An Appreciation of Vintage-Sourced Weddings

In the lead-up to my own best friend's wedding, I sincerely applaud her decision to purchase a vintage 1950s wedding gown. Purchasing vintage gowns is wonderful because:

  • It's a chance to own something of superior quality and construction. Vintage clothing was made with great attention to detail, not churned out in factories. That loving attention shows, and is especially apparent in a setting where all eyes will be on you.
  • It's an opportunity to stretch your dollar by purchasing clothing from high quality materials that would cost much more to purchase new.
  • They make a statement that's a little bit different than the dresses of the other marrieds around you.
  • They reuse some of the gorgeous fabrics that already exist in the world. The production of clothing, especially in our throw-away society, comes at a terrible cost to the environment. Buying vintage offsets that waste, and encourages appreciation for the care and conservation of what is already here. 
  • You can check off "something old" from that requisite new/borrowed/blue list.

I won't post my best friend's dress here, for fear of ruining the surprise before the big day, but I did dig out this great photo of my parents' wedding day. My father has some serious lapels going on there. My mum is wearing a a stunning 1930s dress that was vintage even in 1973; it was paired with some then-contemporary platforms. The garment is still being kept tucked away in a trunk. The photo, the memories, bring much happiness.





Hats Off to... Hats

Mary Jane surround by vintage hats at Le Temps Perdu, Montreal, Canada (c.1979)

Mary Jane surrounded by vintage hats (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, c.1979)


I bemoan the loss of the hat as a vital summer fashion accessory. I know we still pull out warm, woollen things for autumn and winter, but spring and summer hats too often lay neglected, except for occasional, spectacle-style events (see Kentucky Derbies and Royal Weddings). I cannot say enough lovely things about modern milliners, but they are few and far between, and so many gorgeous vintage hats are still floating around in the world, waiting to be shown off. Aside from the beauty and whimsy of so many vintage hats, they also serve some important functions in a UV-saturated world: safeguarding the scalp from sun damage, shielding the face (broad-brimmed hats protect at the level of SPF 5), protecting delicate eyes from light damage, and keeping cool.

See our Women's and Men's hats.

July 25, 2015 by Katrina Enros

1937 Cigarette Ad with Gold Medal Skater Maribel Vinson

While unpacking a box today I ran across a Notre Dame Alumnus Magazine dated January 1937. To my surprise the back cover had this Chesterfield Cigarette ad with this illustration of a figure skater dressed in a gold figure skating outfit with matching gold ice skates. Instead of figure eights, the illustrator chose to write Chesterfield Wins on the ice. What is amazing is the fact that she is seen holding a cigarette while doing so! Times have certainly changed, this ad would never run today.

I couldn't help but wonder who this skater might be. I've come to the conclusion that this skater was Maribel Vinson. She won the Gold medal that same year for the North American championships in Boston and she also received a Silver medal in the pairs competition.

Sadly, her life ended tragically in 1961 when the plane she was traveling in as the coach for the US team at the 1961 World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia crashed in a field in Belgium. Her two daughters who were competing as well as everyone else perished in the crash. The games were canceled that year.