Friday, February 15, 2013

Ten Vintage Items Worth the Splurge

I suppose that I have been feeling rather chatty as of recent and rather uninspired. I think it is the cold weather and sporadically dreary days we have been having in Colorado. It does tend to make it difficult to get out of bed and put your best self together. I find myself reading more blogs and books, doing crossword puzzles on the couch under a blanket, and drink copious amounts of hot beverages mostly while dressed in some dastardly sweat shirt and pants combination.

I just have been unable to shake this winter funk until today when I decided to participate in Joanna's giveaway. I felt that choosing ten splurge items would really test my creativity and decision making. As a vintage enthusiast, it was hard to for me to select ten separate items that would warrant a splurge. Wardrobe cornerstones are the items that I decided upon after pondering this question for a few days. For me, the items that would truly get the most wear are the items that you should really spend the extra money on. I did, however, make a few exceptions for a glamour piece or two.

So, here are my ten vintage (or vintage inspired) items that I feel are worthy of a splurge.

1. Nylons/Silk Stockings 

If you are going to wear stockings you might as well spend a little extra money and purchase a pair that are going to last. I own a beautiful pair of  fifteen denier contrast seamed stockings. They are made from 100% non-stretch nylon.

I don't know about you but I love tights and stockings. I love the eccentric prints, the colors, and the way they make my legs looks. In the past, I have been known to purchase stockings made of nylon and mystery material. Have you also been the girl whose skirt or dress won't stop sticking to your tights and is probably riding up? I most certain, and sadly, have been.

Since I began to splurge on real nylons, this problem has disappeared completely. 


2.  Lilli Ann Coat

Lilli Ann coats (and suits) are known for the beauty, timelessness, and durability. An investment in a L.A. coat will pay in dividends over decades if you treat her right.


3.  Martin Van Schaak Handbag

Mr. Van Schaak's high end handbags have been around since the 1950's. One very famous client of Mr. Van Schaak was Marlene Dietrich. For more information on this man and his divine creations, visit Lost In A Spotless Mind (she has so much information about him on her website).

I find his creations to be elegant and forever stylish.

4.  Undergarments

Often a last purchase or last thought for women, undergarments are an item you should splurge on. They are literally the base of everything you will place on top of them and will shape the way those items lay and look. 

I wear a girdle with many of my outfits; particularly wiggle dresses. I personally feel like I am more put together, thinner, and stand more erectly. I'd say the vintage ad below depicts me in an accurate light. Ask my mother, I am the queen of slouching. 

I also wear my bullet bras when I am in full vintage attire. They really lend that something extra to your outfit.




5. Ceil Chapman Evening Dress/Gown

Ceil Chapman made dresses for the 1950's Hollywood elite. She was a favorite of Monroe, Taylor, and Kerr. If you are lucky enough to find a Chapman dress and it fits you, you had better purchase it on spot as they are rare and coveted these days.


6. Prada 2012 Runway Shoes

I realize that these 2012 Prada shoes are not vintage; not even close. I love the fake taillights, the Cadillac inspired fins and faux fire details that were quite obviously inspired from vintage cars. I'd absolutely wear a pair of these with a vintage dress.

7. Alfred Shaheen Dress

I'll be shocked if you aren't already obsessed with this man and his prints. If you want to know a little more about the Mr. Shaheen visit this website.

I personally love that the Hawaiian and Asian patterns; I find them to still be very exotic.

8. Emma Domb Dress

You can judge me all that you want but I love Domb prom and wiggle dresses. Yes, they are completely over the top and that is why I love them!

9. Guilloche Compact

Guilloche is a decorative engraving technique in which a very precise and intricate repetitive pattern or design is mechanically engraved into an underlying material with fine detail. It was used frequently in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's. I think it is stunning and thus, you are getting three beautiful examples.

10. Bakelite Brooch

Bakelite is akin to vintage as hats, petticoats, sarong dresses, and the new look dress. I'm a fan of brooches so that was my choice.

What are your ten items worth the splurge?

Baci Tutti!


  1. Lots of ohhhs and ahhhs:) I'd love to see more of your compact collection. I bet you have some amazing pieces. I have one really stellar vintage compact that I keep in a special place because it is so much like a piece of art. I also feel that certain compacts you can't go wrong with buying as they will only appreciate. This is what I think of this particular one I have by Paul Flato. Gilloche is new to me so I'm certainly going to look it up. I love vintage items that take on detail and have a story behind them. The first compact is intricate and has an ornate deco quality about it. This is another fabulous post:)) I love the blue Shaheen dress. Beaauutiful:)
    Great post HRF!
    P.S. Must mention Lilli Ann...I put these outfits and coats in a class all their own. I feel like they are a great investment and if I do need to sell them (mainly due to closet space lol) I'd be in positive territory. They really are so well constructed and the different types of materials they make them with are always interesting to feel and see in person. They really do transport you back to a time when quality meant something:)

  2. Thank you also about the undergarments. This is something I need to work on. I'm thinking of getting a wasp corset for "the New Look" outfits. I totally agree with you about posture when you have the right undergarments. You know what I've also noticed in vintage magazines when they talk about exercise a lot of it is stretching and strengthening ...just like Pilates. I'd have to agree with this too. I think these types of exercises help greatly with posture. I just need to get back into the routine of going:)

    1. I'll probably do a before and after with undergarments post in the near future. To be fair... I have an 11 inch difference between my hips/breast and my waist... So I kind of cheat.

  3. A fun post!! I am the proud owner of more than one Lilli Ann coat (which is funny, because it's rarely cold where I live), but the other items have so far eluded my grasp!! I've recently discovered what a difference the proper undergarments can make, all thanks to a long-line bra that I meant intended to sell and tried on myself on a whim. Holy Wasp Waist Batman!!!! Now I'm a believer!

    1. Lucky girl! I would love to own a few Lilli Ann coats but that may be a pipe dream.

      I hope you will post a picture of your wasp waist!

  4. Oh, I just adore your roundup of ten items that are always worth the splurge. Excellent choices - I'd practically swim the English channel for a Shaheen dress (doubt anyone would give me one for doing so though, so I'll just keep daydreaming about investing in one someday).

    Have an awesome weekend, dear gal!
    ♥ Jessica

  5. So many beautiful things! Those dresses are all gorgeous! Especially that Ceil Chapman number ;)

    1. I would love to find a Ceil Chapman that fits me. I did find one on Oh La La on Facebook and missed it by about 2 minutes. I could have DIED of heartbreak.

  6. Just found you through Sarah's blog! Definitely spot on with your top 10! In my list will have to be Jonathan Logan dresses though! Or L'Aiglon! Not as expensive but yeah good make and a splurge for my budget! I can only dream about the dresses in your list... stunning!


    1. Jonathan Logan dresses are so classically beautiful! I noticed a few on etsy for about $50. Wish I was small enough to fit into one. Maybe one day.

  7. Love your picks!

  8. I was sure I left comment on this post a few days ago... Anyway, all your items are very classic (well, maybe not the shoes but they're still cool!). That blue dress would look dreamy on you. I love WKD but as they don't carry bras in my size I sadly avoid them. Enjoy your stocking shopping spree!

    1. Ah the internets... not posting people's comments!

      I would die to have that blue dress... I believe the bust was only 32 on it though.=(

      WKD doesn't carry your size? I am absolutely shocked by that.

    2. I am a very annoying size to shop for (GG Aus & UK). UK websites are mostly kind to me.
      Who has a 32" bust, honestly :)

  9. some month ago i found a quite similar dress like the ceil chapman one ... mine is shortened - sadly not from a professionell tailor. but it came witha little jacket and it's still stunning. have to check out if it's might be a chapman.

  10. Vintage items are always worth the splurge, particularly those items that are so old but still hold great beauty and value. Some people might find it not a very smart idea to spend money on old things, but some vintage things are priceless. These ten items are all lovely. -D & M Estate Buyers