Organize It with Stocking Boxes

Recently Julie of V is for Victory Rolls was lamenting on Instagram about the difficulty of organizing many of her vintage accessories, and asked fellow vintage loving Instagram’ers to share their organizational tips. What is funny is that I had been thinking of doing a blog post on this very subject actually! I organize using a lot of different things, but today I’m going to highlight one of my favorite, and most used, things that I use to organize with: stocking boxes!

Stocking boxes are divided rectangular, often quilted, boxes.  They were originally intended for women to store in their dressers with their stockings rolled up in them to keep the stockings from getting snagged. But they can be used for so much more!

One place you can find stocking boxes in our home is in our bathroom.

I use these for my hair scarves and other hair accessories.  My scarves roll up nicely and tuck into the divided sections, and most of my hair flowers fit in just fine too.  I like having all of my hair goodies in one place, so these are stored in the same cupboard as my hairspray, hair dryer, combs, etc.

Another way I use stocking boxes is to help organize my some of my jewelry.

These stocking boxes fit perfectly inside my vanity drawers.  I have deep vanity drawers, so I stack the boxes two deep.  I won’t lie, I have a lot of jewelry. And this isn’t how all of it is stored.  I also store jewelry in a large, vintage, velvet lined jewelry box, bracelets hang on three T-stands, those spiral earrings racks, and I also utilize a vintage train case.

And then of course you’ll also find stocking boxes being used for what they were intended for…stockings!

I’ve snagged most of my stocking boxes at antique malls here and there, and they typically run $5-$12 each. But you can also find them on Ebay and Etsy.

Do you use stocking boxes? If so, what for? Is there anything you have a hard time organizing?

Stocking Boxes

When you wear vintage clothing, you sometimes inadvertently collect things.  For me, that became stocking boxes.  When I began wearing more and more vintage, some of my earliest fashion icons were the pin-up girls of Gil Elvgren, and nearly all of his lovely ladies were found in precarious positions that showed off their garters and stocking tops, and I soon realized that I needed to get my hands on some stockings.  So over the years I have bought vintage stockings whenever I ran across them and they were cheap, typically that means around $5 per pair or less, and I amassed quite a collection, many of which came in beautiful boxes…

As this is quite a picture heavy post, please enjoy more beautiful stocking packaging after the cut…

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A Visit to The Foundation

In making my Dixie Cousins costume, I came to the realization that the undergarment I was planning on wearing was just not working out, and I felt that a true underbust corset would be better suited towards my needs, as well, as, heck, I just wanted one.  So I returned to The Foundation: From Billie to Bettie, where I purchased my first steel boned corset last year.

I really can’t express how much I not only love this store, but how thankful I am that Portland has such a store.  Tami, the owner, is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and as sweet as could be.  She’s also a kick! Did you get a load of her fab 1964 Chrysler New Yorker parked out front? Her shop is stocked with bullet bras, modern bras, a-lines, girdles, all-in-ones, garter belts, panties, corsets, flouncy crinolines, and of course, stockings.  Her corsets range from the practical to the fantastic, including some stellar steampunk inspired ones.

The Foundation also has a photo studio! You can work with their photographer, who is exceptional! Her work is scattered throughout the shop.  I greatly admired the work she did of Tami especially.  They have a host of goodies for one to play dress up, and find their inner pin-up.  You can also rent the studio space too! Bring in your own camera equipment and rent for as little as three hours or for the whole day! How fabulous is that?

Sadly, Tami didn’t have my size in the style of corset I wanted, but she was able to order it for me! And it will be here shortly! I can’t wait! But I did find a few treasures to tide me over. I purchased a fabulous Rago six-point girdle, and a pair of Birkshire stockings, a brand I haven’t tried before, and I’m really excited to take them for a test drive.  To top things off, both Rago (who has been in the foundation business since for over 65 years) and Berkshire items are made in the US!

I also heard from a little birdie that The Foundation will be having an amazing Small Business Saturday deal!  Spend $50 and get 10% off your order, spend $100 and get 20% off, or $150 and get 25% off! So it’s time to either splurge for yourself, or get something special for your significant other, or even for that best friend of yours!  For more info, please visit The Foundation’s Facebook page.

15 Vintage Essentials

Awhile ago I was contacted by a reader who recently noticed a fashion trend, 15 essentials for your wardrobe.  She liked this idea, but felt that the contemporary trends didn’t help her in building up her vintage wardrobe, so she suggested the idea to me!

Just remember, not every piece has to be vintage! Several pieces I have included in this list are on the hard to find side, so repro is a perfectly acceptable solution!  For the most part, I am focusing on the 1940s, 50s and 60s and attempted to cover a wide range so you can have all of your bases covered.  So here we go!

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Fur & Feathers

This afternoon I joined some of the most marvelous fellow vintage gals in the Pacific Northwest for the annual Fur & Feathers Luncheon as hosted by Julie of FabGabs Vintage.  (You can view last year’s event here!) So get ready to see some amazing fur and feathered concoctions on some even more amazing ladies in loads of pictures!

I know, you’re probably tired of seeing Algernon, especially if you’ve been participating in the rather heated fur debate on his debut entry. (Please visit the entry to read my views regarding fur). But it was the first time I was able to take both him and his brother Earnest on a little outing.

Everyone giggled and chatted as we took up a whole corner of the dark restaurant and several people even took our pictures. But who can blame them? We looked marvelous…just look for yourselves!

Solanah of Vixen Vintage looked stunning with the most darling hat and brown mesh (yeah, I know, crazy, right?) dress!

I wasn’t the only gal who brought along a little fox buddy. Fellow blogger Sara of Lilies & Remains brought along her fox, named Tod!

Also I finally got to meet Sarah of Stutterin’ Mama’s! Who had the most delightful hat!

And I nearly died when I saw the skirt that Jennifer of Jumblelaya was wearing!

It was a fantastic afternoon, and our fur actually got a very positive reception.  Multiple people commented on how lovely we all looked and praised us for our no-fear attitude. Although one gal did say she loved our “costumes” … *sigh*

Outfit
Algernon the Fox Stole: Antique Alley, Portland
Earnest the Fox Muff: Anniversary present from Patrick (but I know he bought it on Ebay)
Hat: Expo
Helen of California Suit: Brownsville Antique Show
Stockings: Oh, who the hell knows!
Shoes: Remix by way of Ebay
Nail Color: Skyfall, part of the OPI James Bond Collection

Traveling Vintage

When vintage is all you own, traveling can be a bit of a burden in a way. Between getting folds in garments, worrying about damage on the road, not to mention all of the other travel anxieties, it can get a little hectic.

Your Suitcase

I travel using vintage luggage.  This is for a handful of reasons.  First they look awesome.  Secondly, if you are flying and you check your luggage, your suitcase will be much easier to spot when it comes out onto the carousel.  Additionally, hard suitcases prevent any extra pressure put on your clothes (causing more wrinkling) by other people’s bags being placed on top of your suitcases in travel.  And if you’re fearful of bed bugs, you really may want to travel with a vintage suitcase.  Bed bugs may find a new home for themselves (and thus possibly follow you home) in the crevasses of an upholstered suitcase, where as they will not with a hard suitcase.  I currently own a medium sized suitcase (which fits the carry-on size restrictions), a small day suitcase, a round hatbox and a train case.  However, for most trips I only take the medium sized suitcase and the train case.

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The Foundation

Recently my dear friend Angelica introduced me to what has become one of my new favorite shops in town. The Foundation: From Billie to Bettie. It’s a little shop located at 4831 SE Davision here in Portland that sells everything (and more) that I included in my Vintage Must Have Foundations Series (Read more on bullet bras, girdles, seamed stockings, slips, and crinolines).

If you’re a Portland gal who has ever been hesitant to purchase a bullet bra off the internet, then The Foundation is the place to go! Not only does the shop carry the What Katie Did bras, but a selection of new-old stock 1960s bras, all in addition to more modern bras.  When I walked in I felt like a kid in a candy store. Corsets, garters, stockings, girdles, bras, crinolines! Even pasties and tiny burlesque hats!  There is a wide array of shape-wear available, including vintage inspired Rago girdles.  There is also a large selection of stockings, crinolines of varying lengths, and steel boned corsets! Since I’ve been dying to own a steel boned corset since I was a freshman in high school, I went ahead and purchased one, along with a few bras.

And for those of you who have ever wanted to bring out your inner pin-up girl, shop owner, Tami has teamed up with Tammy Kravitz, a photographer who does classic boudoir and pin-up photos in their portrait studio.

Proprietress Tami is a wonderful gal who doesn’t just cater to the specialty market of bullet bras and corsets, but she also sells beautiful contemporary slips, sleepwear sets and panties. So there’s something for the vintage gal as well as the modern woman.  She was also very nice and patient with me when I was trying on my corset. She explained the best way to loosen the laces, how to properly fasten the front, and tighten the back.  The Foundation is open Wednesday through Sunday, twelve to seven.

What this all brings me to is a new series I am starting on bullet bras.  There are a few out there, and most with mixed reviews, so I figured I’d throw in my two-cents on various ones on the market.  So tune into tomorrow for the first in my new Bullet Bra Review Series!