Monday, February 25, 2013

Dress It Up With Dress Clips

A selection of clips from the author's collection.
What was once a “must have” fashion accessory during the 30's and 40's, is today largely forgotten – the one time ubiquitous dress clip.

From fine and elegant rhinestones to whimsical bakelite and wooden figurals, vintage dress clips continue to be some of the most versatile jewelry around.

Basic Types

There are two basic categories of clips, depending on their metal findings or mechanism used for gripping fabrics -- dress clips and fur clips, however they are essentially the same in purpose.

Other traditional types of clips may include shoe clips, scarf clips, and hinged hair clips.

A Unique Touch

Dress clips can be worn in pairs or singly, on dresses, coats, hats, belts, or even on a purse strap.  Clip them onto a shirt pocket or add one to a tied scarf – you’ll soon find a multitude of ways to wear these wonderful adornments.

Ann Sheridan wears a pair of rhinestone dress clips to one side
in "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1942).


A Few Tips To Keep In Mind

* Be sure to check the tension of the metal clip.  When lifting the back, there should be a bit of resistance at first and then it should open freely.

When closing, the clip should snap back into place and maintain a firm grip on the clothing.

Norma Shearer wears a single clip on a jacket collar
as a bold statement piece in "The Women" (1939).

* The metal back of a dress clip will have small "teeth" for gripping clothing, while the back of a fur clip will have two sharp prongs for gripping heavier weight fabrics.
* Oftentimes, small sized dress clip sets are confused for earrings (ouch!) at sales, so when shopping, be sure to look through any earring selections.

 * Never immerse into liquid cleaner.  The clip back is often comprised of a metal alloy, and can rust over time.

* Clean with a soft polishing cloth if necessary or use a soft toothbrush to carefully “dust” around stones.

Written by Laura Milera, Metro Retro Vintage

1 comment:

Catwalk Creative Vintage said...

Great post! I do love a nice dress clip and there's so many ways to wear them. :-)


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