Thursday, December 23, 2010

good sense.

Just opened a teeny little boutique on a fantastic new fashion website called SENSE OF FASHION...a sweet shopping site devoted solely to fashion, from upstart designers to established, hand made to vintage. Love it! Many pieces there will not be available on the main website, so check it out and get shopping!

Just added this amazing black deerskin suede 40s bag with loads of rhinestones and unusual slide-ring with side opening, inspired by the Victorian miser's to buy!


Elegant and unique, measures about 14" handle to bottom. Flawless, as usual!

Go see everything Dorothea's has to offe, and pop by the site too!


Saturday, December 04, 2010

it's a cinch

every once in a while something truly breathtaking appears in my shop (not magically, and not for free....sadly, there is no vintage tree growing in an urn in the center of the boutique). yesterday was one of those days when not only one beautiful thing came in, but several! the rest for another day (think 20s gowns and Orientalist jackets, 30s velvets with cherries, surrealist silk 30s lounge wear)....but today, this.

silk ribbon underbust corset from around 1901 by Royal Worcester....breathtakingly gorgeous, shimmering pearl silk with bow and racy lacing up the back. available now!

truly a find~


Friday, November 26, 2010

for the love of the dainty

will be closed today locally (but the website never rests!) to let people get their big box black friday on. but tomorrow the shop will be open 12-4 at 1733 Grand Ave in Des Moines, Iowa with gorgeous vintage lurvelies for the vintage fashion fiend on your list! sparkling sweaters, snuggly and glamorous robes, sultry lingerie, holiday perfect dresses, chic winter coats, stylish shoes....and if you aren't sure about size, go for accessories! you can't go wrong with a vintage brooch, clip earrings, chunky or pendant style vintage handbags for day or night...vintage hats for dress up or winter wear....gorgeous scarves or gloves....there's no excuse for buying mall drek when you can shop one of a kind, eco-friendly uber-fashionable vintage! plus, tomorrow is Small Business Saturday with perks for using AmEx (which Dorothea's accepts) and even bigger perks for feeling good about shopping local and supporting small businesses! why line the pockets of a wealthy CEO when you can put food on the table for a small business owner's family?

lastly, mention the blog when ordering on the site and I'll refund 15% plus your shipping. yes, worldwide. and if you'd like to use AmEx or a card without going through Paypal, just email me at now aren't you glad you slept in and stayed home on black friday? get shopping!

Friday, November 12, 2010

you talkin' to me?

The lovely folks over at JEZEBEL wrote up a pretty swell article today about learning which era's silhouette best works with your body shape (you can read it HERE...extra points to Sadie for a David Lee Roth reference!). As I took in the images she had chosen to accompany each era I noticed a print that looked quite familiar....


So I did a quick Google search of Cybill Shepherd in the 1976 film Taxi Driver to get a better look....and there it was!

Exactly the same Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress I currently have on my site!

Sure, not *the* dress she wore (as far as I know), but the exact same print and color. And I've got the same textile done in a maxi length tee shirt dress from the same collection! Check out the video of the scene the dress is in.....

Certainly a swell 70s look to embrace, no?


Saturday, October 23, 2010

the legend of zelda

One of my holy grails in dealing/hunting vintage is to own, if only for a moment, a piece by ZELDA WYNN VALDES. When we think of the silhouette of the glamorous songstress of the 1950s, the look is definitely hourglass....and the hourglass definitely the signature look of a Zelda. Her dresses were as strong and powerful as she was.....the first black woman to own a business on Broadway in the 1940s and a favorite of talents like Dorothy Dandridge, Ella Fitzgerald and Gladys Knight. I've read she often had to be on hand for dressing her clients for stage to sew them into their form fitting gowns!

Who better to design the first costumes for the scantily clad Playboy Bunnies? Though tame in comparison to today's bunnies (or for that matter, for today's realty TV stars), the look was all Zelda....waist whittled, bust lifted, hips accentuated.

Her pieces are few and far between in the world of vintage collection, but worth appreciating if only in pictures!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

inspiration. shop re-decor....

Starting with the pathetic fitting room/restroom/shoe hallway area! LOVE this!!!

And check out the 60s mannequin head I got today at the antique mall! Gonna take her to the shop to use for necklaces and hats.....she needs a name!

Now to find time for all the ideas!!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Another follow up to the green and leopard post! Last one today, I promise....I only wish I could keep up with blogging more regularly! JESSICA asked in the comments of that last post if I really had a green and leopard coat like the one pictured and I had to hunt it down in my winter closet to share. I remembered it wrong (confused it with a tan one I have that has leopard down the sides similar to the one in the 40s post)....this one is from the 60s, and has a matching green wool sheath dress with leopard collar beneath AND a leopard trimmed hat!

As you can see....I'm a sucker for a leopard hat (and coat, and collar, and muff....).


speaking of green.....

Just happened across this picture of a gorgeous gal from the 1940s (on the *amazing* blog, GLAMOUR DAZE) rocking the green and leopard! Then I remembered I have a short version of this I just need those temps to drop!!


the write stuff

More blog love today for Dorothea's, with a bonus! Doreen Creede of STYLE MANIAC has discovered Dorothea's, and just in time to feature a gorgeous (newly listed!) purple velvet 50s dress and bolero set in a post today! While it would be exciting enough to get a nod from her fabulous blog, she's doubled the fun by using the dress to illustrate a guest post by writer SUSAN GLOSS! Susan does a brilliant job of capturing in words what many of us who are passionate about vintage clothing feel about it....about the stories and memories vintage clothing carries with it, and about becoming a part of that story in owning and wearing it (something she knows a bit about, as she is writing a book right now about a vintage clothing boutique owner). She says it best, so go look....and watch for her book, Gently Used, to come out.....I'll certainly let you know here as soon as I know a date!

A big thank you to Doreen for featuring Dorothea's, her blog is fantastic (you can also follow her on FACEBOOK and to Susan for her brilliant write up about vintage (she also has a fab blog, GLOSSING OVER IT). So excited to have met these fantastic girls!


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

going green

Stumbled across a lovely blog the other day via a friend on FaceBook where a conversation was underway about pairing red with leopard print. I casually mentioned in the comments that I like wearing emerald green with leopard print, which sparked a creative post at BON BON ROSE GIRLS featuring leopard and emerald modern fashions.... with a shout out (and link!) to me! Go on over and read it, and be sure to follow them on Twitter or FaceBook and enter to win a gorgeous green leather handbag from MIMI BOUTIQUE>

Meanwhile, since vintage leopard print will always be my favorite kind of leopard print, consider these Mad Men-esque 1960's fine wale corduroy cigarette pants in leopard...paired with a tight green emerald sweater, or a green tank and cropped black jacket....a thin long black tee and forest green suede platform heels....the possibilities are endless! Click pic to go to Dorothea's....

Some killer green suede heels from GOJANE.COM, a steal at $25.70....

Or go win that green handbag! There are loads of ways to wear green with leopard!


Monday, September 20, 2010

pirate chic

Missed it on "Talk Like a Pirate Day" yesterday, but turns out one of my dresses was featured on Etsy's front page! Out of the hundreds of treasuries made daily, its tough going getting one to the front page. A big thanks to VINTAGEBIFFANN for using my 70s white chiffon dress and sequined hot pants (thats some seriously glam pirate chic!)....


Friday, September 17, 2010

Shop Shots

While the website is probably better known by followers of the blog, I do run a real-world vintage shop right here in Des Moines, Iowa! The shop offers a huge range of vintage apparell and accessories with price points as low as a few dollars on up to a few thousand.....a perfect fit for any budget and any style! You can find a full on period-correct look, pieces to mix with a current wardrobe to get a cutting edge, runway look or accessories to glam up any ensemble! And with vintage you know you're getting one of a kind (let everyone else shop the mall!) for a completely unique look. Some images from inside....

Even menswear! Cool tops, jackets, robes, denim...

And hats...

Pics link to shop info...we're open Wed-Fri 10-5:30 and Saturdays noon to 4. Currently running a HUGE $10 vintage sale as well as select hats at 50% off and summer vintage half off as well! Stop by and say hi!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mad Men Madness

Its back! Starting tonight! Enough has been said alll over the internet so I'll keep it brief and share a few dresses from my site I think are spot-on perfect for wearing to premier parties or just to look as glamorous as your favorite MM character.

Sweet Betty style chiffon floral party dress from the early 60s....

And a curve conscious, cocktail print Joan look!

A nice homage to the party spirit (spirits?) , a set of 1960s WEISS rhinestone martini glass brooches....

Enjoy the show!

Monday, July 12, 2010

la familia....Draper Style

Last year I was honored to be visited by Betty Draper's real life Mom, Karen Jones...of January Jones fame. She was headed to Chicago to do a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show featuring January Jones and Jon Hamm. Karen tried on several dresses, some "Betty" style and some "Joan" style. You can see the original blog HERE.

In the last few days, promo pics have been released for the upcoming season of MAD MEN. I was immediately struck by this black and gold matellase cocktail dress....

And the similarity to the skirt section of this 60s cocktail dress modeled by Karen here in my shop during her try-on session!

Wish I could say that dress was still available but it sold a while back! Looking forward to the new season....great fashion! And to check out a realllly amazing synopsis of Mad Men fashions past, check out the blog on Project Rungay (dig around on the links on the site to see all the characters get ups). For more Mad Men-esque fashions hit the site and get some 60s glam HERE!. Pass the martini pitcher!


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Meet the Halstons

I've recently had the pleasure of *finally* coming across two smashing 1970s Halston pieces! I guess living around the corner from his first home finally worked its magic! These are not only great dresses but rare, signature pieces from quite early in his career.

First, the caftan. Given Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw's love of Halston (and SJP's as well!), this piece could not have surfaced at a more perfect time! Sky blue silk chiffon ombre dyed to a soft steely grey blue at its asymetrical hemline....collar details with handpainted collar necklace effect in salmons, pink & pewter.

Stunning body conscious coordinating silk jersey underdress in palest sky blue....

Along the same lines as his classic ultra suede shirt dresses, this black silk jersey early 70s dress clings to curves and buttons to knee, allowing unbuttoning as high as you'd like. Plunging V neckline with wide dramatic collar. A dress that goes from cute to *killer* from hanger to wearer!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Lulu Love

Dorothea's is super pleased to have made the top 10 on LULU'S VINTAGE Best Vintage Websites!. Placing in the top 10 for both Lulu's personal faves AND the people's choice. We love Lulu and appreciate all the work she does for vintage online! Thanks to her AND our voters!!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Bow Envy

So ARETHA FRANKLIN'S people aren't digging that her hat from the Obama inaugural event was KNOCKED OFF?

Guess the folks at the 1930s millinery house of BRANCA MODELS better set her straight....


Now I love love love Aretha, but honey...ain't nothing in fashion new. A big bow on a hat is hardly something to claim is an original design, not in these Ever Changing Times. Even if you bedazzle it with rhinestones. Its all about R.E.S.P.E.C.T honey, that your milliner ain't giving to the predecessors. And while I love you, your fab hat was merely an age old millinery design. Ain't No Way that hat is a completely new look in fashion for the noggin, so Think. Think about trying to keep people from putting a big black bow on their heads to try to look like the Queen of Soul. I'll Say a Little Prayer for you that you drop this frivolous lawsuit and let the dames who want to rock the bow, rock the BOW. Because imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery. And everyone loves Aretha!!!


Monday, May 03, 2010

The House of Halston

I live in an older neighborhood (you're shocked, I know). Houses around here are mainly bungalows built at the turn of and just after the turn of the century.....mine in particular in 1916. Some homes are in good repair, some in serious need of repair. But one house in particular has a bit more of a modern tale to tell.

This is the house of Halston, or so I'm told. The first home of Roy Halston Frowick sits just around the corner from my house here in Des Moines, unlikely start indeed for a man bound for glamour, fame and fortune.

Halston with muse Bianca Jagger & Liza Minelli

JANUARY MAGAZINE does a nice write up and review of the Halston biography (that I clearly must have), "HALSTON", by Steven Bluttal. A fascinating yet tragic character who met an unjust and decidedly non-glamorous end, Halston's work continues to withstand the test of time. Glamorous yet sleek and simple, as impressive on the runway as it was off.

I rarely come across Halston pieces (despite being in the city he began his life in!)....but have recently acquired this beautiful 60s Halston hat. Sculpted felt with curving graceful lines, inspired by the 20s but with the modern edge only Halston could add.

PS, speaking of hats! Just sent a box of vintage hats out to Vogue in NY again for potential use in another photo shoot! Wish me luck....


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