Hi friends! This week’s post is all about the clothes! The title of this post is one of the many questions I am frequently asked. My answer varies, but is usually something along the lines of, “this is how I dress everyday”, or “this is just my normal style”. People are usually very sweet and complimentary, and then a common question that follows is, “where do you get your clothes”? That my friends is what we’re going to talk about today.
As I’ve mentioned, I mainly love to style myself in 1950’s era clothing so I thought I’d share a little bit about what I look for, and what identifies that specific style. The women of the 1950’s almost always wore dresses. Looking and acting “every inch the lady” was taught from a very young age. Hemlines usually came in below the knee to mid-shin. The style is a tailored and well-groomed look. The 1950’s celebrated a very feminine silhouette featuring a nipped in waist and hourglass figure. Styles were made to emphasize those features. Swing skirts were very popular. That is a very full or circle skirt. Also, women wore the pencil skirt style to emphasize the hourglass shape. Wide collars and Peter pan collars were popular in blouses and dresses. Those are some things to look for when identifying 1950’s fashion. The clothes of this era are so flattering and beautiful on women of all shapes and sizes. That is one of the many reasons why I love it.
There are several different ways I typically add to my wardrobe, and I find that I have a pretty even number of pieces from these five sources. They are: thrift stores/yard sales, vintage stores/Etsy, vintage reproduction stores, gifts/hand-me-downs from friends, and dresses I have had made from vintage patterns.
I have gotten lucky a few times while thrifting and yard-saleing. It is so fun to go out and treasure hunt. I like to call it finding things “in the wild”. One of my favorite finds so far is this super cute brown houndstooth pencil dress.
I found this at one of the local thrift stores in my home town and it looked as if it has never been worn! It features large buttons and an interesting lapel tie.
I styled this one with one of my new-to-me hats that was left on my front porch, a gift from an anonymous friend. I paired it with vintage gloves that were also thrifted. This entire outfit only cost $5!
Oh boy I love a good vintage clothing store. I could spend hours combing through the racks of clothes looking at all the beautiful garments. I love to imagine the lovely ladies of the past who wore them and what they were like. The history of the item makes it special and unique. There are a few that I have found to be especially great. One of those is a store in Salt Lake City, UT called Decades. They have the largest vintage clothing collection I have ever seen and the clothes range from antique clothing turn of the century, up though the 1960’s. They also have an impressive collection of men’s clothing which is wonderful. There are hats, shoes, scarves, and other accessories as well. That is where I found this dress.
I fell in love with the wide collar on this dress and the beautiful silhouette. When I tried it on, it was a little too small and didn’t fasten at the waist. I bought it anyway because I loved it so much and I thought I could make it work. It took some time, but ever since I started doing Beachbody this January, I have lost 14 lbs and been able to fit into this dress perfectly. This is one of my favorite pieces I own because it is such a classic shape. Plus guess what??? It has pockets!!!
I have also found many lovely dresses on Etsy. I could very easily lose hours on Etsy browsing through vintage dresses. Another great thing about Etsy is you can modify your search according to your budget and only search a specific price range. This often saves me time as well as the heartache of finding a gorgeous dress that is well out of my budget. One of my favorites that I have found through Etsy so far is this cute mint green dress with a matching jacket. It has super cute matching buttons and the diagonal pattern of them is unique and fun.
Vintage Reproduction Stores
After purchasing my first reproduction vintage dress at the Bettie Page Store (now Tatyana Boutique), I started searching online for more stores like it. That’s when I found Pinup Girl Clothing. Oh my word. There are so many beautiful clothes!! I can’t even. Vintage reproduction tends to be on the pricier side, however, my experience has been that it is well worth the price because they are such high quality garments. The fabric is very high quality and they are so well made. All of the pieces I have purchased from both Tatyana and Pinup Girl Clothing have stood the test of time and still look brand new. One of my favorite pieces is the “Haunted Housewife Dress”.
I ordered this online from Pinup Girl Clothing. It is a beautiful shape and the skull cuff links combine my love of the 1950’s with my favorite holiday, Halloween!
For me, living in Utah there are not many reproduction vintage brick and mortar stores close by. However, I did find a wonderful store in Ogden, UT called Endless Indulgence Retro Wear. The owners Carrie and Richard are amazing! I was able to try on and purchase several items that I would normally have to just order online. Another aspect of 1950’s style are the novelty print skirts and dresses. These are so fun, and I have a few of them so far. The one I decided to feature is this adorable Heart of Haute kitty novelty print dress my husband got for me at Endless Indulgence. If you know anything about me you know how much I love cats!
I have been so fortunate over the years to come into contact with the most generous and kind people. People have given me their mother’s old clothes, hats, and jewelry, as well as sometimes their own treasures from years past. One of my favorites that was gifted to me is this beautiful blue floral dress. This came from my uncle’s next door neighbor, and is a perfect spring dress. I wore it earlier this year for Easter Sunday paired with a hat and gloves.
Handmade From Vintage Patterns
A few years back I hit a sale just right at Joann’s Crafts and I was able to get five patterns for $5. Unfortunately, I am not much of a seamstress, so I found a friend that was willing to make some of them for me. It was really fun picking out the fabric for these dresses and having them made to fit me. The dress I decided to feature is this red and white wide-collared sailor dress.
I wore it to the local car show for Pioneer Day, and several of the car owners wanted me to take a pictures with their car. I was more than happy to sit in their amazing show-worthy 50’s vehicles and get photos!
I am working on my sewing skills and luckily I have a good friend that is willing to help teach me. I still have two more vintage patterns I would like to make, as well as a fun Halloween skirt project I’m working on finishing up this month.
These are just a few of my favorite dresses. It was so hard to choose because I love them all! I hope this post helped explain a little bit more about me and my vintage style that I so love.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to subscribe so you get notified each time a new post is up! Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you, and if you have any questions please feel free to ask away! Until next time, please remember, you are beautiful! See you next week friends!