Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Kay Windsor, For the Look You Love

I really did do love Kay Windsor dresses. I was sad when the label went tits up in the 80's, because they made beautiful dresses in a range of sizes including misses petite. Finding a 16 petite in the late 70's that you'd not only wear, but be excited to wear was a bit of a rarity. I grew (a bit) eventually before topping out at 5'2, and I weigh a bit less these days, but that hasn't changed my mind about the quality of Kay Windsor clothing-it was lovely, reasonably priced clothing. Sometimes a brand hangs in there longer than they should (Chaus, Russ, Pendelton) and for people old enough to remember when the brand made nice stuff, it feels sad. Just so sad. At least Fire Island, Ship and Shore, and Kay Windsor ended on a good note before the quality suffered too much.

It is, sadly too big. I'm keeping it, and I wore it anyway, but it does pain me to think how perfect it could look, were it in my size. That's the thrifting dilemma, and I typically resolve it in favour of buying what I like, even if it means sacrificing a perfect fit. There was no way I was leaving this beauty at Goodwill.
Most less-than-perfect fit issues can be resolved with a fab jacket. I think this one will do. My mother had the exact same jacket in both black and red. Why, oh why do we never see snap closures on blouses and jackets anymore? Even the Western wear has gone to buttons. How on earth can you be a proper cowboy with a shirt that buttons? You can't. Just impossible. Maybe we need to start a, "Bring back the snap" campaign. I have arthritis, I can't be fucking around with teeny-tinny buttons.
Right around the time Kay Windsor was making the, "dresses you love", and shirts had pearlised snap closures, there was a fad for large coins as medallion necklaces. This Liberty dollar from the 19th century was painted, and set into this even heavier setting. This isn't delicate jewelry, but it looked so great against a polo neck and a jacket with a bunch of zippers and snaps. Some patterned flare trousers, and this would be the only logical choice of accessory. The necklace was my mother's, and though I've had it over twenty years, I don't wear it much. It requires the right...vibe? Is that it? You know what I mean, when you put an outfit together and it has an overall feeling, or it evokes something...for lack of better words, a "vibe." I feel like I should be driving my mother's green 1970 Mercury dressed like this.

Outfit Particulars:

Kay Windsor dress-Goodwill, .99 cents
1970's jacket-Thrift World, Millard .98 cents (see, they're cheaper than Goodwill!)
1970's belt-Thrift World
Bracelets except onyx and zirconia-thrifted
Onyx bracelet-Mum's
Earrings-K Mart clearance (another .49 cent pair)
1970's coin necklace-Mum's
Green ring and enamel ring-Hand Me Ups

 I had to buy this ring, it has a ladybird AND a butterfly. That's like deer or owls to the vintage collectors.

We had very good luck at the shops today, which is a little terrifying because if it keeps up like this, I'm going to need to open a shop of my own. My best recent find was five yards of vintage red and blue plaid wool. Now all I need is a cape pattern, and I can fulfill my desire for a  Prime of Miss Jean Brodie wardrobe.

That's a promise, not an idle threat.


Sue said...

Hope you find a pattern to make your cape. My sewing/girls only room is looking somewhat like an op shop at the moment. I think I may need to have a sort before it all spills out the door and creeps into every other room. OMG this sounds like hording!!

Goody said...

I thought it isn't hoarding if you can still carve a path to walk room to room ;)

at least that's my argument.

Curtise said...

That is a stonking ring! And a very elegant dress. Yeah, add a belt and a jacket and no one need ever know there are issues with fit...
It just so happens I have a 1968 cape pattern, would you like it? Email me your address if you're interested. xxx

Witchcrafted Life said...

You look marvelous. Very chic and head-turningly fashionable in this stellar Kay Windsor dress and bold, beautiful metal jewelry. If Mad Men kept on going well into the seventies, this is the kind of look I could see them putting on some of their most stylish leading ladies.

Have a stellar, fun filled 4th of July!
♥ Jessica