Cleaning vintage clothes

The number one reason I love vintage fashion is because you get to literally wear history. But the downside to wearing history is that history is old and old is stinky. Clothes that are 60 years old (and that have been sitting in storage for nearly that long) no longer have that lovely ‘fresh out of the dryer’ smell. They are usually musty, dusty, and sometimes even toxic smelling. Ick.

But luckily all that can be remedied by washing them. However, the tricky thing about vintage clothing is not all of it can be tossed into your washing machine. Vintage fabrics can be delicate due to their age or the material is higher end and needs special care. And so those items need to be hand washed, but in the modern age we live in most of us have never had to hand wash anything! So how the heck do you go about hand washing?

Over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks and found what works best for me. Recently I acquired a number of beautiful 1960s party dresses, but they all had underarm staining (GAH! The worst). So down into my dark cellar-like basement I went armed with my trusty tools…

1. BIZ (it smells clean and works well)

2. Borax

3. A giant scrub brush

4. A soaking basin

 

The method I use is this:

1. Fill a laundry detergent cap 1/2 full with BIZ. Pour a drop (quarter size) of the laundry soap from the cap directly onto the stains. If the stains are bigger, use more detergent. Pour the remaining detergent from the cap into your soaking basin.

2. Rub the detergent into the stain (and if you’re like me and your fabric is tough enough, use a scrub brush and your muscles. Stains that are 50 years old need some coaxing). Add warm water to the basin, along with a 1/2 cup of Borax. Put your garment into the basin and allow it to soak for 30 minutes.

Pretty linens soaking

I wish I had somewhere as pretty as this to soak my garments! Image from Pinterest.

 

 

3. After the 30 minutes are up, rub the clothing against itself and then rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Check to see if the stains are gone. If not, repeat the process. If you’re good to go, move on to step 4.

4. Pour 1/2 cap of laundry detergent into the basin and this time fill the basin with cold water. Soak your garment for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes are up, gently wring the excess water from your garment, rinse in cool water, and hang up to air dry.

 

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

The dresses I washed are now free of dead skin, dander, and years and YEARS of dirt! They smell pretty and all but one are free of underarm staining. (You win some, you lose some). Sometimes no matter how hard you try set-in stains are just that…set in…for good. I hope some of you find this info helpful! If so, let me know in the comments. Would love to hear from you!

<3

Christy

Happy Friday! Lots of great additions for the shop this week! Here are the freshest picks from Thrifty Vintage Kitten. See something you like? Just click on the picture to shop!

 

Vintage 1960s CANARY IN A COAL MINE silk linen dress / size small medium

Vintage 1960s CANARY IN A COAL MINE silk linen dress / size small medium

 

 

Vintage 1960s ALONGSHORE silk linen dress / size small

Vintage 1960s ALONGSHORE silk linen dress / size small

 

 

Vintage 1960s HOT TODDY dress / medium

Vintage 1960s HOT TODDY dress / medium

 

 

Vintage 1960s GIRL CRUSH linen dress / medium

Vintage 1960s GIRL CRUSH linen dress / medium

 

 

Vintage 1950s chiffon IN THE GARDEN dress / XS

Vintage 1950s chiffon IN THE GARDEN dress / XS

 

 

Vintage 1960s TRINITY KNOT dress / medium

Vintage 1960s TRINITY KNOT dress / medium

 

 

Vintage 1960s mod BLUE AS BLAZES dress / medium large

Vintage 1960s mod BLUE AS BLAZES dress / medium large

 

 

Vintage 1960s READY, STEADY, GO! dress / medium

Vintage 1960s READY, STEADY, GO! dress / medium

 

 

Vintage 1960s TWIST OF LIME skort romper / medium large

Vintage 1960s TWIST OF LIME skort romper / medium large

 

 

Vintage 1970s SUMMER OF LOVE maxi dress / XS

Vintage 1970s SUMMER OF LOVE maxi dress / XS

 

 

Vintage 1940s little girl's turquoise cotton dress with daisy appliques

Vintage 1940s little girl’s turquoise cotton dress w/ daisy appliques

 

All the images are linked!

If any of the links take you to the shop storefront and not the item itself, it’s because the item has already sold! So grab ‘em before they’re gone!

<3

Christy

Vintage basic dress

The 1960s birthed a dress silhouette called the “fitted dress.” It’s also known as the “basic dress.” It was a far cry from the huge skirts Dior made famous in the 1950s with his “New Look.”

1951 Christian Dior. Image from Pinterest.

1951 Christian Dior. Image from Pinterest.

It’s a simple fitted dress that is usually cut with a jewel neckline, bust darts, fitted, set-in sleeves, natural waistline, and a straight skirt.

I seem to attract this silhouette more than any others when I’m hunting for vintage. Perhaps women in Chicago favored this shape more than others in the 1960s. As they should, because this type of shape translates so well over time. Take any one of the dresses below, toss on a cardigan (for the sleeveless ones), and you have yourself an extremely sharp outfit for the office. Wool is fantastic for winter and silk linen is beautiful and breathable for summer. Look polished, put together, and pretty. The ideal combination, if you ask me.

Here’s a number of fresh listings in the shop that all fall under this 1960s fitted dress category. All images are linked, so shop away!

 

Vintage 1960s SO BERRY PRETTY silk linen dress / size medium

Vintage 1960s SO BERRY PRETTY silk linen dress / size medium

 

Vintage 1960s ALONGSHORE silk linen dress / size small

Vintage 1960s ALONGSHORE silk linen dress / size small

 

Vintage 1960s CANARY IN A COAL MINE silk linen dress / size small medium

Vintage 1960s CANARY IN A COAL MINE silk linen dress / size small medium

 

Vintage 1960s BICOASTAL plaid dress / size small

Vintage 1960s BICOASTAL plaid dress / size small

 

Vintage 1960s Emerald Isle silk dress / size small

Vintage 1960s EMERALD ISLE silk dress / size small

 

Vintage 1960s CITY BEAT wool dress / size medium

Vintage 1960s CITY BEAT wool dress / size medium

 

Vintage GUEST EDITOR wool dress / size medium

Vintage GUEST EDITOR wool dress / size medium

 P.S. If any of the links take you to my shop homepage and not the dress itself it’s because the dress has sold. Scoop ‘em up before they go!

<3

Christy

Beach

Photo from Pinterest

If you’re like me and looking out your window to a snowy, cold, dreary day and wishing you were laying on a hot beach listening to the surf hit the sand, this post is for you. Or better yet…maybe YOU ARE taking a vacation this winter, you lucky little snow bird. If that’s the case, these hot weather-worthy essentials are perfect for some fun in the sun! All of them are available in the shop now. Either way, let this post inspire warm, beachy thoughts in all of us!

(All images are linked!)

1980s white cotton boat neck sweater and 1960s checkered walking shorts

Wear these two together!
1980s white cotton boat neck sweater and 1960s checkered walking shorts

Sweater here / Shorts here

Vintage green chambray a-line skirt / XS

Vintage green chambray a-line skirt / XS

 

Vintage 1960s Hawaiian maxi skirt / Medium

Vintage 1960s Hawaiian maxi skirt / Medium

 

Vintage 1960s colorful linen dress / Medium

Vintage 1960s colorful linen dress / Medium

 

Vintage 1970s cotton rompers / Medium

Vintage 1970s cotton rompers / Medium

Orange romper here / Blue romper here

Feeling warmer? I am! How many days till spring?

<3

Christy

 

 

 

Well, hello there 2015! You sure came up fast!

To all my Thrifty Vintage Kittens out there…this year is going to be a great one for the business. Lots of fun ahead, so stay tuned. If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve included a sign up box for a newsletter (I’m starting a newsletter!). You’ll want to sign up for that because there is where you’ll be the first to hear about sales (special, readers-only sales!), shop announcements, and lots fun vintage eye candy always!

2014 was great for Thrifty Vintage Kitten and 2015 is going to be even better. My shop is not here to be average. It’s here to be awesome. I want to bring you all the very best, the very coolest, the very most wearable vintage out there. Thrifty Vintage Kitten is vintage fashion for the modern girl and I’ll show you how to incorporate stellar vintage pieces into your wardrobe so you don’t look like a cartoon character. :)

To get things started, here’s a few of the shop’s latest offerings. Grab them before they’re gone!

 

Vintage 1960s TIDES OF TIME silk organza party dress

Vintage 1960s TIDES OF TIME silk organza party dress / small

Vintage 1960s BICOASTAL silk linen dress / small

Vintage 1960s BICOASTAL silk linen dress / small

Vintage 1960s SO BERRY PRETTY silk linen dress / medium

Vintage 1960s SO BERRY PRETTY silk linen dress / medium

Vintage 1960s RISE AND SHINE wool dress / medium

Vintage 1960s RISE AND SHINE wool dress (with pockets!) / medium

Vintage 1960s ESSIE silk linen suit / Small

Vintage 1960s ESSIE silk linen 2-piece suit / small

Vintage 1960s CITY BEAT belted wool dress / medium

Vintage 1960s CITY BEAT belted wool dress / medium

Vintage 1950s GUEST EDITOR wool dress / medium

Vintage 1950s GUEST EDITOR wool dress / medium

 

Thank you all for making 2014 so great. Cheers to the start of another! And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!

<3

Christy

I’ve managed to acquire some really great vintage from estate sales recently. It’s becoming increasingly rare to find 1930s items and so this shop update is a really fun one for me! TWO 1930s dresses and TWO 1930s peasant blouses. Good stuff! Everything is available in my shop.

Vintage 1930s peasant blouse

Vintage 1930s peasant blouse

 

 

Vintage 1930s long-sleeved peasant blouse

Vintage 1930s long-sleeved peasant blouse

 

 

Vintage 1930s bias-cut floral maxi dress

Vintage 1930s bias-cut floral maxi dress

The best thing about this dress is that it has a tag with a copyright! 1934.

The best thing about this dress is that it has a tag with a copyright! 1934.

 

 

Coming soon! Vintage 1930s silk burgundy bias-cut dress with lace jacket

Coming soon! Vintage 1930s silk burgundy bias-cut dress with lace jacket

 

Happy shopping! All images are linked, except the last dress, which will be listed soon!

<3

Christy / Thrifty Vintage Kitten

www.etsy.com/shop/thriftyvintagekitten

 

One day only! 30% off everything in the shop! Sale starts at MIDNIGHT Friday!

In need of a holiday dress? Friday is the day to grab it!

Vintage black friday sale

Here are some new arrivals to whet your appetite.

Vintage 1970s dress

Vintage 1970s CHERRY SWIZZLE party dress / small medium

 

Vintage 1950s wool plaid skirt

Vintage 1950s PACESETTER wool skirt / small medium

 

 

Vintage 1950s RAZZLE DAZZLE cocktail dress / small

Vintage 1950s RAZZLE DAZZLE cocktail dress / small

 

Vintage 1960s LITTLE IMP velvet cocktail dress / XS

Vintage 1960s LITTLE IMP velvet cocktail dress / XS

 

Vintage 1960s TUXEDO SEASON Bill Blass dress w/ tags attached / Large XL

Vintage 1960s TUXEDO SEASON Bill Blass dress w/ tags attached / Large XL

 

Vintage 1930s THE GRAND ILLUSION Silk Satin Wedding Gown / XXS

Vintage 1930s THE GRAND ILLUSION Silk Satin Wedding Gown / XXS