Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vintage finds, AKA the only shopping I've done in months

Last weekend was the Chicagoland Vintage Clothing, Jewelry and Textile Show, an overwhelmingly large show about an hour away from Chicago in Elgin. Last year I had a great haul. This year I was a bit more restrained, even though this show, more than any others, often has the largest portion of things to my personal style and taste (though not always my budget, of course).

Once we knew we were going to buy a house I stopped shopping of any kind that wasn't food or essentials... unless you call inspections and earnest money and packing supplies and iPad games to keep me sane "shopping" (I consider it essentials). So while it was a nice treat to actually go to this show, as it was the only vintage show or shopping I'd done since last year (wow!), I passed up a lot of great things.

Here's what I wore...

Outfit details: cardigan knit by me, pintuck blouse from Small Earth Vintage, wool skirt from Retro Kitten Vintage, 40s peep toe shoes from Randolph Street Market, vintage brown basket purse

Mel and I each picked up four things. (Mel's all went into the laundry already, sorry.) You'll have to pardon the fact that I clearly did not iron anything. They're going to get packed right away so I couldn't bring myself to iron, not even for the blog. ;)

These first two of my finds came from Nicole Hughes of BombshellShocked. I was so excited to see her there. Not only does she have great taste and prices on vintage clothing, she is a super awesome person!

First up is a pleated shirtwaist dress, white with a thin checkered print in red and light gray. I think this will be a great summer dress, and layered with a cardigan it will work nicely in spring, too. (I might even dare to combine prints and try it with my cardigan above.)

I love the mother of pearl buckle and flower-shaped buttons.

It has great puff sleeves, too.

The next is an absolutely killer pair of 50s pedal pushers. I commented to Niki when I bought them that I rarely find actual vintage pants that look good on me (more like rarely find them, period), and the two pair I have are both from her, and both pedal pushes from the 50s, and both plaid. I guess when it works, it works!

Have you ever tried to photograph pants on a dress form?

Yeah, it wasn't until I was actually trying to do it that I remembered there's no crotch on a dress form. Never mind the fact that the dress form currently stands in our living room and I look at it about a 50 times a day. 

So you'll have to make do with a photo on the hanger. Trust me, they look fabulous on. I can't wait to wear these this summer!

I need to sew up a top or two for them—what style or color would you recommend?

Oh, they also have a great label with a needle, fabric and scissors motif. It's really fun.

The third item on my list I got from Karyn Dethrow of Dethrose Vintage. I was so pleased to finally meet Karyn, who is gorgeous and charming!

I've been hoping to find more solid-colored skirts. I say "hoping" because of the aforementioned not shopping for months, so it's been more like "hoping in the future to obtain (or sew)". I go back and forth about why I don't really wear my short-sleeved sweaters in spring and fall as much as I think I want to, and I've decided one of the reasons is I don't have very many solid skirts to pair them with. This light blue one will be perfect. It will also be great with a yellow v-neck pullover I plan to knit from A Stitch in Time vol. 2 (just started swatching for it last night).

I love the details and the topstitching on the top of the pleats. I wish my topstitching could be this even!

And last but not least is a dress I bought from a vendor whose name I unfortunately don't know. If any of you out there who went to the show can identify her, please let me know. Her booth was upstairs, to the left of the entrance and she had a rack of some of the best printed cotton day dresses I have ever seen. Many in larger sizes, and all in beautiful, bold prints. (I'm actually kind of kicking myself for not buying this second one of hers I really liked.)

Now, it should be said that I don't usually wear a lot of purple. Actually almost none. It's never been a color I particularly liked. But I love this dress something fierce, and I already know it's going to be a summer favorite. Though it will require a bit more shopping to properly accessorize due to the aforementioned lack of purple in my closet. (Tsk tsk, what a shame, right?)

The whole thing is just a great mix of lavender, eggplant, white, navy, sky blue and royal blue. Throw in tiny polka dots, flowers and an overall checked print. And look at that amazing collar! I just love it.

Awesome pockets and buttons, too.

And last but not least, another fun label. I love the candy canes for Kandy Kottons.

So there you have it, that's what I found at the show last weekend. I won't be doing any more shopping again until after we've moved and settled in. As of this week, closings are a month away. Back to packing!


  1. Pretty haul! Where is this show? And how's your new home?

    1. Sorry, I should have specified it was in Elgin (I just went back and edited it in). We don't move for a month yet. :)

  2. Amazing finds! I love every single piece!

  3. Love the Kandy Kottons dress! So cute. Congrats on buying a house! Good luck with the move.

  4. Oh MY! Great stuff indeed. Just love the plaid pants and that last dress is Divine!

  5. Some gorgeous new stuff! And yes I have tried to photograph trousers on a dress form and realised it was impossible :o)

    Hope the move preparations are going well and not too stressful!

  6. I LOVE the detail on the collar of the second dress. The pedal pushers are cute too. Looks like you got a great haul. I don't blame you for not ironing the clothes. Like you said their going into a box for the move.

  7. Gorgeous finds. I lover the Kandy Kottons dress. Good luck with the

  8. Yep! It was definitely you that we spotted at the show! Great finds! Good luck with your move.

  9. You made that cardigan?! It's ace! I love the pants & last dress, so pretty.

    Catherine, XO.

  10. What beautiful finds. I love that last dress - so cute! As for what you wore on the day, that cardigan is amazing - you're very clever! Good luck with the packing!

  11. There's too much awesome in this post, I can't take it. I can't get over how great that sweater is, no matter how many times I see it. There is just something extremely pleasing to my brain about the color combination you picked. Love all the finds too. The topstitched pleats are very inspiring too.

  12. For the blouse, maybe something in teal, purple, or medium blue? Those plaid pants can go with a lot of colors.

    I really love those pants and that gingham dress with the interesting collar. I definitely need to make my own 50s high waisted pants soon.

  13. What a great haul...I love every single piece. If I were making a top to go with those plaid pedal pushers I would do Navy blue. I think it would put the focus on the pants in a nice way!
    I'm also incredibly jealous of the cardigan sweater you have some mad knitting skills, my dear!

  14. Love those shoes you're wearing!

  15. I love the outfit you wore to the show, very elegant, classic and charming! You found such wonderful garments, hooray. I bet it was hard to walk away from some other mouth-watering choices, only because I do kinda get drooling over fabulous finds.

  16. I really love the last pictured dress!!! Oh you had the chance Niki, I hope to be able to meet her once more one day!

  17. What a HAUL!!!! Love the last dress. And I am green with envy over your cardy. AGAIN!

  18. Oh, moving is a nightmare! I still have dreams about the last time I did it. It is really nice to see you're blogging again. Of course, this is complete selfishness on my part. I need the fix.

  19. Great finds, especially the last dress. I think it will look great this summer! I also love that sweater you knit and the outfit your created around it. Good luck on the move!!

  20. You can never have to many cotton dresses! I love em!

    Happy packing!


  21. It was so nice to finally meet you. I love meeting fellow bloggers that I read daily! Oh and I loved your sweater so much!! That print was so adorable.

  22. i am SO kicking myself for not going to that show, UGH! you picked up some fabulous pieces!!!!

  23. I love all of them, but the last one I love the very most. Blue roses! Western details! Ugh, what a great find. You need a the-Birds-Tippi-Hendren-suit-shade-of-green shell top with those Jack Winter capris, how cute would that be?

  24. I just love love love your blog! Your outfits not to mention your amazing knitting talent, is remarkable. You are so lucky to be have those vintage
    shops by you. You must get complimented every day, where ever you go.
    Lots of love, luck and happiness in your new home!
    (and do keep up your great posts)
    From one vintage gal to another..

  25. Fabulous finds!!!!! Bombshell shocked always has the coolest stuff! Also I'm completely in love with that blue dress! So cute!!!!

  26. you just look so it.What amazing dresses you found and just love those pedal pushers.I would have gone crazy shopping,lol.

  27. I'd adore to go to a Vintage Fair! I love both the dresses, they are gorgeous and so summery! And yes I have tried to photograph trousers on a tailor's dummy and failed spectacularly! XxxX

  28. Wow. What great finds! Must have been especially exciting after not shopping for a while. Those pedal pushers are exactly what I've been looking for myself. And I love that last dress - I'm not a big fan of purple, either!
    -Andi x

  29. This makes me so happy! So beautiful, both clothing and girl =D


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