I just shipped a beautiful black linen trumpet skirt, perfect for Balboa or Lindy, to Australia. There are so many excellent Balboa dancers out there. The skirt was a rare find with asymmetrical, angled seams that pieced the body of the skirt together. The fabric is a nice matte black that updates the 1930s styling. Great for dancing but also beautiful for non-dancing activities. This is my favorite skirt style as it really flatters the figure.
At Jam Circle this past friday two beautiful retro wool numbers were adopted by a lovely visiting Balboa Instructor. A bright red bias Chaiken and a wine colored bias Express with huge flowers around the hem. Some other items went home with people as well but this Express skirt was the prettiest.
As a tribute to my mom on mother’s day I am launching my Etsy shop with two vintage suits she owned and wore. Click here to see my main Etsy page.
My searchable name on Etsy is ModelJVintage: no spaces and capital M, J and V. I decided to start my Etsy shop with items from the 1970’s and 1980’s. From the research I’ve done it seems to be the place to market items from those decades. I believe it’s the younger, hip, DIY shoppers on Etsy that currently favor those styles. It’s funny because if they hadn’t become popular and resurfaced in current fashion offerings I wouldn’t appreciate them as I do now, nor see the connections those decades have to styles from the 20s, 30s and 40s.
The suits I am starting off with are two vintage early 80’s pants suits that my mom wore to sell real estate and work in showrooms. There is a banana yellow linen number by Anne Pinkerton and a magenta wool one by Adolfo. Both are in pristine vintage condition.
It’s amazing how contemporary they look. These are two wonderful suits that weren’t as big in the shoulders and thighs as those to come in the later 1980’s.
It’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment to get this shop up and running. I look forward
to posting, oh, everything I own! Well, maybe not everything…
Model: Elaine Silver
Photography: Joy Grad
I attended Swing For Japan last night in New York City. I decided to dress vintage and represent Model J in all my finery for the evening. I ended up wearing a tulip print wrap dress in beige and black with a lovely satin tie, patterned fishnets, suede open toe pumps with bows and a vintage 1950’s velvet and mink headpiece.
The disparate eras worked very well together and I got a lot of compliments. One funny occurrence was that the hat blended in so well with my hair that it looked like I was wearing elaborate bangs instead of a headpiece. Hmmm. Too funny!
This was a wonderful event filled with great music and entertainment as well as excellent donations for some serious raffling. (I think I just made that word up…) It seemed like a sizeable amount was raised to help the Japanese relief effort and many raffle winners went home with boxes of chocolate, gift certificates to a host of establishments and services, as well as a cooking class for 8 as the grand prize. I was excited to find out that George Gee‘s son won my $25 Model J Vintage gift certificate that I donated, knowing that his wife Mutsumi would end up with it. I hope I have something she likes for herself.
Someone else donated some beautiful vintage clothing and I couldn’t resist trying things on. First off the hanger was a green wool skirt and sweater set from the 1930’s. It fit me perfectly. Uh oh. The sweater is cashmere with a wool neckpiece that matches the skirt. The skirt is long, with two front pleats, and curiously only lined in the front. Hmmm. I wonder why. I will have to take a closer look at that. The zipper is on the right side too which is unusual. Next I tried on two 1950’s dresses that were just too darn small. If one of them had been larger than the size “0” it seemed to be I might have bought it to resell. Lastly I tried on a plaid wool skirt that didn’t seem like much until I put it on. Ooh la la! It fit perfect and is a full circle skirt in a light tan color that looked, well, amazing. I am not generally allowed to buy things for myself but these vintage beauties had to come home with me. They fill a gap in my personal collection: vintage daywear. I also took home a purse, entirely hand beaded and handmade in France. I bought this to sell but who knows. It is so lovely it might have to live with me for a while before I can bear to part with it!
Last but not least, I spotted the beautiful blue satin asian themed 50’s wiggle dress with matching jacket and though it didn’t look like much on the hanger I knew it was a knockout outfit. It was in pristine condition. I spotted one of my customers across the room and just knew it would fit her. She tried it on and it was perfect. It was good to help make a sale for the Japanese relief effort and make a customer extremely happy 🙂
I had the pleasure of doing a private fitting with a local NYC Lindy dancer who saw my clothes at an event but didn’t have time to try on anything as her dance card was full. This is often the case. A mutual Lindy dancer friend made the introduction via email and we embarked on some virtual shopping. First she gave me her approximate size and style interests. Then I looked through my stock, measured items and photographed them, and sent her the photos via email with prices. Next we set up an appointment. On the day of I packed a suitcase with the skirts she liked plus a few other items I thought she might like and a couple of skirts that seemed a bit small but that might work. We met up and she tried on all the skirts and we both reviewed them on her. She ended up purchasing five skirts and staying within her budget. A successful first private fitting for Model J Vintage and a very satisfied customer.
Here are a few of the skirts she took home with her:
She got a selection of skirts great for dancing different swing styles including Lindy, Charleston, Balboa and a little rockabilly.
I just put a two lovely tops up for sale on eBay. My first item, the purple dress, sold to a woman in Greece. Figuring the shipping was a bit complicated and I sized down the packaging to keep the cost down. Every ounce counts for those international options. I am a little nervous about the package arriving safe and sound due to other sellers reports about international shipping but we shall see. The buyer has an excellent rating on ebay so I will trust her judgment on her choice of the shipping options I provided.
The first new item up on eBay is a lovely black silk top with nice details around the neck and at mid-shoulder. A little gathering and some tiny square lace openings around the flattering v-neck. Some gathering under the bust give it a vintage flair but it isn’t cut on the bias or form hugging for that true 1930’s style. I brought this top to Jam Circle a couple of months ago and had some interest but no takers. If you’d like another look here is the eBay link.
The second item is a cute button down in red and white check that has a 1950’s feel to it. I love the shirt sleeve edging with its slight curve and flare, as well as the hidden button front closures. I learned that this is called a “fly front” but that term is mostly in use in reference to pants. More commonly the term “hidden placket” is used to describe hidden button fronts. The “placket” is the fabric section that is underneath the buttons, hooks, zipper, etc. I learned a lot about plackets. A simple folded over piece of fabric with button holes sewn into it is called a french front. This gives a very flat and clean look. A regular placket front us usually two pieces of fabric with some interfacing in between to reinforce the closure area as it gets a lot of wear and tear. Interesting. This top also debuted at Jam Circle and now can be seen here.
I am getting pretty good at putting items up for sale on ebay but am still a bit slower than I would like. There was quite a lot of futzing about with photos but that is now sorted out. I have created a nice workflow that needs just a bit more tweaking but I am pretty satisfied right now.
- Take photos, edit, re-size
- Write description
- Pack and weigh
- List on eBay
- Post on blog and FB
- Log item into my database
- Do a happy dance and celebrate 🙂
A large folding table I brought with me in the move from Chicago is now the base for my photography area. I have a light box, two taable lamps and some small backdrops that fit inside the box. It’s a pretty handy unit that I purchased in Chicago for under $100 and works well. I have used it for many items in other pursuits and know it will work well for all the small items I have for sale. That is one side of the table. The other side is for weighing the items and packaging to determine shipping costs. I have a nice Pelouze platform scale that can weigh up to 50 lbs. I hope this will be enough for most of my items. I guess I can use my bathroom scale for anything heavier or awkwardly large.
It took some doing to rearrange my living space in order to set this up. An old table that needs refinishing is now upside down on top of cabinets and my gorgeous steel 20’s side table stands w/glass table tops are broken down and stacked, as are many other things. It is worth having my own furnishings stored away in order to begin this process of divesting myself of my overabundance of collections and various unneeded items that have built up in mine and my family’s lifetimes.