Latest Find: Vintage Dresses

In fall I am taking my seminar course, a course where students hone their skills as a historian and write a 25 page research paper. Each seminar is themed, and students choose a topic within that. My course is themed to Oregon history. I’ve been throwing around ideas, and have determined I want to discuss something scandalous. Prostitution has come to mind, especially after reading Karen Abbott’s Sin in the Second City. For awhile I have been seeing the book, Portland Confidential, and I figured it a good place to start looking for info. So I called a local used bookstore to see if they had a used copy, which they did for only $8.00. It is this journey that led me to these dresses, because located just across the street is Buffalo Exchange. Making my trip downtown worth while, I went in, and boy was it worth it!

A $13.50 jewelFirst off is this very Jackie Kennedy style cocktail dress. It’s color is very interesting, since it’s not really red, nor is it really pink. It has a small boat neck with a collar and broach. In terms of fabric, I think it is linen. I’m no fabric expert though. The tag reads Alper Schwartz. I did some researching on-line to try and found out some more, as well as pricing. Grace’s Vintage Garb, a wonderful site specializing in vintage clothing offers a dress similar for $59.99. Grace’s describes Alper Schwartz pieces as being higher end department store dresses, selling originally for $50.00 or so. I paid $13.50 for this jewel. For detail images, please check out my flickr.


Wonderful stealAlong the same rack, I found this younger styled piece. A lovely lavender color, this dress has a Carol Craig label. With interesting pleats, this dress has a fuller skirt, and short sleeves.Additionally, the waist is beatifully made with a bead, instead of a simple stitch. I think this is made of a heavy cotton weave.Finding information for Carol Craig has proved a little more difficult.I did find this dress at DRESS, where they are asking $195. But I also found four CC dresses on Etsy, which ranged in price from $28.00 to $175.00. I paid only $12.50. Detail images available on flickr.

These two dresses are by no means my only vintage dresses. I am in the process of photographing all of my dresses and putting them up on flickr sometime soon.


With the first half of summer term behind me, Monday brings a history course on the Iraq War and History of Women in the US Part II. The Iraq War class provides the much needed 400-level credit I need, and I have been longing to take the remainder of the History of Women class. I took Part I way back in winter term of my sophomore year. Obviously, since my focus is mid-20th century, Part II will prove more interesting to me. Thankfully, both courses are taught by professors I like. But before I walk into those classes, my dad and I are attending the NASCAR Camping World Series race at Portland International Raceway. Yes, yes, I’m a NASCAR fan. Have a lovely weekend!

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