February 28, 2013

Looking back at February 2013

The briefest month of the year wraps up today, yet there wasn't too much about this February that felt short to me. There were some lovely days for sure (such as Valentine's on which Tony gave me an adorable light pink Hello Kitty cupid plush, a darling card featuring two kisses bulldog puppies, and a gorgeous purple rose), but most followed in the same vein as January.

Then, as the month drew to a close, the inevitable happened, I came down with a nasty flu that Tony brought home last week. At first I thought maybe, just maybe, I'd bypassed contracting it, but when I woke up on Tuesday morning this week, I knew that such luck was not on my side.

Yesterday was especially unpleasant, as I duked it out with a 104F fever for most of the day (which, thankfully broke late in the evening). I don't tend to get over the flu very quickly, so I'll likely be a somewhat out of commission due to it for the next little while. Thankfully though, this was the first time either of us got the flu this winter, and we've been spared (knock wood) any colds this season. If I must get it, I'll take the flu at this late stage in the winter over getting it, say, during the Christmas holidays any year!

{We're ensuring especially brisk business for Kleenex this week at our house, as Tony and I slog our way through a rough flu. Image source.}

Also on the health front, and I will be posting more about this matter when the date draws nearer, I wanted to give you all a head's up that I'll be going in for surgery again in the not-too-distant future and that I'll need to take a small blogging break (likely about two weeks) while I recoup afterwards. Long time readers will recall that this isn't the first time I've had do just that before, but I've had a good surgery-free spell, going close to two years since the last one (which took place in the summer 2011).

That's looking ahead a touch however, and this post (the second in the end-of-the-month review series that launched last month) is about recapping some of the things, and blog posts, that have transpired since the beginning of the month, so let's take at gander at such things first.

As I wasn't feeling too swell throughout this whole month for various reasons, there weren't many outings, and I was grateful to have some vintage outfit photos taken in January to use throughout February, including a return to my beloved grey wall in Kelowna to shoot my 1940s Valentine's ensemble (a photo from which also appears below).

1940s pink and black vintage Valentine's winter outfit_4

I always like to keep a rosy outlook, no matter what life throws my way or how I'm feeling, so we kicked off February with a super fun look at the history of Groundhog Day on February 2nd, then a couple of days later, I shared my awesome new mini pink Christmas tree (which, it was unanimously decided, I should leave out year round and decorate for each of the various major holidays).

In a rousing game of vintage blog tag, I shared 21 facts about myself pertaining to my passion for the past, personal style, and vintage filled life (I had such a blast writing this post!).

A few days later, the sharing continued when - in a nod to Valentine's Day - I posted about Ten things that make my heart beat faster (amongst which one will find everything from fiddle music to the thought of wearing a genuine Dior New Look ensemble).

The day after Valentine's, as per a request from a reader that came in a couple of months ago, I posted about something that has been incredibly near and dear to my heart for the better part of my life: writing poetry. In this post, I shared four of my own poems with you and touched on the profound importance poetry has had on me over the years.

As we cruised our way through the second half of February, topics as diverse as the history of maple syrup to a celebration of Greek culture as seen in various mid-century sources (fashion very much included) appeared. Sandwiched in amongst those two posts, I also wrote more about my love of Freddies of Pinewood's wonderful vintage reproduction denim offerings.

As well, later in the month we took a peak at Ten investment worthy vintage wardrobe items, any one of which I'd be pleased as punch to splurge on if circumstances permitted anytime. Then earlier this week, I was in the mood to discuss something pertaining to local history, so I shone the spotlight on Penticton born classic Hollywood actress Alexis Smith.

And for the very last post of the month - save for this one, yesterday I blogged about a rare day of glorious winter sunshine and also chatted about one of my beloved vintage Austrian fruit brooches, complete with a bevy of photos taken on one of my favourite places in town, my parents' deck.

There were other posts here as well in February, but these standout as some of my personal Favourites.
Elsewhere online, I was touched as can be to mentioned in a number of wonderful places across the web this month. On the 7th I was absolutely honoured to included amongst the terrific blog Vintage Frill's list of their Top 10 Vintage Blogs (sharing this post with some seriously venerable company!).

I was recently asked if I'd like to write about why I love Canada and what being a Canadian means to me for Vintage Lifestyle Magazine. I'm happy to announce that my little write-up on this subject appeared along side several other similar pieces from bloggers and other inspiring individuals around the world in the latest (free, online) issue of Vintage Lifestyle Magazine (you can see my piece on page 76). This is the second time I've been a part of this truly fantastic online fashion and vintage lifestyle magazine, and I want to thank the wonderful folks there again for including some of my thoughts on Canada in issue 14. 

As well, just last week, the immensely lovely Stephanie of The Girl with the Star-Spangled included me in her great post about vintage blogging ladies sporting trousers in her great photo filled post Vintage and Pants.

Gazing towards March on the blogging front, some of the topics that I'm planning to hopefully delve into here in the coming month include budget-friendly 1940s sewing patterns, a St. Patrick's Day meal, unexpected sources of vintage wardrobe inspiration, and an Easter related post or two.

March 1940 cover of Movie Mirror magazine featuring Priscilla Lane
{A beautiful 1940s magazine cover featuring actress Priscilla Lane - her dress is so lovely and filled with the spirit of vintage springtime glamour. Just the ticket to inspire all of us as we launch into March. Image source.

Here's to whatever March holds in store and the heartfelt hope that it will be a lovely, joyful month for all of us! 

Ohhhh, and last but not least, don't forget that March 10th marks the return of springtime daylight saving time (so remember to set your clocks ahead an hour, my sweet dears). 

February 27, 2013

Of gorgeous winter sunlight and vintage Austrian fruit brooches

Outfit details

1930s/40s feather adorned black velvet hat: eBay
Black rhinestone earrings: Payless
Vintage Austrian glass berry brooch: eBay
Purple thin knit top: Thrifted
1940s/50s grey cotton gloves: eBay
Vintage black velour pencil skirt: etsy seller Lady Kitschener's Vintage Emporium
Black vintage handbag: etsy seller A Vintage Revival
Grey tights: (new stock) Value Village
Black suede pumps: Wal-Mart
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

The region of British Columbia where we live, the Okanagan Valley, is amongst the sunniest corners of the whole country...during the summer that is. Once the last jack-o-lanterns come down in early November, like much of the world, the Okanagan usually slumps into a pattern of greyness, bleakness, snow, chilly winds, and very little light of any sort to speak of for the next several months. Save that is, for the those very rare, very wonderful days when the sun - almost as if by magic - decides to spring out and bestow its goodness and warmth on us, if only for a few short hours.

That is precisely what happened one afternoon right around the start of the month. On that day, both Tony and I had some medical lab work that we needed to done (side note, but - and I've had a ton of blood work over the years, my dears, let me tell you - on that day, I had the most blood I'd ever had drawn at one time taken, twelve vials; I was almost surprised I didn't feel woozy afterwards) so we popped out to take of care that bright and early.

Afterwards we dropped by to visit my mom and ended up spending several absolutely lovely hours at her house (noshing on olives, baked potato chips, and scrumptious coconut marshmallows), which is where the snaps in today's post were taken (not since last Thanksgiving has the weather been cooperative enough to shoot on my parents deck).

The light that day was resplendent. I don't use that word loosely, it truly was stunning. I didn't retouch the lighting or background in these photos one iota, what you see, if precisely what mother nature was blessing us with that day. It was the kind of light that one wishes they could put in a bottle and pull out time and time again, always on hand for rainy and snowy days, to warm the soul and provide an illuminated, gorgeous backdrop for any occasion.

And speaking of beautiful things, isn't the stained glass I'm standing beside on my parents' deck incredible? My mom scored it one Saturday last year while we were out yard saling for an incredible deal (she paid at the very most, a tenth of what it would have cost new), and it now stands out as one of her favourite garage sale finds of ever. Given that it matched my top here perfectly, there was no way I could pass up posing with it.

Knowing I'd be needing to wear something that would allow for easy arm vein access, I went with an understated, elegant eggplant hued thin knit (which, I realized about two seconds after we left the house, has a tiny hole near the bottom hem, so from here on out, I'll be wearing it tucked in to hide that fact), my trusty black 50s velvet pencil skirt, grey tights, a fabulous (recently purchased) 30s/40s black velvet feathered adorned hat, and one of my all-time favourite brooches.

As you guys know, I absolutely, positively adore brooches! As my collection has continued to expand, it's started to break into subcategories, one of which includes vintage Austrian glass fruit brooches.

Should you happen to be a fan of these particular charming vintage pins, then you know that - retail at least - they don't come cheap these days. Depending on the condition, type of fruit depicted, and rarity, it's not uncommon to see such pins (or pin sets, which usually include a brooch and a pair of matching earrings) sell in the range of $30 to $125+.

Though I've heard tales of folks finding Austrian fruit brooches (most of which were produced in the 1940s-60s) for fifty cents or a dollar secondhand over the years, much as with Bakelite jewelry, I have yet to ever encounter any in person, let alone for those kinds of rock bottom prices. My wee little collection of Austrian glass fruit jewelry has all purchased online, primarily from eBay, and currently contains around five pieces, amongst which this marvelous blue and purple berry brooch is definitely one of my favourites.

This piece was not inexpensive by any means, but as it was my Christmas present to myself last year, I didn't mind splurging on something that I'd wanted for years and which I knew would instantly become a heirloom worthy treasure in my jewelry collection. To say that I love it to pieces would be a major understatement. This brooch is so, so cute and darling, while simultaneously projecting an air of classic elegance.

It makes me smile every time I wear or even just look at it, reminding me of the raspberries and blackberries my grandparents grew by the bucketful in their backyard garden when I was a little girl. It's sweet, fun, and completely pretty, and I'm sure that you'll see if featured here in other vintage outfits as time goes on.

A rare moment of enchantingly perfect winter light, a darling vintage Austrian berry brooch, spending time with my mom, these are the simple pleasures that bring me joy and make so very grateful for every day, no matter if they're sunny or not.

February 25, 2013

Shinning the spotlight on locally born classic Hollywood actress Alexis Smith

Everyone, it is said, was born somewhere, and indeed that's true, but not many big name mid-twentieth century movie stars called Penticton home. While today this sun-kissed, vineyard filled corner of British Columbia boasts a population of over 30,000, back in 1920s that number was more like a few thousand at most (factoring in the surrounding areas). Like much of the province outside Vancouver and Victoria, it was still very much a burgeoning spot that would take a few more decades to grow to a population large enough for it to be called a fully fledged city.

It was during the roaring twenties however, on June 8, 1921 to be exact, that a local couple welcomed a new daughter into the world, whom they named Gladys Smith. Taking to the stage early in life, Gladys was an avid ballerina as a teenager and went on to study drama at Los Angeles City College in California. It was while in LA that Gladys opted to take on a screen name, retaining her surname and swapping in Alexis for the first name she was bestowed at birth (in, part, I'd venture to guess, because there was likely no shortage of other women named Gladys Smith at the time).

Canadian actress Alexis Smith, 1940s Hollywood stars, image 2

While preforming in a play at her college, Alexis was spotted by a Warner Brothers talent scout who just happened to be in the audience, and shortly after, in 1941, signed a contract with the studio. Though Alexis' movie career did not hit the ground running per se, it didn't take too long before she was soon being cast alongside leading names of the day such as Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, and Bing Crosby, in movies such as Gentleman Jim, Night and Day, and Here Comes the Groom.

Cary Grant and Alexis Smith in the classic Hollywood movie Night and Day

Tall, beautiful, and confident, Alexis had no problem straddling both the world of Hollywood and of the stage, the latter of which was her first love when it came to acting. During the 1950s and beyond Alexis stared in several plays, including 1955's Plain and Fancy based on the book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman. Sixteen years later, in 1971, she appeared on the cover of Time magazine for her critically acclaimed role in the Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies - a role that would go onto land her a Best Actress Tony Award.

Canadian actress Alexis Smith, 1940s Hollywood stars, image 1

Though Alexis Smith never became a Hollywood star of the magnitude of some of her female peers of the day, she was not a flash in the pan or a one hit wonder either. Her acting career (which also included a handful of TV roles) span fifty years, with her last role being as an episode of Cheers in 1990, just three years before she passed away from cancer at the age of seventy-two.

Penticton born Canadian actress Alexis Smith

Married to the same man, actor Craig Stevens, for forty-nine years, Alexis spent most of her adult life living and working in America, yet had the distinction amongst her fellow Hollywood colleagues as being the only well-known actress of her day to have been born in Penticton, British Columbia. I don't know if she was able, or had any desire to, make it back up to these parts throughout her life, but I like to think that surely, gorgeous as California is, there must have been times when she yearned - if only a little - for her Canadian hometown.

Canadian actress Alexis Smith, 1952

{To learn more about a specific image in this post please click on it to be taken to its original source.} 

Though I’m not sure if any of her relatives still live around these parts, should I happen to run into anyone in town that shares her (albeit rather common) surname, I'll be certain to ask them if they might per chance be related to the city's only female Tony winner, and an all around great mid-century actress, Alexis Smith.

February 23, 2013

It's all vintage Greek to me

What do alarm clocks, vending machines, the Olympics, abstract geometry, the science of optics, and fire hoses have in common? They're all things that were invented by the ancient Greeks.

Though the Greeks - often seen as the founders of modern society as we know it - were not as technologically advanced as the Romans, many great minds emerged from amongst this ancient population, whose work - across a broad spectrum of subjects - we still use to this very day.

Much like the scientific, philosophical, and even medical legacies of the ancient Greeks, the world has long held onto a general fascination with this Mediterranean culture (which interesting, is technically named the Hellenic Republic, not Greece). From the stunning azure coastlines to the arid hills, the lush olive groves to the cobblestone marketplaces, Greece beckons one with all the might of a thunder bolt cast down by Zeus himself, and though not a land I've had the pleasure of visiting in person yet myself, it is one that I very much hope to see some day.

Beyond the geographical pleasures of this southeastern European nation, there are many elements of its civilization and cuisine that appeal to people the world over (far beyond bed sheet togas worn at frat parties). Greece is a country at the crossroads of three mighty continents (Europe, Africa and Asia), each one of which has placed a significant role in shaping its culture over the centuries.

In recent years Greece has been effected tremendously by economical problems, however it once flourished as one of the mightiest and wealthiest nations of the world, during which time many motifs, styles, materials and foods were created that remain popular the world over to this day.

While Greek culture (past or present) didn't factor into the design field during the early and mid-twentieth century as heavily as influences from certain other societies (such as the ancient Egyptians, for example) necessarily did, one can still find many a piece from the 1900s-1960s which channels a distinctly Greek vibe.

One very chilly, snowy morning recently, I awoke with thoughts of Greece on my mind. I was craving its scrumptious cuisine (much of which, if we take bread and pastry out of the equation, is - or can easily be made - gluten-free, a huge plus for those like me with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance), daydreams of dipping my toes into its warm, sparkling blue waters, and wishing that I had more Greek inspired garments in my wardrobe.

I haven't been able to stop my thoughts from wandering back to Greece ever since, and so today I want to share with you some of the wonderful Greek related vintage items (while ancient Greek antiquities are highly prized and much collected, the items in today's post are all from the twentieth century, as is keeping with the theme of this blog) that I've recently found on etsy.

I haven't purchased any of these, but a couple are definitely on my wish list at the moment (I wonder which of the Greek Gods good side's I'd need to get on to receive them?).

{The iconic repeating motif often seen as a border on all manner of Greek or Greek influenced articles is known as the Greek key or Greek fret, and its use is one of the best ways to instantly inject a Hellenic vibe into any piece. Here a black Greek key border adorns the hem of this circa 1960s empire waist cocktail dress, further adding to the timeless appeal of this beautiful garment. Fits up to 36" bust/30" waist. $95.00 from Swing Kat's Vintage.}

{Conjure up thoughts of a 1950s vacation to Greece with this lovely 31"x31" nylon souvenir scarf, which hails from that era. $28.00 from Lost Lake Vintage.}

{Pick up this adorable pair of 4" tall 1950s/60s traditional folk costume adorned dolls to use as a centerpiece at your next Greek dinner party. $11.50 for both from Country Cove Creations.}

{For that special Adonis in your life, a dapper 1940s-50s red jacquard satin necktie featuring images of Greek medallions on it. $30.40 from The Vutique.}

{A beautifully attired Greek lass sashays her way across the corner of this charming vintage hand painted handkerchief (which measures almost 28"x30"). $5.50 from A Better Time.}

{Never serve Baklava on a plain plate again when you can bring it to the table on this elegant 11.75" enamel on copper serving platter that's a reproduction of an original Grecian Etruscan design. $11.00 from Trixie Devereaux's Junk Shop.}

{Bar none, my favourite item in today's delightful roundup, this beautiful pink and white 1950s dress is fit for Aphrodite herself. Fits up to a 40" bust/30" waist. $135.00 from Tova's Vintage Shop.}

{For all the sewing fans out there, this charming 1950s pattern would be a great way to whip up a Greek maiden, or goddess, inspired outfit for your next costume party of Greek themed shindig. $14.00 from SydCam123.}

{Look as though you hail from one of ancient Greece's most well-to-do families in this chic 1960s silver tone necklace and earrings set featuring Greek style coins. $148.00 for the set from Ver Unica.}

{Slinky, alluring, and timelessly lovely, this Greek inspired white 1950s cocktail dress strikes me as something Marilyn Monroe would have happily worn. Fits up to a 36" bust/26" waist. $148.00 from Wear It Again.}

{You'll have no need for an interpreter when you've got this lovely and handy vintage English-Greek in your suitcase. $16.00 Attention Vintage.} 

{As many of them tend to be, this gorgeous novelty print circle skirt depicting scenes from ancient Greece fits a very tiny (22") waist, however a sewer with the know-how could always add in in an extra panel of fabric to widen it to accommodate a larger waist. $165.00 from Vintage Devotion.}

Now, tell me, don't these elegant, lovely vintage Greek themed pieces put you in the mood to book a flight to Athens right now? Or if that's not very feasible, at least don a crown of laurel leaves and whip up a feast of pita bread, souvlaki, spanakopita, and tzatziki right this very minute! I know they certainly put me in just such a mood, and indeed, I'll be stocking up on the ingredients to make a Greek feast the next time I go grocery shopping.

Today however, as winter is still digging its heels in here, I'm going to curl up with some of my favourite works by Socrates, a bowl of yogurt with walnuts and honey, and thoughts of one day seeing Greece and experiencing its legendary Mediterranean warmth firsthand.

I might not make it to Mt. Olympus anytime soon, but as the vintage items in today's post prove, one can still very easily inject a hearty dose of Greek culture into their home and wardrobe anytime. Now if that's not worth enthusiastically saying "opa" over, I don't know what is! :)


February 21, 2013

Photographic proof that own more than one pair of pants

It's scarcely a secret that I'm not a big trouser wearer. I don't inherently have anything against pants, it's just that - whether we're talking vintage, repro, or modern - I tend to have a really tricky time finding any that fit even remotely well. Add to that the fact that (due to medical) reasons it's almost always hard for me to wear anything tight and/or heavy (as I find the waist bands on many pants to be) around my midsection and there's a reason tumble weeds blow through the area of closet reserved for trousers.

Throughout 2012, when I appeared here in pants, it was always either my beloved Freddies of Pinewood side button jeans (as seen in outfits like this one) or my equally cherished Nine West denim capris (a summer wardrobe staple for days like this one spent yard saling). The only other pair of pants I've ever worn on camera to date here, have been my cute Freddie's overalls (dungarees), which tend to be reserved for especially outdoorsy days.

There are a couple of other pairs of pants in my wardrobe, but they very rarely see the light of day, because (and I do apologize if this is a tad frank) I have to be extremely un-bloated (aka, not bloated) and to have my pain levels at a certain spot for me to even contemplate slipping into them. For the first time in months, I recently had one cold winter evening like that, so I jumped on the chance instantly to wear the third pair of Freddies of Pinewood pants that I own: their Classic Pedal Pushers.

Now, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this post, the lighting - especially during the winter and in the evening - in our darling little house is anything but stellar. We don't get very much natural light at the best of times and there's a shortage of overhead lightning on the main floor, so top-notch results one is not likely to achieve (without the addition of studio lighting) anytime soon, especially when shooting - as in the case of the photos in today's post - when an iPhone. Nevertheless, it's such a rare and wonderful occasion when I get to wear these pedal pusher jeans, that I couldn't let the night slip past without grabbing a few quick shots.

Outfit details

Gingham hair wrap/scarf: eBay

Silver hued star burst earrings: Dollar store in Kelowna

Sterling silver & Swarovski crystal cherry pendant necklace: a beautiful gift from Tony ♥

Red ruched neck tee: Mariposa 

Grey dolman sleeve cardigan: Freddies of Pinewood

Cherry print bangle: etsy seller Faux Flowers

Other bangle bracelets: Assorted sources

Denim pedal pushers: Freddies of Pinewood

Black 1940s style shoes: Thrifted

Lip colour: Red Apple Lipstick's Red Lipstick

Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

Now, generally speaking, pedal pushers are supposed to stop (or be cuffed so that they hit) about mid-way down a person's calf. On someone like me however, who is 5'2" and by no means leggy, most pedal pushers hit me at ankle height. This could be seen as a negative, but I actually see it as a positive, because it means that it's like I get two pairs of pants in one out of my pedal pushers. I can either wear them as is (as I did on the very cold and snowy evening when these pictures were taken) or roll them up a bit in the warmer months so that they look like pedal pushers instead of tapered jeans.

I love Freddies of Pinewood. Aside from the fact that I was once hit with a large courier fee bill (on top of the usual Canadian customs fees) - much as like what happened to me when I ordered from eshakti last December - I have had zero qualms with this company (and to be fair, that's more the courier's fault than Freddies). I know a couple of people in our vintage circle who've had rough experiences with Freddie's customer service team, but thankfully I've not run into such issues myself and found them to be very pleasant to deal with the one time I emailed them back and forth about sizing.

To date I own four pairs of pants (my side button jeans, overalls, front pocket jeans, and these cute, classic denim pedal pushers), as well as a small number of tops (including the grey one in today's post) from them. I really hope that over time further Freddies products, especially their jeans, will make it into my wardrobe, as theirs are the only vintage reproduction pants that fit me well (I've bought other brands over the years and had zero success in terms of finding a good fit) .

For those shopping outside of the UK in particular, Freddes can be a touch pricy (their prices are in UK pounds), but I can attest to the fact that they're very well made and durable. I've probably worn my side button jeans at least 30 times, and they look as crisp and fresh as the day the arrived in the mail. The same goes for all of the other items I own from Freddies, and I consider my jeans to be one of the best wardrobe investments I've made in recent years.

As you can see here, my wig (Pin Up from the brand Jon Renau) is holding up well so far. The curl has dropped a little in spots, but over all, I'm really impressed with the quality and durability of this inexpensive synthetic wig. As you know, I hope to buy a good quality real hair wig one day, but that's just a dream for the time being (especially after the string of super big expenses - from taxes to car repair bills - that we've been hit with already this year). In the interim, I'm very happy to stick with Pinup (and/or other similarly styled and prices synthetic wigs) while I work towards the (very) long-term goal of saving up for a really nice real hair (or alternatively a super high end, heat resistant custom made synthetic) wig.

I adore wearing this wig with bows (the Bettie bangs and flowing curls just look so cute, if I may say so myself, with it), be they wee little ones or great big vintage inspired bowed hair wraps like this fun black and white gingham one (which, interestingly, I believe was last seen here on the blog in another series of grainy evening shots during a night of fishing, however the weather then and the weather now couldn't further apart from each other!).

So, while my collection is pretty darn slim at best, I'm not completely without a pair or two of jeans to slip into on those days when durable trousers are called for or simply desired. A closet full of pants might be nice, but so long as I have a couple of pairs that I can rely on, I'm a happy (Freddies jeans wearing) camper. :)

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.