Glamour On a Budget Fashion Spotlight!

A new arrival of two Jack Bryan dresses to my store Sephine had me wondering what other lovely stuff this vintage designer had created, that might still be drifting around.  I’ve come to realize that Jack Bryan has an extremely specific design aesthetic that for me, reads as casual luxury.  Today’s fashion spotlight shines on a specific Jack Bryan dress from SavageLoveVintage on Etsy.

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I was in awe when I first laid eyes on it!  An authentic 1960s Jack Bryan pink evening gown, complete with a sheer cape that cascades beautifully down the arms and collars the neck.

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The elegance of the flowing fabric combined with the beaded collar is something I admire in Jack Bryan’s work: ability to combine heavily structured and clustered bedazzlement with effortless simplicity.  Not to mention, the particular shade of pink – freshly blooming roses, or a mid-sunset hue, is just darling.

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Only 78.00!  For those among us who desire glamour on a budget, this is something to invest in for sure.

Measurements:
40″ – 30″ (Empire Waist)-  48″
LENGTH TOP TO BOTTOM About 58″

If you like this dress, stay tuned for two lovely Jack Bryan dresses with matching overcoats coming to Sephine Vintage late May!  Comment for what you would like to see on the next Glamour On a Budget article; anything from ruby slippers to satin pillowcases!

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Things To Keep Near Your Bed

Dolls: apologies for the absence!  As I’m sure you’re well aware of, life happens often.  To jump back into the swing of things, and always for your pleasure, here is a collection of absolute nightstand essentials for the classic duchess, dame, and darling.

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First up; The Rose.  Fresh flowers on your nightstand incorporate an element of elegance and nature that would otherwise be lost.  A single rose, or even a dozen bouquet, cannot be passed on.
Scented Candle; To illuminate your day and brighten the air around you.
Crystal Glass of Water; Hydration mustn’t be a chore.
Golden Clam; For all the miscellaneous earrings and jewels you ultimately put on and off before sleeping, and after awakening.
Slippers; To keep your feet warm and make the journey to the washroom less exasperating.
Crystal Ball; For early-morning divinations, of course.
Miss Dior; Personal fragrance is a sensory staple.  Find one that conveys your unique attributes.  If you aren’t a Miss Dior, who are you?
Lip Balm; Must be beeswaxed based or you will end up disappointed.  Rose-scented for the delicate among us, cinnamon scented for the sharp-cutting dames.
Makeup Wipes; Keep these near your bed.  You’ll thank yourself when you come home from a party in the early hours and barely have time to brush your teeth!
Lightweight Moisturizer; If you can get into the habit, a lightweight moisturizer before bed will have you awakening with petal-soft and enviable skin.
Sleep Mask; For getting the rest you really need, no matter what time of the season.
Classic Analog Clock; Digital alarm clocks have been proven to promote restless sleep, and discord in your brain.  Choose something more timeless and don’t stress about the hour until you’re ready to awaken.
Everything in this article is available for purchase on the following sites!

 

Which of These Three Classic Hollywood Beauties Do You Most Embody?

In tune with my interests, I wanted to make a very quick and sweet test that we all can take, to see which one of these ultra-classic Hollywood sweethearts most closely matches our personality.

Instructions: Read the following descriptions, and decide which one you align with the most.  Then, scroll down to see your result.  And no early peeking!

a. Kind.  Favorite flower: a lily.  Always seen with a smile.  Enjoys the wind created by oceans.  When bike riding, legs stick out, laughing – always laughing.  Partial to the passenger seat.  Often, people will wrongfully mistake your curiosity for stupidity.  You are looking underneath every rock, behind every tree, at the shapes in every cloud.  Sometimes, painfully out of touch with the real world, and blissfully in touch with dreams.  Despite the overwhelming gentleness that fills your being, you are stubborn, and you refuse to compromise your ideals and morals for others.

b. Enchanting.  Hard to pin down.  Completely unpredictable, like a storm in late spring.  Despite this, within you lies the ability to genuinely touch people in a way that transcends the limits of this Earthly world.  Favorite flower: yellow roses.  You often feel as though whatever side of yourself you’re showing, it’s not the real side.  Others will fall over themselves to get to know you better.  You always have a plan, and yet, at the same time, feel a victim of the circumstances around you.  Will charm your way through the dark, and into another dawn.

c. Elegant.  Reserved, but not out of touch.  Your beauty emanates half from your appearance, and half from a gentle power that lies just beneath your skin.  Favorite flower: red roses.  Partial to the driver’s seat.  Will often be seen wearing gloves, sunglasses, scarves, and full skirts.  Can appreciate a fine glass of wine, a picnic at night, a penthouse suite.  Despite this complete ownership of self, you are never afraid to give kindness to people who genuinely need it, and express gratitude when it’s deserved.

You Picked “A”…

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You’re most alike Audrey Hepburn!  Audrey was classically known for her kind heart and innocent yet spunky attitude.  You will feel most in your element when it’s summer, when you’re with friends, or when you’re in nature.  Life is wondrous to you, and you’re never hesitant to jump in head first.  Just be cautious to don’t bite off more than you can chew.

 

You Picked “B”…

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You’re most alike Marilyn Monroe!  Such a beautiful whirlwind of a person.  You have a radiance and spark inside you that is incomparable to others; the real challenge will be learning to control yourself and your impact on the people around you.  Too often are you misunderstood or taken advantage of.  You’re most in your element when with close friends – people who understand you – in a safe and private environment.  Solitude doesn’t bother you, but you never like to feel lonely.

You Picked “C”…

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You’re most alike Grace Kelly!  You carry yourself with integrity, poise, and elegance.  Despite reserving your deepest emotions for those closest to you, you have a warm and welcoming energy.  People will feel comfortable and awed in your presence.  You also have a tendency to be too hard on yourself.  Recognize your strengths, and remember to let yourself be human from time to time.  You are most in your element when you’re with people you trust, and in control of the situation.  A natural born leader, and a fair one at that!

Clothes, Clothes, Wonderful Clothes!

I’m here today to answer one of the most common questions I’ve gotten as the owner of a vintage business.  “How do you decide which clothes to sell and which clothes to keep for yourself?”

I’m answering this on the heels of a new haul of clothing, which I go into detail about on my alternative blog on Sephine Vintage!  (Please check it out).

Out of the 15-ish garments I collected, only one stood out for me as something I had to keep for myself.  It’s a 1950’s black chiffon dress that was so akin to something Marilyn Monroe would classically wear.  It had it all – the breezy skirt, the wrap-around wide-cinched waist, the cascading fabric bust that tied around the neck and left the back uncovered.  To some, just a little black dress, but I knew the instant I put it on that it was a staple of my own personal style.

If I could, I would absolutely wear everything in my store 24/7.  I am proud and envious of all my wonderful customers who get to call Sephine collected pieces their own.  But when you have such a wide array of clothing to select from, you must narrow it down to not only fabulous pieces, but pieces that speak to you as an individual.  This discernment is essential.  You must figure out what type of person you want to be, and make sure your wardrobe speaks to this.  The Marilyn Monroe dress spoke to me because it embodied elements of femininity, sexuality, and power.  It’s playful with an edge.  A rose with thorns.  A woman with a sharp gaze.  Enchanting-yet-mysterious has always been my favorite elegant woman quality.

Oh, and did I mention it’s incredibly fun to dance in?

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Cheers,

Josephine

The Hope-Renewing Kindness of Strangers

A quick write-up about something that happened to me today that has left my heart brimming and my face grinning!

Picture this, if you can.  The weather is unseasonably sunny for late winter in Oregon.  My husband and I have decided to take the early morning off and play hooky, strut around downtown,  and drive up the Skinner’s Butte to sunbathe.  There’s a beautiful pink victorian style house at the base of the Butte, functioning as a lingerie and nightwear boutique, that has always caught my eye.  For years, I’ve forgotten to take a peek inside.  I thought, why not stop in for once?  It being such a nice day, and my mood being so bright.

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Once inside, I find myself waxing poetic about how lovely the fixtures are, how much I love vintage homes and vintage things.  On the topic, I strike up a conversation with the charming lady working at the front desk, with neatly combed grey hair and lovely earrings on.  We discover her parents were named Josephine and John, just like my great grandparents were named Josephine and John, just like I was named Josephine after my great grandmother.  She tells me she was an interior designer for Bath & Body Works in the 60’s, and that she designed vintage Victoria’s Secret interiors as well.  We go on a tangent then, about how much more quality products were made back in the day, and how tacky commercial products have become.

That’s when I start talking about my business  (“Well, you know, I own a vintage clothing shop online”) .  She seems interested, so I begin showing her pictures, starting with a 60’s Valentino jacket, one of my favorites in the store.  She then tells me that it looks just like a coat that her mother had, and excuses herself to go look for it upstairs.

About 3 minutes later, she comes back down, holding an absolutely gorgeous grey double-breasted coat, buttons in two rows down the front, mink fur and neckline.  It’s in plastic wrap and clearly impeccably preserved.  She begins showing it to me, the features, and how mint the fabric is.  And then came the words that made my entire day:

“I want you to have it.”

Me?  Have?!  For Real?!?

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The infamous coat, graciously modeled by my mother.

I was blown away!  She explained that the thought her mother would be happy knowing the coat went to someone so passionate about vintage, and quality clothing.

 

I thanked her many many many many many many times and I’m quite certain me and my husband ended up giving her a group hug.  Needless to say I was bouncing out of the store giddy!

 

The coat itself is union label, and worth a great deal.  I haven’t decided yet wether I am to sell it or wear it myself, as a little thank-you to the late Josephine and her extremely generous daughter.

An Unofficial Guide to Estate Sales

After having just got back from a particularly peachy estate sale, I thought it might be appropriate for me to impart some wisdom on the topic.  After all, you can leave an estate sale either with a handful of gems, or a handful of clutter – and it’s up to you to make sure it’s not the latter.

An estate sale is what becomes of one person’s possessions after they pass away.  Generally, the heirs to the estate will come in and select what they want to keep, then pass the rest along to a professional, who prices, organizes, and cleans the items, making them ready to sell.

I’ve been to estate sales of all types, from people selling out of a mobile home, to people selling out of a 1.7 million dollar country mansion.  No matter what type of sale, there are some common threads that can aid all types of darlings out there who are in search of a deal.

Scouting

Generally, estate sales will be posted about on your local garage and yardsale forum on craigslist.  Don’t disregard a sale just because it doesn’t have the most appealing image attached to it – make sure to read the description.  Often, a seller will list the types of items that are for sale, giving you a better idea of wether or not this may be an estate sale for you.

I also personally have a stop-drop-yardsale policy, meaning that unless I’m 15 minutes late to a meeting, it’s my utmost responsibility to pull over every time I see an estate sale, garage sale, or yard sale sign.  Impromptu ventures like this have lead me to some of my favorite finds.

Preparation

Always be sure you’ve eaten a good meal, hydrated, and had your coffee or tea – estate sales can be tiring, and going to one on an empty stomach is a horrible idea.  Additionally, consider wearing comfortable shoes and a practical outfit.  You may be doing a substantial amount of walking, and bending down.

Timing

Once you find a particularly alluring sale, there are two prime times to arrive.  First, and last.  Of course, I’ve found incredible scores at all different times during an estate sale, so this is entirely up to the individual.  Arriving in the middle is never a terrible option either.

The perk of arriving first is having first pick, of course.  Depending on the location and content of an estate sale, they can become extremely competitive.  Arrive 1-2 hours beforehand, and be ready to stand in line – some sellers will even ask you to take a number and be put on a waiting list to enter.  I’ve heard of estate sales with 65 people lined up before opening time – yes, it happens!  Being first to enter allows you to scout out the best and most valuable must-have items.  But be careful, you may have to do some elbowing and clawing to get at them.

The second best time to arrive, is of course, last.  On the last day everything is half price o cheaper, meaning you get the ultimate deals.  This is a perfect time to haggle and bargain.  The only downside of last-day shopping is that anything of real value will most likely have already been nabbed, leaving you with beautiful nick-nacks that are probably more aesthetic than anything.

Selection

Know what you’re looking for when you arrive.

There’s a huge temptation when stepping into someone’s home to get hung up on every beautiful throw pillow, end table, marble sculpture, or light blue antique crystal punch bowl.  Stop it.  If you came looking for clothes, immediately locate where the clothes are.  Jewelry?  Find the jewelry sections.  Kitchen wares?  You get the picture.  If you’re on a mission, it’s important to comb through their relevant selection immediately.  Grab everything remotely of interest, and ask the seller if you can make a pile of things before you continue searching.  Once you’ve hoarded all the items you’re interested in – congratulations!  You’re free to browse around as much as your heart desires.

Paring Down

Once you’re ready to make your final decision, ask yourself the following series of questions for each item:

  1. Am I really going to use/sell this?
  2. Is it a brand name item, and therefore worth more than face value?
  3. Is it worth more than the price I’m paying for it?
  4. Does it have any damage that will impact the item’s function of value?
  5. Is it unique, or can I find similar things many other places?

If you find that this item is going to be useful, valuable, worthy, and unique, go for it!  But of course, it’s important to find your own criteria based off your own needs.

Finishing Touches

Always be sure to thank the seller for their hard work, and be courteous to them.  Putting together an estate sale is hard.  And never forget that estate sales can be great opportunities to network – if you’re a seller or collector, you may be among people who can share with you enthusiasm, insights, or business.  I recently bought an extremely lovely Valentino coat for a screaming deal, and on the way out, asked a glamorous older lady if she could tell me anything about the garment.  I was informed that it was most likely early to mid sixties make, mink fur, and that the label was extremely rare and valuable – all things I would have never known without the kindness of a stranger.

And of course, remember to have fun with it!  You have the privilege of getting a snapshot at someone’s life.  It’s a very unique and fascinating experience, so be sure to take the time to appreciate it.  After all, you never know who might comb through your belongings one day, long after you’re gone.