True Vintage: An Edwardian Blouse I Found at Goodwill

August 24, 2016

It kind of pains me to title this post “true vintage” because that term has always struck me as both pretentious and meaningless, but in this case, it’s a really apt description.

You see, I go into Goodwill all the time looking for “Edwardian stuff,” but not the real deal. The local Goodwills mostly have things dating from the 1980s and onward. The “Edwardian stuff” I look for is costuming-grade things like secretary blouses, long pleated skirts, lacy camisoles, and the like that are perfect for Thrifted Edwardian outfits.

Stuff like this.

As for vintage things, every once in a blue moon I will find a homemade 1960s dress or, once, a chipped 1930s teapot, but nothing mind-blowing. Today I was combing the racks for some work shirts and maybe a nice lace top I could rob of its trimmings. The area where I live is “100 yards from rich” as Chris and I describe it, downwind of the wealthy suburbs, so our Goodwill is blessed with comparatively nice castoffs from the upper echelons of Fort Worth society. The “it” style for spring/summer for the local who’s-who was romantic boho chic with the usual dash of Western flavor Texas is known for.

Stuff like this.

There have been tons of peasant blouses and filmy tops with lace collars that were perfect for Thrifted Edwardian costumes, so I was already hauling an armful when I pulled this beauty off the rack.


Labelled as a size “Medium” – HA!

 I confess that when I first caught sight of it, my first thought was “Oh! Another nice modern blouse that looks good enough to fake it,” so imagine my genuine surprise when I pulled the hanger out of the polyester sea to get a better view. This blouse was so good at “faking it” because it was real! There are enough similarly-styled modern blouses that no one noticed its age when it was tagged ($4.49), racked, rifled through, or rung up at the register.
I must say I feel quite proud: my “looks-Edwardian” radar is honed enough that it picked up on a real Edwardian/WWI blouse even though it only saw one sleeve smooshed between 10,000 others.


It’s not a particularly fancy piece by any means, but it has some nice filet lace around the collar and a bit of embroidery at the front. I didn’t take many photos because I wasn’t even planning on writing about it, but I hadn’t posted in a while and, hey, cool 1910s blouse! Why not share? Just further proof that you never know what you’ll find lurking in the racks.

13 Responses to “True Vintage: An Edwardian Blouse I Found at Goodwill”

  1. Liza D. Says:

    Score! Well done. I’ve found an antique petticoat among the “white skirts” and had the same squeee! reaction. Thanks for sharing your good fortune which we like-minded treasure hunters can enjoy vicariously. Here’s to more lucky finds. Glad this beauty fell into the right hands.

  2. Helen Fratena Says:

    Nice job, Liz! Way to go!

  3. Vicki Says:

    Welldone! I’m glad you found it. Is it going to be the basis of a whole outfit at some stage? Maybe…

  4. Aimee Says:

    SCORE!!! Happy for you.

  5. prior.. Says:

    hey – great find! I always admire people who know clothing and furniture dates – and I can only imagine the old pieces I have “unknowingly” come across over the years!
    anyhow -my favorite part about a thrift store is seeing 80s clothes that we used to wear – like old Limited “forenza” sweaters…. memories flood and it is an experience –
    have a good day!

  6. Aww, this is just the best! Can’t wait to see it as part of the next outfit! I have a couple of these, and a pattern (the Armistice blouse one). The shirts have teeeeeeeny sleeves, and I do theater costuming, so I don’t risk giving them to an actress to wear in a show. But for study of the details they can’t be beat.
    Congratulations are in order for sure!
    Nancy N

  7. Oh PS I am searching for images of American mens and women’s clothes from 1910-1911 or so. Those very stylish ones you posted when you found your polka dot jumper dress from the ’80s were gorgeous (if a little too gorgeous for the play). If you can direct me to a site that’s a little less upmarket that’d be so helpful! I have an old magazine from 1918, but that’s too modern!

  8. Michelle Says:

    What an we some find! I’m so glad you were the one to find it and save it!!

  9. Michelle Says:

    What an awesome find; I’m so glad it was you who found it rather than someone who couldn’t appreciate this gem!

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