Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Homemaker

Vintage-inspired gifts for the homemaker on your list!

1. A Mini History Lesson:
Radical Dishtowels

ABOUT: “As a family, we’ve always been interested in the amazing stories of history’s radical thinkers and campaigners, and how much hope these stories can inspire relative to the politics of today. We didn’t have much business experience. But we realized that there must be other people with progressive values out there who wanted to give gifts that actually mean something, make you think, and give you hope. We all loved the idea that you might come across a design in someone’s kitchen, and that it would spark a conversation about an idea or philosophy. As a teacher, I imagined that children might see a design and ask, “Who was she?” Together we made the decision to start our very own Radical Tea Towel Company. We do all the designs ourselves, and get them manufactured in the UK with ethical partners.” Read the full story, here.

PRICE RANGE: $

SOCIAL IMPACT: Made ethically in the UK, the main impact is in the message on the towel. What a fun way to strike up a conversation about something important, even controversial.

WHAT WE LIKE: This is such a unique idea. I’ve seen some cool tea towels, but never anything like this. They cost a bit more than the average tea towel, but are still inexpensive enough I could justify buying it if I had a place to have it visibly hanging in my kitchen.

2. Placemats and Doormats Inspired by Vintage Tiles:
Hidraulik

Tusset Floor Mat.

ABOUT: “The first hydraulic tiles were produced in Barcelona in the mid nineteenth century.   The creativity and durability of these attractive yet functional handmade floors caught on quickly and their use spread across Europe and beyond.”

The brand is carried by Locus Vie, a distribution company for home decor products in North America.  They focus on small European design companies that are looking to make an entrance into the North American market, and you can find local retailers via their site.

PRICE RANGE: $$-$$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: The site says that they are “phthalate-free and recyclable, for an eco-friendly conscience”. While made in Spain, there are many local shops, usually small ones, that carry some of these designs.

WHAT WE LIKE: They have a vintage vibe but are super practical. They make great door mats or a runner for a high-traffic hallway, they are easy to clean and can cover up ugly rental flooring. They are a bit on the pricey side for the larger ones (I saved up and watched for sales for years before I finally got one), but a set of the placemats could make a lovely gift, and they work well inside or out!

3. Textiles Based on Traditional Indigenous Designs
Indigo Arrows

Copper and Black Moons Lumbar Pillow
This Copper and Black Moons Lumbar Pillow is currently sold out, but it’s my favourite and I had to share.

ABOUT: “For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples in Manitoba, including my Anishinaabe ancestors, created beautiful patterns to adorn their pottery collections and host of bone tools. Most of the surviving pieces are held by museums now, but I think the world needs more than exhibition- we need these patterns in our homes provoking thought; we need them bridging gaps; and, we need them inspiring our loved ones. The Indigo Arrows line picks up where my ancestors left off.

Destiny Seymour is an Anishinaabe interior designer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated with her master’s degree in Interior Design from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. She worked at local architecture firm in Winnipeg for over 10 years as their interior designer before starting her own design business in 2016.

Destiny started designing artisan textiles for interiors that respectfully reflects local Manitoban Indigenous peoples and their history after struggling to find materials that she could incorporate into design projects. Her company, Indigo Arrows, now offers a range of table linens, pillows, and blankets that showcase patterns from local Indigenous pottery and bone tools that date from 400 to over 3000 years old. These patterns are picking up where her ancestors left off.

Destiny formed Woven Collaborative in 2018, an Indigenous led design studio with fellow designer Mamie Griffith. Their design practice takes a critical look at the representation of Indigenous cultures within spaces. Their design mission is to respectfully reflect local Indigenous cultures & identity within architectural forms, interior spaces, furniture, and textiles. Their design process acknowledges community engagement, inclusiveness, and collaboration when creating new works.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: These beautiful linens are handmade, individually hand-printed in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 100% linen using non-toxic ink. This Indigenous-run company is making something that is simultaneously modern and traditional: these designs look like something you’d find in a magazine today while many of them are actually thousands of years old. Destiny names them in her ancestral language, Anishinaabemowin, and the pieces have a little description of what the word means and its significance, so it’s a nice little learning moment as well.

WHAT WE LIKE: If I had seen these without the context I would have thought they were totally modern, but when I read the history I knew they were perfect for this post: vintage-inspired doesn’t have to mean “old looking”, and it doesn’t have to be a perfect reproduction of something either. It also made me realize that a lot of the modern “boho” things you see in chain stores have (whether intentionally or not) designs that were used historically in Indigenous art, and so why not support the maker who shares that history? Promote the use and creation of something that comes from generations of artisans rather than buy a knock-off mass produced in China? And honestly, while some fellow artists may not have the money for a $100 decorative pillow, I think we all know that given the work that goes into it, that’s a steal. A lot of these are less expensive than things you’d find at Crate & Barrel or West Elm, and you can shop guilt-free knowing you’re supporting the artist who made them, not some faceless corporation.

4. Retro Canadian Pillows:
Persnickety Designs

Each pillow features a bright, bold design on each side: it’s like 2 pillows in one!

ABOUT: Peggy McEwan is a Toronto-based artist with a background in classic animation. These pillows are what she calls “comfortable art”, and they come in a range of retro designs – Toronto landmarks, old movie stars, vintage maps – there’s something for everyone.

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: You’ll be supporting a local female artist!

WHAT WE LIKE: I’ve been eyeing several of these for years, but found they were usually a little out of my price range. However, that was when I came across them in stores – I just realized you can buy from her site at about half of what I’d always seen them for before, and I may have to redo all my cushions! I love pop art but you don’t find a lot of it locally made, so I’m happy to add these to my already massive pillow collection.

5. True Vintage Serving-ware
Ethel 20th Century Living

This mid century piece is a great way to hint, “invite me over more!”

ABOUT: “Ethel – 20th Century Living is a vintage furniture, lighting and accessories store in the East Danforth neighbourhood in Toronto.

After helping to establish “Retro Row” in Leslieville 20 years ago, Ethel was starting to show her age. After the store changed ownersip in October 2009, it conducted business in the original location for 3 more years, and in May 2012, Ethel moved to Corktown. In the fall of 2016, we decided to close our bricks and mortar location at 327 Queen St. East, and now, two years later, we have a new home at 1781 Danforth Ave.

Owner Shauntelle LeBlanc has re-established Ethel’s brand as a store for outstanding vintage modern furniture, lighting & accessories. The store’s focus is on affordable vintage because you should enjoy your furniture, feel free to put your feet up on it and certainly not feel like you’re living in a museum (or magazine spread…unless that’s your thing, and in that case, Ethel is cool with that too).

We’re a proud Canadian indie boutique, and along with classic American & Scandinavian design, you’ll also find Canadian Mid-century pieces here. Sure, we all love Eames, Nelson & Knoll, but have you heard of Russell Spanner, Lotte Lamps or Clairtone? 

Vintage is nearly always one of a kind so our merchandise is constantly changing. You might find a complete Brady Bunch kitchen in here, or maybe a film noir detective movie set, complete with tanker desks & typewriters. Ethel has a little bit everything, from gondola sofas and teak dining sets to oddball pieces like 80s Russian propaganda posters and vintage tiki mugs.

Along with 20th century furniture, lighting and accessories, we also carry new products by RetroVerte, Umlaut Brooklyn, and more.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: A local, female-run boutique selling vintage – sustainable in many ways.

WHAT WE LIKE: There are MANY vintage shops in the city (though sadly, not as many as there once were) and I have my favourites for various things. Ethel’s is where I go for mid century. You can rely on finding a lamp, vase, serving piece etc. from the 50s-60s there, likely in whatever colour you’re looking for. She often has a selection of small retro furniture as well, like card tables and chairs.

Have something you think should be on our list?
Let us know in the comments.

Vintage-Inspired Gifts for the Fashion Lover

Vintage-inspired gifts for the fashion lover on your list.

1. Vintage With An Indigenous Twist:
Resist Clothing Co.

Shirts and sweaters in a variety of colours feature this vintage postcard inspired look.

ABOUT: “RESIST Clothing company (formerly Our Feather Clothing Co.) started in 2020. It was created by Mitch Gegwetch (Ojibwe/Anishinaabe and a member of Sagamok First Nation). 

RESIST is a premium streetwear brand. We never cheap out on our inventory. We promise, our products are worth every penny, if you disagree, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked. “

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: “We are native owned and operated. Our company is certified by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. A certification only obtained by proof of the company owner’s status. View CCAB listing here.

Our mission is to build an authentic Native clothing brand that amplifies the presence and voices of Indigenous people. 

We do this by creating unique designs on high quality garments that grab your attention and provoke thought or reflection. 

We also stay true to our native roots and operate the brand ‘in a good way’ by sharing our profit with Indigenous charities that protect and uplift our Indigenous Communities.”

WHAT WE LIKE: This streetwear brand features designs by Native artists with a focus on community and sustainability. Plus, they follow a unique “quadruple bottom line approach” that places importance on more than just profit. Bonus, the prices are really good.

2. Loungewear and Lingerie:
Gigi’s House of Frills:

Golden Apricot "Hi-Craft" Cold Rayon Slip Size 40 XL #147
Gigi’s offers both true vintage (like this) and beautiful vintage-inspired and reproduction pieces.

ABOUT: “Gigi’s House of Frills is a dream realized for owner…Gigi!

After many moons of dreaming of a shop full of all of the vintage inspired brands and one of a kind true vintage lingerie pieces, Gigi decided to make it reality!

Our little brick and mortar boutique is located in Gigi’s hometown: Toronto. That’s Ontario, Canada for those of you not familiar!

Gigi’s little shop of frills has been operating since November 6th 2015, and there’s no greater joy than bringing you the latest in retro and pinup lingerie, cosmetics and hosiery alongside all of the wonderful vintage treasures we find just for you!

We strive to offer you superb customer service and aim to make lasting relationships with our lovely clients!

Come see everything Gigi’s has to offer, including local designers such as With Love Lingerie and Inspiration Vintage, world renown vintage cosmetics brand, Besame cosmetics and much, much more true vintage lingerie and hosiery!

You can visit Gigi’s in Toronto at 731 Dovercourt Road, just south of Bloor Street West.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: Lingerie is lovely, but a lot of the things you pick up at LaSenza or Victoria’s Secret are cheaply made and not built to last. Plus, they tend to come in a very limiting number of sizes. Gigi’s carries local brands like Inspiration Vintage as well as big ones like Dita Von Teese that are well-made and unique. She also carries authentic vintage, and you know how much we like to reuse!

WHAT WE LIKE: We love Gigi’s. She was one of our sponsors for The Rear Window and did a phenomenal job helping us find the perfect under things for a true vintage look. This small local shop is female run by one of the nicest and most open-minded women you’re likely to ever meet, so don’t be afraid to go in and ask for help picking out a perfect little something – she has products for people of all shapes and sizes AND has a handy sizing chart on her website if you want to make sure there’s something for you before you go.

3. True Vintage Clothing:
Victory Girl Vintage

1940s Printed Rayon Long Sleeve Dress Size Medium image 1

ABOUT: Curated vintage clothing from the 1910s-70s. You can shop online through her Etsy shop, or visit her in-store at 29 Kensington Ave., Toronto.

PRICE RANGE: $-$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: This female-run local small business sells beautiful vintage clothing and accessories – hurray for sustainable clothing!

WHAT WE LIKE: Everything she carries is beautiful. Seriously. I’ve been in dozens upon dozens of vintage shops and there’s always something that you go, eh, kinda ugly, but not here. This woman has amazing taste, and while her prices are a little higher than some vintage stores in the city, they are fairly priced: everything is in great shape and very wearable.

4. Vintage Fashion Mags:
Gaddabout Vintage

ABOUT: “One of the best curated stores in Toronto. Gadabout is the old curiosity shop only better! It’s filled with items from the late 1800s through the late 1970s. Curios, nostalgia, ephemera – oodles of paper, incredible vintage posters, tons of fabulous vintage clothing and accessories for men and women. Amazing textiles. It is a well-known haunt for wardrobe, prop and set decorators for film and theatre production. Gadabout does not carry furniture. If it’s small, cool, enigmatic, it’s probably in the store. The store contains a myriad of drawers all labeled and organized with items ranging from spats and opera glasses to slide rulers and office supplies. There’s even a whole area of vintage housewares.”

PRICE RANGE: $-$$$

SOCIAL IMPACT: Gadabout is another female-run store and it carries a bit of everything. Here you can get the kinds of vintage ephemera that so often are tossed in the trash, but that really are treasures. They rent items, so if you’re doing a show or a film you can check them out for props.

WHAT WE LIKE: This place has everything. Really, I mean it. If you’re a fan of “smalls” like I am, expect to spend several hours rooting through the dozens of drawers and boxes filled with papers, pins, pens – you name it. The clothing prices are a little higher than where I tend to shop when I’m dressing a show, but this is where I go when I need something good and fast: I can always leave with the thing I need.

5. An Exploration of Vintage Fashion:
The Fashion History Museum

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From the Portraits of Mali exhibit.

ABOUT: “When Toronto fashion collector Alan Suddon unexpectedly died in 2000, the 10,000 piece collection he had amassed over forty-years, and that featured important nineteenth-century Canadian clothing and twentieth-century French couture, was purchased privately with a promise that it would someday go to an institution. However, much of the collection was sold off or destroyed via poor storage conditions over the next 15 years. The best surviving pieces were eventually auctioned off internationally with a small remainder selectively donated to Canadian museums, of which the Fashion History Museum received about 200 pieces. The collection that should have been Suddon’s legacy and a museum’s prize collection had been damaged, dismantled and all but forgotten.” The Fashion History Museum has a long and detailed history which you can read in full on their website.

PRICE RANGE: $

SOCIAL IMPACT: As with any museum, the FHM preserves our history and makes it available to the public.

Their mandate is: “The Fashion History Museum connects the history of fashion with the world that created it. What we wear is a subconscious human expression, guided by habit and need, that reflects aesthetics, culture, identity, politics, economics, and technology. The museum collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits historical garments and accessories that illustrate these connections to better understand our past, present, and future.”

WHAT WE LIKE: The beautiful outfits, unique exhibits and wide-range of clothes from different times and cultures.

Bonus Listing Kingpin Hideaway

Unfortunately his shop had to close due to COVID, but Jonathan “Kingpin” Hagey still has a whole host of gorgeous menswear and accessories, you just need to book an appointment to see it. His selection of high-end suits, shoes and accessories cannot be beat, and this man knows everything there is to know about vintage menswear (and about a lot of other fun vintage things too). It can be hard to buy something like a suit as a gift (at least if you’re trying to keep it a surprise), but he has ties, cufflinks and other little accessories that would make excellent presents, or, for a truly special gift, you can hire him as a personal stylist. If you have a gentleman friend who loves vintage fashion but doesn’t know how to dress himself, bring him to Jonathan. He will pick out something that suits your body, style, and pocketbook, all while giving you the history of the piece and all the new things he’s picked up at auction. Be sure to follow him on Instagram – I for one eagerly await the return of his Hideaway.

Have something you think should be added to our list?
Let us know in the comments.

How To Find The Perfect Vintage Lingerie

Get some tips and tricks for finding the perfect vintage lingerie for this week’s #sustainablesunday!

If you’re a fan of true vintage clothing, chances are at some point or another you’ve tried something on, and even if it fits, thought “something isn’t right…

Chances are, the thing you’re lacking is the right underclothes.

Vintage women’s clothing was made with the assumption that you were wearing specific garments underneath – chances are this included a corset or girdle. While the styles changed with the decades, the desire to shape the female form into something it was not stayed fairly consistent through the 20th century (and before). You can read about the changing styles in our previous post, here.

A late 1930s girdle advertisement.

The same can be said, though to a far lesser extent, about men’s clothing. If you’ve ever tried to put on a pair of vintage trousers over some baggy boxers, you’ll know what I mean. Similarly, a lot of shirts look strange without an undershirt underneath as their fabric is too transparent, and even then it is clear they assumed you’d wear a jacket or blazer, otherwise the outline of the undershirt is clearly seen.

When we did The Rear Window back in 2019, we visited Gigi’s House of Frills to learn all about vintage underthings, and I can tell you the difference to silhouette is incredible. While the dresses already looked lovely on our actors, the addition of a bullet bra and girdle stepped it up to Hollywood glam levels.

There are many places in the city and online where you can find authentic vintage lingerie, but I highly recommend your first stop be Gigi’s. She is not only lovely and knowledgeable, she carries the widest range of sizes I have ever seen for underwear and lingerie. If she doesn’t have true vintage in your size she will have a modern alternative that is sure to work.

When it comes to buying vintage lingerie, there’s a few quick tips I would share to make the process go smoothly;

  1. Sizes Change: sizing hasn’t always been standardized, and when looking at vintage patterns or clothes sometimes the number can be a bit of a shock to your system because you’re judging it by the sizes we use today. If you can’t try something on, make sure to at least read the measurements and not assume that the number listed will give you an accurate idea of fit. For example, this helpful article explains how someone who was a size 14 in 1937 would be a size 8 in 1967 and a 0 today.
  2. Most People Were Shorter: we tend to think that everyone was smaller “back in the day”, but that’s not really true. Just as slim men and women today get more representation in the media and in stores, the same could be said for the 1920s, 40s, 50s etc. So while data suggests that there are more overweight people now than there were then, that isn’t to say that everyone was super tiny like the actors we picture from golden age Hollywood. Rather, the materials we have left today are more likely to be what was most produced then, and so it’s easier to find pictures of slim people, and clothing in smaller sizes. It’s really a numbers game. What has increased across the board (in Canada at least) is people’s average height. This means when you are shopping for vintage stockings or girdles, if you’re on the taller side (as I am), it can be hard to find something with the right fit. I often find my torso is a bit too long for pieces I would otherwise be able to fit. I don’t have any great advice for this other than to just remind yourself that there’s nothing wrong with you if you’re having trouble finding something that works, it was just made for someone at a very different time.
  3. Fabrics Were Different: those of you old enough to remember the days before lycra in jeans will have an easier time with the unmovable, unforgiving fabrics from days of yore, but today most clothing is made with so much stretch we don’t have to give much thought to the fit provided it is in our size. Compared to Spanx, vintage girdles can feel like a bit of a torture device, but when you get used to getting them on and off many people find the fit not at all uncomfortable, and I think they do a FAR better job at shaping, if that’s what you’re going for. If you’re new to vintage shape wear go for something that is adjustable, whether with lacing or multiple hooks, as even something that “fits” can be a bit extreme for someone new to the game. And if you see something that says it was “cut on the bias”, that’s a good thing. That’s the old-timey way of making something have a bit of give, and is the closest you’ll find to stretchy material in a lot of vintage wear.

So there you have it! A quick rundown on vintage underclothes. They’re fun, they’re glamourous, and they’re sustainable because as we always say, the most sustainable item is the one that already exists. So shop vintage.

To Wrap or Not To Wrap: Minimizing Waste Over the Holidays

Here’s some tips on how to be a little greener this holiday season, without losing some of the magic of those pretty boxes and bags under the tree.

Many of my fond memories of holidays past involve me eagerly tearing away wrapping paper to find a surprise underneath – sometimes unwrapping was half as good as the gift itself. But as I get older, I feel an increasing level of guilt every time my eye is caught by the pretty papers at the store – isn’t this just adding to waste? How can I justify buying something that will have so little use?

This year I’ve decided on a bit of a half measure, which is to wrap (with paper I already have) the gifts for the young children in my life, and to use only reusable things for adults or any I’m not positive will appreciate it. When you’re trying to go green it’s ok to do it in stages – every little bit helps.

So here’s some tips on how to be a little greener this holiday season, without losing some of the magic of those pretty boxes and bags under the tree.

Knot Wrap

It's Christmas Deer
It’s Christmas Deer wrap from LUSH – sweet little retro vibe!

Knot Wrap has grown in popularity here the past couple years, but it’s not a new concept. LUSH states it nicely on their website;

“Based on the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki, Knot-Wraps are a great way to wrap any gift. Made from either organic cotton or two recycled plastic bottles, each one of our beautiful Knot-Wraps is extremely kind to the environment. And the best part? They’re meant to be used again and again as a scarf, accessory or tote, so it’s a bit like giving two gifts in one. How thoughtful of you!”

LUSH.ca

Natural Ribbons

Not only pretty and eco-friendly, you can let friends know their gift is wrapped in artisanal ribbon, because we all know the true meaning of Christmas is giving the best gift.

Probably 90% of my gifts as a kid can wrapped in that thin plastic curling ribbon that has been virtually unchanged since my parents were kids – until now! Admittedly, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but this seems to be a very pretty eco-alternative to that oh-so-synthetic stuff we all know.

Our artisanal ribbon maker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is committed to the highest levels of sustainability. They use water-based dyes, soy-based non-toxic inks, and cotton yarn that is 100% grown and dyed in the USA. 

wrappily.com

Joy Wrap

joywrap x Sarah Gunn Collection
Hurray for adorable, diverse Santas! They also have some more winter and less Christmas themed bags.

Made here in Canada, these reusable sacks are washer, dryer and iron safe, and come in a variety of cute patterns – PLUS you can make your own. Who doesn’t want a bag with your face plastered all over it? Reuse them next year, store xmas decorations in it, use it to make your laundry more festive – the possibilities are endless. The best part? Made here in Canada.

With joywrap, you never have to throw wrapping paper away again.
A 2017 study by Zero Waste Canada found that more than 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper ends up in Canadian landfills after the holidays.

That’s the equivalent weight of about 100,000 elephants of wrapping paper trash each year!

joywrap makes all the same fun sounds as traditional wrapping paper, but without any the waste.

Reuse joywrap as part of your family traditions or give it away as part of a gift.

IT’S TIME TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE WAY YOU WRAP.

JoyWrap.ca

DIY It

Christmas gift wrapping ideas
Brown paper packages tied up with string…

Ultimately, the most sustainable item is the one that already exists. Try reusing old newspapers, or magazines, have children decorate some brown packing paper with their own cute holiday designs. Attach natural items like cedar twigs, or pinecones – really the only limit is your imagination. And when you make something like this by hand, the person receiving it can really see the effort and care you put into it, which always makes it that much better.

Greenpeace has a great article on some ways to wrap presents without having to buy any wrapping – check it out here.

Got some eco-friendly wrapping ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments.

A Very Vintage Christmas Part II: Retro Reproductions

Have yourself a merry little Christmas with these retro reproductions.

Sometimes, try as we might, we can’t find our dream vintage piece no matter how hard we look. Didn’t find what you were looking for on our post about sourcing vintage Christmas decor? Read on to see some A+ reproductions.

Tru-Tone LED Bulbs

These traditional-style glass bulbs really capture the look of mid-century string lights, with the added bonus of being LED (less power wasted, less heat generated). Now you can recreate Christmases of yore without the fear of one bad bulb knocking out the whole string of lights, or an overheated one setting your tree ablaze! We love the eco-friendly combo of glass over plastic and LED over incandescent: “Tru-Tone LED bulbs consume 0.6watt. Standard Incandescent C7 bulbs use 5 watts. That’s a whopping 88% savings. Standard Incandescent C9 bulbs use 7 watts, so you’ll save even more at 91% energy savings! Put another way, a tree with 125 C7 Tru-Tone bulbs will use 75 watts and glow just as brightly as a tree with 125 C7 incandescent bulbs consuming 625 watts! No wonder the tree served as a space heater!”

Tru-Tone bulbs consume 0.6 watt. Standard Incandescent C7 use 5 watts. That’s a whopping 88% [energy] savings!

Kurt Adler “Early Years” Ornaments

Kurt Adler’s beautiful collection of vintage-styled glass ornaments have been on the top of our wishlist for years. From mid-century indented bulbs to beautiful wartime novelty pieces, Adler’s delicate, detailed ornaments make for a stunning addition to any tree. These are available in many stores and online, but before you go to order off Amazon, we suggest checking out Retro Festive, the pop culture and Christmas store in Oakville, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. Shop local this Christmas!

Vintage Tinsel Wreaths

A mid-century Christmas isn’t complete with tinsel. Lots of tinsel. Unfortunately the loose stuff can get a bit messy, so we recommend sticking to something cleaner, like this sparkly wreath from Putti Fine Furnishings.

Light Covers

When the first Christmas lights were introduced to a captivated public in 1884, they were not only expensive, but were unrealistic for most people as many still did not have electricity in their homes. However, by 1914 the cost of lights and electricity had come down considerably, and by the 30s most families had some sort of colourful light for the holidays. I’m not sure when exactly the first shaped and figural light covers arrived on the market, but I believe I’ve seen them from at least the 1920s. Early versions were glass, and ranged from mini Santa Claus to animals, fruit and even licensed characters like Betty Boop. Today you’re more likely to find ornaments that mimic this style, but some of the classics that pop over lights are still to be found, here and there.

Are you searching for a modern take on a vintage favourite?
Let us know in the comments.

Modern Vintage Style (The Sustainable Way)

Can’t find the real thing for your authentic vintage look? Check out these modern retailers who are working to keep the style alive while keeping sustainability in mind.

Can’t find the real thing for your authentic vintage look? Check out these modern retailers who are working to keep the style alive while keeping sustainability in mind.

Besame Cosmetics

Created by artist and cosmetic historian Gabriela Hernandez, Besame has a line of truly beautiful reproduction makeup. From authentic period styled false lashes to collections celebrating icons like Marilyn Monroe, you can be sure to find a little vintage something to dress up your vanity and your face. The best part? Besame is creating with sustainability in mind, so you can replace makeup pans without tossing away a whole plastic compact. Plus, their makeup is cruelty free: read their blog post to learn more about that and why it’s so important.

LBCC Historical Apothecary

This company’s motto of “live natural, be historical” truly is the best way of describing their shop. LBCC creates organic, eco-friendly makeup, skin and hair care products based off historical recipes dating from the Regency Era up the the 1930s. Their work is meticulously researched and perfect for anyone who truly wants an authentic vintage experience. Their products feature copies of the original labels, so they look very sweet on a vintage vanity as well. Because they have few ingredients, they tend to be good for those of us with sensitive skin – I haven’t had a reaction to anything I’ve bought from them. And the prices are incredible, they are clearly a group doing this for the pure love of it.

Sheertex

There are times we’re lucky enough to stumble across a vintage pair of thigh-highs, and if you’re like me you wince every time you pull them on, worrying that they will snag and run. By and large stockings and pantyhose are not as common as they once were, but I think most of us who wear skirts or dresses have a pair or two tucked in the drawer for certain occasions. That’s where Sheertex comes in. Yes, they are very expensive, but these babies WILL NOT RIP. You can see on their site the many trials they put them through and I don’t know what magic they’ve used, but I’m here for it. The best part? They make a sheer, backseam thigh high that’s perfect for us vintage lovers.

2020 FUNDrive!

Do you have the post-Christmas blues? Wish that giving season came back? Want to support a great cause AND get rid of everything you just replaced with gifts? Donate your used clothing and small household items and help independent theatre thrive. Bygone Theatre has partnered with Value Village to help you help us. Every pound you donate translates to dollars on the stage. Your donation will help us put on the quality, historically accurate shows you love – but will also help us house our large vintage and antique prop and costume warehouse AND allow us to give back to the arts community. Get an early start on spring cleaning and come to any one of our community partners today!

Event Dates: December 20 – February 1, 2020

Collection location during drive:
38 Cross St, Toronto, ON M9N 2B9

Gigi’s House of Frills, 731 Dovercourt Road, TORONTO, ON M6H 2W7

Pickups available – email conor@bygonetheatre.com

Visit our site for more details and to make a pledge!