Saturday, June 11, 2016

Female History About Riding a Bike and Wearing Fancy Pants

A little female history about a woman who was determined to ride a bike and to wear some fancy pants.
Or, How to research a weird vintage garment.

So, a few years ago I found these, which are now listed at the etsy funkomavintage shop :

All I could think of to call it was....gym clothes...bloomers...
I've lately been on a bloomers kick because this find was in December when I was in the midst of whine-fest about how much I hate Winter (because I do)... and in the fall of 2008 I started sewing bloomers from cashmere.

The Thought of a Gym Suit....stirred up a lot of painful, agonizing memories of Gym Class, and the Awful Gymsuit we were forced to wear in junior and high school. I suspect, that just at the moment when we are facing the horrifying changes our bodies go through in that time of our young lives, we are forced to wear the most universally unflattering garment ever for tampons (not really a garment) or The Burka...maybe wood clogs are worse....Let me introduce Amelia Bloomer....

this pic is from

Research revealed that the spunky Amelia Bloomer encouraged the wearing of long baggy pants with ankle cuffs that were just dandy for enraging the menfolk and the uptight women who aligned with them, and for actually Enjoying Life unrestricted by 42 petticoats and 4 layers of wool skirts...and that's just from the waist down...horrors on the rib cage squashing corsets...(another post just for that!)

Though the puffy pants and shorts are now known as Bloomers, Mrs. Bloomer was influenced by 1850's era Women's Libber....Libby Miller and her cousin Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Exercise and sports were becoming quite popular about this time with the invention of the bicycle and baseball towards the end of the 19th century, and new clothing styles were invented, since catching ones petticoat in the spokes could lead to catastrophe.(google Isadora Duncan for a sickening lesson on Fashion as Unintentional Suicide)

Middies , Middy shirts and Bloomers
took over casual wear like wildfire because of comfort and cuteness. These 2 piece outfits for sports evolved to one piece for gymnasium wear and exercise. As things do, the middy lost its collar, tie and sleeves by the 30s, but kept the elastic bloomer leg. Buttons on the shoulder were the way in and out.
In the book linked above, School Sewing Based On Home Problems, published in 1916, we see a Middy gym suit, and a swimsuit with buttoned shoulders similar to mine.

I am koo koo for anything nautical, but I've never (to my knowledge) dated a Sailor. But I love middies, love nautical themes and love living near Big Water, aka Pacific Ocean.

By the 40s, shirt styles with front buttons and collars with short sleeves were back in style.
These were paired with shorts, mostly without bloomers, but the bloomers were under the skirts or under the shorts.

In the 50s and 60s, they looked like this mostly.

A wonderful trip thru gymsuit land is here at Taffy's....

Take a look here at the Levittown High School reunion page for some gym suits, and lots of other fun 60s photos.

Here's a mid 30s label from a guy's gym suit...same as mine.

Another clue to the actual age of my vintage gymsuit (possibly a Teens swimsuit!) is the buttons on the shoulders. That is the only way in, or out. There's no zipper, no side snaps or buttons. That's another reason it's not 40s or 50s or later. The slimmer bloomer (say that fast 10 times) means they have escaped the madness of Big Bloomer Heaven that was the 20s, and moved on.
And, well, the color is either Jadeite, or Institutional Green, depending on your mood at the moment you view them.
Based on the label, the styling and the color, the history of bloomers and middies and the history of exercise and women's lib, I feel confident these are late 20s thru the 30s.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Pales. Snow. Bean. Bauer. Jantzen. Mohair. Wool. Harris Tweed. Levis.

Whether you are in the snow and cold and freezing sleet and rain or just your garden variety winter weather, we just listed a bunch of warm winter pales in light colors. Wool sweaters, mohair sweaters and LL Bean and a sweeet vintage Harris Tweed ladies suit.
Here we go...   All of these are listed at funkomavintage etsy shop, under Womens Separates and Suits

classic wool plaid pleated skirt.

60s vintage baby blue Mohair cable knit pullover sweater

a timeless classic that we love. Irish fisherman sweater, cable knit wool pullover.

Pastel loopy vintage 60s mohair cardigan.

Hand knit vintage ivory and dark forest green pullover wool sweater.

Dreamy 50s hand knit mohair capelet in softest palest blue mohair.

Sweeeet vintage Made in England for Orvis Harris Tweed Ladies suit. These are just so stunning to behold. This is exactly the kind of sturdy charming classics that funkomavintage has always specialized in.... all perfect, for the long term, and the opposite of Fast Crap Fashion, that we have eschewed for decades.

Winter snow in eyelet lace white mohair, vintage V neck pullover sweater.

Ralph Lauren vintage Linen sweater, with a V neck, pullover sweater.

Pale yellow mohair cardigan sweater. Vintage 60s Garland, looks never worn.

Fun denim gaucho split skirt. yes fun! Cotton denim, side seam pockets and a back zipper. FUN!

wool plaid 60s Cowgirl pants. Vintage tartan plaid capris in dark tones. Had to slip this in. They are so winter-classic.

Here's some new - vintage pale sweaters and wool pants, and of course, vintage Levis, listed in Mens vintage, also at the funkomavintage etsy shop. Check 'em out.

Eddie Bauer vintage 60s wool Ranger pants with tons of pockets.  Outdoor fun.

I get excited when I see this label. Classic quality LL Bean wool sweater with a shawl collar in pale gray and cream with blue.

Vintage BVD sweat pants, with a gusset crotch detail.

Never give up your Carhartts. These have been to work a few times. Yeah. #workwear

Gray fuzzy poly fleece vintage North Face pullover. Another new classic that will last forever or something.

Southwest pattern vintage flannel shirt. nuff said.

Have you discovered the quality of Harris Tweed? We always have a good selection of this Always in Style vintage classic suit jacket.

Hey look, funkomavintage has another vintage Irish fisherman pullover sweater. We love them. And you do too.

Chemise et cie 70s disco shirt. This is a small size so good for the ladies also. Features an Art Nouveau sad lady, Lament.

vintage Levis. vintage Levis vintage Levis .....

Vintage pale plaid vintage Levis wool flannel shirt. vintage Levis vintage levis vintage Levis

One of the best naturally faded 70s Levis denim jackets we've ever seen. naturally cool, fade and wear that only time can make. not faked. With its period rainbow patch. A sweet chunk of 70s fashion guys and gals.

60s vintage moss green hand knit mohair cardigan sweater. Look familiar? Kinda like the ones Mr. Cobain often wore.

Pale gray and red printed cotton flannel shirt. Another fun classic we love. Flannel. Shirts.

black and white vintage tweed sweater. Jantzen wool pullover sweater. fantastic!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Garden thoughts from Xmas to NYE

Making the list and checking it twice. Not a Xmas gift list, but a list of garden seeds and plants for the garden of 2016.  The garden always starts anew every year, and the failures and the successes give us hope and give a sad face. So much hope! So much reward! and some failures. Just like life.

The container garden worked out pretty well. Just pretty well. I won't repeat it because: the no5 plastic boxes were very heavy, and cracked at the end of the summer since they aren't meant to last a long time (and not meant to last outside either).

I was surprised by a seedling that turned out to be a cherry tomato....probably a Sweet 100, since I do grow it every year, except 2015, but one came up on its own anyway. It's tough and I highly recommend it to novice and old-time gardeners alike.

The plants in the boxes didn't grow very well (probably  not high quality dirt), except the peppers and the marigolds.

The garden of 2016 will have more cherry tomatoes, more striped tomatoes, and my favorite peppers... Corno di Toro. Those amazing little Japanese eggplants and more pickling cucumbers because of their smaller size, and they are multi-purpose. Pickle them or eat them fresh! Another Meyer Lemon because Lemon! And I'm buying a miniature fruit tree or 2 to grow in a big wine barrel or 2.

More marigolds, more morning glories and nasturtium, more zinnias, more sunflowers. More alyssum, more daisies. 

On the other hand, the morning glories were glorious! And self-seeding.
pics from 2015 --- Oh, we didn't have any Japanese beetles but we had a late season tomato hornworm. UGLEEE. and a darling praying mantis lived in the wild geranium weed for a week or so.
The mantis is hard to seeeee, but he is there, right in the middle of this picture.

But the tomato hornworm is pretty easy to see. It did take us about a week to find him in the cherry tomato.

Here are some pics that I especially like from 2015. The weeds in the cracked concrete were especially adorable.