Monday, March 26, 2012

Swimming in style

After a winter hiatus I'm finally back to visiting my favorite second-hand stores regularly. On a recent thrifting expedition, I snagged this treasure. Isn't it a beauty?

The combination of red piping and with the vibrant blue color of the fabric can only be described as eye-catching!

Based on the color scheme, the type of fabric used, and the bust shape, I suspect this swimsuit comes from the late 60s. Can any of you readers with knowledge of vintage garment construction methods verify or modify my guess?

Even though a suit like this certainly needs no accessories, I will still be wearing it with my natural rubber swim cap.

Interested in developing your own retro bathing style? You should look into buying your own swim cap. I started out with a tiny white thing from Speedo, but the shape and pronounced logo placement did nothing for me, so a little while back I finally ordered a new cap in an old-fashioned style from the Vermont Country Store. Right now they appear to be all out of my style, but you can still order two whimsical floral versions: style 1 and style 2.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Budding love

This bouquet of tulips started out as a bundle of unassuming yellow and orange buds. Now that all have opened up, I have finally discovered the secret they had been hiding inside their petals!

Since the yellow tulips had a rather plain petal shape, I combined them with a two-toned variety that has fancy, frilled petals. The latter remind me somewhat of some tiger lilies I've seen.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Seaside fashion from the 50s


Hello, all you lovely readers! I'm finally back from from an extended trip to lovely the lovely city of Hamburg. As an apology for not posting anything the past couple weeks, I'm bringing you some photos of 1950s bathing suits on exhibit at the Hamburg Museum.

All four bathing suits were on display in a glass cabinet located at the end of a long hallway connecting a series of rooms with a variety of garments from the mid-18th century through the 1970s. I could have easily spent the whole day in that hallway alone!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Before Botox - Part 2

Last week I wrote about a fascinating book from the early 1950s that offers advice for how to (supposedly) keep one's face looking youthful and vibrant. In short, Helen Hede's beauty manual Dein schöneres Gesicht: Verjüngende Gesichtsgymnastic und neue Pflegemethoden argues that one should (1) practice moderating their facial expression to avoid wrinkles, and (2) fight sagging in the face and neck with regular exercises to tone the underlying muscles.

If you're curious what I thought about the first point on cultivating your poker face, you can hop on over to the last post, but here I want to write more about Ms. Hede's second point.

Source: Dr. X's Free Associations

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1950s Tana eyelash products

As I was working on the last post on a book offering the vintage alternative to Botox, I came across this small, oblong advertisement for two Tana eyelash products that had been used as a bookmark:

What is this mini pamphlet touting? Here are some closeups so you can see some of the details better:

"appealing, expressive, interesting..."

This eyelash balsam has been one of Tana's oldest and best selling products and can still be purchased today. Here is a link to the product on Tana 1201 Wimpernbalsam. In this vintage advertisement, the company boasts this product's effectiveness in encouraging eyelash growth and its dark tint to create "noticeable beauty".

As we see here, the company also sold an eyelash coloring kit in addition to its tinted lash balsam. Tana claims that their coloring agents will not create sticky or dry lashes, irritate the eyes, or rub off. Tana's "Wimperntusche", as it was called, was available in black, brown, blue, and grey. And you can still buy it today, although it goes by a slightly different name: Tana Color Wimpernfarbe (in black).

Tana began production of its beauty products in 1935. Assuming this ad dates to the same time as the book I found it in, they had already achieved distribution to countries including the USA, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria in the 1950s. Their website can be found here:

Thought you lovely readers might enjoy sharing my surprise and delight upon discovering this unique "bookmark"!