Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Vintage Valentine

Guys, Valentine's Day is JUST. AROUND. THE. CORNER.

I'm a huge fan of any holiday, and Valentine's Day is definitely in my top five (somewhere in there with New Years', Christmas, Fourth of July, and Halloween). Even in single-times, I don't mind seeing people paired off two by two as long as I get to decorate everything with huge, cut from paper heart garlands and tinge the most unlikely foods bright pink and deep red. There are so many opportunities for kitsch at Valentine's I can't see how anyone could be anti-V-day. During a prolonged visit to Ebay this morning, I see that the internet is rife with holiday-induced shopping opportunities that hadn't even occured to me until a two certain words beginning in "v" were entered into the search box. Vintage Valentine's Day, why are you so enticing?

I was not aware of this custom until today, but at the top of this entry and below you'll see tons of V day handkerchiefs. Giving handkerchiefs as a memento for Valentine's Day apparently predates even cards, and I can see why. Wouldn't it be nice to be reminded you're someone's someone everytime you open your purse for what not? The fox one at the top of this entry is $45... more than I could ever hope to spend on a handkerchief...but how crisp the colors and how whimsical the dancing, be-sneakered foxes.

I love the graphics on the one to the left, and the simple sweetness of the WWII one to the right.

My second favorite after the foxes is the one at top left... a lot of graphic design bang for your buck. The folds of the girl-on-the-card's skirt form a keepsake handkerchief to the left, mint in box! Below that, little embroidered suitors bustling around to deliver you an oversized parcel of heart shaped love! Atta boy. Love these. I have two huge drawers-full of handkerchiefs and scarves at home as it is, never use them, AND YET. I am tempted.

Most random items found while searching "vintage valentine's"? This lecherously winkin' California Raisin, possibly trying to hail down a cab, or thumbs up your love affair, and the COMPLETELY RANDOM Bobby Vinton Happy Valentine's Day 1984 t-shirt. Maybe it's me, but I don't know that I would want to go to a BV concert on Valentine's Day, though I worship him. "Blue Velvet"? Sad. "Mr. Lonely"? Desperately sad. He possibly put on this concert simply so he wouldn't have to be alone on Valentine's Day, 1984. Still, besides one dress and the foxes scarf, my most coveted ebay discovery of the day.

Valentine's Day cards, always fun. At the top, you can see a dapper little guy putting on the Ritz, and the hilariously understated "I KNOW MY ONIONS; YOU'RE MY VALENTINE" card. Oh, Martha Louveridge, you made the right decision in the five and dime over 80 years ago...this is one of the best cards ever.

As you might have been able to guess (and/or empathize with), the decision of dress for this occasion has been weighing heavily on my mind. It did not help that in looking around on ebay, out of all of these delicious dresses, not one is priced lower that $100. I am a miser, a miserable miser. But my eyes have seen, this morning, some flame red dresses I could love to love me, and these are those:

To the left, my absolute favorite. It's even in my size. A Lanz original (I'm pretty sure I have a lace collared shift, very Twiggy, made by this company), it's a perfect, Joan/Mad Men/Kennedy era wiggle dress with a curious, though too cute, white lace insert detail on the neck. Right up my alley.

To the right, the EXACT (EXACT) same dress I once bought in a junk store in Kentucky on vacation, and gave away to a friend in college because it was cut for someone about a foot shorter than me. WHY DID I DO THIS. I misted over a little thinking of a) the price tag and b) the ways in which I could somehow make this work for me this coming Monday. So sad.

Prints and patterns! Why not. The hacienda, full skirted number at the top. Want. Want.

Last but not least, one must accessorize. I like the sterling look of this love birds pin, and the ever popular in my camp Enid Collins bag to the right. "My heart/love for you", I get, but what's with the frug pants next to the heart? My love for you, is like doing the Watusi. In an early Sonny and Cher stage show. That's something else.

I forgot to save a bunch of the links to these items, if you're lucky enough to bid on them....however, here are links to some: one, two, three, four, five , six (BEST DRESS EVER).

Special music video bonuses: Bing Crosby crooning "Be Careful, It's My Heart", from the Valentine's Day sequence in Holiday Inn:

And a song I'm playing first at my wedding, "Irresistable You" by the great Bobby Darin.

Happy early Valentine's Day! Does anyone have any particularly vintage plans? I'll have to dish all about ours next Tuesday! Next up, a bunch of 1960's bar-related pamphlets, courtesy of my friend Barry. Full scoop forthcoming. As soon as I sit down long enough to scan them, they're yours, mine, and ours. :)


  1. oh man, my grandma collected all kinds of California Raisins stuff in the late 80s/early 90s. I remember playing with that very figure as a kid! instant nostalgia.

  2. Ahhh I love the onion card!
    Valentine's Day is my mama's favourite "holiday," so I have many happy memories of it as a child, involving the entire dining room being decorated and the table covered in chocolates and cinnamon hearts!
    M xo

  3. So many pretty pictures - this post made me smile!

  4. My heart pants for you!

    I think your watusi line is better, though.

  5. @Cheetah Velour... I.....can'tbelieveIdidn'tgetthat. Wow. :) I stand by my Cher comment, though, ha ha.

  6. I never knew about the hankies, thanks for that!

  7. Lisa, what a fabulous post!! I love vintage Valentine items.

    It would be so much fun to have a hankie collection - I'd pick the $45 foxes, and the girl with the hankie skirt! That Enid Collins "watusi" :) bag is fun too...

  8. I don't know what it is about it, but I really like the handkerchief with the foxes. The old valentines are sweet, too. Much better than Sponge Bob valentines!

  9. i dont know how i missed this post before but all those valentines are EXTREMELY cute



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