I've become sort of focused on dress knitwear from the 60's lately. It was a huge part of the fashion business in the 50's and 60's, with chic women wearing knit suits and dresses as an alternative to more restrictive woven garments. But far from the relaxed casual dressing of today, these knits were delightfully dressy and totally coordinated. I've been collecting a few for myself and also have a few for sale on eBay right now. This is one that I'll be keeping.
Isn't it charming? I love how the double breasted detail appears to be a jabot at the neck and is reflected in the pleat detail in the skirt. I plan to wear it with black patent shoes.
This one is a Butte Knit. They were an extremely popular knitwear company in the 60's and 70's. Almost every woman owned a Butte Knit outfit of some description. This one is from the early 80's. I love the chemise cut and electric blue color. The details are nice as well - self bound button holes!
The Italians were particularly adept at knits. They made some extremely beautiful suits and dresses. This is one of them. Instead of being wool, it's a linen/acetate blend. I love the little double breasted vest with the hip belt. It's such a 60's mod detail.
This one is the piece de resistance. I've had it for several years and have worn it a few times. It's also an Italian knit - very fine gauge wool and trimmed with genuine polished branch coral. I was really floored when I found this set. It's so unusual! Look at how lush the coral is.
This piece has some really beautiful hand sewn couture details. It's such a beautiful outfit.
Knitwear is a fun category to collect. Things to look out for are moth holes - they tend to be more prominent on knitwear than wovens and felting under the arms. Stains and spots can be carefully spot treated with resolve carpet cleaner applied sparingly with the blunt end of a flat toothpick before dry-cleaning and hanger marks on shoulders can usually be steamed out with an iron - especially if the garment is wool. With care, vintage knitwear can be around for several more generations!
I have a few more knitwear pieces up for auction right now, among other things. Have a look!