In an era of box stores & mass-produced fashion, vintage is a savvy way to introduce individuality into a wardrobe - not to mention higher quality fabrics & superior construction techniques. In particular, fashions from the 40s & post-war New Look era are considered one of the most glamourous periods in modern fashion history. Exhibit A-Z: look no further than the dangerously glamourous Film Noir uber-villainess Barbara Stanwyck. The womanly hourglass was celebrated first with sexy pencil skirts & later, with flatteringly full skirts, natural-to-high waists, and thoughtfully-constructed suits boasting interesting seaming, trim & closures.
However, we're so much taller, bigger (faster?) than our mid-century sisters that even the most tenacious vintage vixen keeps a talented tailor on speed dial...provided she can even find something close to her size. "There have always been particular vintage styles that were consistently requested by our customers, but not always available in their size," explains the fabulous Theresa Campbell McKee of Blue Velvet Vintage (who also blogs at Vintage Style Files) about why she began her line of limited edition, American-made vintage reproductions.
Inspired by fave designs in her own collection, Theresa interprets classic mid-century styles for today's glamour girl who adores the sexy silhouettes of the 40s & 50s, but not the corseted wasp-waist sizing. "In an era of cheaply made, fast fashion and a throwaway mentality, they're designed to stand the test of time and to delight the vintage fashion lovers of the future."
Blue Velvet Vintage sundresses; faux leopard glamour girl jackets & capelets
Coquette Faux Furriers - pin-up girl stoles, muffs & matching pillbox hats
DangerDame.com - cuban-heeled seemed stockings; crinolines; candy-striper hats; bombshell wiggle dresses & skirts
Daddy-O's - a full selection of Stop Staring! swing & wiggle dresses; cateye glasses; cute clutches with tattoo designs & motifs; authentic saddle shoes & other period-correct kicks
Kween Clothing - "fashion in its prime, from the days of I Love Lucy to the birth of Hip Hop" including dresses, sweaters, jackets, blouses & bags, skirts, pocket books
Lipstick Vogue - 1940s-influenced dresses; tops; Vargas girl bathing ensembles & sun suits; a delicious palm frond hair ornament & faux fur muff
PinUpGirlClothing.com - aimed at the rockabilly set, they carry a number of budget-friendly wiggle dresses, full-skirted sundresses, classic Esther Williams style bathing suits, vintage style pumps, train cases & silk flower hair clips
Queen of Heartz - fabulous 50s high waisted denim pants & pin-up shorts; cropped denim jackets; sweet scoop-neck blouses; full-skirted halter dresses in festive fire engine red satin for the hols; retro Hawaian print dresses & rompers
Trashy Diva - a treasure of a find! classic full skirted halter dresses in candy apple red, black & navy; silk crepe de chine early 40s-inspired cap-sleeve day dresse; sleeveless charmeuse frocks with gathering at the shoulders & under the bust; floor length gowns that would be perfect for silver screen goddesses & budget-constrained brides
Unique Vintage - a small but decent array of wiggle dresses & skirts from Stop Staring!, Lucky 13 & Illicit 50s; private label suits & dresses in polka dots and black & white florals
- Lesley Scott
(leopard capelet - Blue Velvet Vintage; charmeuse dress - Trashy Diva; high-waisted pant - Queen of Heartz; pencil skirt & matching pocket book - Lipstick Vogue; Barbara Stanwyck photo: http://www.geocities.com/barbarastanwyckx/bsb.html)