March 31, 2014

Vintage Link Love: March 2014

There's always a certain sense of contradiction to ending a month of the first day of a new week, isn't there? It feels like you're pulled in two very different directions, with one foot in the past, the other in tomorrow. Today though, I feel like I'm on a pretty even keel and am looking very forward to the coming month for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is my sweet mother's birthday in two days, followed three weeks later by Easter. I also have some really, really exciting (top secret for the time being) vintage related plans in the work for later this spring, too, which have had me in a permanent smile for quite some time now (as I work diligently away at bringing them to fruition).

One of the things that really kicked March off on a positive note for me this year was winning a giveaway hosted by the immensely talented Emily from the blog Emily's Vintage Visions, who very generously offered her readers that chance to land a darling handmade apron that she created. It arrived mid-month and is so, so cute (and well constructed!). Though I wear one almost daily, I don't actually have a large collection of aprons, so Emily's wonderful gift is a big, and very much appreciated, boon to me there.

March was jumping with activity, online and off, and it wasn't hard in the slightest to find exciting, enjoyable, and/or inspiring entries to share with you here in this month's edition of Vintage Link Love. Quite the opposite actually, I have so many more from March (or that I found in March) bookmarked still that I could fill the next two such posts with them alone! I won't though, as I like to include some from the month that just wrapped up, of course, but I'm sure many of them will continue to appear here over time.

Sit back, settle in, grab your favourite early springtime nibble, if so desired, and come along as we take a peak at some great vintage related links as March embarks on its final day.

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Viva Las Vegas Pre-Game Tricks and Tips: With Viva Las Vegas, the largest annual gathering of vintage, rockabilly, and kustom kulture folks in the US (and one of the largest in the world) set to kick off again this year in mid-April, many bloggers who will be attending are hard at work both getting ready for the big event and sharing some of their thoughts on how to prep, pack and dress for it, including this helpful post chalked full of handy tips from Veronica Vintage, which is a great read for new and veteran attendees alike.

Tin cans filled with $10 million in (vintage) gold coins found buried in California: By way of my darling husband (who first shared it with me) comes a story that sounds too unbelievably good to be true, but is in fact genuine. If it doesn't make you want to buy a metal detector and start hunting around for old, buried tin cans of your own (because, let's face, most will not be jutting out above ground a little like the one in this story), I don't know what will!

♥ 10 recipes that defined the 1960s: Though I born in the mid-1980s, what struck me about this fun post, which I discovered via The Glamorous Housewife's wonderful blog, is just how many of the ten my family was still making and serving two to four decades later. In fact, I still whip up some of these classic eats myself to this day and think that many will continue to be popular for a long, long time to come (how can you not adore things like grape jelly meatballs and fondue?).

How to organize a pettiskirt collection: Whether you call them crinolines or pettiskirts, there's no difference in the amount of space these beautiful, but often very voluminous undergarments take up and the fact that storing them, especially if you have more than a couple, can quickly take up a rather hefty amount of room. Thanks to the immensely stylish Frances from the blog Polka Polish, all those who find themselves in this situation can now rejoice because she has hit upon a brilliant, super affordable way to wrangle your collection into a very small space that still allows you to see all of your petticoats at once glance. I love (underline that a hundred times) this clever idea!

7 Things Vintage Stars Can Teach Us About Body Confidence: This charming series of vintage photos, each partnered with a quote from one of yesteryear Hollywood's greatest stars, helps to succinctly remind us of how we might want to approach and deal with certain things that we almost all struggle with at one point or another when it comes to our own appearance and self-confidence levels.

The Manly Origins of Cheerleading: When most people (especially 21st century men) here the word "cheerleader", the first thing that pops to mind is a cute girl in a short skirt, dancing, cheering and waving a pair of pompoms around, and while that has certainly often the case in recent decades, as this engaging post examines, cheerleading actually has a longstanding history as a male centered activity (up until the 1930s in many places).

Man Buys 10,000 Undeveloped Negatives At a Local Auction and Discovers One of The Most Important Street Photographers of the Mid 20th Century: Gold, it would seem, is not the only treasure that lucky folks have been unearthing lately. In a story that sounds like a dream find to me, as I'm sure it will to many vintage photography fans, a man purchases a huge number of yesteryear photography negatives (for just $380) and soon finds that he's hit upon some of the great, most appealing never before seen street photography of the 20th century all captured by a tremendously talented woman named Vivian Maier.

The Toronto Vintage Society launches a blog: If you've been following Chronically Vintage for any length of time, you'll likely know that I'm A.) a Canadian living in Canada and B.) wildly passionate about anything and everything to do with vintage in this country. Unfortunately, especially in most smaller towns and cities, that's not a ton to be hand though thankfully in various corners across this great nation like-minded vintage loving folks do gather and hold events centered squarely around their passion for the past. Previously operating primarily out of Facebook and Twitter online, one such stellar group, The Toronto Vintage Society, recently launched a blog to help spread the good word about their events and vintage in Toronto in general, that is well worth following regardless of if you actually live in Ontario or anywhere in Canada yourself, as vintage truly does transcend borders.

1920s: English women in colour: This thoroughly engaging and highly beautiful collection of early vintage colour photographs (which reminds me very much of my 2012 post 20 gorgeous Edwardian colour photographs) has been making the rounds big time on Facebook lately, but in case you haven't seen it there or elsewhere, I simply had to share it with you here today. It's always such a special joy to see very early colour photos like this, which truly help the past seem all the more alive and easy to relate to.

How to make a 1940s headscarf/bandana: A little earlier this year Emileigh of the highly enjoyable, informative blog Flashback Summer ran a great series on 1940s working women's style, of which this handy, super easy to follow tutorial was a part. If you're a fan of this classic style of headscarf, you'll want to bookmark Em's post immediately.

50 vintage inspired & retro clothing stores: Searching for the mother load list of online shops that stock vintage inspired and retro fashions all corralled into one handy-dandy spot? Look no further than this post from Vintage Dancer which houses 50 sources that are sure to appeal to vintage fans far and wide - and cause many a wishlist to swell to new, epic proportions! :)

Marlene Dietrich | The World's Most Glamorous Grandmother Sale: Earlier this month some of legend actresses Marlene Dietrich's personal affects (including a love letter from Ernest Hemmingway) were auctioned off, with a sneak peak of the selection appearing in this post from Shimpton Couture. Dietrich is amongst the classic Hollywood stars that I most admire, not only for her acting but for how she lived her life, and I must say, if money was no objection, I would have loved to have raised my paddle when the auction began on some of the pieces in this elegant array of vintage and antique items (such as the resplendent piano compact pictured below).

{All images throughout the list of links above come by way of the post that they are displayed directly beneath the write up of here. Please follow the links provided to learn more about these images.}

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Electricity charged thunder storms, flocks of new blooms in every garden, early season produce, the shedding of at least a layer of two of clothing in our daily attire, Easter egg hunts, there are so very many reasons to eagerly look forward to April and all that it holds in store for us. I can hardly wait and feel like I'm in such a positive, productive place in my life right now on certain fronts that it's hard to contain my joy and eagerness for what April and the coming months beyond it will hopefully deliver.

{Image source}

I sense April is going to be a beautiful month in a lot of ways and am really hoping that the weather will follow suite. March's, though differently than February's, was often lousy and rarely permitted me to do photo shoots, which is always a drag, because I do enjoy getting in as many as my health will permit when the weather is in a more cooperative mood. I've got some marvelous springtime fashions to share with all of you, so with a bit of luck - and plenty of sunny skies - I can start doing so in earnest in the month ahead.

For now though, especially because I am trying very hard to savour and live in the moment as I grow older, I'm content to slip on a sundress and light weight cardi, set my sites on April, but devote my attention to today. Then buckle down to keep working on my secret plans, which with a bit of luck, I should be able to unveil sometime in May. Very exciting! :)

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you each a sweet, jubilant, completely lovely April and hope that the month delivers scores of reasons for you to smile as well.

March 29, 2014

20 fabulously inspiring 1950s spring fashion ideas

Spring has sprung at long last and I couldn't be more elated about that! Yes, granted, there's still knee high snow on the ground for some in the Northern Hemisphere, but soon enough, if they haven't already, the first telltale signs of this wondrously beautiful season will appear and with them comes the mad rush to dust off our springtime threads once again.

After many months of snugly up tight with our beloved cold weather vintage wardrobe staples, scarves, boots, woolens, toques, long coats and heavy fabrics aplenty right left and centre, there's something gleefully liberating about slipping out of a layer or two, rekindling our love of pastels and florals, and donning our most whimsically cheerful hats once more.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again because it so immensely true: spring in Canada lasts for about as long as a young kitten can fit in the palm of your hand. The speed at which we so often go from black ice to days that all but require ice cream is often enough to make one's head spin! Granted, some parts of the country (hello, Vancouver!) may experience a lengthier spring, but by and large, this is a brief season from a weather perspective, much as fall is in the same regard, and that means one needs to celebrate these special not too woefully hot, not too terribly cold days while they're here.

What better way to celebrate any season than with your vintage wardrobe? I for one, am champing at the bit with excitement to sport my lighter weight suits, sundresses, oversized straw hats, crochet gloves, lace garments and open-toed shoes again to the point of near giddiness! It's not that I hate winter or dressing for that season, not in the slightest, it's just that I've really missed weaving some of those kinds of aforementioned styles into my wardrobe on a regular basis and am keen as all get out to begin doing so again very soon.

To help give me, and all of you as well, some fresh-as-a-newly-sprouted-tulip inspiration on that front in the coming days and weeks, I've gathered up a diverse selection of mid-century fashion images, all hailing from the fantastic fifties, that I know will do just that trick in that regard.

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{A short-sleeved gingham dress, white accessories, flippy 'do, and fresh picked daisies spell spring to no end!}

{Redolent of everyone from Grace Kelly to a young Jackie O, this endlessly sophisticated spring suit is given an extra generous dose of feminine flare care of the classic millinery flower corsage. A splendid style idea to keep in mind, whether you employee real or artificial blooms, all season long.}

{A fifties look with a whisper of the 1920s to it, thanks to the long strand of pearls and cloche-esque bucket hat, this ensemble also has a wee bit of a nautical vibe to it and would look fabulous for a day spent on a boat.}

{Featuring a hearty dose of my colour of the year (purple), this beguiling violet ensemble's beauty is heightened all the more by the deep raspberry juice meets fuchsia lipstick the model is wearing. A stylish approach to remember you're donning fifties spring togs yourself this season.}

{Just as Mother Nature slips on her green attire once more, so too should you - perhaps care of a curve hugging, wonderfully pretty shawl collar sheath dress like this mid-century charmer.}

{Fear not, if the mercury hasn't decided to come out of hibernation entirely yet. Embrace spring's serene spirit with gentle hues, touchable layers, and plenty of feminine details (like pink hankies and flower adorned chapeaus) until, and well after, it does.}

{I can't decide what I love more, the fabulous floral print circle skirt or the cute-as-a-button black straw boater hat with it's generously sized garnet ribbon. Even in a dark colour palette, both seem so splendidly fresh and perfect for the breezy days of spring.}

{Tuck away your heavy tweeds, wools, and winter weight denims, and bust out some gorgeous pastel hued cottons, linens, taffetas and silks instead, to channel the same kind of causal, yet entirely posh, look that this matching shirt and slacks ensemble from 1954 conveys.}

{Multi-strand necklaces and wonderfully ladylike frocks - both featuring my all-time favourite colour, dusty rose - team up to create instant garden party ready outfits that as as sweet as a May cloud is fluffy.}

{A perfect ensemble for those still chilly days that many of us are waking up to while the last vestiges of winter slip away, this fun 1950s look partners a mint green thick knit mandarin collar cardigan with a playful paisley meets floral print dress and generous sized pearl studs to deliver both warm and beauty in equal doses.}

{This whole fabulous 1955 pink micro print short sleeved suit ensemble needs to get in my closet immediately!!! :) }

{Lime green might not be the first hue that pops into your mind when you think of pre-60s mid-century fashion, but at this lovely knit shell amply demonstrates, it can work wonder for both spring and when dressing from the 1950s.}

{Gone though the need for a coat may (soon) be, that doesn't mean we're quite ready for halter top season yet. Transition from one to the other with classic dolman sleeve garments and pencil skirts in neutral hues that compliment everything else in your closet and jewelry box alike.}

{Give the sun a run for its shine power by draping yourself in scads of gold (or gold toned metal) this season. Extra bonus points if you can find a matching floral print shawl and circle skirt set like this stunner from 1954.}

{Boasting what has to be one of the cutest novelty prints of all time, this darling daschund adorned shirtwaist dress with a generously sized pine green sash belt is both charmingly quirky and fabulously stylish in the same go. Now, as for the tie adjusting peeping Tom in the background, well, that might be a whole 'nother story!}

{Be as warm as the tea in your cup during the early days of spring by slipping on a timeless short sleeved knit top like this carnation hued lovely from 1951.}

{Capes aren't just for fall and winter (especially those that hit at the waist or upper hips), they can work splendidly come springtime, too, especially with fitted garments like sheath dresses and pencil skirts.}

{Nothing spells out the return of warm weather quite like a coat-free bare wrist piled mile high with a fantastic stack of bangle bracelets.}

{As well known 1950s models Suzy Parker with Anne St. Marie demonstrate, few things compare to a breezy blouse and figure hugging pencil skirt for a polished, see-you-through-any-situation springtime look that would be perfect for most modern office settings.}

{When the temps finally usher in the return of shorts again, be there to greet them in an understatedly chic red, blue and taupe ensemble like this then make a speedy beeline for the nearest beach or pool deck and enjoy some of those well deserved rays at long last.}

{All images above via Dovima is Devine II on Flickr. Please click on an image to be taken to its respective page.}

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Spring is stellar time of the year. Yes, it can mean scads of rain and thunder storms, as well as the need for a layer or two still at times, but it's filled with such an uplifting sense of rejuvenated joie de vivre, lightness and brightness that one can't help but run to embrace it with the most open of arms. This is the season that sees the return of yard sales, sun parasols, playsuits, sandals and capri pants. It's youthful and sweet, pretty as a picture, and just a flat out pleasure to know

Have fun with fashion this spring! Take neither it, nor the season as a whole, too seriously. This is a time for frivolity and finery alike, where pale pink and daisies reign supreme and there isn't a worry in the world on the fashion front - provided of course, you always keep an umbrella on hand for those infamous April showers.

March 28, 2014

Sponsor Chronically Vintage in April, save 20 to 25% off from various vintage sellers, and say hello to a stellar historical sewing blog

Of course, you don't have to do all three, but you're more than welcome to if so desired. :)

March saw a wonderful wealth of new sidebar sponsors join the roster here on Chronically Vintage, and I'd like to moment sincerely thank each and every one of the following shops and blogs for their first time sponsorship this month:

-Honey Pot Creations

-Guermantes Vintage

-Manhattan Hippy Vintage

-The Closet Historian

-Vintage Cuteness

-Voyeur Vintage

Some of these sponsors, as well as two earlier ones who were with us again in March, have very kindly offered my readers discounts at their shops. All of these discounts are only on until the end of March, so if you want to take advantage of them, now is the time to do so!

-Honey Pot Creations: Save 20% on all purchases from this marvelous milliner's etsy shop by using coupon code MADMARCHSALE

-Jenstyle Chic Vintage: Save a wonderful 25% at their etsy shop with coupon code: Jessica

-Manhattan Hippy Vintage: Save a lovely 20% off at their etsy shop when you use coupon code Spring20

-Sullivan Entertainment: Own a piece of television history when you purchase the vintage clothing and accessories available from this famed Canadian production company's online store, where you can save a generous 25% with the coupon code VINTAGE25

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This month I haven't been able to get enough of The Closet Historian, whose blog is rich with a vast array of stylish vintage fashion inspiration, as well as scores of projects that the talented lady (named Bianca Esposito) behind it posts. Her work is skilled, highly creative, and spans a number of different time frames, as well as being stunningly beautiful. In addition, Bianca is an engaging writer and all-around splendid person, so while it was her sponsorship that led me to discover her captivating blog, I'll certainly be following it from here on out, regardless of if we're working together or not.

I'd love to have welcome you and your shop, products, blog or other website as a sponsor in April, and still have a small number of spots available (they fill up quickly and many have already been secured for the coming month). For more details on becoming a sponsor, please see this page and/or feel free to email me for sponsorship rates and with all inquires anytime you'd like.

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It's hard to believe that we're getting ready to head into the last weekend of March. Though the weather here, as touched on in Thursday’s post, is still more akin to winter in many ways that spring, it won't be too long now before that world famous Okanagan sunshine returns and the world is once against sparkling with new life, stunning blooms, and temperatures that mandate the wearing of breezy, beautiful vintage sundresses.

Coming up on the calendar in the next month is Easter, a timelessly special holiday that I'm hoping will be every bit as warm and wonderful as the last one was here. I've already got my thinking cap (or would that be my thinking Easter bonnet? :)) on when it comes to what I'll be wearing, and depending on what Mother Nature is in the mood to do that day, have both a chilly and warm weather ensemble picked out and ready to be donned at a moment’s notice already.

This weekend, I hope to finish up (or very nearly so) with our spring cleaning, which was started all the way back in early February (we haven't worked on it constantly since then, just in spurts as time and circumstances permitted), including getting items sorted for a yard sale that we're planning to have in conjunction with my parents in April. It's been ten years since I last held one and as I adore putting them on every bit as much as I do going to them, it's something I'm truly looking forward to in the coming month.

I hope that these last few days of March and start of spring find you all well, my lovely dears, and that you have plenty of great things on the horizon yourself as the world suddenly burst back to life after being in sleepy hibernation for so very long.

Happy Friday wishes!!!

March 27, 2014

A timelessly lovely Scaramanga satchel, sand, and a serious lack of spring

Outfit details

Caramel brown snood: eBay eBay seller tina.g-2008
Brown cameo earrings: Handmade by me
Burgundy corduroy blazer: Reitman's
1980s Avon plastic floral cameo brooch: Shoulder to Shoulder Military Collectibles
Thin knit wheat coloured top: Old Navy
1950s navy blue pencil skirt: eBay
1940s/50s cream cotton gloves: (probably) eBay
Brown leather satchel bag: Scaramanga
Nude stockings with nude seam: eBay
Brown vintage style lace up oxfords: Payless
Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace

Photography by Tony Cangiano

...time weather, that is! Though we have a couple of sunny days lately, we've also been pelted with further snow and some really, really drab skies, like the ones that were out at the end of last week while Tony and I shot these photos down at the beach on Okanagan Lake here in Penticton (yet, there was still more than enough sunlight to turn me into Squinty McSqinterton again - *sigh*). Perhaps because it's so close to home, we rarely shoot on the sand proper there (we've often shot at other locations around it, such as the near the Sicamous, Rotary Park, and the gorgeous rose garden).

I'm not keen at all on how standing on sand makes my calves, which are anything but the most slender of creatures (a point which for some reason this surface just seems to highlight something fierce if I've got a dress, skirt, shorts or capri pants on), look unless I've got mile high heels on. Sometime though you have to take one for the fashion team, especially when the grass and ground around town are a soupy, semi-winter, semi-spring mess. Plus, I was in no hurry to wreck these wonderfully lovely vintage looking brown oxfords that I purchased with some of 2013's Christmas money from Payless in early January. They've fast become one of my frequently worn and highly adored pairs and fill a read void (for brown "everyday" type shoes) that I had in my footwear wardrobe.

They also happen to go extremely well, if I may say so myself, with this tremendously elegant Scaramanga satchel bag, which was very kindly sent to me for review by the awesome folks at Scaramanga. They contacted me a few months back to ask if I'd like to both receive one of their beautiful bags and also swap posts on each other's sites. I said a big yes to both and will appearing in an interview on their blog today. Very exciting!

I was given pretty much free reign of the Scaramanga satchel that I wanted receive and debated colours and sizes for hours (no joke), even bringing in Tony to get his thoughts on various shades. In the end, it came down to black and this warm, wonderfully classic shade of brown. As I didn't previously have any true satchel bags, let alone one this roomy, I knew that I wanted a versatile colour that would be easy to blend with numerous outfits in my wardrobe. Black, versatile as it is, is already quite common in my handbag collection, so ultimately I opted for brown instead and am very glad that I did, as I didn't realize until this sturdy satchel arrived just how much I needed a bag like this in my life.

The first thing that struck me in person about my new Scaramanga bag is just how well made it is. This is not thin, rinky-dink leather here in the slightest. It's thick, but still wonderfully pliable, and is partnered with secure stitching and practical, yet also pretty, nickel hardware. Being (very!) allergic to nickel myself, I do wish that Scaramanga's bags (and all handbags) were free of this metal, but thankfully the amount of hardware present is fairly minimal and I can bypass getting a bad case of contact dermatitis from it simply by wear thick long sleeves and gloves, something that I commonly do for a good chunk of the year anyhow, while using this bag.

The Scaramanga brand got its roots in 2006 when a chap named Carl Morenikeji felt the urge to bring the classic, iconic leather satchel back to the masses in the United Kingdom - and the world. I've long been a die hard fan of this style of bag - which is both beautiful and highly functional - and am very glad that he did, as it ultimately led to my first proper leather satchel appearing in my closet.

Jump ahead a few years to the present and Scaramanga has become one of the best known modern leather satchel brands, with the bulk of their inventory being created by skilled artisans in the UK and India. I sincerely mean it when I say that this is an amazing bag. It doesn't feel modern, and I say that as a very positive thing. It looks, and is, new, but it feels like a treasured family heirloom. Something your grandfather or grandmother might have handed down to you, bought back in the day from a high end leather goods shop and treasured over the decades.

I have the feeling when I use my brown leather satchel that it will be with me not just for years, but for decades, which isn’t something one encounters with a lot of budget-friendly (and in some cases, even more pricy) bags of any kind these days. Even with having to avoid the nickel hardware on it, I know that this is a bag I'm going to get a tremendous amount of use of it. It can stand up to rigors of our rambunctious dog, tote an abundance of day-to-day essentials, is easily cleaned with a damp cloth or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (my go-to cleaning tool for many leather and faux leather goods), and has garnered numerous compliments already over the five occasions I've worn it out now. I wholeheartedly adore this timelessly stylish satchel and very much appreciate that Scaramanga sent it my way.

The precise bag that I received from Scaramanga is the 13 inch brown leather satchel, which retails for £80.00. That is a bit of a steep price, I know, especially if you're shopping from outside of the UK or elsewhere in Europe, but the quality and beauty, not to mention the scores of times you'll likely use it, quickly help that price seem like an investment, instead of (just) a splurge purchase.

Not all handbags and larger bags like this satchel are created even, but thankfully Scaramanga's are at the top of this playing field, in my opinion. I would have zero qualms buying their offerings to give as gifts or for myself down the road, if I felt like I needed further leather satchels. Scaramanga ships worldwide for refreshingly reasonable rates, so you can avail of their splendid leather offerings (which leather satchels and messenger bags, silver jewelry, home goods, journals, notebooks, albums, and canvas bags, amongst other lovely products) no matter where in the world you reside.

You know, generally speaking, while I look at hundreds, often thousands, of vintage images on an average week, and I store many of them away in my mind for sartorial inspiration, it isn't every day that I see a look and intentionally want to try and emulate it right then and there. Around the time that Scaramanga contacted me, I saw a great 1940s fashion illustration again on Pinterest and knew, thanks to the similar bag that the lady in it was sporting, that I wanted to take a styling cue from it when putting together the outfit for today's post.

While I didn't have a mustard yellow blazer (I wish!) and opted for a navy blue vintage pencil/wiggle skirt, not a brown one as here, as well as swapping a snood for the charming plaid headscarf, I still very much turned to this image for inspiration while styling this great leather satchel and am sure that it will continue to inspire me as I sport it time and time again in the months and years to come.

Okay, so winter still wants to hang around for a little longer, but maybe that isn't such a bad thing - it gives me a few more days (or weeks, as the case may be) to sport the best of the season's fabrics, like the corduroy of my blazer, knit top, and this elegant, practical, immensely lovely leather satchel bag and coordinating faux leather lace up oxfords.

All things that, I'm sure, I'll be pining for at least a little bit once the sweltering days of late spring and summer finally do grace us once again. Thankfully though, no matter the weather, my Scaramanga satchel will be along for the ride as the perfect all-season, hearty, stylish, fabulously vintage appropriate daily carry bag that can take whatever life wants to throw at it.

March 25, 2014

Let's go on a vintage honeymoon to Italy

It might surprise you to know that Tony and I did not go on a honeymoon. We spent our wedding night at a prominent local hotel, but that was the extent of our post-nuptial holidaying. The reasons for such stemmed primarily from a matter of budget as well as that we'd soon be flying back to Ireland (where Tony was living and working at the time, and where we would go on to live for the first two years of our life together) from Penticton where our small wedding was held, and the cost involved with that took precedence over a vacation, as lovely as one certainly would have been.

I have no bitterness or negative feelings about not having a honeymoon (or a more elaborate wedding; we had a casual civil ceremony with just a few close family members present that was held at my mom and step-dad's house). My wedding and the days that ensued right after might not have been as I'd envisioned them when I was a little girl, but that didn't matter. What mattered - what will always matter - is that I got to stare into the eyes of my soul mate, recite my vows, and marry the man I love more than life itself.

That doesn't mean however, that I'm not a big fan of honeymoons (and traditional weddings), because I most certainly am - and who knows, maybe one day we'll take a belated honeymoon someplace magical. There's no absolute hard and fast rule that says it has to fall right after you tie the knot.

For most people though, that is when a honeymoon takes place, and with spring officially here now, and thus the return of wedding season, I thought it would be tons of fun to launch a four part series (with one post to appear throughout each of the four months of spring) dedicated to a quartet of different much loved, endlessly appealing classic honeymoon destinations across the world.

{While this charming young couple may have been helping to swell Edmonton's ranks back in the 1940s, I'd venture to guess that they - like most newlyweds of the 19th, 20th, and now 21st centuries – likely took at least a small trip someplace away from home for a few days (or longer) after swapping vows. Image source.}

The tradition of a honeymoon period stretches back for centuries, and has its roots in the days when couples often shared their first truly private moments together after being married. In some cases, where arranged marriages were involved, a honeymoon may even have been the first time aside from the wedding when the new bride and groom got to know each other point blank.

In Western culture the honeymoon largely came into popularity during the early 1800s, when well-to-do British couples would embark on a "bridal tour" (or voyage à la façon anglaise, in French), which was a trip in which the new couple set off to visit friends and relatives who hadn't been present at their wedding itself.

As time went on, fewer and fewer couples held onto this aspect of post-wedding day travel, however many - more so than ever - embraced the idea of taking a special trip to celebrate their new life together, and by the early 1900s, most newlyweds who had the financial means were embarking on a journey someplace away from home (Italy and the French Riviera were two of the most popular honeymoon destinations for those in Britain and France during the late Victorian and Edwardian years).

A couples’ choice of honeymoon destinations is virtually limitless today, though various spots that gained popularity over the course of the past century remain traditional favourites with many, and it is four of those that this series will focus on, starting with none other than the aforementioned Italy.

{That's right, for our inaugural vintage honeymoon destination, we've booked passage for none other than the sublimely inviting, timelessly gorgeous country of Italy. Image source.}

While this ancient and sweepingly beautiful land just happens to be where my darling husband hails from, I've not had the immense pleasure of setting foot there myself yet (one day, I truly hope), and this look at Italy will be one from the perspective of a fan, not of an actual traveler who has been there.

Boasting an endless array of old world charm, more history than you can shake a cannoli at, breathtaking landscapes and cities alike, scrumptious food to please every palette, sun-kissed beaches (or, if you prefer, fantastic ski hills in the north), and a people and culture that are impossible not to love, it is easy as (pizza) pie to see why Italy has been a honeymoon mainstay for two centuries.

There is so much to do and see in fact in Italy, that this post does not center on just one city, such as Rome, Venice or Florence, instead it highlights some of the places that couples headed to this Mediterranean slice of heaven may wish to see throughout the country. While putting together your itinerary for gorgeous Italia, as the locals call it, why not consider adding some, or all, of the following seven locations and activities to your list.


Savour the rich history and stellar architecture of Florence

Take a gondola ride in Venice

Pose for a picture with the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Let your inner foodie soar in Naples (home of some of, if not the, best best pizza in the world)

Swim and sunbath on the Amalfi Coast

Dress to the nines and go out for an evening of fine dinning, then to the opera or theater anywhere in the country

Go shopping at the famous The Porta Portese flea market in Rome

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

While the more northerly regions of Italy such as Trento-Alto Adige share certain geographical and culture similarities with neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, Austria, and France, as well as - in some areas - a nippier climate, especially during the winter, it's a fair bet to say that the bulk of the country is quite warm for most of the year.

As such, you'll want to pack with a toasty climate in mind (especially if you're visiting anytime between mid-spring and early fall). Think breezy sundresses, light weight separates, straw sun hats and handbags, comfortable wedge heels and/or sandals that you can easily walk in, a shawl or light jacket for evening, shorts, playsuits, capri pants, chiffon scarves (perfect for keeping hair that may have gone frizzy from any humidity quite literally under wraps), sunglasses, chic jewelry, a swimsuit or two if you're going to be anywhere near the ocean, lake or hotel pool, and of course plenty of sunscreen, too.

The following seven items would all be great choices to tuck into your suitcase as you jet off for the majestic shores of Italy.

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{A wide brimmed hat is an absolute must in climates like Italy's where the sun rarely takes a day off. 1930s straw cartwheel hat with navy ribbon and millinery flowers (which, purely by coincidence, was made in Italy - you've got to love that!), $120.00 from etsy seller Sonnet and Bough.}

{Much like a hat - and perhaps even more so in some settings - a great pair of specs are a true must while in the Mediterranean. 1940s OPTIKS round lens sunglasses, $131.41 (at the time of writing) from etsy seller Tamta's.}

{When packing for a sizzling hot destination, it's always wise to think light, both in terms of weight and colours. This elegantly lovely 1940s sheer lace blouse hits the mark perfectly on both counts. Fits a 38-41" bust/undefined waist, $42.00 from etsy seller Dear Golden.}

{Skip sleeves, slather on oodles of sunscreen, and spend your days looking so gosh darn cute in vintage polka dots that buttons everywhere will be jealous. 1940s spaghetti strap sundress, fits up to a 34" bust, 26/27" waist, $128.00 from etsy seller Mel's Vanity.}

{You'll look as gorgeous as a cherry red Vespa when you scoot around Italy in these fantastic 1950s high waisted shorts. Fits up to a 31" waist/44" hips, $26.60 (sale price at the time of writing) from etsy seller Piccaso Muse.}

{Holidays often call for big bags - they're towels, maps, guide books, snacks, sunscreen, souvenirs, water bottles, sunglasses, and myriad other things to carry with you while on the go, so a substantial sized vintage tote like this 1940s/50s straw gem is a must while on your honeymoon. $72.00 from etsy seller Dark Bloom Vintage.}

Vintage style nautical red and white Cliffs Sister womens wedge sandals

{A country flanked by the seas practically begs to scene while sporting something with a jaunty nautical vibe to it, and these wonderfully well priced red and white wedge sandals fit the bill there perfectly. Available in modern ladies sizes 5.5 to 11 (as well as black and white, and blue and white, too), $19.87 from Amazon.}


While packing, remember of course to take your camera (and/or video camera) along, too. This is neither the time nor the place to be without a way of recording your exciting travels as a newly married couple.

There have been hundreds, if not more, books written about travel to, as well as the history, culture and cuisine of, Italy over the years, and if you're headed in the direction of that exciting part of the world for your honeymoon, it may we well worth investing in a few to better acquaint yourself with this fantastic country before you arrive. The following is an alphabetically arranged assorted list of great titles that you may find especially helpful on that front.

-A History of Italian Cinema by Peter Bondanella

-A Month of Italy Rediscovering the Art of Vacation by Chris J. Brady

Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide from Classics to Cult by Howard Hughes

-DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Italy by DK

-Fashion at the Time of Fascism (edited) by Mario Lupano and Alessandra Vaccari

-Fodor's Essential Italy: Rome, Florence, Venice & the Top Spots in Between by Fodor

-Frommer's Italy Day by Day by Sylvie Hogg and Stephen Brewer

-Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History by Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari

-Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best by Louise Fili and Lise Apatoff

-Italian Slanguage: A Fun Visual Guide to Italian Terms and Phrases by Michael Ellis

-La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World's Most Enchanting Language by Dianne Hales

Larousse Pocket Dictionary: Italian-English Dictionary by Larousse

-Lonely Planet Italy's Best Trips by Paula Hardy, Robert Landon, and Duncan Garwood (this book features 38 exciting road trips around Italy)

-National Geographic Traveler: Italy, 4th Ed. by Tim Jepson

-100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go by Susan Van Allen 

-Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary by Rick Steves

Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History by Robert Hughes

-Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean by John Keahey

-Speak the Culture: Italy: Be Fluent in Italian Life and Culture by Andrew Whittaker

-Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World by Peter D'Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish

-The Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food by John Dickie

-The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy: A Regional and Village Guide to the Best Wines and Their Producers by Nicholas Belfrage and Hugh Johnson

-The Oxford Companion to Italian Food by Gillian Riley

-The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples by David Gilmour

-The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels by Richard Paul Roe

-Travel Italia: The Golden Age of Italian Travel Posters by Lorenzo Ottaviani

-Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden

-Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch 

Italy truly is one of the most romantic, captivating, exquisitely pretty places this vast world of ours has to offer. From seas of vineyards churning out some of the best wine in the world to housing magnificent works of art, ancient runs and thriving modern metropolises alike, there is really no where else quite like, nor are there many that are as perfectly suited to providing couples with the dreamy sort of honeymoon most of us adore envisioning ourselves in.

{One can't help but wonder if the writer of this 1950s ad promoting travel to Italy had honeymooners in mind as they penned those inviting opening lines. Image source.}


As incredible as Italy is, if it's not your cup of tea (or would that be espresso?), but you're still looking for warmer grounds to take your first trip and a married couple to, fear not, we'll be heading to another sunny, gorgeous spot that calls the Pacific ocean home in the second installment of the vintage honeymoon series.

Be sure to tune in April to find out just where exactly we're headed to next!