The flea market finds continue with my clothing scores from last weekend. My favorite, favorite dealers were here again this month! I started my shed expedition by dutifully digging through the linens tables of the Andy Devine character (see my former haul from said dealer) whose scratchy, booming voice is audible from the moment you round the corner. My dad was interested in a WWII German rifle he had one table, but the $500 price tag (and the cut down barrel someone had modified post-bellum for hunting-- good eye, Pappy!) cooled his ardor for the firearm significantly. I dug but was disappointed to see a lot of the significantly damaged pieces I'd passed up last month, and left with a single black bolero jacket ($5, not pictured) to show for my trouble.
Better luck at the next dealer, however!
|I love how long the skirt is on me!|
The same friendly faced, chain smoking clothes seller that sold me this yellow gingham dress and the black ballroom dress that got me hooked on flea-markets-every-month in the first place had a hanging rack of maybe 30 dresses and a booth full of trinkets and baubles, from purses to repro Civil war caps to photographs. "Look!" I said to my dad, gesturing at the bounty of pre-1950's fabulousness. "This is my problem....this is what I'd like my house to look like! Just piles and piles of old handbags and crocodile wallets and recipe pamphlets!" He chided kindly against my vacant dream-gaze, reminding me that I had recently successfully undertaken a pretty serious closet-cleanout that had left my house looking the most BREATHABLE it has looked in my adult life, to which I rejoined: "The heart wants what the heart wants!" In this case, though, I managed a modicum of self-restraint and only picked up this black taffeta and lace whirl of a dress, a blue fifties' formal, and the surprise at the end of this post.
|And that the skirt has a swing circumference of like 120''!|
I had a very serious "OH MY GOD" moment when I found the tiny, tiny jacket you see in the photo below:
A hunter green Victorian jacket with slightly puffed up sleeves, all military-style construction? Every one of the buttons laid out in a phalanx down the front of the piece, not a single one unaccounted for? OH. MY GOD. I think I might have mentioned before when I was talking about finding that Edwardian romper-set in the same post as the ballroom gown or when I got that gorgeous Victorian satin jacket for a song--it has only been in the last year or so that the possibility of owning clothes 100 plus years old has occurred to me. Not because I didn't think they existed, but the scant examples I've seen in vintage stores or on Ebay or in an antique mall have been three figure price tagged and in a state of delicacy comparable to butterfly wings or onion skin. Wearable but for their tiny sizes Victorian clothes? No way! Maybe in a museum, or Courtney Love's closet (she has Theda Bara grade authentic flapper clothing that makes me actually cry salt tears to think of owning), but not in my hot little hands.
But think again!
Did I mention there are TWO SMALL, INEXPLICABLE FUR PUFF BALLS as decoration on the back of the jacket? Well, I should. I am still a terrible blog photographer and dependent on the good graces of an iPhone to show you what I see, but imagine the color is somewhere in between these photos, a true hunter green, though the construction is far more visible in the washed out photos below. Imagine a sweeping matching skirt and maybe a fur cap to match the trimmings in the back. I can't, I might faint from the glamour of it all, but you go on and think on it.
I wanna be with you, coat! The dealer quoted thirty on the jacket and ten apiece on the dresses, but I managed to piteously haggle him down to twenty on the jacket and...fine, ten apiece on the dresses. I'm poor! I think he could see that I might actually die if I didn't get the coat, but also that I did not have that much money to blow (especially at this point in my shopping excursion) on the lovely things clutched to my chest. A merciful merchant! I told him I planned on wearing the two dresses, but maybe hanging the coat on the wall in my office. "Yeah, it's tiny, but I figured someone might want it for display, like you said. How old do you think it is? Edwardian? Maybe Victorian?" I breathed a sigh of wonder. "No idea. Probably older rather than newer, if you ask me. I was thinking 1880's. It's in great shape, too!" We chatted amiably for a minute as the items were bagged and I pretty much skipped away from the booth, unable to conceal a mile-wide grin.
Neither of us was kidding about the diminutive size of this guy, either! The waist at its smallest point measures 20 inches, and you have to think of this as being OUTERWEAR (the inside is even fleece), meaning the person inside would have to be maybe 18-inches in waist circumference to even be comfortable. We're talking Gone With the Wind measurements! I think about the teeny, teeny sizings of more petite starlets in the day (Bette Davis, 21'' waist; Veronica Lake, same) and then plus a corset, and a 18'' waist doesn't seem that far off! From them, that is.
Best part? I spent $40 on all three pieces (I know, I know-- but my entertainment budget is nil, and this makes up for it once a month), and each garment still had the tag from the antique dealer my guy had wholesale purchased the clothes from. Wanna see what retail on just the two items pictured is?
Two hundred and five smackeroos, folks! Now, for something I love as much as I love these two pieces, PLUS getting them for $30...the best feeling! Simply the best feeling.
How about you? Do you have any truly antique clothes or items in your collection? What's the best you've made out at an estate sale or in a flea market setting lately, when you knew an item was worth x but only had to pay y for it? Let's talk our successes, folks!
That's all for today, I've gotta get back to work! Have a great Wednesday and I'll see you tomorrow. Til then!