Sunday, March 31, 2013

Holidays... a time to go over the top

A lot of times, I feel as though regular fashionistas and casual girls just don't know where they would wear some of the over-the-top vintage dresses that emerge on the market. Sure, that's a beautiful 1950s dress but where on Earth would you ever wear it!? For me, the answer is always holidays and special occasions. And in this case: Easter! Easter is the perfect occasion to don a beautiful spring dress from an era long passed. Tea length and knee length dresses are perfect, and beautiful boho maxi dresses can be a great option, too!

Today I chose a beautiful 1950s dress with pretty pastel pistachio silk organza that's embroidered with pretty flowers and interspersed between pastel blue floral cutouts. The sleeves and neckline are darling, with scalloped-type edges that go with the carefully placed flower petals. I'm not sure where this dress was made, or by whom, but the time and care put into it is astounding. I've been holding onto this one for months just to wear it today.
1950s silk embroidered day dress

Holidays make it so easy to get away with dressing up and dressing darling. Why wear a cookie-cutter dress from the mall when you can get something one of a kind and so chic?

1950s silk embroidered day dress

spring flowers

We had a lovely Easter lunch at the in-laws house and I got to see some blossoms sprouting up out of their flowerbeds.  We had delicious Greek bread made by a local Greek grocery, lamb and lots of other delicious goodies.
greek easter bread
The dress will be for sale in the shop soon, but in the mean time you should daydream up your next holiday outfit!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

SHOP UPDATE: Pretty in Pastel

foxburrow vintage 1960s Peach Pointelle Sweater
1960s Peach Pointelle Sweater

Foxburrow Vintage 1980s Stretchy Peach Lace Top
1980s Stretchy Peach Lace Top

1980s Stretchy Cream Lace Top
1980s Stretchy Cream Lace Top

foxburrow vintage 1980s Cotton Pastel Yellow Skirt
1980s Cotton Pastel Yellow Skirt

foxburrow vintage 1980s Cotton Pastel Pink Skirt
1980s Cotton Pastel Pink Skirt

1950s Cream Lace Bolero
1950s Cream Lace Bolero
It's starting to feel like spring here in New England! The snow is melting away and soon we'll see flowers peeping up. It seriously felt like it would never come, but in these past days I've been able to don a few dresses and frolic around. It's been chilly but hey -- it's worth it. I think perhaps if I dress spring-y enough it will force the weather to warm. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Here's me today, wearing a vintage dress I bought at a flea market in Japan. Also wearing vintage wooden jewelry and vintage leather huaraches. It was a bit chilly, but totally worth it....

Hope everyone has a very happy Easter tomorrow! We're doing lunch with my husband's family, like usual. I'll be sure to snap some photos and blog!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Season for Scarves

You would think the season for scarves would be winter, but no... I mean spring! I'm talking beautiful designer scarves. Colorful scarves from Vera Neumann, Givenchy, Echo... Bold colors of the 70s, pretty prints of the 50s, and everything in between.

There are a few key names to look for when it comes to vintage scarves. Here I'll outline them for you and tell you what traits they are famous for so you can make the best decisions when deciding which scarves to add to your wardrobe and which designers to search for. First, though, let's start with the basics of materials and construction to look for.

Most designer scarves, and especially high-end designer scarves, are made from Silk (caring for silk), though occasionally they could be made from Rayon (a synthetic silk substitute). Many scarves are also made from Polyester, which became popular in the 60s and 70s and holds its color well. Polyester can be machine washed and is easy to care for, so it's a great option for scarf newbies. Then there is Rayon, Cotton and  Nylon. Those are the most common materials for vintage scarves.

You'll want to look at the hem of the scarf. If it looks like a round tube, with some stitching, this is called a hand-rolled scarf and it was rolled and stitched by hand. Designer scarves and most silk scarves are hand-rolled, so this is a key factor to look for. Polyester and Nylon scarves often have stitched edges, and some scarves will have woven, un-stitched or fringed edges.

Now that you know some basics about what to look for, let's talk about a few designers.

First, there's the high-end designers like Givenchy, Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Pucci. Of those, I'd say Givenchy and Dior are often the most affordable. Vintage Chanel and Hermes will always claim very high price tags. Most likely in the range of $150 to $400. Naturally, when you're forking out that much money for a pretty piece of silk, it's very important to do your research beforehand. However, I'm no designer scarf expert so we'll move on to some of the mid-range scarves.

Hubert de Givenchy is well known for feminine, modern designs that flattered the lady, but over time House of Givenchy has encompassed many looks. My favorites from Givenchy include his more mod and nautical themed scarves. Here is a lovely Givenchy scarf found by a friend of mine and sold on Etsy.

Emilio Pucci is well known for geometric prints in a veritable kaleidoscope of color. The colors go beautifully together, and the designs look like little works of art.

Available from MarilynInMonroe on Etsy
Dior is less known for their scarves than their beautiful House of Dior dresses. Their scarves range from mod and geometric to delicate florals. I am partial to the 50s and florals, so maybe that's why this scarf is my favorite Dior scarf on Etsy:

Available from MyGmasCloset on Etsy
After the higher end designers, you have some of my favorites: Vera Neumann, Echo, Liz Claiborne, Diane von Furstenberg, and Oscar de la Renta. Scarves in this range are extremely affordable - anywhere from $10 to $35 or $40. You could easily pay $16 for a scarf in Target, so why not invest in a beautiful silk scarf instead? Silk is surprisingly warm, and lasts a lifetime if it's well cared for. A sound investment, if you ask me!

Vera Neumann is quite possibly the most prolific of the above mentioned designers, having made thousands and thousands of various scarf prints. The scarves are always signed "Vera" in cursive and the older scarves (40s to 60s) are accompanied by a ladybug with the Vera graphic. Vera scarves come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, are usually made of silk or silk chiffon, and come in a huge assortment of graphics. Some of the most popular and distinctive are beautiful mod floral designs from the 60s and 70s, but her scarves span such a wide area of design that I feel you can find one to go with almost any outfit.
Here is a pretty Vera scarf we have in the shop now:

Vera Neumann Scarf by Foxburrow Vintage
Echo is a recent favorite of mine. In 1923, on their wedding day, Edgar and Theresa Hyman founded Echo scarfs. (How sweet is that?) and the company is still going strong today. Just like Vera, they have some great colors and patterns, but I am especially partial to their scarves that show elements of nature, such as flowers, mushrooms and animals. The flora and the fauna, so to speak. Echo scarves are often made from silk or silk blends. Here is a pretty Echo scarf we have in the shop now:

Echo Scarf by Foxburrow Vintage
Liz Claiborne is also a very prolific designer, though her scarves are a little less prolific. Her scarves are often from the 1980s, as the Liz Claiborne line was not founded until 1976. Some of my favorites from Liz are the huge florals and bold colors. They  make a statement and can be paired with jeans and a simple white shirt for a huge pop of color. Her scarves are usually made from silk or cotton.

Diane von Furstenberg is a well known designer - the "Queen of Prints" who has been designing since the early 1970s. Her scarves are a bit hard to come by, but when you do find one it's always beautiful and bold, yet still sophisticated. Here's one of my favorites:

Available from hanniandmax on Etsy.
After this middle-range of designers, there's the hundreds of various scarf makers that may or may not have well-known designers behind them. These are prolific, often made of rayon, nylon, or polyester, and are typically very affordable, in the $5 to $25 range.

So, have I left out any of your favorite designers? Let me know!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Casual Spring

 It's easy to find vintage that still feels chic and modern, because fashion is somewhat cyclical. Styles from the past re-gain popularity as the ages pass, and we're able to snap up beautiful clothes that are unique and fun. I love wearing pieces that I know no one else will have - for me, that's part of the allure of wearing vintage. This spring, lace and pastels are IN and so I've been actively hunting through the soft peaches and pinks and yellows for the best of the best.
spring outfit peach lace blouse spring green pants
Vintage Peach Stretchy Lace Top, buy it here
Spring Green JCREW Corduroys, thrifted
Vintage Woven Leather Mules, buy them here
Vintage Leather Accordion Handbag, buy it here

For this look I just wanted something casual, to go about the day doing work as needed. I love the peach and green color combination. I think it's fun and bright, and perfectly spring. 

long hair style peach lace spring blouse
For my hair, I wanted to try this pin that I found on Pinterest. Essentially you just pull your hair back into a ponytail and curl the hair in three or four big groups. The style lasted all day and gave lots of body. It was extremely easy and took about 5 minutes... I'll definitely do it again! I haven't had hair this long in ages, so even though I see lots of pretty things that people do with it on blogs and pinterest...I just feel lost when I go to do my own hair styles! I'm planning a hair cut soon, but in the mean time I want to keep my tresses styled!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vintage Team Sale

One of the wonderful teams I am in on Etsy has organized an Etsy Vintage Team sale! You can get discounts in over 24 Vintage Shops on Etsy, including Foxburrow Vintage. The promotion code is VINTAGETEAM24, and it gets you 25% off your purchase of $10 or more in the Foxburrow Vintage shop. Wow, what a deal!

Here are my favorite goodies from the shops having sales... Just enter VINTAGETEAM24 at checkout to get a discount on these treats!

Plus, you get 25% off at Foxburrow Vintage with coupon code VINTAGETEAM24 at checkout! Here are some of the amazing items to snatch up fast:
Foxburrow Vintage
Puffed Sleeve Leather Jacket
Men's tweed blazer with elbow patches
Men's Tweed Blazer with Elbow Patches
Foxburrow Vintage Spring green scarf
Spring Green Scarf

Friday, March 8, 2013

DIY : 1 Yard Circle Scarf!

About a year ago I bought a pretty stack of fabrics that I fully intended to make lovely circle scarves out of. I started and made one, but the cotton was very thick and it didn't turn out like I had hoped. Most of the other fabrics I bought were lighter and gauzier or silkier than the first. Today, I'm all cooped up in the house by an unexpected (so far!) 8 to 9 inches of snow. They forecasted some some yesterday, but none that I knew of for today! I woke up early, and, in the mood to get some of my crafty craft side going, I decided to tackle making one of these circle scarves, and I thought you might like to tag along.

I started out with a pretty, summery gauzy cotton. Gauze is a light weight, loosely woven and semi-sheer fabric that is perfect for summery accessories and garments. You can find a gauze type fabric at your local Jo-Ann Fabrics in the apparel fabric section, or by searching cotton gauze on Etsy. For a beginner, I don't recommend using anything silky, as it is harder to sew with. You'll also need some mercerized cotton or polyester thread and a sewing machine with a fine/small needle, a pair of pinking shears, and some sewing pins.

To start, lay out your fabric and cut it down the center length-wise, so that you are left with 2 pieces of fabric, both 1 yard in length. Place them on top of each other. If there is a "right side" and a "wrong side" make sure the right sides are facing each other and sew on the wrong side. Sew a straight seam across the short end of the fabric, about 1 inch in from the edge. Make sure to finish your ends by sewing back over them. Then, take your pinking shears and cut off a half inch of the seam, as shown:

Pinking shears help prevent the fabric from fraying, which is especially useful for more delicate fabrics. Jersey fabrics roll in on themselves, so pinking shears aren't necessary for jersey, but other fabrics should be pinked if possible!

Now you will have a very long strip of fabric. There will be one side that is selvedge (the edge that is already pre-finished for you) and one side that is unfinished. Now, if your selvedge has a copyright or name on it, and not just the fabric printed to the edge, you will need to fold over and finish both sides of the scarf. Fold over the sides you need to finish and simply sew with about a quarter inch seam allowance. If you notice your fabric is prone to fraying, you may want to pink the edge before you sew it, or double-roll it before sewing so that you don't end up with lots of little strings hanging from your scarf!

After that's finished, all there is is to join up the two ends and sew them together just like you did for the first set of ends. Make sure you don't twist the fabric, and you are still sewing on the wrong side/same side as your other seam! Pink the edges on that seam as well. Now, you are finished! You have a lovely circle scarf that you can match up with some of your favorite garments!

Check out this awesome graphic on all the different ways you can wear your circle scarf:

Thursday, March 7, 2013


POLKA DOTS are in this season! Bold, and certainly readily accessible, this is one trend that will constantly be in style. Polka dots are timeless and easy to pair with more muted fabrics. Have a dull black sweater that you still love because it's just so cozy? Spice it up by adding a little polka dot underneath. Go big and bold with a polka dot statement piece. Play with color. Invite it into your growing nautical wardrobe. Let it flutter in the wind on a summer day.

Check out the great polka dot selections from Foxburrow Vintage below!

bodycon polka dot dress
Bodycon Polka Dot Dress

flutter sleeve navy and red polka dot dress
Fluttersleeve Navy and Red Dress

polka dot bolero
Polka Dot Bolero

Linen polka dot blouse
LINEN Polka Dot Blouse

red polka dot maxi skirt
Red Polka Dot Maxi Skirt

red polka dot gloves
Red Polka Dot Gloves

vintage polka dot romper
Polka Dot Romper

navy nautical belt
Nautical Belt

Saturday, March 2, 2013

All About the Accessories!

Sometimes it's all about how you wear the accessories. What you choose for accessories can really define your outfit. One moment you're a dainty gal, and you change up a few accessories and next thing you know you're bohemian, or rockabilly! Having a wardrobe full of vintage accessories is the perfect way to change up your look in a snap. I find that vintage accessories have a lot of flair and the right handbag or bracelet can change the whole appearance of whatever I'm wearing. 

Here, I took this on-trend floral and lace dress and paired it up with different accessories to get two different looks. The look on the right is all about summer and delicate and sweet. The look on the left has a little more edge, with a music festival feel.

In the first look, I paired the dress with a sweet straw and leather hinge bag, delicate gold bangle and necklace, and pretty leather wedges. The overall look is a little sweet and petite.

In the second look, I wanted to go a little more rock, and a tiny bit country, so I paired the dress with a vintage mexican panama hat, a stack of wood, leather and enamel bangles, oversized 1970s sunnies, and some sweet Nine West shoes I begged my mom for in my teen-age-years (Hey, ma! Still got 'em!).

Recently I've been reading some great articles from 1950s magazines about ways to re-use your same garments over and over again through the different seasons. A lot of it was all about changing necklines and adding accessories. So there you go - the idea has been around for quite a while!

What's your favorite way to mix it up and change the look of an outfit?

Oh, also - I've added my blog and shop to this great link-up! If you have a vintage or handmade shop or blog, you should link-up too!
Mercantile Muse
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