. Unused cards such as this illustrated one depicting a young lass picking flowers, are still available, often at very reasonable prices, through sources like etsy and eBay, garage sales, second hand shops and estate sales. $4.50 from etsy seller Vintage Vice’s Paper Emporium.}

I hope that these items transmit a sense of comfort and care. Being sick or injured is absolutely no fun, and we all need a little extra TLC when coping with any sort of ailment.

What kinds of things do you want/love/need to around you when you’re feeling ill? Topping my list are good books, mashed potatoes (my mom is the same way, I must get this from her), TV shows and movies that make me laugh, my treasured childhood teddy bear, plenty of squishy pillows, and my online friends and their awesome blogs to keep my thoughts focused on all things vintage.


While searching for vintage bed jackets I chanced upon a free pattern for a 1956 Coats and Clark brand crochet version that was too pretty not to share with you all. And for anyone who might be looking for a modern day iteration of this once common nighttime wardrobe staple, the online shop Serene Comfort has a number of cozy looking bed jackets at reasonable prices.


  1. Great and original post! That makes me want to have a little "Under the weather drawer" full of cute little vintage things for those otherwise icky days.

  2. I love the tissue box! So pink and pretty- just the thing to snap you out of a flu funk. Great finds!

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  3. Those things are perfect for a not so healthy day! Feel better soon!

  4. What a cute little hot water bottle cozy!
    Hope you start feeling better, dear :)

  5. oh you poor dear! i do hope you feel better soon! but you did make a wonderful post out of it :)

  6. Feel better soon, both of you! :)

    <3 Gina

  7. this post couldn't have come at a better time...!

    Hope you both are doing okay...


  8. Lovely post, as always.
    I'm glad that you're husband's foot seems to be mending. Hope you're both doing better :)
    You found some adorable items, I want them all. I just love bed jackets, that one is so pretty. I think I need one now ;)

  9. Glad you're feeling better! Oh, but to be sick at your house... sooo vintage chic! I love it... especially the bell! Hehe! ;)

    Thanks for stopping by my little blog!

  10. Hey Jessica. Wow! Such a cool post. I loved it. I hope things are going better for you and your hubby. I wish you both the best. I love to have books, music, some chicken soup, juice & a few other things around me when I'm feeling under the weather.

  11. Oh I just loved this post, the cute waterbottle cover, the bell, so funny. All the pictures conveyed comfort to me, spot on darling Jessica.


  12. Glad to hear you both are on the mend. I'm sure you will be 100% in no time, until then enjoy the rest and relaxation :)

    Beautiful post again. You find such wonderful things to highlight on your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share when you're under the weather.

  13. What a wonderful post! I have a bed jacket which I use when I'm reading in bed on cold nights. I need to get some pretty nighties to go with it, though.
    -Andi x

  14. yes I like this post! The dressing gown? I had one just like it when I was growing up, I think it was either blue or pink and it had big fabric buttons on it.

  15. @ Solanah, thank you, honey! What a great idea, I really think I need to start a drawer full of these kind of wonderful sick day vintage items, too.

    @ The Glamorous Housewife, I think you're right! I've seen a number of lovely vintage and retro tissue box covers over the years at thrift stores but haven't snapped one up. I think I'll have to now, my tissue boxes suddenly seem really dull and in need of sprucing up.

    @ Maggi, Trains and Sewing Machines, Poke Salad Annie, Gina, Avian, Dustjacket Attic, and Amanda, thank you each very much for your immensely kind words, sweet dears!

    @ LandGirl, thank you! Do I detect from your comment that you're under the weather too, honey?

    @ Lizzy, thank you very much. Luckily hubby is naturally a very speedy healer (a trait I don't seem to posses, lol), so I'm confident he'll make a full recovery. (I think bed jackets are fantastic! I'd love to get one before next winter rolls around.)

    @ Keith, thank you very much, my friend. Good list, I agree music and some fresh juice can do a lot to lift your mood.

    @ Andi, thank you, my dear. How lovely that your have a bed jacket, I've never owned one but have been thinking lately about how much I'd like to get a pretty, cozy one before the cold weather sets in here. What does your's look like?

    @ Amy, thank you! How wonderful that you had one like this, I would adore owning a robe like that in such a pretty pastel hue.

    Thank you each so very, very much for your caring, lovely comments.

    Big hugs, everyone!
    ♥ Jessica

  16. It's always fun to see what your entry; today I find I have six of the same things in my home. I've reached the point where it's not antique, it's vintage -smile-. The bed jacket, robe, bell, tissue box, handkerchiefs, breakfast tray (the Exact same one -smile-) and remember eating off those trays in grammar school. I'm not sure but think I have those get well cards too.
    I've always wanted to knit a hot water bottle cozy to warm up the bed on a cold winter night.
    Very enjoyable post, many thanks!
    BTW, you folks get well soon; life is to precious to 'waste' it on illness -smile-.

  17. @ Thistle Cove Farm, hi sweet dear, thank you very much for your comment. You're doing miles better than I am, aside from snugly teddy bears and a robe, I can't say as though I have any of the items on this list. But I definitely want to remedy that (tee-hee, sorry, couldn't resist a medical pun) that in the future. Sounds like if one must be ill, doing so at your house is a comfortable experience.

    Thank you again, my friend! Huge hugs to you!
    ♥ Jessica

  18. I just completed a week of thrifting myself and I found a robe as well!!

  19. @ God's Favourite Shoes!, that's awesome, a week of thrifting sounds like pure heaven to me. I hope you scored a ton of wonderful finds!

    Have a serene and beautiful Sunday,
    ♥ Jessica