Who would have thought that in the 1940s and 1950s before TV, cell phones and computers ever existed or were imagined, my sisters and I would play dress up every chance we had and that it would lead to my career in vintage clothing.
I grew up in the 40's and ’50’s and loved watching the old movies when TV came along. One of my favorites was Nora and Nick Charles in the Thin Man. I loved their glamorous lifestyle in New York when Nora and Nick would go out to the clubs and dinner. Nora always wore her fabulous evening gowns and clothes when they went out. There were so many Hollywood movies from that era of the '40s and '50s that depicted the movie stars wearing glamorous outfits.
Also, my grandmother worked for a well-known songwriter in California and his wife who sang in nightclubs when nightclubs were elegant and people dressed for the occasion. When her employer finished wearing the beautiful evening gowns in her performances, she would give them to my grandmother who sent them to us in Illinois.
We lived in a little county town of 500 people, so high fashion and glamour was non-existent there. You have to remember that this was before TV and a lot of the big fashion magazines. Going to JC Penney in a town 8 miles away was a big shopping event. We didn't often get a chance to see gorgeous clothes like this so all these influences in my life were stepping stones to my being intrigued with beautiful evening clothes.
We awaited with great anticipation when a new box of all these beautiful fancies were on its way to us and when they arrived, we could hardly contain ourselves until we tried all of them on. The evening gowns would have a faint smell of French perfume on them as we opened the box. Some of them we used for dress up, some of them we wore to dances at our local high school where we had the most beautiful up-to-date evening gowns that one has seen in a small town and would ever see.
We lived on 3 acres in town in our 100-year old 2-story house with fabulous flower gardens in the front yard. We had every flower that one can imagine and this gorgeous flower bed was one of our backdrops when we played dress up outside on our huge front lawn. We would put on these exquisite garments and walk around in high heels and look so glamorous, or so we thought, and we would spend whole days doing this. Those were wonderful carefree days full of fun and imagination.
My mother was an exquisite seamstress and she knew how to make beautiful dresses and formals for us all on a Singer treadle sewing machine and that is what we learned to sew on. She was also a Leader in our local 4-H Club for many years.
My mother taught us how to sew, how to identify fabrics, how to measure garments correctly, how to tailor garments, how to lay and cut out fabric for the item and care for them. I was also in 4-H for many years where I exhibited clothing that I made and won many 1st Place blue ribbons for them at our County Fair. I was also a 4-H President and presided over our local club.
My mother made the most beautiful prom dresses and evening gowns imaginable for me and my sisters. I remember for my junior prom, I found a gorgeous prom dress in a magazine. It was a baby blue strapless chiffon formal with a seashell bodice. There was no place to buy a prom dress like this so if you can believe it, my mother made my formal from the photo in the magazine with no pattern. She was that good at sewing! That was in 1961 and I still have the magazine picture that I kept from the magazine of the prom formal as well as the original prom dress. One of these days when it is unpacked along with hundreds of other items from our major move from Arizona to Georgia, I will put it on my website and sell it.
In later years, I have been a flight attendant for two major airlines, a Realtor in California and Arizona, a legal secretary for a very well-known high-end law firm in Scottsdale, AZ and I have had decades of experience in customer service and sales with the emphasis on excellent customer service in my online store.
You can buy with confidence from an experienced online seller who has had 14 years of selling on:
Ebay under the name of thesilverweb with 2,218 positive feedbacks since the year 2000
Etsy.com under the name of Tahiti Blossom
My own online store Marilyn's Midnight Glamour for
over 18 years.
I remember only too well the wonderful customer service that one would receive in the old department stores on Wilshire Boulevard like I. Magnin in Los Angeles, Robinson’s Downtown LA, the fabulous Marshall Fields in Chicago as well as Goldwaters & Diamond’s in Phoenix in the late 60's and early 70’s. This was a time in life when the clerks went out of their way to help people and suggest what would look perfect with one’s ensemble.
That type of individual and excellent customer service has disappeared from the stores today but fortunately that type of service is still available in my shop and I am happy to help a customer find the perfect outfit or to graciously answer any and all questions they may have.
My Studio Where the Magic Happens
A Very Small Sample of Inventory
Early Days of Midnight Glamour with Family
Later in Life