gold rush days finds | collars & boots

by | Aug 25, 2021 | Antiques, Favorite Finds | 33 comments

Yesterday I shared about the antique letters and books I bought over the weekend at Gold Rush Days and today I’m going to share a few more of my finds as well as what I plan on doing with them.

When I’m shopping for antiques, I sometimes have specific things I’m looking for, but I almost always end up buying things that “speak to me.”  I can’t explain why I’m drawn to certain things except to say that I just like what I like.  One of the things that I’ve always been drawn to, right from the very beginning of my love for antiques, is old clothes.  Even if I don’t buy them, I always take a minute to admire old shoes, hats, petticoats, socks, dresses, coats.  Some of my earliest antique purchases were baby dresses and little lace bonnets.  I even bought a pair of heeled leather wingtip shoes from the 1940s at a yard sale to wear when I was in high school.  An antique leather coat with a fur collar (a thrift store purchase) was one of my favorite coats when I was in my 20s.

There is a beauty in the way that old clothes were designed, styled, and made that I really appreciate.  I’ve even been thinking about learning to sew clothes so I can remake some styles I love in a way that’s relevant for today.  I just might do that one of these days…

Anyway, when I spotted this display of antique starched collars and cuffs, I was intrigued.  They would look so good framed in a shadow box.

antique shirt collars | miss mustard seed

As I shared in my post about the event, the entire display was $525, which I wasn’t even remotely interested in spending that kind of money or even buying the entire display.  I just wanted a few collars.  After a bit of discussion, the seller revealed that he had plenty of collars and could sell a couple to me for $6.00/each.  That was a perfect solution and an example of why you always ask about things.  I assumed they were a part of the display and he wouldn’t sell them, but he did (and at a good price!)

antique shirt collars | miss mustard seed

I picked out two collars with a shape that I liked that also had nice writing on the inside.

antique shirt collars | miss mustard seed

I’ve already been doing some initial searches for shadow boxes, but I haven’t found anything that is quite right.  I might end up having to make something.  I would like a shadow box that has a similar feel to the one I used to frame the antique baby dress in our guest room (you can find that tutorial HERE), but it needs to be deeper and obviously smaller.

framed antique baby dress | miss mustard seed

I have a few family pieces I’d like to frame in a similar manner – a couple of beaded purses, a pair of gloves, and a silver hairbrush.  I’d like to hang them in our master bathroom.  (I don’t have any art hung in there, yet!)

I also bought a pair of child’s leather boots.  First of all, I just want these boots in my size!  Aren’t they such a cute design?

antique child's boots | miss mustard seed

My plan is to frame these in a shadow box as well, but I might end up putting them under a cloche.  If I do frame them, I will probably put them in two separate frames and hang them as a pair.

antique child's boots | miss mustard seed

The last piece I bought related to clothing is an ivory glove stretcher…

antique ivory glove stretchers | miss mustard seed

I thought it was a pretty little thing and would make a great clip to hold open notebook pages in the studio.  I mean, you can use a variety of modern clips, but why do that when you can use an antique ivory glove stretcher?  It doesn’t have any “teeth”, so it doesn’t create dents in the paper.  I’ve already used it some and it’s pretty perfect!

antique ivory glove stretchers | miss mustard seed

So, it goes in my overflowing wooden tote for pens, pencils, rulers, brushes, etc. that I want to keep on hand.

antique ivory glove stretchers | miss mustard seed

Are there any other old clothes lovers out there?  Do you wear your finds or display them?  Or both?


  1. Roberta

    Ahh, so glad I just signed up for your blog.

    I have inherited 2 clips a.k.a. glove stretchers. Had no idea what they
    were used for. These are not vintage, but nonetheless beautiful.

    Just love your vintage collections and your idea to shadow box them.
    I may just do that with mine.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, those are so cool!

    • Chris

      Laughing so hard, I immediately rushed out to grab the link for those same boots and then came back and found your comment. Best shoes!

    • monique odman

      Are you into fashion Elisa, or period costume design? I just checked the americanduchess collections and I swooned over many shoes and boots. Wearing vintage and antique clothing 90% of the time, it is wonderful to know that my feet can complement the old styles of fashion. Thank you.

      A friend collected old little girl dresses and wished her future grand children would wear them, but her two daughters had each a pair of boys, so she may frame one or two of the favourite dresses.

  2. Bev

    I love the things you collect. I found my old shoes when I was cleaning out my parents house. My mother had written on the bottom of one shoe that she’d sent the mate to my dad who was overseas during WW2. I love it. I framed 3 shoes with that one in the center upside down so you can read the sweet message.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I love that! What a great idea to frame them so you can see the writing.

    • JC

      Looking forward to seeing how you display these finds!

    • Carol Maloney

      I would love to see a photo of those frames 3 little shoes. What a lovely story and idea!

  3. Patricia Kasparian

    I also love those button ballet shoes! I’d love a pair for myself, too. I like the cloche idea to house those beauties!

  4. Joelle

    I just thought I would chime in about the collars and cuffs. These are the areas that would wear out first on men’s shirts (as well as show soiling), so it made sense for them to be replaceable, therefore extending the life of the shirt as a whole. The shirt could also be worn multiple days before washing.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I did a bit of reading on the detachable collars and found it so interesting!

  5. Sharon Rexroad

    I remember learning how to remove and flip the collars for my dad’s shirts when the top edge where the collar met the stand wore out. The underneath side was still good and noone saw the worn edge as it was now hidden

  6. Mary

    I have antique lace collars and cuffs, some with tiny covered buttons. I wore them in the 80’s when Princess Di style was popular. I continued to collect them and they have mostly stayed in a box for 25 years. Maybe I should search for frames. I wear a lot of antique jewelry, a Victorian locket, a gold cross set with some amethyst stones – – – over 150 years old, cameos and a pair of garnet earrings that were my great-grandmothers.

    • Marian Parsons

      So cool. I love that you wore them!

  7. Virginia

    I love the little dresses you have framed. I would like to do this with my daughters’ baptism dresses. Is framing these dresses something I can do myself? Can you provide some directions on this?

  8. Katherine

    Marian –
    You noted in your previous entry that the separate collars and cuffs were made that way for more frequent washing. actually collars and cuffs for men’s shirts were made as separate “add-on” because those were/are the parts that wear out fastest because of friction, or in the case of cuffs, more apt to get stained.
    The separate collars and cuffs created a means of saving the expense of making (or purchasing) new shirts. You’ll also note that many of the add-on were made of harder wearing materials, so they also lasted longer. Much easier to use the “add-on, that to have to take apart your husband’s (or brother or…) to put on a new collar or cuffs. When you try your hand at garment sewing, you’ll see why!

  9. Sue Cantrell

    You might consider putting a button hook between the pair of shoes when you display them.

    Just a thought!

  10. mary m

    I have a pair of my first brown walking shoes from 1944. During WWII you could not get white shoes. We used to have a wonderful female shoemaker in our area. I showed the shoes to her and she was enchanted.

  11. Kathy Clark

    I love the wallpaper in your guest room. What is the name of the print and the manufacturer?
    Thanks, Kathy

    • Judeth

      I have a baby christening gown, I wanted to frame it, never had. Where can I purchase the little wooden hanger.

      • Addie

        You can find them at the Goodwill or estate sales……be patient you will find them!!!

      • Marian Parsons

        This hanger was actually half of an antique hanger for pants! I found a couple several years ago at an antique market and split them up to use for baby dresses. You can find antique hangers on Etsy and eBay or at antique shops, markets, etc.

  12. Karen

    My mother loved Edwardian clothing and had amassed so many “white pieces” – wedding dresses, tea dresses, blouses, bloomers, petticoats, camisoles, as well as baby dresses and christening gowns. Her favorite thing was to find a wadded up beige piece of fabric, wash it, sun bleach it back to white, repair it (she was a brilliant seamstress), iron & starch it to display on her dress mannequins. I am an only child and inherited dozens of these pieces, all wrapped in linen fabric, packed in acid free tissue paper. I have an Edwardian wedding gown made entirely of strips of lace displayed in my guest room, and a child’s dress that both my daughters wore for their portraits also hangs in that room. Everything else is stored in the closet!

    (One really interesting piece is a quilted petticoat thought to be from the Midwest)

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, how cool!! I have bought and fixed up a few antique petticoats to wear. 🙂

  13. Teddee Grace

    Looking forward to your displays, and thanks to the reader who provided the shoe link! What great new/old shoes. Now, if you aren’t already, you can start collecting button hooks, something of which I do have a few.

  14. Tara Hoke

    Can I ask how much the ivory clip was? I just saw a couple in an antique/wool craft store and didn’t know what they were. Thank you.

    • Marian Parsons

      It was $10.

  15. Barb

    I’ve had a men’s collar in my stash for years & never thought to frame it! I’m anxious to see how yours turns out! You’ve found some real treasures!

  16. Barbara Redman

    My mother-in-law told us of her memory of being about four years old and having a pair of shoes that were put on with what she called a “button hook.” She remembered stamping her feet in frustration because she couldn’t take them off by herself. I wonder if theses little beauties could be what she was talking about?

  17. Christine Irvine

    I love antique clothing, shoes, jewelry, hats, purses…you name it. When I was a teenager I used to wear silk Victorian pajama bottoms as pants to school. With boots that looked similar to the ones you bought. I would also wear embellished sweaters from the 30’s – 50’s, lots of vintage jewelry, and add jewelry to my boots or pocketbooks. Sometimes I’d wear those half hats that were kind of circular, with lace half veils. Those were my Nana’s hats that I inherited. I still wear some of my Nana’s jewelry.
    I also used to wear beautiful antique laced slips as skirts, or half showing on the top with a sweater. My boyfriend at the time wore bowling shoes to school. We had so much fun! I wish I still had all those clothes. I only saved a few pieces.

    New Hampshire


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

Let's Connect


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!

decorating, projects, and recipes for Summer

  • mexican lasagna bake aka burrito cake recipe
    I love recipes that are…quick to make, can be made in one pot, are easy to adjust to different food preferences, and are delicious!  Such is the case with this […]
  • the best strawberry rhubarb crisp
    We have an absolutely wonderful next-door neighbor.  She has blown snow out of our driveway when Jeff was unable to, she has saved Calvin’s bike from sitting out on the […]
  • decorating with shells
    As I collected shells at the beach this spring, the question I was asked most often is, “What do you do with them?”  And I get that question!  When we […]
  • Isle of Palms 2022
    I thought I would share a little bit more about our time at Isle of Palms this year.  If you’d like to read about our trip last year and the […]


Articles by Date


our sponsors



Bliss and Tell Branding Company


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This