I was fighting a cold over Halloween, so instead of a weekend full of costumes and candy, it was hooded sweatshirts and tea. I was pretty bummed out since I love Halloween, so on Sunday, when I was feeling a little better and passed this cute vintage store in Astoria, I decided a little browsing might cheer me up.
Loveday 31 isn't very big, but every time I go there I find something great. Unlike many of the vintage stores in New York, the prices are reasonable and the selection is well-edited. The owner really knows her stuff and will often suggest ways to wear a piece— "try it with a wide belt," etc.
One of the things I've learned about vintage shopping is that you should never pay attention to the sizes. A 10 from several decades ago could be today's 4. So when I saw this strapless dress with a dramatic neckline, I immediately tried it on, even though the size on the tag was not what I normally wear.
The fit was ALMOST perfect, but the bodice was a little large. I voiced my concerns to the owner and after looking at the seams she told me it would be easy to alter. I asked her if she could recommend someone for alterations and she said, "My mother. She's a great seamstress, but just moved back to Croatia. I don't know what I'm going to do now!"
I ended up buying the dress— even with the cost of alterations it will still be a bargain. It has a great shape and is really well-made with boning in the bodice and a nice lining. When I got home, I looked up the name on the label, Murray Arbeid, and was surprised when Google started filling in the search for me.
Apparently, Arbeid is a London designer who was very popular in the 1980s. He designed several gowns for Princess Diana— a few of which Christie's sold in a 1997 charity auction for $25K and $48K! The dress in itself was a great find, but I was excited to discover the history of its designer as well. All in all, the perfect vintage shopping experience.
(all photos © Littlehouse of Style)
ps. If anyone has a good tailor in New York who they can recommend, let me know!