Category Archives: Accessories

VPOD: Recalculating and a Vintage 1950s World Map Compact

vintage 1950s kigu world map compact

On my last trip to San Francisco I was driving around the city completely trusting the Mapquest app on my iPhone to get me where I needed to go. When I missed an exit, I heard the oh-so-familiar GPS voice chanting “Recalculating…”

I slowed down a bit to wait for the next set of instructions and before long I was back on track and speeding down the interstate.

If only wrong turns in life could be righted so easily!

I know I’ve made a lot of them over the past few decades and at least one took me on a decades-long detour. But along the way I discovered that I have my own internal GPS.

And when I pay better attention to this personal guidance system, my wrong turns don’t necessarily lead me down dark dead-end alleys. In fact, when I’m really conscious and cooperating with it, my internal GPS sometimes will present an alternate route that is even faster than the original trip I had planned.

Like the GPS you use in your car, your internal GPS doesn’t judge you, call you a nincompoop, complain, or yell when you take a wrong turn. It simply notices when you’re getting off track and alerts you loud-and-clear that a course correction is needed by repeating to you over and over again “Recalculating…”

It then evaluates where you are, compares it to where you said you wanted to go and suggests what might be the best way of getting there. But you’re ultimately in the driver’s seat.

You may decide that the course your internal GPS suggests is too risky. Or you may see it as “under construction” with way too many obstacles to navigate. If so, you may decide to go “off-road” and take a different route.

But no matter how far off-course you may ultimately find yourself, if you trust your internal GPS and start heeding it, it will always lead you back to a path that ultimately gets you to your desired destination.

Luckily, a Fashion GPS is part of this Life GPS system as well.

Which is a good thing because all of us stray from our straight-and-narrow fashion path occasionally.

Who hasn’t ended up at some point looking at an item in their closet and wondering “WHAT the heck was I thinking when I bought THAT?!”

Plus we’ve all experienced life events like divorces, new jobs or relocations that make our Fashion GPS start its refrain: “Recalculating…”

It reminds us that our lives dictate the kind of clothes that should populate our closets. A stay-at-home mom requires a different mix than an up-and-coming socialite or a corporate executive. And when your life changes in a big way, your closet needs to change along with it.

Today’s VPOD, a lovely vintage 1950s world map compact, is a beautiful reminder to pay attention to your internal GPS system. And make sure you always have it programmed with exactly where you want to be headed because that’s where it will guide you!

It’s a handy-dandy built-in roadmap for every Vintage Crusader!

Available from Modbag on 1stDibs.

(To receive the VPOD via email along with detailed size, price and purchase information, sign up for my growing email mailing list here. Your information will never be sold or shared and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

VPOD: Creative Lightning and a Vintage 1970s Umbrella

Fun EZ Photography by ViaMoi on Flickr

vintage 1970s italian umbrella

Think lightning can’t strike twice? Think again!

The Empire State Building gets struck by lightning about 25 times a year and the shuttle pad at Cape Canaveral sometimes gets hit more than once during the same storm.

Creative Lightning can also strike lots of people at the same time.

Screenwriters often see movies in the theater that are similar to their unproduced scripts. Multiple novelists dream up similar characters and plots. Musicians in different bands create matching melodies. Fashion designers design similar runway looks. Even scientists have been known to make complementary scientific breakthroughs at almost the exact same time.

Nature has a way of warning us loud and clear when lightning is in the air. It’s called thunder and we know to pay attention when we hear it.

But how do you know when Creative Lightning is gonna strike so you can be ready for it, too?

I was speaking to a children’s book author over the weekend, picking her brain for tips and advice as I prepare to publish my own children’s books this year. And we both agreed that when we were most creative, when we produced our best work, it didn’t feel like work at all but more like someone or something was controlling our hands and writing those words through us.

And we both believe that if we weren’t there ready and waiting to write’em down, those flashes of creativity would have found their way to someone else who WAS ready for them — just like lightning will always find its way to the ground without being too particular about what it uses to get there.

Did you know that lightning has no idea what it’s going to hit until the last 50 to 100 feet?


It zig and it zags, going up and down and over and left and right until a grounded telephone pole, a tree, or even a person on a golf course, sends an opposite charge shooting upward.

This upward charge is called a streamer and whichever streamer makes contact with the descending lightning first gets hit.

So if you want to get hit with Creative Lightning you better be sending out a streamer.

And you send out a streamer when you’re ready and welcoming. By putting your butt in the chair as Stephen King and Margaret Atwood advise or showing up in the laboratory or putting in your time in the studio.

And then –and this is important! — staying there long enough to get into Flow.

You also cooperate with Creative Lightning by accepting any lightning bolt willing to connect with your streamer — the good and the bad, the brilliant and the boring. Just remember that for every dazzling dance step Martha Graham put on stage she discarded dozens of others that weren’t so dazzling. And this is true of all artists.

I firmly believe that we’re all creative and that all the brilliant ideas swimming in the ether are accessible by anyone — and that means YOU, too. They’re just waiting for you to be a Creative Lighting Rod when Creative Storms hit.

Of course, lightning — the non-creative kind — is a powerful force of nature and shouldn’t be messed with. So be sure to bring out today’s VPOD, a vintage 1970s Italian umbrella only AFTER a thunderstorm has passed.

It’s a fashionable bright spot in a storm for a Vintage Crusader.

Available at Gibson Girl Vintage.

(Image Credit: Fun EZ Photography by ViaMoi on Flickr | Reference Source: | To receive the VPOD free via email with detailed size and price information, sign up for the growing email mailing list here. Your information will never be sold or shared and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

VPOD: Vintage 1960s Satin Wallet and Everyday Beauty

vintage 1960s italian silk wallet

World-renowned designer Karim Rashid shared his philosophy with House Beautiful in 2005:

“People touch on average, about 500 objects a day—opening a door, drinking from a glass, answering the phone. Why shouldn’t each of them be beautiful?”

Yes, why not???

If looking at beauty brings you joy—which it certainly does for most people—then why not fill your life with more beauty and joy?

As more and more designers turn their attention to banal everyday objects like scissors, soap dispensers, and toothbrushes, there are more and more opportunities for us to find moments of pleasure from the everyday objects we interact with daily.

But let’s be clear. I’m not suggesting that you run out and replace as many objects as possible with more beautifully designed versions. That is definitely not the way to stay on Mother Nature’s good side!

What I am suggesting is that as you gradually supplant the old and worn-out objects in your life with new ones, you may want to consider how much joy you’ll derive from the beauty and design of those objects and choose accordingly. The few extra dollars you spend on an object that provides the function you need while also making your heart sing will always be money well-spent.

Consider how many times you rest your head on your sheets. Or take out our wallet. Or brush your teeth. Or sip from your coffee mug.

Now consider how much joy you’d feel if each and every one of these frequently used items was an item that you truly loved. That made you squeal with delight every time you interacted with it.

Wouldn’t life be just a tad bit sweeter if these everyday objects could bring you just a tad more joy?

So while I’m not quite ready to recycle my old wallet just yet, when I do, I’ll hunt for one that will make me smile every time I open it. One that is perhaps as beautiful as today’s VPOD.

This vintage 1960s Italian satin wallet is a true work of art.

And it’s a fine example of everyday beauty that’s just perfect for a Vintage Crusader.

Available at SwaneeGRACE.

(To receive the VPOD free via email with detailed size and price information, sign up for the growing email mailing list here. Your information will never be sold or shared and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

VPOD: Yves Saint Laurent Y-Mail Wallet and Google Wallet

vintage yves saint laurent postcard wallet

While I was traveling two weeks ago, I got a call from Chase to tell me that my debit card has been compromised and they were monitoring my account for suspicious transactions. This meant they were also placing pretty strict limits on my daily ATM and transaction limits. An inconvenience? Sure. But not a disaster.

Still, as I activated my replacement debit card on Saturday and slipped the shiny blue card into my wallet, I couldn’t help but wonder how much longer I’d be carrying a card or even a wallet at all!

As Google Wallet and other electronic check-out options gain acceptance, it’s really just a matter of time before hard currency and debit and credit cards become a thing of the past. And when that happens, our phones will become our wallets.

Ironically, as a collector, I know that paying attention to the future is what gives you an edge in collecting the past. It’s important to pay attention to items that will become obsolete because it’s these same objects that tend to hold value for collectors in the future.

I mention this just in case you need one more rationalization to covet today’s VPOD.

This Yves Saint Laurent wallet, which looks like a hand-addressed envelope to one of Paris’s most fashionable addresses, will make every one of your purchases a luxurious experience. And it’s bound to become a collector’s item as our culture replaces it and friends like it with virtual wallets.

Plus there’s something so interesting in this depiction of an obsolete form of communication (letters) with a soon-to-be obsolete object (wallet) once used to hold soon-to-be obsolete forms of payment (cash and credit cards).

It’s a chic and shiny find for a Vintage Crusader!

Available at Shrimpton Couture.

(Photo Credit for Ruby Slippers: Profiles in History | To receive the VPOD free via email with detailed size and price information, sign up for the growing email mailing list here. Your information will never be sold or shared and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

VPOD: Vintage Belts and The X Factor

Simon Cowell’s singing competition, The X Factor, may be posting disappointing ratings but it is certainly serving up some amazing talent with some amazing backstories.

Plus I love the concept of The X Factor, the special “it” quality in someone that is undefinable in words but unmistakable when you witness it in person.

And I believe there’s an X Factor that comes into play in style, too.

It’s the unexpected, delightful, surprising element that you add to your outfit that is an injection of YOU.

It’s being inspired by a look in a magazine and adding just enough of your own twist that you’re the creator of something new and not a mere copycat.

Maybe it’s a rad pair of tights or wearing your favorite necklace as a belt. Maybe it’s taking that purse you’re bored with and studding it up as a rainy Saturday afternoon craft project. Maybe it’s pairing a bold neon tee under the suit that everyone else is showing with a ruffled secretary blouse. Or thinking outside the box and using a fabulous pair of rhinestone earrings as cufflinks.

The possibilities are endless but they often require being a bit bolder and braver than you might be comfortable being.

I visited a talent manager friend the other day and watched as she coached one of her clients for an audition for a lead role on a new television series.

Her advice to this lovely young actress?

“Play it big! Make that casting director ask you to bring it down and play it smaller. I’ve never had someone book a job if they were asked to try it again with more energy or more excitement or more anger.”


Because no one likes boring.

And if you feel your wardrobe is boring, then you can play it bigger by adding more X Factor. And one of the best ways to do this is with unique, quirky, or just plain fabulous vintage accessories.

For instance, today’s VPOD features a sample of four great vintage belts that could easily add some pizzazz to old favorites: a colorful braided number by YSl, a Vera classic-with-a-twist navy leather, an unusual Renoir metal version and an always fabulous Gucci.

They’re all fine X Factor choices for a Vintage Crusader.

Available at Pamcoco, Dahlila Found, EraExpressions, Fabulous Mess Vintage.

(To receive the VPOD free via email with detailed size and price information, sign up for the growing email mailing list here. Your information will never be sold or shared and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.)

© Mary Kincaid 2006-2009