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Knowing NZ vintage

Whatever your favourite era or vintage style it is important to develop an eye for what is vintage and what was available at that time. New Zealand vintage differs from that of the America and Britain, as our history is not as rich and society  was faced with different challenges when it came to fashion and availability of fabrics, in particular during the early 1940′s due to the war. Many pieces were home made or made by local dress makers

Common indicators of items made prior to the 60′s:
  • Metal zips and orientation, a side zip is a good indication of an older garment, when fabric restrictions came in zips were moved to the back. Great quality dresses were also fitted with a brass zip.
  • Generous hems and seams ( for the letting in or out later on).
  • Button holes are stitched horizontally.
  • No design label ( home made)
  • Design labels were stitched, after the 60′s  printing machines became widely accessible and labels where mass produced in bulk.
  • Some labels are indicated by a number or the customers last name.
  • 1950′s dresses are often more widely available in smaller sizes, often with “Miss” at the beginning of the label, as these were popular with the teenagers. Remembering that Osti frocks ( late 50′s) were mass produced and worn by the older generations due to the their low maintenance and wearability.
  • Scarves are hand rolled and hand stitched.
  • Strong shoulders in particular with 1940′s suiting and jackets, shoulder pads often made of horse hair.
  • Fur collars/ cuffs are hand stitched on so that they could be updated to freshen up their look.
The Dress Circle
Popular/ Prominent design names in NZ to look for:
  • Trilby Yates – Hats and dresses – started in 1920′s Auckland,moved to a dress boutique in the 1930′s, also bring trousers into style in NZ after her trip to America
  • Braemon  – Kitted fashion founded in 1928
  • Ninette – Ran by Flora MacKenzie – amazing couture items with hand stitched in embellishments
  • Bobby Angus – Widely popular post war, well designed leisure ware pieces
  • Classic Manufacturing – widely available through NZ post ware, look for skirts,coats, suits and dresses
  • Reslau
  • Dresswell – sold via mail order
  • Minster – Men’s suiting
  • Pour Vous – used to supply Smith and Caughey
  • Gowns by Emma Knuckey
  • Alma Kimber
  • Selby Model
The Mod look was made popular here in NZ when the Beatles visited in 1964, along with the introduction of synthetic fabrics , bold colours and shapes. A common fashion era that can be readily sourced from trade me and mixed well into modern fashion.
Courtesy of Te Papa
  • Salon of Colin Cole – Bespoke
  • Tareantella
  • Sonny Elegant Knitware
  • Miss Deb – popular dress suiting, often with a matching cropped jacket
  • Petit Vogue


Variety at your fingertips

Anonymous said…
i am attending a graduation and going to the gold cup in may . i was interested in wearing a shell dress , cream colour hat with a large prim and short gloves either cotton or nylon. I really like the way Audrey Hepburn looked in the movie breakfast at tiffany. pls advised me on the proper etiquette wearing gloves around 2pm in the afternoon. thanks
The etiquette of wearing wrist gloves also follows those set out in the previous etiquette posts, some of the points included;
  • Don’t eat, drink, or smoke with gloves on.
  • Don’t apply makeup with gloves on.
  • Don’t wear jewellery over gloves, with the exception of bracelets.
  • Do keep gloves on at a cocktail party until the drinks and hors d’oeuvres are passed.
  • Do remove gloves entirely at the dining table.
  • Do remove gloves after your arrival at an informal party or luncheon, leaving them with your coat
When sitting down to dine for afternoon tea it is improper to wear gloves, discreetly remove them and place then on your handbag or in your lap out of sight.
Remember that etiquette is just a guideline and is no strictly adhered to by today’s society standards. As a general rule I remove my gloves when they may become dirty ie: eating, make up and attending the ladies room. I have seen rings effectively worn over gloves though the wearer must find it fiddly when removing her gloves.
Experiment with colours, styles and decorations, I find much joy in wearing gloves with some lovely embroidery at the cuff or used in a unexpected pop of colour.
More importantly have fun with them and mix them in with your daily outfits – they also make great gifts for vintage loving lasses.

Glove Etiquette

Do wear gloves when you go shopping, visiting, driving; and for outdoor festivities such as garden parties and receptions.
Do wear gloves as a mark of respect in a place of worship.
Do wear gloves for formal indoor occasions: receptions, balls, and on arrival at a luncheon or dinner party.
Do keep gloves on in a receiving line.
Do keep gloves on while dancing at a formal party.
Do keep gloves on at a cocktail party until the drinks and hors d’oeurves are passed. Then turn gloves back at the wrist or remove one glove.
Do remove gloves entirely at the dining table.
Do remove gloves after your arrival at an informal party or luncheon, leaving them with your coat

Care of Gloves

  1. Luke warm water with mild soap flakes—swish gloves back and forth and rub fingertips gently.
  2. Put gloves on hands and rinse in clean lukewarm water. Squeeze excess moisture away; some soap will remain on purpose as a softening agent.
  3. Remove gloves and blow into each finger, restoring it to approximate shape. Now place gloves flat on a towel away from radiator heat, shaping them as you would shape a hand-washed sweater.
  4. When gloves are almost dry, work them—smoothing them on carefully—restoring them to their original shape.


Day Gloves

  • Cotton or nylon shorties, from bright polka dot prints for the races to embroidered or lace-trimmed fashions for luncheons.
  • Black kid for city sightseeing and theatre in metropolitan settings.
  • String gloves for casual activities in the country or at the beach.

Opera Gloves.
Traditionally, opera gloves should not be put on in public, but should be donned in the privacy of one’s home before going out.
The basic rule as to length of gloves may be defined as follows: the shorter the sleeve, the longer the glove. Opera gloves are, therefore, properly worn with sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses or strapless, sleeveless (with straps) or short-sleeved evening gowns.
White and its various shades, including ivory, beige and taupe, are the traditional colours for opera gloves and are appropriate for virtually any occasion on which opera gloves are worn. Black opera gloves should not be worn with white or light-coloured dresses or gowns, but can be worn with black, dark-coloured or bright-coloured clothing.
Opera gloves of other colours generally should be worn only in coordination with the colour scheme of the dress or gown you are wearing.
Source : Thank you to Operagloves.com


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