February 19, 2013

Ten investment worthy vintage wardrobe items


Whether past or present, my style icons typically tend to be real world women just like myself. One person who's superb eye for style, passion for the past, and incredible fashion sense continually knock my Cuban heel stockings right off is the deeply beautiful Joanna from Dividing Vintage Moments.

She's a real world lady with a heart of gold, a skillfully curated (incredible!) vintage wardrobe, and blog post after blog post that never fail to inspire, education, and delightful myself and, I'm certain, all of her other readers, too.

Last week Joanna announced a giveaway on her blog in conjunction with a post in which she highlighted ten vintage items that she feels are always worth the splurge. Her list is excellent and truly speaks to the sophisticated style that flows through everything this elegant woman wears. As a means of gaining two additional entries for giveaway, participants are encouraged to write a blog post on the same topic themselves.

The chance to win some stellar items (jewelry, perfume, matching beaded purse and gloves!) and write about vintage fashion, sign me on the double!

I wanted to get set to work on creating this post the moment I read Joanna's, but I've been going through an extra rough spell on the health front this month, so this post, though not overly large, took me a few days to put together. The winner of the giveaway isn't being drawn until tomorrow though, so I just barely managed to finished on time. Phew! :)

I feel like there's a sense of serendipity to the fact that Joanna suggested giveaway participants follow her lead and write about vintage pieces that they personally feel are worth splurging on, because that's a topic that I touched on in this post at the start of the year, and which I'm making a conscious effort to focus some of my wardrobe budget on this year (and beyond).

While I have certainly made some investment purchases (vintage and otherwise) throughout the course of my life, generally speaking, I tend to be the type of person who seeks quality on a budget. I traverse the web right, left and center, hunting down bargains, deals, sales, you name it, so long as it helps me get the most bang for my wardrobe buck.

Sometimes however, especially once one already has a decent basic vintage wardrobe, there comes a point when you need to step back and evaluate where it would be wise to save and where it would suit you best to splurge.

The answer to this question will be different for each of us, as no two people have exactly the same wardrobes nor daily circumstances around which they dress. Part of me would love to have a closet teaming with nothing but 40s and 50s evening gowns, but that would highly impractical for someone in my shoes, who is lucky if they have one black tie event to attend a year.

Investment pieces don't have to be impractical of course, but at times they may be items that you know full well you're not going to get as much millage out of as a basic LBD. That is 100% ok. A splurge of any type generally implies some degree of extravagance and that said item (or experience, for example, in the case of a super pricy dinner at a posh restaurant or a trip to Europe) will long be viewed as a special treat. If it wasn't, one might argue, would it still qualify as a splurge?

The following ten items are ones that I believe are worth investing in, so long as doing so isn't going to put you into any kind of serious finical hot water. I own a some of these things myself, but others are items that remain still to be added to my wardrobe as time goes on.

Instead of highlighting examples of these ten garments and accessories that are for sale from various sources today, I opted instead to show you photos and illustrations from the 1940s and 50s, as these are the kinds of images I usually turn for inspiration before I begin really getting serious about my quest to find my next vintage investment piece.




{A pinafore/jumper dress}




{A wonderful mid-century umbrella}




{A classic, well made winter coat}




{A few really nice pairs of vintage gloves}




{An amazing cape}




{Mid-century rain and/or snow boots}




{A classic two-piece skirt or dress suit}




{A fun novelty print cardigan}




{A glamorous evening gown}




{A warm winter muff - all the better if it comes with additional matching items, such as a scarf, hat or gloves}




{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}




♥ ♥ ♥


My word, it's a good thing I'm on a mighty strict budget at the moment, or I'd be tempted to run out and start hunting down a few of these treasures right now!

No such happening, however, as I already picked up an item this month that had been on my vintage wish list for years now, and which I was happy to invest in (mind you, still at what I considered to be a relatively good deal - just because something's an investment piece doesn't mean you can't try to get a good deal on it), when it came along: a wonderful pink 1950s patio/squaw dress, which should be arriving in the mail any day now.

Which of these items would make it on to your own top ten list at the moment? If you're in the mood to write about ten of your own choices are are interested in taking part in Joanna's giveaway, there's still time today to do just that.

Even if someone waved a magic wand right now and, poof, all of these items were in my closet, that wouldn't change the fact that I would still recommend them to others are worthwhile investments, especially if we lived in similar climates and led lives with much in common.

These pieces - very much like ones Joanna recommended - are classic, becoming, beautiful items that will stand the test of time and bring their own much joy and use. And those points, my dears, should always be amongst the hallmarks of any wonderful vintage splurge.

55 comments:

  1. A really great list! A well made winter coat would probably be at the top of my list - goodness knows it's practical for the London weather!!!

    Glad to hear you picked up an item from your wish-list too - it's so great when you finally get something that you have been looking for, for years! Can't wait to see a future blog post with your new pink patio skirt set!

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  2. :-)
    umbrella, coat, gloves, muff - check.
    skirt suit, evening dress, cape - several, repro made by me.
    dito pinafore.
    for the boots i have some very elegant wellies from canadian brand kamik. cherry red.
    and as an aktive kind of girl you need some breeches, norwegien sweater and windbreaker.
    and please - can someone knit me several of this little cute 40´s sweaters???

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  3. How fun! I'm trying to focus on saving for splurge items this year because I feel like I have so much *stuff* that I don't really need much more. I think I'd add a nice pair of repro jeans and repro shoes to the list. I'm finally getting some period correct shoes and it's amazing how much they help the look! I'd certainly love anything off your list though!

    Hope you are feeling better the rest of this month!

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  4. A quality muff is a must when you live in the area where winters are cold and severe. I bought my first muff this autumn and I'm totally in love with it! It's so warm (made of natural fur), so comfortable and so stylish. Much better than any gloves I ever had. And, as a bonus, everyone who see me wearing a muff says "Wow, you've got A MUFF! How cute!" :)

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  5. I like your list very much! I think the only thing that wouldn't be happy to take home with me personally is the umbrella, as we get too much wind generally here that you'll see garbage cans on a rainy day with broken umbrellas in them. So I wouldn't risk it. lol

    I'm really looking forward to seeing the patio set when it warms up. And hope you're feeling better soon! xo

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Tasha. So true regarding the umbrella. I have one vintage umbrella - a beige 50s number that's rather understated, but haven't splurged on a fancier one yet because I'm more than a touch concerned about the Pacific coast weather here in B.C. potentially doing a real number on it. Still, there's nothing to say one couldn't just use a stunning umbrella as a prop for indeed shoots... :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  6. I am in love with everything, I want it all! That coat is to die for.
    xx

    nancywilde.blogspot.com

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  7. Fantastic list, Jessica!! I must say, I wish I added a trip to Europe {or Israel} to my splurge list. I hadn't even thought of that. It's funny how I could have added about 20 more items that should be splurge pieces. Maybe I just need to do more posts on this? ;-)

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Sean! I adored your list (http://sean-mackenzie.blogspot.ca/2013/02/10-things-worth-splurge.html) and completely agree that it was tricky to cap the count at just ten things. I sequel or mini-series of such posts would be a great idea. Can't wait to read it/them if you write more posts like this.

      ♥ Jessica

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  8. I love this post. It's so well laid out and very well worded. I think I need to commission you to write some of my blog posts lol. Thank you Jessica for participating. I'm happy to see all the other lists too. It's so much fun. I almost feel like we are all at tea together discussing our favorites. I love the idea of a cape. I've never quite thought of this before. I've seen them here and there but they appear to be on the rare side. How great would it be to find a cape and suit set matching? I also adore a good vintage umbrella. They are so much fun. The first one I bought was a red polka dot umbrella with a cute polka dot ball for a handle. I look through all these vintage magazines and I see all these great umbrellas. There is just one more umbrella I'm on a quest for. I'd love a gold and pearl handle one but they can pricey and difficult to find in usable condition since they are a more Edwardian type of umbrella.

    Do you have a vintage evening gown? This I find to be the most difficult purchase because of the gamble of having to buy it off the internet. This is something I wish I could go into a shop and try on first.

    I'm very sorry to hear you haven't been quite feeling yourself. Prayers and positive thoughts are sent your way for a speedy recovery. Thank you for your lovely thoughts and participating.

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    1. Thank you very much, dearest Joanna, I was so curious to know your thoughts on my list. I loved thinking about this topic and really appreciate that you extended the invite to your readers to blog about as part of your great giveaway.

      It's wonderful that you have a collection of vintage umbrellas. I just have one so far (a fairly basic beige 1950s), but really hope to add others to my collection over time. If I ever see a gold and pearl vintage one, I will let you know right away.

      I have some vintage cocktail dresses, a (purple and white) vintage appropriate fancy evening dress, and a black vintage appropriate evening gown, but, no, do not yet have an actual vintage evening/ball gown yet. That would be a fairy tale-esque dream come true! (No clue where or when I'd wear, but it's always better to have a ball gown and not need it than, the the other way around. :) )

      Thank you very much for everything, my lovely friend - huge hugs!
      ♥ Jessica

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  9. Have I woken up yet? Or am I still dreaming? These pretty pieces are exactly what appear in my dreams. What are you doing in my head?!

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  10. Oh how I wish I could get myself some nice vintage gloves, but alas, my hands are far too big for most of them. Damn this being Dutch BS! LOL. Those are so e fabulous items you have on that list, some of which I have. I know I definitely need some good winter shoes/boots that fit with my vintage clothes, and I am fortunate to have two extremely well made coats that are from the 1950s. It always seems that the more vintage we buy/see, the more we want and need! ;-)

    I hope your health is feeling a bit better. I know I have been feeling very sick lately, especially last week - I hope we both get better, because this not feeling good is just sucky and depressing! But at least we aren't alone, right? :-)

    -Holly

    Veronica Vintage

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    1. Hello sweet Holly, thank you very much for your understanding and sweet well wishes. You're spot on in that while it sucks to feel extra rough due to our chronic health problems, there is a degree of comfort in knowing that one is not alone out there. Years ago (before my own health became to poor to do so any more) I used to run a large support group for people who share one of my conditions (interstitial cystitis) as well as others with chronic pain/health issues, and the first thing I made a point of saying to each new group member is that they were not alone. Just knowing this can make such a world of difference to a person's outlook on their medical situation.

      Do you happen to know your vintage glove size? I am forever looking at (and sometimes buying ;) ) vintage gloves online, and I'd be more than happy to send any listings I spot in your size your way, if you'd like.

      Sooooo true about wanting more and more vintage. I feel the same way, too!

      ♥ Jessica

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  11. Great post! I've been looking for a vintage jacket/coat for a while now. I really want that elephant print jumper. It's one of those pieces that made me learn to knit.

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    1. Thank you much, honey! I completely agree, I'm not a knitter myself, but when I see sweaters like that, I suddenly feel an urge to learn, too (or commission someone to knit it for me, if I had the means).

      ♥ Jessica

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    2. I'm still working on a jumper I started a couple months ago. I'm almost done with the back but I get weird when I'm about to finish a knitting project. It's like I don't want to finish it because then I won't be happy with it. It's so weird and annoying.

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    3. I completely understand what you mean. I was a hard core perfectionist as a child, and though I've become a bit more relaxed on that front as I've gotten older, I'll always be quite critical of my own work (which can means it sometimes takes a fair while to finish a project).

      ♥ Jessica

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  12. Such a fantastic list! I love this!! Pinafore dresses are soooo hard to find! I may consider having one made for me. That way I can get the size and color I like hehe Thank you for this post-made me all dreamy about clothes again! xox

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    1. They can tricky to find for sure, especially with waist sizes over 24 inches! I had my eye and heart set on one on etsy last year (I'd been watching it for several weeks), but finally on the day I had the means to buy it, someone beat me to it the night before! That will always haunt me as one of those vintage pieces that "got away". Oh well, you win some, you lose some, eh? And so the ruffled pinafore dress hunt continues.

      ♥ Jessica

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  13. I'm sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. You will be in my prayers for better days ahead! Spring is just around the corner, though difficult to believe as I sit here watching the snow fall here in PA! It is beautiful though.
    Love the red and white stripe dress,and rain/snow boots. I always enjoy viewing vintage items, most modern things lack the feminine beauty and elegance of the mid century.My top vintage items are: a well made purse, beautiful nightgown, jewelry and a cotton daydress. My passion runs mostly for vanity items. Do you carry vintage items in your purse too?

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    1. Hello dear April, thank you very much for your comment and caring get well wishes. That's a great wish list of vintage items. All of those things can be had without needing to break the bank, too, which is awesome (in the case of jewelry, of course the sky is the limit, but there's plenty of great vintage jewelry to be had for a bargain still, too). I really hope you're able to pick up all of those pieces for your vintage wardrobe, sweet gal.

      Sometimes I carry vintage items - such a pair of gloves, a handkerchief, a compact, etc - in my purses, yes. It just depends on which purse I'm using and what I might need for the day ahead. I have a vintage wallet, too, but it's very small (for all the modern cards and such we tend to carry around these days), so I don't use it all that often.

      ♥ Jessica

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  14. I love my winter muff! I decided last year that I do not have to have a special occasion in order to wear an evening dress or hat. Once I believed that, I have become so much more fabulous when I go to dinner with my husband!

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    1. That's an awesome mindset, Kathleen! I try to think and dress much the same way, and ultimately, there are very few pieces that I wouldn't wear anyplace if the mood struck, too (if someone gave me a gorgeous vintage evening gown, I swear I'd be tempted to wear it out grocery shopping! :D).

      Thank you very much for your comment, sweet friend,
      ♥ Jessica

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  15. Oh, I'd love to own a vintage evening gown and a cape! How absolutely glamorous. Of all the items on your list, though, I think the one highest on my own wishlist is a pair of vintage galoshes to slip over shoes... especially the pairs with the fur trim. Some day, I will find a pair in my size, I just know it!

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    1. I hear you loud and clear, my dear! Of all the items here, a pair of 40s or 50s winter boots would top my wish list, too, as they're the hardest thing here to find in my size, even if I put a might big cap on the price I'm willing to pay (my feet are pretty average size, about an size 8, sometimes a 7, 7.5 or 8.5, but again, 8 on average, but it seems finding vintage winter boots in this size is mighty tough). I really hope you find a great pair of galoshes in your size. If you want to share your shoe size with me, I'd be more than happy to keep my eyes peeled for a pair for you.

      ♥ Jessica

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  16. Great picks Jessica.
    Vintage is very difficult to come by in Central America where i live. So my vintage items are either hand me downs from great aunts or items i have picked up on ebay. From your picks, I think I would chose the long elegant gown.. even if i have no where to wear it to.

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  17. I couldn't agree more!!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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  18. Wow, when I first started reading I was certain that I wouldn't have any of these pieces. My wardrobe is so small still. But I actually have a couple of these items. I like the idea of having some sort of fashion most wanted list. This will definitely help me when I'm shopping. I tend to buy things willy-nilly which means I have tons of cocktail dresses and cardigans while the rest of my wardrobe suffers. Thanks for sharing.

    Deborah
    Hellcat Vintage

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    1. Hi sweet Deborah, it's awesome that you have a couple of these fantastic investment pieces in your closet already. I have some, but not all (yet!) myself, too.

      I used to be a bit willy-nilly with my shopping, too, but last year I realized this was leaving me with way too many wardrobe gaps (as blogged about in this post: http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/2012/01/mind-wardrobe-gaps.html), so I hunkered down in 2012 and worked really had to fill as many of those gaps as I could.

      I'm happy to report I was able to fill many of them and that my wardrobe is now considerably more well rounded. There's still some basics missing or that I need more of, but this year and beyond, I'm hoping to focus mostly on investment pieces, with the odd "just for fun and because I love" vintage purchase thrown in for good measure. :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  19. You know me and winter, Jessica...we're not friends at all. BUT with a coat as gorgeous as the one you've pictured, I might actually enjoy the cold months! That is a stunning coat, and I would love love love to own own like that. I also love the snow boots you've pictured, which is funny because I prefer wearing open-toe shoes year-round. Yes, even when it's cold, I want my open toe shoes...or at the very least, peep toe sling-backs. I've discovered toe-less pantyhose, which help keep my legs and the bulk of my foot warm.

    I love that you spotlight other great vintage blogs. I found Bunny's because of your recent post...and wouldn't you know it, I won her giveaway! Now, I am going to pop by Joanna's blog. One can never have enough vintage inspiration.

    I'm sorry it's been a rough time for you health-wise. Sure hope you feel better soon.

    Love and hugs to you,
    Patti

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    1. Hello sweet Patti, thank you very much for your lovely comment and caring get well wishes. Some months are rougher than others, it's just the nature of the (chronic illness) beast. I'd much rather be bedridden now when the weather is snowy and freezing than during the glorious days of spring, summer or fall, if given the choice (as I feel cabin fever sets in so much more when the weather is nice).

      I'm thrilled to hear that you discovered Bunny's blog through my site and that you in turn won her recent giveaway. That's awesome!

      ♥ Jessica

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  20. Fabulous selection of images! I love the suit and the pinafores!

    Thank you for sharing Joanna's blog :)

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  21. Great list! I would love it all. I didn't participate in Joanna's giveaway, mostly because I couldn't narrow my list down to 10 items. lol

    Can't wait to see your new patio set!

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  22. This reminds me that I need rain boots, you would think that living in such a rainy city that I would already own a pair but nope...I never have. I guess that why I complain that my toes are always cold. :P I did find a fun bright vermillion coloured hunter boots last year but they were out of my rain boot price range.

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    1. Don't feel bad, I don't own a pair either. I have oddly high arches and for some reason I find that makes finding rain boots/wellies that fit super hard. I've probably tried on 200 or more pairs in the last several years and have yet to find a single one that fit me comfortable. This is extra odd to me, because most modern (non-rain) boots usually fit me really well. Oh well, there must be a pair out there for me somewhere, so I'll just jeep hunting. Hope you're able to find a great pair in your size and price range this year, too.

      ♥ Jessica

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  23. I love boots and I want all those boots pictured in the ad! They are so cute, and for the most part, not like what is sold now.

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    1. I do too! A pair of 40s or 50s vintage boots in my size (8 or 8.5) are truly at the top of my vintage wish list.

      Thank you very much for your comment, dear lady,
      ♥ Jessica

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  24. Love the elephant print knit sweater! So cute!

    Hope you are feeling better! Sorry to hear you've not been well. :(

    Lisa.

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  25. Oooh, yes, please! I'll have one of each :D

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  26. As usual, you have selected the most divine pictures and photographs to illustrate your post. The Chanel gown and perfect purple umbrella are just dreamy.

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  27. This has certainly started me thinking about what my top 10 would be. I have been appreciating my Grandma's 1960s green wool coat this winter. I love the elephant jumper and the bunny one you can just see to the left. I need to become better at knitting motifs! I hope the bad spell of health is improving.

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  28. Oh gosh, I could spend a million if I had it right now!! (Well, more than a million - there's a 1.3 million pound Art Deco house up for sale near me. You'd have to have the house to go with the Poirot-worthy wardrobe, right??)

    I'm doing 3 mini-giveaways this week, open internationally so check them out - eyebrow palette and nail polish, vintage teapot, and a Ladybird Archive mug!

    P xx

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  29. Dear Jessica, Such a lovely collection, so beautifully illustrated!There are a few things there on my very own vintage wishlist... particularly the new look suit. Alas, like you, I am short of pennies- but not dreams. I would add a clear lucite bag to my ideal list and a pink nylon crinoline.Sigh! xx as always Shauna

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Shauna. I love your choice - had this list kept going (or if I ever do a second edition) a vintage lucite bag would one of the entries for sure. They really are incredible and I think all vintage loving ladies should try to have at least one in their wardrobe.

      I hope that the pink crinoline fairy visits you this year, my friend!

      ♥ Jessica

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  30. I am loving seeing these posts pop up. I missed the competition, but I still am enjoying reading these awesome suggestions. With summer almost over here time to find a beautiful coat and fur muff!

    Hope your feeling better health wise (((hugs)))

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  31. Great post! I'm really into collecting vintage gloves at the moment... I've found a lot of beautiful ones at op-shops lately which have only cost me a few dollars each! :) x

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  32. I have a real soft spot for flamingos and to this end, have a cardigan with flamingos on, but oh I would love one with bunnies on!
    I hope you are feeling better xxx

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  33. What a great list!

    I have just started my 1940's project, and i don't have 1/2 of these even on my "create-a-list" yet. Think i will have to add them. Thanks for such interesting posts. I love reading posts from people that love such a beautiful era of clothing.

    Happy sewing to you.

    Sarah

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  34. *Sigh* How many of these shall I say that I "need"? Or is it merely a "want"? I really don't care, I need and want almost all of them! Especially the pinafore dress!

    Adios,
    Jessie Lou

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  35. What a great list! While I have almost all of them, there are some that I'd like to up the quality of the pieces I have. But they are a terrific start.

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  36. I have really loved this idea of Joanna's. I particularly have enjoyed the wide variety of answers people have been giving!

    HRF

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  37. Lovely post, I hope you win. :) I already have: dark brown vintage mink muff (matches my vintage mink coat), clear umbrella with painted flowers from the fifties, and several pairs of vintage gloves. And a last note - you can never get too many cardigans! :)

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Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, questions, and opinions with me. I read and sincerely appreciate each comment I receive - they brighten my day like rays of sparkling sunshine.

♥ Jessica