Thursday, December 19, 2013

Finishing The Year Off? Hattie Carnegie

I'm not sure how much time I'll have over the holidays so this might just be my last outfit post of the year.  I was thinking about some vintage goals for the next year.  Do any of you have any vintage goals?  I think my number one goal is to get cracking on sewing some patterns and learning some new techniques (or at least very new to me).   I give a lot of credit to you ladies who can crank out these vintage sewing gems.  I  get caught up in the details.  No matter!  Goal is laid out for 2014!  I'll share with you some goal patterns at the beginning of 2014.

Back to the outfit post.  I've had this Hattie Carnegie jacket in my wardrobe for quite awhile just waiting to be partnered with the appropriate skirt.  I found the perfect skirt over a month ago in the acquisition of a Lilli Ann suit.  I'll post more on this Lilli Ann suit in a future post because it is a bit of a thinker as to whether I like it or not.

This Hattie Carnegie jacket is a wonderful peak into great vintage tailoring.  I believe this jacket is from the late or mid 40s.  I love the play on buttons as well.  The last few buttons and buttonholes are purely decorative and lend themselves to the button embellishment trend in suits of this time period.  Irene Lentz was another great suit designer that played around a lot with button accents.        It was purchased for a mere $44 and very much worth it.   This might be a great future blog post searching for vintage gems at bargain prices.  Is there anything out there all of you are searching for but can't find at a good price?

This jacket is more of a soft wool and if you have a cat or dog, I'm quite sure you'd be reaching for the lint brush many times.   I'm also quite impressed that this jacket survived moths as it looks like something moths would love to nibble on.  It's a wonderful addition and was certainly tailored and tapered with style.

I've written a post about Hattie Carnegie here.  I believe a lot of her work flies under the radar and she was certainly a big presence is American fashion in the 40s and 50s.   Mostly, she is known nowadays for her vintage jewelry, which can command a premium but I have been able to find some wonderful pieces at less than what you'd pay for a cheap made in China necklace.

I paired the jacket with a skirt from a Lilli Ann suit, so this outfit is another one of those looks that echoes high vintage fashion at steal-of-a-deal prices.  My favorite combination.    I accented the outfit with a sparkly brooch, designed by Lilly Dache who is famous for her hats.   The hat is also a Hattie Carnegie.  I thought this would be nice to pair the hat and jacket together, being from the same designer.

Outfit Details:

Jacket -$44 Hattie Carnegie
Hat - $40 Hattie Carnegie blue velvet 
Brooch - Lilly Dache Brooch (reasonable price forgot how much)
Skirt - navy Lilli Ann skirt
Shoes - Vintage 40s strappy shoes.
Clip-On Earrings - vintage I forget the brand, the style was very popular.  I picked them up because I saw a fashionable spread in a fashion magazine with this style and thought they were rather nice.
Purse - Vintage Lewis
Scarf - Echo (vintage, I do believe but bought for the polka dot pattern:)  This is another item in the vintage world that you can buy very cheaply scarfs!  There really is no need to buy modern day scarfs when all these vintage gems are out there that are like new and actually cheaper.
Gloves -from a Michigan vintage shop


Check out the tucks that lead to the collar area, a lovely detail

I thought the match with the skirt and jacket was pretty darn close.  I wish I could have this luck with a couple of other jackets that still need a partner.

This outfit post also presented the right opportunity to show you my two favorite vintage compacts that I own.   I recently was able to find a Schiaparelli telephone compact at the low price of $40.  So, I quickly snapped it up. This compact is known as the telephone compact by Schiaparelli designed by Salvordor Dali.  I believe this compact is from the 50s.  However, this style was also available in the mid-30s too. I've been on the hunt for awhile for this compact so it was finally nice to find it.

This second compact, I've had quite awhile and I bought by trying to find information out on Paul Flato.  His compacts are not easy to find and are usually quite expensive.  This was a rare beauty that I doubt was ever used.   Also, the case for this gem is just grand, it's not shown here but it has a lace effect.  This compact set has to be my favorite.  It is very artistically done and just beautiful.

How wonderful is this image?  Hattie Carnegie checking out one of her suits being tailored. 1951

Three models wear Hattie Carnegie suits.  Thinking early 50s.

The lovely Hattie Carnegie herself 1940 Vogue cover.


  1. Wow! Your outfits are always put together so perfectly and this is no exception. The skirt matches the jacket so well! Can't believe how much of a bargain the jacket was either.

  2. Amazing outfit, love the hat and the brooch!

  3. Omg the whole outfit it stunning, I really feel like I am looking at someone in a magazine from the past. You are inspiring me to one day own a fabulous suit like this one! xox

  4. What a lovely suit - I definitely think you look every bit of Hattie Carnegie perfection! :) :) Lovely accessories as well :)

  5. Great outfit. The jacket is amazing.

  6. Ooh, I just LOVE everything about this outfit....especially that amazing hat!

  7. Gorgeous outfit, Joanna! I love the playful outside darts on the jacket, very nice detail.

  8. Lovely--everything coordinates so well. I really like the earrings!

  9. Gosh that Vogue cover is stunning. You have put together such a great outfit, the jacket really suits you. It is an amazing piece of tailoring. I love the hat, it is so pretty. Also, fabulous compacts, how nice to find them after a long search. I like your 2014 goal. I am still thinking through mine but making more for my wardrobe is definitely going to feature.

  10. Breathtaking, absolutely, flat out breathtaking ensemble, my darling friend. You are grace, elegance and unflinchingly perfect vintage style personified in all that you wear, this striking suit ensemble entirely included.

    I heard an athlete (I'm afraid I don't recall his name unfortunately) in a documentary I was watching a few days ago say something along the line of that a goal without a plan is a just a wish, and that struck me to the core. It's so true and so succinctly said, so as we look towards 2014, I'm making both goals and plans aplenty. Wishes don't hurt, but they don't usually change the course of your life either - only we have the power to do that we our actions and hearing that fellow say as much was a powerful reminder that I really needed to hear right then and there.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Love this thought Jessica. This is so true about a plan and a wish.

  11. What a GORGEOUS outfit! I recently bought my first tailored 40s suit jacket, and I love it! It makes me feel so put-together. =]
    Have a lovely day!

    1. I agree Charlotte, a wonderfully tailored outfit can transport oneself:) Thank you for visiting!

  12. I love your vintage shoes and fabulous hats. It suits you to a T! I know very little about vintage or even modern designers {or even own anything designer} but I love how you wonderfully showcase them and the history behind each designer. I think my favorite post had to be Hattie Carnegie!

    1. One day you'll own very specials pieces dear Sean:) This is the best part, learning all the history. This way you appreciate the "vintage" aspect even more:)

  13. oh my goodness, this outfit is define on you! i love the hat and the pin! it suits you all so well!

    lindsey louise

  14. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments, happy holidays and Merry Christmas to you all:)

  15. This one is my fave Joanna! Hands down fave for me. The jacket, how you styled it, your makeup. Everything. Just beautiful.