A Day in the Life of a Vintage Freak

The day was perfect for an outing, to check out some vintage stores in Downtown Toronto. The sun was shining and the clouds were fluffy and white confections of sky candy. My friend James came to pick me up at around Noon today. James laughs at me because I spend so much time in second hand, thrift and vintage stores. We drove into Toronto and hit a vintage hot spot called Kensington market. If you have ever heard or seen the show from the 70s called King of Kensington starring Al Waxman this is that same place.

This is one of the places to shop for Vintage in the Toronto area because there are so many good shops within a block. Stores like Courage my Love, Exile, Flashback and Flashback 2.

                           Courage My Love Kensington Market Toronto, ON

We sat at one of my favourite coffee and tea spots called the Moonbean Café on St. Andrew St. I had a cup of Organic Irish Breakfast tea and a delicious apple pastry. It was perfect to sit outside on the small patio on a beautiful day like today.

There are some stores, which carry a variety of vintage classics such as the Plaid western shirt, varsity jackets and black wool Pea coats and so much more. But some stores also crossover into new items, such as one store, which has screen printed bags and t-shirts. Courage my Love has all manner of vintage items including linens, dishes, Cowboy boots, and lots and lots of fantastic beads. I purchased these lovely Midi length gloves in a gorgeous coral color, with little nubs and stitched leaves. See them below:

Vintage 1960s Coral Midi length Gloves…Prefect for Fall!!! Sorry folks, these are not for Sale!!!!!

Vintage 1960s Coral Midi Length Gloves, has curved ebbossed stitching and three point little leaves or flowers!!!!

There were a few times during the day when we talked about what day it was and thought about the lives lost not just on this day in 2001 but throughout history. We were having a Remembrance Day moment.

Whenever I visit this part of the city I feel like I am in another country because it is so multicultural. There are two restaurants beside each other one was Jamaican and the other was Thai. And just around the corner is our famous China Town. There is graffiti on the walls, colourful characters hanging in the streets, burning incense wafting into the street, and music playing to all rhythms of the nation.

Don’t forget it is a market as well! You can purchase Fruit, Bread, Cheese and Meat one store after another and have freshness on your table for the evening meal.

It was a great day to spend with a great person and appreciate the company!

I hope you enjoyed this post…Till Next Time!!! Lulu

Blog: www.vintagenorth.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShuuShuubyLulu

Shops: www.etsy.com/shop/ShuuShuubyLulu

www.shuushuubylulu.goodsie.com

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Vintage Fall Fashion Preview @ Shuushuu by Lulu

I enjoyed putting these photo montages together. I think next time I am going to try actual collages of inspiring patterns, textures, etc. to combine with the vintage fashion images…we’ll see what happens next time. but for now this is for today!

Fall Preview for Women I

Coro Ice Blue Rhinestone Earrings

Coro Circular Wave Brooch

John Hort Lucite handle Patent Leather Handbag

Anne Klein Autumn Stripe Blouse

Harve Bernard Gray Wool Trousers

Fall Preview for Women II

Army Green Military style Blazer from Escada

Anne Klein Black Wool Pleated Skirt

Nina Ricci Banana Cream Gold Stripe Earrings

Kate Spade Animal Print Pony hair Shoes

Champagne 1970s Bow Tie Bodysuit

Monet Filigree Gold Tone Flower Brooch

Fall Preview for Men I

Croydon Khaki Green Trench Coat

Swank Mother of Pearl Gold tone Cuff Links

Burberry Crisp White Cotton French Cuffed Shirt

Valentino Black and Gold Relief Pattern Silk Necktie

Lorry Green and Black Wool Knitted Cardigan

Yah or Nah on my attempt at Photo Montage?

Blog: www.vintagenorth.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShuuShuubyLulu

Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Shuushuubylulu

I hope that you have enjoyed this post…Till Next Time!!!

Guidelines for Buying @ Shuushuu by Lulu

Since I will be closing out book sales at Shuushuu by Lulu at the end of September of this year, I am posting this comprehensive guide on how I grade my books and other vintage stock. This guide can be used for the many other items that will still be available such as, clothing, accessories, jewelry, ect. This terminology can be found throughout the Internet when buying vintage books. It is very common language, so I have incorporated it for the use of anything and everything. Then you do not have to learn multiple guides and charts.

When I first began collecting books, buying them online, I learned a thing or two about descriptions and lack of descriptions. If you are unsure of anything you want to know about an item and need clarification, always ask questions. Almost everyone I have dealt with will provide an answer, including myself. If you need more pictures, be specific about what areas you would like photographed, and I will provide them. There was an occasion where a vendor could not provide answers to my questions and it was not mentioned in the description, I did not buy from them. I think it is important to provide information as part of customer service.

Rating System:

Mint: Describes a book in pristine condition but is old, aged even used. The term is used as part of a wider scale to gauge how beat-up an object is and thus how valuable it may be to a collector. In many cases, only “perfect” condition—used to denote objects still in their original packaging—is ranked higher.

Excellent-Like New describes a book that is in immaculate, crisp condition with a perfect dust jacket. I generally use this term only to describe new books (and, frankly, some new books are no longer in As New condition by the time they get shipped out) or to describe books so pristine that the spine hasn’t even been cracked. I basically don’t believe this term can be used to describe a book older than 15 years because the very feel of the book will tell you it’s old, even if it’s in perfect condition and no one has ever opened it. I rarely use this term to describe the vintage books available in my store because of their age.

F. Fine describes a book that approaches being As New, without the crispness. There can be no visible defects, and the book is clean and bright, and the dust jacket has no rips or stains. All minor defects are noted in the descriptions.

VG. Very Good describes a book that is clean and bright but which may show subtle signs of its age, such as very minor knicks or scratches. The book edges may be bumped from storage or it may small defects but the book would still look clean, crisp and tightly bound overall. All defects are noted in the descriptions.

G. Good describes an average used book that shows some wear but whose interior is clean. They may have Inscriptions, Ink marks, Tears on the dust jacket or inner pages. All defects are noted in the descriptions.

P. Poor describes a book that has all its pages intact but which was obviously well loved and well read in its past life. I sometimes refer to books in this condition as Reading Copies.

XL. Ex-Library (Ex-Lib, XLib) describes a book that once belonged to a public or institutional library (and has been deaccessioned). Usually these books show some markings on the title and copyright page, as well as the endpapers. I spend time cleaning up ex-library books to remove the worst of these sins: rear pockets, stickers, dirty dust jacket covers, dirty plastic covers (sometimes just doing that makes a world of difference), etc. Sometimes I will state that X-lib books contain “usual markings”, it means it will have stickers, stamps, etc. All ex-library books are so noted, along with a condition grade. There is no such thing as an ex-library book in As New condition, but many are Very Good, and sometimes the dust jackets (in new plastic protectors) are beautiful.

The above terminology is the same I use to describe the variety of vintage items available in Shuushuu by Lulu. I do not use the term Poor because I try very hard not to acquire anything that is in Poor condition, if I end up with anything from an estate sale or allotment which is poor, I usually end up donating it to a local charitable organization or putting it in the garbage.

Measuring System:

I am always thinking of ways to improve the shopping experience for my customers or soon-to-be customers. It is always difficult to buy on the Internet because you cannot feel it or try it on for size. The worse thing is to open you wonderful package of the one thing you have been waiting a week or two for, and it looks just like it did in the picture. You are excited and decide to quickly try it on and Huh oh… it doesn’t fit. This guide is here to hopefully alleviate some of that frustration. It is a guide specifically for Shuushuu by Lulu, because it is the measurements I take and post for my available listings.

Clothing comes in standard sizing, although the human body does not! I list the size of all clothing if the size is still attached to the label of the item listed. But I also give measurements of typical areas of the body, in order to keep you informed and to provide a guide for buying within my shop.  This guide is for both men and women!

Women:

Measuring Chart for Women includes description of Skirt and Dress length

Bust: The measurement is taken under the arm, across the chest.

Waist: the measurement is taken at the narrowest part of the top. It is generally located between your rib cage and belly button.

Hips: The measurement is taken at the fullest part of your hips and buttocks, usually located 7 to 9 inches below your natural waist.

Length: I usually take the length measurement from either the Neck or the Shoulder, perpendicular to the floor and to the end hemline on the garment.

Shoulders: The measurement is taken from the outer edge of one shoulder to the outer edge of the other. Keep the tape parallel to the floor.

Men:

Measurement Chart for Men’s Clothing

Neck: this measurement is taken around the neck, directly over the Adam’s apple.

Chest: the measurement is taken across the chest over the nipples.

Sleeve: the measurement is taken from the underarm seam to the cuff hemline.

Waist: the measurement is taken around the body at the natural indentation of the waistline, over the belly button.

Hips: the measurement is taken at the fullest part of the seat.

Inseam: the measurement is taken from the inner crotch to the top of the foot.

Width: I use this measurement for the narrowest part of a garment if it is a straight cut. E.I: a Shift, Vest, Tube dress or top, etc.

Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Shuushuubylulu

Blog: www.vintagenorth.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShuuShuubyLulu

Store: http://www.shuushuubylulu.goodsie.com

I hope you enjoyed this post…Till Next Time!!!

Back to School: What’s New in Store

Labour Day is quickly approaching and back to school merchandise is sold by the crate loads. Books, binders, pens, Oh my!!!! What about what to wear? I remember the first day of school was really important, especially if it was a new school, even high school. Even though, I knew some of the kids moving into grade 9, who had graduated with me, I also knew I would be meeting new kids from other schools as well.

Wearing the new duds made a first impression, that spoke volumes about your personality. After my first year in high school it wasn’t so important to keep up those first impressions but more important to be unique. I see so much conformity among young people today that expressing your individuality seems to lead to separation, rather than integration. But I found friends that were like-minded, we shared the same taste in music, we liked to dress in black and shopped in vintage stores.

We were not the cool kids, but we were cool to each other. We didn’t seek to impress anyone else but each other. We bought ¾ length wool car coats, sailor caps, Parachute jackets, Balloon pants and long, ankle length skirts. We wore black sweaters that were way too big and covered from neck to knees.

We wore different colors in our hair, our earrings were long and dangled down to our clavicles and we listened to INXS, The Cure and Siouxie and the Bandshees.

I have chosen some items, which will be uploaded into my store Shuushuu by Lulu for the Autumn. Whether you wear them for school or a new job or an evening out with friends, I think you will be able to express yourself in style! (Coming Soon!!!!)

1970s White Jersey Dress in Vogue vs Diane Von Furstenberg Black Jersey Maxi Dress

This classic style dress can be worn with a contrasting belt sitting on the hips. Because of its shirt design and its length it can be worn so many different ways.

Black Floral 1970s Jersey Body Suit vs 1970s Body Suit in Vogue Magazine

The Anne Klein Black Wool Pleated Skirt, as shown in Vogue magazine September 1973

These two pieces would be fabulous worn together with a great wide belt. The skirt is a beautiful thick wool crepe designed by Anne Klein and features the Lion Head Trademark on the label.

I hope you enjoyed this blog…Till Next Time!!!

Store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ShuuShuubyLulu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ShuuShuubyLulu

Dating Vintage by Fabric

The Vintage Fashion Guild recently released a comprehensive guide to fabrics, which includes textures, types of printed patterns, weave, and material. As I was perusing the different fabrics listed there were a few items I think needed to be mentioned to aid in dating vintage clothing as well. Some of these do fall under the category of Polyester and have Trademark names, because the fibres were produced/created by different companies. Companies like ENKA, Imperial Chemical Industries and Dupont. Polyesters are made from chemical substances found mainly in petroleum and are manufactured in fibers. I have included the link to this site:

http://vintagefashionguild.org/fabric-resource-a-z

Crimplene: (polyester) is a thick yarn used to make a fabric of the same name. The resulting cloth is heavy, wrinkle-resistant and retains its shape well. Britain’s defunct ICI Fibres Laboratory developed the fibre in the early 1950s and named it after the Crimple Valley in the UK in which the company was situated. Crimplene was used in garments that required a permanently pressed look, such as skirts and trousers. The fabric enjoyed popularity upon introduction in the 1950s in response to its convenient ‘wash-and-wear’ properties. Crimplene was often used to make the typical A-line dress and 1960s fashion. Likewise, it was popular amongst men in British MOD culture for use in garish button down shirts. In the early 1970s, Crimplene began to fall out of fashion. Other, lighter-weight polyester fabrics like Trevira replaced Crimplene for their ease of movement and ventilation.

Crimplene Label on a 1960s Tennis Dress

Trevira: is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers. Polyester is naturally resilient, meaning it doesn’t wrinkle easily and wrinkles tend to fall out overnight. There were a selection of Vintage Advertisements for this fabric in the 1970s in Vogue magazine.

Trevira Star Vintage Ad Vogue May 1970

Dacron: 1960/70s trademark for a polyester fiber. Dacron is a condensation polymer obtained from ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Its properties include high tensile strength, high resistance to stretching, both wet and dry, and good resistance to degradation by chemical bleaches and to abrasion. The continuous filament yarn is used in curtains, dress fabrics, high-pressure fire hoses, men’s shirts, and thread. The staple fiber is ideal for mixing with wool in men’s and women’s suits, as well as in dress fabrics, knitted wear, and washable woven sportswear.

Dacron Advertisement as seen in Vogue 1970s

Celanese Arnel: 1940/50s. AAn Acetate fiber. Just defined as ”synthetic fabric”. Later, you may get your knuckles rapped by the Celanese Corporation, which happens to make Arnel with a capital ”A” and points out that it is a triacetate fiber and not a fabric.

Celanese Arnel Fabric Vintage Advertisement. Cute Skirt!

Orlon: Acrylic. The Dupont Corporation created the first acrylic fibers in 1941 and trademarked them under the name Orlon.

Bianchini Silk: Vintage fabric of silk made by reknowned manufacturer Bianchini- Ferier. Bianchini Férier (originally Atuyer Bianchini Férier) was created in 1888 by three former employees of one of the city’s renowned manufacturers of high fashion silks. They embarked on the manufacture and sale of the highest quality silk fabrics, the haute nouveauté. This was the sector of fabric manufacture most closely linked to Parisian high fashion dress design

Tricopaque: A blend of fibers, including Nylon. I have seen lounge wear in this fabric, most notably from Vanity Fair.

Some of the fabrics or fiber names you may come across in vintage clothing are trademarks and may be mentioned on the labels. These include Vycron, Encron, Corfam, Qiana, Avril, Antron III Nylon and Mylar.

Vycron Advertisment in Life Magazine August 1960

For more information there is a comprehensive handy guide here:

http://reviews.ebay.com/Identifying-Fabrics-amp-Fibers-Details-amp-Burn-Tests?ugid=10000000000951489