The first wedding favors were not Jordan almonds. That may come as a relief to some of you planning a vintage style wedding. Brides and grooms in the 1500s through the 1600s generally gave pieces of luxe fabric, such as lace. These were tied into a knot to symbolize the couple’s love. Maybe if a sea captain got married, it would be a bit of rope?
The tradition of a small box with candy or doodads (yes, this is a technical term) was started in France. The box was traditional porcelain, especially since the married parties were of the upper crusty class. Over the years, porcelain boxes and plastic swans have ended up on the dresser or in a special acid free box. The pity is that not too many folks have been original in my family and I forget what swan goes to which happy couple. The only way I can tell is because of the apparent vintage of the swan. Is it plastic with big doe-eyed eyes? Must have been cousin Ruthie who is really my mother’s cousin wh0 married in the era of large eyed children paintings.
The knot idea is an infinitely sweeter and far less expensive prospect and would fit in with extremely historical retro theme. An attendee can press it in a book if they like. Another idea if it took up clutter is to suggest that they save them and tie them to your first Christmas tree together when they visit over the holidays. Not your cup of tea? Then why did you invite a bunch of people to your nuptials that you would not want in your home? Shame!gift ideas | Comment (0)
The night they invented champagne
It’s plain as it can be
They thought of you and me
The night they invented champagne
They absolutely knew
That all we’d want to do is
Fly to the sky on champagne
And shout to everyone in sight
That since that world began
No woman or a man has ever been as happy as we are tonight!
-Lerner and Loewe, from the musical “Gigi”
The night we drank too much champagne
Was an embarrassing night indeed.
The spill stretched
from the sculpted green carpet to the Harris Tweed.
No woman or man or woman we ever met
Was as upset
Of ruining taffett(a) as the VintageGent and Gent-ette!
Ah, yes…the holiday dinner party. This time of year, the party invites are too numerous to do more than “put in an appearance” at while the Champagne and wine hostess and host gifts insulate every cabinet, hope chest and ice box. Liquor is a traditional gift, and therefore a retro choice, but its time to update the etiquette book.
Tried and True Etiquette:
- As has been tradition, do not expect the bottle to be opened and served with the meal or during cocktail hour.
- If the host/hostess should offer you the unopened bottle to take home, insist that you intended it as a gift, but do not make a spectacle of yourself. The host/hostess may have assumed the bottle was for dinner. If they insist, graciously accept.
- Do not give guests free tickets to your sideshow. If the host/hostess offers alcoholic beverages, do not drink to the point of interesting propositions and colorful language. Rather, enjoy a glass properly balanced with food or follow with soft drinks.
The New Etiquette
- Observe the host/hostess. If they have never been observed nursing a glass of mashed grapes, they might not drink alcoholic beverages for medical or personal reasons. If they do not, rethink the gift.
- Offer to be a designated driver. Deliver revelers home, and swiftly return to the party.
- Choose theme wines and champagnes. A selection that has a connection creates conversation if the host is not a particular wine connoisseur. Choose a wine from a newcomer’s native state, or something with an unusual or clever name. While impressing someone with good taste is important, humor breaks the advice, so long as the name is not off-color. The point of a party is to converse, not to dazzle other guests with your snobbery.
Did I invite you over? Then I might interest you in my uncle’s special vintage, adorned with inkjet paper labels. I have no idea which variety I have, since water droplets splashed on it and ran the ink. Guests will surely play “name that wine.” Bring your own and tear off the label. Should be fun. Cheers!entertainment, gift ideas | Comment (0)
(At left: Messenger Bag? “Murse”? Either way, if it’s leather, it is apparently not “vegan.” Even if it was vegan-approved, I would not eat it either way.)
Merchants of vintage and brand-spanking newly manufactured ladies handbags and men’s valises have used the term “vegan” to describe a satchel for some time now. Actually, if I could be so bold as to say that it started with small online sellers and was adopted by the big guns later, but I have no documented proof. It is just a foggy recollection. So…what IS this “vegan purse” thing now that some of you are scrambling around for that perfect gift for the gal in your life? Okay, I guess there are some guys who carry messenger bags that some would refer to as a “Murse,” or “Manbag,” but for those of you who do, you probably won’t get one for Christmas because you already have one and its really hard to pin a murse-less male down if he really wants to clean out his pockets and do so. If you peg wrong, it could be anywhere form offensive to pulled out only on airline travels to collecting dust. I digress.
Apparently, a “Vegan” bag contains no animal byproducts, such as leather, fur, bone or whale baleen. In fact, it goes as far as to not contain any animal products that don’t harm the animal to take, such as wool, angora (which is sort of like wool), shedded peacock feathers and any chemical made with eggs as an ingredient. Before we get into a debate about unborn baby chickens, if the eggs are not fertilized, there is no baby chicken in there. Chickens lay eggs regardless of a rooster being present. It takes two to put a chicken in the oven…I mean…a bun in the oven. So, in other words, it could be a PVC purse, otherwise affectionately known as “pleather.” Somehow “leatherette” doesn’t seem to have surfaced since 1983. It could also consist of cotton, bamboo fiber, hard plastic, rubber or the like. Now, even though many link “vegan” to “environmentalist,” many vegan bags contain highly manufactured materials to avoid wool and leather.
The term that is new to me in personal accessories that carry stuff is “vegetarian.” How can there be a vegetarian handbag or suitcase? They don’t eat. Unless they really do, when they go bump in the night. Or maybe they get filled with bed bugs and they walk across the floor themselves just like ants may carry a branch together. Eww. That’s unpleasant like the amount of spackle that went into Jack Lord’s hair. “Vegetarian” bags do not contain leather, but they can contain any form of wool. If any bag-making material had dairy products in it, which I challenge you to find, they could have that too.
So, if the gal (we would suppose it was a gal) on your list is vegan or vegetarian, do some investigation and see if it extends to her accessory choices. Some folks are vegetarian of vegan due to health or food sensitivities and wear leather shoes, etcetera, but some may not. Hopefully, your recipient will be gracious. And doesn’t eat it.fashion tips, gift ideas, ladieswear, modern fashion | Comment (0)
Christmas and other late-fall-to-winter gift-giving occasions are not quite here yet, but they soon will stare us down the barrel. While I hope I don’t see a candy cane in any store for quite awhile, there is a little detective work you need to start doing now for successful gift giving. Ever try to buy a ring or a hat for someone at the last minute without having amply snooped for their size? Of course, the trick is, to do it without immediate suspicion. In the middle of November, its far enough off to perhaps make them forget you asked.
You can stumble through a guy’s Fedora Hats collection to read labels, but which one does he begrudgingly wear too tight? Do you know if he doesn’t complain. If you don’t go to a super high end milliner who charges $400 for a hat, many hats are available in Small, Medium, Large, Etcetera. But what is Large? If you look at various hats, anything up through a size 6 7/8 is considered “small.” Other sizes corresponds as follows:
Medium: 7- 7 1/8
Large: 7 1/4- 3/8
Extra Large: 7 1/2-7 3/4
If the recipient falls in between sizes, order the next size up. The sizes only apply to Fedoras, Panama Hats, bowlers, and trilbys. Baseball caps and other casual styles do not always follow suit.
While the serious hat collector may be very particular about their beaver felt hats, and demand precise sizing, more casual versions of their favorite shapes, like straw fedoras offer a change of pace and more flexible sizing. For something a bit different, try one of the many Panama hats for men. You may picture Panama Hats as requiring a white linen suit or, at the very least, sandals, unless you are Harry Truman, a wide variety of styles are made today, including the plaid stingy-brimmed style shown (upper left). While the term “Panama” may evoke a certain hat silhouette, the hats coming out of Panama are more diverse today.
So get going. Sneak a look at hat bands. Insist on getting his hat off the hook at the 5-star restaurant and take a gander at the inside tag. Casually bring up the subject of hat sizes. When all else fails, be blunt. Just say you are writing a statistical report about heads.fedoras, gift ideas, modern fashion | Comments (2)
Red Hen Studios on Etsy has this fantastic poker chip and card holder. Stumbling across it brings back so many great memories. My cousins and I sat at the dining room table at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and played for pennies. They were all from Grandma’s penny jar and she let us keep our winnings. To be fair, no one went home empty handed, but most of the time, Grandma played her own hand well by convincing us to put them back for next time when someone got a little shark-ish—well as card shark-y as a few eight year olds, a 5 and a 4 year old could possibly get.
Somehow, one of my cousins, one of the 8 year olds, taught us to play 5 card stud and 5 card draw. How did he even know how to play those games? At least it was all innocent and a bit more math-skill-enhancing than Go Fish or Old Maid were. He even wore a visor just to make things that much more authentic.
Violet64 on Etsy has another caddy, shown at right, in a great old plastic with all sorts of ripples and swirls. It is a bit more handsome than what we used, of course. The caddy of choice was solid black. Actually, it wasn’t “of choice” but “of available. Poker caddies are great not just for nostalgia, but it gives you so many choices – from actual card games to building card houses to chip tosses. If the kids get bored, you can always encourage them to toss the chips in a hat and see who gets the closest. I forgot – a more challenging game is to toss them back into the caddy. I seem to remember a bit of pushing and shoving when the “close enough” rule was invoked.
What old school card and table games do you enjoy?entertainment, games, gift ideas | Comment (0)
Christmas is right around the corner and Hanukkah has already snuck up on us. It is high time to start thinking about what to get the special dudes in our lives. Not a lot of men go around galavanting with tons of rings on their fingers these days, but sometimes when they go to a black tie event, they might wear something antique or era appropriate to their outfit. Perhaps the bride is looking for an offbeat wedding band for her groom.
This circa 1870′s ring has a surprise to it. Behind the garnet, a white sapphire is mounted. Only the gent that wears it will see it. The ring appears to have a patina, at least from the photo, but it doesn’t take away from the stunningness or marvelousness. The ring is a reasonable size. It’s a size 9, so it could potential fit a guy of today, so long as his fingers are not broad. I would hesitate to recommend resizing it. I am sure it could be done, but you may lose some of the character.
It is made of sterling silver, and is available on Etsy from NoveauMotley at the price of $235.00. Snap it up before it gets away. They aren’t exactly making more of them, are they?gift ideas | Comment (0)
This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of RI Media Group. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have been searching for gift ideas for several people on my list. The ones that have collections are easy. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and finding something that they don’t have in their collection gives me as much excitement as they get receive when opening it. However, sometimes I cannot find that perfect item but still want something very unique that they can’t possibly already have. I was really surprised at the unique items they have over at StudBox. Sure, they have some cookware and odds and ends that you could find in other places, but there are many items that I have no seen anywhere else. The offerings are parred down for quality and uniqueness.
Do you have a sophisticated person that you would like to find a gift under $10 for? A gift in that price point may be gifted in addition to a gift certificate. Some folks feel gift certificates are impersonal, and a small gift seems to satisfy the urge to give them something to use now…and later. The price point is perfect for a gift grab, or for giving with a holiday tip to someone who serves you. Have you ever heard of a muddler? It is the latest must have for the sophisticated bartender. An aspiring James Bond can crush the fruit in their drink without missing a beat, or being accused of selecting a girlie drink. The muddler at left is the VIVA! Stick muddler by Liquid Revolutionist, which was designed by a bartender with a waffle end for maximum fruit crushitude. The model at right is a spare, more traditional looking model made of wood. The former is offered for $7.95, the latter for $3.95.
Shipping at Studbox is only $4.00 for orders up to $30, so you can buy all of your friends cocktail muddlers. On orders over $30, the fee is 12%, which is quite paltry considering the weight of some of the items. That’s great news.All of this web window shopping reminds me that it is also time for me to roll out the daily Christmas gift guide at VintageGent’s Menswear Daily.This post is the kickoff. Stay tuned for more great gift ideas for the retro man and ladies they like. In the meantime, I do highly recommend checking out the unique odds and ends on this site. I bet no one on your list has a cocktail muddler, but they sure will be impressed at the sophistication level of the giver.gift ideas | Comment (0)
Golf ties, and Christmas ties for that matter, sometimes make me cringe just thinking about them. They are often cheaply made, brash, and embarrassing for some to wear. Here is one that breaks the rules. There is a golf tie offered on Etsy for a limited time. How long is limited, you might ask? Until it sells. It is available for the bargain basement steal of $8.99, which includes shipping. How can you beat that?
This tie is of the square bottom, skinny variety from the 1960s. It is considered a novelty print, as it is not an “all over” print, but depicts a theme or a scene. It features a print on cotton of a golfing scene. Colors are primarily green and brown. Condition is listed as excellent, with no apparent flaws.
To check it out, or to snap it up and get it in your hot little hands before anyone else, CLICK HERE.1960s, gift ideas, vintage clothing | Comment (1)
Now, at InColdStorage at Etsy, there is a section named after this blog of items from the collection that are things I would select. Look for the section “Picks for a VintageGent” and you will see one or two items at a time that may be something that you are interested in snapping up. That’s right, for now there will be one or two items and when they are gone, they are gone. They may sell, or they may just switch them out to keep you on your toes, and we’ll see how fast they go.
Of course, you might want to look at the other items in the shop, such as handbags, kitchenware, and books which are all great too. Now, however, it will be like your own personalVintageGent or VintageGent-ette selecting items for you that you may just have to have, or at least are a little bit unique.
The inaugaral item is a nifty square bottom tie from the 60s with a golfing theme. Where is the rule that golf themed ties have to have Mickey Mouse on them or be polyester? Well, not in this case. This one, I think would be great for even someone who does not care to golf. The graphics are just so cool and a definite “throwback.”
The price is $9.00, with shipping just a little bit more, or buy another item in the store and combine shipping.1960s, gift ideas, vintage clothing, VintageGent's Vintage Picks | Comment (0)
In the harrowing tail of the Attack of the Bookshelf, below, I mentioned my father’s personal mishap. I was thinking the other day that when some people think of their dad or grandfather, they sometimes think of a particular actor or character that reminds them. Oftentimes, they don’t think of this until long after their father or grandfather is gone. My father is still with us, thank goodness. He reminds me of Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character, most of all. Aside from getting tempted by strangers, which wouldn’t be characteristic of my dad, the heart of the character us to keep plugging along and making the best of things no matter what crazy thing happens.
Crazy Dog t-shirts has a shirt that I wished I had seen before Christmas, but I think I will put it away and give it to him before hand next year so he can wear it all through the holidays. It reads: “The Griswold Family Tree…It’s All About the Experience.” That is exactly something my dad thinks all the time. It doesn’t matter if you get anything actually done, does it? When in doubt, tie your problems to the rough, right? Trust me, there is just no possibility that he will see this shirt and buy himself before then. He sometimes still just hits “reply” when I send him an email and doesn’t type anything back in response. Online shopping is something we will have to work on in another couple years.
film, gift ideas, modern fashion | Comment (0)
When I was…ahem…younger, I remember watching the Princess Bride over and over again. My family had just gotten cable for the first time, and it was on one of the movie channels in heavy rotation for a few months. I was first introduced to it in school, where our English teacher brought it in as a treat on the half day of school we had before a holiday. Of course, it featured the celebrated acting of Andre the Giant as Fezzik. It was the type of irreverant movie that makes adults laugh and children to have the affectation to their voice which they believed to be their best Spanish Accent and declare to everyone: “I am Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die.”
It has taken quite a few years, but as you wish, someone has imagined up the Princess Bride Game. I have tried the demos for the 5-pack of Princess Bride games for PC/MAC. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun. Are you up to the challenge? Brave the fire swamp and stand up to Vizzini in the Battle of the Wits, and much more. I have to admit that the questions made me think. So many games that are based on other media (books, movies) require you to have seen or read the inspiration source, otherwise you will be lost when playing the game. I think it makes it that much more fun when you already love the movie, but friends who have not, or have not seen it in years can hold their own quite well. In the fire swamp, I was reminded of the game Pitfall! except that this was much more easy to navigate and a bit more challenging. I used to walk into walls and trap myself all the time in that old game. The other good thing about it, is that it is all ages friendly without being over simplistic. The nephews and niece have tried it, have had as much fun as I did with the demos, and they are clamouring for me to purchase the games for them.
The whole experience makes me want to see the movie again. I am going to check my local listings or go ahead and rent it. Not only is the movie a little off the cuff, but it reminds me of being what they now call tweens, and sitting on the couch on a Saturday with my brother and sister.
film, gift ideas | Comment (0)
Looking for a time honored gift to give the men in your life, but don’t want to make sizing mistakes? How about giving Cross Pens – Personalized Gifts that are going to last. It is apropriate for a proper gentleman, rather they are a high ranking business man, or just someone that has a little style, to have a good pen that is attractive, and well weighted in the hand.
Personalization will guarantee that no one will run off with it either. In an office I worked at, there was a coworker that had a habit of pilfering pens, claiming that they were all his. It could indeed be that he had a collection himself, but he was always caught when one spun the barrel around and looked at the name.
If you scurry over to GiftPens.com, they have free engraving on Cross Pens, as well as free shipping on orders over $69.00.
The Stork Club was a chic hangout form the 1930s through the 1950s. Owner Sherman Billingsley, a New York bootlegger, presided with long time mistress Ethel Merman on his arm. Guests included the Roosevelts, Kennedys, members of the Royal Family, Elizabeth Taylor, Walter Winchell, Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, and many others. In the Stork Club Lore, a very young Dorothy Lamour was turned down for the job of nightclub singer. According to “Tips on the Table”, the inner sanctum called “The Club Room” was opened especially for these elite guests.
The Stork Club may be gone, but you can still own a piece of Stork Club history. A pair of Stork Club suspenders from the 1940s (scroll down the page) is being offered by Dorothea’s Closet for immediate purchase. You won’t see something like this very often!
Tell them you saw it in VintageGent’s Menswear Daily1940s, gift ideas | Comment (1)
We come in Peace!
No bachelor pad would be complete without a lamp that resembles a flying saucer. This is what modern designers want to have been the ones to have designed…but it has already been done perfectly fifty years ago. This particular one is offered by The Vintage Peddler at $95.00. Quite the bargain to own the “real deal” than another ho hum lamp of equal price from the department store.1950s, gift ideas, Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
Not all Vintage Men dressed to the nines…..sometimes they dressed to the forty-nines!
Jackets from Pendleton are always a classic. This particular selection from FuzzyLizzie Vintage is no exception. It resembles the classic ladies 49′er but is clearly meant for a man. The coat measures 51″, so it will fit many modern guys with a vintage sensibility. Remember to compare it to similar items the lucky recipient already owns or keep his modern sportcoat size in mind and then add a few inches for outerwear. Price is $50.00. Available for immediate purchase.
Tell them you saw it in VintageGent’s Menswear Daily!gift ideas | Comment (0)