Saturday, January 9, 2010

How to Be a Thrifty Retro Housewife: Practical Tips For Caring, Wearing and Mending Clothing

Thrifty Clothing Tips From The Fabulous Forties
I thought it might be fun to share with my Retro readers some fabulous forties practical tips about caring, wearing and storing clothing.

Saving Money on Clothing

1. Storing wool gloves, scarves and cashmere sweaters: put them in perfectly clean fruit jars, along with moth crystals, then seal the jar tight.

2, Torn gloves: when the fingertip of a torn glove presents a difficult darning job, use this trick. Drop one of junior's marbles in the finger and you'll have a perfect fitting darning egg to make the job easy.

3. Shoe polish: when you run out of shoe polish, a handy substitute is paste floor was. Its neutral color makes it fine for dark or light shoes.

4. Rubber boots will last much longer and keep their original shape if the insides are propped up with cardboard when the boots are not in use.

5. Straw hats can be damaged easily. When putting them away, place them flat down on the brim side-one to a box, the crowns stuffed with tissue paper.

6. Wearing scarfs: a scarf will save wear on the neckline, besides helping to keep it free of creams, powders and "collar smudge".

7. Dry your coat, when soaked in rain or snow, in a well-ventilated room: never near heat. Brush before drying.

8. To fluff the nap of your coat, shake it briskly by the hem.

9. To judge the quality of woolen material, squeeze it in your hand. It should feel smooth, rubbery, springy when you open your hand. if it has a rough feeling, the grade is inferior.

10. Avoid wrinkling hosiery at the knees or ankles by adjusting your garters, if necessary, to a lower position in the welt, but not below the welt.

Source "1003 Household Hints", 1947 Edited by Michael Gore

Photos courtesy of

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

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  1. I Love your blog, too! It's like walking through a flea market which is my Favorite thing to do! I am following you and I'll be looking forward to my next visit here. Have a nice weekend! Twyla

  2. I love advice from old magazines and books- it always gives me a chuckle. I'd imagine the tip about the marble is a really good one, but I can't imagine darning a glove today- we'd just throw them out and get a new pair.

    (I do love to find old linens that have been nicely repaired, though- good darning was really a skill)

  3. A great read Dianne. I also read your article on Cottage Chic Decorating in Vintage Today. Thanks for the mention.

  4. I just hate it when my gloves need darning.
    Great blog!

  5. Hi there! I adore these old publications. So fun and funny.


  6. Nice and easy homely tips here...we all need them to become perfect home makers isn't it?

    contemporary furniture