Saturday, August 30, 2014

5 Investments for a Great Vintage Wardrobe

When you first discover vintage fashion, it's easy to go a bit shopping happy! You want to fill your closet with all the things so every piece of vintage that fits you, every vintage bangle and brooch found thrifting, and every hat and pair of gloves found at yard sales ended up coming home with you. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great way to get started, but at some point in time, you need to start investing in more expensive quality pieces that will last you years.

1. Underpinnings

If you are not wearing the correct underwear, you'll never achieve that perfect period look. Plus, there's nothing that makes a girl feel more fabulous than pretty underthings. Whether it's a bullet bra, seamed stockings, a girdle or a luxurious slip, these little things really go a long way. Plus you'll wear them loads, so the cost per wear of even a more expensive piece is much less than that evening gown you wear once a year.

2. Coat

Another thing you'll wear loads is your winter coat. Unless you live some place where it doesn't get that chilly! A well made coat will cost you but the reward of cozy glamor all winter is worth it!

3. Footwear

Feet are one of the more overlooked aspects of a vintage look (perhaps because there are so many cute modern shoes). But shoe shapes have really changed since the midcentury and those little details really add or detract from that perfect vintage look. Invest in repro footwear or search out modern shoes with great details like tiny peep toes.

4. Basic Separates

Sometimes I go shopping for separ- Oh, looky, pretty dress! It is so easy to get distracted by pretty dress that we forget about separates. But since I've focused on adding more separates to my wardrobe, I've really discovered how amazing they are! If you are on a limited budget, start with items you can't make yourself or are hard to find vintage, such as pants or suits. Choosing solid colors over prints will make your wardrobe budget go further.

5. A Great Statement Piece

On the opposite end of the spectrum, every girl deserves at least one great statement pieces that says "Hey look at me! I'm fabulous!" Because, guess what- you are fabulous! This piece could be a hat, a novelty print skirt or that perfect little black dress. It just needs to make you feel as amazing as you are!


  1. I couldn't agree more! If you live in a climate chilly enough to get snow/ice, then a great pair of vintage or classic looking winter boats are a "must invest" in my books, too. I found two last year (finally!!!) at Walmart of all places and hopefully they'll be with me for many more winters to come now.

    A good winter coat is an absolute must. The most I've ever spent - okay, technically had spent on me - for any garment in my life (I didn't have a wedding dress, otherwise that would have likely topped this) was for a vintage coat that Tony bought for me as a gift (he knew I wanted it dearly) a few years back. $300 US + shipping. It's seen me through every winter since and still looks as great as the first day I got it. Vintage coats were often made with such high quality and attention to detail, that is so hard to find in similar outwear garments these days.

    Great post, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. This is a fantastic list! I must admit that although I've been doing the vintage thing for several years now, I'm still woefully short on appropriate underthings and basic separates. I really need to add some more things in solid colors and lovely fabrics to my wardrobe, especially for winter, but skirts and pants can be so daunting!

  3. I'm in desperate need for a LBD!!! You can never go wrong with one. I'm a little less period correct vintage and a little more vintage inspired/rockabilly in my style, but I definitely agree on separates. They are so very helpful!

  4. Good list! Although all depends on just how vintage you want to look, of course. As much as I love vintage fashion, I don't always mind mixing and matching vintage with modern or elements from different eras. I feel it's sometimes kind of necessary, even if it's just to deal with one's body shape or the requirements of everyday life in the twenty-first century...
    That said, I'd love to have some real repro underpinnings, even though I'm pretty happy with my self-made slightly pointy bras. Oh, and I'm thinking about making a power net waspie, for a true New Look silhouette (for special occasions only) And of course, I have a vintage-style coat and I look forward to making another one this winter.
    I don't really go for period style footwear though. The reason is simple: my feet may have a normal size now, they'd be considered huge in the mid-twentieth century...

  5. I agree with you so much. I have a vintage pillbox hat and have been looking for the the perfect coat to team it up with. This information is valuable to me. I have started with basic peices but you have me looking a vintage in a new light and I love it! I am discovering I more of a 60's girl so far, lol! I'm so glad I found your blog, it is so inspiring!

  6. Great list, underpinnings are a bit difficult for me too. I'm still looking for the perfect new look comfortable corset, if it is possible? I also love a great pair of back seamed panty hose but I find I prefer modern day hose. I can't say enough about having a well made quality coat. I just love them and they aren't easy to find, the right ones anyways:) I'm a big fan of princess coats. I think also having the right accessories is a challenge. I'm hoping to get better at this.

  7. Yes! This is a wonderful list!


  8. I came upon your blog when I saw your comment on dividing vintage moments and this is a great post. I don't always wear the vintage style underwear but you are right that it definitely gives an authentic edge and I do love what katy did seemed stockings

    retro rover

  9. Great tips! Underpinnings are so important when it come to recreating an authentic look for any time period. :)

  10. Thank you for this list! I'm still working on my items, especially shoes!