Tuesday, December 02, 2014

That There's a Shiny Bright

I broke out one of the vintage Christmas corsages today. I knew it would be a long wait at the post office, so I might as well dress cheerful. This isn't just any old Christmas corsage, this is a Shiny Bright, the Holy Grail of Christmas corsages. I was lucky enough to snag two of them last spring, carefully stored year after year in the original boxes. Whoever owned these really loved them, and took good care of them. There was hardly a speck of dust when I pulled it from the package. When I got home, I wiped it off, and returned it to the package. If it has lasted this long, I feel a responsibility to keep it going.
So we were waiting to send some letters, and Danny spots a door with a sign that says, "Private." He goes over, tries to peek through the keyhole, and announces loudly to everyone waiting,
"They're back there jumping on all the packages!"  That lightened the mood in the place.

I wore my, "Big Christmas Pants." They're celebrating their 25th season. When I bought them, I never imagined they'd still be a part of my life a quarter century on, but here we are. This may be the earliest I've ever worn them, but it almost feels like an obligation to get out of the way, like baking springerle (which I did today as well). A bit overdressed for the post and the grocer, but there are only so many days in December, and I own a lot of velvet!
Big 80's pants deserve a big 80's belt, and this one is my favourite. Heavy, well constructed, and flashy with sparkles it is the embodiment of 80's excess and likely cost a pretty penny at the time. I bought it at Hand-Me-Ups for $1.99. If you're willing to wait thirty years, you can find bargains.

Outfit Particulars:

1980's velvet Tapemeasure Palazzo pants-Bloomingdale's
Pendelton blouse-Goodwill
Faux Persian lamb jacket-Hand-Me-Ups
80's belt-Hand-Me-Ups
Shoes-K Mart
1960's earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
1950's Shiny Bright Christmas corsage-Thrift World
Mini hair bows-Tiff and Tam

I told you they were big pants. It takes a big woman to wear big pants.

I baked the pieces for the gingerbread house today. They need a couple days to get well-dried out before being decorated, dried again and then assembled. So far, so good, but I have extra dough in the fridge should there be any mishaps. The springerle are drying overnight on the counter, and will get baked in the morning. Tomorrow, it is candy making, breads, and a trip to the museum in the afternoon. The house smells like a distillery from all the anisette in the baking, but I'd much rather that than the horrible clove and orange pomodor hanging in the living room. I know, they're fun to make, I understand. Better in the living room than in my wardrobe. No one really sticks those things in their cupboard, do they?

Maybe tomorrow, I'll wear the other Shiny Bright, two words that would almost never be applied to my appearance or demeanour otherwise.

Pass the egg nog.


Jayne H said...

I love that vintage corsage and how lovely that it's been so well loved and looked after and continues to be so. Looking forward to seeing the other one adorning more velvet outfits. Danny's comment while you were queuing made me laugh, hope the queue appreciated the entertainment xx

Sue said...

You must have the best storage to be able to hang onto clothes for 25 years!!! I love the Big Christmas Pants, they are spectacular buggers. And a Christmas Corsage!!

Joanna said...

This is great so festive. I wonder how old your Christmas corsages are? It certainly is very lovely. We were just at the hair saloon yesterday (my daughter and I). She has been out of school for the last few days with an eye infection and the shop owner handed her a Christmas bulb. Boy, did she light up. It totally made her day she wanted to carry it everywhere she went. We all need to carry around some Christmas cheer. Maybe thinking I need to walk around with a Christmas ornament too lol.

Propagatrix said...

I have not worn pants in nearly twenty-five years, but if I did, I would go for the velvet. Nice.

Mim said...

I have never heard of Christmas Corsages before. Was/is that a popular thing in the US?

Goody said...

@Mim and Joanna

Christmas corsages were a 40's and 50's thing more than a distinctly American one. If you look closely at old holiday photos (office parties, that sort of thing) you'll see them, though at first they appear real. Shiny Bright was an American company founded by German immigrants that couldn't get raw materials from Europe during WWI and started working with Corning glass to make ornaments. That was a handy working relationship by the time the second WW rolled around-they could label them,"Made in the USA". The company was gone by the 60's, so the pieces are rather sought after by collectors now.

I'm pretty sure by the packaging this one is from the mid-50's.

Goody said...


I know it was an auto-correct typo, but if a hair saloon really did exist, I might give in and go get a proper haircut. I'm getting business ideas!

Unknown said...

I love the corsage! I always love to find vintage pieces that someone has really loved and taken such good care of! I love your way of lightening the mood at the post office! Those pants are so fun! Love to see fun fashion! Good luck with the gingerbread house, I would love to see the finished product!


Bibi said...

Love those palazzos!
But where are the huge 80's shoulder pads & giant badly permed hair?
Gents' hair 'saloons' really do exist here in Nepal & India. Not much alcohol served that I can tell but the gents' saloon pretty much panders to any other vice you'd care to indulge. Probably the last vestige of the 'Victorian barbershop', & a relic of the British Raj, not unlike the testy librarian at the "Kaiser Library" in Kathmandu.

I'm teaching WWI at my son's school (a Swiss run Montessori High for kids of really rich Tibetan refugees) next week. Thought I'd get out of boring them with a lecture by using your idea to show "Lawrence of Arabia' & I taped this on Al Jazeera for 'background' http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2014/11/world-war-one-through-arab-eyes-20141114133936678600.html

The Al Jazeera documentary is a little 'dry' but it does describe France, Germany & Britain's involvement in the Levant & North Africa quite well.
(Please excuse any double posts I make, we have an extremely slow server, random power cuts, & I have 4 teenaged boys, 1 husband, 2 cats, & 1 middle aged brother in law making various & sundry requests so I'm never sure if what I wrote got posted or not. ARGGGHH!!)

Goody said...

You sound so sane for a mother of four teenaged boys ;)

It is good to take the WWI story out of the trenches of Europe once in a while (That's all I learned at school).

There's so much going on at that time (labour movements, women's suffrage, Influenza, advances in technology, the Russian Revolution, etc. ) that I thought it would be interesting to get beyond how many people died at the Somme. I still teach the battles, of course but I'm also trying for a wider view. I'll take a look at the documentary, that may be helpful-thanks for the link.

We're reading, The Great Influenza currently, and wouldn't you know it-one of the flu strains this year has mutated and isn't covered by the flu jab. Timely reading, though I didn't plan it that way.

Goody said...

Not that the number of dead at the Somme isn't noteworthy, or important, just that it didn't occur in a vacuum.

(Don't need outraged hate mail about making light of casualties).

Curtise said...

Shiny Bright; that's a very appropriate name for a company producing glitzy Christmas decorations you can actually wear! I think corsages (for any event, not just Christmas) are a very American thing, it's not really a part of dressing up in the UK. Not in my experience, anyway.
Big Christmas Pants? Big Love for them over here, the velvet beauties. But Elvis wants his belt back, please. xxx

Goody said...

If I give Elvis the belt back, he'll want the polyester jumpsuit as well.

I still haven't done that one on the blog. I need to get on that.