Vee Vintage

Curated vintage goods & style inspirations to brighten your world.

vintage style

7 Modern TV Shows for Vintage Style Inspiration

Virginia FrancesComment


I grew up on Nick At Nite. Mostly because my parents were super protective of what our developing little minds consumed and they could really only vouch for the shows they grew up watching. We were strictly a G-rated household and that meant I was totally out of the loop on all the hit 90s shows my friends were talking about: Friends, Buffy, Dawson’s Creek- I had no flipping clue! The plus side though was the vintage fashion schooling I gained at a very young age which has influenced me to this day. I can thank the Bradys, Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore for much of my own sense of style. And I suppose I really have my parents to thank for that. 

While I still watch old movies and tv shows for inspiration, the last few years of modern television have been an incredible time for period-based storytelling and the amazing wardrobe that comes with it. Below are my top seven new(ish) shows for vintage fashion inspiration (in no particular order). These also happen to be some of the greatest productions featuring strong female leads and for that reason too they are some of my all time favs <3


1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (1958)

IMG_0129.JPG
IMG_0130.JPG

2. GLOW (1980s)

IMG_0134.JPG
IMG_0133.JPG

3. The Crown (1947-1964) 

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_0135.JPG

4. Mad Men (March 1960-November 1970)

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_0142.JPG

5. Downton Abby (1912-1926)

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

6. Stranger Things (1980s) 

IMG_0145.JPG
IMG_0143.JPG

7. Godless (1880s)  

IMG_0144.JPG
IMG_0132.JPG

NEON BONEYARD, LAS VEGAS

Virginia FrancesComment

My husband and I visited The Neon Museum while in Las Vegas this weekend. Besides my vintage shopping excursion, it was the highlight of the trip for me! Located near old town Vegas, it’s a great excuse to get out of the madness of the strip and learn about the history of Sin City and the science & art behind neon signs. They have a pretty strict "photo-shoot" policy but we managed to get a few shots. When you visit the museum for yourself be sure to book your tickets in advance and don’t forget to tip your tour guide! 

The 1980s floral dress featured in these photos, along with other fab vintage from the VEE VINTAGE VEGAS COLLECTION, will be available soon at a POPUP SHOP near you!

Photos of me by Nate Watters (all others by me)

The Therapeutic Art of Mending

Virginia Frances5 Comments

I’ve learned so much since I set out on this venture into the vintage clothing world. What I didn’t fully anticipate was the insane amount of time I would spend preparing items for the racks. Every item I sell is professionally dry-cleaned or hand/machine washed by yours truly. I’ve revived some amazing vintage pieces, eliminating the 40-60 years of wear, smell and stains. I'll just go ahead and state the obvious: don’t wear vintage without a proper cleaning. Even if it “looks clean” or “doesn’t smell too bad” it’s probably extremely filthy. I’ve soaked items multiple times that resulted in dark brown water (and a god awful smell permeating the room) within seconds. Yeah…don’t wear that shit. Then there’s the sewing. You wouldn’t believe the number of rips, tears, snags, moth holes, etc. that I’ve repaired in the last year. I now have quite the selection of thread colors, sewing needles, and vintage buttons as a bonus. Then there's the de-pilling, the replacing of buttons, zipper, snaps, etc. The list just goes on. The truth is though, this entire process, while tedious, has become a bit of a therapeutic art form for me. 

Like many of you, I've been feeling really down lately. On top of my usual winter blues I’ve felt the heavy weight of the election results and it’s been hard to feel hopeful about the future (although yesterday’s news of the Dakota Access Pipeline being denied was a bit of a boost). So, I’ve been staying in more than usual, keeping warm by the fireplace, and staking claim on the couch with my pile of imperfect garments, needle and thread in hand, carefully tackling them piece by piece.

The act of renewing something flawed and giving life to something old with my very own hands has given me comfort and even a little hope. Some evenings I’ll sew the night away listening to music (the new Head and the Heart is currently on repeat). Other nights I’ll binge watch a show without feeling quite as guilty because hey, at least I’m being productive. I finished the first season of The Crown* while repairing about a dozen vintage sweaters. Now I'm on to the new Gilmore Girls (OMG!), tackling perhaps my biggest challenge yet.

The sweater above is from the 1970s. There are a total of 8 moth holes (two of them I can fit my hand through) and at least three will require multiple colors of mending yarn. I found the sweater on my GREAT VINTAGE ROAD TRIP this past Summer and it’s been sitting at the bottom of the “to be mended pile” since because it just seemed too daunting to deal with. If the post-election weeks have awoken me to anything its that we must accept the hardest challenges coming our way and face them head-on and armed with the right tools to revitalize what’s good and true in the world. So, I'm ready. I’ll be armed with my needle and thread and I’ll show that moth whose boss and give that sweater the life it deserves! And…I’ll take that lesson to heart because humanity is precious and we’ve come too far to give up now. Together, we must mend what's been broken.

Tools for mending your clothes: Fix Your Clothes by Raleigh Briggs


*A few thoughts on The Crown: 1) John Lithgow better win an Emmy! 2) The actress playing young Queen Elizabeth II looks EXACTLY how the actress playing the older Queen Elizabeth II would have looked at that age! 3) THE CLOTHES!!! *swoon*

 

Five Ways to Mix Vintage into Your Wardrobe

Virginia FrancesComment

If you haven't yet watched the segment I did for New Day Northwest, check it out here. The tips below are an elaborated version of my talking points from my conversation on the show. 

  1. Trend reversal. While I always encourage moving away from fly by night fashion trends, a good place to start incorporating vintage to your closet is to look at what’s trendy now and get the true vintage version of that. After all, today’s trends are usually just a re-run or spinoff from the past. The 70s are currently in, so start there. 
  2. Accessories! Add a vintage necklace, handbag, scarf, hat, necktie, etc. Mix it with something simple and modern and you’ve just added a little fun (and piece history) to your look. 
  3. Modernize the vintage piece. For example, remove those god forsaken monster size shoulder pads from that dress or shirt from the 80s. And, don’t wear both pieces of a two-piece suit at once. Wear them separately and pair them with something modern on the top or bottom.
  4. Fit is key to any look, vintage or modern. Vintage fit can be tricky though. Learn what decades of style fit with your body type. You can always have something altered if you need to.  I don’t recommend buying vintage clothing online to start. Go into a shop to get a feel for what eras fit you best. When you have a real sense of what styles you love on your body, take your measurements and have them handy so that you can compare them to the measurements listed for items in online vintage shops. 
  5. Get inspired! Follow bloggers or instagrammers (like yours truly). Watch old TV shows or movies- I loved watching Downton Abby for inspiration (so sad it's over!). Nerd out over vintage fashion magazines. Most of all, keep your eyes/mind open, inspiration is everywhere!

The photos above feature the outfit modeled in the New Day Northwest segment by model #3, the most beautiful Nhi Tran.  I ran out of time to talk about the entire outfit so I thought I'd feature it in this post. Nhi is wearing this beautiful rust colored 1970s trench from Life Long Thrift Store in Capitol Hill where all proceeds support services to people living with HIV/Aids and other chronic illness. Under the jacket, I paired a modern fitted tee with a pleated skirt from the 70s, boots inspired by the early 1900s, and a 1960s gold necklace. A perfect way to add some vintage style to your wardrobe.  

Behind the scenes at King 5 New Day Northwest.

Behind the scenes at King 5 New Day Northwest.

 

 

 

My Wedding Dress

Virginia Frances6 Comments

So much has happened in my life this year. I’ve been running one marathon after the next, training for the metaphorical iron woman. When life gets busy, it becomes harder for me to be truly present in the current moment and to reflect on all that’s happened.  I just got back from the most amazing two-week vacation, or should I say HONEYMOON, in Greece. This gave me the much-needed time to put my “to-do” list aside, relax and be with my Love each day. I’ve come back with a fresh perspective, ready to do a bit of self-reflection, ready to hit the pavement in a more thoughtful way than I may have been operating before.

Reflecting on our recent wedding, Nathan and I agreed from the beginning that we wanted to steer as far away as possible from the wedding industrial complex - the notion that your wedding day is the most important, most defining, moment in your life (especially for women) and it should be absolutely picture perfect, no matter the cost. We also didn’t want to get sucked into the ultra gendered roles that tend to play out in the man/woman wedding planning process. We didn’t want to agonize over a mile long guest list (which is harder to avoid than I would have expected) and then have to decide who should sit by whom. We wanted to keep it simple. We wanted to have fun in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest outdoors. We wanted our energy to focus on the things that truly matter, and not get too lost in the details. We wanted to share our love with family and friends who we love. And of course…..I WANTED A VINTAGE DRESS! 

I couldn’t wait to wear that dress after it sat so patiently in the box for nearly ten months. I found it at Pretty Parlor in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle just two months after we got engaged. I had strolled in there after work one day to scope out their bridal boutique, which is fabulously decorated in vintage golds, pinks and florals with an incredible white fur rug in the dressing room that makes any lady feel totally glam. My intention was to browse (and get a sense of pricing) but the shop woman insisted that I tried some dresses on, so I did. None of them fit quite right. Most were traditional white 1950s style; lovely but just not…me. I let the woman know I wasn’t in any rush but I’d be back.

As I was just about to leave the dressing room I glanced up and noticed the most amazing golden yellow and lace gown hanging high up on the wall, and must has gasped out loud.  “Oh those are our really old and delicate dresses,” the shop woman said. “If you want to try it on I’m required to help you.” So she carefully helped me pull that dress over my head and down my body and OMG it fit me like a gorgeous satin glove! The great thing about 1930s slip style gowns is that they have no buttons or zippers, which often break or quit working with age. In fact, most garments from the earlier decades of the 20th century are new edging on antiquity, collected but not worn, because they're so fragile. Lucky for me my dress was in incredible shape, proving that vintage garments can far outlast new ones due to high quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship. 

Thrifty shopper that I am I had given myself a budget of $300 for a dress. I have a rule that I don’t look at a price tag of something until after I’ve tried it on, that way I don’t trick myself into thinking it fits properly or looks amazing just because it has a low price tag. In this case, I slipped that dress on, fell in love with it in an instant, grit my teeth as I peaked at the price tag, and couldn’t believe my eyes when it said $340. SOLD!!! Okay, I know I cheated a bit, but $340 for a wedding dress is a steal! Not to mention this was an incredible 1930s gem that was basically MADE for me!

The best part of the story is that I called my best friend in a panic because I wanted her second opinion and didn’t want anyone else to snatch that dress up. Looking back on this I suppose this was one of the few inevitable “bride moments" I had- at least this one didn't bring me to tears. Terra had recently returned to work after having a baby (my handsome little godson, Rainer) and her crazy schedule didn’t allow her to come with me to the shop until 5 days later. They graciously held that dress for me until then. And then of course, the second Terra saw the dress on me she was like, “That’s it! That’s the one!” I never really thought I’d get totally gaga over a dress. But, I now stand corrected.

So there you have it: The story of my dress. The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch. I managed to deal with the strange tensions I felt leading up to it. Planning of the event wasn’t without stress that’s for sure, but as the days drew closer we both were pretty excited for the wedding weekend to arrive. I’m happy to say that our wedding day was everything we had wanted it to be, imperfections and all. While I may have cringed at the idea of this one day being the best day of my life, I think it’s up there. I’ve never felt so much love; from my now husband, from our families, our friends, and even from strangers who helped make our special weekend happen. It was simply wonderful. A total whirlwind, but a really, really wonderful one!

I would like to give a shoutout to Laura Close, founder of the Women’s Intelligence Project, for being a support to me during so much transition happening in my life this year, wedding and otherwise, and for giving me this book during a time that I needed it most. I highly recommend The Conscious Bride to those who are grappling with societal, familial, or even your own internalized ideologies of all things related to weddings and marriage itself. 

Also, HUGE THANKS to Wild RoseMarie Photography for the amazing photos and to my bestest best friend Mandy Westfall for her mad hair and makeup skills!

Shoes by John Fluevog. Necklace and fur coat from the Vee Vintage private collection.

If you're in need of some vintage style assistance for your upcoming wedding look no further than Vee Vintage! Email Virginia at vee@veevintage.com for all your styling needs.

The Great vintage road trip

Virginia FrancesComment

I’m back in Seattle after nine days of the great #vintageroadtrip. If you’ve been following me on social media, you’re aware of this fun little adventure I’ve been on, but I’m here to tell you a bit more of the intimate details.

Nothing helps clear my head more than driving on the open road. I always find a sense of clarity and new perspective on long road trips. Living in an ever-growing city and working in the hustle & bustle of its downtown slowly wears on me. The funny thing is that I truly do love big city life, yet the minute I start to drive away with that skyline in my rearview, I feel a huge weight beginning to lift. The further down the road I go, I feel like the truest version of myself.

Here’s the complete list of all the little (and big) towns I stopped in.

Washington: Roslyn, Thorp, Moses Lake, Spokane

Idaho: Coeur d’Alene, Kellogg, Wallace,

Montana: Missoula, Bozeman, Livingston, Red Lodge, Bridger, Fromburg, Joliet, Billings

I took four days getting to my “basecamp” in Bridger, Montana and then spent another four days exploring the area there. Just about everyday I scouted inventory, doing my best to shop at small non-profit thrift stores that put the dollars spent back into the local community. I’m also a sucker for yard/garage sales as I love learning a bit about the people putting them on. One old sun-worn hippy guy in Billings was managing the sale of his “lady friend’s” eclectic collection of stuff to help her out while dealing with a “nasty divorce”. He was quite a character and I walked away with some great finds!

A few observations and highlights from my trip:

  1. I have the best travel buddy in the world! My dog, Maddie, was just so awesome and fun to travel with. Because of her I explored more parks than I would have and that’s pretty cool.
  2. I listened to a lot of Dear Sugar Radio. Do yourself a favor and check it out if you haven’t already!
  3. You guys, there are far too many Trump Campaign signs in Eastern Washington. Living in our little liberal bubble of Seattle we tend to forget about the rest of the state.
  4. The best roadtunes are: Lucero, Robyn, Blitzen Trapper, Creedance Clear Water Revival, Daft Punk, Frank Ocean, Jenny Lewis, Rocky Votolato, Sylvan Esso….to name a few J
  5. Yard sales were the absolute best I’ve ever witnessed in Billings, MT. Every intersection of every street had 3-4 signs pointing in all different directions. And they all had pretty sweet stuff!
  6. I spent some quality time with my future mother-in-law, Jean. How did I get so lucky in that department?! She’s just so great in so many ways! Not only did she raise an amazing son she’s an incredible artist and photographer. We did a super fun photoshoot one evening which I can't wait to share with you all soon!
  7. Oh and two other highlights: I read a great book, Brain On Fire, which I highly recommend!! Also, I made a cherry pie. From scratch! With cherries from our yard in Seattle that traveled with me all the way to MT. It was beautiful (with fancy lattice crust top) and delicious!!

Flying home yesterday (thank God I didn’t have to drive another 14 hours home!), I felt like I was ready to tackle the world again. I’ve got big exciting things coming up and it feels good to sort of start with a fresh perspective on things.

As far as all the STUFF goes: Seattle area friends, come to my First Thursday Pop-Up in North Beacon Hill on July 7th for first dibs on some of the most amazing vintage finds from my #roadtripcollection!