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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves


I have a vast glove collection, Fashionable Reader. My hands are just small enough to wear vintage gloves (well, some of them) and I adore gloves. I wear them for all my events.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

I have perpetually cold hands, you see. Even if it's warm out, my hands tend to be cold. I come by my bad circulation naturally, thank you very much.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

Anyhoo, I also believe that gloves keep me from getting sick from glad-handing at events. So you will almost always see me wearing them.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

Recently, I decided it was time to sort through the collection. I find I wear leather way more frequently than other materials of glove. Also, I was just using some gloves more than others. So I decided it was time to get rid of a few. (I'm on a big purge kick at the moment.)

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

Here are some of the ones I've decided to get rid of. They will be part of goodie boxes via the Chirrup.

As you can see, both the green one I'm wearing in the first picture and the white ones in the second are on the chopping block.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage GlovesGail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

I'll be giving them away inside various Chirrup goodie boxes over the next year or so. You have to join to enter.

"Never put on another person's gloves."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

And now, a retrospective on gloves...


For Mrs Loontwill in her debut days...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
1800-1810  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Monique in the Finishing School series...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
Evening Gloves  1830-1835  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Ivy in the Parasol Protectorate series...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
Evening Gloves  1880-1900  The Victoria & Albert Museum

For Primrose in the Custard Protocol series...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
1895-1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg2

For Gail...

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
1955  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

"It is not admissible to try on kid gloves in a store. After buying a pair, ask for the glove-stretcher, (which they keep in all good shops, for the convenience of customers,) and then stretch the gloves upon it, unless you have a glove-stretcher at home. This will render them easy to put on when you take them into wear."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

For my last Etiquette & Espionage event I wore a plaid dress over a blouse with Very Big Sleeves. 

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
Dress is from Buffalo Exchange on Haight Street for $25, it's not vintage and has a nice bit of stretch to it. It also has pockets at the front, or more correctly one big pouch style pocket. I sewed on the clock buttons to add a little extra interest. Gloves are vintage brown leather, gift. Shoes are by Soft, but they were a dark pink color I had died brown.

This particular outfit has some steampunk notes and since the event was listed as a "Steampunk Reception" I thought I should nod in that direction. Normally, I use this blouse (1970s I think) for my Victorian recreation outfits, but I happened upon the idea of putting it under this pencil dress when watching How to Marry a Millionaire (for the millionth time).

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Sorry I don't have a bigger screen shot. How to Marry a Millionaire is one of my favorite fashion movies of all time and I would like to own every outfit that each of the ladies wears. So good. Anyway where was I? Oh yes, plaid with steampunk touches.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
You can kind of see the hair band. It's a big brown satin bow I got at Ross for about $4. I sewed a brass octopus to the center and added a little puff of brown feathers out the back. I'm wearing a vintage costume jewelry gold 1920s earring and brooch set, gift from my mother.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Since it was a relatively cool day I paired the dress with a vintage fur wrap.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo AltoGail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Sadly the poor wrap ripped during the course of the day so it's gone off to Goodwill. It's pretty near impossible to repair fur and certainly more effort than I have time for. Especially as I've owned this one for three years and only worn it 2x. I picked up this wrap from Bon Marche Thrift Store for $15, so I'm not too upset about the loss. I'll do a little blog to morn its passing shortly.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
 1929 Ensemble  Louiseboulanger  The Museum at FIT

However, back to plaid. I've written on a number of occasions about my love affair with this fabric. I think it goes back to my goth roots. It's one of those patterns that bisects both the alternative scene and the tweed toffy country set. Tally ho the nightclub and all that.

It's funny but even though I have a whole lot of plaid already in my wardrobe it's something I gravitate to whenever I am out shopping. Plaid and and color red. I'm powerless to resist.

Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto

Hope you all have lovely plaid filled days!
Gail Carriger in Plaid in Palo Alto
Plaid Punch Sept 1853

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green

I recently returned from my annual pilgrimage to Santa Cruz. This ritual has to do with high school affections, graduate School memories, and a new romance with a wonderful B&B. It also has to do with vintage clothing.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
New dress from Moon Zoom, $28

Time was once that Down Town Santa Cruz boasted not only several excellent thrift stores but a veritable cornucopia of vintage shops. Sadly, Moon Zoom appears to be the last honest vintage hold over offering really good options (by which I mean before 1970 and nothing new retro) and the thrift stores have gone decidedly down hill ~ those that are left.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
 Vintage gloves from Moon Zoom, $6 each

Still, Moon Zoom remains standing strong, and I showed photos of self in the I Mag black & green dress, because they might not remember me but they certainly remember that dress!

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
 The I Magnum from Moon Zoom last year.

And then I waltzed out with several pairs of gloves and a pretty summery flowered number.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green
I paid about $18, here they are on Amazon for $12. Sigh.

I also bought some long green opera gloves to go with said green and black dress for a different shop, and some new green shoes as well (from the infamous shoe store next to the hat shop). So cute and 1940s these are Chelsea Crew, a new brand for me.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green


$60 They are a 7, and I usually wear a 7.5 so I think Chelsea Crews run a little large. 

I know, I know, such a risk trying something not Miz Mooz or Via Spiga. But they are green and I kind of have a thing for green.

I did try on these Miz Mooz in 7.5, which seem to be running true to size this season. (You never know with the Mooz.)

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green

Miz Mooz Women's Scarlett Pump (comes in blue, red, black brown, and purple)

I loved them in blue but they will probably end up coming home with me in red. I'm going to need a replacement for my well loved and much worn Miz Mooz red pumps in the not too distant future. My old standbys are on their last legs ~ so to speak.

Gail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green

I will be sad to see them go to the great shoe store in the sky.

Anyway, so that's the loot from Santa Cruz.
  • 1 dress I didn't need, but fit too beautifully to bypass
  • 2 pair of gloves vital to replace
  • 1 pair of gloves that I wanted
  • 1 pair of gloves that were too cute to resist
  • 1 pair of shoes I'll probably get my money out of
 Now, of course, I'm thinking about a new green blouse. Since I have the shoes . . .

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

I admit it, yes, I'm one of them. I'm one of those girls that always has cold hands. Always. This has resulted in a love affair with gloves.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger
Martin Margiela, 2001 via 1stdibs.com

The affair began when I moved to Ohio, persisted when I lived in England, escalated when I excavated in the Andes, and has never stopped.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger
Self at FenCon
My obsession has encompassed every material and type of glove from woolen mitties to fingerless lace to kid elbow length to satin opera gloves to plaid driving gloves.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger
 Gail's event collection (as opposed to every day wear)

Fortunately for me, I have rather small hands which means many vintage gloves fit me. Also freinds and family have learned of my love for gloves and so I have inherited many a particularly special pair. For example, of the ones above the red opera, and sage lace, and the cobalt are all from my grandmother from the 1920s. Also, I am less inclined to purge gloves as they take up so little room. And then my friends who knit get in on the action.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger
Here are some great shots from the runway on modern fingerless gloves.

It's amazing how the addition of gloves to an outfit can render it instantly punk, or retro, or ladylike, or edgy. I will say I tend to prefer lined leather for my everyday jaunts about town, cloth is so slippery.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

The ones that seem to garner the most attention, however, are my little net gloves.  There is something about them that seems to be universally appealing.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

You don't have to take my word for it, Tuppence Hapenny covers the same subject for those who are after vintage.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

Of course, white is the classic choice. But they do get dirty easily, so tip number one, avoid white kid. It feels wonderful and wears great but is impossible to clean and very few professional cleaners know who to do properly it anymore.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

You can go for the retro without being too vintage derivative by picking a glove color that doesn't perfectly match your purse, or by going for something that coordinates with the pattern of the outfit rather than fitting in perfectly.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

But there are ways to make even your vintage gloves work with a modern street look too. Just plain old black works wonders in a high glamor context, but a pop of color can be ultra modern in a street chic look, see the catwalks this Fall and various style bloggers.

The other cool things about gloves is if you have boney little wrists (like me) that don't fit most bangles, puting the bracelet on over the glove makes it fit properly and not bruise your wrist bone!

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger


How about a pair for Sophronia? She's my new main character in the Finishing School series.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger
1840s mitts via The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

And you know what the best thing is about gloves on the convention circuit? They protect you from Con Crud! It's fantastic. Of course, keeping a low intake of alcohol and sugar and getting plenty of rest are also helpful.

Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger
Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage GlovesGail Carriger in Green Rose Print 1960s Evening Dress in DC  for the Waistcoats & Weaponry TourGail Carriger in Plaid in Palo AltoGail Carriger's New Acquisitions or Gail Loves Green Let's Talk Gloves ~ Dahling, With Gail Carriger

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