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29 Ladies’ Fashion Statements 1868–2020

How things have changed in just 15 decades (152 years)!

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1868 Rosebud Garden of Girls by Julia Margaret Cameron – Victorian Era

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1870 Portrait of African American women (5 years after slavery ended) – Victorian Era

⥥ 3 ⥥

1882 Victorian Era (public domain in USA due to age of photo)

⥥ 4 ⥥

1885 (approx.) Studio Portrait – Victorian Era

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1891 Arena Magazine Volume 4 – Anti-Parisian fashion statement.

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1900 Victorian Ladies in Shirtwaists and High-Top Blouses

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1910 “Peysuföt” (left) Traditional Icelandic Costume & Danish Dress

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1920s Flapper Decade

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1922 Flapper Girl in Idaho, USA

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1930 began the Great Depression (worst economic downturn ever) decade, yet these Australian ladies look pretty comfortable.

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1939 Russian Ballerina Tatiana Riabouchinska darning the ballet shoes.

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1943 Utility Clothes in Wartime Britain

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1952 Vinyl Record Ladies

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1954 Summer Dress – Happy Australian housewife?

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1963 Sears Catalog – mod & cheery. (But made of silk…not good.)

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1969 Women’s Fashions, Sears Catalog (Source: Retrowaste)

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1971 Nearing the post-hippie era. (Source: FashionFollower.com)

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1973 High School Girls (Source: photo by Ed Uthman on Flckr)

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1979 The Three Degrees showing late 70s Disco style. I was 22 and no dancer!

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1980s New Wave Decade – Trendy girl at King’s Road, England (Source: Reddit)

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1985 Catalog showing 80s-style semi-casual wear. (Source: Retrowaste)

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1988 Nordstrom Catalog showing more formal cobalt blue on black look.

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1990 Catalog – Bleached denim everywhere!

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1993 Cold Weather Career Wear (Source: Retrowaste)

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1995 Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes wearing the grunge look. (Source: Last FM)

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2001 The oh-so-trendy Juicy Couture velour tracksuit worn by celebrity(?) I don’t recognize.

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2010 Futuristic Fashion (Source: photo by Rodrigo Carvalho/”visiophone” on Flickr)

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2019 Style from Venus.com, which I call comfy and sleek.

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2020 & beyond – Multicolor midi dress from Missoni.com (only thing I don’t like are those shoes – stilettos, ugh!

 

[Most mages are public domain or free to use, EXCEPT where source is indicated here; then that must be done wherever used.]

Fashion · How to go vegan · Ladies' Accessories · Shopping · Uncategorized

Fake Leather vs. Real, and My Affordable Adorable Purse Collection

All six together cost only $125!

(See my comment below for urgent update, haha. Also see 2 links added at bottom.)

Just indulging my handbag obsession…they make me happy. Also sharing some important, relevant information down below. Not really expecting anyone to have much interest in this topic, except for a few other bargain hunting bag-aholics. But then, with my crappy web cam photos, even they may be disappointed. Ah well, below is my little collection of faux leather, “vegan” bags. I don’t really have a favorite among them, they’re all equally favorite. 😍

And no, I don’t think this bag thing makes me interesting…quite the opposite; I’m all done trying to be interesting to people. 😴

Lookie…

Lulu Satchel by Rosetti – White, Tan Trim (PVC, lots of compartments, cheery, nice for spring and summer, $20 at Ross)☟

Gussaci Style No. G15555 – Tan (polyurethane, roomy, adorable, several handy compartments, labeled “vegan,” $19 at Ross)☟

Deluxity Hobo Shoulder Bag – Cognac (orangish tan, polyurethane, soft & roomy with nice compartments inside & out, $20 at Ross)☟

Deluxity Hobo Shoulder Bag – Same as above but in Taupe (both labeled “PETA-approved & vegan,” $20 at Ross)☟

Gussaci Style No. G15526 – Tan (polyurethane, smooth, beautiful tan w/gleaming gold hardware, 2 main compartments, $23 at Ross)☟
Gussaci G15526 again – Black (polyurethane, especially pretty in black, the two were labeled “vegan for the animals,” $23 at Ross)☟

Hey, wake up, you! It’s not nice to doze off while looking at some hardworking nut’s blog! 😓

I am just in love with each and every one of their adorable, functional, well-made, scrumptious little selves. And yes, they do have personalities, because, you got it, I’m nuts. They’re all medium size and average $20 each, so all of them cost me far less than these la-di-da, uppity, “high maintenance but worth it” women spend on just one bag in their vast collections, so as purse-crazy goes, I’m not all that far gone.

But seriously, all this cuteness, good craftsmanship and great functionality can be got on the cheap and without ever resorting to using animal skins.

Unfortunately, almost 100% of faux leather handbags are made in China

Even though they’re usually designed and the companies based elsewhere, China still makes almost all handbags and much else that people use worldwide. Despite there being many truly kind, intelligent Chinese citizens, the nation is of course known for unscrupulous practices, including the monstrous dog/cat meat trade. It’s why I keep the number of bags and the expense down and use them well and donate them while still functional. I trust (with a great deal of hope) that the product originators are diligent in seeing that Chinese manufacturers obey safety and all other standards, such as regarding lead (see below).

Regarding the safety and environmental impacts from vinyl and polyurethane products versus animal skins:

Unsafe levels of lead were once regularly found in fake leather products, notably in brightly colored items like yellow, orange, red, and green. Since 2016, lead levels in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) products have decreased dramatically due to new regulations. That’s in California anyways, due to Proposition 65…and if they must obey California’s standards to sell here, hopefully it’s also their practice for everywhere. Polyurethane (PU) is a better option for people who want more environmentally safe products. (Most of my current bags are made of PU.) So yes, there is environmental pollution from the plastics industries, but handbags are only a fraction of the plastics used out there.

People talk against fake leather because they think real leather is natural and environmentally friendly. But real leather of course comes from the “cattle” slaughter industry which causes a host of damaging environmental impacts on its own. But leather also contains environmentally hazardous elements due to the tanning process—aside from the serious, legitimate, ethical reasons for not buying leather. Chromium is the most serious danger with leather, also known as Cr, among other heavy metals and chemicals known to be damaging to health. There is also drinking water, soil and air pollution caused by the leather industry.

They’ll say leather lasts longer so is better, but I say just take good care of your plastic items and use them for years, and donate or recycle them whenever possible. Plastic #3 (PVC) can be recycled into: binders, cables, carpet backing, decking and fencing, film plastic, flooring, park benches, pipe, speed bumps and traffic cones.

Fabric handbags are of course an option for some. But best yet, there are many great, natural and sustainable vegan leather products being made these days, such as from processed apple skins, cork or tree bark (from sustainable timber), among others, like these, and they’re beautiful, but are out of my price range. So buy them up, all you big spenders, and bring those prices down! 😉 (Although I don’t plan on buying any more bags anytime soon.)

What’s the real reason for all this blathering away about purses?…

Cows and other animals are sweet and innocent, and what is done to them when they’re used as products is truly horrifying—far beneath us all as technologically advanced, ethically aware human beings in 2019 and beyond…

Couple of related articles for anyone who wants to know more about fake leather:

Some people say PU contains leather…does it? SEE HERE

About Californiia’s law that’s supposed to protect us from things like lead in handbags: SEE HERE

Fashion · Ladies' Accessories · Shopping · Uncategorized

My Great Love for Handbags…as a Weirdo…Explained

(See my current top picks at bottom.)

While many women go in for “designer” status, insanely buying bags for hundreds if not thousands of dollars, my interest is far more practical and sentimental. And cheap. I’m not the least bit interested in owning a high-status handbag, consider it a silly waste of money engaged in by the sort of women I will never, ever understand or be like. The ones who also wear six-inch spike heals, even as old ladies. Simply unfathomable to me. Can anyone explain those ladies’ motives? But, back to topic

“What is this thing with women and their purses anyhow?”

My interest and great love for cute, practical yet sort of sophisticated handbags began as a child, when as a Christmas present I got this little patent “leather” light green number with off-white trim from my cousin. I was only nine or ten so had no real use for a handbag except as a make-believe thing, like someday as a real, grownup woman I’d make excellent use of such an accessory, filling it with all sorts of handy-dandy items of great use in everyday life. Everything from a nice wallet stuffed full of spending money to cosmetics, snacks, tissues, pen and paper, first-aid, tools, etc. The stuff of big girls with real lives… dreamy lives that I never could quite attain later on, not even to this day. But still I try, and have my trusty “bag of tricks” with the usual stash of useful goodies to assist me in my imperfect little life.

My childhood hero, Felix, and his magic bag of tricks

I simply feel good when searching for, looking at, examining, feeling (my brother calls it fondling), pricing, buying, and using handbags. However, being a shameless cheapskate, I rarely spend more than about $15 on one from the clearance rack. At times I’ve used a $10-off $10-minimum-purchase coupon to get a clearance bag for under $5. Yep, I’m a shameless bottom feeder in the handbag market (as well as elsewhere), although I strictly go only for sweet gems. Real steals I call them.

It’s sort of a primal thing with women, the handbag.

The well-used bag signifies womanhood; it accompanies us to all sorts of happenings and the everyday run-of-the-mill stuff of life. It’s our go-to for just about everything. It’s also a storage place for things we pick up along the way, like books from the free libraries outside people’s homes, rolled up jackets for when it gets chilly, all that sort of stuff. We also love to look at them and admire their cuteness, their splendid design, how it makes other people view us, as if other people actually care about our handbags. But we pretend they care, so it’s all good.

My Type of Bag

I personally only like bags that are lightweight, aren’t too tall and that stand on their own (no tipping). They need to have at least three main compartments with at least one of them fully zippered for wallet security, and at least one outside pocket for keys and such. I prefer short handles for carrying on my arm but also can use a shoulder bag as long as it’s doesn’t hang down too low. I of course only use vegan handbags since about 1985 so have gained a great appreciation for what they can do with polyurethane (PU) and other materials.

As far as appearance, the four below are prime examples of what I’d own if I could manage to splurge and spend more than $25 on one (although one is only $25 and very tempting). Hah, perhaps if I win the lotto, I’d buy all four and spend a whopping $125!

Sigh, I’m so miserly.

Still, handbags…I just love them! Anyone else have this sort of handbag “thing,” where it’s not about status but about comfort and security and playing at being a real, bonafide woman? Hope I’m not the only weirdo like this, but as things go, that’s probably the case.

Below are four bags I consider ideal, all have all the features I love and all are cute and dignified but not gaudy. The prices are only approximate and can vary widely depending on sellers. They can be found online but I prefer to not mention where, exactly, unless they want to pay me, hahaha. As if being mentioned on my little blog would make their sales skyrocket. Poor me, my little dreamworld…

Anyhow, enjoy the lovely vegan handbags, my recent top picks in random order and only selected from online viewing:

⇓ 1 ⇓

MKF Collection Jeneece M Signature Tote Bag by Mia K. Farrow $40

 

⇓ 2 ⇓

MK Belted Collection Fashion Hobo Handbag Women’s Tote Bag Satchel Handbag w/coin purse $38 – zipper pocket on back

 

⇓ 3 ⇓

Dasein Snap Around Gold Belted Accent Handbag $33 – zipper pocket on back

 

⇓ 4 ⇓

Chooray Plaid Satchel Shoulder Top Handle Bag $25 – zipper pocket on back