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When I was growing up, my Mom and Grandma taught me how to embroider, knit, crochet, and sew, leading to an appreciation of classic hand work. My antique clothing collection started when Mom gave me a dress my Aunt Theresa had crocheted for herself. The burgundy yarn had a gold metallic thread running through it and the belt closed with a super art deco rhinestone buckle. Below is a photo of Auntie wearing the dress. It would be neat to see a full-length photo because she worked in the shoe store at JC Penney. My sister has the dress clips/shoe buckles.
Bees Knees Vintage is in an online resource for antique fashions and accessories, in business since 1999. The department store concept comes from a memory I have of taking the bus with my Mom or Grandma to the J. L. Hudson department store on Woodward in Detroit. There was an elevator operator that would take you to your floor, and I remember all of the beautiful gloves that were on display when you got off the elevator in the women's department. While the original intention was to display and offer beautiful and rare Edwardian and flapper gowns, the collection expanded as requests came in from vintage enthusiasts who needed items for events.
There will always be something to tweak the interest of avid dress collectors of the Edwardian era through the twenties. At one time I was only collecting gowns with designer labels to try and limit my collection. But some of my favorite pieces, like the embroidered mesh lingerie dress of the early 1920s, usually aren't labeled. Generally I never buy anything black to try to limit my collection. In the end, we collect what we love. You'll even see a very large collection of antique Valentines in the paper department.
When you feel the ethereal silk tulles, chiffons, and satins and see the hand-made lace and stitching details that rarely exist anymore, you can't imagine getting married in anything else. And there are plenty of options for bridesmaids, mothers, and mothers-in-law. An antique beaded purse makes a great bridesmaid gift.
If you picture yourself coming down a circular staircase wearing a trained gown like Norma Shearer, or doing the charleston in a speakeasy on Broadway, we've got your number.
SPECIAL EVENTS - What to Wear?
Classic and Antique Car Shows
Automobile motoring or touring attire that had to protect one from the elements before jalopies were covered and roads were paved. Depending on the era of your vehicle, you'll have a lot of fun putting together your period attire.
Wood Boat Shows
Boater hats, knickers, sports sweater and ties; from parasols to vintage swimwear - what was appropriate for sport outings has changed most dramatically, and you can still find the original styles.
The car clubs, art deco societies, vintage clothing, or WWII clubs - search for clubs in your area and you can meet a variety of people who are also interested in stepping out in their vintage outfits.
Dinner and Dance
Swing balls, big band dinner dances, keep an eye out for events and search for list serves in your area that will keep you up to date. You'll often get free dance lessons if you show up early. On that note, contact a local dance studio or search your area for vintage dance studios and ask for their next event. You might be surprised how many historical and vintage dance websites you'll find.
More About BeesKneesVintage.com
Our specialty is bright and light-colored flapper gowns, usually either lace, beaded, or bridal. We focus on wearable items usually post Civil War and pre-1940, but more evening wear than day wear. If you're looking for wedding attire, definitely look in other deparments besides bridal for dresses, shoes, and lingerie that could be used as bridal.
Other treasures you can find at Bees Knees are antique Valentines (Beistle honeycombs, etc.), 1920s beaded handbags (Mandalian, Whiting & Davis), 1920s heavily beaded flapper dresses, vintage jewelry, antique and vintage designer and couture garments, Edwardian and 20s lingerie dresses and tea gowns, vintage swimwear, hats, vintage gloves, and other accessories from the 1800ís onwards.
All of the types of items needed for the event categories above and more are in departments on this web department store.
I've been fortunate enough to participate in these types of events and others, and share my collection with you.
Welcome and thanks for visiting.
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