Shop Update: Modern Vintage $10 and Under Sale


Well, in my house cleaning and organizing this past week, I realized how big my etsy shop inventory is! It's getting a little bit out of hand....okay a LOT out of hand so I'm having a big liquidation sale on all of our "modern vintage" inventory.
The Bees Knees Vintage "Modern Vintage $10 and Under Sale" includes all of our 60's-80's vintage. There are quite a few really cute tops,dresses, $5 wool skirts galore- just in time for cooler weather and everything is $10 and under! The sale will end on September 30th. To shop the $10 and under sale click here Thanks for looking! :)
Here's a peek of some of our Modern Vintage Sale items....

Wool Skirts $5 each



And lots more...

Vintage Tour of Missouri: St Louis' The Bale Out


2018 UPDATE: The BaleOut is permanently closed

Yesterday, I ventured out to downtown St Louis to visit my very favorite source for vintage clothing, The Bale Out.
The Bale Out has the largest selection of vintage clothing in St Louis (and probably the largest in the midwest) with the most affordable prices. I had the pleasure of getting an exclusive tour of the store and appointment-only room and learned the story behind St Louis' best vintage clothing store.
The Bale Out is located on the 4th floor of the St Louis City Museum, which is an incredible place to visit!

About the Museum
The City Museum used to be the International Shoe Company but was opened to the public as a family oriented fun house in 1997.
The creative director of the City Museum is artist, Bob Cassilly who used recyclables to create the rich, urban wonderland that is the City Museum. Every detail of the museum from ceiling to floor has been decorated with found objects.
There is a wall made of ketchup bottles, a wall made of cafeteria serving containers, fabric hanging from the ceiling to create this icy under-water ballroom.

Pj, Amanda and Olivia love the kaleidoscope hallway.
It is an incredible place to visit! Tunnels of coiled metal snake through the museum so parents and kids can climb through. And, you gotta love the bus hanging half-way off the roof! While visiting the museum, tucked away on the 3rd floor is a small wire staircase leading to Vintage Heaven: The Bale Out!

The BaleOut
The Bale Out has acquired over 600 bales of vintage clothing from a building that could no longer store the clothes. How much is a bale of vintage? That's 1500-2000 garments per bale. The bale is about half the size of a queen sized bed. So imagine, 600 bales, 2000 garments per bale that's 1,200,000 vintage garments waiting to find a loving home. Unbelievable, I know!
Employees of this shop (only a handful of them) constantly open new bales, sort the clothes, wash them, inspect and grade them according to the condition of the garment and price them. Natasha showed us some of the funny things that she finds in jacket pockets while inspecting the clothing. She found a pay stub from the 1970's from a man who only made about $4 an hour. Another time, she found a very old Diet Coke bottle cap and once she was lucky enough to find a quarter! I can't imagine what a fun but over whelming job that would be! Some garments go in the store to sell to the general public and some stay in the Appointments-Only room. Vintage clothing dealers and enthusiasts can make an appointment to shop this room, which is loaded with beautiful vintage coats, jackets, children's' clothing, skirts (including a few amazing authentic poodle skirts) and more items than I can even begin to mention. The wonderful thing about the Bale Out is that you will find items from every era. The appointment room has so many exquisite dresses, coats, jackets and skirts from our favorite eras. We even spotted a beautiful vintage red wool jacket by Chanel! Here are a few pics of the Appointment Only room....

This jacket was one of my favorites!
Meanwhile, back in the shop items are neatly sorted according to clothing type. The volume of inventory at the Bale Out is so large that they couldn't possibly sort it any other way but they do pull out a few of the really amazing items to display on a special rack up front.

containers bursting with vintage scarves

Here, you will find skirts, dresses, blouses, men's clothing, kids clothing, coats and so much more starting at $1. Yes, I'm serious!
The dress rack reaches from one end of the store to the other. Incredible!

Check out these beautiful vintage swimsuits:

The front of the store currently displays winter scarves and sweaters as well as some men's items and racks of lovely dresses and skirts.

The urban recycled decor of the City Museum stretched up into the Bale Out. Notice the wall made of glass bottles in the back? What a cool place to shop!

Inventory changes every day as new treasures are discovered in the bales. You could easily spend all day in the Bale Out and not see everything for sale. The Bale Out is currently working on re-vamping the store with new signs, store displays and more. I can't wait to see it when it's all finished! :) For those of you who are not in the St Louis area, if you ever visit, the Bale Out is a must-see!
You can follow the Bale Out sales and events on facebook or twitter. Visit them at their website here.
Here we are, leaving the museum with Olivia and our bags of goodies!

Thank you so much to Natasha for having us and showing us around the store!
I'll be posting lots of pictures of my Bale Out finds very soon! Stay Tuned.....

Fashion and Film Friday: Amelie


 I'm very excited about this weekend because I finally get to go shopping. I haven't bought anything new in weeks because I've been saving for a vintage road trip in September, so this weekend I get to go to my two favorite vintage shops.

While I finish my chores today, I have a stack of some of my favorite movies to keep me company. So, for this week's Friday night movie, I picked one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time: Amelie

It's not vintage in any way, but it has a very timeless, classic feel. The costumes, sets, story, everything about Amelie makes me smile! It's the ultimate feel-good movie and I just love that. When I first watched it, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. As soon as Pj got home from work, I had to re-start it so he could watch it too.

We stayed up past midnight watching it and of course, he fell in love. I think what I love most about Amelie is that the movie focuses on a lot of common day-to-day topics but makes them seem so wonderful. Its one of those movies that makes you stop and appreciate all of the little things in life.

If I were a character in Amelie, they would say:
"This is Brittany Sherman.
She dislikes when people talk on the phone in the check-out line and ignore their cashier. She also dislikes hair in the drain of the bath tub and the sticky, hard crunch of peanut brittle. She likes to peel off her nail polish. She also likes to watch people in their cars because they don't think anyone can see them, she likes the garlic scent of her neighbor cooking Indian food."

Amelie lives alone in a small apartment and is a waitress at a local cafe. As a child, she was sheltered from the world my her father and lives in her own little world. When she grows up, she finds interest in observing the relationships of people around her. Whens he finds a strange box of hidden treasures in the wall of her bathroom, she is determined to return the box to its owner.

When she sees how touched the man is, she changes the lives of everyone around her by seeing to it that they are happy.

One day outside of a photo booth, she sees a strange young man collecting torn up photos of strangers. When he runs away and leaves his album of strangers behind, Amelie tries to solve the mystery of the identity of the owner of the album and the man in many of the pictures.
The beautiful costumes for Amelie were designed by Madeline Fontaine and Emma Lebail.

I love Amelie's unique style. She wears a lot of cardigans, lacy tops, skirts and long coats. The colors of her wardrobe are so rich and lovely. This fall, we can all pull a little fashion inspiration from Amelie.

Amelie Poulain movie costume fashion

cardigan    green skirt    boots     polka dot dress     gnome purse

Have a lovely weekend!

Short Break....


Hello, darlings!
As you may have noticed by my absence, I've been taking a short break from blogland this week to de-clutter my house!

Normal people usually have a "crap drawer" or something like that. The place where all of the random crap goes when you don't have a place to put it. Well, I have a crap drawer, 3 crap cabinets and more crap boxes than I can mention! So, I'm de-crapping this week and so far, so good!!
Yesterday, I purged my china hutch and foyer closet of all of the crap and found a home for it or ditched it. I'm pretty proud of myself. I've been the anti-fashionista this week in my capri pants and Pj's t-shirts so I can really get serious.
Today, I'm will conquer Mount Laundry in the basement. Wish me luck!

While I clean and organize, I've been brainstorming lots of lovely post ideas and fun things for Va-Voom Vintage so hopefully I'll get some time to sit and type it all out!
I have a giveaway coming up in early September, which I'm VERY excited about so stay tuned for that, my dears!
Anyways, back to work! Hopefully I'll finish up around the house so I can come back in a few days! I'm venturing into downtown St Louis this weekend to visit the midwest's best kept vintage secret. Aww, do you think I could keep the secret from you? No way! I'll tell you all about it on Sunday! See you soon....
p.s. Olivia took her first steps on Sunday- I'm SO proud!! :)

Fashion and Film Friday: Amelia


I have always loved the story of Amelia Earhart. She was such a strange woman in her appearance, her passions (for a woman in her era) and in her mysterious disappearance. Pj rented it for me a few days ago, so I built a tent in the living room with dining room chairs and a table cloth, got some gold fish crackers and juice out and Olivia and I watched it together.

Amelia tells the story of Amelia Earhart, the world famous aviatrix. She was the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean, the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, founder of "The Ninety Nines" organization for female pilots and a pioneer for Woman's Rights. She was also the first person to ever fly alone from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. During her 1937 second attempt to fly completely around the globe, she disappeared and has never been found.

The movie told her story beautifully! It was a visual masterpiece and very accurate but sadly, lacked in emotion. Amelia Earhart was a very passionate and fascinating woman and the movie failed to portray her as such. It was difficult to relate to her as a person and see her inner struggles, thoughts, worries, etc. At any rate, it wasn't a bad movie- At least, I didn't think so! I just wish they would have developed her emotional character better. The sets, scenery, costumes and everything was perfection.

The beautiful costumes were designed by Kasia Walicka-Maimone, newbie to the world of film costume design.

Aside from being quite the pioneer in her time, Amelia Earhart has turned into a fashion icon.  Can you believe a gal like this lived in the 1920's?

Amelia Earhart

Building a Vintage Wardrobe: Pants

This is part 4 of 10 of the Building a Vintage Wardrobe Series

In western civilization, women began wearing pants for work or sport wear in the late 1800's. Amelia Bloomer wore "Turkish trousers" under a long tunic. Designer, Coco Chanel popularized the "Little Boy" look in the early century with menswear trousers, jackets and accessories but few women were bold enough to run with the idea. In the 20's, ladies often wore lounging pants or pants for yard work and housework. It wasn't until the 1930's that ladies trousers became very chic, but even then, it was seen as scandalous to many people.

 Actresses such as Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn brought elegance and class to the menswear-inspired pants suit. Shockingly, some ladies wore evening slacks in place of gowns!
In the 1940's, with the men at war and the women in the factories and farms, ladies ditched their skirts and slipped into their hubby's jeans and overalls.

By the end of the war, women in pants was a very common occurrence. Ladies pants grew more bold with tight fitting cigarette pants and pedal pushers.

Play costumes of the mid-century often involved shorts with matching skirts. However, even in the 50's many prim and proper ladies -never- wore shorts in public! My great grandma was one of them. On a road trip when my grandma was a girl, Great Grandma sewed shorts for her two sons and a matching skirt-short set for her and my grandma.

Grandma was allowed to wear shorts in the car but if they stopped for gas, restroom or a bite to eat, the skirt went on right away!! I guess that shorts were still too scandalous for Great Grandma.
The majority of my vintage wardrobe consists of dresses and skirts and tops. There are those days when I'm in a "jeans a t-shirt" kind of mood and I want something a bit more relaxed.

With cooler weather just around the corner for much of the world, I'm sure we're all on the hunt for some sort of pants option.

Palazzo Pants-These wide-leg, very long pants were popular in the 1930's as lounge or beach wear. These pants can still be found today in the form of ladies formal pants or in a stretchy "gaucho pant" fabric. Palazzo pants are so glamorous and -very- comfortable!

The gorgeous Romanian beauty Renee Perle looking fabulous in these creamy palazzo pants

Gaucho Pants- Much like palazzo pants, but cropped to below-knee length. Remember 2005 when these things were all over the place? I know I still have a few pairs in my closet. This 1930's simplicity pattern is a perfect example of how you can use modern gaucho pants in your vintage wardrobe.

Trousers-Nothing says classic 40's to me like a pair of perfectly tailored high-waist trousers. You can pair trousers with a classic vintage blouse, sweater, bolero, the list goes on. For a curvy gal, the wide-leg style conceals thick thighs but shows off the curve of your hip. I recently made a pair of 40's style trousers using the modern Butterick pattern 5250.
In the 40's. a lady's trouser wouldn't have a vulgar front fly, like this pattern, so I modified mine with buttons at the hip. For those of you who don't sew, I completely adore these reproduction swing trousers by Heyday.

Overalls- Nothing makes me feel more adorable than my vintage inspired overalls! I made these myself, using the pants pattern above and drafting my own pattern for the top and straps.

If you're not feeling the "create your own pattern" vibe, check out this lovely 1930's sweetheart overall pattern from Decades of Style.

For those who don't sew, you can find a selection of beautiful overalls and jumpsuits (including the adorable ones pictures below!) at NudeeDudee on etsy

Cigarette Pants- Not everyone can pull off the skinny leg of the cigarette pants (especially me!) but when they do, they look great! Cigarette pants, very popular in the 50's and 60's are fitted to the leg and taper down to the ankle. Skinny jeans and pants are still available today at most modern clothing stores and of course, thrift shops.

Pedal Pushers/Clam Diggers/Capri Pants-Capri pants were designed by Sonja de Lennart in 1948. These fitted pants range in length from knee-length to just below mid-calf. Clam diggers tend to be more loose fitting than capris and pedal pushers. These short pants provided more modesty than shorts but allowed a gal to ride her bike and play outside without the fuss of a skirt.

Pedal pushers and capris are often fitted at the knee or calf, where clam diggers are loose around the calf. Like cigarette pants, these cropped style pants are still in style today and can be found anywhere. If you have a pair of jeans or pants that are a little shorter than you like, cut them off and hem them up to make your own vintage inspired cropped pants. All varieties of cropped pants can be seen on some of history's most glamorous ladies.

Below is a good example of "clam diggers". Notice the hem of the pants are loose around the calf as compared to the snug fitting capris and cigarette pants above.

Play suit/Romper- This summery ensemble was designed for women to play on the beach or in the park and stay cool in the warmer months. Typical vintage or vintage inspired play suits can be one or two piece outfits. In the old days, play suits often came with a matching skirt and belt or a jacket. Today, most vintage repro companies offer play suits. You can see some of these lovely rompers on a previous post of mine about play suits here

Jodhpurs- I have always thought that the strange silhouette created by these pants is SO cool! This style of pants isn't traditional or common but they really do make a unique statement while staying true to the vintage spirit. If you're ever fortunate enough to come across a pair of these vintage classics in your size, snatch them up!!

Jodhpurs have been worn by equestrians and aviators alike and they are such a chic addition to any vintage wardrobe. For curvy gals, I suggest trying this style on before making a purchase because they may help to conceal a large thigh but they may make hips and thighs look bigger than they really are. Not all curvy bodies are created equally, though so do give them a try-on, you never know! There's something about Jodhpurs on a woman that says "tough and sexy"!

Sailor pants- Sailor pants are a common pants staple for the modern vintage girl. There are many reproduction companies and crafty gals creating these adorable button-detailed pants. Many sailor pant styles for the vintage world have a wider leg than the real deal, more like the trousers mentioned above. While antiquing with Amanda one day, she scored a great pair of 1940's military issue wool sailor pants, which are quite different from the repro pants but just as cute!!

My step dad, Dan was in the U.S. Navy so he was able to provide some helpful information about modern day navy issue pants. The U.S. Navy dress uniform still has the 13-button front closure and lace-up back. These pants are made of navy blue wool. I can't imagine having to wear wool pants all the time but according to Dan, he never experienced any itchiness!

I guess that's just something you get used to. On the ship, the sailors wore dungarees made of a cotton-like material and all US navy issue pants have the "bell" or flare bottom on the legs. I have read that the US Navy is re-vamping the traditional bell bottom pant with a more straight-leg style, so keep your eyes out on military surplus websites and stores for the traditional flare style!

Vintage 1940's sailor pants. image from
You can find your own vintage inspired sailor pants at Starlets and Harlots These pants go up to a hip size of 48 inches and waist of 38.

Today's Friday Night Fashion and a Movie post will come later today!
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