Bring style to Your Home Or Event With Vintage Typewriters

Posted by Amber Telfer, Vintage Lover on

Last year I had a sudden urge to own a good old fashioned typewriter. I started looking around and found the range to be anywhere from $25 - $600 for the more unique styles. I was torn between a cool color and one that writes in cursive. I settled on a turquoise version of the 1950's Royal typewriter, but I still might go back for that cursive typewriter because they are so uncommon. Anyway, with my husbands help, we found one that needed a little love and cleaning up on eBay, so we negotiated a lower price than the $650 versions you'll find on Etsy. With a little elbow grease, we ... okay, he, cleaned up gunk on the keys and body with contact cleaner, degreaser, and a toothbrush. It now shines brightly in it's cute turquoise color and works like charm.

Okay, great, but what can you do with typewriters?

    1. Write "thank you" notes to your customers. That's what we do at If you buy something, and you'll get a good old fashioned letter with it. That's how vintage we are.

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      2. Display it in your living room for visitors and receive the most beautiful notes from your friends and family that you can cherish for a lifetime.

      vintage royal typewriter

        3. Add a pop of color to your decor - functioning or not - vintage typewriters add character.


        4. Line them up on a table and create a wedding guest book desk. Your guests will have so much fun playing with old technology while writing you messages of love on your big day! They will remember the experience as a fun, and you get to see all the typos in the middle of the notes. Win-Win!

        If you want to rent a typewriter for your wedding, just drop us a note at to discuss what's available.

        5. Create art with typewriters.


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        Vintage Halloween Costumes offer Style and Value with Ease

        Posted by Amber Telfer, Vintage Lover on

        Use vintage clothing to create sustainable Halloween costume ideas like Geisha Girls, Cowgirls, Native American Indians, Hillary for President, and more. Besteryear Vintage has Halloween tips for getting dressed for Halloween and the holiday season!
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        Are These 1970’s Fashions Here To Stay?

        Posted by Amber Telfer, Vintage Lover on

        If you haven't heard the latest of the season, there’s a resurgence of 1970’s flared jeans, animal print coats, metallic and fun all over bold style prints ­– or according to “the seventies have stayed in style over a number of seasons.” So, we must ask the question, "Are the 1970's a trend once again, or are we shifting to eternal glam?" We hope for the latter.
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        Shaken Not Stirred | Vintage Housewares

        Posted by Amber Telfer, Vintage Lover on

        If you are looking for an experience well-versed in cocktail culture, Wicker Park’s Prohibition style cocktail lounge; The Violet Hour is where old-fashioneds are made with style and enjoyed to celebrate every day.  This cocktail lounge is a throwback to an era that captivates a wide audience keen on artisanal libations. This James Beard Award-winning bar takes its cocktails seriously and the Besteryear team takes cocktail glassware just as seriously. We paired them together to share two drinks that will inspire you for the rest of the summer.

        The Violet Hour’s, Alyssa Heidt, who, on occasion, has been known to compete in Speed Rack – an all-female speed bartending competition which shines a spotlight on female mixologists thriving behind bars around the country – was kind enough to create a few specialty cocktail recipes specially for us (not on the menu at The Violet Hour)! These cocktails are served in Besteryear vintage glassware – the perfect compliment to the sought-after cocktails that The Violet Hour is known for.   

        Female Bartender - Classic Cocktails -

        Our curated Art Deco, Prohibition Era & Mid Century Modern vintage glassware can be used to shake-up any cocktail, but we have a special affection for Alyssa and her magical creations. 

        Alyssa Heidt’s cocktail recipes were not only designed around our glassware, but are also focused on seasonal ingredients that can be found at your local farmer’s market, in your backyard, or at the grocery store. The drinks below are not in the typical Violet Hour style, but are sure to please. Thanks to the team at Violet Hour These drinks are easy to make and can be prepared in a few shakes of a cocktail shaker.

        Cocktail Recipe - BBQ Smash - Besteryear

        Besteryear BBQ Smash

        2.0 oz  Old Grandad 114 proof bourbon 

        .75 oz  Fresh lemon juice 

        .50 oz  The Violet Hour + Sauce, Batch #1

        4          Fresh mint leaves 

        1/4       Ripe peach 

        Pinch   smoked paprika 

        Pinch   Kosher salt 

        Muddle peach in shaker, add the rest of the ingredients plus ice, shake for 10 seconds and strain into glass (double straining is recommended and can be done using a tea strainer or any other fine mesh metal strainer).  

        Garnish with a mint bud, peach slice, and/or a pinch of smoked paprika. 


         This is a modern twist on a classic whiskey smash, the recipe of which dates all the way back to 1888.  This particular smash is meant to be a backyard BBQ in a glass. Just add people for a great summer occasion.

        *Alyssa’s pro tip: by let the cocktail sit for 20 minutes before shaking on ice, the flavors of peach and mint will be much more vibrant.  

         Another summer libation is closely related to the Tom Collins. We call it the sweeter cousin, “Honeydew Collins,” and it’s the perfect partner for a hot summer day when paired with the Besteryear lemonade set.

         Cocktail Recipe - Honey Dew Collins - Besteryear

        Honeydew Collins 

        2.0 oz Clear spirit (Hayman's Old Tom gin was used here) 

        .75 oz Fresh lemon juice 

        .50 oz Simple syrup (equal parts sugar to water) 

        4 Cubes ripe honeydew melon 

        Pinch  Kosher salt 

        2.0 oz Grapefruit-flavored soda  

        Garnish with lemon and lime peel, fennel fronds  

        Pour 2 oz. soda in empty Collins glass. In the shaker muddle honeydew melon, add rest of ingredients plus ice and shake hard for 5 seconds. Strain into glass, then add ice to fill. Garnish with fennel fronds and lemon and lime peels. 


        This drink is a seasonal riff on a classic Tom Collins, a drink dating all the way back to the late 18th century. This is what Alyssa call a "patio pounder", meaning it is something refreshing and not too challenging to the palate, allowing for enjoyment all day long.   

        These tasty summer cocktails paired with Besteryear glassware will stir up your summer party! Wishing you a fun rest of the summer season – enjoy the party.

         Cocktail Mix - Violet Hour +

        What’s Behind The Bar Quick Fun FAQs:

        1. Alyssa likes to make up names for new cocktails as if she was naming a new band: drawing inspiration from forgotten idioms, unusual phrases, and nostalgic memories. 
        2. Ice is a BIG deal at The Violet Hour.  It is made in a block style with filtered water, and is denser than regular ice so it doesn't melt as quickly. 
        3. When mixing a drink, always start with the less expensive ingredients first, then build up to the most expensive ingredient. That way if you make a mistake along the way, precious booze won't be wasted. 
        4. The Violet Hour +, Batch #1 is VH signature Old Fashioned mix dubbed as the “secret sauce”.  Available in 8oz and 1.67oz (airplane bottle) sizes, available for purchase at: several Binny’s throughout the Chicagoland area, Publican Quality Meats, Publican Tavern in O’hare and at The Violet Hour. It’s also a tasty ice cream topper.

        You can find the dress Alyssa is wearing below, here.

        Vintage Clothing -


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        What's Old Is New Again

        Posted by Amber Telfer, Vintage Lover on

        You know that quote by Harley King: “All things old become new again”? I am sure you have seen a million examples of it. But no better examples are the fashion trends that resurface again and again. Nowadays, there isn’t much new you haven’t already seen in the past. And if there is, the designers usually are influenced by past fashion icons and couturier’s.

        This is great news for us at Besteryear because we love to bring in styles that are currently on trend and are far better quality and usually better priced! I don’t know about you, but I feel guilty about buying mass-produced items that will probably go to the back of my closet after only wearing once. Therefore, Besteryear is always scouring our favorite customers closets and boutiques to find the items we feel are high quality, priced well and of course always on trend. Believe me, your pocketbook will thank you.

        Some of our items that are trending now like the flared denim trend from the seventies, floral rompers and maxi dresses from the sixties and seventies are your summer must-haves. So, below we rounded up 3 easy looks and compared our fab finds to other brands so you can see how easy it is to shop vintage pieces on Besteryear. 

        1. The Flare

        The biggest trend to make a come back this season are flared jeans. I don’t know about you but I am actually excited to mix up my denim status quo. They are surprisingly flattering and these make you look like you have legs for days. Our take on the flares are more wide leg with flare. Shop now>

         Vintage Denim Flares 

        1. The Floral Romper

        The romper is on everyone’s list this summer especially the vintage inspired floral short romper. You’ll see Taylor Swift and Solange Knowles wearing them walking down the street giving glamour and casual a whole new meaning. Our take on the 1960’s romper is a true classic. It even still has the Marshall Fields original sales tags! Shop now>


        1. The Floral Maxi Dress

        Floral’s come out every season because who doesn’t like the thought of a romantic summer come June? When we think of summer, we think of days gone by and the maxi dresses we adorned. Back again in a big away these maxi dresses make it simple to throw on for day or night. No accessories needed with these fun prints. Our take on the floral maxi dress exudes summer lovin’. Shop now>


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