Care & packaging
Eco-friendly, secure packaging. Garments are stuffed with 100%-recycled acid-free tissue, corded in ribbon, popped into water-tight cellophane bags, and shipped in recyclable USPS cardboard priority boxes/tyvek pouches.
During shipping, I invigorate your garment with a delicate tangerine essential-oil sachet. This delightful odor fades from garments within 2 days of opening your package.
Garments ship out within 7 business days. This delay is due to cleaning --- most items are hand-laundering & air-dried prior to shipping, others freshened, tidied or aired. Some aged items lack fabric tags and may be adversely effected by hand-washing, colors may run, fabrics disintegrate --- in these cases, I leave the dry-cleaning to you. If you need your item sooner, just ask :)
Free shipping everyday within the US
Most items shipped within the USA are mailed 2-3 day Priority mail. The exception --> coats and footwear, purchased within the US, ship via (7-day) Parcel Post. Tracking info is provided on all US purchases
I love to sell to you, anywhere in the world! International buyers have 2 flat-rate choices: 3-6 day priority mail or the slower (10-35 day) first class airmail. Please consult a duty calculator, before purchasing, to determine the total cost of your item - Online international duty calculator - as foreign buyers may be charged additional duty fees or taxes, depending on a country's policies.
CANADA- priority: $24 - 1st class: $7
SOUTH AMERICA- priority: $35, 1st class: $16
EUROPE/EU- priority: $40, 1st class: $16
ASIA & AUSTRALIA- priority: $40, 1st class: $16
Global flat rates do not apply to coats or footwear, which are priced at cost. To purchase these items, place an order via email (include a shipping address) & receive a Pay Pal invoice within 24 hours.
Clothing returns, store credit & our refund policy
Your satisfaction is my object. DV items are returnable, refundable, exchangeable.
So you're thinking about returning? then take a week to decide. If you still find your item unlikable: email the shop (important!), repack and mail it back. Please be aware: returns must be postmarked within 7 days of initial delivery. Tardy returns will be accepted but are considered rentals, subject to a 50% fine.
I offer two refund options:
(1) original item cost, refunded via PayPal
(2) full refund + return shipping + 10% of original price = store credit
Refund processing (via PayPal) takes 2-4 weeks. Store credit never expires.
Please don't wear your item out. As common sense dictates, pieces returned torn, soiled or stained, or with imperfections (snapped boning, opened seams, broken zippers, armpit odor, etc) aren't accepted for return, sorry --- in such cases, the burden of additional return postage lies with the buyer.
Kiss kiss -- I want to show my appreciation! Returning buyers receive 10% off new purchases - anyone, every time! Just write 'return customer' on message-form at checkout.
Size & fit for vintage garments
I measure a garment by placing it on a flat table, measuring across the front, and doubling all measurements (with the exception of the shoulder width, which is measured from sleeve-seam to sleeve-seam.)
Dear ones, ladies of yesteryear often had smaller rib cages because they weren't exposed to the stresses of Physical Education at a tender age. Often, they spent long hours sewing samplers or engaged in making beautiful tatting. Some of the naughty girls went off to play and dance --- but once these gals grew up they were strapped into figure-confining contraptions like corselottes, girdles and all-in-ones.... Thus the artificial silhouette was maintained.
You may not fit into our old clothes, but you are a silvery beech tree, not a trussed-up Victorian rose. Pay special attention to armhole, shoulder-to-waist, and shoulder-width measurements, as well as the more popular bust/waist/hips trio, and your new vintage will fit like a dream. Likewise, measure your favorite frilly frock to discover your best fit. If you choose to measure your own parts, please add 1-2 inches, for comfort's sake.
Vintage care, by the decade
1900s to mid-1930's
Take special care & mostly dry-clean with a reputable cleaner. Although some fabrics may be hand-laundered (cotton, for example), these fabrics may have weakened fibers that will break in the agitation of the wash. Additionally, some fabrics, such as Jazz-age silks, have been treated with poisonous dyes, such as arsenic or metals, that you don't want to invite into your skin. These finish treatments, or sizing, add incredible lusters & iridescences to antique fabrics --- another reason not to flush sizing down the drain.
1930s to late-1940's
Lingerie rayons are mostly hand-washable. Acetate (and acetate blends), also used in lingerie, have a tendency to leak dye/redden when hand-washed; be sure to add lots of vinegar if washing black acetate underthings & dresses. Dress rayons should be dry-cleaned. These printed fabrics may be washed (say, to remove stains) but are not necessarily color-fast --- so you might lose your print. If you must hand-launder rayon dresses: dump in several cups vinegar and use very little water & soap. Crepe rayon dresses (pebbled fabric very popular in the forties) should be dry-cleaned --- they are guaranteed to shrink several sizes in water. On the other hand, once shrunken, crepe can be re-stretched, but it's a long, painstaking process. Best to dry-clean.
If you must hand-wash crepe, finish with the following method on dry garment:
(1) Turn your iron to the lowest setting; if your iron is too hot it may fade or shine the dry fabric.
(2) Press gently (pressing with pressure will remove the texture) while pulling fabric taut.
As crepe warms, it will loosen and stretch out to original length.
(3) Continue until the entire dress has been treated. Lastly, bias-cut garments should not be hung in a closet as it may stretch out, creating a lop-sided hem-line.
Hand-wash most daywear. Dry-clean the eveningwear. I've found that some silks, wools, cashmeres can be hand-washed with care -- but beware the linings, as they may shrink and/or bleed onto the garment. Do not hand-wash silk that has a luster or iridescent sizing. Sequins & beads can lose iridescence and color in water. Never hang heavy, beaded sweaters to store. Nylon lingerie can be hand-washed without fear. Furs, velvets, leathers, and tweed should be professionally-cleaned.
1960s to 1980s
Follow instructions on care tags.
Washing your vintage clothes
Hand-wash. Use a gentle soap -- I use baby shampoo -- plus luke-warm to cold water. At the first hint of hint of bleeding, or if you know the fabric's not color-safe, or to remove fabric odors, add vinegar to the water -- several tablespoons to several cups. Let soak (unless not colorfast) approx 10 minutes -- the water will brown. Lightly agitate & press the garment. Drain the soapy water and rinse several times. If fabric is bleeding color, rinse in vinegar. Any left-in soap can cause textile damage -- rinse gently, but rinse well.
How to dry
In the early 20th century, wringers, or manglers, were used to remove water from garments -- pressing them so dry they were left stiff as a board. You don't need to go to that length, but it's important to remember that the weight and dampness of a garment can cause damage to its fibers, create opportunities for fabric bleed, and leave obvious water spots. So when it comes to delicate materials like mid-c. sweaters, silks, chiffon, etc, always press the garment dry with a clean towel. To do so: lay a towel flat, stretch the garment flat on the towel, roll up the towel into a rope, and press softly (don't wring) to remove water. Sometimes I'll repeat this. Lastly, lay your garment out to dry on a new towel. If you have cleaned a sweater, you may need to re-block, or reshape, it into its previous shape or size. When it dries, the fabric "remembers" the blocking and is good as new.
Spot-cleaning vintage delicates
Never spot-clean silk, silk chiffon, velvet as you'll leave a water ring -- instead (in the case of silk) clean the entire garment --- or leave it to the dry-cleaner. There are many methods used to remove stains. Here are two -- one gentle treatment and one last resort.
(1) Put a rag under the stain and blot the spot with vinegar. Rub at the fabric to transfer the stain to the rag. Apply more vinegar if needed. You don't need to rinse after this treatment.
(2) For stubborn stains, use Oxyclean (on cottons and sturdy fabrics --- check the oxyclean warning label first). Make a thick slurry from several tablespoons of oxyclean and touch of boiling water, stirring to dissolve. After this is cooled, use a paintbrush/cotton swab to paint your stain (put wax paper or a rag behind the fabric to protect the garment). Cover this with a damp paper towel and leave for several hours, applying more slurry or remoistening towel as needed. Afterwards, remove dried oxyclean carefully, rinse the garment repeatedly then wash. Any Oxyclean left on the garment will yellow the material! You can repeat this treatment after the fabric has dried -but- it wallops the textile fibers, so be sparing. Also, any rubber, such as elastic, girdle net, swimsuit smocking, might stretch & relax when exposed to oxygen bleach -- so beware when using oxyclean on swimwear or shapers.
Frequently asked questions
I've purchased these to use in a theatrical production. Can I pay for expedited shipping?
Yes. I will send an adjusted PayPal invoice asap. My normal processing includes a 3-day delay so I can launder/air items after I take them out of storage --- If you'd prefer to launder at your end, I can put the clothes in the mail as soon as I receive payment.
I am very interested in this dress but I am a little confused to the sizing. I am a size '6/8' so this should fit, but you say that the original size was '11/12' which makes me a little leary. Which size is right?
I know it’s confusing :) I include the original size in descriptions only as a reference (as some vintage experts know their numbered sizes from decade to decade). The original size does not represent a modern size. A '11/12' in the 1970s is apt to be smaller than a present-day '12'. Another example... Marilyn Monroe famously wore a size '14' dress – with her 22” waist – because a size '14' in the 50’s was equivalent to about a size '6'. Because of sizing variation between decades, it’s best to use the stated measurements as your guide. If you're still unsure, try measuring your favorite dress and comparing its measurements to the ones I've listed.
Do you buy or consign pieces?
Rarely -- but if you have beautiful, well-preserved pre-70s vintage clothing to sell, feel free to send me some pics.
I'd rather not give my social security number (any part of it). Can I make this purchase via phone with my AmEx or Visa? What number should I call?
I only accept credit card payments through PayPal. I understand why you wouldn't want to give your social security number to buy a dress, but you can pay via credit card without registering with PayPal. When you click the “buy now” button, you are transferred to the Paypal check-out page. Look for a link that says, “Don't have a Paypal account? Pay with your debit or credit card as a paypal guest”. If you follow that link, the website asks for a card number, shipping address & email. Once you've entered that information the payment is processed & your purchase is made. Otherwise -- I do accept payments by mail (personal check or postal money orders). If you'd prefer to go that route I can send you my address.
Trying to find vintage smoking jackets. You had one on your site a while back that I'd like to get. Now I can't find it.
I loved that particular robe & wish I still had it for you! My shop is currently empty of men’s robes -- but I do have an unlisted brocade & velvet robe in my stuff. If you're interested I’d be happy to dig it out and find its size for you. I keep a list of my favorite vintage shops here & some carry smoking jackets/mid-c. robes. Also if you want to send me your size I can zip you an email when I find a good robe.
Has this gown been worn before?
My inventory is made up of authentic vintage pieces, clothing manufactured (or artisan-made) dating from the 1910's to the 1990's. Generally this necessarily means pre-worn, although I do have some “new old stock”, items that are tagged and never have been worn. Often carefully-tended vintagewear may be in much better shape then old stock.
Why do you buy vintage?
There is a stark contrast in quality between early 20th century & post-70's clothing. Recent garments are made with cheaper materials & processes (and created to be disposable!) Older garments are higher-quality in terms of design and manufacturing techniques (weaves, hand-finishing, etc.) and were made to last. There is no comparison in quality between off-the-rack retail and most vintage-wear.
Do you wear vintage?
YES! I adore a-line mini dresses & high-colored nylon lingerie from the 60's, 40's delicate printed rayon or silk blouses, vampy shelf-bust clothing from the fifties, burlesque-inspired vintage, toothy tweeds & novelty prints. Vintage footwear, definately. My favorite fashion moment was the 1930's-inspired clothing of the early 70's. I try not to cannibalize pieces from the shop, heh heh.