Good day, ladies and gents!
Browsing through some blogs and online magazines I often read, yesterday, I found the news of the gorgeous cardigan Dita Von Teese signed for Australian vintage inspired brand Wheels and Dollbaby. The fantastic details, the flattering shape and even the cute autographed card make this so desirable - so much so we're watching it quickly sell out.
Still, tempting as this is, considering the current economic climate, I suppose most ladies would find it difficult to shell out AUD$190 (£118). Indeed, I recall tweeting "Those are divine, pity they should be so expensive! I doubt she'd sign anything for the high street though." to Penny Dreadful Vintage; it made me ponder if are glamorous styles really reserved to those most wealthy?
Looking back to the 1940s, when the war economy pressed heavy restrictions on most Europe and the US ladies maintained their styles regardless, only readjusting them. They learnt to be frugal, but somewhere down the line that notion was lost. Today, retro styles are all about excess - beautiful hair, stunning attires... And who resists that new dress! Authentic mid-century clothing can be prohibitively priced - so where to turn for those pieces that make you feel special and brand your style?
#1 Sew if Yourself! It's given that few girls find the time or possess the skill to sew their own clothes, but using vintage sewing patterns is one of the least expensive ways to have gorgeous pieces that fit you just right. Plus, you get to customise your clothes to make them truly unique. I suggest following blogs like Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing (where I got the picture above from) for some patterns and tips.
#2 Repro Designs! If you can't sew, not all is lost; a number of companies make reproduction clothing based on said vintage sewing patterns. So if you can't find those exact vintage pieces, repro is the way to go. It's affordable, easier to find and has that shiny new feel without compromising the glamorous look. I personally love Lady K Loves, Heyday and Freddies of Pinewood. Picture: Vivien of Holloway
#3 Newer vintage! It's widely known every decade fashion goes back 20 years for inspiration, so it's easier to source midcentury inspired 1970s/1980s pieces with an edge in bigger vintage shops or even charity shops. 1980s Rockabilly Revival anyone? Online, I'll suggest Beyond Retro - it's also a big surface store in London where you can make some lucky finds.
#4 The dreaded high street. It should be what anyone thriving to maintain a retro/vintage lifestyle fleas from, yet after the Mad Men craze the high street shops are brimming with prêt-a-porter styles that can easily complete those closet gaps for less (even if the quality tends to match the price), and give your style a modern flare. One of the best online shops for retro inspired clothes is ModCloth, but Asos.com, Topshop.com etc are good for trendier threads.
Where are your closet favourites from? What would you say is the one stop shop for retro looks?